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AMD Mobo - - Just tell me which one!!

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March 29, 2011 12:37:16 PM

CPU - Phenom II 955
GPU - GTX 460

I'm re-considering an AMD platform over the Intel series simply to save money but I'm completely lost with motherboards. I want a good board. How do I navigate through all the jargon and find the board I want?

Budget: £50 - 100 ($80 - 160)

More about : amd mobo

March 29, 2011 4:32:54 PM

cdem said:
CPU - Phenom II 955
GPU - GTX 460

I'm re-considering an AMD platform over the Intel series simply to save money but I'm completely lost with motherboards. I want a good board. How do I navigate through all the jargon and find the board I want?

Budget: £50 - 100 ($80 - 160)


I've been trying to determine that myself recently. I don't think AMD has put out anything new for awhile that isn't aimed at the Intel ATOM market; or at least Tom's hasn't reported on it.
March 29, 2011 5:14:13 PM

This is one of the best AMD boards out there atm. It's from MSI. Only downside to going this route is I see you have a GTX460(nvidia) card which is fine, you just wont be able to run an SLI config on that board as it only supports crossfire. This board will be very upgrade-able for a very long time. Price has dropped 20 dollars U.S. in the last 2 weeks so perhaps waiting a bit, it might come down further. No way to know of course.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

good luck...
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March 29, 2011 9:51:35 PM

For all that is HOLY do not get that board!

I've spent the last month trying to get the thing up, running and stable and still cannot get the system to accept video drivers or windows 7 updates. The bad part is, the tech support for every company involved is just as lost about this thing as I am. If I could afford to replace it I'd carry it out back and take a sledge hammer to it.
March 30, 2011 9:43:55 AM

cheers for the links. the Gigabyte is an attractive option at £70, the Asus is more than i wish to spend though.

I'll look into the Gigibyte board, thanks.
March 30, 2011 10:32:08 AM

I have a msi-K9NU NEO, its a old am2 mb. Like alot of msi boards, it does not deliver enough current to the cpu. This limits your overclocking. The chipset also crashes at only 230fsb. I had to add a chipset cooler fan and change the heatsink grease on the chipset cooler to make the board stable. The heatsink is a cheap aluminum one.

I have another used computer with a 939 msi board, and a 2nd asus 939 i put in my mom's computer. The same exact cpu(i swapped them between boards). A 3500+ and a X2 4400+, both have a 2.2ghz stock clock and are 90nm. The 3500+ overclocks to 2.5ghz on the msi board, on the asus it clocks stable to 2.8ghz.
The 4400+ clocks to 2.4ghz on the msi board and kinda hot at 2.5ghz on the asus.
At least on the asus board its the cpu that limits your overclock. On both msi boards its the board that fails before the cpu.

I suppose that once you consider the fact that the msi boards are older and still working, well they did not fry or anything and that's a plus.

I Don't know if msi has improved, but they were always known for not-too-bad-but-not-great budget boards.

If you are going with a black edition cpu, then you don't need to overclock with the fsb since you can just up the multiplier. Your overclock might not be much lower on a budget board with a BE cpu as opposed to a regular athlonIIx4 with a locked multi.
March 30, 2011 3:23:09 PM

sevrun said:
For all that is HOLY do not get that board!

I've spent the last month trying to get the thing up, running and stable and still cannot get the system to accept video drivers or windows 7 updates. The bad part is, the tech support for every company involved is just as lost about this thing as I am. If I could afford to replace it I'd carry it out back and take a sledge hammer to it.


Sorry mate. Sounds like you got a bad one. I built my system a few weeks ago and this thing is really quick and very tweekable. Overclock Genie doesnt work worth a flip but the board overclocks like a champ. my phenom II X4 970 is running stable at 4.0 ghz. Really happy with it.
March 30, 2011 3:27:25 PM

cdem said:
CPU - Phenom II 955
GPU - GTX 460

I'm re-considering an AMD platform over the Intel series simply to save money but I'm completely lost with motherboards. I want a good board. How do I navigate through all the jargon and find the board I want?

Budget: £50 - 100 ($80 - 160)


I am running with the same processor. I put it on a Asus Crosshair IV Formula. I got it in an open box deal with NewEgg for $169... normally it is $229. The makers I use the most to build machines are Gigabyte, Asus and MSI... pretty much in the order. You are going to want a mobo with an AMD 890FX chipset. Never get built in video, they all cause CPU stall; because a shared memory GPU and CPU are not permitted to access memory at the same time. If mobo makers want to build in video, then it should have it's own set of memory slots.

I shoot for mobo's that do not have legacy "CRAP".. i.e. Parallel, Serial, Floppy, PATA, PS/2, ISA, PCI. These are all archaic technologies and useless for future expansion. Minimum 16GB RAM, now I want to see a 64 bit system that actually has no limit as there is no way to purchase the 8 Exabytes a 64 bit can address. That is 9,223,372,036,854,780,000 bytes; past Gigabyte, Terabyte & Petabyte.

