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New budget PC, AMD or Intel??

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April 7, 2008 8:42:30 AM

Hi guys, I'm building a pc for my aunt... Struggling here to keep the price down below $500 since I need to buy just about everything (HDD, RAM, CPU, MOBO, VGA, Case, PSU, DVD-RW etc..) Anyway, I've got two options here... Please help me to pick one.


AMD :

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.1GHz - $54

ECS A780GM (ATi HD3200, Hybrid Crossfire Option) - $80

TOTAL : $134

OR

Intel :

Intel Pentium E2160 - $70 (Prob gonna change the FSB to 266 or 300, since the E2160 is extremely overclockable, even with stock factory fan)

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-S2L (Intel GMA 3100) - $67

TOTAL : $137


VGA Card Option :

HD 2600XT 256MB - $75

HD 3650 512MB - $75

nVIDIA GeForce 7600GS 256MB - Old video card that I have, if this 7600GS end up being the slowest card, then I might use this card for the new setup and get one of the above cards to replace the 7600GS.


Thanks guys. Gonna settle this on Monday and place my order down through newegg. Will expect the parts will arrive on Tues/Wed, My aunt will needs this setup for this coming weekend, so its kind of urgent.

More about : budget amd intel

April 7, 2008 10:51:29 AM

go with the intel system because if you overclock it, it definately beats out the other one.
April 7, 2008 3:55:06 PM

depending on what she's using it for I'd go with the AMD true dual core rather than then the E2160 which is 2 physical cpu's in one package. add to that having the hybrid crossfire so that if they system is used for mild gaming by say a cousin or something it'll be half decent. on the video card front go for the 3650 next generation up from the 2600XT and double the ram overall better card imo.

just my thoughts
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April 7, 2008 4:32:35 PM

overclockingrocks said:
depending on what she's using it for I'd go with the AMD true dual core rather than then the E2160 which is 2 physical cpu's in one package. add to that having the hybrid crossfire so that if they system is used for mild gaming by say a cousin or something it'll be half decent. on the video card front go for the 3650 next generation up from the 2600XT and double the ram overall better card imo.

just my thoughts

WTF? You don't know what you are talking about. The new Intel dual cores are true Dual Core, only the Intel Quads are not true Quads, but lol they still work better than the Phenom.
April 7, 2008 4:32:58 PM

paranoidmage said:
go with the intel system because if you overclock it, it definately beats out the other one.

+1, for GPU get 3650.
April 7, 2008 5:17:18 PM

Does your Aunt Game?

If So, Get a Dell Dude!

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us...

This includes everything down w/monitor for $399.
Updated the RAM to 2GB for $25.

If she really needs to game, find a 8600GT or other GPU that does not require a Power Adapter and you should be fine if she is a gamer.
April 7, 2008 5:45:33 PM

Go with the AMD sans graphics card. Doubt your aunt will need it. Intel GMA is just too awful IMO. Even if you do go Intel I wouldn't bother overclocking. It needlessly shortens the life of your processor. Your aunt is probably not going to notice the speed difference anyways.
April 7, 2008 6:24:57 PM

Agreed, if shes not a gamer, skip the vid card, theres absolutely no need.
April 7, 2008 6:49:24 PM

paranoidmage said:
go with the intel system because if you overclock it, it definately beats out the other one.


+2, that is, if she needs it at higher speeds.
April 7, 2008 7:31:53 PM

i'm probably gonna have to say go amd. If you don't plan on overclocking, then the intel option has no real advantage. Plus the 780G chipset has great onboard graphics.
April 7, 2008 8:10:37 PM

Overclocking is the only reason to go Intel below the Q6600 right now. For the same price (newegg) AMD is consistently slightly better than Intel (according to Toms CPU charts) at every step (at stock speeds) until the high end.

Will this machine be overclocked?
April 7, 2008 8:11:53 PM

Go with the AMD system and don't bother with a video card unless she needs it. This should help you keep the price down and keep her away from using an onboard Intel graphics chip. Not to mention the 780g has a bunch of multimedia capabilities which she might like.
April 7, 2008 10:09:57 PM

zenmaster said:
Does your Aunt Game?

If So, Get a Dell Dude!

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us...

This includes everything down w/monitor for $399.
Updated the RAM to 2GB for $25.

