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Confusion about motherboard and/or AMD/Intel machine ?

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July 8, 2011 2:18:51 PM


I recently (1.5 months ago) built AMD system with specs:

-- AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
-- Asus M4A89GTD Pro (returned to Amazon as it was giving BSOD at-least once a day)
-- 4 x 2GB - G.Skill Ripjaws CL7 1600MHz DDR3 (have two dual channel kits)
-- Asus AMD Radeon HD 6970 (2GB GDDR5) (thinking about crossfire later)
-- Coolermaster CM-690 II Advanced casing
-- Thermaltake TX-775W (80+ bronze) PSU
-- Coolermaster V6GT CPU Cooler
-- SATA HDDs -> WD 1TB 64MB Cache and WD 500GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache (500GB is my primary drive)
-- AOC 24" 60Hz 1080p monitor (AOC 24Vwa)


From past one month I was having system crash issues and after lot of troubleshooting I found that this started happening when I changed my motherboard (from GA-880GM-UD2H to M4A89GTD Pro) due to my graphics card (as the 880GM-UD2H board had very very bad design due to which after installing graphics it was covering all SATA ports (5), hence I can't use any SATA device which is shame). Hence I am going to refund this M4A89GTD Pro board to Amazon.co.uk and now I am without any motherboard at the moment.

Now the issue/confusion is:

As now AM3+ supported motherboards becoming available (with 980 or 990 AMD chipset); should I wait a bit to buy AM3+ supported board and then use my current Phenom II X6 1090T with it ? If yes then which board you can recommend ? I am looking for board with CF support and around £80 - £110 range (can increase range £10 or £20 more). OR buy AM3 board ?

OR

Sell my processor and go for Intel processor and board ? If yes then can you suggest some boards with good chipsets ? And should I go for Core i5 (2500K) or i7 (2600K) ?


I want to get to conclusion with-in a week or so. My main purpose for this machine is gaming and doing some heavy multi-tasking (means running lot of applications together) including video encoding/decoding.


Thanks for help in advance.

Fawad Lateef
July 8, 2011 7:57:07 PM

I think the answer you are looking for varies on what you want to do. If you are content with the overall performance of the computer other than crashing, then switching out the mobo for an AM3+ is probably a good way to go. The am3+ boards will support the bulldozer chips when they come out and you can then upgrade to those if you wish. Most of the AM3+ boards are pretty nice and cost $99 (not really any cheap boards out yet) or more. Probably best to stay with an ASUS or Gigabyte board unless you have a preference (they are my choice for boards).
If you are unhappy and wish an increase in performance immediately then switch over to intel. I imagine everything you have would work on an intel board. Make sure to check the RAM prior as intel recommends no more than 1.5v on the RAM. From what I've read 1.65v RAM isn't going to fry the CPU, but it is above what intel recommends. As far as i5 vs i7 I don't think you are going to see much difference in the two. The i5 chips overclock really easily on room air to around 4.4ghz. This will be more than enough to run what you are looking to do for a while to come and will cost a lot less money. You can get a small solid state drive for the leftover money... just a thought.
July 8, 2011 8:17:27 PM

Unless you need to find places to spend your extra money or need to have the fastest computer around AMD CPUs will do the job. Also, AMD is far less likely than Intel to obsolete their platform thereby saving you upgrade money.
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July 8, 2011 8:19:46 PM

^agreed. AMD tend to stick with their chipsets much longer than Intel. You will spend a lot more money upgrading to a Intel system than staying AMD and getting a new CPU when bulldozers come out (if they are worth it).
July 8, 2011 9:01:50 PM

Nice suggestions. Basically I don't have extra money to spend but I always wants to have good performance. Thats why I am thinking about Intel.

So can you please tell me is Core i5 2500K is much better than my current CPU and can overclock well with the cooler I have ? As it has almost same price as Phenom 1090T and motherboards for intel will be a bit cheaper also as they are some months old in market. If I go for 2500K then can it easily perform well for gaming and can I spend around 2 years easily without upgrade ?

