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Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 vs DS3 vs UD3?

I plan on using some Christmas money to buy a new mother board and RAM, one reason being I think my current RAM might be starting to go bad, (having some stability problems with Crysis 2) but DDR2 memory is much more money than DDR3. I'm sticking with AMD because I can't really afford a new CPU on top of it at this time and my Phenom II x4 945 handles my 7770 fine. I'm a gamer, but I don't really like to OC so I don't see myself doing that in the near future (but with better hardware, who knows), and I don't have any intentions of running Crossfire unless one of my friends just gives me a second identical card (which could happen) but probably not so I don't care if it runs crossfire in x16/x4 mode. I think I'd stick with Gigabyte boards since that's what I'm used to now, but I'm open to other suggestions, I already have looked at some different ASUS, ASRock, and MSI boards.

So my main question here, besides heatsinks on the MOSFETs whats the difference between these boards? And regarding those heatsinks, if I'm not OCing my CPU do I need to have those heatsinks? What if I OC but not high enough that I need to bump up the voltage, then does it affect the MOSFETs at all? Any common problems with any single, or all three of these boards in general? Also I'd like to stick around $100, but I mean if it's like $105, like the UD3, that's alright.

Thanks.
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  1. Best answer
    I was in same boat as you! Exactly same CPU and RAM problems.

    I went from an Asorck N68 mobo to an ASrock 970 extreme3.

    Overclocking with that Phenom is really easy, you can go from 3.0ghz to 3.5ghz wihtot voltage bumps and games will really like that.

    Also it runs really cool. That motherboard really fullfill my spectations, and much more than I though, I ran my phenom to 4.0ghz with little teawk, and it has a very nice layout. For 85 bucks was a great mobo, untill my little brother wanted it, so i had (forced by my parents) to give it to him. It is still rocking with an HD6770 and the same phenom with some cheap rams at 1333mhz...

    You will really need heatsinks over crucial components, even if you are not overclocking, and even at stock sometimes (some summers days) MOSFETS tend to run kinda hot as VRMs... So a heatsink will keep everything under control, also it gives you more lifetime for your components.

    Hope my experience help you :P
  2. Thanks, I bet your right wither or not you actually need those heatsinks, it certainly can't hurt to have them there. The only boards I've had in the past have happened to be Gigabytes but people like ASRock enough, perhaps I will give them a shot. Its also one of the cheapest 970 board I've seen so far.
  3. Best answer selected by Mace200200.
  4. I eventually just broke down and spent the extra $20 on the gigabyte ud3, nothing from them has made me turn against their boards yet.
  5. Well spent money, have fun with your new thingy, hopefully you will be able to throw a t it a FX 8320 and another 7770 :P
  6. Yep, should come in the mail tomorrow I'm nervous ill end up with a faulty board and it'll eat one of my components or something. I've never had a problem like that though and don't personally know any one who has. I stress about things to much I bet it'll all go pretty smoothly, I even have a new hdd my friend gave me so I can keep my old games installed on my current drive. He says it didn't work for him, then I find out he had a jumper in the back of it. I'm thinking without that jumper I there it'll work right for me. He never thought to try it without the jumper, which is weird because it worked when he got it and there wasn't a jumper in there.
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