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Mobo+CPu Combo for under 250$

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April 26, 2007 10:21:59 PM

Hey guys, want to get your input on what is the best cpu+Mobo you can get for under 250. I can go maybe a little over it if the bang for buck is worth it. I am not partial to either AMD or Intel. I have never OC'ed before but will probably be doing it with this board. Components I have so far are:

Antec 900
Hyundai L90 Imagequest
I\O magic Dvd+rw (2 of them)
TT blue orb2
200gb maxtor sata 2
250gb Seagate sata2
Coolermaster 550W PSU

Prolly going to get a 8800 GTS to go with it. If anyone has any input on what ram to go with it I would appreciate that as well.
Cheers

More about : mobo cpu combo 250

April 26, 2007 10:58:45 PM

What will you be doing, e.g., gaming and if so, what, video editing, photo editing, just surfing, listening to music? Are you budgetting separately for for the RAM or is it included in the $250?
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2007 11:01:04 PM
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April 26, 2007 11:14:06 PM

Well, since your getting an 8800GTS im assuming you aren't going to do SLI, therefore getting a motherboard with it is a waste of the money.

X2 4800 2.5Ghz 65nm $132 Newegg
GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4 $99 Newegg

$211 combined


I'd definitely recommend 2 x 1 GB in dual channel of Corsair XMS2

Whether you use ddr2-675 or ddr2-800 it doesn't really matter. Although if you get ddr2-800 you will have higher timings 5-5-5-12 vs 4-4-4-12 unless you buy the higher end, and higher priced, version.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
For $100 Newegg you can't beat that.

If you have extra cash after that stuff, shove it into an even faster CPU such as an X2 5200+ or X2 5400+

If you need to save more money, then get no less than an X2 3800+ (65W) for $80 Newegg. Thats the processor I currently have, I've been overclocking it to 2.2ghz for as long as I've had it (220, 10x) with temps of 20 idle 28 high load celcius on stock cooler, Antec p180. Thats using the cheapest ATX AM2 mobo from ASUS (M2N), that mobo would overclock much better.

Just make sure you get 2 gigs of ram, way better deal than 1 gig, and the $35 more is worth it.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2007 11:20:29 PM

Quote:
Well, since your getting an 8800GTS im assuming you aren't going to do SLI, therefore getting a motherboard with it is a waste of the money.

X2 4800 2.5Ghz 65nm $132 Newegg
GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4 $99 Newegg

$211 combined


Ummm... that is an SLI motherboard too. :roll:

Good choices though, any brisbane will be good for OC'ing.
April 26, 2007 11:25:55 PM

yeah it is :D 

If that mobo is wasting money that this one will surely suffice
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but wait, another SLI one for the same price
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte owns ASUS for AM2 budget boards, and especially M-atx boards.

Helped a friend build a computer and he ordered the 4800. Just be glad you didn't get a 5200+ about a month ago. Another friend of mine ordered it when it was $280. The day after he ordered it, the price fell to $230, slowly fell to where now its $170
April 27, 2007 12:16:33 AM

Mostly gaming, some video editing, surfing, music, etc... Want to get something that can get excellent FPS, will be good for a few years, and leaves room for a good OC. No the RAM isn't in the 250. Most of those suggestions were for AMD, is that just because there isn't a good combo for intel or because AMD gives you better abng for buck in that price range?
April 27, 2007 1:05:32 AM

No, not since the price fall.

From mWave.com

e4300 - $115.25

Gigabyte S3 - $93.60

That should give you plenty of overclocking room and some extra cash if you want another CPU cooler. That is what I would do.

The e4300 @ 2.4Ghz or better should out perform any AMD CPUs in the same price range.

e4300 Stock and Overclocked Benchmarks
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2903&p=6


If you wanna go cheap though, the CPU/Mobo combo in my sig has worked well for me. Should cost around $140 for the 2.
April 27, 2007 1:13:46 AM

Does that ds3 board give have enough fan connectors? On the specs it only lists 1 while the Antec 900 has at least 4 fans with 6 optional. Anyone know of a decent board you can pair with a e6320 that will be within the 250-300 mark? I have labored over the AMDvsC2D for about 2 months now and haven't come up with a definitive answer yet. I want to try get an OC of around 2.6-2.8 with that Blue Orb before trashing it and going with something else. What is a good option anyone?
April 27, 2007 1:16:40 AM

