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AMD Phenom 9600 (in Gateway system) - Bad Purchase ?

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April 11, 2008 4:50:02 PM

Hi !
I just purchased Gateway System with AMD Phenom 9600

(http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8775809&t...)

Have a I made a bad purchase, should I have gone with Intel instead ??
April 11, 2008 4:58:32 PM

You made a bad purchase, but the problem is Gateway, not so much the Phenom.
April 11, 2008 5:04:56 PM

Can you explain what is the problem with gateway ?
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April 11, 2008 5:25:47 PM

I think you made a good purchase. If you only have $750 for a PC and don't know how to build a PC and don't know how to overclock it and don't intend to play Crysis or other very demanding games, then this is a very good choice for you.

The disadvantages:
- you can't overclock
- it's hard or impossible to upgrade later, as in adding a high-end video card or lots of hard disks
- performance is adequate for e-mail and WarCraft and Office, but not for games like Oblivion, Crysis or Frontlines
- it comes with crapware installed (i.e. trial versions of software, ads, etc.) You should clean it up before using.

Advantages:
-it's already built, it's cheap, it has a warranty and support

Edit: Q6600 is faster than Phenom 9600, and it overclocks better. But, in that PC, with that BIOS/RAM/HDD/video card, these advantages are lost. You might as well get the Phenom because it's cheaper. A Q6600 would not really bring you much more speed because the rest of the parts would limit it.

April 11, 2008 5:28:29 PM

What are you going to use the system for?

BTW: BestBuy sucks


It will be a little slow in gaming. It will do well with multi-threaded tasks. Where it will lag is in single-threaded applications.

Intel makes better products, but depending on what you want this machine will probably do the trick.

Shared video memory - yuck.
April 11, 2008 5:28:43 PM

Nah man its good. Pay no attention to the trolling fanboys. The system is very capable and can run anything you want no problems. Unless the Intel system was cheaper. If not then it was a good choice.

The video card can be upgraded and thats your only real concern with this system.
April 11, 2008 5:31:59 PM

sandmanwn said:
The system is very capable and can run anything you want no problems.



I don't think that's true. I think he might have some issues with high-end gaming, not because of the processor, but because of the video.
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April 11, 2008 5:37:00 PM

"Anything you want" is a bit of a stretch. It will run almost every game made in 2004 or earlier, I guess. It will run a lot of newer games, on low settings. It will be absolutely fantastic for doing spreadsheets and Web surfing and watching DVDs.

What's wrong with BestBuy? I mean, yeah, their DVD prices are way too high compared to Amazon, but apart from that I have no complaints myself.
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April 11, 2008 5:40:41 PM

sandmanwn said:

The video card can be upgraded and thats your only real concern with this system.


Well, that's where the problem is. This kind of machines usually come with small PSUs and cramped cases with weak cooling. If you try to put an 8800GTX in there it won't fit physcially, or it will overheat, or it will require a larger PSU, which won't fit physically, etc. Trust me, I've been there with my Dad's HP. OK, I don't know if that's how it works for Gateway, but it's likely.

With a little luck, the OP may be able to stick in an HD 3870 or 9600GT and still not need a new PSU. If he does need a new PSU, the StealthXStream 600W will probably fit.
April 11, 2008 5:45:31 PM

One quick note: If I were you, I wouldn't ask about whether or not something I bought was a good deal after the purchase. Why? If the answer is, "Yes, you made a great purchase" then I would feel good for about two seconds, then move on. If the answer isn't so favorable, then I'd regret making that purchase (and it's too late to do anything.)

You still haven't posted what you intend to do with that machine, so nobody can say for certain if it was a bad deal. Since you bought a prebuilt system, it's highly unlikely you wanted to invest the time to build a system, so that's out of the picture. Stacking that system up against other prebuilt computers, though (by that I mean the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, etc.) I think that for the price, it isn't the worst deal, but neither is it the best deal.

Assuming you're just an average computer user, that computer is way overkill. In that case, you won't notice anything wrong from using that computer, so why come back to this forum and see your computer getting ripped on by everyone here?

