Upgrading on $500 budget - C2D vs AMD 64

Trying to upgrade my son's machine, but right now budget is only about $500. Only need to replace the parts below. He's 12, so not real heavy into multitasking etc, just plays games and surfs.

The two options are about the cheapest I can put together that should be decent for what he does for at least the next year or two. I'm not going with the AMD X2 because I'm hoping this will last until they come out with something new.

I'd probably prefer the C2D right now, but given the budget and lack of knowledge about the MBs I don't know if the combo below will be much better than the AMD combo given what he does. I know the CPU is smoking, but the MBs everyone talks about just puts the combo out of my range.

Both systems will be overclocked on stock HSF to the extent of my limited abilities (change the FSB/add some volts/watch the temps) :oops:

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

CPU: AMD 64 3800+ 2.4GHz single core ($118)
MB: ASUS M2N-E 570 Ultra ($94)
Ram: Patriot Extreme 1GB (single stick for now) ($147)
GPU: XFX PVT73GUGE3 GeForce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 ($150)

Total: $509

CPU: C2D 6300 ($180)
MB: BIOSTAR TForce965PT Intel P965 Express ($82)
Ram: Patriot Extreme 1GB (single stick for now) ($147)
GPU: XFX PVT73GUGE3 GeForce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 ($150)

Total: $559

21 answers Last reply
More about upgrading budget
  1. Well, if you are only upgrading those parts, go for the C2D. But first,

    1) Get a cheaper stick of ram, unless, like you said, will OC to your limited extent.
    2) Get the EVGA 7600GT, you can save a few dollars, or even a 7600GS, you really save about $50 with the cheapest 7600GS.

    Other than that, you got a good system as far as I can tell for mild gaming and OC. Just my opinion.
  2. Quote:

    Ram: Patriot Extreme 1GB (single stick for now) ($147)

    Why extreme?

    C2D, FSB:RAM 1:1, if you overclock to 333FSB (25%), that's just 667 RAM.
  3. yeah, man, that ram is way too expensive, id probably just spend a little more than that and get some quality 2 gigs of ram, like decent quality

    idk, find a rebate deal
  4. If hes not multi tasking why c2d. If you(like me) are just jones'in to play with c2d why not this 805
    can oc the snot out of it @ 95 bucks.
  5. I think you'll be sorry trying OC that $89 motherboard with stock cooling. The customer reviews on it have not been stellar either. I would try to get a 975X motherboard, so it is beter compatible with multi-core if you want to upgrade it to 4 or more cores later and less finicky about memory. This mobo must have 1.8v memory and timings of 5-5-5/6-6-6 or it won't post!
  6. I would go with the AM2 one...I would change the MoBo to the one I have :D DFI is know for OC and it has plenty of Bios options...since you were going to spend 50 more bucks on the C2D build spend the extra 50 and get 2GB of Ram...OCZ has 2...2 gig sets for 219 after rebate...

    To warn you...the DFI board will underclock your ram to 667 unless you have a CPU with a multiplier of 10...the 3200 or 3800 or 4000
  7. I would go with the am2, if you are not in need for multitasking. But i would change the memory, and if the MB has a dual channel memory i would put 2x512 mb, or if you have the money 2x1gb. It will be faster. The games are still working better with single core cpu's. By the time they are optimised you'll probably have enough money to upgrade :)
  8. I was looking at that Ram because it was about the cheapest DDR2 800 on Newegg with decent reviews.

    I put some Kingston 667 in my other system, and it seemed to limit my OCing . I was thinking the 800 would give me a little more headroom.

    I was going to use a 1Gb stick so that later on I could add another for dual channel

    I don't know anything about the MB for the C2D system. Again, it was just one of the cheapest that had decent customer reviews. If someone has a recommendation that is close in price that would help.
  9. i think the C2D system is better for the budget, my dad has an x2 3800 and i have been less than impressed by its performance since he got it
  10. that mobo is not fantastic but it will do the work and OC at a decent level, the memry you chose is very expensive, try something cheaper, the E6300 is a very good overclocker, but go for a 7600gs, is cheaper

    you also can try the gigabyte S3 for the mobo

    for a concluzion, if you want to have a very powerful computer , very cold and with a low power consumtion, and to be capabe for future upgrading , than go for the CORE 2 DUO.

