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Help choosing Motherboard/CPU

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February 10, 2011 12:52:12 AM

Hi Folks,

I put it in this forums as the picking of the CPU isn't too hard, know it'll be a Phenom II X4. Problem is picking the motherboard combo to go with it on NewEgg.

I'm looking for quality, and want it to last for more than a year. I do not plan on overclocking nor CF/SLI. I am looking to play games such as WoW & Mass Effect (1,2, & 3). I'm trying to build around my video card, a Radeon HD 5770 so I don't have a bottle neck at the CPU. Bottleneck at the GPU will be ok, as at least I know I'll be using my card to it's full potential.

Other than the above, don't use the computer for much else.

Here are some of the combos I've found on NewEgg that seemed to fit my budget and solve my bottleneck issue. I know the 890FX chipset is more than I need, since I won't be doing CF. If I have it listed, it's because the price is low. For the 955, I've been told they are identical to the 965 with just timings or something different and all I would have to do is bump it up. Don't know how to tell if they are the same or not. It's why I only list one 965.

SOLD OUT Combo 1: 299.98
AMD Phenom X4 970 BE
MSI 890FXA-GD65 AM3 AMD 890FX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Combo 2: 309.98
AMD Phenom X4 965 BE
GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 AM3 AMD 890FX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Combo 3: 329.98
AMD Phenom X4 970 BE
GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 AM3 AMD 890FX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Combo 4: 248.98 (233.98 after rebate)
AMD Phenom X4 970 BE
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Combo 5: 272.99
AMD Phenom X4 955 BE
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Combo 6: 247.99 + 7.78 shipping on the mobo.
AMD Phenom X4 955 BE
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


I don't know what's a good mobo & what's not. These are just choices I found while on the egg, if you know of anything better and within those prices, feel free to list it.

EDIT:
In case it's needed, I am using an OCZ 700w StealthXstream (OCZ700SXS)
February 10, 2011 11:22:52 AM

Honestly, it doesn't matter what board it is, nor the CPU.

Price wise, it seems AMD is the way to go, but you guru's can help me. I've been trying to decide for a couple of months now and I can't make a decision on what to get. When I think I have it figured out, I change my mind.

I want the mobo/cpu to stop the bottleneck at the CPU (as stated above). I want a good brand, so I assume ASUS/Gigabyte (MSI??) are good brands. Have heard bad things about ASRock (Yes, I know partially owned by ASUS, but doesn't mean ASUS board). Any of the other brands I haven't heard anyone recommend in the couple of months I've been reading the forums here.

So, basically, Could you help me pick a CPU/Mobo. I don't have a large budget. I'd like to keep it under $300, heck, if possible $200.

In case it's missed in my long posts I have:
PSU: OCZ 700w StealthXstream (OCZ700SXS)
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5770

Items I will be getting based on price of Mobo/CPU
My case: 690 II (Basic or Advanced)
RAM: Undecided. But thinking GSkill Ripjaw 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Model: F3-10666CL7D-8GBRH
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February 10, 2011 3:03:29 PM

If you want overclock, go with the Combo #2 but if you want run all at stock settings go with combo #5.

Why do you need 8GB? Unless that you use many adobe applications at the same time, 4GB are enough for games and normal use. Save some money with 4GB and get a better GPU is a better option.
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February 10, 2011 3:29:31 PM

Won't be overclocking, so I guess Combo #5.

Don't relaly need 8GB, but decided to go that route since most Mobo can hold 16GB in sets of 4GB.

I can probably drop it to 4GB no problem, but not looking to get another video card at the moment. Maybe next tax refund.

Best solution

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February 10, 2011 3:36:48 PM
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February 10, 2011 3:45:14 PM

Even though I've heard that ASRock isn't a good brand? I've been recommended the same board before, but passed due to the brand.
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February 10, 2011 3:47:15 PM

ASRock... Is the third largest motherboard manufacturer of motherboards (in volume of units sold... says something about Quality IMO) and ASUS is it's Parent Company. They are a good manufacturer and have come a long way since where they have started.
February 10, 2011 3:50:12 PM

Any reason for the 955 over the 965 or 970?
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February 10, 2011 3:54:33 PM

trickynick said:
Any reason for the 955 over the 965 or 970?


955, 965 and 970 are the same CPU but with different multiplier, so, the 955 is the best price/performance and you can rise the multiplier to get the same 3.5GHZ of 970 for less price.
February 10, 2011 3:57:39 PM

Would the stock cooler be enough or would need after-market one?
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February 10, 2011 3:59:14 PM

A non-overclocked system is fine with a stock cooler... If you plan to overclock, you'll want an aftermarket cooler, as the AMD stock fans suck... IMO

I personnel believe in always getting an aftermarket cooler for 1) is provides better cooling and 2) it gives you the option to overclock if you feel like it down the road.
February 10, 2011 4:04:08 PM

was thinking of overclocking the 955 to at least the 970, if you recommend one(cooler), which should I get?
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February 10, 2011 4:10:59 PM

Best price to performance (IMO) is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (saint19 has a nice guide about it in the Overclocking forum).
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February 10, 2011 4:11:58 PM

Hyper 212+ $30 on newegg.com $24 if you have a micro center near.
February 10, 2011 6:31:18 PM

I just built a new system from scratch using the GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3. I really love this board. Recently GIGABYTE introduced their UltraDurable technology which incorporates 2X the copper and a dual bios. This may not sound like much on paper, but the first time you pick this board up you will be shocked at how much more it weighs over other boards. It feel really solid. This board is also future proof, having an AM3 Socket, 4 DDR3 ram slots, USB 3.0, Dual PCI express slots, and SATA 6GB/s. You will be able to build on this board for a while.
February 10, 2011 11:38:42 PM

Do I need to buy any thermal paste? never used an aftermarket cooler before? If so, what do you recommend?
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February 10, 2011 11:44:00 PM

It is not required, as most after market coolers come with some. With that said, I only use AS5 (Arctic Silver 5) or IC Diamond for thermal compound but prefer AS5 most of the time.
February 10, 2011 11:46:04 PM

jungleexplorer said:
I just built a new system from scratch using the GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3. I really love this board. Recently GIGABYTE introduced their UltraDurable technology which incorporates 2X the copper and a dual bios. This may not sound like much on paper, but the first time you pick this board up you will be shocked at how much more it weighs over other boards. It feel really solid. This board is also future proof, having an AM3 Socket, 4 DDR3 ram slots, USB 3.0, Dual PCI express slots, and SATA 6GB/s. You will be able to build on this board for a while.


Until Bulldozer comes out requiring AM3+ socket.
February 10, 2011 11:50:04 PM

tecmo34 said:
It is not required, as most after market coolers come with some. With that said, I only use AS5 (Arctic Silver 5) or IC Diamond for thermal compound but prefer AS5 most of the time.


What kind comes with the Hyper 212+?
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February 11, 2011 12:13:26 AM

I would personally go for AS5 but it is not my money to spend. Will the CM compound work... Yes... Will AS5 perform better.. Yes
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February 11, 2011 12:19:29 AM

Yes... The cooler will fit into your case. I responded in your "System" build, as well.
February 11, 2011 12:45:40 AM

Best answer selected by trickynick.
February 11, 2011 12:46:00 AM

Thanks for all the help guys.
!