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Upgrade mobo+cpu $200

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December 6, 2010 10:03:09 PM

Hi,

Looking to upgrade my old computer on a super low budget. AMD probabily offers the best value option when it comes to price-to-performance.

I've got the cpu figured out: AMD Athlon II X3 445 3,1GHz Socket AM3 Box (~$100).

Looking for a motherboard for roughly $100. This is what I found:

- Asus M4A88TD-M EVO/USB3 (what does 'D' and 'M' stand for)
- Asus M4A88T-V EVO (what does 'V' stand for)
- I also had a peek at Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 but for some reason they have chosen to go for a very unusual positioning of the screw-holes. Maybe it's just me but this one does not work with the case I've got.
- Any suggestions?

I'm looking for the best performance out there (i.e games, videoed., movie playback, features, the works) for this budget. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks in advance

More about : upgrade mobo cpu 200

December 7, 2010 2:43:13 AM

Either board would be fine. I don't know what the D or M or V stands for, but you could probably figure it out by going to the Asus web site and comparing the boards. Or maybe some one wise will enlighten us both.
You should pick your chip set, the number of PCIe lanes you want and whatever else you know you want like on board video (for back up) etc and then buy the best name brand board you can. I avoid Biostar, and a few others that are not quite main stream (IMHO). I sometimes count the number of on board fan headers and make a decision based partially on that, just to show you how stupid you can get when over thinking a MB purchase.
I have had Asus, Gigabyte (several), MSI, ASRock (several), Biostar, DFI boards. Some people are really brand loyal and that's great, for them. Shop the features you want, stay with the big guys and have fun.
BTW - That CPU you listed is a very good chip. I had one and it unlocked to a quad with the L3 open. I had been very unlucky with previous 550's and a 555 chip so almost didn't try it. It turned out to be stable at stock speeds with several hours of Prime95 testing. I didn't OC it so cant speak to that. It's nice to buy a chip that turns into a quad with full L3 for 80.00$
Anyway, good luck and have fun.
December 7, 2010 2:50:50 AM

Oh and if you really want gaming performance buy a decent video card. Don't need to go crazy, a GTX460 or 6850 will do you fine for most games. And like with the MB, stay with the big guys. I like XFX and EVGA and Gigabyte and MSI. I have also used a couple of Sapphire 6850"s and found them to be reliable so far. I liked the native HDMI, and also that it was a 1.4 (Latest) HDMI on the Sapphire card. But maybe they are all the 1.4 and I just didn't recognize that.
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December 7, 2010 10:34:08 AM

Hey, thanks for your input. I just found out AMD is releasing a couple of new cpu models with slightly faster clock speeds. The third option being the one relevant for my budget.

---------------------------clocksp.-----------turbo---------------cores--------TDP
Phenom II X6 1100T--------3,30 GHz----------3,70 GHz-------------6----------125W
Phenom II X2 565----------3,4 GHz---------------------------------2----------80W
Athlon II X3 455------------3,3 GHz---------------------------------3----------95W

Anyways, I'll probabily go for ASUS and as far as graphicscard goes, I will have to wait for the release of the new Cayman 6900 series before I make my decision.
December 7, 2010 1:51:01 PM

Just FYI, (in case you don't know) not all MB's have on board video. No problem if you plan to wait to use the PC, big issue if you wanted to use it while you wait for the 6900's to come out, which maybe a little while yet. Some discussion on the net of delays but haven't been following them closely. Specs will list if MB has an on board video chip.
December 7, 2010 2:01:30 PM

Having worked with Asus' 700 series V would denote ATX from factor while M mATX form factor - actually i would look to hit as good a GPU my grren could if thatmeans cutting down on a non SATA/USB 3.0 mobo like a cheap 760G/785G
December 7, 2010 10:00:09 PM

->g048989h: Yep, that's right but that won't be a problem. I simply pull out the ancient GeForce 7900GTX and use it temporarily.

->batuchka: Ok, thanks. Kinda wierd way of denoting V to ATX.

You're actually making a good point. Maybe I'll cut back on the mobo in favor for the cpu and gfx.
December 11, 2010 12:42:03 PM

I'm actually tempted to go for either of these because of the recent pricedrops:

AMD Athlon II x4 640 3,0GHz
or
AMD Phenom II x2 555 Black Edition (hoping to unlock those extra cores)

There's no way of telling is there, if it's a batch with high core unlocking probability? I don't suppose the phenom is better than the athlon in multitasking but gaming (unless you successfully unlock those cores or OC it)...
December 11, 2010 1:51:14 PM

oh darn, I was afraid of that. I've heard positive things about the 555 but like you said, it's no unlocking guarantee.
maybe I wait for more pricedrops with the sandy bridge making its debut in january.
phenom II x4 955 is also a viable option if it could just drop $10-20.
no reason for me to rush at this point...
December 11, 2010 9:56:49 PM

-> malmental: thx for sticking with this thread. I'm just brainstorming ideas at this point...I think though we're in for a full scale price-war once AMD cayman 6900 series and sandy bridge hit the market and don't forget bulldozer is right around the corner.

-> batuchka: sounds good but unfortunately looks aweful! Blue pcb with yellow/orange/white/purple/pink/red accent!?!?!? haha :)  Haven't had that much luck with Biostar anyways and I'm looking to go for the big boys: ASUS, MSi, GIGABYTE and the like...Though, I appreciate your help!
December 11, 2010 11:28:15 PM

I've gone down the nVIDIA road as well. Most recently I bought the evga gtx 480. I was 2 days short for "stepping up" to a 580...
!