Motherboard And Memory
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H
We didn’t pick this AMD 790GX/SB750 socket AM3 motherboard because of its Radeon HD 3300 graphics core, but rather because it included other features we sought at a price we could afford.
It has all-solid capacitors, Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 3 Classic Copper PCB, a 4+1 phase-power design, and ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration). Even more important to our build is the pair of PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0 x16 slots that support a single x16 lane or two x8 links for CrossFire.
Our instant $20 discount has been cut in half, but the $15 mail-in rebate still remains in effect. A solid alternative for this system would be the AMD 790X/SB750-based MA790XT-UD4P, which loses the integrated graphics, but adds an 8+2 phase-power design and a larger array of rear-panel ports.
Memory: G.Skill F3-12800L9D-4GBRL
We were pleased to see that the speedy G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-12800 was one of the cheapest 4GB DDR3 kits available. This dual-channel kit uses comb-like heat spreaders and is rated at DDR3-1600, 9-9-9-24 timings at 1.5V.