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Optimize GA-MA78G-DS3H mb

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  • Gigabyte
  • DDR2
  • Motherboards
Last response: in Motherboards
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January 6, 2012 1:42:57 PM

Hi, exactly three years ago I did a budget build around this cool mb Gigabytes GA-MA78G-DS3H. It's been in storage for two years for two years while I was out of the country. Hence I feel like this system still has lots of usefulness in it.

Here is what I have:
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 Brisbane 2.7GHz

RAM: G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit

OS: XP Pro SP3 32 bit

Power supply is 500W

Monitor is a Samsung SyncMaster 731B 17" 1280 x 1024


I want to supply it with better components to enable it to utilize its capabilities.

The Gigabyte literature for this motherboard indicates that optimum graphic performance for the onboard video requires DDR2 1066 memory. But, not all AMD CPU's enable 1066 RAM. I've been having trouble trying to figure out which CPU will support DDR2 1066.

The literature states "Hardware equipment required: [CPU] AMD Phenom 9600(2.2GHz), [Memory] DDR2 1066(1GBx2), [OS] Windows Vista 32-bit."

I'm still using Win XP 32bit...considering jumping to Win 7 64 bit.

Hence, I must have a Phenom CPU and Vista 32 for DDR2 1066 support? Does that rule out any Athlon possibility? Will any Phenom X2, X3, X4 or X6 provide DDR2 1066 support? Will any AM3 socket do what I want?


This mb is capable of handling much more that I supplied it to work with. It can handle X6...but a X6 Thuban is probably overkill.

I do Home Office work with some excel data processing with some large files and graphing/presentation software. Additionally, I was to be able to Crysis and watch movies on this. It's a multi-tasker.

Planned upgrades are a 24" LED-LCD monitor then have a dual display configuration with my 17" and 22".

AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz or a Phenom II X4 Zosma appear to be good considerations.

If these do not provide DDR2 1066 support then I could leave in the DDR2 800 ram that I already have and then drop in another 4gb of DDR2 800. Then I would have a great processor and 6 gb of RAM.

If I do get DDR2 1066 support then I'll go ahead and pull the trigger and get 4gb of DDR2 1066 ram.

What is the most reasonable way to spend <$200 to upgrade this motherboard?

For some reason I'm hung up on wanting DDR2 1066.

If I did have one of the above mentioned CPU's will 6gb of DDR2 800 come close to the 1066 performance that the Gigabyte found noteworthy 3 years ago?

I would love to drop in 16 gb of 1066 DDR2 but it's just too expensive.

More about : optimize ma78g ds3h

a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2012 2:45:44 PM

I would just go with the x4 and skip the 1066 ram. There is little benefit to the 6 core or 1066 ram. After all, it is in fact just overclockable DDR2 800. Just make sure you upgrade the BIOS to the latest for your board's revision number. All this is on the Gigabyte web site. Just Google your model number and the link will pop up.

I do agree with bumping to 4gb DDR 800. You can put any savings above on the video card when you get it.
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January 6, 2012 7:05:29 PM

tlmck said:
I would just go with the x4 and skip the 1066 ram. There is little benefit to the 6 core or 1066 ram. After all, it is in fact just overclockable DDR2 800. Just make sure you upgrade the BIOS to the latest for your board's revision number. All this is on the Gigabyte web site. Just Google your model number and the link will pop up.

I do agree with bumping to 4gb DDR 800. You can put any savings above on the video card when you get it.



Thanks for the recommendation. Since I can stop stressing over RAM I think I'm going to go with the AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb and get the additional 4gb ram.

This Gigabyte system should be really happy with the X4 and 6gb of RAM.

Thanks for the advice.
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a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2012 11:54:04 PM

If the budget will allow, I would go ahead and do 8gb DDR2 800. That seems to be Windows 7 x64 sweet spot. I use 16gb as I have programs that can take advantage.
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January 7, 2012 2:49:27 AM

At the moment the AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz and the AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz are only about $5 difference.

Phenom seems like the better choice. But the Zosma makes me feel like I'm getting top fuel dragster to drive around town. But if I'm not doing heavy duty gaming, then the well optioned Camry or Accord, ie Propos, may be a better fit. Is that a worthy analogy between the two?

Is the Propos a better home office/home entertainment choice for me?
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a b V Motherboard
January 7, 2012 4:53:31 AM

If you lived near a Microcenter, you could get the Phenom II X4 840 for $59.99. It is a Propus core and supposedly a renamed Athlon II X4 6 something. That's where I got mine. I added the TT Cooler for another $9 because the stock AMD was whiny. http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

There is a drop down box at the top of the page where you can see if there's a city near you.
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January 16, 2012 4:50:41 PM

I bought some G. Skill 2x2GB DDR2 800 and installed it. I have 6GB of RAM on my system now with Win XP 32 bit running. The system actually seems to be a bit slower now than with 2 GB of RAM. I may have to install Win 7 64 to take advantage of the extra ram.

Next I plan to upgrade the CPU to either a X4 Deneb 3.2 or I may go with the X6 Thulan 1055T just because I can If I can find a good deal on the 1055T. Then I think I'll be ready to upgrade the OS to Win 7 64 bit.

My current Athlon 64 x2 Brisbane can probably handle Win 7 64 bit, but I worry that it would be slow.

I want my system to be able to handle anything that I throw at it.
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January 23, 2012 1:10:52 AM

Best answer selected by toddstew.
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a c 329 V Motherboard
January 23, 2012 3:40:08 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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