Don't most fans just use power? All of my 3 case fans just use 4 pin molex connectors.
April 27, 2007 1:19:00 AM

True, that ought to work. My bad. I am used to junky old computers and mobos
April 27, 2007 1:28:53 AM

Quote:
True, that ought to work. My bad. I am used to junky old computers and mobos


Odds are, whatever you might ever need as far as connectors goes, there is an adapter!!! lol :lol: 
April 27, 2007 1:29:02 AM

My friend with the 5200+ ^ has that case, make sure you don't get a corsair modular power supply (worst combo ever).
April 27, 2007 1:45:09 AM

If you're going to get into OCing, then I'd really recommend the C2D. If you're going to only mildly OC or run stock, then the X2 is still the best bang/buck in the price range you're looking. I'd be very tempted by the e4300, a good motherboard - like the ga-p965-s3, and a decent after-market cooler. You might manage to get your e4300 up to around 3 GHz, where no X2 part can touch it's performance. This is what I'd do if I were building a gaming system.

Systems for regular computer users, non-overclockers, or for media centre systems, I'd stick with the X2. At stock, the C2D only takes over in performance/price above either the e6420 or e6600. See this thread.
April 27, 2007 2:12:20 AM

If I were to go the Intel route lets say I get a 6320 at 170$ and the gbyte ds3 for 110$ that is 290. What is the equivalent of that setup in AMD? I know the Am2 boards are better and cheaper but apparently the AM2 chips are smoked by the C2D I don't really understand the whole principle behind it, all I know is the benchmarks and they say AMD is dead. So all that to say what would be the equivalent of a 6320 and a ds3 in AMD terms?
April 27, 2007 2:14:58 AM

And yes my math sucks, 170 and 110 is 280 not 290, what can I say.
April 27, 2007 1:16:28 PM

Quote:
And yes my math sucks, 170 and 110 is 280 not 290, what can I say.


you could save 20 bucks and go with the S3 instead of the DS3. The solid cap is nice, but the S3 should last more then long enough. I have motherboards with standard caps from 1998 that are still chirping along.

Now, the new AMD brisbane cores do overclock well (as far as amd goes) but even at 3.0 Ghz, a c2d at ~2.4 will most likely be equal in performance.

Now, I love my brisbane, and it does everything I need it too, but with recent price drops it seems that C2D makes more sense.
April 27, 2007 2:33:11 PM

urmmmm, okay you totally lost me with that solid cap thing. What exactly is the difference between the solid and the standard cap. Right now they have the ds3 for 125 including shipping on the Egg and the s3 for 105 plus 6 shipping so for 15 bucks more is it better to go for the ds3? And just to bring this little topic to a close what would you recommend for that price range (around 250-280). Keep in mind I will prolly only be doing a mild oc as I am new to the OCing business and not really thrilled with the thought of frying my CPU. For a 4300 or a 6320 I would prolly try to push it to about 2.6-2.8, is that feasible with the Blue Orb? I know you can get upwards of 3 with either of those but I want to start small and give myself some experience before I go into extreme OCing.

BTW thanks for your time, really appreciate it.
April 27, 2007 2:44:18 PM

I would do the e43 or 4400 and the S3 myself. Solid caps are supposedly more resistant to leakage, therefore, last longer.

I am not sure what blue orb is, so I don't know how to answer that...

The e4400 (or e4300) and S3 should easily get you to at least 2.8 Ghz, I would think.

So, whichever C2D you can afford and the Gigabyte S3 motherboard, in my opinion. 8)
April 27, 2007 2:48:53 PM

Also what is the diff between the 43\44 and 63? Their stock clock speeds are around the same, cache is the same on the 44 and the 6320, the only diff I can see is the conroe vs Allendale and i haven't a clue what difference that would cause. Enlighten me if you could.
April 27, 2007 3:04:53 PM

the e4300 has a stock clock of 1.8 while the e4400 is 2.0Ghz. Not much of a difference there. You will probably be able to get a higher overclock on the e4400 and at the same speeds the e4400 will be easier on your RAM and Mobo.

