Advice Request - Upgrading Mobo & Ram to DDR3

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KoutaFG
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(Budget $180 - $200)

I'm no pro at computer parts and or buy a lot of computer parts, so I thought I'd ask for some advice on what to get/help finding the best bang for my buck.

I wanna upgrade my system to DDR3/USB3/a mobo that'll do Crossfire, I only have a $180 to $200 budget, so the new mobo has to take my current AMD3 Phenom II X4 3.0 GHz 945e M# HDX945WFGMBOX. I would like the new mobo to take both AMD3 & AMD3+ so that I can upgrade it later but also, I want to the new mobo to be able to do crossfire, as for brands, as long as its a trusted brand, I don't really care.

I also will need to buy at least 4gigs of DDR3

Those are the two parts I wanna try to get for $180 to $200

but really the important things the mobo needs to have/do, is 1.Take my current CPU, 2. Crossfire, 3.uses DDR3 and last what ever money is left after picking out the mobo has to be able to buy at least 4gigs of DDR3.

Extra info: This is for a gaming rig/3D modeling rig, The case I'm putting this in, takes all sizes of mobos, my current CPU: AMD3 Phenom II X4 3.0 GHz 945e M# HDX945WFGMBOX.

I'm currently looking at the following Mobo & ram

ASRock 990FX Extreme3 AM3+/AM3 AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157281

ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+/AM3 AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157280

ASRock 870iCafe R2.0 AM3+/AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157276

MSI 990XA-GD55 AM3+/AM3 AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130620

ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131647

My issue with all those mobos is not one has my CPU's exact OPN listed on their compatibility list, as a matter of a fact, I can't find a single mobo that has my CPU's exact OPN, What does this mean for me, should I take the chance on a mobo that has two or three versions of my CPU but not the exact version?

As for ram, I haven't really choosen, though I wanna get a single stick, that's 4gigs.

Oh and this is my current CPU, that needs to work in the newer mobo,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103809

Finally . . . Thanks for any advice/suggestions/help. I appreciate it!

ASRock 990FX Extreme3 CPU: Phenom II X4 945e 3.0 Ram:(2 x 4GB DDR3 ) GPU : GTX 760 PSU: Corsair 750w

KoutaFG
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I am now considering a AsRock motherboard, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157281

Warmacblu
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I have not been keeping up with AMD processor tech for a while now, but you can't go wrong with a Gigabyte motherboard. I have also heard that ASRock is a pretty decent budget board.

KoutaFG
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Yeah, I like the ASRock mobo but I went to its site and looked up its cpu and ram compatibility list and, it list two other versions of my cpu but not the one I'm actually using, then as for ram, all but like one of the 4gig sticks it says its compatible with, newegg no longer sells or never sold in the first place heh.

I'm not sure about the mobo now because of my cpu not being listed on their site for the board heh. I can't afford to buy a new cpu heh.

Edit: ASRock as a second mobo that has just about ever features as the last one I posted about and it too, compatibility lists are the same hmm...

Warmacblu
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How about compatibility with the Gigabyte motherboard? Does that look any better?

KoutaFG
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Sadly, no its the same thing, the CPU compatibility list, lists other versions of my CPU but it does not list the exact OPN number my current CPU is.

KoutaFG
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Well, If no one else has any suggestions/advice, I think I am gonna push my luck and get the following mobo & ram...

ASRock 990FX Extreme3 AM3+/AM3 AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157281

Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model KVR1333D3N9/4G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139046

Though that mobo, does not list the exact part number my CPU has, nor does it list that ram's part number, I should or probably will be okay still?

Probably will have to update the bios, though I've never updated a bios before.

hellblazer55
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The mobo should be fine to work with your processor, and ram is ram, it should work in anything you put it in, just because its not on the list just means they have not tested that particular ram product.

Rig| Coolermaster HAF X NVIDIA Edition | ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AMD AM3+ TUF Motherboard | AMD Phenom II 1100T Black Edition Six Core Processor -OC 4.23GHz | G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3 1866 8GB | Corsair Neutron GTX Series 2.5" Solid State Drive - 120GB | Western Digital Caviar Black Hard Drive - 1.0 TB x 2 | ASUS Blue Ray & DVD Multi | EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Superclocked Video Card - 2GB | Corsair Hydro H100 CPU Liquid Cooler | Corsair Professional HX1000W

Allen86
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Chances are, if it supports the architecture, it'll support that CPU. I wouldn't stress over it too much.

