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Advice on parts - changing from Intel to Amd

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July 31, 2010 6:21:23 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week - my current mobo is dying a painful death

BUDGET RANGE: ? Not looking to get everything right now, just the mobo, cpu, and memory

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Digital photography, gaming, audio (iTunes, recording dj sets), movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, case, speakers,
monitor : Samsung T220 Rose-Black 22"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

psu : Thermaltake W0116RU 750W Modular
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WD hard drives:
Caviar Black WD7501AALS 7200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 7200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: BFG 9600 GT 512 256-bit PCIE 2.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD/ATI - would like to eventually switch the graphics card to HD 5850. I would love to upgrade from WXP to W7.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
I'm currently looking at these parts but I'm not sure about the memory compatibility with the mobo..I'm also new to AMD and have had Intel & Asus combos...I'd love to stay away from another Asus board since I've had horrible luck with them as of late. I've read the 955 is bascially the same as the 965...is there a huge performance difference? Is it best to get a different heat sink & fan?

Cpu/Mobo Combo:
Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 AM3 870
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Ed Deneb 3.4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

or
Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 AM3 870
AMD Phenom II X4955 Black Ed Denebb 3.2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Memory - Maybe there is something else that works? I'm not familiar with G.Skill and not sure about the "jaws" making a huge difference
G.Skill Ripjaws 4gb (2x2gb) DDr3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Eventually this card:
Sapphire 100282-3sr Radeon HD 5850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thank you for your help & suggestions
a b B Homebuilt system
July 31, 2010 7:30:47 PM

Well, you didn't give us your budget, so I don't know how much you can spend on this setup...

I'd really suggest spending the extra $20 and getting the 965 instead of the 955. I know everyone says 'they're the same but the 965 is faster', but they aren't the same. The 965 gives better overclocking headroom than the 955, and is more stable at higher speeds. It's worth the extra money I believe. Of course, if you got the 955, you'd have a little extra cash for a better motherboard... it's really up to you...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Secondly, if you want CrossFireX support, that Gigabyte UD3 won't give it to you, even if NewEgg says it can. At x16/x4 speeds, you'd barely get any performance boost from a second card, if any. Here are my recommendations:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Second only to the Asus Crosshair IV, it's still fairly expensive, but offers everything up to quad (x8,x8,x8,x8), triple (x16,x8,x8), and dual (x16/x16) Crossfire. I'm running a P2 x4 965 on it right now, and it absolutely flies. No, it doesn't include USB3.0 or SATA3, but you don't need it right now anyway, and expansion/controller cards aren't that expensive when you do.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There's another MSI board that supports x8/x8 CFX and is $50 cheaper

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Here's an interesting board. They're calling it "FUZION" technology which allows you to run ATI and nVidia cards together. I'd probably recommend this one, seeing how you already have a decent card, you could try running it with the 5850 you're planning on getting.

And if you decide you want something cheap and don't need CFX support, this is an EXCELLENT board for the price:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for memory, I'd probably say to just get the fastest RAM you can find in stock. At 7-7-7-21, I'd say go for what you already found. If it goes out of stock, pick up one of these... they're all about equal performance-wise...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any thoughts?
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August 1, 2010 1:03:48 PM

someguynamedmatt said:
Well, you didn't give us your budget, so I don't know how much you can spend on this setup...

I'd really suggest spending the extra $20 and getting the 965 instead of the 955. I know everyone says 'they're the same but the 965 is faster', but they aren't the same. The 965 gives better overclocking headroom than the 955, and is more stable at higher speeds. It's worth the extra money I believe. Of course, if you got the 955, you'd have a little extra cash for a better motherboard... it's really up to you...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Secondly, if you want CrossFireX support, that Gigabyte UD3 won't give it to you, even if NewEgg says it can. At x16/x4 speeds, you'd barely get any performance boost from a second card, if any. Here are my recommendations:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Second only to the Asus Crosshair IV, it's still fairly expensive, but offers everything up to quad (x8,x8,x8,x8), triple (x16,x8,x8), and dual (x16/x16) Crossfire. I'm running a P2 x4 965 on it right now, and it absolutely flies. No, it doesn't include USB3.0 or SATA3, but you don't need it right now anyway, and expansion/controller cards aren't that expensive when you do.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There's another MSI board that supports x8/x8 CFX and is $50 cheaper

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Here's an interesting board. They're calling it "FUZION" technology which allows you to run ATI and nVidia cards together. I'd probably recommend this one, seeing how you already have a decent card, you could try running it with the 5850 you're planning on getting.

And if you decide you want something cheap and don't need CFX support, this is an EXCELLENT board for the price:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for memory, I'd probably say to just get the fastest RAM you can find in stock. At 7-7-7-21, I'd say go for what you already found. If it goes out of stock, pick up one of these... they're all about equal performance-wise...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any thoughts?


Thanks for the suggestions on the MSI boards and memory. I haven't really considered them only because I wasn't sure they were a good quality company/board. That Fuzion board looks really interesting and definitely worth considering since I would have 2 working cards.

Again, thank you for the suggestions. I've been reading so many reviews and I'm really new to AMD that this really help a lot!
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 1, 2010 4:00:47 PM

No problem. :) 

Strangely enough, ASUS is one of the higher quality motherboard manufacturers... you must have had some really bad luck with them. I'm using the MSI 790FX-GD70 right now with an MSI Radeon 5770, and I haven't had a single problem with it yet. It was probably the easiest build I've ever done. Typically, I'd recommend either ASUS, MSI, or Gigabyte boards, but Gigabyte has lost some of its quality in sub-$150 boards recently.
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