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Phenom II x4 + SSD + HDD vs Intel i5-2500k + HDD

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February 19, 2011 11:53:54 PM

The title is the question... I'm looking for fast, as fast as possible, in games, and pretty much everything. I think the answer is the AMD+SSD, but I am not sure.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 1:05:29 AM

The Phenom+SSD+HD system will be faster in loading games/programs into memory and saving large files due to the SSD.

Everything else would be faster on the 2500+HD system, including game/program performance once they are loaded into memory.

Short version: You will be happier with an i5 2500K system, unless the E-peen boost from having an SSD matters more than actual performance. :p 
February 20, 2011 1:17:19 AM

What kind of boost would I be seeing in games? At 1080p?

I know the 2500k beats the 955BE by a long shot, but do you have any personal experience from an HDD to an SSD? Take BF:BC2 for example: Would a SSD improve loading times in-game drastically? Like loading a map: would it be instantaneous? I think that would affect me more than an extra 5-10 FPS...
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a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 1:33:16 AM

It depends on how the game loads the maps. If it loads the map all at once, then you'd see a big reduction in waiting time with the SSD. If it loads the map in pieces as you go along, then there would still be a difference but it wouldn't be as drastic.

Instantaneous? No. The difference is quite noticeable though. Any time you're loading anything at all, the system is faster. Booting Windows, starting up a game, loading maps while in-game, etc.

If it seems like you're spending all your time waiting for things to load, get the SSD.
February 20, 2011 1:35:10 AM

Leaps-from-Shadows said:
It depends on how the game loads the maps. If it loads the map all at once, then you'd see a big reduction in waiting time with the SSD. If it loads the map in pieces as you go along, then there would still be a difference but it wouldn't be as drastic.

Instantaneous? No. The difference is quite noticeable though. Any time you're loading anything at all, the system is faster. Booting Windows, starting up a game, loading maps while in-game, etc.

If it seems like you're spending all your time waiting for things to load, get the SSD.

Well I hate loading times, so I guess that is the way to go...
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 6:54:12 AM

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/186?vs=288 [notice the fps difference in games ;)  ]
Personally, having in mind that the 2500k can overclock to 4.6Ghz and even above i would get it, it srsly beats the Phenom at everything, and if i `really` want faster game loads [right now i have an i5 760 @ 4.2 GhZ with a Caviar Blue 1 tb and im satisfied] then later on i would get a ssd.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 7:42:32 AM

Take a look at the price of a 120GB SSD and ask yourself how fast will you fill it up? The SSDs are great for loading the operating system and your every day software... but install about 8 games and out are dead out of space. If you go the SSD route it is better to install the OS and core system things you use most on the SSD and still install the games on the HD. But personally I'd say to hell with the load times and just get the 2500k, because in-game performance means more than map loading. And with modern HDs and fast memory access times, the loading doesn't matter like the old days. It's not like you are loading a level on your old playstation 1. Loading is usually less than 30 seconds from the HD anyways. Do you really need to spend so much money to cut that down to 5-10 seconds loading but get a CPU with less in-game benefits?

Personal opinion is go with the 2500K and a fast HD. If you must go AMD, I would still only install games to the HD and OS and core software components like virus software onto the SSD. That will save you boot times and system responsiveness. But as for in-game or in-software performance get the 2500K and a HD, loading times aren't a pain like 10 years ago.

:p  happy building!
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 8:29:59 AM

^ good idea... run the OS from the SSD and games from the HD. Unless you just play one or two games. Either way, get the 2500K because in-game performance is better than direct loading times any day.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 1:34:00 PM

You do not mention the GPU you will be using, or your screen resolution, how much memory and what OS , what games you play and what application usage you predominately do on the PC.

Everyone screams 2500k, but the truth is the AMD system with SSD is the more balanced system, and the performance from daily use from start up to switch off and everything you do in between will be smoother on the AMD system, unless there are reasons for the faster 2500k processor!

If you are heavily into Video Encoding then the 2500k will be better, If you are an avid Photoshop user the SSD will be more of use than the 2500k, for gaming who cares, as long as you get above average framerates for all the games you play what does the extra FPS mean, nothing at all!

