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AMD Phenom II Upgrade

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by adam3223, 1 Jul 2009.

  1. adam3223


    Joined: 22 Jul 2004

    Posts: 230

    Location: Nottingham, UK

    After noticing my once impressive processor is now virtually the cheapest processor OCUK sells, I've decided to upgrade.
    My main priorities are: quad core, 6GB RAM, with no overclocking.

    I only need CPU, mobo, and RAM. I think I7 is overpriced so I've opted for a Phenom II system:

    AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail - £149.98*

    MSI 790FX-GD70 AMD 790FX (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard - £129.98*

    Corsair XMS3 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz Triple Channel (TR3X6G1333C9) - £77.99
    * This week only price

    Maximum budget is £450 and the above comes in well below at £357.96.

    I welcome any general thoughts, but my main concern is the RAM:

    I went for AM3 so i could get triple channel DDR3 RAM, but most of the AM3 motherboards seem to only support DDR2. The CPU only supports RAM operating at 1333MHz, the lowest frequency DDR3 available. I assume the higher frequencies are just for the I7 systems? As the higher frequency DDR3 is roughly similar in price, should I buy that instead? If so, which would you suggest? and would i need to manually underclock it for it to work?

    The MSI motherboard; is it worth the premium over the the Gigabyte DDR3 motherboards? It seems to have a lot of overclocking features which I'm not going to use. I read a review and was enticed by the pretty blue LEDs all over the place (which, thinking about it, I'm never going to see).
  2. RJC


    Joined: 29 May 2005

    Posts: 28,881

    Location: Kent

    The RAM you speced will probably only run single channel as AMD cpus only have dual channel controller on, it will run in dual channel if you only use 2.
  3. Glaucus

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 11 Mar 2004

    Posts: 76,632

  4. adam3223


    Joined: 22 Jul 2004

    Posts: 230

    Location: Nottingham, UK

    Well that's great.

    So to reach my 6GB target I'd have to have 4x2GB identical modules (which run in dual channel mode?)
    8GB is a bit excessive, I'd probably stick with 4.
  5. Furton


    Joined: 9 Aug 2003

    Posts: 2,694

    Location: Liverpool

    I'm currently on 8GB, it's lovely!
  6. Quixote

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 3 May 2006

    Posts: 1,284

    You could happily stick with 4 GB, in a 2*2GB format, will do for almost all purposes for a while yet (Games, most content creation, heavy multi-tasking etc).
    Still leave room to add 4 more GB down the line if you like. Main reason everyone has 4GB nowadays is RAM is so cheap for the last year or two, long may it last.