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Old October 15, 2009, 01:46 PM
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Default Getting the cheapest motherboard

Hey guys,

I am fairly new to the whole build your own computer sort of thing. Up until a couple months ago, I wouldn't dare take apart my machine for anything more than a video card or RAM upgrade. After being forced to take out my motherboard to install an aftermarket heatsink on my own machine (and successfully putting it back together), I've got this irresistible itch to put together other computers.

Anyway, so I am looking at putting together a new machine for my parents. My parent's are not enthusiasts by any means, won't care about over-clocking, "extreme!!1" speeds or whatever else. However, I still want to be able to give them something that will still be useable, "snappy" and functional 3 or 4 years from now. Really, I just want to make sure browser applications like Flash and Silverlight don't kill their machine in the immediate future. I'm looking at going AMD because of some of the news I've heard about Intel's business practices and AMD is cheaper anyways.

So this brings me to the point of this thread. Is there any reason not to chose the cheapest AMD board I can find? Regularly I can find motherboards for less than $100 that support the latest and greatest AMD CPUs. Like this one from Memory Express.

So, any reason why I wouldn't want to choose a really cheap motherboard and then pair it with a decent CPU and other parts?
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Old October 15, 2009, 01:56 PM
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Hey there!
Welcome to the forums (just in case nobody else has yet).

That board is a surefire budget board but like anything else you get what you pay for in a sense.
I am a fan of both Intel and AMD for different reasons , but I can suggest one good board that will last for a while to come.

Infonec Computers - Computer parts Canada, PC Components, laptop computers, motherboards, processors, CPUs and much more : GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3 4DDR2 2PCI/3PCI-E X1/2PCI-EX16 SATA,RAID,1394,GBLAN ATX

That gives you great AM3 support and you can be happy when the 6 Core CPU's come out in a year, as it will be a plug and play on any am3 board for sure.

My thoughts at least. The MB is your computers foundation so, its best to have something high-midrange if you can. Much like a POwersupply.

Regards,
ST
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Old October 15, 2009, 09:07 PM
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The simple explanation of what you are paying for is expandability, chipsets, and brand. Other factors such as heatsinks don't sound like a concern with a browsing box. Crossfire/sli doesn't sound like a priority either so unless there's a sweet deal, 1 PCIEx16 slot will be fine. DDR2 should do fine, and be cheaper. 2 dimm slots will hold more than enough ram, but for upgrades sake 4 slots might be a better investment. Chipset wise, I would stick with 780g or better. Older than that is getting well... old. Integrated chip on that can handle HD content with a half decent cpu installed. If you are putting in a gpu, mind the position of the sata ports, mine got covered by a chunky 4850. Brand wise, I would stick with Gigabyte, ASUS, ASRock, or MSI. But brand always seems to be preference. Best of luck, ask for anything else.
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Old October 16, 2009, 10:57 AM
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Thanks ST and clone.

Quote:
That gives you great AM3 support and you can be happy when the 6 Core CPU's come out in a year, as it will be a plug and play on any am3 board for sure.
Will 6 cores really be necessary though? As far as I understand, the 4 cores in my i7 920 are barely being used to their utmost, let alone a 6 core CPU. By the time 6 cores becomes relevant, I imagine AMD would be onto AM4 or whatever, right?

Quote:
Chipset wise, I would stick with 780g or better. Older than that is getting well... old.
I don't know as much about AMDs chipset naming and so on and so forth like I understand Intel. Do you know of a good resource I could look up that pairs sockets with AMD chipsets? "780g" doesn't mean very much to me yet. Thanks for the help!
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Old October 16, 2009, 11:41 AM
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Will 6 Cores be needed? Not for a long while. Will it be nice that you don't have to switch everything around when they are made available? Heck yes!

Thats the way I look at it and AMD.

My thoughts,
ST
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Old October 16, 2009, 12:00 PM
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I'd suggest going with a DDR3 motherboard. That way if the computer feels like it is slowing down closer to its end of life, you can simply pop in a few more gigs of RAM. In 2-3 years, DDR3 is going to be much cheaper and DDR2 will likely start going up in price due to the lower demand similar to how the prices of DDR have slowly increased since DDR2 became mainstream.

For an email/browsing/flash/HD video PC, four cores should be tons. I find it unlikely that basic PC tasks will require more than two decently clocked cores for still a while longer.
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Old October 16, 2009, 02:16 PM
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a P4 @ 3.1ghz w/ 1.5gb ddr1 and PCI 9400GT was more than enough for my old man to do some plain e-mails, web surfing, youtube kinda sites, and watching 720p/1080p videos

so if your folks are like that i would suggest the follow parts.


Asus M3A78-EM w/ Radeon HD 3200, DualDDR2 1066, 7.1 Audio, Gigabit Lan, PCI-E, Hybrid CrossFireX, HDMI at Memory Express Computers
AMD Athlon? II X2 240 Dual-Core 2.8GHz w/ 2MB Cache (Retail Box, Socket AM3) at Memory Express Computers

Some cheap 2gb value rams
a 300W PSU

And use the Memory express price match to your advantage. use the bottom links
Asus M3A78-EM Amd 780G Matx AM2+ PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI Sata Hdmi Video Sound Gblan 1394 Motherboard - DirectCanada
NCIX.com - Buy AMD Athlon II X2 240 Dual Core Processor Socket AM3 2.8GHZ 2MB Cache 65W Retail Box - ADX240OCGQBOX In Canada.

Good luck.
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