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Thread: Budget mATX Build?

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    Budget mATX Build?

    Hey,

    It's been a while since I've posted on here, but I'm looking at upgrading my system. I've currently got an AMD Opteron 146 clocked at 2.6ghz with 2gb of DDR400. I'm a PHP developer so need it to be able to handle running a LAMP environment for testing. I'm not a massive gamer, but do play Football Manager.

    I've got an Aspire X-QPack mATX case, which I'll be keeping, and a GeForce 7600GT.

    For my new build I was thinking of getting:

    CPU: AMD Athlon X2 5000+ 2.6ghz AM2 (can be unlocked to quad core?)
    Motherboard: Asrock A780GM-LE/128 (supports ACC to unlock the CPU)
    RAM: 4gb DDR2-800 (not sure which brand to go for?)
    Harddrive: 1TB HDD (which brands are reliable nowadays?)

    Is it possible to quieten down my 7600GT? It's got the stock cooler on atm and it's really loud, louder than anything else in my case.

    Also, I'm after a wireless keyboard with integrated laptop trackpad. I'm going to be connecting this build up to my HDTV, so want to use it from my sofa. Any recommendations? There are a few Keysonic ones on Scan which look promising.

    Any other ideas/roads I could go down with this?

    Thanks

    Tez

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    No AFAIK you cannot unlock the older Athlon x2, you need one of the newer AthlonII cpu's which are based on the PhenonII

    That motherboard has the 710 south bridge which I seem to remember is one of the key things for unlocking the cores.

    Although remember you can never totally garranty an unlock.

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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    There is a newer Athlon X2 5000+ which runs at 2.2GHz, and is alledgedy based on an AM2+ Phenom II. There is anecdotal evidence of it being unlocked to a quad core will a full 6MB of L3 cache, but if course YMMV.

    The motherboard you suggest is listed variously as having SB700, SB710, and potentially either, so I'd check with your etailer first before committing to purchase...

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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    This is the CPU I was looking at:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/AMD-A...che-65W-Retail

    Thanks for the info on the motherboard. I'll check with MicroDirect before I buy it. Is there any way I could visually check it? I'll be buying it in store.

    Thanks

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    Re: Budget mATX Build?



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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    You'll need one of these CPU's to be able to have a chance at unlocking it to become a quad core> http://www.scan.co.uk/Index.aspx?NT=1-0-10-607-0

    The 790GX motherboards are capable of unlocking cores as long as you update the BIOS to get the option enabled. MSI are generally a good bet> http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/MSI-AM3-MOBO-790GX-G65

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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    I hate it when they do things like that, it's as bad as intel and the e6300 for which there are now two rather different cpu's with the same basic model number.

    All they had to do was call it the 5050+ or simular it's really not that hard to do.

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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHail View Post
    You'll need one of these CPU's to be able to have a chance at unlocking it to become a quad core> http://www.scan.co.uk/Index.aspx?NT=1-0-10-607-0
    Not strictly true - Athlon II X3s can potentially be unlocked to a quad core, and as I stated and CAT provided lots of lovely links to support, there is an AM2+ Athlon X2 5000+ @ 2.2GHz which is based on an AM2+ Phenom II and *may* be unlockable to a quad core.

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHail View Post
    The 790GX motherboards are capable of unlocking cores as long as you update the BIOS to get the option enabled. ...
    In fact, any mobo with an SB710 / SB750 southbridge is theoretically capable of unlocking cores. if you're adamant about buying the Athlon X2 5000+ and you're keeping a discreet graphics card I'd personally go for a 760G motherboard like this ASUS mobo from ebuyer for £43.90, however any mobo based on 760G or 785G should be OK - also there are a few 780G mobo that have SB710 but you would need to check carefully which southbridge the board had. As far as 790GX goes, there's only a couple of mATX 790GX's available: this ASRock board from Ebuyer (£62.00) is probably your best bet if you can stretch the budget!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    I hate it when they do things like that, it's as bad as intel and the e6300 for which there are now two rather different cpu's with the same basic model number.

    All they had to do was call it the 5050+ or simular it's really not that hard to do.
    But where would be the fun in that

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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by ctid View Post
    Yup, that's the one. It's currently on pre-order though, goodness knows when you'll get one if you order it now...

