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Looking for the Best Valued AM3+ Mobos for OCing

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! I'm an OCN newbie member (but a slightly less-newbie actual OCer) from the proud islands of the Philippines, and I need your help on something that's been really bugging me about my PC. Basically, I need to get the best AM3+ motherboard I can given a fairly tight budget without sacrificing OC potential. My purpose is to get the most performance from my current Phenom II X2 555 unlocked to four cores, as well as a potential upgrade to an FX 8350.

As a rule of thumb for me, I'm willing to shell out around PHP5,000 (~USD123) for a mobo that will help me overclock my unlocked 555 processor close to the observed maximum clocks, and be able to fairly OC an FX 8350 if ever I get it in the future (otherwise I'd be getting it's Steamroller successor; my upgrade path is looking that far ahead).

However, I am willing to pay up to a strict maximum of PHP7,000 (~USD172) for a shockingly amazing piece of silicon that will future proof my OC-ing endeavors. If I pursue this path, though, the motherboard in question would really need to impress and stand head-and-shoulders above the best of the previous price category of mobos for me to consider it over the cheaper board.

I need to set this limit, because that PHP2,000 difference is effectively a loan I'd need to make and would need to work my butt off paying back, so my value/price ratio plummets at that threshold. I hope I'm not being too stingy or unrealistic, but this is the constraint I need to work with, and I hope you guys can help me maximize my chances of getting the best board for me.

Now, as I'm living in the Philippines, I can't really compare my budget with the trusty Newegg prices. I will, however, be able to present you guys a list of mobos I can buy from where I am, listed below (the site I got most of these prices from can be found here):
ASRock 970 Extreme4 - P4500/$113
ASRock 990FX Extreme3 - P5650/$141
ASRock 990FX Extreme4 - P6700/$168
ASUS M5A97 - P4700/$118
Asus M5A97 EVO - P6280/$157
Biostar TA990FXE Extreme Edition - P6600/$165
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 - P5900/$148

To start things off, after extensively referencing the VRM guide for AMD mobos, my current decision goes completely to the GA-990FXA-UD3. I had to rub my eyes because I just couldn't believe it; its price was just barely higher than a -D3, whereas the difference in VRM is like night and day. For <$150, I get an eight+2 VRM mobo, and that's some crazy value/price right there. In case it turns out to be a dud, though, I'm calling the M5A97 which fits my budget very nicely, as well as getting good OC feedback on both Phenom II and FX processors.
Edited by firagabird - 2/2/13 at 8:44am
     
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post #2 of 19
Biostar TA990FXE or the ASRock 990FX Extreme4 are the best 2 mobo you list there.

EDIT
The Boistar has a very high quality 4+1 phase power.


Edited by dixson01974 - 2/2/13 at 8:55am
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post #3 of 19
I'd go with the Gigabyte. It looks like it has a good price for what it gives on your list.
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post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
@dixson, That does seem to be the case, but from a value for price standpoint, do they exceed the GA-990FXA-UD3? The price difference is roughly an extra 12% to pay for either board; can I expect more than 12% in terms of performance?
     
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post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by firagabird View Post

@dixson, That does seem to be the case, but from a value for price standpoint, do they exceed the GA-990FXA-UD3? The price difference is roughly an extra 12% to pay for either board; can I expect more than 12% in terms of performance?
The perfromance is about same when it comes to the Phenom II line, but with the FX line.
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post #6 of 19
Stay away from all 4 phase boards if you are going to upgrade to Vishera.The ASRock 4 phase boards are excellent for a quad,for a 6 and 8 core processor you need more robust power delivery for overclocking. Same goes for the M5A97.

I see several options
Gigabyte 990FXA UD3
Asus M5A99FX Pro
and my personal pick,the new ASRock 990FX extreme 9-with 12+2 VRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157358
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post #7 of 19
GetJustt get an am3 board. They are ridiculously cheap these days. And going from phenom to fx is a sidegrade/downgrade, you won't do that in the future, and if the time comes to upgrade in a few years, you won't want a bulldozer/piledriver.