By the time you cannot play modern games smoothly anymore there will be such changes in the CPU market that the amount you spent on the 2500k will not have been justified.

Games are still more bound by GPU, a athlon x3 is perfectly capable of playing any game at 1920x1080, and a x4 will betterthat, and an OC on it gives it a degree of longevity for the money you will spend!

All I know from experience is that a balanced system is always better, and the best and most noticible performance improvement in modern PC systems is a GOOD FAST SSD.

Dont be fooled by numbers and benchmarks. Its all about meeting the performance envelope you need by studying the work/game habits you have and anticipating your near future needs ( I seriously doubt anyone seriously into gaming lives beyond three years on Mobo/Cpu/Gpu upgrade)

I mean if the SSD x4 setup runs perfectly for 3 yrs, what would have been the point of the 2500k with the loss of the SSD benefit!

If you need the extra grunt specifically for applications that need it, then 2500k it is!

120GB SSD plenty large enough, OS and Applications, and your Fav Games, the rest on a HDD (Music, Pics, Docs ect ) and install less used less disk intensive games on the HDD.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 1:54:51 PM

Before anyone calls me an Intel fanboy... I am using a Phenom 965 right now...

Now that I got that cleared up... right now most AMD chips, even the one I am using will slow down in-game performance, and loading things a little faster won't help it. The original poster said he wants something as fast as possible in games and everything else... so that would pretty much only leave the 2500k.

And as for cost, the price of the best AMD 4 or 6 core is already getting close to or costing more than the 2500k, unless there was a huge price drop I just missed. Until the Phenom II x4 or x6 becomes cheaper than $100, then they are not worth it. The 1100t is already more expensive than the faster 2500k... and the 2500k is insanely faster.

So your post doesn't make a lot of sense. The 2500k is only $30 higher than the x4 975, and it is $10 cheaper than the x6 1100t. So all the points are invalid.

So, AMD 6 core 1100T vs Intel 4 core 2500k

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=203

Then, AMD 4 core 970BE vs Intel 4 core 2500k

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=186

The SSD will not improve any of these benchmarks other than file compression or adobe retouching might be a little different, but not that much. And heavy use for writing to SSDs will wear it out faster. So using an SSD for a page file for programs like video rendering, audio recording, and large photo retouching will wear out the SSD in no time. And you want to make sure Windows handles the SSD correctly and doesn't create a page file. With a traditional high speed HD you don't need to worry about burning through your usable write sectors like an SSD.

So either way, SSD+HD you will want to use the HD for all the temp/page files for heavy apps so you don't burn up your SSD prematurely. Loading your OS and most needed core components to the SSD is the only real benefit since the read times are so fast. Booting will be faster and Windows system responsiveness will be faster. The SSD will not improve framerates and will likely only shave 2-3 seconds off your Adobe example, in that case the i5-2500k still decimates the highest AMD offering.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 2:04:49 PM

BTW, there is a new low end i3-2100 coming out soon and it also beats the best AMD 6 core at everything except encoding. I don't know about price yet, but it'll surely be less than $150. So there will not be much point going with any of the current AMD chips in a month or two. I really hope for competition sake the the new Bulldozer will be able to compete... so Intel doesn't raise the prices. Cause that kind of power like the 2500k for less than the 6 core AMD is kind of ridiculous.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=203
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 2:25:48 PM

Wear the SSD out, your having a laugh!

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4159/ocz-vertex-3-pro-pre...

Read through that then read through your post again

" And heavy use for writing to SSDs will wear it out faster. So using an SSD for a page file for programs like video rendering, audio recording, and large photo retouching will wear out the SSD in no time. And you want to make sure Windows handles the SSD correctly and doesn't create a page file. With a traditional high speed HD you don't need to worry about burning through your usable write sectors like an SSD."

FANBOY has not been mentioned once in this thread! Lets keep it that way!

My points are valid, your point only looks at the CPU and nothing else!

I agree 2500k is faster, will you notice the difference, probably not, unless you are running specific applications, then go 2500k.

