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OK… I concede… recommend an Intel CPU

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February 10, 2008 4:55:46 PM

It has been really hard to start this thread and start thinking about not going AMD, but I do want to give my brother the most bang for his buck. I was wanting to find an AM2+ setup, but I have to at least see what the other camp has to offer.

What is the best CPU/Motherboard combo I can get for him at around the ~300.00 mark?

And I will be in the dark with Intel in terms of about everything. I will not even have a clue of what speed of ram to pair up with a recommended Intel CPU.

The stock speed has to be equal to or greater than 3.2Ghz (for his girlfriend has a CPU at that level). But I would also like a CPU/Motherboard where I can buy him a copper heatsink in a year and overclock it when he starts to complain about CPU power. But to start off, I plan to just leave it at stock speeds with a stock heatsink.

But, hey, I am an overclocker at heart, so if there are some super simple and safe overclockable Intel CPUs that can use a stock heatsink and a simple divider for inexpensive ram… ya, if that can get to the 3.5Ghz, mark, that would be awesome….
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February 10, 2008 5:33:09 PM

P35-DS3L + E21xx if you plan to OC or a E6x50. DDR2 800 is pretty cheap now days. ($34 for 2*1GB Corsair XMS2 @ newegg). Depending on if it a gaming build or not you will have to decide on the graphics. If it is a gaming build go with a 8800GT 512 if not get a cheap video card and OC it. You would need a good CPU cooler if you plan to OC the CPU. I recommend a ZALMAN CNPS7700-ALCU 120mm ($33 @ newegg) or a ZEROtherm Nirvana ($39 after MIR @ newegg). Also make sure you include a good quality PSU.
February 10, 2008 5:36:34 PM

E8400 from MicroCenter + GA-P35-DS3L = 300USD
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February 10, 2008 5:38:40 PM

Pretty much all of them OC great. But one thing you are flawed in thinking is that cpu speed = performance. It's all about the architecture...Lower clocked intel offerings still beat amd's options. So don't worry about getting something clocked lower from intel.

Considering your budget, it is mostly based on what board/features you want. I'd recommend either a E6550 with a Gigabyte P35-DS3R or Asus p5k.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you don't need raid or firewire, then you can go with a cheaper board and better cpu. Such as a E6750, and a P35-DS3L or P5K SE.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Either choice you choose, good overclockers. If you really want to save on your budget, you can nab a Allendale CPU and just OC it from the get go. Great budget based processors that can hit around 3.2 with great performance considering the price....For the Allendales you'd have to look at the E4xxx lines or E2xxx line, but keep in min the E2xxx line has 1 mb of L2 cache, while the E4xxx line has 2, the E6XXX line has 4...So just base it off your budget. Keep in mind the performance is still spectacular on the lower priced allendales when oc'ed, it's just up to you which route you want to take, and if the more L2 Cache is beneficial for you.

You really can't go wrong with any core 2 duo lineup. they are all fantastic processors with great OC potential...Even hitting 100% oc's is possible, and has been done (especially on the low end allendales considering the lower clock speed).

Choice is yours, if you have any questions feel free to ask. If you plan to OC, it kinda beats the purpose of nabbing a AMD based processor now-a-days, unless you're on a very limited budget and going for the X2 line..But even so, the low end core 2 duo line still offer massive performance with 50-100% overclocks. You're making a smart choice ^_^...It will last a lot longer.

edit- That microcenter deal is a goodie, if you are going for that close to your price range, drop the e6750 idea and nab it, a fantastic deal that you should take up. I just didn't put it in due to newegg being out of stock, plus charging a ridiculous mark up due to demand. Regarding the cooler, if your budget is really low, a Arctic Freezer 7 pro is a goodie for low budget after market coolers. But even on the stock coolers, you should be able to OC a bit...
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February 10, 2008 5:50:23 PM

First - Don't go by the "3.2" for beating GF. It depends on which 3.2 proc she has. Take a look at tom's processor performance chart. Most of the core2Duo's with their lower clock speed will beat and old 3.2

My choise, others will probably follow w/better.

Prices from Newegg
Proc.
E4500 @ 2.2 GHz - $125
E6550 @ 2.33GHz - $170
E6420 @ 2.13 GHz - $199

MB
Gigabyte P35-DS3L - $106
Gigabyte P35-DS3L - $137

Memory
Corsair DDR2-800 CL4 $52 (after $40 rebate)

By choise would be the E6420/Gigabyte MB/with DDR2-800 CL4 memory
Reason: This was my first overclock (E6400 instead of E6420) and it was so simple, Basicly set the Buss freq to 400, Ram voltage to 2.1 and set the Memory timing to spec. and walla worked like a champ first time.
I did use a Zalman 9500 CPU cooler as I do not recommend the stock cooler even at stock freq (athought many others have had NO problems w/stock cooler, enough have due to the poor design.

