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I can't seem to find that perfect board.

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#1
So I'm upgrading pretty soon and I can't find a motherboard that I want.
Budget is $90 max.
At least two DDR3 slots and will support up to 16GB 1600mhz.
One PCI-e x16 slot. Version doesn't matter.
And something that won't get hot enough to make eggs with a FX-6300 in it.

Boards I've looked at so far:

ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+ AMD 760G + SB710

MSI 970A-G43 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB950

MSI 970A-G46 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB950

ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB950

Thank you in advance~
 
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#2
So I'm upgrading pretty soon and I can't find a motherboard that I want.
Budget is $90 max.
At least two DDR3 slots and will support up to 16GB 1600mhz.
One PCI-e x16 slot. Version doesn't matter.
And something that won't get hot enough to make eggs with a FX-6300 in it.

Boards I've looked at so far:

ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+ AMD 760G + SB710

MSI 970A-G43 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB950

MSI 970A-G46 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB950

ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 + SB950

Thank you in advance~
Let's begin this with a few questions, so we can be on the same page.

1) What cooler are you using? A stock HSF for the FX-6300 is always going to be toasty. If you want to drop temperatures spend $20 on a better heat sink, and sacrifice some of what you could get with the motherboard.
2) What form factor are you looking for? Rarely do we choose something other than ATX at this price level, but we have no clue what case this thing is going into. A $90 ATX board isn't a good recommendation for a micro-atx only case.
3) What is the purpose of this build? Gaming might only require one full size x16 slot, and be better off with other features baked into the board. If you're running a work station you can divorce yourself from pretty much any extra features.


As far as the rest of what you need, there's no issue. There aren't many systems that have less than a 16 GB RAM capacity, when they've got two DIMM slots. Either 2.0 or 3.0 PCI-e x16 slots are a standard on most boards, because they need video cards.
 
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#3
VRM is also worth considering on FX processors, 6 core and above.
 
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#4
I recently bought my Biostar TA970 for under $60 from Newegg. I have the FX-6300 in it and am happy with it, as I don't usually oc, and don't ever plan to cf. I am not using the stock cpu cooler though. There are some oc features in the bios , but nothing extreme. My G.Skill Trident X's will not run at the 2400/xpm profiles but do have a 1866 option and runs at that speed fine. There is no USB 3.0 headed, just what's on the back panel, but my case doesn't have them anyway. Just sharing that this is a stable, cheaper 970 board that is worth a look , if you can live with it's short comings.

This rig almost doubled my AMD Overdrive benchmark score. Approx. 10,4xx compared to the 5,5xx with a 790 board, 8G of ddr2 1066, and a X4 965.

Only get a 7xx chipset board if you NEED onboard video. That chipset is old and the video is to weak to game with. Whatever you do get a board with heatsinks on the power mosfets or put some on right away. I once had a bare 790 board pop a power mosfet just a few minutes after first power up.
 
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#5
I would go with the Asus M5A97 LE R2.0. Iv'e had bad luck with MSI's budget boards, and my recent purchase of an MSI Z87-G45 Gaming board was also a disappointment (RAM compatibility). I've never had a problem with an Asus board, and they always work with any RAM I throw in there. It supports up to 140w CPU, the 95w FX-6300 should be fine. Reader polls for best motherboard brand on tech sites typically show Asus at ~50%, Gigabyte at ~25%, MSI at 10% or less, Asrock. Biostar, EVGA, and others sharing the other 15%. You can get a dud in any brand, but Asus boards are consistently engineered better IMO and apparently that of half the tech world.
 
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#6
Let's begin this with a few questions, so we can be on the same page.

1) What cooler are you using? A stock HSF for the FX-6300 is always going to be toasty. If you want to drop temperatures spend $20 on a better heat sink, and sacrifice some of what you could get with the motherboard.
2) What form factor are you looking for? Rarely do we choose something other than ATX at this price level, but we have no clue what case this thing is going into. A $90 ATX board isn't a good recommendation for a micro-atx only case.
3) What is the purpose of this build? Gaming might only require one full size x16 slot, and be better off with other features baked into the board. If you're running a work station you can divorce yourself from pretty much any extra features.


