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New Motherboard/Memory, Need Advice

Discussion in 'Motherboards & Memory' started by Ketchup, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Ketchup

    Ketchup New Member

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    Hello. This is my first post on this forum, and as such I'd like to say I'm happy to be here. I was a long time (5+ years) member of a forum similar to this one, but I screwed up and apparently there are no second chances. So I found this forum trying to fill that void, and I can say that so far things look good over here. Anyway let me get to the point..

    This is what I currently have:
    Phenom II x6 1055t
    ASRock n68-s UCC
    4gb (2x2GB) Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 @ DDR2 1066 4-5-5-15
    Palit Dual Sonic Radeon 4870
    Thermaltake 500w TR2

    As you can see this motherboard is weak. The ram is fine for games, and I only expect a few FPS from an upgrade to DDR3, but it kind of comes with the territory of a decent AM3 motherboard.

    The reason I'm upgrading is because this ASRock board offers 3 chokes for the CPU/NB. If you know what chokes or phases are then you'll know 3 is not nearly enough to overclock, and barely enough for stable operation at stock frequencies / voltages. So I have decided to get a new motherboard.

    This is what I am almost surely going to buy in 2 weeks:

    ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb...
    This motherboard has outstanding reviews. It seems to have a decently feature rich BIOS, and best of all it has 8+2 phase power. Which means I can overclock this nice hexa core I just bought. Which is the reason I bought it to begin with...

    G.SKILL Flare 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR...
    I LOVE this memory. It looks nice, the timings are great, the frequency is great.
    The only thing I'm not loving is that in games at higher resolutions, the difference between DDR3 1333 cl9 and DDR3 1800 cl7 is negligible. As in less than 1 fps. This means I could technically buy some cheaper memory instead of this G.Skill Flare. But ... it wouldn't be as sexy.



    So what are your thoughts? What should I do?
    Can you think of any other motherboards with good 8+2 phase power at around the same price point? How about the memory?

    Thanks in advance,
    Ketchup
  2. AlienIsGOD

    AlienIsGOD

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  3. assaulter_99

    assaulter_99

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    First of all, welcome, its a great community here, you'll love it! Here's hoping you don't "screw up" again! lol. Anyways, it seems you have you mind already set, its looks pretty good, I especially like the ram. You planning going crossfire or are you just going for one card?
  4. Ketchup

    Ketchup New Member

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    I'll probably go crossfire with the new ATI Southern Islands cards that are coming out in October.
    Until then I'll just use this 4870.

    I'm just not sure if I should go for this expensive high performance ram, or get something a little cheaper. I'm not sure if it's going to make a big difference in games.

    I forgot to mention that I'm buying a Corsair 750TX power supply this friday (in 2 days).
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  5. assaulter_99

    assaulter_99

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    The reason I'm asking this is this board ain't targeted for the crossfire hardcores out there. It will perform better in a single card setup (1 will kick to x4). And yeah, the corsair is a great buy, it seems to be one of the favourites around here. :toast:
  6. Ketchup

    Ketchup New Member

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    Well honestly this 4870 runs everything I need it to run.
    I don't even have problems in Starcraft II on Ultra. I think I'll just upgrade to a nice single card solution a month after I buy the Motherboard/Memory.
    I'm still not sure if I should save a few $$ and get cheaper ram though.
  7. pantherx12

    pantherx12 New Member

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    I don't think its necessary to go for expensive ram, look for reviews of 1333mhz and 1600mhz ram that over-clocks like a goodun instead.

    It's easy to get some 1333mhz modules to 1800mhz for example. ( I say easy, I mean with some fiddling and perhaps a spare 20 minutes for stability testing etc)
  8. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    That board you have doesn't look to awe full bad. but yea i would go with a more advanced board for a gaming system. If i was you, i would save that board for a HTPC setup later on.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  9. Ketchup

    Ketchup New Member

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    This is a little confusing. Are you talking about the ASRock board that I currently have?
    The problem with this board is described in my original post. This motherboard only has 3 phases for the CPU and NB both. This means that when you demand a lot of power from this system, the voltages will spike or droop, which leads to instability and shutdowns.

    The ASUS board I am planning to buy that I linked in my original post is a full featured board. It's loaded with all kinds of good overclocking features, 8+2 phase which is good for stable power, and has good cooling for the NB, SB, and MOSFETs.

    The only problem with the ASUS board is that Crossfire isn't a great idea because 1 of the cards would be forced to run at 4x. This isn't an issue because I don't plan to use crossfire.


    Hopefully that clears some things up.

    What I would really like now is to get some opinions on what you think about DDR3 memory. The difference, to the best of my knowledge, negligible in terms of gaming performance between DDR3 1333 cl9 and DDR3 1800 cl7. The reason for this is probably due to the fact that at high resolutions the GPU is severely bottlenecking the system.

    However, I'd like your opinion on it. If you know something about the particular parts that I picked please be sure to let me know. I am all ears, and if I missed something I'll be glad to correct it.


    Addendum; I am actually trying to decide if I want the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula instead of the board I linked originally. I like the Crosshair IV Formula board, but it's clear to me that a LOT of people are having contact issues between the NB and the NB cooler which is leading to overheating issues. I do not want to get a shitty board and have to modify it to get it working. Please give me your opinion on both of these.

