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A-series vs. FX series vs. Core i3/i5 builds

Ok, I will be working on my in-laws PC again this weekend -- my last attempt to upgrade their very old PC with very old parts of my own has apparently not gone so well (system keeps rebooting itself), & my wife informed me that I will get their desktop running again even if it means buying new parts.

The old system was based on a 1.4GHz Athlon Thunderbird (the year on the motherboard says "1996"). so if the board has an issue it's going to need total replacement: motherboard, CPU, RAM, probably OS & hard drive as well.

I'm not so worried about OS or hard drive selection, or even RAM. What I'm mainly looking at is, if I have to replace the board/CPU, which route would be best to a) meet their current & future needs, b) provide a good basis for future upgrades, and c) not break the bank.

The limitations involved:
-- the board must be mATX. Their existing case is perfectly fine, & I'd like to avoid replacing parts unnecessarily as much as possible.
-- There is no need for gaming on it. Although my brother-in-law & I play games on our own systems, my father- and mother-in-law don't even play browser-based games. So, I don't need to worry about high-end graphics, & definitely don't need to worry about overclocking the CPU or custom heat solutions.
-- I have to be able to pick the parts up on Saturday if I need them, so online ordering is completely out. My preference is Micro Center (there's one within an hour of their home), so I've based the parts on what's available there. That also means that, while I'm willing to consider future upgrades, I can't just wait for, say, the Kaveri-based A-series to come out because that's not until middle of next week.

So, looking over prices, I'm pretty sure Intel-based systems will be out. The cheapest "decent" set (Core i3-4130 with the ASRock H97M Pro4 board) is $185, whereas I can get an FM2 system (A8 6600K with Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H) for $150 or an AM3+ system (FX 4350 with ASRock 960GM/U3S3) for $165; even if I wanted a better processor, the cheapest i5 solution (Core i5-4570 with the same board) will cost me $245, versus $170 for the FM2 (A10 6800K, same board) or $185 for the AM3+ (FX 6350, same board). I can even get better top-line AMD systems for much cheaper: $210 for an FM2 (A10 6800K, ASUS A88XM-A board) or $215 for an AM3+ board (FX 8320, ASUS M5A78L-M/USB3), whereas for that price range I'm lucky to get an i3-4340 ($215 pairs it with the ASRock H97M Pro4). Their needs barely meet "budget" level, let alone mid-range, so for the price AMD is my way to go.

My question, though, is twofold:

1. Does the FX series provide any sort of performance benefit over the A-series to counteract the lower integrated graphics capabilities (A-series have HD 7000/8000 GPUs, but the AM3+ boards available only use HD 3000/4200 GPUs)?

2. If a discrete GPU combined with an FX series CPU is the better choice, which GPU would be recommended: XFX Radeon HD 6450 2GB for $54.99, or Gigabyte R7 250 1GB for $94.99? Note that, because I'm limited to what cards are in stock & I need a VGA output (they have an old CRT screen; since it works, I'm not replacing it). Note that, because of the prices, that pushes the AM3+ solutions towards 50-100% more expensive than the FM2 solutions. Also note that, if the HD 3000 graphics aren't "good enough" on the AM3+ boards, then neither are the Intel HD-based graphics for the Intel chips; in other words, if you say I need to buy a discrete card to go with an FX series chip, then I'll understand that to mean that a Core i3/i5 system would also need the same discrete card, making the AMD solution still the cheaper alternative.
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More about series series core builds
  1. You buy amd for the excellent graphics and multicore capabilities. .
    You buy intel for the faster individual cores.I recently used a G3220 cpu in a small build.
    At $60 it is entirely suitable for a web browsing and non gaming pc.
    The integrated graphics is suitable for HD movie playback.
    A $50 M-ATX motherboard might be:
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/419739/H81M-HDS_LGA_1150_mATX_Intel_Motherboard

    A key and perhaps controversial suggestion is to build based on a SSD for the "C" drive.
    A Samsung EVO 120gb will be about $100. Believe me, this component is more important to perceived quickness than anything else you can buy.
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/418123/840_EVO_MZ-7TE120BW_120GB_SATA_60Gb-s_25_Internal_Solid_State_Drive_Upgrade_Kit_(SSD)
  2. Best answer
    geofelt said:
    You buy amd for the excellent graphics and multicore capabilities. .
    You buy intel for the faster individual cores.I recently used a G3220 cpu in a small build.
    At $60 it is entirely suitable for a web browsing and non gaming pc.
    The integrated graphics is suitable for HD movie playback.
    A $50 M-ATX motherboard might be:
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/419739/H81M-HDS_LGA_1150_mATX_Intel_Motherboard

    A key and perhaps controversial suggestion is to build based on a SSD for the "C" drive.
    A Samsung EVO 120gb will be about $100. Believe me, this component is more important to perceived quickness than anything else you can buy.
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/418123/840_EVO_MZ-7TE120BW_120GB_SATA_60Gb-s_25_Internal_Solid_State_Drive_Upgrade_Kit_(SSD)


    Yeah I completely agree here, a lot of users who don't know a lot about technology don't estimate that the slowest part of the PC isn't the CPU. It's more the primary storage device. A slow hard drive can cripple the fastest mainframe. The operating system is another component that can significantly bog down your system if it's overloaded with bloated drivers and things like that.
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