I build PC,s for a living, what do you do!
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 3:11:30 PM

What do I do? Hmm... I used to be an engineer for Monarch Paxar designing hand held scanner/printers PCBs. I used to build and repair computers and amateur radios until I moved to China in 2009. Now I work in China in the day as a alpha and beta software tester for Microsoft and some local companies to test new applications with new Windows versions (mostly on betas for Windows Server R2 and some other MS OSes and components on which I cannot disclose) and by evening I'm a part time English teacher. In my spare time I like answer people's questions here on Tom's if I don't have enough time for gaming.

I only said the fanboy comment because I have pushed Intel a lot in this thread and wanted to make sure for future reference I was not labeled anything... it is a mixed bag lately, as I have been called fan about everything I comment on lately... that was not directed at you in any way.

I don't actually care how many posts you show me about SSDs wearing out or not, it is known to happen on low end SSDs much faster than high end SSDs and that kind of problem is irrelevant for regular HDs. But each generation is getting better and better. And if the SSD is a high end model that costs much more than the CPU, then the budget per component balance is out of whack.

I have also found that if you use around 8GB of DDR3 RAM and don't need a lot of paging, HD load times are negligible since all the core files and apps are always kept in RAM after startup.

I am sure your SSD makes everything load faster, but it doesn't affect the balance much after things are loaded into RAM. And even if you have the fastest SSD on the planet, it cannot make up for a slower processor. If it can and I am wrong, then I concede this argument. But I will ask you to show me some true real world examples and some benches to back up your claims.

If your claims are true, then why not use a Celeron Dual core? If drive speed is better than CPU speed, then OEMs should list the drive type and speed over the CPU rating. If someone has $240 as a budget for a CPU and picks the AMD 6 core over the i5-2500k, I will probably call them out on it unless they are an AMD die hard. And I do see the benefit of SSDs for running the OS off of it, because I did suggest 2500k and small SSD then a larger HD for storage and large program installs.

But what do I know... I am more of a programmer than builder I guess... I think before I worked for Paxar I probably only built about 75-80 systems and repaired probably 200 or 300... so I am an idiot.

Just get the cheapest AMD, or Celeron, and use integrated graphics... don't worry that the CPU or graphics suck cause the SSD load times will make your system phenomenal!
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 3:37:11 PM

Quote:
CPUs > Phenom II x4 + SSD + HDD vs Intel i5-2500k + HDD <-------------This is the topic. Why scream gpu?


:lol:  Because the SSD can make the system faster no matter what CPU or GPU you use... that is what I get from his posts anyways. :lol: 
February 20, 2011 4:10:44 PM

By price of the two, I am taking the chip AND the motherboard, which does total to a noticeable difference. $80 for a ASrock 870, or ~$180 for an ASus p8p67. Add that to the chip, and you've got yourself an SSD of a difference.
February 20, 2011 4:19:19 PM

1965ohio said:
What do I do? Hmm... I used to be an engineer for Monarch Paxar designing hand held scanner/printers PCBs. I used to build and repair computers and amateur radios until I moved to China in 2009. Now I work in China in the day as a alpha and beta software tester for Microsoft and some local companies to test new applications with new Windows versions (mostly on betas for Windows Server R2 and some other MS OSes and components on which I cannot disclose) and by evening I'm a part time English teacher. In my spare time I like answer people's questions here on Tom's if I don't have enough time for gaming.

I only said the fanboy comment because I have pushed Intel a lot in this thread and wanted to make sure for future reference I was not labeled anything... it is a mixed bag lately, as I have been called fan about everything I comment on lately... that was not directed at you in any way.

I don't actually care how many posts you show me about SSDs wearing out or not, it is known to happen on low end SSDs much faster than high end SSDs and that kind of problem is irrelevant for regular HDs. But each generation is getting better and better. And if the SSD is a high end model that costs much more than the CPU, then the budget per component balance is out of whack.

I have also found that if you use around 8GB of DDR3 RAM and don't need a lot of paging, HD load times are negligible since all the core files and apps are always kept in RAM after startup.

