TechSpot

Help with Processor and Motherboard Combination

By Ritwik7
Jul 23, 2009
  1. Hi guys,

    I am planning on getting a new processor and motherboard for my desktop. I have a budget of INR 17000 ( that's about US$350).

    Could you all suggest some of the options I have. Then I'll find out from the vendor whether they're available here in India and what price they translate to.

    I'm open to both AMD and Intel.

    Thanks.
     
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,907   +91

    Hi Ritwik,
    how and what do you use your computer for? and what is the power supply you will use with these new components?
     
  3. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    The only heavy duty use would be gaming. Otherwise pretty much normal work mainly encompassing research. My PSU is a Cooler Master RP-600-PCAR (600W).
     
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    No need to upgrade your motherboard. Just get an E8400 CPU for about Rs. 9000. You'll need to update your BIOS first from ASUS' Support site at support.asus.com
     
  5. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    @ Rage_3K_Moiz - Last time I checked the ASUS website, the E8400 was not supported by my ASUS P5B-MX motherboard. Also the E8400 was my choice initially. However I was wondering if anything newer might be a better buy. Any views on the Phenom II?

    Thanks a lot.
     
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Ah, I see that now too. In that case, the E6600 will be a great choice if you can find one. Otherwise, go for a Q6600.
     
  7. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    @ Rage_3K_Moiz - I intend to change both my motherboard and processor. So if you could give me a few more options. Also the E6600 is not currently available.

    Much appreciated.
     
  8. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    I have been looking around a bit. I'm wondering whether going for an AMD Phenom II X4 940 (Deneb) would be a better option than the Intel Core 2 Duo E8400.

    Any suggestions guys?

    I'll mainly be using the computer for gaming. I have an nVidia XFX 9800GT.
     
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Absolutely. In fact, if you want to change your motherboard and CPU, I'd recommend the X4 940 or the X3 720 along with a good AM3 motherboard like the GA-MA790XT-UD4P. You'd also need DDR3 RAM for the aforementioned board.

    Should be a major upgrade from your current system.

    However, if you want to improve your gaming performance, I'd recommend upgrading only the CPU, video card and PSU. The video card is especially important since it is the main determining factor of game performance. However, if you game at 1440x900 or lower and you don't intend to get a bigger monitor in the future, your current card is fine, and you can upgrade your other parts as mentioned before.
     
  10. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    Thanks a lot. I'm really looking forward to the Phenom II 940. However, it will probably be quite a bit more expensive than the E8400. I'll have to compromise on my board I guess. Could you please suggest a cheaper board that will perform decently with the Phenom II. At the moment I guess I'll have to stick with DDR2 RAM.
     
  11. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,907   +91

     
  12. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    Hi red1776,

    The GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3 does support DDR2 memory according to their Memory Support List. However, the price of the board in India may be a little higher than expected. So it would be nice if someone could point me to a decent board which is a little cheaper.

    Anyway, I won't really get to know any prices before tomorrow, so am keeping my fingers crossed! :)

    I forgot, Rage_3K_Moiz was referring to the GA-MA790XT-UD4P and not the GA-MA790X-UD4P. That board only supports DDR3.
     
  13. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,907   +91

    Hi Ritwik,
    this board may be an option,
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128392
    check out the review i posted. if budget is tight for you, the x3 720 is at or above the x4 940 in many areas.....don't be afraid of 3 LOL. :)
    post back if you would, im curious what prices are like for this stuff in your part of the world.
     
  14. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    Checked out the board. Seems OK. I didn't find your review though. X3 720 you say? What about the X4920? (Maybe its just the 3! LOL.)

    As for prices in my part of the world, I'm sad to say, most things either come at a slight premium or are not available at all. I know that in my city (Calcutta) I'll have to really go mad trying to locate the required Gigabyte board unless I'm really lucky!!! It's pretty much ASUS monopoly here you know...
     
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,907   +91

  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    A nice cheaper ASUS board would be the ASUS M3A76-CM. DDR2 and Phenom II support.

    Also, unless you regularly use resource-intensive content creation apps like Photoshop, 3DSMax or AutoCAD, you'd be fine with a dual-core CPU like the Phenom II X2 550. It's AMD's equivalent to the E8400, but is cheaper. Gaming will not be affected by a quad-core CPU much, if at all. You will not see any noticeable difference in performance, since games still depend much more on the GPU than the CPU.
     
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,907   +91

    Hey Moiz,
    I have read a couple of reviews as of late that say that some games (most noticably crysis/warehead, COD) take advantage of a three cores, but not a fourth. do you know if that is that accurate?
     
  18. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

  19. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    Thanks a lot Moiz and Red...Will post back with the rest of the news after I get to contact my vendor...
     
  20. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    Hey guys!

    I'm in a bit of confusion at the moment. Is the Phenom II 940 supported on all AM2+ Motherboards? There seems to be too many places that talk about most motherboards which are not AM3 not having Phenom II support...

    Thanks.

    And the mentioned Gigabyte board will cost me about Rs 11500-12000 here. That's about 200 - 250 $ if the price is translated at the current exchange rate!!!
     
