cover
Fernando G.

Fernando G.

Joined on 09/09/02

0
0

Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 9
Most Favorable Review

Nvidia & Phenom II X4 955

MSI NF980-G65 AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
MSI NF980-G65 AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: I bought this board after careful consideration and relatively positive reviews. The SLI feature as an option on an AMD platform is intriguing and the only alternative to Crossfire-based boards. The board shipped with the latest bios and had no issue properly identifying my Phenom II X4 955 revision 'C' cpu. I paired this board with G.SKILL DDR3 1600 7-7-7-24 1T@1.6v memory and after setting the FSB/ratio to 1:4 (and XMP profile memory timings), I was 'up' and 'running' at 1600 DDR3 speed with little effort. Additionally, the cpu overclocked from the default 3.2 to 3.8GHz at default cpu voltage. I also increase the NB frequency from 2000 (default) to 2400 with no increase in cpu-nb voltage.

Cons: The Phenom II X4 officially supports DDR3 1333 only. DDR3 1600 is consider an overclock. Although the G.SKILL memory I used is rated DDR3 1600 7-7-7-24 1T @1.6v, it absolutely refuses to run at CL7 on this board. So, it runs at 8-7-7-24 1T@1.6v. However, there appears to be success stories around with people running a select few 790FX boards (with beta or unofficial bios support) that allows CL7 to work with this type of high-speed memory. I am hopeful that MSI may release a bios that will support CL7 with this type of memory.

Overall Review: SATA ports 1&2 (from total of 6) do not recognize RAID-0 configs. Only after moving to port 3 & 4 did it properly boot my Windows 7 Ultimate 64 disc for installation of the OS. Mounting my Tuniq 120 Extreme cpu cooler required the installation of the memory sticks first as there is no room in slots 1&2 if you install this cooler.

Phenom II X4 Compatible

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH

Pros: I installed G.SKILL Ripjaws into my MSI NF980-G65 running at DDR3 1600 ONLY after manually entering the timings from the XMP profile and setting the appropriate ratio. Otherwise, it was a 'plug-n-play' experience.

Cons: I am unable to run them at the advertised CL 7. So, instead of 7-7-7-24, they work at 8-7-7-24 @1.6v. Hopefully this may be resolved with a future motherboard bios tweak.

Overall Review: I realize DDR3 1333 is the rated official speed of the Phenom II X4 cpu. However, I took the chance that I might get CL7 speed at DDR3 1600 with the newer C3 revision or stepping of this 955 cpu. Some are running at CL7 on very select motherboard based on the 790FX chipset. I am hopeful this may extend eventually to my board based on the Nvidia NF980a chipset.

An underrated PSU

mushkin XP-650 650W ATX12V SLI Ready Modular  Power Supply
mushkin XP-650 650W ATX12V SLI Ready Modular Power Supply

Pros: 650 watts of ultra low-ripple (1%) and excellent voltage regulation (1%) across load. Crossfire certified (but should also be SLI-certified too). Total of 44a across the +12 rails. Serves the needs of my OC'd system: DFI LP nF4 SLI-DR, Opteron 170 (9x334 @1.475v), 2x1GB Mushkin Redline XP4000 (273.3 MHz @3-4-8-3), Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic, MSI 7900GT, 2x320GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATAII Raid-0, Sony DVD-ROM, Plextor 16x DVD-Burner, Antec P180B

Cons: No active-PFC; probably using passive-PFC design. Relatively poor efficiency. No way of adjusting fan rpm or change color from green to another.

Overall Review: This is an excellent power supply if your priorities are with low-ripple, excellent voltage regulation. This serves the overclockers' among us but with some tradeoffs. This unit lacks active-PFC and better efficiency. Mushkin took a step or two backwards in an age when the competitors are offering those options for a similar cost. Strange that the 580w model has those issues addressed but the 650-XP model does not.

Antec Performance One P180B Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel for durability through the majority of chassis
1.0mm cold rolled steel around the 4 x HDD area ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec Performance One P180B Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel for durability through the majority of chassis 1.0mm cold rolled steel around the 4 x HDD area ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: Great cooling capacity and relatively low noise (3x120mm fans at low speed). The case isolates the noise very well and the silicon grommets are great for reducing the vibration of the hard drives.

Cons: Relocation of the power supply at the bottom reduces the available space to work on the motherboard's case connectors and any other connection in that area. The top 120mm fan helps to exhaust air but it also allows noise to escape too (especially my CPU and ram coolers). It's a good tradeoff IMHO.

Overall Review: Overall a very nice upgrade to my old Antec 840SX.

12/23/2006
Sony Optiarc Black 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1615/B2s
Sony Optiarc Black 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1615/B2s

Pros: Very quiet and fast. It's black so it matches my P180B case. It's relatively inexpensive ($xx). It has 512k cache, 16x DVD-ROM, and is compatible with all of my media. What are you waiting for?

Cons: None

12/23/2006
AMD Opteron 170 - Opteron Denmark Dual-Core 2.0 GHz Socket 939 110W Processor - OSA170CDBOX
AMD Opteron 170 - Opteron Denmark Dual-Core 2.0 GHz Socket 939 110W Processor - OSA170CDBOX

Pros: 10x multiplier and 1meg cache (per cpu). Denmark core and good stepping for decent OC. 2500MHz (10x250) at stock voltage (1.35v) and 10x280 at 1.5v. $xxx for dual-core Opteron at 2800MHz? Probably can do 3GHz but I don't want to push it on air cooling. What are you waiting for?

Cons: None

Overall Review: I'm using a DFI NF4 SLI-DR MoBo with Mushkin Redline PC4000 2x512mb UTT CH-5 (memory using 9/10 divider 254.5MHz 2-2-2-8@3.3v)

12/23/2006