You talk about future proof, ability to overclock... just get a decent am3 board. You aren't going to really get anything amazing, and Phenom x2/x3/x4 don't actually require as much in the way of vrm quality (I got 30 hr stable on my biostar a770e3 3+1 phase with a jerryrigged vrm hsf and c2 phenom at 3.8ghz, which is the max on those chips).

Am3 boards are going to be refurbs, useds, retailer overstock/liquidation or whatever. Just find an am3 board sold somewhere at a good price and get it. Phillipine prices may be different but I would think some am3 board would be much cheaper than am3+, and get a high quality am3 for under 50.

The things you ask for are just, imo, goofy. Don't blow a ton of money on a motherboard for, essentially, your phenom x2. Its really not worth paying much for, if you are very lucky you get x3/x4, but usually that means your overclock will get severely hampered from denebs general 4-4.2ghz. You don't spend $100 for a dualcore cpu... that money would just be so better spent at saving up for an i5 build in the far future. Getting an am3+ is just a terrible idea, your cpu is old, you don't buy high end parts for a phenom x2 (I had a phenom build recently, don't get me wrong, it was more than enough power for my needs and was very strong and 'future proof' for my needs but I sold it, upgraded.to i5 3570 for cost I sold it)... and don't buy am3+, fx is crap.

Buy for what you need. It'll save you lots of money, headache, and frankly get you better performance as you put money where it really belongs, like an ssd or gpu. I mean really man, your gonna pay $100+ for a motherboard for a phenom x2? That just screams terrible idea. You could almost get a 660ti or 2500/3570k for that, you could even get a locked i5.

You don't buy $1000 tires for a civic because you might get a corolla one day.
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post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well, it's official - I'm getting the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3. The more I thought about it, the more I felt that P6000 (~$148) was my absolute limit, because the appeal of the better performing, but steeper priced, motherboards just plummeted completely for me past that price point.

To be honest, I'm glad just to be able to get the UD3; its stock availability was zero for the shop whose list the prices came from, and I needed to search through the catalogs of at least 3 other stores in order to find it. And even then, the last shop I checked had exactly one unit left in their entire stockroom; talk about lucky. I ordered it on the spot.

It cost me an extra P150 ($3.7) as it was a different store with different prices, but I think the ability to get the board despite its lack of availability everywhere was worth it. They even provided me free shipping, so I'm totally cool with it. I just hope I really made the best decision for me; only time will tell.

To all that provided feedback for me, thank you very much for your thoughts. I could only have come upon this decision with your help so that I could weigh my options in an objective manner. Although I have made my buy decision, I would like to hopefully keep this thread open if possible for any other fellow Filipino AMD budget enthusiasts to help with their respective motherboard decisions.

One final question, though; what do the various revisions of the mobo mean? The saleseman I spoke with on the phone couldn't be locate the -UD3's revision on the packaging, but I'm guessing it's R3.0. How does this compare to the board's other revisions (R1.0, 1.1, 1.2)?

EDIT: I'd like to respond to everyone's feedback in order to gain more knowledge for the sake of being a better informed OCer.

@dixson, Sorry but your post seems to cut off right when you compare OCing with the Phenom II line compared to the FX line. Could you clarify how they differ with the better (ASRock, Biostar) boards, whether they overclock (or perform) >12% better, and if you've personally (or indirectly) had experience with some of these CPU+mobo combinations?

@Redwoodz, I would totally LOVE to get an Extreme9, or even a Fatal1ty, from ASRock. Unfortunately, the former is likely as expensive if not more than the latter, which itself is priced at P8000+, well over $25 past my absolute limit. It would just totally break my savings+debt money bag to get one of those. I'm not a total OC freak either, so I don't think I'd appreciate the slightly increased headroom on air or water those boards could provide.

