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AMD AM2+ Mobo Recommendation Please

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New Member
Dec 18, 2009
I've decided that it's time to upgrade from my Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H motherboard.

My goal is just to make the system run faster in general.

CPU - I'm running on a AMD Phenom 9950 BE right now OC'ed to 3.1GHz. At some point I may want to upgrade to a Phenom II but not in the near future.

Memory - I'm using 4x OCZ 2GB DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800. I'd like to upgrade to DDR3 but, again, don't see doing so in the immediate future.

Storage - My OS (Windows 7 Pro x64) and programs live in an OCZ Vertex 60GB SSD. Docs and such are on a WD Raptor 150GB. Everything else is spread across a 320GB and 500GB WD Caviars. At some point in the near future, I do plan to Raid 1 2 320GB HDs to safeguard archives.

Video - My video card is an XFX GeForce 9400 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2. I don't game much if at all but I do a lot of image editing in Photoshop, video editing in Premiere Pro, and video conversion / rendering to DVD and other formats. Plans to upgrade the GPU are up in the air.

So based on all this, I was thinking:

  • AM2+ / AM3 socket so I can upgrade CPU
  • 4x memory slots - Is there such a thing as DDR2 upgradeable to DDR3? Something about AM2+ not able to do DDR3 or is that totally wrong?
  • SB710 chipset - This is big time important. Current SB700 on my Gigabyte is the SUCK for SSD speeds. Is there much difference between SB710 and SB750 if I'm only doing Raid 1 at most?
  • Crossfire - If I upgrade my video card, would it be worth going with an ATI and crossfire it with the onboard?
  • Overclocking friendly - I am a total noob to OC'ing so I don't need a board that can do crazy OC but maybe one that won't let me screw it up.

Budgetwise? Cheaper the better of course - ideally sub $100 which I think is reasonable if I settle for a SB710 chipset versus the SB750.

Thanks for any advice!!