Now, if you try to run any recent game... that's a bit of a different story. Remember, most people on THG select each component carefully then build their own PCs, then overclock and tweak them. They also dislike many stores, such as the one from where you bought your computer. They would never dream of buying a prebuilt computer from Best Buy for themselves. So, I think you should just use your computer. If you do not find anything lacking, then I think you should not care what anyone here says.

But do yourself a favor, and uninstall all the crapware.
April 11, 2008 5:47:01 PM

aevm said:
What's wrong with BestBuy? I mean, yeah, their DVD prices are way too high compared to Amazon, but apart from that I have no complaints myself.



I had a bad experience with them in Madison Heights, MI.

I bought a palm pilot for $130 from them. I get the service plan on it.

The Palm Pilot stopped working, so I took it back to BestBuy with all the needed documentation. They said they don't stock it anymore and it can't be fixed.

So I said, fine, refund me my money and I can go buy one elsewhere. But they say no. They told me to go find a Pocket PC and I would pay the difference between the price of the pocket PC and the Palm Pilot. However, at that time the cheapest Pocket PC they had was $300 bucks. Which means I would need to fork over $170. That's not acceptable. I bought the service plan so I could get back up and running in the event the device broke, but instead they're trying to force me to buy a more expensive device.

Long story short I started bitching at their service counter and they gave me a gift card. A gift card did me no good as I still needed a palm pilot, which they did not sell. I ended up buying a digital camera from BestBuy with the gift card. But since then, I refuse to shop at them.

Also, I feel that everything is overpriced. I also feel that the sales staff is too pushy on shoving unneeded extras at people and service plans. For example, they try to sell every moron that's buying a PC a UPS backup unit.
April 11, 2008 5:48:28 PM

ahmshaegar said:
But do yourself a favor, and uninstall all the crapware.



No kidding. I hate all the extra crap that they throw on this stuff.
April 11, 2008 6:05:38 PM

bestbuy also charges you to remove the bloatware... now thats raping the customer.
April 11, 2008 6:25:59 PM

Looking at the Graphics card, it makes me believe that the motherboard might be a 780/790 chip motherboard, which means he can add an ATI 3450 and do a Hybrid Crossfire setup to boost graphics processing.

Correct me if I am wrong here.
April 11, 2008 6:26:56 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
I had a bad experience with them in Madison Heights, MI.

I bought a palm pilot for $130 from them. I get the service plan on it.

The Palm Pilot stopped working, so I took it back to BestBuy with all the needed documentation. They said they don't stock it anymore and it can't be fixed.

So I said, fine, refund me my money and I can go buy one elsewhere. But they say no. They told me to go find a Pocket PC and I would pay the difference between the price of the pocket PC and the Palm Pilot. However, at that time the cheapest Pocket PC they had was $300 bucks. Which means I would need to fork over $170. That's not acceptable. I bought the service plan so I could get back up and running in the event the device broke, but instead they're trying to force me to buy a more expensive device.

Long story short I started bitching at their service counter and they gave me a gift card. A gift card did me no good as I still needed a palm pilot, which they did not sell. I ended up buying a digital camera from BestBuy with the gift card. But since then, I refuse to shop at them.

Also, I feel that everything is overpriced. I also feel that the sales staff is too pushy on shoving unneeded extras at people and service plans. For example, they try to sell every moron that's buying a PC a UPS backup unit.


Hey now, dont hate, thats just how retail works. Theres almost no profit margin for BB on that PC, so they have to sell a UPS, cabling, new mouse/keyboard, watever they can to make money on the sale.

As to the service plan, yea, avoid those. Generaly not a good idea. RadioShack has a good one for cordless phones (you can get a free battery every year, pays for itself every time) but beyond that there pretty shady.
April 11, 2008 6:38:21 PM

cooljumbo2008 said:
Looking at the Graphics card, it makes me believe that the motherboard might be a 780/790 chip motherboard, which means he can add an ATI 3450 and do a Hybrid Crossfire setup to boost graphics processing.