@Belial, I understand and totally respect your stance against the concept of future-proofing decisions and, I'm guessing, upgrade paths. It is true that anyone that has this point of view when making buy decisions opens themselves up for greater uncertainty since the future is never certain. However, I personally feel that in this regard, AMD has at least minimized the uncertainty more than Intel to a point that following upgrade paths with Big Red isn't completely bonkers.

By the way, my "upgrade path" with at least CPU+mobo chains began in the mid-2000's with a humble Athlon64 single-core CPU, and never once have I had to swap both out in a single go since then. =)
Edited by firagabird - 2/2/13 at 8:23pm
     
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post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by firagabird View Post

@dixson, That does seem to be the case, but from a value for price standpoint, do they exceed the GA-990FXA-UD3? The price difference is roughly an extra 12% to pay for either board; can I expect more than 12% in terms of performance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dixson01974 View Post

The perfromance is about same when it comes to the Phenom II line, but with the FX line.
The bottom line it is mainly depends on the CPU limits then mobo limits.
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post #10 of 19
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Originally Posted by Belial View Post

GetJustt get an am3 board. They are ridiculously cheap these days. And going from phenom to fx is a sidegrade/downgrade, you won't do that in the future, and if the time comes to upgrade in a few years, you won't want a bulldozer/piledriver.

You talk about future proof, ability to overclock... just get a decent am3 board. You aren't going to really get anything amazing, and Phenom x2/x3/x4 don't actually require as much in the way of vrm quality (I got 30 hr stable on my biostar a770e3 3+1 phase with a jerryrigged vrm hsf and c2 phenom at 3.8ghz, which is the max on those chips).

Am3 boards are going to be refurbs, useds, retailer overstock/liquidation or whatever. Just find an am3 board sold somewhere at a good price and get it. Phillipine prices may be different but I would think some am3 board would be much cheaper than am3+, and get a high quality am3 for under 50.

The things you ask for are just, imo, goofy. Don't blow a ton of money on a motherboard for, essentially, your phenom x2. Its really not worth paying much for, if you are very lucky you get x3/x4, but usually that means your overclock will get severely hampered from denebs general 4-4.2ghz. You don't spend $100 for a dualcore cpu... that money would just be so better spent at saving up for an i5 build in the far future. Getting an am3+ is just a terrible idea, your cpu is old, you don't buy high end parts for a phenom x2 (I had a phenom build recently, don't get me wrong, it was more than enough power for my needs and was very strong and 'future proof' for my needs but I sold it, upgraded.to i5 3570 for cost I sold it)... and don't buy am3+, fx is crap.

Buy for what you need. It'll save you lots of money, headache, and frankly get you better performance as you put money where it really belongs, like an ssd or gpu. I mean really man, your gonna pay $100+ for a motherboard for a phenom x2? That just screams terrible idea. You could almost get a 660ti or 2500/3570k for that, you could even get a locked i5.

You don't buy $1000 tires for a civic because you might get a corolla one day.


rolleyes.gif
^ Says the guy with a $200 motherboard,for an upgrade he admits he did not need.

If you actually read the OP,he states he would like to be able to upgrade in the future,your whole argument throws that out the window. Unlike the Intel socket you have,the AM3+ socket will be around for years to come.
Amelia
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Amelia
(13 items)
 
Professional
(13 items)
 
RCPC#1
(17 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X6 1100t MSI 890FX GD65 MSI Radeon HD5670 GSkill RipjawsX DDR3 PC3 12800 2x4GB CL8 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Black 1TB SATA III Samsung BD Zalman 9900MAX Windows 7 64 Professional 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
AOC 22" LED Logitech Kingwin Lazer Platinum 500w Fractal Design R3 
Other
Samsung 470 SSD 128GB 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 960T Asus M4A88T-VEVO Asus Strix R7 370 SuperTalent Perfomance 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
GSkill Snipers Monster Daytona Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7,200 RPM 16Mb cache Memorex DVD/RW 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair H60 Windows 8N IBM 9494 19" LCD IBM 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair GS500 In Win H-Frame Wolfking OCZ Behemoth 
Audio
JBL Creature 
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