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A few questions about the Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3

post #1 of 23
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Hiya, I'm planning my first complete build and have a few questions about this motherboard. Hopefully somebody who owns one or at least has a lot of experience can help me. smile.gif

I'm going to be using it with either a Phenom II x4 965 Black Edition, an FX-4100, or the FX-6100.

1. Earliest I'll be getting it is December, will it be shipping with the latest bios? The reason I ask this is I've heard of people having problems with the FX series of cpus until they managed to update the bios.
2. Obviously this isn't going to be a stellar overclocking board. However I would like to do some small-ish overclocking, maybe bring the cpu up by 600mhz or so. Will the board be able to handle this? I've noticed it only takes a 4 pin cpu power connector and the mosfets aren't heatsinked. Will this impact it that much?
3. It has two graphics card slots and apparently supports crossfire, however the second slot is only x4? How much would this impact the performance if I were to crossfire, say HD 6870s? And is there any kind of mod I could do to even it out with both slots in x8?
4. If I were to crossfire graphics cards, would this mean I couldn't use one of the pci slots to add a sound card? I've read about cheap motherboards having this problem.

Sorry if a few of these questions are a little stupid. rolleyes.gif
Thanks!
    
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post #2 of 23
I'll answer what I can.

1. It should ship with the latest BIOS or at least a BIOS that will support the FX chips.
2. I'm not really sure, I would assume you would be able to overclock at least a bit.
3. It will impact performance some but you should still gain from Crossfire. There isn't anything you can do to make it more than 4x.
4. All slots should work at the same time as long as the GPUs are not blocking anything,

Maybe this board would be better for you?
Edited by broadbandaddict - 9/12/12 at 1:14pm
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post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbandaddict View Post

I'll answer what I can.
1. It should ship with the latest BIOS or at least a BIOS that will support the FX chips.
2. I'm not really sure, I would assume you would be able to overclock at least a bit.
3. It will impact performance some but you should still gain from Crossfire. There isn't anything you can do to make it more than 4x.
4. All slots should work at the same time as long as the GPUs are not blocking anything,
Maybe this board would be better for you?
Thanks for that link! For £14-ish more I think I will go for that instead. smile.gif +rep for you
    
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post #4 of 23

Any smallish overclocking on a 125W TDP quad or hexa core processor and you shouldn't be looking at this board because it is not designed for overclocking (no heatsinks on 4+1 phase). broadbandaddict's suggestion is NOT any better. I sure as hell wouldn't pay more for such a board that hasn't been effectively proven to have a non-failure-prone VRM setup (noting that several lower end MSI boards, including the 970A-G45 which is basically the same board as the 970A-G46, have been known for VRM catastrophe). You need to read up on this stuff. Check "VRM & MOSFET Info" in my sig. EDIT: Think you did

And as for what board you should get given your 125W TDP preference and overclocking plans (don't underestimate the fact that you HAVE to spend for reliability to be ready for safe overclocking), get this board. Uh and don't just get this board, make topmost sure that you get this board and it is a rev 1.3/1.4 so that it has VRM cooling installed on it already (this board does have VRM cooling if you get a rev 1.3-1.4). Don't settle for a 1.0-1.2 If they don't have a 1.3/1.4, or you should up the ante and up the budget - and get this board for the VRM cooling and the higher phase count.  A wise alternative would be the 970A-DS3 and an aftermarket method of VRM cooling (fan or heatsinks) but I think it might be easier to pay a few more dollars and get the D3 (which has somewhat more features anyway) and ensure it's a rev 1.3/1.4.


Edited by xd_1771 - 9/12/12 at 4:32pm
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post

Any smallish overclocking on a 125W TDP quad or hexa core processor and you shouldn't be looking at this board because it is not designed for overclocking (no heatsinks on 4+1 phase). broadbandaddict's suggestion is NOT any better. I sure as hell wouldn't pay more for such a board that hasn't been effectively proven to have a non-failure-prone VRM setup (noting that several lower end MSI boards, including the 970A-G45 which is basically the same board as the 970A-G46, have been known for VRM catastrophe). You need to read up on this stuff. Check "VRM & MOSFET Info" in my sig. EDIT: Think you did


And as for what board you should get given your 125W TDP preference and overclocking plans (don't underestimate the fact that you HAVE to spend for reliability to be ready for safe overclocking), get this board. Uh and don't just get this board, make topmost sure that you get this board and it is a rev 1.3/1.4 so that it has VRM cooling installed on it already (this board does have VRM cooling if you get a rev 1.3-1.4). Don't settle for a 1.0-1.2 If they don't have a 1.3/1.4, or you should up the ante and up the budget - and get this board for the VRM cooling and the higher phase count.  A wise alternative would be the 970A-DS3 and an aftermarket method of VRM cooling (fan or heatsinks) but I think it might be easier to pay a few more dollars and get the D3 (which has somewhat more features anyway) and ensure it's a rev 1.3/1.4.

Thanks for that very informative post, sadly I can't find the rev 1.3/1.4 version of that board. However the case I'm getting has very good airflow, although I'm guessing that won't make much of a difference because the mosfets aren't headsinked.

I think I might spend more money and get a board which supports proper SLI/Crossfire and decent overclocking. It just means I'll have to wait a little while longer for extras like a sound card etc..
EDIT: How about this?
Edited by Gangsta Hotdog - 9/13/12 at 12:45pm
    
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post #6 of 23
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post #7 of 23
What's your budget for the board?

The Asus M5A99X EVO is a great board regardless wheee.gif
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A pleasant surprise :)
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A pleasant surprise :)
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post #8 of 23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunkX 1 View Post

What's your budget for the board?
The Asus M5A99X EVO is a great board regardless wheee.gif
Well it was around £60 until I realised I needed to spend more for what I want, so I'd say £80-£100 now.
    
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post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gangsta Hotdog View Post

Well it was around £60 until I realised I needed to spend more for what I want, so I'd say £80-£100 now.

This - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128510&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Motherboards+-+AMD-_-GIGABYTE-_-13128510 yessir.gif
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A pleasant surprise :)
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post #10 of 23
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So is that better than the M5A99X EVO? smile.gif
    
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