February 10, 2008 6:02:39 PM

jbj190 said:
E8400 from MicroCenter + GA-P35-DS3L = 300USD

I second this. It would be hard to beat this deal for quality/performance.
February 10, 2008 6:04:27 PM

Welcome to the dark side :D .
February 10, 2008 6:13:08 PM

yomamafor1 said:
Welcome to the dark side :D .

Life's a lot more interesting in the dark side. :kaola: 
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February 10, 2008 6:16:19 PM

Titanion said:
It has been really hard to start this thread and start thinking about not going AMD, but I do want to give my brother the most bang for his buck. I was wanting to find an AM2+ setup, but I have to at least see what the other camp has to offer.

What is the best CPU/Motherboard combo I can get for him at around the ~300.00 mark?

And I will be in the dark with Intel in terms of about everything. I will not even have a clue of what speed of ram to pair up with a recommended Intel CPU.

The stock speed has to be equal to or greater than 3.2Ghz (for his girlfriend has a CPU at that level). But I would also like a CPU/Motherboard where I can buy him a copper heatsink in a year and overclock it when he starts to complain about CPU power. But to start off, I plan to just leave it at stock speeds with a stock heatsink.

But, hey, I am an overclocker at heart, so if there are some super simple and safe overclockable Intel CPUs that can use a stock heatsink and a simple divider for inexpensive ram… ya, if that can get to the 3.5Ghz, mark, that would be awesome….


First off what CPU does hif GF use that is set to 3.2GHz? Depending on which model there are a lot of Intel dual/quad cores that at stock speeds will blow that away even when at a lower clock speed. For instance, I have a Q6600 that at stock was faster than my old P4EE 3.4GHz. Now I have it OC'ed to 3GHz.

Right now the best dual core is probably the E8400 since for roughly $$230(maybe less) you can OC it to 4GHz on air from its stock 3GHz. Ram is dependant. I got myself some PC8500 or 1066MHz Corsair ram but most get PC6400 or 800MHz ram. Either way it should be able to match your OC easily. Now if you want to up the ante you can get the current best choice quad core CPU aka the Q6600 as it OC's yo at least 3GHz on the stock voltage and to about 3.4GHz on air with a little voltage jump. But overall pretty much any Intel CPU right now based off of Core2 will OC very nicely.

For the mobo I would suggest the Asus P5K-E as it has the P35 which is great for OC'ing and already has full support for any of Intels newer 45nm CPUs dual or quad core with a simple BIOS update. RAM I would say either Corsair PC6400 or thei PC8500. Either way its good RAM that OC's very nicely. I have mine running at 1333MHz right now.
February 10, 2008 6:34:07 PM

I'm not sompletely sure if this is true, but I've heard that the Core 2 Duos are about twice the performance at the same clock speed as Pentium Ds. (Pentium Ds, because they are also dual core).

So if your brother got even a 1.6 Ghz Core 2 Duo, it would be on par with his girlfriend. I'm not exactly sure sure what would be the best CPU for you to get on your budget, but I have the e6550 (2.33Ghz stock) and I have it overclocked to 3.4Ghz. And the RAM is what's holding me back. This is like a 6.8Ghz Pentium D.

So pretty much, don't just look at clock speed. And get a fairly good Core 2 Duo. They pretty much all overclock pretty good.
February 10, 2008 6:36:36 PM

anyone else think it funny that there was an AMD ad right after the first post?
or do these ads shift around from time to time?
either way, for me, it was amd, so it was funny...

ps-6xxx series, for best bang. can always add little upgrades like another cooler later. for long term, go 6.
February 10, 2008 6:42:59 PM

I tried to get him to tell me more about his girlfriend's CPU, but over the phone last night I was lucky to get him to find 3.2 Ghz. He truly does not have a clue. So, no, I do not have to worry about beating the 3.2 if it is just the best setup I can get him for the money, and that will likely beat his girlfriend's computer anyway. Besides, she has a 7300LE in there. I joked with him and promised him that every single component on his computer would be better than hers; it was a joke, but I still bet it will be in the end.

