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Old 2013-09-15, 15:16   #1

Kingy's Avatar
Default Upgrade Advice

Hey guys, I'm doing a budget upgrade on my desktop over the next week and whilst having a vague idea of the options available to me I'd like some opinions and advice on the hardware I've chosen.

As my old Motherboard cannot use DDR3 memory I'll be changing it, so I guess you could call it a completely new PC. I've selected both an AMD and an Intel setup with the best performance to cost ratio I could find.

Both setups are to be run on W7 Ultimate 64-bit OS



Mobo: Gigabyte SKT-AM3+ 970A-D3 (?60.00) / Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 (?89.04)
CPU: AMD FX-4130 4 Core 3.8GHz (?74.91)
GFX: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB DDR5 PCIE (Owned)
Memory: Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz CL9 XMP (?59.00)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (120mm) (?27.46) / -----

?221.37 / ?222.95

Will the FX-4130 be good enough for PR? Considering BF2 only uses 1 of the 4 cores available to it.



Mobo: Asus P8Z77-V LX (?84.96) / Asus P8B75-M LX (?51.46)
CPU: Intel Core i3 3220 Dual Core CPU, 3.30GHz (?90.04)
GFX: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB DDR5 PCIE (Owned)
Memory: Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz CL9 XMP (?59.00)

?234.00 / ?200.50

Will my GFX card be comptible in this setup?


I already have a suitable case, HDD, Keyboard etc... so I'm not looking for any advice on those but If anyone can beat the prices I've listed or point me to a better piece of hardware at a similar price or cheaper that'd be great. Also if I've missed something obvious and certain parts are incompatible or you would advise against getting them please let me know.

The Rig needs to be able to play PR, I don't play much else but running games like FarCry 3 and Rome 2 at reasonable (med-med/high) settings would be nice.

EDIT:- All pricings are in Pounds
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Last edited by Kingy; 2013-09-15 at 20:19.. Reason: Updating Specs & Prices
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Old 2013-09-15, 16:01   #2
Lead Support Technician
Supporting Member
Default Re: Upgrade Advice

Asus B85M-G is a LGA 1150 socket mobo, the i3-3220 is a LGA 1155 CPU, THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE!!!!

next, to answer your questions:

most games out there are GPU bound, there are still several very popular games that are CPU bound (INCLUDING BF2), and it's in those scenarios that the AMD processor really shows its weakness. Stock vs stock, an i3 would do better in StarCraft II and other CPU bound games than an FX-43xx. Overclocked is a different story, as SB/IB i3 can't overclock while the FX can.

So, for price comparison , you need to compare:

A. LGA 1155 B75 motherboard and LGA 1155 i3 CPU,
B. AM3+ 970 motherboard and FX-4XXX CPU and an affordable aftermarket CPU cooler, like the very popular COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO

IF you can be bothered to spend the time to overclock the FX-4130, it will outperform the stock i3-3220. With the signature having "Will buy spare time" in it, IDK if that's an option for you.

NOW, you also have to make sure you don't burn out that particular AM3+ Mobo...

Gigabyte GA-970A-D3
AM3+ socket
Support for 32nm AMD FX-Series 4-core, 6-core and 8-core processors (Bulldozer and Piledriver core)
Support for AM3 Phenom II and Athlon II processors
4+1 phase power/VRM with no cooling, and 140W CPU TDP support except FX-83XX (a notice about VRMs: it is highly recommended you ensure VRMs are cooled when overclocking any high wattage processor. For more info see here and the notation in the questions & answers section below)
NEW - Rev 1.3, 1.4, 3.0 GA-970-D3 have VRM heatsink cooling installed
Click this link for more info on that:
[Official] Gigabyte GA-990XA/970A-Series Owners' Club & Help Thread - FX-8350 support added

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Old 2013-09-15, 20:14   #3

Kingy's Avatar
Default Re: Upgrade Advice

Asus B85M-G is a LGA 1150 socket mobo, the i3-3220 is a LGA 1155 CPU, THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE!!!!
Thanks for that, I've updated the main post with a more suitable motherboard (Asus P8Z77-V LX).

Overclocking the FX-4130 definitely seems the better choice, however I'm not too sure about the motherboard I initially suggested after reading through the link you provided so I've added in another option, the Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 because of the larger amount of VRM it provides.

Looking at the 970A-D3 it would seem only the early Revisions (1.0+1.1) had issues with the CPU overclocked causing overheating, the later revisions having heatsinks added.

Is it worth spending an extra ?30 on the 990XA? Could that mobo have the CPU overclocked without the addition of another fan?

How stable will the 970A be with fan you suggested installed when overclocked?
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Old 2013-09-16, 00:52   #4
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Supporting Member
Default Re: Upgrade Advice

Is it worth the extra 30 Pounds?
Actually, is it worth the extra 30 plus the extra 30 for a a CPU cooler?
Maybe, not sure where you are looking as far as retailers, but you might find a competitor's mobo that can do the job at a cheaper price point, equivalent to Gigabyte 990 mobo

Here is the holy grail of AM3+ mobo VRM info,
AMD Motherboards - VRM info database

Here is almost all you need to know about VRMs:
About VRMs & Mosfets / Motherboard Safety with 125W+ TDP processors

Possibly Cheaper options that are equivalent enough to the GA-990XA-UD3 for OC'ing
GA-890FXA-UD5 (r3.1)


970 Pro3


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