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General use/HTPC/Gaming build. Advice?

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August 8, 2013 9:42:58 AM

This time I will follow the apparent "guidelines" for asking build advice.

Here is my pitiful older build that is currently gathering dust in the basement:

AMD Sempron64 2800+ @1.6 GHz (Once overclocked to 2.22 GHz, unstable!)
3GB 800MHz DDR2 RAM
Abit KN9 Ultra socket 754 motherboard
EVGA GeForce GT 430
Western Digital Caviar 80GB Mechanical Hard Drive
Generic 550-Watt PSU (I can't find a brand name on it.)

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: November/December 2013. Maybe earlier, but this thing could possibly serve as a Christmas present.

Budget Range: $300-350 (Not including video card.)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: School work, web browsing, streaming HD movies on Netflix, playing some not-so-intensive games, possibly 3D modeling in Blender.

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: CPU, Motherboard, RAM, HDD, Power supply, Case, Maybe Video Card (later on.)

Do you need to buy OS:No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com, Amazon as a last resort.

Location: Central Illinois, United States

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, (AMD if I absolutely have to), Asus motherboard, Corsair/Antec power supply, EVGA Nvidia graphics card. (Note: GPU not part of budget!)

Overclocking: No...If I do, it will only be a small amount in the distant future to get some final juice out of the CPU.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe SLI in the future, but not likely.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I have a, EVGA GT 430 1GB that I recently replaced with an EVGA GTX 660 2GB, which I think could definitely be used in a new build, for a while anyway. It works just fine.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading?: My old computer is literally too old to install Windows 7 on. My younger brother wants something that he can use for school and do other things (such as the above.)

Thanks to anyone who can offer some advice to me. I'm not looking to spend a lot, I just want something that works and that my brother can put to good use for a few years.

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a b à CPUs
August 8, 2013 10:25:55 AM

My humble suggestion. With the AMD build, you get better all around performance, multitasking, and better performance in very new games that can use 4 or more cores. With the intel build ,you get better performance in most games, any application that uses 1-2 threads, and a longer CPU upgrade path. Both rigs pair well with the GTX 660.

- I know you requested Asus mobo. Asrock used to be a division of Asus until they bought themselves from Asus. Their motherboards are great bang for the buck.

intel build

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3210 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.10 @ TigerDirect)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS R2.0 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($54.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.28 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($53.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Antec VSK-3000 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Microcenter)

Total: $338.31
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


amd build

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($117.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.28 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($53.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Antec VSK-3000 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Microcenter)

Total: $347.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

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August 8, 2013 3:13:43 PM

Thanks man, I may just end up going with an AMD setup. But one question...Will 430 watts power the FX-6300? It seems rather weak and with a video card I don't see how that would work. A 500-watt PSU seems more comfortable to me. But thanks for the ideas!
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