Motherboad needed

I ordered:
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard (got open box for $30 less)

HEC 6C60BS Black / Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

hec X-Power Pro 650 650W Continuous @ 40°C ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS 12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply

AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision Model HDZ555WFGMBOX

OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3OB1600LV4GK

Reusing 200GB IDE HD, CD ROM R/W Drive, and Cornea CT1700 Monitor.

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Turns out the motherboard was defective, it still works, but the on board graphics doesn't seem to work, and only the first memory slot seems to work. I had to pull out my old Radeon X300 card.

I thought perhaps it was just a driver issue, but the monitor does not detect it's connected to the on board graphics even during the bios. I downloaded and installed drivers for HD 4200 and it still doesn't work.

Both of the memory sticks are fine, but only the first of the four memory slots are working.

Seems I'll have to return the motherboard and order a new one.
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I'm looking for another motherboard to replace this one. It must:
Work with my other hardware (Phenom II 555 BE, DDR3 1600GHz)
Be ATX or microATX
Have at least 1 IDE Header.
Have at least 2 Serial ATA Headers. (4+ preferred)
Be able to hold 4 x 2GB DDR3 RAM sticks.
If it has an IGC, should be equivalent to or better than HD 3200 or HD 4200

Pricing: If IGC - $70ish, If IGC and 2x PCI-E 2.0 x16 - 100ish
If no IGC cheaper than above.

Some I've been considering:
Only 2 RAM slots but rather cheap

Note: I consider games playable if on 1024 x 768, low settings, 15 FPS obtained.

1. Will the 1600 MHz RAM still work in a motherboard that only supports say up to 1333MHz, just it will run slower?

2. Is ECS an OK motherboard company?

3. Which (if any) of the motherboards I'm considering is a bad choice? a good choice?

4. What other motherboards would you suggest? (If it has no IGC, what video card (priced 40-75 would you suggest to go with it)?

Thanks in advance for your input.
5 answers Last reply
More about motherboad needed
  1. Biostar TA785G3HD Motherboard is ok for its price.

    Your motheboard may not suppor a 1600 Mhz Ram
    As far as i know better not switch to ECS
  2. I have had problems with ECS, my experience with Biostar has been good. The 2 RAM slots wouldn't bother me since I can't see bumping RAM to 8 GB in the near future (2 years or more)
  3. dirtmountain said:
    The 2 RAM slots wouldn't bother me since I can't see bumping RAM to 8 GB in the near future (2 years or more)

    You have a 2x2GB memory kit, there's no need for 4 dimm slots.

    2 or 3 years ago 512MB-1GB RAM was considered sufficient. Now it seems to be 2-4 GB. I wouldn't be surprised if in 2 years it's 4-8GB and in 2 more, 8-16GB. Although a 2 slot Mobo can hold up to 8GB RAM, to do so it must use the denser RAM modules which cost more. A single 4GB modules costs (50 - 100% or at current prices $50 - $100) more than 2 x 2GB modules cost (1600 MHz). I know prices are likely to fall by the end of 2 years, but the denser 4 GB modules will likely stay more expensive than 2 x 2GB. Reason for wanting 4 RAM slots is so that, when needed (perhaps in 2 years), I can just buy a 2 x 2GB kit and add it in to get 8GB.
    Anonymous said:
    Biostar TA785G3HD Motherboard is ok for its price.

    Your motherboard may not support a 1600 Mhz Ram
    As far as i know better not switch to ECS

    By "may not" support, do you mean "need not?" Like, can I still use 1600GHz RAM in a Mobo that only supports 1333GHz RAM... only the ram will just run at 1333GHz instead of 1600GHz?

    No ECS is not a good board.
    Go with Asus, Gigabyte MSI or Asrock, you can't go wrong with any of those.
    So was it worth the $30 savings to get an open box mobo?
    I personally don't have any experience with Biostar but the reviews look decent.

    I figured you'd rub that in. Guess it wasn't worth it... it was a gamble.
    But my RAM is 1600 GHz; by suggesting that are you confirming the mobo RAM speed need not match that of the RAM? Would I be able to overclock it to run the 1600GHz RAM at the right speed (such as with Mobo that have 1600GHz (OC)) in the specs?

    General consensus seems like ECS isn't a solid choice. However, they are tempting for what they offer for their price. What sort of "problems" have you had with them? If it must have 4 RAM slots, what Mobo would you suggest?

    Edit: I managed to unlock my Phenom II 555 BE to a tri-core (cores 0, 1, 3) but was unsuccessful in unlocking all 4. If possible, could you suggest motherboards that allow the option to unlock only cores 0, 1, 3?
  4. The Biostar supports 1600 RAM, you'll have to manually set it for voltage and speed.

    Did you mean a core unlocker or ACC (the Biostar has ACC)
  5. I'm not sure about ACC vs core unlocker.... the guide I read mentioned it should have southbridge SB710 or SB750 which have ACC. Perhaps SB850 wasn't out at the time, but would still work.

    I found another I'm considering:
    $85 (including shipping)
    Biostar TA790GXB3
    Anyone have this board? Will I have the choice of cores 0, 1, 3? Or is it unlock all or none?

    Is the HD 3300 better than HD 4200? I plan to be running Windows 7. HD 3300 seems like it would perform better, but lacks directx 10.1 support. Is there any games I'd miss out on because of lack of directx 10.1 support?

    I'll likely get what is now a top-of-the-line dedicated graphics card, 1-2 years from now, when they're cheaper.
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