Hey guys, I'm looking into building a budget gaming PC. I'm looking at an AMD based system with the FX-6300 and 7870 GHz Edition from Asus. My question is which motherboard should I use? I been looking at the Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P and the Asus M5A97 EVO R2.0 and I really don't have a clue :/ I'm planning on overclocking and have in mind to get an H100i to go with... maybe overkill but I would hope to upgrade to the 8350 or a 9000 series at some point in the future :P Any suggestions are much appreciated, here's the link to PC part picker with the parts I'm thinking about, any comments are more than welcome! :D
If you're planning on upgrading to the FX-8320/8350 in the near future, buy a MB with the 990 chipset. I prefer Asus motherboards (some people have legitimate reasons for not liking them, but it is mostly due to Linux compatibility). I would recommend the M5A99X Evo R2.0 or the M5A99FX Pro R2.0.
Here is my build. Very similar to what you are going for. I can vouch for it highly! Very good performance per dollar! I did however change the CPU cooler to a noctua NH d14 and cleaned up the cables.
In terms of motherboard, the M5a97 R2.0 is an excellent motherboard. The bios is clear and easy to use. Overclocking was easy. In fact, I got my own FX 6300 to 4.5 Ghz stable with 1.325V on the Vcore. It could have been just lucky and I won the silicon lottery. But you could expect to see similar numbers. It's also reliable, it hasn't froze, crash or blew up yet and I predict it could chug along nicely for the next couple of years.
My only gripes are: It's a brown PCP which isn't really a big deal, but for me, it kind of throws off the aesthetics.
It's a 4+2 powerphase, Which is fine for FX 6300 cpus. Like I said, I have mine up to 4.5Ghz. But if you're looking at upgrading to the FX 8350 or 9000 series. Then spend the couple of dollars more and get an ASUS M5a99fx Pro. It has a 6+2 Powerphase which will better support the 8 core cpus. Although, by the time you want to upgrade comes, probably in a year or two from now. The AM3+ platform might be long obsolete
So for the moment, I'd get the M5a97. Even if you wanted to upgrade to an eight core, you could. MisteryAngel does it and it works for her.
If the OP wants to upgrade to an FX-8320/8350 in the future, he may as well spend $20-$30 (at current prices) more on the motherboard now and get the greater overclocking potential, stability, and reliability offered by the 990 chipset. In addition, the power delivery offered by those two boards is a significant improvement compared to the M5A97 R2.0. The M5A97 R2.0 will probably work (more so at stock clocks), but overclocking an 8320/8350 on it is toeing the line of what internet wisdom deems safe. I have read several heart-wrenching stories of attempted overclocks with that CPU/MB combo that resulted in fried components and extra money spent.
The reason I say Asus is because that is where I have the most experience, and all of it has been positive. I know there are many other options out there, but I don't have the hands-on experience to make a confident recommendation. I know JayzTwoCents highly recommends the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3.
To be more clear, the M5A97 R2.0 and the FX-6300 will probably be a great combo, but it is the upgrade that makes me change my recommendation. But, as Mo_Elguhiem says below, by the time to upgrade comes, AMD my have some new products that could be more enticing than an FX-8320/8350. That should also be taken into consideration.
Grayson they're not talking about the M5A97 2.0. They're talking about the 970 evo, which has the exact same 6+2 vrm as the 990x evo.
Also JayzTwoCents recommendation of the Gigabyte 990fx-ud3 was shit. He was painting it as a very easy overclocking board which physically it could have been, until Gigabyte put the worst Bios of all time on it. I have it so I would know. Do not buy it.
My mistake. I still stand by my recommendation. The M5A97 Evo is currently more expensive (in the US at least) and offers less features than the M5A99X Evo R2.0. The 990 has a faster HT Layer and more features. Why pay more for less?
As for the Gigabyte, that is exactly why I didn't go so far as to recommend it myself. Experience trumps things you read and hear every time.
Aaaannnnddd I just looked at the UK prices. Different story there. At that point, it is a matter of looking at the other features offered and deciding if they are worth the price jump. Sorry for my confusion.