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Help me pick micro ATX motherboard (AM3/AM3+) and DDR3 RAM please! (in a bit of a hurry)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So one of my DDR2 RAM sticks stopped working. OCZ agreed to refund me with cash.

I'm thinking of using this opportunity to jump to DDR3 .

Please suggest me a decent mATX motherboard and DDR3 RAM set. I'm trying to stay under $100.

I need to order these in the next 24 hours so they can arrive in time. This is because I don't live in the states, a friend of mine is going to bring them to me.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12
107.98 shipped. Could probably go with cheaper brands and get under 100$ if you're really pressed for cash.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131657
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231190
post #3 of 12

^ Anything but the RAM suggested above as at $28 shipped for generic DDR3-1333 CL9 it is a ripoff.  This DDR3-1600 kit costs less and is a HUGE step up (do not be fooled by the lack of heatspreaders) from generic DDR3-1333.

 

lurkingdevil you should consider the need for VRM cooling which pretty much every AM3(+) mATX board does not have.  Your Hyper N520 is a tower cooler which removes VRM cooling by redirecting airflow that would otherwise be provided by the stock cooler.  Be prepared to buy a small fan or heatsinks to allow for safe, efficient operation with no performance loss.  If you do not cool the VRMs... well, obviously, they will overheat; this will trigger Over-Current protection which will reduce your performance every time there is a heavy load on the CPU, because you run a power-intensive 125W TDP processor.

 

At the very least your new setup will be a LOT safer than your current setup which is a failure-prone 3+1 phase VRM.  Read more about VRMs, MOSFETs, etc. in my sig link.


Edited by xd_1771 - 3/21/12 at 12:57pm
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wow. Very informative post xd_1771.

One thing I'm worried about are the RAM slots on the motherboard. 2 slots would mean, I'm basically stuck with 4GB and cannot have an add-in upgrade in the future. However, I'm not sure if and when would I need 8GB.
Are there no motherboards other than EVILNOK linked to that are relatively cheaper but with 4 RAM slots?

Also, I thought one of these RAM kits would be better :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233173
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231259

About VRM cooling, I will see what I can do to cool them.
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post #5 of 12

Really, the only reasons I might recommend 8GB are because:

  1. Cheap and high PC budget (but I do not prioritize 8GB over things such as better CPU)
  2. Video editing on this build
  3. Plays BF3 (one of very few games to actually like having more than 4GB around)

 

I can't find a cheaper mobo that has a 4+1 phase VRM system with as high a transistor quality/capacity as this one.  If you need to lower cost the GA-78LMT-S2P rev 3.1 (NOT 4.0 or 5.0  ask specifically for a rev 3.1 or they will give you a board that does not support your 955!) provides a bang-for-buck 4+1 phase system although its capacity is somewhat limited compared to other 4+1 phase setups despite cooling (the limiter being the 3-transistor design ) so you may run into protective shutdowns sooner than expected.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I do not do any video editing. I do play BF3 but in my experience the game ran fine on 4GB upto the level allowed by my GTX560. I remember I had to lower the Texture setting to HIGH from ULTRA to stop constant stuttering, but that is a VRAM issue I believe.

So basically I should avoid all boards with 3+1 phase VRM?
What are your thoughts about this and this?
The second link is to a local vendor..
Edited by lurkingdevil - 3/21/12 at 3:12pm
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Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm WD Caviar Green  CM N520 Cpu Cooler Microsoft Sidewinder X6 
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post #7 of 12

Avoid using low phase counts with 125W processors - yes this includes 3+1 phase VRMs.  It's a significant drop in efficiency and rise in heat.  Both motherboards you link are 3+1 phase motherboards and should be avoided for use with a 955.  In fact, the M5A78L-M LE does not even support 125W TDP processors because the VRM system capacity is too low.

 

The low end MSI board you have right now is even worse in that low end MSI boards across AM3 platform are known for catastrophic VRM failures due to generally poor design - even on 4+1 phase boards (yours is a 3+1 phase count) and with heatsink cooling installed.  You can read more about this in the link in my sig: About VRMs & MOSFETs

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurkingdevil View Post

I do not do any video editing. I do play BF3 but in my experience the game ran fine on 4GB upto the level allowed by my GTX560. I remember I had to lower the Texture setting to HIGH from ULTRA to stop constant stuttering, but that is a VRAM issue I believe.
So basically I should avoid all boards with 3+1 phase VRM?
What are your thoughts about this and this?
The second link is to a local vendor..

I had constant stuttering in BF3 up until I upgraded to 8GB of RAM. Turns out my system wanted to use 5.5GB+ of RAM when playing BF3 over long periods.

Everyone's system is different, but mine uses roughly 1.5-2GB of RAM at idle.

In my opinion, if you are buying RAM right now, you might as well get 8GB.
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok guys, you've convinced me to get the ASUS M4A88T-M. Now onto the RAM. Which one of these should I go for considering warranty and performance.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233173

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231259

 

EDIT: So I just looked around newegg a bit more and I found very many capable choices for similar price.. I just can't decide.


Edited by lurkingdevil - 3/22/12 at 2:31am
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Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm WD Caviar Green  CM N520 Cpu Cooler Microsoft Sidewinder X6 
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I pulled the trigger on CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600. The black ones.

Thank you all for your help, especially xd_1771.
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Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm WD Caviar Green  CM N520 Cpu Cooler Microsoft Sidewinder X6 
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