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AMD SLI RIG (mobo/cpu/ram) for my GTX460 Hawks (intel guys tune in!)

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October 20, 2011 4:48:19 AM

Guys,

Im upgrading from my Advanced Micro Device Athlon x2 5400 system.

The biggest concern for me is smooth framerates. I have 2 MSI HAWK GTX460s that i want to run in SLI, I have 850w corsair power supply plus hard drives, optical drives etc. All i want to do is upgrade my cpu/mobo/ram

All components will be purchased from the Egg or Amazon (if amazons prices are the same there return policy is way easier although if you have the extra time to actually talk to a newegg rep they always take care of you)

I want to stay as budget minded as possible, the goal is framrates and gaming performance. Heres what I'm looking at

(if anyone thinks i should go intel for the same money speak up!)

AMD X4 955 BE @3.2ghz is $119.99 from newegg -$15 instant coupon is $105

Asrock 990fx Extreme4 mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$159 169 with shipping.

Not sure on what people do with the DDR3 stuff 2 2gbs? 4 2gbs? heres what im thinking would work

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

The ram choice is what im least educated on, before when i built my ddr2 rig i bought cheap ram and then ended up buying the best OCZ stuff i could get and noticed a huge difference. This new DDR3 ram has much higher cas latency... If you guys have any opinions or advice on component selection speak up!
October 20, 2011 5:47:32 AM

Don't worry 'bout Cas. You've other more pressing things to worry about - that I'll come to at the end of my post. The real world difference between cas7/8/9 for most applications including gaming is mostly miniscule if any.

7 is pretty much the best you'll get with DDR3 and that's gonna be a whole lot faster than anything DDR2 800 cas4/5 has to offer. Frequency mostly is mostly more important than cas.

What you've also gotta watch out for is the operating voltage of your sticks.

On mid-range AMD boards mostly, anything beyond 1333MHZ cas9 is mostly redundant.

To get 4X2 GB memory, you need a motherboard chipset that supports quad channel. No AMD board does that. So rather than the stuff you linked, this is gonna be a much better option for you - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB). If you're into RAM overclocking, this 1.5V will let you OC them anyways, without spending extra, seeing as your proposed board supports faster RAM.

But here's the real deal. If you're spending $320 on AMD CPU+Mobo you should seriously look at i5-2500K + Asrock Z68 extreme3 Gen3. 220+225=245 only. For 25 more bucks it is gonna be so much faster, that it ain't even funny.

I cannot with a sane head advise you to buy AMD at this price range especially, seeing as you're gonna be SLI'ing, which invariably works better on Intel.
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October 20, 2011 8:08:40 AM

Thanks for the detailed response!,
I think I've made the decision to bite the bullet and get the intel i5, that asrock mobo looks solid, as well as the corsair RAM for the money, What type of CPU cooler would your recommend, I'll def being buying from newegg.
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October 20, 2011 9:09:35 AM

The cooler depends on how much you wanna OC your PC and of course, your budget.

If you don't intend to go beyond 4.0, that hyper 212+ in killa-whatever's link is gonna be your best price-performance bet.

however, the higher up you go, depending on your budget and preference for air or water, you might need to take a look at the Noctua NH-D14 (HSF) or the Corsair H-100 (LCU).

As for the Corsair RAM modules being tall, you can get G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB), but the bigger heat-spreaders on the Vengeance and Dominators help in no uncertain terms in OC'ed systems.
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