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Old February 24, 2009, 09:09 PM
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Default Budget boards for Phenom II

I'm planning to get a Phenom II x3 720 BE and oc it to 3.5. I don't need on-board video.

Here are some of the options I've been looking at (prices in Canadian dollars). Which would be the best value and which would offer the best performance?

GA-MA770-UD3 - $100
- this board lacks phase power design that similarly priced Asus boards have - how important is this feature?
- has Ultra durable 3 which Asus does not
- this board claims 50,000 Hours Japanese Solid Capacitors while Asus claims 100% All High-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors - which is better?

M3A78 PRO - $130
M4A78 PRO - $150
- i'm assuming newer board is the way to go

M3A78-EM - $110 can
- lacks 100% All High-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors that more expensive Asus boards have
- does not have Ultra durable 3

Is there a clear winner between the GA-MA770-UD3 and M3A78-EM or are they pretty much the same when it comes to stability and performance? If only one feature can be chosen, would it be Ultra durable 3 or phase power design?

Is the stability and performance of the more expensive boards enough to justify the price difference?

Feedback much appreciated!

Last edited by bcguy_99; February 24, 2009 at 09:24 PM.
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Old February 24, 2009, 09:13 PM
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I would definitely NOT OC on the gigabyte board due it's lack of VRM heatsinks (which already run hotter that almost any other component in most systems). I'd suggest one of the newer Asus boards that does have VRM heatsinks... Just in case.

Edit: This seems to be the only board in your price range with DDR2 that has a VRM heatsink design:
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte MA790X-UD4 ATX AM2+/AM3 AMD790X DDR2 CrossFireX 2PCI-E 2PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN Motherboard - GA-MA790X-UD4 In Canada.

But on the plus side, its a slightly more powerful 790X chipset, which is simliar to the GX but without any integrated graphics. Hope the info helps!
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Last edited by CMetaphor; February 24, 2009 at 09:20 PM.
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Old February 24, 2009, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMetaphor View Post
I would definitely NOT OC on the gigabyte board due it's lack of VRM heatsinks (which already run hotter that almost any other component in most systems). I'd suggest one of the newer Asus boards that does have VRM heatsinks... Just in case.

Edit: This seems to be the only board in your price range with DDR2 that has a VRM heatsink design:
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte MA790X-UD4 ATX AM2+/AM3 AMD790X DDR2 CrossFireX 2PCI-E 2PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN Motherboard - GA-MA790X-UD4 In Canada.

But on the plus side, its a slightly more powerful 790X chipset, which is simliar to the GX but without any integrated graphics. Hope the info helps!
Second. At least get a motherboard with the 790GX chipset. Never heard of that 790X chip though so no comment on that.

High quality capacitors seem to be very important when overclocking, so definitely get one with high quality capacitors, as well as with VRM heatsinks unless you have VERY good cooling in your case.
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Old February 24, 2009, 09:30 PM
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Like mentioned in my post.... AFAIK, 790X = 790GX - Integrated graphics/Sideport...
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Old February 24, 2009, 09:41 PM
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I found no evidence that GA-MA790X-UD4 has VRM heatsinks. It seems like it's the GA-MA790X-UD4P that has VRM heatsinks as it features "advanced 8+2 phase CPU VRM power design for AMD high-TDP 140W CPU support." The other board doesn't list this feature. The Asus M3A78-EM has 4+1 phase power design. Is this what you mean by VRM heatsinks? Is this the board to go with in that price range? The other more expensive Asus boards I listed have the same 4+1 phase power design feature.

Last edited by bcguy_99; February 24, 2009 at 09:48 PM.
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Old February 25, 2009, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcguy_99 View Post
I found no evidence that GA-MA790X-UD4 has VRM heatsinks.
Heatsink is under the "Ultra Durable" label.
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Old February 25, 2009, 05:22 AM
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Also a nice heatpipe connecting the NB and VRM heatsink in that design!
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Old February 25, 2009, 06:55 AM
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I have that board and I certainly recommend it!
It only has one 16xpcie slot though, the 2nd one is 8xpcie, but if you don't plan to crossfire, this is of no importance.
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Old February 25, 2009, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sa seba View Post
I have that board and I certainly recommend it!
It only has one 16xpcie slot though, the 2nd one is 8xpcie, but if you don't plan to crossfire, this is of no importance.
PCIE 2.0 8x = PCIE 1.0 16x, so it shouldn't hurt too badly.
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Old February 25, 2009, 04:09 PM
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true ;-)
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