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Most bang for buck, AM3 CPU, AM2+ mobo, DDR2 RAM?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm currently looking for a good rig, mainly for rendering, 3D modeling and some light gaming. I've been considering i7 920 (too pricy), Q9550, and Phenom II X4 955 for processors, and have since realized the AM3 mobo and Phenom II are just as pricy as Q9550 and a good LGA775 mobo. Yet something that didn't occur to me was the chance to perhaps combine the power of the good OC'er and the affordability of DDR2, aka buying a AM2+ mobo. Now I have some troubling questions I couldn't find an answer instantly for.

Assuming I'll do fine with 2 x 2GB 1066MHz CL5 Kingston HyperX RAM and the AM3 processor Phenom II X4 955, will the AM3/AM2+ DDR2 motherboard be somehow bottlenecking me? Anything minor, anything big that I might not be seeing? Would I somehow benefit from an AM3 DDR3 mobo other than DDR3 goodness (which is also debatable)?

To put it simply, is there a reason not to stay on DDR2 when I'm on a budget where every extra 50$ is too much?

Just to sum it up, the stuff I've been considering:
MoBo: ASUS M4N78 PRO AM2+/AM3 ATX
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
GPU: Asus GTS250 512MB Dark Knight (gotta love dem heatpipes) (just to point it out, I'd gladly go all HD4770 on this build but Blender simply hates ATI drivers, the fps is unusable in viewport mode, tested on 9600, X1600 PRO 512MB and HD4770 to no avail. Every other Blender build seems to diss ATI, so I won't be pushing it, sorry ATI!)
RAM: Kingston HyperX 4GB Kit (2x2GB) 1066MHz DDR2 CL5

If the affordability fact doesn't match what you guys might be having up for grabs in newegg or such sites then don't wonder, I'm living in Finland.
Edited by Shiobock - 6/11/09 at 12:43am
    
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post #2 of 12
Have a bump. I am still using 939 just fine so I can't really answer this but from everything I've read there is no reason to goto ddr3 (unless you have money to burn).
post #3 of 12
From everything I hear, at this point DDR3 isn't worth the upgrade. You'll be fine with your CPU, might want to check out some OCZ or Corsair RAM though, not sure how that Kingston runs.

*Most, if not all, current AM2+ boards should support AM3, so as far as I know, DDR3 capability is the only added benefit of the AM3 boards which support it.
Edited by esocid - 6/10/09 at 7:30pm
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post #4 of 12
No, there's no reason to spend extra money on DDR3 if you're on a tight budget. It offers a minimal increase in performance. You won't be bottlenecked any way with a AM2+ motherboard.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the kind bump and all the info, I was just a bit sceptical. The Kingston HyperX have always seemed very good to me since I've never had problems with their regular ValueRAM series, but OCZ Platinum and Gold 1066MHz CL5 memories are just few bucks more expensive so I might have to consider them if more people think the HyperX memory has something fishy about them (doubt that). The extra bling offered by OCZ is nice, tho.
    
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post #6 of 12
Here's the scoop with AM2/AM2+ running AM3 chips:

It will NOT bottleneck. The only difference is the memory controller, AM3 chips have both DDR2 and DDR3 memory controllers. This allows them to run on AM2+ platforms and AM2+ boards all support AM3 chips (some require a BIOS update).
post #7 of 12
the 550BE is a good bang/buck CPU. at $102 it is highly OC'able. and, this one you are able to unlock all 4 cores, potentially turning it into a quad core.
    
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Contagion View Post
the 550BE is a good bang/buck CPU. at $102 it is highly OC'able. and, this one you are able to unlock all 4 cores, potentially turning it into a quad core.
But then, you could get an extra core for what $35 more? Personally, I like the 720BE
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavi View Post
But then, you could get an extra core for what $35 more? Personally, I like the 720BE
yea. but (correct me if i am wrong) the 720BE can never be a quad right?
    
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post #10 of 12
No the 720 is more capable of being a quad than the dual core. I thought the 550's were true dual cores anyway. i didn't know they had disabled cores. I mean its more likely to unlock one core than 2 cores(if the 550 is not true dual core)
    
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