As for the ram, I'd honestly suggest saving up more cash and getting some better stuff. You'll be better off saving up 30 more bucks and just getting a nice 2x4GB dual channel kit. Because well, spending 25 bucks to run 4gb of value ram in single channel mode is well...pointless. Especially since you plan on doing 3d modeling, it'll be eating a hole in your ram anyways, it's good to have that overhead and not having to worry about such being a bottleneck for what you're going to be using your computer for.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231416

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428

Black friday is coming up in a little over a month..I'd lay off the trigger finger...save up some cash and wait to see what comes up between now and then. When on a budget, its always best just to wait it out and catch good deals. Newegg had a shell shocker a few days ago with that ram above listed at 35 bucks with free shipping as an example.

I just bought a brand new 6970 2gb from amazon for 220 bucks with a 20 mail in rebate as another example ^^

Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz 4GB DDR2 800Mhz 500GB ATI HD 4850 512mb 22" LCD

KoutaFG
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Allen86 wrote:Chances are, if it supports the architecture, it'll support that CPU. I wouldn't stress over it too much.

As for the ram, I'd honestly suggest saving up more cash and getting some better stuff. You'll be better off saving up 30 more bucks and just getting a nice 2x4GB dual channel kit. Because well, spending 25 bucks to run 4gb of value ram in single channel mode is well...pointless. Especially since you plan on doing 3d modeling, it'll be eating a hole in your ram anyways, it's good to have that overhead and not having to worry about such being a bottleneck for what you're going to be using your computer for.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231416

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428

Black friday is coming up in a little over a month..I'd lay off the trigger finger...save up some cash and wait to see what comes up between now and then. When on a budget, its always best just to wait it out and catch good deals. Newegg had a shell shocker a few days ago with that ram above listed at 35 bucks with free shipping as an example.

I just bought a brand new 6970 2gb from amazon for 220 bucks with a 20 mail in rebate as another example ^^

Heh, I've been waiting to upgrade to DDR3 for a while now heh, plus that mobo, is actually the best I can do, no matter the price, when it comes to a mobo that does both AMD3/AMD3+ shopping at Newegg, that's the best I can do, so unless they put that board on sale or that ram you listed on sale, it wouldn't matter if I wait, Heh, I don't have that kind of luck, that'll get the things I want on the list of items they'll put on sale on black friday but! I have decided I'll get the G.Skill sniper dual channel ram you listed, I'll be getting them tomorrow with the ASRock mobo I listed first above tomorrow, unless you can come up with another reason but don't get me wrong, thanks for pointing out the ram, I very much appreciate it, thanks.

Nice, though according to Passmark Software benchmarks I've looked at, the 6950 beats the 6970 and that's what I got, though I paid $270, though I also got Dirt3, then again, I don't play racing games and I'm trying to sell it heh.

KoutaFG
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On second thought, I'll get the Ripjaws X G.Skill ram, it has better reviews.

On a side note, how long should it take for windows defragmenter to defragment a 500gig harddrive that's not more then a month old, I've only used like 260gigs of it and I'm trying to defragment it and its been defragmenting for the past six to seven hours.

KoutaFG
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Oh also, I'm running Windows Vista 32bit, does that matter at all with the dual channel memory?

hellblazer55
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Id stick with that mobo anyways for that price, the 990 chip set is a good one which also means you can use the new fx chip when they decide to fix some of the occurring issues.

Good choice on changing the ram to G.Skill, Ive had no issues with mine and they make decent ram.

The more data you have on a hard drive the more longer it takes, unless you use quick defrag if your using the supplied windows defrag it does take a real long time third party defrag programs are usually quicker and do a better job.

With vista and dual channel memory, it don't matter, just don't confuse DDR and Dual or Triple channel two differnt things.

DDR2 and DDR3 is pretty much version 2 and 3 of ram and the difference between dual and triple channel is everything supports dual and none of the amd's support triple and a very select few of intel processors support triple channel which amount to 13 processors most being server processors and OS really has nothing to do with it as it depends on the motherboard and CPU capability.

KoutaFG
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hellblazer55 wrote:Id stick with that mobo anyways for that price, the 990 chip set is a good one which also means you can use the new fx chip when they decide to fix some of the occurring issues.

Good choice on changing the ram to G.Skill, Ive had no issues with mine and they make decent ram.

The more data you have on a hard drive the more longer it takes, unless you use quick defrag if your using the supplied windows defrag it does take a real long time third party defrag programs are usually quicker and do a better job.

With vista and dual channel memory, it don't matter, just don't confuse DDR and Dual or Triple channel two differnt things.

