Need Help Building Phenom II System

smg1138

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Feb 12, 2009
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Hey everybody, this is my first post here. My current mobo has died one me, so I've decided to go ahead and upgrade my CPU, mobo, and memory. I was using an AMD Athlon (Venice Core), Epox 9NPA+ Ultra, and 2gb Corsair XMS. I've looked at both Intel and AMD, but I think I'd like to go with AMD again as the Phenom II looks really nice. What I'm having trouble with is trying to find a mobo that will be compatible with the Phenom II without having to buy some cheap CPU just to flash it. Also, what's the deal with DDR3 and the new AMD chips? Are there actually any AMD mobos out yet that take DDR3? I'd appreciate any input. Thanks.
 

sprucebr1

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Aug 20, 2007
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Your best bet is to look at 790FX or 790GX chipsets. These motherboards would support DDR3, though using DDR2 can be just as good and cheaper. So far I would say ASUS and Gigabyte have the best boards for the "dragon platform". The Radeon HD 48XX cards are the best deal right now video wise. The Phenom II uses AM2 but the new AM3 socket should be out very soon, so I would wait a little while if you can. And AM3 will be fully compatible with Phenom II and DDR3. Hope that helps.
 

renegeek

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Check this INFO out...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/socket-am3-phenom,2148.html

this might give you an idea, and help with picking out something...


This one too...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-940,2114.html
 

smg1138

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Feb 12, 2009
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Thanks for the responses. So, will the current Phenom II chips fit into the AM3 motherboards that are currently out? Because on Newegg the Phenom II X4 920 is listed as an AM2+ not AM3. A bit confusing.
 
AMD cpu's have the memory controller built in to the CPU . This a big advantage that intel has only just copied with their new i7 cpu's . Previously intel had to fit huge L2 caches to compensate for slower memory access times .

AM2/ AM2+ chips have a ddr2 controller built in and can only use DDR2

AM3 chips have a DDR3 controller built in and can only use DDR3

The only advantage of an AM3 is if you have too much money and want to spend it on more expensive memory . In another 12 months as DDR3 speeds rise and latencies drop that wont be the case , but for now theres good value in AM2+
Even though some motherboard chipsets support both ddr2 and ddr3 you cant fit DDR3 into a DDR2 board [or vice versa ]so you have to make a system choice of one or the other

I think its the best value quad core gaming option .
Intels Ci7 is faster at some encoding and multimedia tasks and possibly faster with two top end graphics cards than a an equivalent P ll would be , but most people dont have that much to spend and with a single gfx card or even two mid range cards Pll is a better option .