Correct me if I am wrong here.


Even if you can, the results will be very poor for gaming.
Most of the tests shown were on very low resolution (1024x768) and had very low FPS even on low or medium settings.

Phenoms are not bad chips, especially for Retail systems.
The reason being is that OCing is not an option.
While slower than Intel Quads, they are not raped by then until OC potential of both are considered.

I don't know about the PSU, but that may determine if a better GPU can be installed.

Most Likely you have more CPU than you need and less GPU than you need.
But it all depends on if you are a gamer.
April 11, 2008 6:38:38 PM

Now, is there way to back off from this deal ? :) 
I have already opened the box :) 

Doom 3 performance is very bad in some cases. In some scenes with several monsters, it starts to significantly slows down
--------
April 11, 2008 6:41:19 PM

Oh, and none of the Desktops on their site had decent GPUs, except the yet to be released Q9300 for almost $1300.
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April 11, 2008 6:44:33 PM

@TC: They should at least refund the money for the service plan. Yeah, you got ripped off. :( 

@OP: visit this site:
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,67264-order,1-page,1-c,systemresourcestuneup/description.html

You have 14 days to return it if it doesn't behave as you were hoping.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site//olspage.jsp?type=page&entryURLType=page&entryURLID=cat12098&categoryId=cat10004&contentId=1142292387519&id=cat12098

You should be able to get a very good gaming machine for about $1200, if you order parts from newegg and have a friend who knows how to build PCs. If you do that, I suggest including Q6600, GA-P35-DS3L, 8800GT. Wait for the price cuts on the Q6600, they should happen around April 20.
April 11, 2008 7:35:58 PM

Well I was going to view the best buy page but the net at work has been acting quite strange. Anyway if the price is right then anything is worth the right price. You can tremedously enhance performance with a new power supply and video card. Just sticking a good quality 500w power supply and a nice video card in there will out you another $225 approximately though. If you are still in your window and want to return it then go right ahead, lesson learned. But it still isn't that bad of a machine for the money, just needs a nice video card, and pair that with a power supply and you can't go wrong.
April 11, 2008 7:59:02 PM

Quote:
Dude you shoulda got a Dell!

No really, nice computer for the price. Crappy memory though. Not bad.


Enjoy your bizarre non-standard PSU and matching motherboard.
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April 11, 2008 9:01:11 PM

Personally I'm voting for returning it, if still possible. Those machines are excellent deals if they do what you need, but they are a big pain if they don't. They are not designed to be modified.

Here's a horror story. My Dad got an HP (m7640n) in November 2006. I won't say here which idiot bought it for him on his birthday :??:  Anyway, we added a WD5000KS disk after a few months, all was well. Recently, we tried to add more space. WD5000KS is not available any more. WD5000AAKS and WD7500AAKS did not work, even after messing with jumpers, drivers, etc. HP's support emails were completely useless. They were somewhat funny, but not helpful.
The disks we tried were taken from my own PC, they work perfectly. The problem was the motherboard. Changing the motherboard is not an option because it invalidates Windows OEM, etc.
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April 11, 2008 9:32:27 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
I don't think that's true. I think he might have some issues with high-end gaming, not because of the processor, but because of the video.

Agreed.
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April 11, 2008 9:33:56 PM

aevm said:
"Anything you want" is a bit of a stretch. It will run almost every game made in 2004 or earlier, I guess. It will run a lot of newer games, on low settings. It will be absolutely fantastic for doing spreadsheets and Web surfing and watching DVDs.

What's wrong with BestBuy? I mean, yeah, their DVD prices are way too high compared to Amazon, but apart from that I have no complaints myself.


aevm said:
Well, that's where the problem is. This kind of machines usually come with small PSUs and cramped cases with weak cooling. If you try to put an 8800GTX in there it won't fit physcially, or it will overheat, or it will require a larger PSU, which won't fit physically, etc. Trust me, I've been there with my Dad's HP. OK, I don't know if that's how it works for Gateway, but it's likely.