DDR2 and DDR3 is pretty much version 2 and 3 of ram and the difference between dual and triple channel is everything supports dual and none of the amd's support triple and a very select few of intel processors support triple channel which amount to 13 processors most being server processors and OS really has nothing to do with it as it depends on the motherboard and CPU capability.

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Ah, Okay, then I'm set, I'll get the ASRock 990 mobo and the Ripjaws X G.Skill, plus I'll need to get some Arctic Silver 5, that all will cost me $210.29 tomorrow I'll put the needed $25 more in my bank and I'll buy em.

Thanks for all the help guys, I have learned a couple things too, thanks again.

I was just worried about the who vista 32bit only detects 4gigs, so it won't detect the second 4gig stick, that'll be okay until I get a oem Windows 7 64bit os? I just thought there might of been some kind of issue with the ram if only one stick is detected.

KoutaFG
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I guess one last question, what's a good free third party defragger, I tried Defraggler listed in the free software thread and it seemed to create defragmented files and not remove them, I ran it for a little bit and had to stop it, before I ran it, it said some how I had 53% fragmented files, then after I ran it then stopped it after a little, it said that there was 54% fragmented files.

hellblazer55
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32 bit will only see what its programmed to see so if you have a 4 gig stick it will see 3.5 or what ever but windows will still run, so your fine till you upgrade.

Well I use TuneUp Utilities, you can download the demo to use for 30 days, I liked it so much I bought the program well worth the money to have a program that maintains the system with out having to take bunch of time muckin about with.

Warmacblu
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I like Defraggler.

KoutaFG
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hellblazer55 wrote:32 bit will only see what its programmed to see so if you have a 4 gig stick it will see 3.5 or what ever but windows will still run, so your fine till you upgrade.

Well I use TuneUp Utilities, you can download the demo to use for 30 days, I liked it so much I bought the program well worth the money to have a program that maintains the system with out having to take bunch of time muckin about with.

.

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Ah, okay, thanks, I'll give tuneUp Utilitie's trial version a shot, at least it should make it easier for windows defragger to do its job next time.

Thanks all for all the help, I guess that's all the questions I have, again thanks!

Allen86
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KoutaFG wrote:
Nice, though according to Passmark Software benchmarks I've looked at, the 6950 beats the 6970 and that's what I got, though I paid $270, though I also got Dirt3, then again, I don't play racing games and I'm trying to sell it heh.

It's an obvious flaw in passmark, by that logic, do you really believe the 6950 is beating the GTX 590 and AMD 6990? The highest end dual GPU cards? It shows the 6950 above those as well ;) If the 6950 was beating these cards, I'd be buying the 6950 obviously, but in the real world a 6970 2gb for 220 bucks is a steal ;)

Windows Degrag is actually pretty good. It's a bit on the slow side, but it does a good job nonetheless. Personally, I see no reason to use 3rd party defrags unless you're an advanced user and want to manually manage how your drive stores its files. Personally, I just set my defrag on Auto and let it defrag once a week while the system is idle. My drive is always defragged and running top notch..and I never have to worry about it.

KoutaFG
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Just wanted to say that I got the ASRock 990FX Extreme3 motherboard and the suggested G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3, though I meant to get the other suggested ram but it literally went out of stock the day I planned to buy them, another thing, both of the suggested rams came with a free 6gig memory chip but that too did go out of stock so I didn't even get that heh, talk about bad luck, the day after, both the first ram I had plan to get and the free gift went back in stock, on top of that, the ram I did got, dropped $2 or $3 hah, I don't really care I just thought I'd share the kind of luck I got heh.

Anyways, I put it all together and thing seem to be running just fine, faster even, though I didn't notice that the mobo didn't take the older strip like cord for the dvd drive, it only takes sata and my current dvd drive does not have a sata port so I had to spend another $20 bucks on a oem asus dvd drive, I should be getting it on the 3rd, though it means I'm stuck not able to reinstall a fresh copy of Vista OS, thankfully I was able to use a usb gig stick to transfer the drivers needed to get on the net, so at least I got that, that and sound heh, though currently my computer is showing that I have no internet connection heh and couldn't update the time correctly, oh and the mobo has the ram running at 1333 or how ever many 3s there suppose to be so I might have to do some tweaking, though I'm not really worried about it, its not something I've ever done so I'm not sure what to do, well, I kind of am but well anyways, every thing is running good for running on an old install of windows vista, oddly enough, vista is showing the full 8gigs some how, when it should show a little less then 4 gigs heh.

Anyways, thanks again guys for helping me out, I might do a review on the parts later on.