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Discussion Starter #1
There was no specific catagory for overal hardware issues so I chose this one because most questions are about my motherboard to be, amd or intel.

I am posting this topic to ask for a second opinion on what would be the best choice for a medium upgrade of my system, with overclocking ambitions in mind.

I have asked for the same thing on another forum but I strongly believe that, no matter how experienced and into the computer world you are, there will always be some degree of bias in most of the the information, I was definitely ‘pushed’ in a certain direction.
I got it from one person only so that’s why I would like to hear some other opinions on a larger forum.

I’ll bring it point to point.

CPU:

1.My choice will be between a between a Pentium dual core and an Athlon II X3. The difference in speed gain is neglectable from where I’m coming from, a P4 630. The choice will have to be funded on reliability and overclocking potential, having in mind that a P E5300 is 75% of the price of an Athlon.
What is your experience with these two?

Motherboard.

I read an interesting article about how to determine if a motherboard might be of good or lesser quality: look at the capacitors and chokes.

I started to look up photo’s on google an what I noticed was a very clear upgrade of the capacitors on all motherboards above the 70 euro’s (Dutch prices). Below, most of the capacitors are the cheaper plastic skinned ones with a potential of being able to leek, above, all the capacitors where high quality, made from solid aluminum.

Now I cannot imagine that, on the lower priced boards, when you reduce the quality of the capacitors, the quality of other parts also will not decrease as well.
These quality differences between higher and lower priced versions where noticeable on the boards of all well-known manufacturers: Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Asrock and Biostar. Sapphires where the exceptions, above the 70 euro’s the used parts remained cheap. Foxconn, I didn’t look at.

So also the brands under discussion, Asrock , MSI and Biostar use these high quality parts on their boards and my negative bias towards these three definitely fainted.

2.Is there, in practical use (not in theorie) and overclocking perfomance, a noticeable difference between lower and higher priced quality boards? I mean things as stability, speed and heat? and has anyone ever noticed leaking capacitors on his boards?

3.Which brands would be best when overclocking cpu’s looking at stability and features?

4.Are there boards you definitely have negative experiences with?

5.Is there a significant difference in overclocking performance and stability when using boards with very recent chipsets (2009, 2010)?

6.What would be a better choice: A lower priced board with a recent 2010 chipset, for instance the 880, 890 amd series, or a higher priced board with high quality parts but with older chipsets, f.i. from 2008, 2009 and older?

Memory:

7.What would be a better choice, ddr2 or ddr3 with the same speed? I ask because the DDR3 latencies are twice as high so I wonder if there will be a significant difference in practical use.

Hard drive:

8.When using Raid1 with two drives, when one drive becomes defective and the only way for data recovery is retrieval by a professional, will I lose my data?
During the past 10 years I ran 3 times into SMART issues with my drives “save your data immediatelyâ€, so I’ll be better safe than fast and sorry.

This is what comes to mind right now, I hope some clear answers can be given.
 

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Hello and welcome to the forums. Here's few of my ideas:

1. I have an e5200 @3.5GHz and I'm happy with it for now, but if I were to choose now between a Pentium DC and an Atlhon X3 I'd pick the Athlon any day. It has 50% more cores and similar per core and per clock advantage. Moreover they both OC good so the AMD cpu is either ahead or tied in all but price. 25% price bonus is worth it... moreover maybe you're lucky and unlock to an X4.

1b. Motherboard: I wouldn't get cheapo mobos for a heavily OCed computer (such as mine for example). Cheap motherboards have in general: few features which is not always bad, but also weak power regulation, cheap components, low(er) PCB quality and poor chipset cooling. Your reasoning about the capacitors is sound, let that guide you. As brand to avoid I'd say only MSI - although I didn't use them in a while due to reliability issues forums still host threads of angry MSI owners.
My 2 cents: Gigabyte is good and reliable, Asus maybe a few $$ more expensive but has great BIOS fan speed settings.

2. Yes it is because of the components used in low-spec motherboards they are likely to: overheat (chipset/pwm), overload the pwm, have iffy BIOS and/or poor compatibilty w/ memory modules

3. 1)Gigabyte 2)Asus 3)... I'd say DFI but they've gone bust.

4. MSI 2 times (out of 2)

5. It's not the chipset, it's the quality of the motherboard that makes a difference; solid pwm and good chipset cooling makes a difference.

6. If you can find I think AMD 870 boards are ideal now. There's no clear answer, it just depends.

7. In real world you won't find DDR3 800. DDR2 800 vs DDR3 1066 are quite equal performance-wise, but nowadays DDR3-1333 makes a compelling choice.

8. RAID-1 means data is doubled on both disks. If one breaks, all data is accessible on the second - you can use it as single drive. Then you can replace the broken drive, wait for the RAID-1 to rebuild and you'll have the redundant array usable.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you very much for your extensive answer! I appriciate it.

What I forgot to tell is what I will use my system for.
My most heavy tasks are video converting and often having multiple applications running at the same time, such as photoshop, illustrator and internet.

My main purpose is to go a lot faster, which will always be the case when coming from a P4 640 from 2005, and that I have no or not very much speed loss when continuing my tasks when video converting is running on the background.
Faster converting can also be achieved I read by using multi threaded convertors and a second hard drive.
The third and not the least important is a silent system.
I have my eye on nexus fans and SPU, very popular amongst silentpc lovers.

Important is that I only want to use the overclocking during heavy long tasks such as video converting to prevent my pc from always being noisy.
Good windows overclocking software willl come in very handy.

Now, I will go point to point again, I notice that it challenges readers to answer all questions.

1. Can good overclocking resultst be achieved with the software that comes with the motherboards? Or with other good software?

2. Is there anything to say about the speed gain in video converting using just two HD's, raid1 and multithreaded converting, leaving the FSB and voltage
speed at rest?

3. I noticed an exception to the rule when it comes to motherboard quality.
I found a really nice priced gigabyte 775 board (€ 50) with high quality parts.
The strange thing is, that the more expensive ones upto the € 70 have cheap parts again. What do you think of it?

Low priced quality DDR3 board (look at the metal capacitors):


And rel. high priced board
€ 70, watch the plastic skinned capacitors)


It could be a commercial trick to put these metal capacitor on a cheap board to give it quality appeal.

4. Consideration:
What to decide now? it's a bit hard being somewhat blinded by the faster athlon 440 and the challenge to unlock the 4th core (if lucky).
The other option, the cheaper P E5300 comes with the advantage of the €50,- G41 gigabyte mobo. (1 dollar is about 0,8 euro's)
The athlon is more expensive and the first high quality gigabyte motherboard is € 72.
The total difference is now € 40 and....

5. I found a second hand E5300. Is it wise to try this? It will save me another 20 bucks.

6. If I would choose the E5300 set and use the money I save for a second hard disc with Raid, wouldn't that be wise? keeping in mind that with overclocking I might gain perofrmance as well?

7. Is it realistic to say that with an oc-d 25% frequency gain, video converting will run 25% faster?

To give you an idea of what I will gain, these are cinebench 10 benchmarks.
The slow one is my current P4 630. So what would be the buzz about forgetting about the athlon, I'm trying to convince myself.
 
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