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Old 06-17-2010, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CPU and motherboard combo recommendation needed!

Hey guys, first time posting here.

I currently have a Core 2 Duo 3.0GHz with GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L, and it works great. Computer boots fast, and the processing speed is adequate even though I built this computer 2 years ago. I would like to build a slightly faster computer for office work and image processing (Photoshop/Lightroom), and I have not kept up with CPU development for the past 2 years, so I'm lost what as to what I should get.

I want a quad-core, and I am on a budget, so I'm not considering CPU's that need DDR3 memory. I'm mainly looking for a SOLID CPU and mobo combo that will allow the computer to boot fast and not crash or overheat. Overclocking capability is not needed. I've always had better experience with Intel CPU's, but if someone has proven good experience with a quad-core AMD, that would work, too.

I would really like to keep the combo under 300.. if that's possible. I searched Newegg's combo section, but there were too many to sift through. If someone has some links, it would be awesome. Thanks so much!

PS: I did stumble across this one, and it looks decent: Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU and motherboard combo recommendation needed!

that combo you listed has a mobo that would still require ddr3 ram, just an fyi. ddr3 ram is not too much more expensive than ddr2 nowadays anyway.

these aren't in a combo deal because the cpu is sold out at newegg, but it's another option for about $25 more.
Amazon.com: AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8 GHz 6x512 KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Processor - Retail HDT55TFBGRBOX: Electronics
Newegg.com - ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU and motherboard combo recommendation needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffin Man View Post
that combo you listed has a mobo that would still require ddr3 ram, just an fyi. ddr3 ram is not too much more expensive than ddr2 nowadays anyway.

these aren't in a combo deal because the cpu is sold out at newegg, but it's another option for about $25 more.
Amazon.com: AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8 GHz 6x512 KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Processor - Retail HDT55TFBGRBOX: Electronics
Newegg.com - ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
Yeah, I noticed after I posted it, but the thread was sent for an approval by a mod already.

You're right, there isn't too much difference in cost between DDR2 and 3. I'm really surprised at how little prices have come down, if at all, in the past 2 years. I just assumed DDR2 was a lot cheaper because I got ones I'm using pretty cheap 2 years ago.

That CPU seems like a really good deal for what it is (6-cores?!). This is something I should consider after reading more about it. Retail means it comes with a stock heat sink and fan, right?
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU and motherboard combo recommendation needed!

I'm guessing ATX.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ965FBGMBOX
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MSI 790XT-G45 AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard

$250
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU and motherboard combo recommendation needed!

So, is it the motherboard that requires DDR3, not the CPU? The CPUs linked in my OP and Trotter's link are the same. What determines it?
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU and motherboard combo recommendation needed!

The motherboard, or more specifically, the chipset of the motherboard and the socket itself. All of Intel's newer chips and their motherboards require DDR3. AMD's AM2 and AM2+ boards run DDR2, but the AM2+ boards will also run AM3 chips.

Basically, if you want DDR2 you will have to go with AMD... which isn't bad at all as AMD is the budget builder's best friend.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU and motherboard combo recommendation needed!

With the prices being similar, I think I might just as well get DDR3. That AMD and mobo combo looks pretty decent- same CPU as the one you linked, and I'm guessing slightly better mobo.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU and motherboard combo recommendation needed!

Also, will it be OK to get the slowest DDR3 memory that a given motherboard supports?
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU and motherboard combo recommendation needed!

The one you linked to is a really nice combo. Slap a set of these in it:
Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

And a decent GFX card and you should be good to go.
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