    Thanks,
    Ketchup
  10. pantherx12

    pantherx12 New Member

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    Regarding the crosshair IV grab some hard plastic washers, look at the back of the board where the NB pushpins come through, place the washers on the push pin and press from the other side so the push pin is through the washer and BAM pressure increase that costs diddly squat and takes 20 seconds to do.

    Assuming the pushpins are long enough, they generally are.

    Edit: foolish me!

    Googled images of the board, no push pins, how does it even attach, I can't see screws either.
  11. Ketchup

    Ketchup New Member

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    Good question. I don't even see anything on the reverse side of the board that it would mount to. I really want this board but I don't want to have to modify it much to fix it if I get a dud. And if I buy this board the first thing I'll want to do is remove that NB/MOSFET cooler assembly and replace the thermal crap they use with some TX-2.

    My total budget is around $450. That's total including shipping.

    This is what I want:

    ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s...

    and

    G.SKILL Flare 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR...

    On paper these look like excellent high-end AMD items. Just about the best of the best. The only problem I see is with the Asus Crosshair IV Formula motherboard NB cooler.

    I have enough for it. I just don't know if it's worth it. I might get something cheaper that will do the same job. I mean I could save nearly $100 and buy the ASUS board in my original post. I'm just not sure. $400~ is a lot to drop on a motherboard and processor.
  12. pantherx12

    pantherx12 New Member

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    I can't see any mounting holes for that heatsink at all
    [​IMG]

    Could be the angle of the photograph though, if that is the case, no wonder it doesn't get good contact : /

    Scratch that found some more!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It must attach from the reverse side of the board.

    I'll try and find out what I can about how it attaches so you know if its worth grabbing or not!
  13. Ketchup

    Ketchup New Member

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    I'd hate to think that ASUS set out to design this amazing motherboard and half-assed it at the end with the cooler.

    [​IMG]

    It looks like push pins to me. What do you think?
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  14. pantherx12

    pantherx12 New Member

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    Those look like phillips head screws to me ontop of rubber washers, could just be a case of tightening the screws a bit : ]
  15. Ketchup

    Ketchup New Member

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    I'm sorry but it still looks like push pins to me. I'd like a 2nd opinion.

    Or a 2nd opinion on another motherboard.
  16. Radical_Edward

    Radical_Edward

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    Those are screws, like pantherx12 said.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  17. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Screws.

    Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD7?
  18. pantherx12

    pantherx12 New Member

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    If you think about it they couldn't use pushpins from the reverse side anyway, as you wouldn't be able to remove them at all due to the heatsinks.
  19. entropy13

    entropy13

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    Go with a Ripjaws from G.Skill instead, you can save around $30-$40 with only a negligible disadvantage.
  20. Tatty_One

    Tatty_One Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    To answer your question on DDR3 performance directly, in dual channel there is not a great difference between DDR2 and DDR3, especially in gaming terms, as for your specific point on DDR3 1333mhz CL9 versus DDR3 1800 cl7, yes there is a difference but that difference is felt dependant on what app you are running, in gaming, hardly noticable to be honest.

    The Ripjaws already mentioned are a good medium between performance and price and can be tweaked to give most users what they need, if you can get your hands on a kit of crucial "Value" (read no heatspredders) 1333mhz CL9 memory even better, because they are VERY cheap but have Micron D9 chips that will actually run at CL7 @ 1333mhz (or even tighter) or CL9 @ around 1800mhz.

    On the motherboard front, I am a lover of gigabyte personally (although I have owned 6 or 7 Asus boards), this ones quite nice for the price.....

    GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6G...
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  21. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    I dont mean keep the board for you main system, i mean once you get a better board, use this ASRock board for a HTPC setup.

    crosshair 4 is my vote!
    Crunching for Team TPU
  22. Ketchup

    Ketchup New Member

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    The problem that I see with this board is that it uses 4+1 phase. This is going to limit my overclock. I plan on getting some exotic cooling and pushing this Phenom II x6 through the roof, and 4+1 just won't cut it. The more phases the better.

    If it wasn't for the simple phase issue I'd buy that Gigabyte board in a heartbeat.
  23. pantherx12

    pantherx12 New Member

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    If sata 6gbs and usb 3 arnt required the M4A79T Deluxe could be an option, they're not to expensive now ( being the last chipset) but I've seen people get 4ghz out of the 6 core chips with them anyways : ]

    I really liked mine when I had one.

    Lots and lots of bios options! great for tweeking those extra few mhz out.
  24. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Counting the numebr of phases is far to general to know the actual power capability of the motherboard.


    But in most cases, you will be very right.


    Seems to me, most high-end boards don't really supply much more power than lesser boards...you can only pull so much power out of an 8-pin connector. To me, it's the capability of each phase, and the frequency it operates at, that really matters.


    This example is getting really dated at this point...but back in P35 days, alot of high clocks were using a very basic P5K motherboard from ASUS...with just a 4x1 power design.
  25. pantherx12

    pantherx12 New Member

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    I tend to find fewer phases just means you need to cool the mosfets better.

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