The difference between the 43-4400 and the 6300... is the FSB speeds. The e6300 is 1066 while the e4300 is 800Mhz. This makes no difference in performance once you overclock.

Now the e6320 has more cache (4MB vs. 2MB) so that offers some extra performance.

Either route, you will have great performance. The e4300 is definitely the best bang for the buck, but the e6320 and e6420 are worht the money if you have it.

Again, the only other thing to consider is that you could spend much less cash on the AMD X2 3600+ and a motherboard like mine or the Biostar T550 and get great performance as well. You'd save about $100 going that route which you could put towards something else (better video, better monitor, steak dinner, games, etc...)
April 27, 2007 3:09:26 PM

I play at 1680x1050 and get playable framerate at any game I try maxed out.

In Oblivion, my FPS isn't high at all. Maxed out at my res with HDR and 4xAA it is still smooth and only stutters every now and then.

My computer is hardly CPU limited, I am very pleased with my CPU. I wish I would have went with the 8800, however.
April 27, 2007 3:11:27 PM

yeah I have thought long and hard on that route. Amd does have much better boards for the price and the price of their CPU's at stock speed is unbeatable. But then you look at the Charts on Toms and you the Intel ones blowing by everything. I would rather spend a tad more and get someth9ing that will run well for a while and has a higher ceiling than to get somthing cheaper and less efficient. Sort of "pennywise but pound foolish"
April 27, 2007 3:15:51 PM

Quote:
Does that ds3 board give have enough fan connectors? On the specs it only lists 1 while the Antec 900 has at least 4 fans with 6 optional. Anyone know of a decent board you can pair with a e6320 that will be within the 250-300 mark? I have labored over the AMDvsC2D for about 2 months now and haven't come up with a definitive answer yet. I want to try get an OC of around 2.6-2.8 with that Blue Orb before trashing it and going with something else. What is a good option anyone?

The DS3 has 2 3-pin fan connectors in addition to the CPU fan connector. Also it's the DS3 that has the all solid capacitors, the S3 has electrolytic ones that don't last as long. For the different processors:

E4300 - 9x multiplier - 2MB L2 cache - 200MHz FSB (quad pumped for 800MHz effective)
E4400 - 10x multiplier - 2MB L2 cache -200MHz FSB (quad pumped for 800MHz effective)
E6300 - 7x multiplier - 2MB L2 cache - 266MHz FSB (quad pumped for 1066MHz effective)
E6320 - 7x multiplier - 4MB L2 cache - 266MHz FSB (quad pumped for 1066MHz effective)

Conroe is a 1066MHz FSB part with 4MB of L2 cache; the E6300 and E6400 have 2MB of that disabled. Allendale is an 800MHz FSB part with 2MB of L2 cache.
April 27, 2007 6:42:22 PM

Quote:
If I were to go the Intel route lets say I get a 6320 at 170$ and the gbyte ds3 for 110$ that is 290. What is the equivalent of that setup in AMD? I know the Am2 boards are better and cheaper but apparently the AM2 chips are smoked by the C2D I don't really understand the whole principle behind it, all I know is the benchmarks and they say AMD is dead. So all that to say what would be the equivalent of a 6320 and a ds3 in AMD terms?


No one really knows how high the e6320 will clock. It should clock similarly to the e6300 though which can hit 3.4ghz or higher on air. The extra cache gives a 0 - 15% performance boost depending on the application. About 3% for gaming. Unless you clock it up to above 3ghz the e4300 is better bang for the buck at 3ghz (e4300 seems to start topping out around 3.2ghz but you can hit that with fairly cheap RAM and Mobos and stock cooling). For your budget range and being a noobie OCer you should definitely be looking at e4300 (and perhaps a better PSU) or get an Brisbane for even cheaper. Personally if I was given the choice between an e4300, e4400, e6320, or any Brisbane with air cooling and they were all the same price I would choose e4400. But they aren't all the same price so you gotta decide how much you wanna spend ;) 

What's up with the TT Blue Orb? I'm not sure if it's even better than the stock e4300 HSF... Giant tower heatpipe HSFs like Tuniq Tower or AC 64 freezer is where it's at for air cooling right now.