I am running Ubuntu 10.10 and this system is a screamer... when I click on an app to load, it is up before my finger lets off the mouse button. I can wait 20 seconds for Aptana to open on my windows box... AM2 X4 on 790FX with 4GB; but it opens in the blink of an eye on this system.

Good hunting.
March 30, 2011 3:39:05 PM

thanks for the info itserenity. the Gigabyte board recommended above runs an 870 chipset, you recommend an 890fx chipset - why? and what's the difference?
March 31, 2011 1:44:03 AM

from what i can tell (based on Tom's articles) the 890 chipset has USB 3.0 capabilities, so it looks like it's the most future proof. What I'm interested in is whether or not it's worth waiting for the NEXT chipset from AMD to become available.
March 31, 2011 2:07:08 AM

cdem said:
thanks for the info itserenity. the Gigabyte board recommended above runs an 870 chipset, you recommend an 890fx chipset - why? and what's the difference?


Depending on what usage, both boards are fast. Actually, I recommended the Asus Crosshair IV Formula with the 890FX. I have a Gigabyte MA790FX UD3 running XP Pro, and I have the Asus running Ubuntu Linux.

From Gigabyte I would recommend the GA-890FXA-UD7. I prefer every PCI-E slot to be full length. Greater flexibility when I want to shove some 1x, 2x or 4x raid cards onto the board.

The biggest differences the 890FX brings is the IOMMU. An MMU is a "Memort Management Unit". When AMD moved the MMU onto the CPU die and off the North Bridge, Nothing but the CPU could have access to memory. With an IOMMU in the North Bridge, now advanced Add-on cards can Map Address Space in your system memory. Think of the IOMMU like a friend to the CPU's MMU. The MMU lets the IOMMU cheat off his test papers in class. The next great advantage is that the PCI Express 2.0 lanes went from 22 lanes to 42. Intels new Sandy Bridge stopped at 40. AMD again beat Intel to the game and delivered more.

I will admit the I am an AMD fan and an Intel critic. I have not trusted WinTel for a long time. AMD natively supports SATA3 At 6GB. Intel does not. When it comes to chipsets, Intel just has not been in step with the technology of the day. The chipset is the most important component of any PC. A chipset determines what features can be on your mother board. Not all manufactures take the time or spend the resources to push a chipsets full potential. Some snot nosed bean counter determined through some lame market research what a Real PC hard core DIY geek would want, rather then trying to advance the technology and push it as far as possible.

So I focus on companies that really take the hardware as far as it can go. I am still disappointed today when I see a floppy connect, 9 D sub pin serial port, PATA connector. These are dead technologies. They have no place on a system being built today.

The last thing the 800 series brings is native USB 3.0.

And if you didn't know, memory is way more important than the CPU. I can take an Athlon II with 8GB ram and run circles around Intel's latest and greatest with only 512MB of RAM. the minimum and maximum for a 32bit system is 4GB. I always suggest, when you purchase memory, Max out the slots you are filling. Cause later on you will have to throw it away when you upgrade later.

And do not let some ill inform fool tell you that an SSD can make up for low amounts of RAM. I have actually heard someone telling this to another on the train one morning. I had to stop right there in my tracks and call the moron out. An SSD might let the OS Swap Faster, but that Thrashing will send the SSD to an early grave. SSD's have a finite life span. Each cell can be written to only so many times. As a cell can no longer be written to, it is mapped out of usage. This continues until there is no more space on the drive to write data.

Hope that sheds a little light on the subject for ya.
March 31, 2011 10:09:38 AM

great info but the boards you recommend are way over my budget, is it simply because they are the 890fx series?
March 31, 2011 11:14:47 PM

cdem said:
great info but the boards you recommend are way over my budget, is it simply because they are the 890fx series?


from what i can tell the 890FX boards aren't too common yet and the ones that ARE out there are on the pricier end. I'm personally going to wait till this summer in hopes that there will be some sales.
a c 117 V Motherboard
a b À AMD
April 1, 2011 11:16:49 AM

cdem said:
great info but the boards you recommend are way over my budget, is it simply because they are the 890fx series?

Dude the Gigabyte 870 mobo i linked is next gen AM3+.
It has USB 3.0,Sata 3,and will support new AMD BD processors = it's an AMD3+ mobo.
Also has ALC889 onboard sound which is the best btw as far as onboard audio goes.
Kind of a no-brainer for 70 pounds.
There is very little difference if any performance wise when comparing an 870 to an 890 chipset.
890's might oc better and generally feature crossfire and or SLI.
April 1, 2011 11:18:46 AM

yeh, that board is still in pole position ;)  i was just curious as to what the benefits were of the 890fx Vs the price etc.
a c 117 V Motherboard
a b À AMD
April 1, 2011 11:40:21 AM

cdem said:
yeh, that board is still in pole position ;)  i was just curious as to what the benefits were of the 890fx Vs the price etc.

Only difference is gpu capabilities.
890fx = x16x16 no onboard graphics
870 = x16 no onboard
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/chipsets/8-serie...
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