With a little luck, the OP may be able to stick in an HD 3870 or 9600GT and still not need a new PSU. If he does need a new PSU, the StealthXStream 600W will probably fit.


TechnologyCoordinator said:
No kidding. I hate all the extra crap that they throw on this stuff.


skittle said:
bestbuy also charges you to remove the bloatware... now thats raping the customer.


aevm said:
Personally I'm voting for returning it, if still possible. Those machines are excellent deals if they do what you need, but they are a big pain if they don't. They are not designed to be modified.

Here's a horror story. My Dad got an HP (m7640n) in November 2006. I won't say here which idiot bought it for him on his birthday :??:  Anyway, we added a WD5000KS disk after a few months, all was well. Recently, we tried to add more space. WD5000KS is not available any more. WD5000AAKS and WD7500AAKS did not work, even after messing with jumpers, drivers, etc. HP's support emails were completely useless. They were somewhat funny, but not helpful.
The disks we tried were taken from my own PC, they work perfectly. The problem was the motherboard. Changing the motherboard is not an option because it invalidates Windows OEM, etc.


Shadow703793 said:
Agreed.

Agreed.
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April 11, 2008 9:38:31 PM

Imo, if you can find some reputable person to build you a PC do it. For about $100 more for the service you can get a MUCH better PC esp. if you overclock. Ask for the parts list on the Forums and then order the parts and ask them to build it for you.
April 11, 2008 9:41:42 PM

I think it looks like a pretty nice computer...cut him some slack he doesn't know what he's doing. We've all been there.
April 11, 2008 10:09:47 PM

Not a bad machine but if you intend to play newer games you are going to have the same experience you had with Doom 3 (and Doom 3 is a couple of years old).

Upgrading video cards etc can be a daunting and expensive task on a computer from Gateway, HP, Dell etc since they tend to use proprietary parts.

If you are interested in playing games I'd say return the Gateway and build your own, read up on what other people are building in that price range on these forums and then pick up a $20 book at Barnes and Noble that'll step you through building your own computer. In fact if you posted that you are looking for suggestions on a $750 gaming machine you'd probably get 10 responses from people, all of which would make great machines.

It is not difficult as long as your a somewhat technically inclined and most people on this board are happy to offer help if you get stuck.

April 11, 2008 10:31:25 PM

You can get a lot more than what you currently have for $750
I have only purchased 1 store bought machine.
Since then I have always built my own.
Just happier with what I know is going into it.
April 11, 2008 10:42:17 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
What are you going to use the system for?

[#000ef0]BTW: BestBuy sucks[/#0000ff]Word, and they are idiots


It will be a little slow in gaming. It will do well with multi-threaded tasks. Where it will lag is in single-threaded applications.

Intel makes better products, but depending on what you want this machine will probably do the trick.

Shared video memory - yuck.

April 11, 2008 10:45:40 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
I had a bad experience with them in Madison Heights, MI.

I bought a palm pilot for $130 from them. I get the service plan on it.

The Palm Pilot stopped working, so I took it back to BestBuy with all the needed documentation. They said they don't stock it anymore and it can't be fixed.

So I said, fine, refund me my money and I can go buy one elsewhere. But they say no. They told me to go find a Pocket PC and I would pay the difference between the price of the pocket PC and the Palm Pilot. However, at that time the cheapest Pocket PC they had was $300 bucks. Which means I would need to fork over $170. That's not acceptable. I bought the service plan so I could get back up and running in the event the device broke, but instead they're trying to force me to buy a more expensive device.

Long story short I started bitching at their service counter and they gave me a gift card. A gift card did me no good as I still needed a palm pilot, which they did not sell. I ended up buying a digital camera from BestBuy with the gift card. But since then, I refuse to shop at them.

Also, I feel that everything is overpriced. I also feel that the sales staff is too pushy on shoving unneeded extras at people and service plans. For example, they try to sell every moron that's buying a PC a UPS backup unit.