I am sure your SSD makes everything load faster, but it doesn't affect the balance much after things are loaded into RAM. And even if you have the fastest SSD on the planet, it cannot make up for a slower processor. If it can and I am wrong, then I concede this argument. But I will ask you to show me some true real world examples and some benches to back up your claims.

If your claims are true, then why not use a Celeron Dual core? If drive speed is better than CPU speed, then OEMs should list the drive type and speed over the CPU rating. If someone has $240 as a budget for a CPU and picks the AMD 6 core over the i5-2500k, I will probably call them out on it unless they are an AMD die hard. And I do see the benefit of SSDs for running the OS off of it, because I did suggest 2500k and small SSD then a larger HD for storage and large program installs.

But what do I know... I am more of a programmer than builder I guess... I think before I worked for Paxar I probably only built about 75-80 systems and repaired probably 200 or 300... so I am an idiot.

Just get the cheapest AMD, or Celeron, and use integrated graphics... don't worry that the CPU or graphics suck cause the SSD load times will make your system phenomenal!

Well I was going to go with 8GB of ram. Would the i5 be better then? Are you talking about prefetching?
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 4:25:02 PM

Well, I will try to be nicer, but I want to take a look at each statement a little closer and how it relates to the original posters question and the reality of the topic in general.

Quote:
You do not mention the GPU you will be using, or your screen resolution, how much memory and what OS , what games you play and what application usage you predominately do on the PC.


This has a good point, so I will not argue it in any way for the sake of reality. What GPU you have will affect your game performance. And if you have a bad GPU, then it really does matter what your resolution is and how much memory you have. What OS matters too, because if you are still using trusty XP, then forget DX10/11 gaming anyways.


Quote:
Everyone screams 2500k, but the truth is the AMD system with SSD is the more balanced system, and the performance from daily use from start up to switch off and everything you do in between will be smoother on the AMD system, unless there are reasons for the faster 2500k processor!


From start up to powering down, using an inferior processor does not balance your system. Even with an SSD, you are still faced with bandwidth and clock per clock performance of your CPU and RAM access times in everything you do. Getting a slower CPU or slower memory to accommodate your faster HD doesn't make sense. Going with the x4 AMD versus the 2500k is like comparing a Mustang GT to a Farrari, however in Intel's case, their Farrari still uses less gas, has tons more performance and they dropped to selling price to match your Mustang... can't beat that.

Quote:
If you are heavily into Video Encoding then the 2500k will be better, If you are an avid Photoshop user the SSD will be more of use than the 2500k, for gaming who cares, as long as you get above average framerates for all the games you play what does the extra FPS mean, nothing at all!


Actually this time you are wrong. If you are heavily into encoding, the AMD 1100T is slightly faster than the 2500k. Also if you are an avid PS user, the SSD will load PS faster if you installed in on the SSD, but it will not make editing/retouching a photo any faster. After the program has been loaded into the RAM, it is all up to your CPU and memory latency at that point. And for gaming, that was what he first asked about. If you really like framerates and have a good GPU, then why cripple yourself with a CPU that will lower your fps? More framerates mean everything to game addicts, just like quarter mile times mean everything to drag racers.

Quote:
By the time you cannot play modern games smoothly anymore there will be such changes in the CPU market that the amount you spent on the 2500k will not have been justified.


The amount spent on the 2500k is only a few dollars more than the 1100T 6 core AMD, and it is already much better. If you buy an inferior CPU now, then you already crippled your ability to play modern games smoothly now and in the near future. So for the $20 or so difference... it is a justified purchase now and in a year or two.

Quote:
Games are still more bound by GPU, a athlon x3 is perfectly capable of playing any game at 1920x1080, and a x4 will betterthat, and an OC on it gives it a degree of longevity for the money you will spend!


Not so. Many games made in 2009-2010 are already CPU intensive. And it is 2011 already. If you really want to play Crysis with everything set to max, your AMD is already going to effectively make sure your framerates are low enough to justify that extra $20 you didn't want to spend. The CPU can easily be a bottleneck for games that have a lot of AI or massive multiplayer games, the GPU has nothing to do with what is happening in the game, only what it looks like on the output. Except for PhysX effects, but that can also be done on one of your CPU cores if your GPU ain't that great. Also overclocking an AMD black edition is easy, but even with good aftermarket cooling, you won't get much more than a 500MHz OC and keep stability. My AMD 965 will easily take a 400MHz OC, but trying to get it to 4GHz it crashes in Prime95. Getting the 2500k or 2600k to 4.6 on air is easy and stable.

