My brother in law is currently running a Pentium Dual Core email@example.com, Foxconn Nforce 630i motherboard (supports single channel only), 3 GB Kingston ValueRam DDR2 667, and a Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 on W7 Ultimate x86. He wants to upgrade because his card is severely bottlenecked and he is only 15 so he doesn't have a lot of money. I was looking at the Phenom II X2 555BE and this motherboard
I was looking at this one because he can crossfire it at X8,X8, it has ACC to unlock cores, it got good user reviews, and it uses DDR2 so he wouldn't have to drop another $100 on DDR3 ram. The processor and board would run about $190. All he really cares about is gaming performance.
My question is what kind of performance hit would he take going with this over a different motherboard with DDR3? Also, can you run a 2GB stick and a 1GB stick in Dual Channel mode or do the modules have to be the same size?
There is no performance hit DDR2 vs DDR3 but the sun is going down on DDR2 platforms so one option is to offload those DDR2, and use funds to hit a DDR3 set up. Budget tight you'd best go with non multi GPU mobos and unlocking is hit and miss so also consider the AthlonII X3 ^^
Yes, the ideal world would be DDR3 mobo (without the bells and whistles of XFire and SATA 6 to save money) and and X3. A bit more pain now, but it means upgrading the computer for Birthdays and Christmas into a great gaming machine will be easier.
Remember you do not have to go for 4gb of DDR3 - just one 2gb stick is enough to start with. Then, over time and at leisure he can get another stick, eventually a game killing CPU all one part at a time.
I know it is extra cash up front but it is well worth it - the problem with the short term solution of DDR2 mobo is it will end up being a patch up job that will end with him still needing a whole new system soon