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Do I really need a 990FX MOBO for my new AM3+ CPU?

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June 5, 2012 9:02:10 PM

I'm embarking on my first ever gaming computer build. This will be exclusively to play MMO's, so I don't need features such as SLI/CFX which are unsupported by the game engine. I went with an AMD FX-4100 CPU that I caught on a good sale at Newegg a few weeks ago. I am now shopping for MOBO's and while I realize I need an AM3+ socket on my new board, I'm not sure if I really need to spend the extra $ for a board with a 990FX chipset. Can someone explain exactly what the 990FX does that, say, the 970 chipset does not? I have not been able to figure this out exactly to my satisfaction yet. As I said, I will not be CrossFiring and probably only OC'ing slightly if at all, so if this is the only added benefit to the 990 FX chipset I would like to know because I will get an AM3+ socket board with a cheaper chipset, which will save me easily $50.

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June 5, 2012 9:07:25 PM

Biggest difference is that the 990FX has more PCIe lanes and can SLI/CF cards with 2 slots running at X16. The 970 is perfectly fine for most especially if only 1 GPU is involved!
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June 5, 2012 9:19:22 PM

Remember that when you want to run an AM3+ cpu in an AM3+ board, many of them need a bio's update to run that AM3+ CPU, meaning that you need an AM3 socket CPU to do so. Keep that in mind when you pick out a new board.
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June 5, 2012 9:27:39 PM

rolli59 said:
Biggest difference is that the 990FX has more PCIe lanes and can SLI/CF cards with 2 slots running at X16. The 970 is perfectly fine for most especially if only 1 GPU is involved!


That's kind of what I thought but wasn't sure. So with a 970 chipset or therabouts, will I still be able to OC a little bit if needed? In other words, is the 990FX chipset required to do any OC'ing at all, or will I be able to OC somewhat with a 970? I'm learning as I go here so pardon the noobishness.
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June 6, 2012 4:25:10 AM

Yes it should allow an overclock although a 990FX board most likely has more power phases so it would probably overclock higher.
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