    1 year ago I was a amd fan, but I observed that amd is very chaotic , they launch many slots, 754, 939, am2, 940, 1207, practicly on the long run you cant make an upgrade.

    good luck!
  11. Is this the board you're talking about? Price is good. Have you used this?

    GIGABYTE GA-945PL-S3 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945PL Express ATX Intel Motherboard


    thanks for the heads up


    I just looked at the specs for this board and it only supports up to DDR2 533. Isn't that really going to limit performance/OCing? If I don't OC the 6300, does it make sense to get it???
  12. no, this is not the S3 I am talking about
    there is another S3 with a 965P chipset
  13. Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 - this is the one
  14. After reading all the customer reviews on newegg, this board seems to have some issues with fans and stuff. Since I am away from home a lot (US Army) I have to have something that's reliable and doesn't need much user intervention.

    Think I'm going to have to relook my budget if I want to go with C2D.

    Thanks for the suggestions, its been a while since I've used an Intel board and I'm pretty lost.
  15. than you have the option of the biostar mobo.
    take this link and read

  16. Always amazes me how a board can be reviewed so well by THG and others and then just get creamed by the reviews at newegg.

    I realize that some of the newegg folks are just trolls, but I also wonder if the board makers only send really good stuff to the reviewers.

    Thanks again deceneu - I'm going to keep digging for the biostar board reviews and see what else I can find. I really appreciate your help
  17. am: Patriot Extreme 1GB (single stick for now) ($147)

    150 dollars? i am sure 2x 512 Patriot low CL ram is cheaper if the 1GB stick is 150.. that awful..
  18. I just can't find a way to realistically squeeze a C2D under my $500 budget, so I'm kind of "settling" for the AMD system. Considering that the computer I'm upgrading is a ~1 Ghz socket A with a 7 yr old video card, this thing ought to scream in comparison.

    I've never used on Opteron, but supposedly they overclock well - the Ram I chose is because I want that extra headroom for the OC.

    Any comments on the parts below???

    AMD Opteron 148 Venus 2.2GHz Socket 939 Processor Model OSA148BNBOX - Retail ($106)

    EPoX EP-9NPA3ULTRA Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail ($75)

    BFG Tech BFGR76256GTOCE GeForce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail ($144)

    Crucial Technology Ballistix 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 500 (PC 4000) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT6464Z505 - Retail ($140)

    Total: $465

    Thanks again for the help
  19. Quote:
    DDR 500 (PC 4000)

    This and the other make me wonder: how high do you want to oc it?

    S939 opteron is nice, but it's EOL. No upgrade path.

    What's wrong with SktA? I've still got a Barton :twisted: and getting a 7600GS
    for it sometime soon (to hold over till 8600, when I get a new system...) 8)

    What kind of games is he playing? Maybe getting a better gfx card would be
    the most cost-efficient way untill you get some more together for a real
    upgrade ;) Gef Ti4600 and even 9800Pros are cheap nowadays, yet still have
    some more power; enough to humiliate that 7yro card :)
  20. I was originally concerned about the upgrade path, but in reality, he'll probably use this machine for the next 3-4 years and by that time, who knows what will be out there.

    Anyway, the old XP 1800 w/ a GeForce 2 MX just isn't cutting it for all the games he plays, and now that his friends are playing oblivion he needs some horsepower.

    I figure the $500 upgrade ought to be a huge improvement over what he's got and still let me pay the electric bill 8O

    This Christmas is a little tight, so I knock out two birds with one stone, he gets the "new" computer he needs and it can be his present - cheap, but ...
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