    Quote Originally Posted by ctid View Post
    I'll check with MicroDirect before I buy it. Is there any way I could visually check it? I'll be buying it in store.
    Doesn't look like it. Scan are very insistent that the stock they (don't actually!) have is SB710, and I'd hoped it would be clearly indicated on the packaging whether it had SB700 or SB710. I'm pretty suire Microdirect will be able to confirm from their own stock details which it is - if you can't tell from the packaging ask them to put something in writing saying it's SB710, so you can take it back to them if it turns out it isn't! I've always found them pretty decent to deal with, so I doubt they'll cause you any problems

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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Not strictly true - Athlon II X3s can potentially be unlocked to a quad core, and as I stated and CAT provided lots of lovely links to support, there is an AM2+ Athlon X2 5000+ @ 2.2GHz which is based on an AM2+ Phenom II and *may* be unlockable to a quad core.

    In fact, any mobo with an SB710 / SB750 southbridge is theoretically capable of unlocking cores. if you're adamant about buying the Athlon X2 5000+ and you're keeping a discreet graphics card I'd personally go for a 760G motherboard like this ASUS mobo from ebuyer for £43.90, however any mobo based on 760G or 785G should be OK - also there are a few 780G mobo that have SB710 but you would need to check carefully which southbridge the board had. As far as 790GX goes, there's only a couple of mATX 790GX's available: this ASRock board from Ebuyer (£62.00) is probably your best bet if you can stretch the budget!


    But where would be the fun in that
    Yeah that is true(stupid names, god Intel and AMD annoy me with them) but you have no level 3 cache which would mean much lower performance, the Athlon branded Phenom cores are reduced versions so lack certain elements.

    It wouldn't be such a big benefit unlocking the Athlon X2 5000+ because most games/applications don't support quad cores very well ,even if they do support them, so you get pretty similar performance really. You'd hardly notice a difference for an HTPC, only the Phenom II branded dual cores retain all the architecture of the true Phenom II quads so those would provide a justifiable increase in performance.

    Either way its not guaranteed to unlock, so it's a gamble. I'd be happier gambling with AM3 socket because you'd support newer AMD CPU's coming out next year so your good for upgrades for at least 2 years without a change of motherboard or power supply. So if it doesn't work you have a softer cushion to fall back on.

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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHail View Post
    Yeah that is true(stupid names, god Intel and AMD annoy me with them) but you have no level 3 cache which would mean much lower performance, the Athlon branded Phenom cores are reduced versions so lack certain elements.

    It wouldn't be such a big benefit unlocking the Athlon X2 5000+ because most games/applications don't support quad cores very well ,even if they do support them, so you get pretty similar performance really. You'd hardly notice a difference for an HTPC, only the Phenom II branded dual cores retain all the architecture of the true Phenom II quads so those would provide a justifiable increase in performance.

    Either way its not guaranteed to unlock, so it's a gamble. I'd be happier gambling with AM3 socket because you'd support newer AMD CPU's coming out next year so your good for upgrades for at least 2 years without a change of motherboard or power supply. So if it doesn't work you have a softer cushion to fall back on.
    If you looked at the links properly the 45NM 2.2GHZ X2 5000+ unlocks to a quad core with 6MB of L3 cache. The CPU is based on the Phenom II X4 920 and 940.


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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    Ok, I think I'm going to take my chances with an X2 5000+ from eBuyer since Scan dont have stock. Can someone recommend a mATX motherboard from them which would let me unlock? They don't seem to stock the Asrock A780GM-LE.

    edit: scaryjim, seems that the Asus M3A76 doesn't have ACC in the bios, even though it has the correct southbridge
    http://www.spinnerwebs.co.uk/blog/as...0-southbridge/

    Thanks

    Tez
    Last edited by ctid; 03-11-2009 at 09:01 PM.

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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    The X2 5000+ is around £50 at Ebuyer:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/175049

    On Scan it was only around £40 this weekend!!


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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    I know I hadn't made my mind up at the time, and now theres no stock. Can't do anything about it now though!

    I can't find it anywhere cheaper either. MicroDirect have only got the older 2.6ghz model.

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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    Quote Originally Posted by ctid View Post
    I know I hadn't made my mind up at the time, and now theres no stock. Can't do anything about it now though!

    I can't find it anywhere cheaper either. MicroDirect have only got the older 2.6ghz model.
    I don't have the cash spare ATM otherwise I would replaced the E4300 and P35 motherboard in my secondary computer with an X2 5000+ and 770/780G/785G based motherboard this weekend too!!


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    Re: Budget mATX Build?

    The Asrock motherboard and processor are back in stock!! The processor and motherboard are also on the Today Only webpage for under £40!!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 17-11-2009 at 07:03 PM.


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