Quote:
All I know from experience is that a balanced system is always better, and the best and most noticible performance improvement in modern PC systems is a GOOD FAST SSD.


Balanced is always better, but balancing the budget per component and performance per dollar is a better balance than milliseconds of difference in disk access times. It is true if you have an old Pentium 3/4 system with Windows 2000 or Windows XP and you replace that old 4200-5400 RPM drive with a newer 7200 RPM drive with some cache you will see a lot of performance difference in load times. Especially since the page file on your older system is way less than 1GB most of the time. If you get a good HD that is SATA II or SATA III and it has 7200-10000 RPM spindle speed and 64MB or more of cache... chances are it is fast enough for your 2500k. Going to that SSD will increase your read times a lot and load Windows near instantly... but it will not help you in anything but load times. And load times aren't a big deal with a modern HD and 6-8GB of RAM. Because once Windows is booted and your primary core components are up and running, the SSD will not help you process anything faster, just shave some seconds off the loading into RAM part.

Quote:
Dont be fooled by numbers and benchmarks. Its all about meeting the performance envelope you need by studying the work/game habits you have and anticipating your near future needs ( I seriously doubt anyone seriously into gaming lives beyond three years on Mobo/Cpu/Gpu upgrade)


Yes. Do not be fooled by the methods used to test computer performance? Someone's word of mouth account is always a more reliable judgment of hardware performance and quality? Nonsense. Benchmarks and reviews are how everyone in the industry can test and make informed decisions. The performance envelope, let's see... even with the fastest CPU, the fastest memory, a few full PCIe x16 lanes, and so on... all current statistics clearly state that none of the bandwidth limits for any of these things can be tapped out yet. Even the highest end video cards cannot tap out a full PCIe x8's bandwidth, let alone a full x16. What I am getting at, is SSDs are great for peaking your reading and loading times, I will not argue that. But with the current state of the rest of the system, once something is loaded into the RAM, everything depends on taking advantage of the data at that point. SSDs will not improve encoding time. They will not improve gaming performance, or any other CPU/RAM related task. Some of them still write at the same speed as a HD. Only reading and loading will be your benefit. So a good balanced system would be the fastest CPU, GPU, RAM and loading the primary OS from SSD and everything else from an HD. That is just the way it is. I am still gaming with 3-4 year old systems and some new systems. In my home I've setup up 6 computers that I invite my friends over to play COD4 LAN party. Nothing wrong with e7500's and 9800GTs.

Quote:
I mean if the SSD x4 setup runs perfectly for 3 yrs, what would have been the point of the 2500k with the loss of the SSD benefit!


The point is that it isn't much more expensive to get the CPU to fit into that budget and have the SSD too. Just looking at an inferior CPU to meet that budget isn't much of an argument.

Quote:
If you need the extra grunt specifically for applications that need it, then 2500k it is!

120GB SSD plenty large enough, OS and Applications, and your Fav Games, the rest on a HDD (Music, Pics, Docs ect ) and install less used less disk intensive games on the HDD.


The 2500k is extra grunt for everything at a minuscule price difference. 120GB with Windows 7 x64 and any true modern games and you're tapped out fast already. I don't know what games you have played lately, but... Modern Warfare 2 takes up 11G, Star Wars the Force Unleashed takes up 24.6GB, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 7.7GB, Left 4 Dead with a few extra maps and mods 9GB... that really adds up quick. You must be playing games before 2008 or something. And also, all the games mentioned do benefit from 2 or more cores. When I load a game from open to playing, I can't say it takes me more than 20-35 seconds... so I don't see why loading them to the very small and precious SSD space is really going to gain me. Make them load 5-10 seconds... This whole thread is like comparing apples to oranges.

Best solution

a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 4:33:41 PM
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wigglerthefish said:
Well I was going to go with 8GB of ram. Would the i5 be better then? Are you talking about prefetching?