I worked there part time a few years ago, I actually got bitched out because i wasnt pushing there service plan, I told them it kinda sucked when i read the fine print, they gave me a hard time, I quit, anf to this day some of the people that worked there when I was there wont speak to me, a very stong geek click there.
April 12, 2008 3:50:23 AM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
I bought a palm pilot for $130 from them. I get the service plan on it.

So you are the sucker that buys service plans... :lol: 

And you want to dish out advice to someone else? :non: 
April 12, 2008 5:16:34 AM

solid (store-bought) computer for the money, add a mid-level GPU such as a 2600 or 3600 level ATI (for Hybrid graphics) and you probably won't have to upgrade the power supply - would still be a good idea in the long-run though. Every desktop at Best Buy has a PCI-x16 slot. Then you can do pretty good gaming (not great), and the computer will be set for 99% of normal tasks.

azmtbkr81 said:

Upgrading video cards etc can be a daunting and expensive task on a computer from Gateway, HP, Dell etc since they tend to use proprietary parts.


Not any more - the Power Supply is standard (still crappy though)
Regular PCI-x16 slots

aevm said:
WD5000AAKS and WD7500AAKS did not work, even after messing with jumpers, drivers, etc. HP's support emails were completely useless. They were somewhat funny, but not helpful.
The disks we tried were taken from my own PC, they work perfectly. The problem was the motherboard. Changing the motherboard is not an option because it invalidates Windows OEM, etc.


Gonna have to assume User error on that one. Was one IDE and one SATA?

I agree with Technology Coordinator (never thought I'd say that) in "What are you going to use the system for?"
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April 12, 2008 5:58:04 AM

Well all I can say is its a Gateway. You get what you get. Its not what I would have suggested but its not the worst PC ever. Thats reserved for eMachines in my book.

Personally if you can return it and buy a custom built one do it. You wont be able to game much if you plan to unless you want to for more money for a mid-hig end GPU and void the warranty and service plan by opening the case.

If you ever buy an OEM PC and even if you are a PC pro, you open it the warrantyis gone and thus it is wasted money.
April 12, 2008 6:19:00 AM

Hi jimmy.
Do you guys not have places like this http://www.anitec.ca/pc_builder/ down in the states?
I live in Vancouver Canada. Going for a walk around here generally leads past a few shops that offer this kind of service.
April 12, 2008 12:09:25 PM

alexibm said:
Hi !
I just purchased Gateway System with AMD Phenom 9600

(http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8775809&t...)

Have a I made a bad purchase, should I have gone with Intel instead ??


For some reason, OEM's like Gateway, Dell, HP etc. do not care about the errata. It's been virtually impossible to duplicate and if you don't virtualize, then it's no big deal. The issue is the bios fix slows the B2 down; you probably won't notice it in real world situations, but it's noticable in benchmarks when the fix is either on or off in the bios.

It's not a bad PC. It's just that AMD's now released the B3 Phenom's that end in '50'; i.e. a 9650 does not have the TLB errata and does not need the bios fix that slows a B2 stepping CPU down. So, they run something like 7% faster than the equivalent B2.

At that price, I'm not sure you'd get much from an OEM Intel system (i.e. a Gateway with a C2D or Q6600). A 9600 isn't that much slower than a Q6600. If you do video editing, burn DVD's and run multiple programs, then a quad core's a good investment. My general advice is if you already have a good dual core, then wait for Deneb from AMD or Nehalem from Intel, but if you need a new PC right now, then a quad core isn't a bad idea if you expect to keep that PC for 3-5 years.



TechnologyCoordinator said:

Shared video memory - yuck.


It has a PCIe x16, so he can get a better GPU, though the power supply probably won't support much. If I were him, I'd get a 3650 as an upgrade as soon as possible.

A relative had a Gateway P4 system from a couple of years ago with Intel video that wouldn't play even relatively non-demanding games, and they didn't want to spend much on upgrading, so they got an 8400 that made a world of difference.

jimmysmitty said:

If you ever buy an OEM PC and even if you are a PC pro, you open it the warrantyis gone and thus it is wasted money.


