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I'm going through the required components list, and I came along what feels like a discrepancy that I could use a little clearing up on:

I was under the impression from my past upgrade experience that motherboards and processors had to match pin count in order to be compatible.

According to the list, for example:

AMD Phenom II X3 740BE 3.0GHz 6MB L3 95W TriCore OEM (which unless I'm losing it, is a 740 pin processor)

is compatible with the:

ASRock M3A770DE: Socket AM3, 770 Chipset, ATX



which are 770 pin, correct?

I also was confused by the:

Cooler Master Hyper 101A Heat-Pipes Direct Contact CPU Cooler AMD Socket 939/940/AM2/AM3 RR-H101-22FK-RA

which, if you follow the list is compatible with the above processor and motherboards, but is made for these high 939 and 940 pin count sockets.

Also ...

I see rave reviews about the AMD Phenom II X3 740BE 3.0GHz 6MB L3 95W TriCore OEM, and it's sold out and out of stock on

Is it worth paying the higher cost to get it elsewhere?

or alternatively, is this Other Phenom II X3 processor compatible with the rest of the list?
When it comes to compatibility between processors and motherboards, the socket is what determines the compatibility. the AMD Phenom II X3 740BE is for the AM3 socket so all motherboards that are AM3 will be compatible. AM3 processors are also compatible with AM2+. The AMD Phenom II X3 715 is AM2+ and will NOT work with AM3 motherboards. The cooler that you picked out will be compatible with both of the processors you were interested in. The numbers 740, 770, and 715 are the number of pins but would be more accurately be described as model numbers. Go with the 740BE, it's cheaper and performs better and finding a compatible motherboard will be much easier since many of the AM2+ motherboards are discontinued. The ASRock Extreme is the better motherboard.

AM3 socket works with AM3 processors and coolers.

That was really helpful, thanks very much.
The Phenom II X3 740BE is worth paying a bit more for if you overclock. It's a black edition so it has a unlocked multiplier. The good thing about the Phenom II X3 series is that you can unlock to 4 cores in many situations (sometimes the 4th core is defective, but it never hurts to try unlocking it). If you don't overclock, the Phenom II X3 715 should be good.
The Phenom II X3 715 is not good, it uses the AM2+ socket and will not be compatible with AM3 motherboards. This means that you have to get an old motherboard with DDR2 RAM and without USB 3/SATA 6Gbps.

If you unlock the fourth core and it's stable, the only drawback is that it will use more power and exhaust more heat.

Anyways the Phenom II X3 740 is a very good buy if you can find it for $90 or less.

The model number (715, 720, 740, etc.) has nothing to do with the amount of pins. All AM3 processors have 938 pins.

The 770 chipset also has nothing to do with the amount of contacts the motherboard has.
The Phenom II X3 740BE is hard to find, period. I've been able to find two sites that carry it at all, one being, which has it sold out and out of stock.

The other is avadirect and it's on special order.

Here's to hopes that it becomes more available for Cyber Monday! Wink

Oh and if anyone happens to know some place that's selling it, please share.
Consider getting a Phenom II X2 555 3.2GHz Black Edition which comes with a cooler and has the potential to become a quad core or tri core.
(11-28-2010, 11:41 AM)Andrew J Wrote: [ -> ]Consider getting a Phenom II X2 555 3.2GHz Black Edition which comes with a cooler and has the potential to become a quad core or tri core.

You say it has the potential to go to 3 or 4 cores. Does that mean that this dual core processor has an extra core or two that isn't effectively "turned on" ?

Yes, that's correct. It has two cores disabled, there's no guarantee that those two cores will work though.

This is what I have selected so far:

Rosewill DESTROYER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 120mm ...

ASRock 770 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-768I GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision HDZ555WFGMBOX

GeIL Value PLUS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10660) Desktop Memory Model GVP34GB1333C9DC

LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Reader SATA Model iHOS104-06 - OEM

All of which I can snag from ... can you verify their compatibility with each other?

Can you recommend a compatible and wise choice for storage that can be found on ?

Bearing in mind the advice of being patient ... I'm going to give some time to hopefully finding the recommended Phenom II X3 740BE. But the processor you recommended above will be a good second choice I think.
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