Do I need to plan for the future and get him a board that can host two video cards? One new card will always be better than two old ones, right? Will two video cards ever become standard during the lifetime of this cpu/motherboard? No, I bet not.... so just the best motherboard/cpu setup for his price range. But this will last him 5-years or so... his current computer is the one I built him that long ago.. ABIT NF7 with a Barton CPU running at around 2.3 Ghz...
a c 125 à CPUs
February 10, 2008 6:48:19 PM

Titanion said:
I tried to get him to tell me more about his girlfriend's CPU, but over the phone last night I was lucky to get him to find 3.2 Ghz. He truly does not have a clue. So, no, I do not have to worry about beating the 3.2 if it is just the best setup I can get him for the money, and that will likely beat his girlfriend's computer anyway. Besides, she has a 7300LE in there. I joked with him and promised him that every single component on his computer would be better than hers; it was a joke, but I still bet it will be in the end.

Do I need to plan for the future and get him a board that can host two video cards? One new card will always be better than two old ones, right? Will two video cards ever become standard during the lifetime of this cpu/motherboard? No, I bet not.... so just the best motherboard/cpu setup for his price range. But this will last him 5-years or so... his current computer is the one I built him that long ago.. ABIT NF7 with a Barton CPU running at around 2.3 Ghz...


CF and SLI might not be something that has "swept" the PC community as a mass but you should give him the option. Most good quality mobos come with 2 PCIe slots. Normaly they are 1 fullx16 and they other at x4 or x8. Or the newer ones offer from 2-4 fullx16 PCIe 2.0 ports.

I just suggest giving him the option of adding another GPU as that will make his system last longer especially 5 years cuz thats a long time to go without at least a upgrade.

His GF PC is probably a P4. Most CPUs that run that fast were from the Pentium 4/D days. AMD had a few but they were listed differently.
February 10, 2008 7:19:49 PM

Well if size matters i would stick with AMD this seems like a girlyman post to me. :kaola: 
February 10, 2008 7:25:26 PM

TMSter said:
Well if size matters i would stick with AMD this seems like a girlyman post to me. :kaola: 


My flamebait senses are tingling. :pfff: 

I also agree with jbj190. The E8400 and P35 combo is a good one for the money.
February 11, 2008 4:36:11 AM

OK, from the post above, I guess I am, then, wanting to prepare for a time when he might want a 2nd card in there.

It just does not look like the recommended GA-P35-DS3L can meet that need.

What about the GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3P and the The E8400. But that board does not have too many reviews. And if the E8400 remains out of stock for long or when I am ready and/or need to order, what would be a 2nd CPU choice?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128083
February 11, 2008 4:40:46 AM

If you are going a dual card setup, best to get a x38 board with two full x16 slots. Regarding the CPU, you can nab the e8400 from clubit or microcenter instead. Don't worry about ordering the CPU from other places, the e8400 is a great buy, and you shouldn't skip it just because it's sold out at newegg. For the board, if you go single card a Asus P5K-E/P5K, or a Gigabyte P35-DS3L/P35-DS3R. Honestly though, get a single card, no point, if you want a dual card, he can just nab a 3870x2...Offers slightly better performance than crossfiring 2 3870's due to the gpu's being on the same PCB and interacting with eachother with less distance.

If he wants a nvidia solution, a 8800 GT is the best bet, if he wants a dual nvidia solution, you'll have to go a intel nvidia chipset....OUCH!...They have issues. Unless he waits for the 9800GX2, than he can place that sucker in a intel chipset and pretty much have SLI on a intel based system (the only good point of nvidia coming out, along with the 9800 GTX).

Choice is yours, ^_^...
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February 11, 2008 11:09:57 PM

Kamrooz said:
Pretty much all of them OC great. But one thing you are flawed in thinking is that cpu speed = performance. It's all about the architecture...Lower clocked intel offerings still beat amd's options. So don't worry about getting something clocked lower from intel.



That is something AMD taught Intel back during the days of the Athlon XP.

Apparently Intel learned that lesson very well.
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February 12, 2008 2:30:22 AM

jaguarskx said:
That is something AMD taught Intel back during the days of the Athlon XP.

Apparently Intel learned that lesson very well.


This is true. And now AMD is obvoisuly making the same mistake. But either way if you want to stay in the $200-$300 dollar price range you could always get him a quad core. From my take he isn't very PC savvy so telling him he has 4 CPUs might make him happy. Get the Q6600 a nice cooler and OC it to 3.2GHz. And watch his eyes light up as he PWNs his GF's PC.

My mobo recommendation is anything from Asus. Asus has always been great for me and has a good reputation. Hell I still have my old P4P800(5 years old now) running great. And I am sure that my P4PE that I gave to my cousin is still running too. Plus if it states support for a certain CPU more than likely it will get that support.