For AM3+ board I am thinking positively but only problem is that can bulldozer outperforms currently available sandy-bridge ? Also if I buy AM3+ board now then it will be first revision and can have lot of issues, right ?
July 9, 2011 4:51:57 AM

Is it much better? Yes, worth spending $100+ more on? I would say no. My figures may be off but, I suspect you wouldn't get much selling your old processor considering the cost offset for an i5. If you want a nice computer just to have a nice computer, your AMD is a nice computer. Get a board the supports it, get a comfortable build, and you will be solid. You probably won't see leaps and bounds greater performance in multi-tasking with an i5 opposed to your Phenom II. For that, I would get an i7 due to hyper-threading but, that is FAR too expensive to spend your money on simply because you don't want to close out of applications. (It's ok. I have 12 programs running on my machine and 3 of them are Adobe apps, 2 of them are newer games This is a 4 year old machine and it isn't missing a beat. Yes, I too am lazy and don't close programs but, it is easier to close them than to make money appear.

It is likely most issues with an AM3+ board will be correctable by firmware...err, BIOS, errr...UEFI updates thus, this is a null point to discuss. Save your money, get a BD (Bull Dozer) chip, and you should be good for 2 years without major upgrades.

Hope it helps. And don't try and "keep up with the Jonse's" It's not worth it. That is why I have machines that don't get spec'd out online.
July 9, 2011 8:48:22 AM

Thanks puttsy, your reply is good enough to convince me to get AM3+ board, as you are also right that selling my current processor will give me at-least 35% less money than what I spent on it.

I will go for AM3+ board. Any suggestions for model/brand? I will look to buy from amazon.co.uk or from aria.co.uk

Thanks
a b B Homebuilt system
July 9, 2011 9:19:26 AM

heres a nice USB3, SATAIII crossfire AM3+ board:
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/...

if you can afford it i would also reccommend this:
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/...

the second (more expensive) of the two board, should support the new Bulldozer series without any restrictions, and will support SLI and Crossfire at x16, x8. it supports up to two way SLI and three way crossfire (whereas the first board runs at only x16, x4 and will only support two wy crossfire no SLI).
July 10, 2011 3:09:48 PM

Thanks ps3hacker12 for recommendations.

I am actually interested in AM3+ boards with 900 series chipset as in my opinion 800 series chipset can't fully support Bulldozer features; is this correct ?

How about this board http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/... ?

Or if I spend some more money and got for http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/... ? So whats the difference between this one and the 2nd link you gave me ? Means UD3 and UD5 ? which one is good for overclocking ?

Thanks in advance.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 11, 2011 9:45:48 AM

fslateef said:
Thanks ps3hacker12 for recommendations.

I am actually interested in AM3+ boards with 900 series chipset as in my opinion 800 series chipset can't fully support Bulldozer features; is this correct ?

How about this board http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/... ?

Or if I spend some more money and got for http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/... ? So whats the difference between this one and the 2nd link you gave me ? Means UD3 and UD5 ? which one is good for overclocking ?

Thanks in advance.

yeah, they are both good boards, i didn't know your budget, and yes 800series chipsets are said to have some restrictions with the newer AM3+ series CPUs. I would go with the first Asus board, it gives good spacing for grahphics card spacing, (up to tri-SLI) and unless you need more than 6xsataIII ports than i would go wit the Asus boards. either way both are amazing boards.
July 11, 2011 11:02:20 AM

^ I think you mean to say; go first with Gigabyte board with up-to 3-way ?
July 11, 2011 11:09:41 AM

Also in your opinion which one of the two boards (I gave links) is good for overclocking and more stable ? I don't have any experience of Gigabyte boards and its UDX numbers :( 
a b B Homebuilt system
July 11, 2011 12:13:39 PM

fopr overclocking the Gigabyte board has the advantage :
http://www.ninjalane.com/reviews/motherboards/ga-990fxa...

but the Asus isnt too far behind:
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4157/asus_m5a99x_evo_a...

oh and im sorry about missing out on your question about the difference beetween the UD5 and UD3, the UD3 can only support up to 2-way SLi (still pretty good for most people) the main difference beetween the 990X and 990FX is slightly less PCI-E lanes and the 990X allows for the use of the integrated GPU.
July 15, 2011 8:48:57 AM

Last evening I bought Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 board (from a local shop just to avoid any BSOD issues like what I was getting with my previous board).

So far its good. And I am really happy with this board.

Thanks for help everyone.

!