I can't see upgrading a video card or RAM voiding a warranty. Maybe switching out a PSU might, who knows with OEM's? I've never worked on them professionally, just been asked to do a few upgrades here and there.

Most OEM's come with PSU's that can just handle the components, so adding a GPU that needs more amps on the 12 volt rail can be a problem, but most OEM's sold at Best Buy aren't ready for a 9800gx2 or 3870x2 anyways. They can generally take an 8600gt, 8600gtx, 3470, 3650 or thereabouts, but not much more.
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April 12, 2008 12:37:56 PM

First of all, if I was to buy a prebuilt system, it would be a Gateway.
I have owned Gateways in the past, and I believe of all the prebuilds they are the best. Anyway they used to be, although it has been about 7 years since I bought one.
*The last 3 Gateways I bought are still up and running perfectly, doing what they were purchased to do*
If you bought the system as a gaming rig, you will be disappointed.
If you don't mind spending some extra $$, a video card upgrade would do wonders.
It's a good system for the money.
April 12, 2008 9:06:52 PM

Appreciate for the responses
I should have been more clearer with my needs

I used to buy pro Workstations from Dell and HP, and got tired of them, since they don't offer any advantage over Regular PCs, cost more, require service plan (oh well, Xeon workstation is totally different story)/

I went to Best Buy a week ago, with intent to buy new PC, looking around I have found that they had single HP quaro Core 6600 system for over grand, with **** load things, I will never use, couple dell dual-core systems, couple AMD Quadro/Tripple Core systems

Most of my time, I spend working in Engineering software, that requires low to mid cpu load (rarely very high). In fact, much of the software I am using, is not yet ready even for dual core !!!!!!!! I do some programming in C++ (and soon will do a lot lot more), and occasionally I play games. I was going to buy Nvidia QuadroFx video card, but as it turns out, I will not gain any advantage over good gaming card.

However, after reading CPU benchmarks, comparing price/performance/hardware features and even playing already outdated game like doom 3 (4 years old!!!!) I thing I have made bad purchase.

If I will keep this system, will I be able to upgrade my processor in one year, two years ?
What do you think of this system ??
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks !
April 12, 2008 9:12:15 PM

^^^ Alot of money for no more then you get. Only a 1 year warranty to boot.
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April 13, 2008 8:33:16 AM

yipsl said:
I can't see upgrading a video card or RAM voiding a warranty. Maybe switching out a PSU might, who knows with OEM's? I've never worked on them professionally, just been asked to do a few upgrades here and there.

Most OEM's come with PSU's that can just handle the components, so adding a GPU that needs more amps on the 12 volt rail can be a problem, but most OEM's sold at Best Buy aren't ready for a 9800gx2 or 3870x2 anyways. They can generally take an 8600gt, 8600gtx, 3470, 3650 or thereabouts, but not much more.


Funny thing is that there is this little sticker on the back of OEM PC cases. When you try to open the case it will get disconnected and that will void the warranty. Its the OEM's way of making sure you will pay them for a new part if you want it.
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April 13, 2008 7:41:58 PM

One apon a time, in a decade far far away......

Dell and Gateway were almost identical machines....

Both used intel motherboards, both used western digital hard disks and ati video cards...

Then Dell went the way of the Foxconn..

Gateway got poor. Dell got rich... Intel got taken to court because i believe Dell got rich.. allegedly...


Gateway left the rest of the world, to lick its wounds in good ole USA..


I used to own a Gateway, the grey one with the gold G logo on it... Bloody good machine then...


Now Dell and Gateway take the E out of enthusiast for me... They are not for me im afraid....

Yipsl, oh word of wisdom, im sure youll mock me like you usually do and give me the 10 commandments...

But imho Dell, Gateway and packard bell are the biggest pile of crap well before Acer...

The only OEM I sell is Fujitsu... Boring looking but good reliable machines... Sold some HP's. Been ok, nothing special...

But if you want to get anything out of the machine, as Yipsl said put a new video card in it....

Then sing ditties to your self from the 15 second intro on itunes.... Be happy !!!

It could be worse, it could be a E-Machines...
!