The more RAM you have, the less Windows need to page anything to the HD, so you don't have to bog the system down when paging and reading. The SSD would be better if you only have 4 GB of RAM. If you have 8GB of RAM then your core OS, virus scanner and background tasks will all fit nicely in the first 2GB if your memory space... so Windows doesn't need to really page anything after system start.

Prefetching is basically in a nutshell... the more you use Windows Vista or Windows 7, the OS will keep the most used files moved to a place on the disk where they can be accessed faster. So for instance if you just installed firefox... the first few times you open it, there might be a pause. After you have used it many times, Windows remembers this and keeps the files tagged or moves them around so when you access it in the future, it is in a place easier to get to and will load much faster.

Honestly the i5-2500k will be better if you are considering the AMD 975 or 1100T, because the 2500K is very similar in price and blows them both away. If you can't budget more than $200 for the CPU, then you really should go AMD 975 or something... because it is better than most of the current Intel $200 contenders. And since the 965 is another $40 cheaper... you can do like me and overclock it to 3.8 GHz and save almost $100. But I will not lie to you, the 2500k will eat my CPU... the only reason I didn't get the 2500k was because of timing. I built this rig 2 months ago because I needed it for my job and couldn't wait for the 2500k to be released. And now since Intel has that recall going on, you would have to wait a bit too. But if you need a system right now, and can't wait or budget the 2500k... then AMD 965 all the way. The 970 and 975 aren't worth the price since they are all black editions and can be easily clocked to 3.8GHz.
a c 122 à CPUs
February 20, 2011 4:46:39 PM

wigglerthefish said:
By price of the two, I am taking the chip AND the motherboard, which does total to a noticeable difference. $80 for a ASrock 870, or ~$180 for an ASus p8p67. Add that to the chip, and you've got yourself an SSD of a difference.


Comparing those mobos is quite strange. The ASrock is cheaper but if you look at their history compared to Asus, its a no win for them. Asus has always been one of the top teir mobos along with Gigabyte and tend to always push their mobos to the best quality with the most features.

Plus if you want some further swaying, the Asus mobo is LGA 1155 and P67 which will support Intels 22nm dies shrink, Ivy Bridge. While the ASrock will not support AMDs Bulldozer which means if you wanted to go with a new AMD CPU, you would have to buy a new mobo along with the CPU and depending on how well Bulldozer does against Sandy Bridge, its pricing may not be as cheap as cureent is.

Now to the SSD. SSDs, as stated before, are really only good for OS installs. You don't want to fill them up too much as thats lowers the life of them and adding a game that you play all the time will as well. In most setups you instal Windows on the SSD and use a larger HDD for games and data. I installed a SSD into a laptop and honestly the difference wasn't amazing or that noticeable. Of course its a laptop. They suck anyways.

Do I think that going the cheaper mobo and CPU is worth an SSD? Absolutley not. If you want to go with the AMD setp, instead of sacrificing quality and stability for a SSD why not get a decent mobo foe the AMD combo? Something like this:

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

Much more comparable to the P8P67.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 4:53:09 PM

^ Also, you might want to wait until the end of this month or the beginning of next month because ASUS will be releasing the new socket AM3+ which can take a current AM3 CPU and the new Bulldozer chips. If you get the regular AM3 board now, you cannot upgrade to the new Bulldozer and will be stuck on the 1100T as being the top CPU you can buy.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2011 4:56:49 PM

So if you want AMD, wait a month for the AM3+ socket boards will give you some upgrade paths and the new Bulldozer CPU might be much better than all the current AMD lineup.

Or wait 2 months for the 1155 chipsets to be fixed and re-released and get the 2500k.

I think a month or two of patience will pay off more with the current situation. I know people say the market changes so fast and don't always wait for the next thing... but the next thing is only a month or two away and this gives you a lot more time to compare your CPU, RAM, GPU and board options. You should read the reviews here on Tom's and a few others and explore the 1155 and AM3+ options as they make announcements so you can be most informed.

So wait just a little if you can.
February 21, 2011 2:52:47 AM

Best answer selected by Wigglerthefish.
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