As far as the rest of what you need, there's no issue. There aren't many systems that have less than a 16 GB RAM capacity, when they've got two DIMM slots. Either 2.0 or 3.0 PCI-e x16 slots are a standard on most boards, because they need video cards.
1. I'll be using a.. Rosewill 80mm case fan that I've been using for quite some time, though after a while I'll probably get a Hyper EVO or some liquid cooler.

2. Form factor isn't an issue, I believe ATX is the biggest my case will safely handle.

3. I'm a simple gamer. The two biggest ( as in power-hungry ) is AC4 and BF3. Hopefully Titanfall or other newer games in the future once they aren't horridly priced.

My GPU is a MSI GTX660OC if that makes a difference.
 

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#7
Any 970 chipset board that will support up to the FX-8350 should be fine for your 6300.... if you're going to overclock then make sure the board has a heatsink on the VRM/power circuit (upper LH side of the board near the CPU socket).

Also, consider buying a used board on one of the forums from a seller with a good reputation- good chance to save a few $$$ that way ;)
 
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#8
1. I'll be using a.. Rosewill 80mm case fan that I've been using for quite some time, though after a while I'll probably get a Hyper EVO or some liquid cooler.

2. Form factor isn't an issue, I believe ATX is the biggest my case will safely handle.

3. I'm a simple gamer. The two biggest ( as in power-hungry ) is AC4 and BF3. Hopefully Titanfall or other newer games in the future once they aren't horridly priced.

My GPU is a MSI GTX660OC if that makes a difference.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157366

I'm assuming that you're purchasing through Newegg, given the Rosewill part quoted. My problem is that you've quoted a fan, but no actual heatsink. I'd recommend also picking up this heatsink:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835226050

The only thing you have to note is that the 1600 MHz frequency for RAM is on overclock, so you'll have to set it manually. Otherwise, you've got a x16 PCI-e 2.0 slot, a couple of other expansion slots, enough SATA III ports for a system SSD, and enough extras to function as a competent gaming board.


Please note, ASRock has been hit and miss in my experience. They often require an RMA, but I haven't had an RMA'd board fail on me.
 
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#9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157366

I'm assuming that you're purchasing through Newegg, given the Rosewill part quoted. My problem is that you've quoted a fan, but no actual heatsink. I'd recommend also picking up this heatsink:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835226050

The only thing you have to note is that the 1600 MHz frequency for RAM is on overclock, so you'll have to set it manually. Otherwise, you've got a x16 PCI-e 2.0 slot, a couple of other expansion slots, enough SATA III ports for a system SSD, and enough extras to function as a competent gaming board.


Please note, ASRock has been hit and miss in my experience. They often require an RMA, but I haven't had an RMA'd board fail on me.
I've been using the stock heatsink that came with my rig when we bought it, I kid you not. All I did was take off the stock fan, plop a Rosewill fan on with a fan controller, and called it good. My Athlon II X4 620 has never hit above 60c with the fan.

The HDD I'll be using is a Western Digital Caviar Green 7200rpm 1TB. Never had a hiccup but at some point I'd like a 64GB SSD as a boot drive.

I've heard good things about ASRock, though I know at one point Pegatron owned them and my current board is a M2N78-LA Violet. I hate it.
 
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#10
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#11

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#12
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#13
Well that ECS has SLI/XFire options, which would be amazing for future upgrades. ( I could always plop another 660 in if needed )
Good reviews, and if it doesn't work out, I'd just get a refund and get a different bored. OH THE CHOICES WE HAVE THESE DAYS.
 
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#15
Another random question that I'll probably sound beginner on, but what EXACTLY does a chipset do? All I was told is that it balances the hardware out.
 

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#16
You need to atleast have 150 usd for a board
 
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#17
I would avoid ECS for use as a gamer, may be ok for daily use... my $0.02

Based on your budget I would suggest:

This Asrock 970 board (15% off promo available)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157394

or

This Gigabyte 970 board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128627

There are better options around/just over $100 but I would consider both of these for one of my own builds if I was looking to spend under $90 for a board.
Here is my new ECS 970 board.

