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Best Socket 939 motherboard as of 2013?

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January 27, 2013 11:38:04 AM

I have an Athlon 64 X2 and 4 sticks of RAM that I know are compatible with this chipset. I killed my motherboard (it's a long story that you'd rather not hear) and I want to keep costs to a minimum by replacing only the motherboard (even though my parts are all ancient). The motherboard I'm replacing is the A8N-SLI Deluxe.

I was considering this one: http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=939A785GMH/...

It's actually a fairly new model, which is odd considering the age of the processors it's made for, but who am I to complain? But, I have an oversized gigabyte gtx 650 ti 2gigs, with two large fans on it. It's long, and it takes up two slots. I'm guessing it won't fit the micro ATX form factor on the board I just linked. (Or will it? How do I look this crap up?)

Are there any other (larger) socket 939 motherboards that came out later than the 64 X2 and might support a few more features than what I already have?
a c 188 V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 11:47:24 AM

That board will do just fine IF you can find it for sale. VERY doubtful you will though, its DDR memory.

I would not spend a dime on that PC.

As for your GPU, it will fit, all PCI-e x16 slots are the same length. BUT if that board has a PCI-e 1.0 slot and not 2.0 or 2.1, your GPU may not work.

And no you won't find boards with more features as the chip does not support any more than that.
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a c 132 V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 11:53:26 AM

Socket 939 motherboards havent been produced for many years. The board in your link was released in 2009. Honestly if the board you currently have is still working there is no reason to upgrade to another outdated model. BTW, what you are looking at would actually be a downgrade, that Asus board is a better board. Just wait till you can do a true upgrade with a current motherboard and cpu. Any Intel core i3 is easily faster than any socket 939 cpu. Also that X2 you have will bottleneck that 650 ti in most games that require a bit more cpu power.
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a c 188 V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 11:59:39 AM

bignastyid said:
Socket 939 motherboards havent been produced for many years. The board in your link was released in 2009. Honestly if the board you currently have is still working there is no reason to upgrade to another outdated model. BTW, what you are looking at would actually be a downgrade, that Asus board is a better board. Just wait till you can do a true upgrade with a current motherboard and cpu. Any Intel core i3 is easily faster than any socket 939 cpu. Also that X2 you have will bottleneck that 650 ti in most games that require a bit more cpu power.


Did you miss that he fried his board?
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a c 132 V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 12:12:15 PM

Yep I did, must be lack of sleep. Im going to go fix that now.
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a c 188 V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 12:16:41 PM

bignastyid said:
Yep I did, must be lack of sleep. Im going to go fix that now.


Don't stress, lol I do that too... :D 
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January 27, 2013 12:18:52 PM

Hey, no worries, I miss details all the time.

I'm thinking of replacing it with the a8n-sli premium. The biggest difference between that and the board I killed (a8n-sli deluxe) is that the premium doesn't have a fan on the NB (or a tall aftermarket Zalman heatsink, which is a popular replacement for those crappy NB fans and which was already in my computer when I bought it used).

This means that my dual-slot gigabyte graphics card should fit just fine without me needing to do, um, surgery that... um... I'd rather not talk about it. In short, it should allow me to be in a situation where I won't be touching things I shouldn't touch.

So, a specific question now: Are there any socket 939 boards out there better than the a8n-sli premium? By "better" I mean supporting newer features, like faster sata and such. I don't plan to overclock.
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a c 188 V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 12:33:44 PM

gibbousmoon100 said:
Hey, no worries, I miss details all the time.

I'm thinking of replacing it with the a8n-sli premium. The biggest difference between that and the board I killed (a8n-sli deluxe) is that the premium doesn't have a fan on the NB (or a tall aftermarket Zalman heatsink, which is a popular replacement for those crappy NB fans and which was already in my computer when I bought it used).

This means that my dual-slot gigabyte graphics card should fit just fine without me needing to do, um, surgery that... um... I'd rather not talk about it. In short, it should allow me to be in a situation where I won't be touching things I shouldn't touch.

So, a specific question now: Are there any socket 939 boards out there better than the a8n-sli premium? By "better" I mean supporting newer features, like faster sata and such. I don't plan to overclock.


There are probably NO 939 BOARDS available AT ALL...

Let me explain why support for faster SATA for example is impossible. The CPU and chipset of the 939 socket DOES NOT support ANY newer tech.

Just try and find a board for this socket and you will see what I mean, they have been out of production for ages.
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January 27, 2013 12:39:01 PM

@Novuake It's called e-bay. Or, in my case, yahoo auctions. I'm bidding on an a8n-sli premium as I type. I set my max bid to about US$20, just in case someone comes and posts that there are better options out there than the a8n-sli premium.

But thanks for the extra info!

Edit: I'll return the favor, and teach you something new. ;)  Your earlier comment about the card being guaranteed to fit doesn't always apply. A card taking two slots will NOT fit in a stock A8N-SLI Deluxe, for example. That is why I include that as a condition.
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a b V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 12:43:01 PM

gibbousmoon100 said:
Hey, no worries, I miss details all the time.

I'm thinking of replacing it with the a8n-sli premium. The biggest difference between that and the board I killed (a8n-sli deluxe) is that the premium doesn't have a fan on the NB (or a tall aftermarket Zalman heatsink, which is a popular replacement for those crappy NB fans and which was already in my computer when I bought it used).

This means that my dual-slot gigabyte graphics card should fit just fine without me needing to do, um, surgery that... um... I'd rather not talk about it. In short, it should allow me to be in a situation where I won't be touching things I shouldn't touch.

So, a specific question now: Are there any socket 939 boards out there better than the a8n-sli premium? By "better" I mean supporting newer features, like faster sata and such. I don't plan to overclock.