If he decides to get an ATI card I suggest the X38. P35 is nice and easy to use for OC'ing. The X38 chipset is a bit better for OC'ing but a bit more expensive. Also there is this mobo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... the P5K64 which has 4 x16 PCIe slots but only supports DDR3. Right now DDR3 is a bit expensive so unless he really wants to spend a lot then go with a X38 with DDR2 support and PCIe 2.0 support for future cards.

For an ATI GPU depending on what he wants to spend a 3870 is nice for the price. If he wants a little more than you can get the 3870X2.

If he goes NVidia on the GPU then the 680i or the 750i/780i for better CPU support. But the nForce chipsets are not as good for OC'ing and also tend to lag in memory bandwidth when compared to an equivalent Intel chipset.

For an NVidia GPU I think the best on a good price is the 8800 GT 512. But if he wants to go to a higer price range I think ATI has the best i.e. 3870.

Now for your HDD I would suggest a nice Seagate. Not too expensive(500GB 32MB cache is only $119 on newegg) and lots of room. You could also do a RAID0, better performance but chances of it failing. I have a RAID0 SATAI in my old PC and its lasted for 5 years so...

Memory either PC6400 or PC8500. Thats a decision thats up to you really. I suggest Corsair as I have never had any problems with them and have always been fast but there are others out there that are as good.

Thats all I can think of. Good luck and hope he likes your build.
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February 12, 2008 11:35:59 AM

Yeah ... get a E8400 and a fire extinguisher.

A P35 and an E6550 and a 3850HD ... play it safe.

Stick 2 Gb or quality ram in it and a decent PSU.

I just recommended an Intel cpu ... gosh.

I will be hounded .... lol

TC ... who was the therapist who helped you through this ??

February 12, 2008 11:40:17 AM

DFI Blood Iron from Motherboardpro (Newegg is WAY overpriced on that board) - $115 OR an Asus P5K-E - $140.
E2160 - $75 - Should OC higher (if OCing) than an E6550 or E4600 $145. The E4600 should OC well as it's the highest binned Allendale.

I don't use Gigabytes, I have in the past, and I never will again.
February 12, 2008 12:51:03 PM

Evilonigiri said:
Life's a lot more interesting in the dark side. :kaola: 

February 22, 2008 4:35:56 PM

A P35 Motherboard is sounding fine.

As for the CPU, the E6550 looks very nice now as well.

Given the fact that I have already ordered Corsair XMS DDR2 800 ram (with a nice $40.00 MIR), what is the correct CPU to get for a simple overclock using stock cooling. I am not at all sure how overclocking works with Intel and its ram.

Should I get the E6550 instead of the E8400?

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February 22, 2008 10:28:24 PM

Titanion said:
A P35 Motherboard is sounding fine.

As for the CPU, the E6550 looks very nice now as well.

Given the fact that I have already ordered Corsair XMS DDR2 800 ram (with a nice $40.00 MIR), what is the correct CPU to get for a simple overclock using stock cooling. I am not at all sure how overclocking works with Intel and its ram.

Should I get the E6550 instead of the E8400?


The E8400 will easily hit 4GHz on air but there is something wrong and the temp sensor is showing wrong temps. Well at least the software is anyways. But thats not all of them.

I say get the E8400/E8500. They are both great for OC'ing and would hit 4GHz.
February 28, 2008 2:49:36 PM

After waiting two weeks to find an E8400 after being talked into it, I cannot find one. What other CPU should I think about? Or should I just be patient? Is it worth the wait?
February 28, 2008 4:23:11 PM

E4500 or 4600 or the E6750 would do nicely. You'll easily exceed 3GHz with overclocking. I'd avoid the E6550, it's 7X multiplier makes OCing harder than on the others. You end up needing massively high FSB speeds to get above 3GHz.
February 28, 2008 4:27:53 PM

What ever you decide to buy make sure you avoid Nvidia hardware. No dx10.1 support means bad dx10 performance now and forever. Declining SLI support is another factor along with bad scaling on pcie-2.0 MBs.
February 28, 2008 4:49:42 PM

jerseygamer said:
What ever you decide to buy make sure you avoid Nvidia hardware. No dx10.1 support means bad dx10 performance now and forever. Declining SLI support is another factor along with bad scaling on pcie-2.0 MBs.


Woah easy there...

Show me a single game that takes advantage of DX10.1. Show me a single game that has horrible DX10 performance while in DX10.1 it performs flawlessly

And how is SLI support declining? I understand Nvidia chipsets are cracks, but to say SLI support declining is like saying declining support for Intel's CPU. No, SLI support is not declining, and more people are going for SLI.
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