  21. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,907   +91

    Hey Ritwik,
    Amd has made AM3 cpus to work in AM2+ Motherboards, its AM2+ cpu's that wont work in AM3 motherboards for lack of a DDR3 memory controller.
    that price is insane...I feel for ya Rit
     
  22. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    Hi Red,

    Got in touch with another vendor. He'll get back to me with the price. Seems it'll be a little cheaper.

    However, I'd like to know what the exact performance difference between Gigabyte X, FX and GX Chipsets.

    And what's the difference between notations like UD4 and UD4P, UD3P and DS4???

    I'm confused. Am trying to compare the boards. :)

    Thanks a ton.
     
  23. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,907   +91

    Hi Ritwik,
    it would probably be easier just to compare features and capabilities of the different models...but since you asked lol. here is what the string of numbers and letters that make up the model numbers mean.

    from wikpedia:

    GIGABYTE use a special system for naming their motherboards. For example the GA-P35-DS3R. The first segment, GA, simply denotes that it's manufactured by GIGABYTE. The second segment indicates what chipset it is using, in this case Intel's P35. The third part shows what features the motherboard has. This segment mostly contains a number of abbreviations.

    Available 1st segment abbreviations:If "M" appears behind the chipset code, it is a mATX board. Available 1st segment abbreviations:If "M" appears in front of the chipset number it means it is for an AMD processor, but has a non-AMD chipset. If the abbreviation in front of the chipset is "MA", it is for an AMD processor and has an AMD chipset.

    Available 2nd segment abbreviations:

    * E - (Dynamic Energy Saver) - Energy saving features
    * T - Only DDR3 SDRAM support
    * C - Both DDR2 and DDR3 SDRAM support
    * No T or C abbreviations mean that the motherboard only has DDR2 SDRAM support.

    Available 3rd segment abbreviations:

    * D (Durability) - Indicates that the motherboard uses only solid state capacitors.
    * UD (Ultra Durable 3) - Introduces 2 ounces of copper for both the Power and Ground layers.
    * S2 (Smart, Safe) - Various features such as Q-Flash BIOS etc.
    * S3 (Smart, Speed, Safe) - Same as above, but includes overclocking features.
    * S4 (Silent Pipe, Smart, Speed, Safe) - Same as above, but uses heat pipe cooling.
    * S5 (CrossFire, Silent Pipe, Smart, Speed, Safe) - Same as above, but with CrossFire support.
    * Q6 (Quad BIOS, Quad Cooling, Quad E-SATA2, Quad Triple Phase, Quad-Core Optimized, Quad DDR2 Slots) - Indicates quad-core optimiziation.

    Available 4th segment abbreviations:

    * R - 2 extra SATAII ports and possibly RAID support. No FireWire ports. No ATI CrossFire support. (i.e GA-P35-DS3R)
    * G - Solid capacitors for the CPU Volt Regulator Module.
    * H - HDMI port.
    * L - Probably "Lite". Fewer SATAII ports. No RAID support. No FireWire ports. No ATI CrossFire support. Heatsink cooling. (i.e GA-P35-DS3L). It could also indicate Gigabit LAN (as in GA-G31M-S2L, versus GA-G31M-S2C which has support for 10/100Mbps Ethernet).
    * P - Silent Pipe, RAID, Extra PCI Express slots, extra SATAII ports. (i.e GA-EP45-DS3P)
    and here are the differences in the AMD chipsets:

    AMD 790FX Chipset for Desktop

    * Designed for High-Performance Gamers and Professional Overclockers1
    * Quad Graphics on a single motherboard (ATI CrossFireX™ Support)
    * Superior Scalability
    * Extreme Overclocking1

    AMD 790X Chipset for Desktop

    * Designed for Gamers and HD Enthusiasts
    * Dual Graphics (ATI CrossFireX™ Support)
    * System Monitoring and Control Options
    * Upgrade flexibility

    AMD 780G Chipset for Notebook and Desktop

    * ATI Hybrid™ Graphics Technology Support2
    * Designed for Casual Gamers and HD Enthusiasts

    the FX is a great overclocking high performance board with 3 or 4 pcie slots, the FX is billed as a Professional Overclockers1 board

    and the GX is billed as an enthusiast overclocking board with 2 pcie slots.

    Im a big fan of the FX 790 chipset, DFI in particular

    does that help?.....man your a tough one :haha: :)
    let us know how its going for ya, sounds like building your own machine there is a much bigger challenge there.
     
  24. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,288   +7

    Thanks man. You've really taken out so much time for this. And now another brilliant vendor tells me that the Gigabyte model I'm looking for is not available. Neither is the 940 Black Edition!!!

    :) Sorry to have driven you crazy. But as you put it, it's a challenge here.
     
  25. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,907   +91

    no problems, i enjoy it.
    well that sucks. i wonder if it might not be easier to find out what is available and see if any of them would work in an acceptable platform for you.

    do you know anyone in the US or UK etc that could get the parts and ship them to you?
     
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