I'm looking to try out AMD for the first time. I've built two pretty good Intel builds in the past, but their chips and configurations are just to expensive for me anymore. It will be some time before I have the cash to build this new machine, so I'm planning ahead now so I can budget accordingly.
I plan on using a Phenom II X4 955 BE in this build. The main things I'm purchasing are the:
Motherboards have always been a difficult component for me to purchase, as sometimes I have difficulty differentiating between chipset features. With these two MSI boards I just can't tell which would be better for me.
Could someone please help me figure out what the major differences in these two motherboards are? Also, would it be wise to stick to 4GB of RAM or should I go higher with DDR3? AFAIK AMD still only supports Dual Channel so I'm not sure how this would affect performance. One last question...I currently have an MSI 8800GTS 512MB in my current rig. If a board is Crossfire-ready, can it still use Nvidia cards in a single GPU config? I don't mean to sound stupid but I'm just making sure. I'll probably be picking up an ATI card shortly after I get these main components taken care of as long as the 8800 is supported.
I have a new PSU coming in shortly to replaced a failing one. Its a Seasonic 620W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I have two optical drives that I plan to use, one IDE and the other SATA, but the IDE can retire for all I care. I have a 160GB WD Caviar for my OS disk, a 250GB Caviar for media storage, and a Raptor 150GB for games. MY keyboard and mouse are all taken care of, as is the case (full tower). My monitor is an Acer H233H 23" widescreen with a native resolution of 1920x1080.
This is going to be a gaming build. Since I really only need to replace the CPU, RAM, and mobo right off the bat I'm estimating around $350 for my budget, with the GPU coming later.