Absolutely none, unless you want used (and very flaky by now). I used to have 3 or 4 socket 939 systems, only 1 of which is still operating on the venerable A8R32-MVP. It still does a lot of duties fine, including games. Anything CPU intensive will choke it down quite a bit (SC2, for example).

Eventually, I ran some benchmarks on the CPU, an Athlon X2 clocked at ~2.7 Ghz. In 3Dmark06, it scores just about 2000 points for CPU, and in Linpack, it does about 7 Gflops. Compared to a new Intel 3570K based system clocked at 3.8 Ghz for which, the Linpack score is 109 Gflops, the difference is very large.

The point is, even if I could get a new motherboard for the Athlon 64 X2 right now, unless it is free or nearly so, I wouldn't bother. I'm just waiting for it to die a natural death then collect the CPU (isn't even worth anything on eBay now) in my CPU collection box.

Do be aware that PCI-E 3.0 cards like the AMD 7000 series and beyond will NOT work on earlier PCI-E 1.1 or 1.0 boards, like ALL S939 boards. As well that a lot of used S939 era boards out by this time are likely going to have a very short life time as a used board.
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January 27, 2013 12:50:25 PM

@Maxx Thanks for the advice. I'll go ahead and grab a premium, then. The (PCI 3.0) GTX 650 ti ran just fine on the a8n-sli deluxe (and is indeed a slight upgrade from the--noisy--9800 gt I replaced, at least in Diablo 3), and it's already overkill for any processor supported by that board, so I'm hardly worried about certain later cards not being supported. ;) 
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a c 188 V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 12:54:04 PM

gibbousmoon100 said:
@Novuake It's called e-bay. Or, in my case, yahoo auctions. I'm bidding on an a8n-sli premium as I type. I set my max bid to about US$20, just in case someone comes and posts that there are better options out there than the a8n-sli premium.

But thanks for the extra info!

Edit: I'll return the favor, and teach you something new. ;)  Your earlier comment about the card being guaranteed to fit doesn't always apply. A card taking two slots will NOT fit in a stock A8N-SLI Deluxe, for example. That is why I include that as a condition.


In my opinion, NEVER buy used motherboards, CPUs are find, but mobos, never...

As for dual slot cards, that depends on the chassis, not the board.

What could POSSIBLY hinder a dual slot card to work on the A8N-SLI Deluxe???
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January 27, 2013 12:57:08 PM

Sorry, but you are wrong. It is that simple.

On an ASUS a8n-sli deluxe, it is the northbridge fan / heatsink that blocks a long dual-slot card from fitting. Doesn't matter if your chassis is the size of a car. Google an image and you'll see what I mean.

Edit: Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you were right on that point, this entire thread wouldn't exist.
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a b V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 1:10:02 PM

gibbousmoon100 said:
@Maxx Thanks for the advice. I'll go ahead and grab a premium, then. The (PCI 3.0) GTX 650 ti ran just fine on the a8n-sli deluxe (and is indeed a slight upgrade from the--noisy--9800 gt I replaced, at least in Diablo 3), and it's already overkill for any processor supported by that board, so I'm hardly worried about certain later cards not being supported. ;) 


Then it seems like you are set! I know the newer Nvidia PCI-E 3.0 cards use a 1.1-back-wards compatible PCI-E 3.0 due to their implementation of older PCI-E power protocols, whereas the AMD PCI-E 3.0's are all strictly PCI-E 3.0 to 2.0. Supposedly this saves some power for AMD, while for Nvidia it allows a greater backwards compatibility. My 2 cents.
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a c 188 V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 1:12:33 PM

gibbousmoon100 said:
Sorry, but you are wrong. It is that simple.

On an ASUS a8n-sli deluxe, it is the northbridge fan / heatsink that blocks a long dual-slot card from fitting. Doesn't matter if your chassis is the size of a car. Google an image and you'll see what I mean.

Edit: Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you were right on that point, this entire thread wouldn't exist.


I see the fan, and I still can't believe it is tall enough to interfere with any GPU.
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January 27, 2013 8:42:16 PM

@Maxx I didn't know that about AMD cards and old motherboards. While it doesn't affect me (I lean towards NVidia for its 3dvision and better Ubuntu support), it does affect many others, so I'm going to pick that particular post as best answer.

@Novuake What you believe is irrelevant. A long single slot card will fit in that MB, as will a very short dual slot card. A long dual slot card is blocked by the fan. It's pretty simple to see, if you look at a picture. The fan would have to be practically flat for a card to slide into its pci slots and still fit on top of it.

@Maxx again: I understand what you were saying in your earlier post about the economics of buying a part that is outclassed by orders of magnitude by later components, but for me this is about getting a working gaming system with as little money and effort as possible. As my first experience replacing a motherboard, it will also be a useful warmup for building my first system. (I'm planning on an i5 3570k and a gtx 680 in a Fractal Define R4. I haven't chosen a motherboard yet.)
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January 27, 2013 8:42:54 PM

Best answer selected by gibbousmoon100.
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a b V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 10:41:27 PM

gibbousmoon100 said:


@Maxx again: I understand what you were saying in your earlier post about the economics of buying a part that is outclassed by orders of magnitude by later components, but for me this is about getting a working gaming system with as little money and effort as possible. As my first experience replacing a motherboard, it will also be a useful warmup for building my first system. (I'm planning on an i5 3570k and a gtx 680 in a Fractal Define R4. I haven't chosen a motherboard yet.)


Makes sense to accumulate some hardware experience at a minimal expense. You won't believe how many people bring in their freshly built computers to the stores where they purchased the parts and complain the computer won't turn on. It turns out that it was because they didn't use any motherboard standoffs to mount the board to the case, so the board shorted out electrically.

Cheers and enjoy then!
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