View Full Version : Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

08-15-10, 04:18 PM
When I bought a Phenom II x3 720 Black Edition in July of '09, I had no idea that it would end up being a VERY powerful gaming CPU. It ended up carrying my media/gaming rig so well that I ended up buying another one.

Well, one unlocks, and one won't. My desk PC has a great Gigabyte mATX 760G DDR2 motherboard, 4gb OCZ Reaper 1150 and a GTX 460 768. The unlockable 720 sits in that rig and runs at 3.1ghz... IMO it's a balanced system, save for the old Diamondmax 9s in RAID 0, which are too hot and noisy together.

So that rig's fine for now. But the media rig, with a spartan AMD 770/DDR2-equipped Asus M3A won't unlock a CPU, and the BIOS voltage adjustments are really screwy. Granted, it runs a 720BE @ 3.5ghz, so it's relatively fast, but #1 a close friend needed parts for a new rig, and #2 I'm ready to have the media/gaming system move forward a little bit.

It'd be great if I had a big budget to work with, but I don't. So I have to let some parts carry over, and there's a couple things I'm getting that are kinda... "value priced".


So in place of an x3 720BE @ 3.5 I'm getting a Phenom II x6 1055t, for $162 shipped. :) I'm going to try cooling it with my old Freezer Pro 64, and if that's not good enough I'll give that cooler to the desk PC and I'll get a Scythe Mugen II. ... I know that in gaming, the 1055t @ stock will feel a lot like the OCed 720BE, but I'm hoping I can get a decent OC out of it.

As far as a motherboard was concerned, I didn't have much to play with, so I am getting a MSI 785GM-P45 785G AM3 mATX motherboard brand new with 3yr warranty for $45 shipped. IT normally sells for ~$80, but it hasn't been reviewed. Its cousins which have a few more bells and whistles have, however, but I like my motherboards simple, so this will do. It lacks some overclocking functionality in BIOS (it actually has a jumper switch for overclocking in 5% performance increments, but I will not use that, I'll use AMD Overdrive, which has worked great for me for several motherboards now). I'm going to add a nice of MOSFET heat sinks to the power area of the motherboard to aid in stability.

DDR3... well, I know it's not much of a jump over DDR2, but hey, it's kinda new tech, it works, and I wanted a motherboard that supported it. So I'm getting some well-reviewed A-Data DDR3-1600 for $88. It apparently OCs decent without having to bump voltages up too much. :)

Hard drive. SSD? Nope, too expensive. I already have a nice drive (a 250gb Caviar Blue), but it's not a single-platter. I'm gonna give that to the desk PC (to replace the hot Diamondmaxes) and I'm going to get a single platter drive. Reportedly, it has not been confirmed that some of the Caviar Blacks are single-platter. They're quick, but apparently there are a few single-platter Blues as well as a certain Spinpoint that are quicker than the Caviar Blacks. I'll get a 500 or a 640 Caviar Blue AAKS for around $50.


So, the rest of the stuff stays for now. I'd love to get a new PSU, but honestly the Antec Earthwatts 650 is and has been doing fine, and I can't afford one (yet). The HD 5830 remains the video card of choice, the Audigy 2 will probably make it over, as will my temperamental old 2006 Memorex DVD-R/RW drive.

This is a decent stepping-stone. It will be faster in Windows desktop usage, and hopefully at least a bit noticeably improved in gaming. Right now I don't do much that's CPU intensive on my systems except for gaming, but that may change in the next six months or so as I may start doing a little video editing and some image editing using MS Expression Design.

Now, my first x3 720BE rig was a HUGE jump up from the previous system it replaced, an Opteron 165 (x2) @ 2.2ghz with 3gb PC3200. I completely understand that this won't feel like quite such a dramatic jump, but I anticipate that it will at least be noticeable.

Out with the old, in with the new!

08-15-10, 06:02 PM
SSD. Severely worth it.

08-15-10, 06:54 PM
SSD = not affordable enough. Needed to get CPU upgrade out of the way first.

Besides, I'm waiting on that until the turn of the year or so; when I can get two SSDs and run them in RAID 0. I don't want to know how one feels, I'd rather go straight for the throat with two. :p

08-15-10, 07:02 PM
If you can get that 1055t up in the 3.6+ range you're going to be very hapy :)

08-16-10, 07:06 AM
SSD. Severely worth it.


08-16-10, 07:13 AM
SSD. Severely worth it.

I would agree but it's not worth it enough for the price/GB yet.

08-16-10, 07:18 AM
I would agree but it's not worth it enough for the price/GB yet.

SSDs are not about price/GB, its about performance/$ ;)

Johnny C
08-16-10, 07:30 AM
Looks like a decent upgrade build....best of luck!

08-16-10, 07:31 AM
Like I said, soon enough I'll get two small ones (32gb probably) and RAID 0 them for Windows boot as well as my most used apps/games.

For now, I'm satisfied with two old Diamondmax 9s. I'm more satisfied with a multi-platter Caviar Blue. So obviously, for the near-term I'll be happy with a single-platter SATA-300 drive. :)

08-16-10, 07:53 AM
SSDs are not about price/GB, its about performance/$ ;)

Yup. Nothing else you can buy for that little sum of money that will give you that much performance.