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Thread: Good AM2 motherboard.

  1. #1
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    Good AM2 motherboard.

    A friend has recently decided to build a new budget gaming PC.

    He has picked up:

    8800 GTS superclocked £50
    3x 1 GB Corsair PC2-8500 £30
    shiny new Thermaltake case £50

    Now he was looking at chips and naturally looking at the C2D or Quad chips but then i mentioned that you get more bang per buck with the AMDs, he did a bit of reading and agrees.

    He has decided to buy a Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition. (AM2 +)
    Now he is looking for a good board to put to this i as i am a intel boy i dont have a clue!!

    I was hoping someone here could help me out. The budget is £100 and it must be DDR2 and AM2+ compatible. Not interested in SLI but if the best one has it then so be it. He is also not an overclocker so that does not make a huge difference, but i may have a little fiddle!

    Thanks very much
    I am the gadget man!

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Good AM2 motherboard.

    Hope that "3x 1GB" is a typo? It is best to use matched pairs on an AM2.

    Note that Scan only charge another £12.65 for the 955BE compared to the old AM2 940BE, which gives you the option of using it on an AM3 mobo in the future as well as an AM2+ motherboard now.

    No specific recommendations for you on motherboard, but if you do want to overclock look very carefully at the maximum power rating for the CPU. Many AM2 boards seem to be 125W these days, a lack of heatsink on the power fets being a bad sign. More expensive boards are 140W, giving you some margin for overclocking when you start with a CPU drawing 125W *before* you mess with it

    I mention the power thing because on my last look at motherboards it seemed that AM2+ boards are now sliding to the low end, with enthusiasts expected to buy AM3.

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    Re: Good AM2 motherboard.

    Since you have a seperate GPU I would go with the GA-MA770-UD3 for that CPU. Although he will need 2 pairs of RAM as previously stated. The board is on Scan (LN26418) for £55.04.

    I would look at the AM3 options as well though as that is more future-proof. He would need DDR3 memory for AM3 though unless he used an AM2+ board with an AM3 CPU.

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    • Domestic_Ginger's system
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    Re: Good AM2 motherboard.

    Quote Originally Posted by barry2811 View Post
    Since you have a seperate GPU I would go with the GA-MA770-UD3 for that CPU. Although he will need 2 pairs of RAM as previously stated. The board is on Scan (LN26418) for £55.04.
    thats revision one of the board; I would stay well clear. I should know; I have revision 2 which has all the improvements.

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    Re: Good AM2 motherboard.

    Thanks for the input, the plan was to buy another stick of the same ram giving him 4 x 1 gig sticks of DDR2 crucail balistix, very respectable RAM. but the initial plan was to go through the intel route.

    If he gets a AM3 chip are there any boards that support DDR2?

    I have not used AMD since my Opteron 146 and FX50 days!

    I look forward to any advice i know that 3x 1gig sticks are fine on an Intel system, but i did not know that the AM2's dont like!
    I am the gadget man!

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    • Domestic_Ginger's system
      • Motherboard:
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    Re: Good AM2 motherboard.

    AM3 chips fit into AM2+ boards (check manufacturers website to see if they support it) and have ddr2/ddr3 memory controller onboard (at the moment). They will work with motherboard specific ram if the motherboard supports the CPU.

    Hope I am not confusing you!

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    Re: Good AM2 motherboard.

    you don't have to have 2 pairs it will work with 3gb, it just will not run dual channel
    You'd lose a little performance but not much.

    GA-MA770-UD3 but make sure it's the revision 2 with sb710 (south bridge)
    which is this one I think http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigab...D3-Motherboard

    or
    GA-MA790X-UD3P
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/GIGABYTE-GA-MA790X-UD3P

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    Re: Good AM2 motherboard.

    Thanks very much, one last bit of advice,

    Would you go down the AMD route in his boots or stick to the same priced Intel chip and board?
    I am the gadget man!

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    Re: Good AM2 motherboard.

    The consensus is AMD provides better price vs performance (please correct me someone).

    I think on a case by case basis you should decide on a final budget and then buy the best components for that price.

    There is a top of the line intel quad going for £130 on the bargains page; not sure how this stacks up against a 955BE. The resulting skt 775 mobo thats needed should be cheap (again I am no expert). It might be worth considering.

  10. #10
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Good AM2 motherboard.

    I think in either case the 8800GTS will be the limiting factor, so if AMD is the cheapest I would go that route.

    I only have a 2.5GHz Athlon X2, and I feel I am more held back by the graphics card than the CPU for games playing. I am only looking to upgrade to quad for work.

    The 955BE comes with a decent cooler, so that might save you some cash too.

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