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New partial build, Processor/MOBO Questions

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October 21, 2010 3:00:04 PM

So I'm on a fairly firm $200 budget for the mobo/processor combo.

I'm thinking
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=19-103-...(keywords)#scrollFullInfo

This way I can get a solid dual core, people seem to be able to OC this up to around 4.0GHz, and the possibility of getting a trip or quad core if it unlocks. Is there any cheaper combo out there that would allow me these features as well as USB 3.0/SATA 6.0gbps? Or any other recommendations? This seems like a pretty killer deal.
October 21, 2010 3:32:12 PM

Dual core is a bad idea.

For the same price you can get a Phenom II X3 (the 740), although it would need a cooler.

If you really need the paired 16x ports for a dual crossfire, this Asus 790 should be plenty at $108: (it has 16x/8x)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

you could pair that with an Athlon II X3 450, or Athlon II X4 640, or a Phenom II X3 740 for the same $88.99 price with this motherboard for ~$200 total price..


If you don't need the double-GPU, then you could drop down to the 770 Extreme 3 for $75 and get a Phenom II X4 955 fo your $200.

all this is before any newegg combos, which should lover the prices dramatically.
October 21, 2010 3:36:09 PM

I already thought about dropping back to the ASRock board, it would be perfect for me, however there aren't any combos that couple with it to lower the price at all...
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October 21, 2010 3:37:45 PM

Sorry for the double post, but could you clarify WHY a dual core that could be OC'd like mad and possibly even unlocked is a bad idea when its almost half the price of a denab?
October 21, 2010 3:41:16 PM

Its already cheap at $74.99 for the UBS3/SATA3 model. If yuo don't need those, its $59.99.
October 21, 2010 3:44:33 PM

1) dual core is only Guaranteed as a dual core. 555s have something liek a 50% unlock rate, and 90% of those that do, only get 1 extra core.

2) In recent tests by Tom's Hardware in 20 popular games, the average core count is 2.75. It shows a strong trend toward using 3 or more cores with most games. while at the start of 2010, a dual core was fine, going into 2011, a triple core is going to be a minimum

better to go ahead and have 3 or 4 cores. a quad core athlon II will outperform the dual core phenom ii.

October 21, 2010 4:01:50 PM

Ok, very understandable. I am going to go w/ the 74.99 one because I would like to futureproof myself w/ usb3.0/sata3.

The issue I'm having is that Newegg does not have any solid x3's on their site right now. And the Phenom ii x4 is RIGHT at the peak of my price range, while I was looking to try to fit a PSU in there if I had room. I right now work @ a computer shop, and I took an old gateway tower w/ a 350w PSU in it, and I don't know if it will be big enough...
October 21, 2010 4:55:54 PM

350 would be fine if you don't plan on much graphics power. Anything needing a PCie cable would be out.

also Gateway, HP, Dell, and other major brands tend to skimp on their PSUs, so they end up with poor quality units.

something that might work for you:

the AS Rock 770 Extreme 3: $75
Athlon II X3 445: $75
Xigmatek PC-402 400W 80+ Bronze PSU: $40

total $190

add the cheap G.Skill or Mushkin DDR3 1333 RAM for $66

The 770s have one weakness: No built in video. No worry if you plan to include your own video card, but that's an added expense. a GTS 450 or HD5750 runs about $130 right now.
this would make a solid core system for $400.
October 21, 2010 11:39:11 PM

Understandable! And thank you VERY much for the input. To clarify a little bit more, I DO have a few components already, albeit entry level components. I have a MASSIVE old gateway tower, (I hope it will work for my setup, it was proprietary at the time but i think it will) The PSU it had inside, I believe it is 300/350W. I have a gt220 for a vid card and 2x2gb of generic 1066 RAM. I would rather NOT go with the athlon series, primarily because this is something I'm hoping not to upgrade for a while.

Thank you for your input by the way, I scrounged up and went for the AMD 955, w/ that ASRock board you showed me. The CPU had a fairly nice combo deal w/ an aftermarket cpu cooler so I went with that as well.

What should be the next upgrade? PSU? Video card to a 5770 or so? 1600 RAM?
October 22, 2010 12:45:07 PM

PSU and video card. look at the Geforce 460 1GB and HD6850, IMHO.
October 22, 2010 3:16:23 PM

All of the reviews on multiple sites are stating that the HD6850 is far worse than the 5850, and the 460... :( 

And is there anything to look for in a PSU?
October 22, 2010 3:25:21 PM

The 6850 is a little weaker than the 460 1GB, but better than the 5830, which it actually replaces, and better still than the 5770.

lots to look at in PSUs. I recommend going with a reliable brand (top choices: Antec, Corsair, Sea Sonic, Xigmatek, Silverstone, Coolermaster), then looking for 80+ efficiency (going 80+, then Bronze, Silver, Gold) then modular if possible.

October 22, 2010 3:29:31 PM

Ok, the these two should work for me.

Does it matter that my ram is generic 1066? is that going to cause a bottleneck there at all?
October 22, 2010 3:34:59 PM

RAM at 1066 will be a little slower than 1333 or 1600, but the difference in speeds is less than 2% (1 FPS slower if 1600 gives 50FPS in other words). NOT a serious concern.

upgrading to 1333 or 1600 RAM from DDR3 1066 should be the last upgrade you make

As for Athlon vs Phenom, the differences at the same speeds are 0-3% for the L3 Cache between an Athlon II X3/x4 and a Phenom II X4. Mostly it's a clock speed difference (an X3 445 is at 3.1 GHz, while a 955 is at 3.2 GHz)
October 22, 2010 3:36:58 PM

True, and the 955 is a BE w/ the unlocked mulitplier, so OC'ing on air shouldn't be too hard.

I believe this is the final question... I have an OLD gateway tower, probably 6 years old. Its large, grey, and seems like it would fit an ATX board. Would I run into any problems in your opinion with this setup until a new case is feasible.
October 22, 2010 3:40:18 PM

gateway tends to use a proprietary board configuration that may not correspond with ATX/M-ATX board mounting points.

you can only check and see.

The other option is to get an inexpensive case (Rosewill's Blackbone is a good one at $39.99)
October 22, 2010 3:41:25 PM

Haha, understandable.... I literally have NO money right now after that splurge so I'll have to be waiting to go for one. I suppose i could folllow MPC's advice and use a cardboard box :D 
October 22, 2010 5:24:44 PM

unfortunately I have already purchased w/ the ASRock board and the 955+ArcticCooler combo
!