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Old 10-23-2009, 03:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrading Mobo|CPU|Ram - help?

I want some thoughts on the items below. I'm upgrading and want to know if they'll work nicely together or if there is a different mobo/cpu combo I should go with. My budget is $300 which is kinda funny since the items below total to be $300 exactly (including some thermal paste) with shipping and everything.

MOBO: $79 GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard

CPU: $119 AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor

RAM: $85 G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

Thermal paste: $7 Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Mobo|CPU|Ram - help?

Grab this instead of the Artic Silver... much better:
Newegg.com - Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Thermal Compound / Grease
$5

You could grab the X4 620 for less than the tri-core. No L3 cache, but a whole other true core:
Newegg.com - AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops
$99 w/free shipping

And, yes, those would all work well together.
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Mobo|CPU|Ram - help?

I'll primarily be using the system to play games so if the L3 cache doesnt affect that I'll probably pick up the cheaper quad core. Thanks for the tip with the thermal paste.

EDIT: I'd want the upgrades to last as long as possible so which would you think would be better? The tri-core (with a chance to unlock the 4th core) or the quad core?
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Mobo|CPU|Ram - help?

If it were me, I would get the quad. No guarantee with the extra core, or that it would be stable if you could unlock it.

Once you get the chance you will want to get a good after-market cooler so you can overclock the CPU. Trust me... you will get the bug soon enough.
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Mobo|CPU|Ram - help?

Just a newb question.. Would I have to reinstall my OS if I was just swapping out the parts above? :/
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Mobo|CPU|Ram - help?

Most would say yes, but I say no.

If you are running XP, you have two options... either perform a repair install or use Sysprep to do the trick.

If you are running Vista, the repair installation is not an option as MS did not include it with Vista. I cannot find anything regarding successful use of Sysprep with Vista. It may work, it may not. Vista does have a repair option, but it is not the same as the XP version.

Basically, if you are running Vista, you may end up having to format and reinstall. If it were me I would give it a shot, but I would prepare for a complete install beforehand.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Mobo|CPU|Ram - help?

For general purposes, i would say the quad core is better; but for strictly gaming, i would go with the triple core since its a black edition, which means it should overclock nicely. And also, i find it QUITE eerie that what you had initially came out EXACTLY in line with your budget. Its a "sign".
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Mobo|CPU|Ram - help?

With the 710 you do have the chance of unlocking the 4th core, but with the 620, you have the chance of unlocking the 6MB of L3 cache.

Unlock my Athlon II 620 today and the result ...... - VRForums - IT & Singapore Lifestyle Community
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