Oh, to answer your question: If you're overclocking to 3ghz or higher I don't think there is an AMD equivalent to a C2D for gaming.
April 27, 2007 6:58:33 PM

True your prolly right about that Blue Orb, I know it is doing a hell of a lot better on my Athlon 64 3400+ (about 20Degrees less than before) but that might be the combo of changing the old heatsink with that, and the fact that I scraped off an inch of the old heat spreader crap that Compaq had put on and put the right amount of AC5 on it.

The main thing I am looking for is results in the price range I am in. If it was as easy as just reading the clock speeds and judging by that I would have gone with AMD a long time ago, but I guess nothing in life is that easy. I made the mistake of buying a prebuilt Compaq almost 3 years ago and i know I don't want to go that route again. I just don't want to try to skimp on something and three months later wish I had gotten that other Cpu for 30 bucks more, you know what I am saying.

Main reason i went with the Blue orb is that it is smaller and lighter than something like the Tuniq, Scythe, or that Noctua one. Like I said I am just going for a mild over clock, nothing that will need a shoe box sized heatsink. As an added bonus it matches the 900 case pretty well, I know that is a stupid reason to get a heatsink, but it is a nice little bonus. I was going to go with AC freezer but that one is even smaller and has less fins than the Orb. Might have made a little mistake there but for 20 bucks it is a mistake I can live with.

Real world performance though (i.e. gaming, load times, tranferring files, etc.. what kind of difference, percentage wize, is there between a x2 4600 (125$, stock peed is 2.4, prolly bump it to 2.8 or 3) and a e4300 (116$, stock speed 1.8, OC'ed to 2.6 ish)?
April 27, 2007 8:52:05 PM

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html?modelx=33&model1...

Comparing an x2 6000 to an e6700 should give a rough idea of the performance delta between the two configurations you just mentioned. The C2D wins almost all of the benchmarks by a small margin. However, things to keep in mind:
1. you should be able to hit 3ghz with the C2D easily
2. for the price difference you might be able to swing getting an AM2 system AND upgrading in 3-6months if you have any regrets (it'll be a little more expensive, but it'll be faster too, and it costs you less money now)
3. They are both "fast enough"

As much as I'd like to encourage you to support the green team it sounds like you want to OC a C2D. Your budget certainly doesn't seem limit you to anything less.
April 27, 2007 9:43:57 PM

Quote:

3. They are both "fast enough"


I think that is my main point. Either system is going to be good for a good while. Going AMD is cheaper and still has adequate performance and an upgrade path as well.

The C2D may satisfy you longer, but cost more initially. That doesn't necessarily mean that it will cost less in the long run.

AMD combo - $140
C2D combo - $240

by the time you feel like you need to upgrade, that $100 you save could go towards a video card, or new CPU...


does all that make sense? makes sense in my head... lol

it really is a tuff decision. I was faced with the same one a few weeks/months back (i don't remember), but C2D was more expensive then and I couldn't justify the price difference.

for my needs, I would go AMD and a better video card.
April 27, 2007 11:24:40 PM

Yep that is always the dillema with Computer builds, there is always that next step up that is only 20 or 30 dollars more, and you just can't tell yourself when to stop! If I were to go the AMD route though I would get something like the Asus M2N Deluxe board so that I am safe for future upgrades, besides for being a top of the line board it is realatively cheap at 130$. Of course there is no such thing as safe in the computer world. Just when you think you are on top something else comes out in a month. The only reason I am apprehensive with something like the 3800+ is that I have a friend who got the 939 version of that chip and his build is slow as hell. could because he got a crummy board to go with it, could be he is still running with regular, non dual channel ddr Ram. Could be cause he is running a 6600 GPU. I don't know, I just know that if I am paying upwards of 700$ for this build I want to be blown away, not wondering why I payed that much for a few seconds shaved off my load up times. Thanks for your info guys. I am not dead set on C2D by any means. I came into this build loving AMD and thinking I would have to be really convinced to go with C2D and from what I have seen and heard C2D is where it is at. I would love to be convinced otherwise but so far everyone I have heard (not necessarily on this post) has said C2D or nothing at all. ANyhow I guess I will jsut look at prices a little longer and make up my mind in the coming days. Appreciate all your help guys, if you have any other info on the build I would appreciate it. I have read up quite a bit on the OCing process but will check in later on here once I get all the parts to get any additional info I might need.
Cheers
!