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/ecs-am3-970-motherboard-14-99-after-mir.199201/

And this what I can do with it.

http://valid.x86.fr/nv507l

You can see my postings at FX OC club too.

Board runs cool too (atleast with that 4 core cpu).
 
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#18

eidairaman1

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#19
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#20
My Asrock 970 Extreme 3 worked fine with a Phenom II. Easy motherboard to use, bios was simple. The screw holes on the leading right edge weren't present so it was floppy on that side but otherwise fine. I hit 4.1ghz max overclock, was stable at 4.0ghz. Voltage was only 1.385v for that (I think), so it was a great overclock. The motherboard only cost me about $75 (and processor was only $65 at that time, was a great combo...)

Right now my friend has it.

As I understand it, Phenom II's don't require as much power as the FX stuff so you might want something with more power phases, the Extreme 3 has 4+1.
990 chipset would be better for FX and overclocking.

Do you already have the 6300?
 
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#21
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#22
Another random question that I'll probably sound beginner on, but what EXACTLY does a chipset do? All I was told is that it balances the hardware out.
I think this question might have been drowned out.

If you're up for a little history continue reading. If not got to the ellipses (...) for a quick and dirty one.


Initially, the CPU in a computer has one job, to perform mathematical operations. Data is input, operation is performed, data is output. This was just fine when data could be fit onto a punch card, but as operations diversified and data got bigger computers changed from pure computational engine (think calculators) to data processors.

In order to retain data, memory was introduced. Initially this memory was all volatile, like the RAM of today. Whenever you lost power, your data was gone. People obviously couldn't stand for that, so they began developing specialized co-processors to communicate with the CPU. Each co-processing chip had a specific job. As of the LGA775 generation chips, the two requisite chips (we refer to them as a chip set) were the north and south bridge. The north bridge controlled access to volatile memory, while the south bridge controlled I/O for the board. The short of it was the north bridge ran your RAM, while the south bridge gave you HDDs, ODDs, and add on cards.

Starting relatively recently, Intel and AMD have integrated the north bridge onto their CPU. The idea here was to decrease complexity of motherboards, provide more controlled memory interactions, and standardize available RAM. As the north bridge was effectively a one trick pony (RAM management), there wasn't a huge difficulty in bringing it onto the CPU. The south bridge remained intact though, due in part to complexity and partially to allow price variation based upon feature set.

The classical model of a chip set was broken, but the long standing naming conventions have stuck around. Intel currently refers to their south bridge as a platform control hub (PCH), but its primary purpose of I/O is still strongly intact. AMD still calls their setup a chip set, despite it being only one physical chip.

...

The dirty explanation is I/O and features. The chip set determines how many PCI-e slots are present, what SATA connectivity options are present, and what other secondary chips can be installed on the board (think audio output, ethernet ports, and USB).
 
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#23
So all in all, what board will suit my needs? (Keeping the $90 price cap) The dedication here is overwhelming.
 
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#24
So this is the point where you need to decide for yourself. If I was buying I'd be hard pressed to decide between these two at the $90 mark:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131872
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128627

Both have similar features, proper cooling, and meet what you've asked for. If I planned on over clocking I'd go with the previously mentioned cooler and this board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157366


There is no one clear best option, so you're going to have to choose for either aesthetic or manufacturer reasons. Gigabyte and Asus generally produce good quality boards, but I haven't got experience with either of these specific ones. ASRock is somewhat of a question. They are their own company, and I can say that other products from them have been good (though some have required RMAs).

Assuming the budget is an iron restriction, I'd forego the $90 board, for something beefier than the stock cooler. You'll have to be the one making the decisions though, so the ball is in your court.
 
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#25
This one. Incredible for a cheap board.
Forget ECS. They're junk.
ECS ain't crap, they are actually fine boards. i still have my ECS Black Series P67H2-A laying around even the OC function is died the board keeps running without any problems with stock.

this board:




but again u really need 3xPCI-E x16 slots?

there is also a review of the ECS A990FXM-A board here on TPU: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ECS/A990FXM-A/


but with that said, if u want to have more then 2 PCI-E x16 slots why not go Asus Sabertooth 990FX/R2.0 or Crosshair V Formula-Z even they costs more then ur $90 budget.