My $350 mobo/mem/proc upgrade - please any critique/advice...

Hello,
I decided to post the possible specs of an upgrade I am considering and have the community of Tom’s critique me before I buy. ..My application is multi-media, audio/sound recording (large files) and editing, playing video from DirectTV DVR and a pc workstation. I run Photoshop, Audio editing software, Win 7 64 bit, and I infrequently play computer games. My budget is about $300-400 for the three components I am upgrading…

The possible component candidates are as follows.

MOTHERBOARD
ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Newegg Item #: N82E16813131406
$94

MEMORY
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) Desktop Memory Model F3-15000CL9D-4GBRH - Retail Newegg Item #: N82E16820231280
$99

PROCESSOR
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGIBOX - Retail
Newegg Item #: N82E16819103674
$165

I will be powering the system with a OZ 550 watt PSU and will be running my current GeForce 8800GTS video card. All will be housed in a Antec P180 Micro ATX case. I like the HDMI out from the Mobo for my DVR viewing. :)

Some questions:
*Is this the best price for the components?
*is this the best combo of mobo to memory?
*should I upgrade the the Phenom 965?
*is there a difference between the 145W proc or the 125W proc?
*should I invest in aftermarket CPU cooling?
*Am I forgetting anything?
*Please critique my choice of motherboard processor and memory combination.
9 answers Last reply
More about mobo proc upgrade critique advice
  1. since you a power user i woul consider the intel i5
  2. ^ No point really unless OP plan to go i7 (8 Threads) down the road.

    @OP: Not sure if your software can take advantage of 8 threads, but if it can, consider getting an i7.

    Quote:

    *Is this the best price for the components?
    Probably

    *is this the best combo of mobo to memory?
    The Ripjaws are always a good choice

    *should I upgrade the the Phenom 965?
    No

    *is there a difference between the 145W proc or the 125W proc?
    Yes, heat output and motherboard compatibility.

    *should I invest in aftermarket CPU cooling?
    Yes, overclock it!

    *Am I forgetting anything?
    No

    *Please critique my choice of motherboard processor and memory combination.
    They look fine to me.

    Answers in bold.
  3. Thanks for your answers...

    Shadow703793 said:
    ^ No point really unless OP plan to go i7 (8 Threads) down the road.

    @OP: Not sure if your software can take advantage of 8 threads, but if it can, consider getting an i7.
    I checked into the i7, and i will end up spending 2-3x more if i go the intel route...and questionable if i will see much of a difference. so I think i will stay within my budget and go AMD.

    *should I invest in aftermarket CPU cooling?
    Yes, overclock it!
    Shadow: Can you recomend any aftermarket CPU cooling units?




    Question about the memory I selected, since it is DDR3 1866, newegg says its specificially designed for the intel i5 and i7 mobo's, but my mobo is rated 1800 memory so will i be ok if i run AMD???
  4. Yes, the RAM will work fine, btw, the DDR3 1800 rating for the motherboard is the MAX RAM speed it will do.

    Quote:
    Shadow: Can you recomend any aftermarket CPU cooling units?

    Take a look here: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

    The best price vs performance goes to the CCF 120mm: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207004&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-CPU+Cooling-_-Sunbeam-_-35207004
    $25 after MIR. Frosty ranks it at #6 for AMD based rigs. Not bad for a $25 cooler imo. And yes, it will work with AM3 since the AM3 and AM2 sockets are physically the same.
  5. Awesome info...I think I will spend a little extra cash for the aftermarket cooler.

    Question? How much can that proc be safely overclocked? Where's some good info on overclocking that proc?
  6. what kind of hard drive raid configurations are fastest and popular now?
  7. ^ For OS:
    2x 500GB Samsung F3s or similar WD/Seagate.

    For Data:
    A single HDD will do, however, some people do RAID 1 or RAID 01. DO NOT do RAID 0 for a Data set up.
  8. I currently now have RAID (stripe) is that 0 or 1?

    What about Mirror + Stripe? with 3 drives??

    I heard the RAID on this Asus board is a software raid rather than a hardware raid setup..and software is inferior to the hardware raid.. is this true?

    I bought one HItachi 500 GB deskstar allready.....
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