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Best bang for your buck CPU

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June 3, 2013 1:00:11 PM

I've never built my own PC, but I've always wanted to. I've got a lot of experience in replacing HDDs, DVD drives and did a few power supplies, but never a full build from scratch. I'm not even exactly sure how much I can spend altogether and I know I'm going to have to buy part by part over about a 1 year period of time, but I figure I can start pricing things and try to come up with some kinda list.

I have always heard that AMD are a bit more affordable than Intel. So, I guess my question would be what's the best AMD CPU for say about $250? I may go a little higher than that, I'm just using that as a ballpark figure for now. Thanks in advance for any and all replies and advice!

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a c 161 à CPUs
June 3, 2013 1:02:09 PM

As far as I know, all of them are less than $250 whether in USD, CAD, or AUD.
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June 3, 2013 1:08:28 PM

ksham said:
As far as I know, all of them are less than $250 whether in USD, CAD, or AUD.


Ok great. I might as well as this then. If I could only spend $250 for a CPU, would you think an Intel would be better than a $250 AMD CPU? It's just that I've always heard that Intel are more expensive and I wasn't sure if I could get a $250 or less Intel CPU that could outperform a $250 or less AMD CPU. Thanks again!
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a c 210 à CPUs
June 3, 2013 1:12:44 PM

FX 8350 for $179.99 is the top of the line AMD. You can spend a bit more on an Intel CPU, but the performance gap is negligible outside a few specific applications (iTunes, Skyrim, SC2, Civ5).

You would spend about $209.99 on the i5-3570k which is the most comparable offering from intel.

AMD boards tend to run a bit less than Intel boards as well. Especially if you ever plan to overclock.

Choose what you prefer though, as the difference between the FX8350 and i5-3570k is very negligible...you wouldn't notice the difference in most games or applications either way. The 8350 wins some and the 3570k wins some.

EDIT: You can build a decent AMD build for about $800-1000 with monitor and Windows7 64bit OEM disk. That's not including keyboard/mouse though.

AMD Build:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12Boa
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12Boa/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12Boa/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($22.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($67.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Merc Beta (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($62.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" Monitor ($137.58 @ Newegg)
Total: $995.40
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Intel build:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12BtA
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12BtA/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12BtA/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($22.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($67.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Merc Beta (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($62.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" Monitor ($137.58 @ Newegg)
Total: $1073.40
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-03 16:22 EDT-0400)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-03 16:19 EDT-0400)

Those are very comparable systems.
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a b à CPUs
June 3, 2013 1:14:17 PM

if your spending that much get intel. what are you going to do with this computer?
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June 3, 2013 1:29:15 PM

8350rocks said:
FX 8350 for $179.99 is the top of the line AMD. You can spend a bit more on an Intel CPU, but the performance gap is negligible outside a few specific applications (iTunes, Skyrim, SC2, Civ5).

You would spend about $209.99 on the i5-3570k which is the most comparably offering from intel.

AMD boards tend to run a bit less than Intel boards as well. Especially if you ever plan to overclock.

Choose what you prefer though, as the difference between the FX8350 and i5-3570k is very negligible...you wouldn't notice the difference in most games or applications either way. The 8350 wins some and the 3570k wins some.

EDIT: You can build a decent AMD build for about $800-1000 with monitor and Windows7 64bit OEM disk. That's not including keyboard/mouse though.

AMD Build:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12Boa
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12Boa/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12Boa/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($22.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($67.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Merc Beta (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($62.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" Monitor ($137.58 @ Newegg)
Total: $995.40
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Intel build:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12BtA
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12BtA/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/12BtA/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($22.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($67.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Merc Beta (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($62.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" Monitor ($137.58 @ Newegg)
Total: $1073.40
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-03 16:22 EDT-0400)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-03 16:19 EDT-0400)

Those are very comparably systems.


Thanks for the reply! That PCPartPicker seems to take a bit of the guesswork out as far as the pricing goes. It's funny you mentioned the AMD 8350, I was just looking at some reviews for that and I liked what I saw. For now, I would say that will probably be the direction that I will go. Thanks again!
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June 3, 2013 1:31:24 PM

guitargod213 said:
if your spending that much get intel. what are you going to do with this computer?


Mostly gaming, surfing, watching movies, etc. I really don't think I would be doing much multitasking on it.
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a c 210 à CPUs
June 3, 2013 1:31:52 PM

Good luck :) 
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a c 161 à CPUs
June 3, 2013 1:43:02 PM

8350rocks put up good builds. I will advice the following changes:

1. Sapphire > PowerColor.
2. Better case.
3. Better PSU. Corsair CX models are low-end and are not optimal for high performance builds.
4. Get a cheaper optical if you do not work with Blu-ray.

And try to fit a SSD in there if your budget permits.
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June 3, 2013 1:46:45 PM

If you have a enough get a FX-6300( 6 core) and that will run you 130 bucks, but if you have 170 bucks go for a FX-8350( 8 core).

-Scott
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June 3, 2013 2:28:23 PM

Wow! All this advice is awesome! You guys and this site truly rocks! Thanks everyone!

I was thinking about comparing and pricing graphic cards next, but I'll post that question in the appropriate section.
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!