If she really needs to game, find a 8600GT or other GPU that does not require a Power Adapter and you should be fine if she is a gamer.


Nope, no games. Just Photoshop cs and Adobe illustrator CS, so right now, im more biased towards the onboard graphics solution, but if its gonna lag, then i need to sink in like extra $75 for a HD3650 or that 2600XT i found.

No games what so ever, so the cheaper the better.

And that dell.. she needs a DVD burner with Dual-Layer function, 2Gb ram cos photoshop eats quite a bit of memory away. But it does come with a case and PSU, so thats tempting....
April 7, 2008 10:12:42 PM

MrManO1 said:
Overclocking is the only reason to go Intel below the Q6600 right now. For the same price (newegg) AMD is consistently slightly better than Intel (according to Toms CPU charts) at every step (at stock speeds) until the high end.

Will this machine be overclocked?


Nope, machine will not be overclocked unless i find it slow to run programs, then i might change the FSB to 266, so its a very mild overclocking, and with those strong E2160 chips, 266 FSB is hardly stressing the cpu.


and yeah... the only worry i have now is whether the onboard graphics will be good enough for both Photoshop CS and Illustrator CS.
April 8, 2008 12:48:08 AM

Well, from what I've heard it is pretty good. I'd go with the AMD + 780G. With that setup, if she needs more graphics power you could also Hybrid Crossfire for just $50. If she needs more than that, well, that's just outrageous for non-gaming.

Wait...Does she have a computer now?
April 8, 2008 2:10:25 AM

EXT64 said:
Well, from what I've heard it is pretty good. I'd go with the AMD + 780G. With that setup, if she needs more graphics power you could also Hybrid Crossfire for just $50. If she needs more than that, well, that's just outrageous for non-gaming.

Wait...Does she have a computer now?



Yes, but its an old P4 and the mobo only takes AGP card, IDE devices only. So she will need a whole new upgrade, mobo, cpu, ram etc...

which is why im struggling to keep the price down, i want her to spend as least as possible.
April 8, 2008 3:17:38 AM

780G MB for $70 AR (currently out of stock, woudl be worth waiting for, instock 780G is +$20)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD X2 4000+ 65 watt Brisbane CPU for $54
Transports: 2000MHz
Hyper-Transport Support: Yes
L1 Cache: 128KB+128KB


2GB DDR2 800 w/ heat spreader $36
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPEN BOX DVD18X +/- Burner $10 (if need new, +$15)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

250GB SATA 3.0 Maxtor HDD $58
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cheap Computer Case $65 w/ Power supply & Free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total cost is $293 + shipping.
This rig will do fine with anything you through at it--i woudl even recommend vista (although, you may want to add 2GB more memory (2x2GB is $66 instead of the 2x1GB).

She'll be able to do whatever she wants, even light gaming at 1024x768

Readabout this board (and how well the video overlocks) at:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/03/04/amd_780g_chipset...

April 8, 2008 3:44:14 AM

yup, getting that case since it has free shipping and it comes with a 450W PSU.

Ram, im thinking of the A-Data DDr2 800 2 x1 Gb option, since it has free shippinh as well.

same AMD cpu, and same mobo.

April 8, 2008 4:43:14 AM

well according to the list, im using a tier 5 PSU, but my machine is over an year old, been running p2p programs 24/7, 365days without fail. Dunno if Im just lucky, or my PSU isnt as **** as it turned out to be.

But, lets ignore the reviews for a second here... I dont see the need, and i do not believe the need to buy a $70 PSU just for a budget build, its only 1hdd, 1dvd-rw and a mobo/cpu that needs power, no extra video card, so there shouldnt be a need to buy a seperate PSU.
April 8, 2008 6:07:32 AM

MadCow809 said:
well according to the list, im using a tier 5 PSU, but my machine is over an year old, been running p2p programs 24/7, 365days without fail. Dunno if Im just lucky, or my PSU isnt as **** as it turned out to be.

But, lets ignore the reviews for a second here... I dont see the need, and i do not believe the need to buy a $70 PSU just for a budget build, its only 1hdd, 1dvd-rw and a mobo/cpu that needs power, no extra video card, so there shouldnt be a need to buy a seperate PSU.

You are correct on the Tier 5 PSU. Don't do it, especially since your probably going to be supporting this computer until they buy another system, so get something reliable and with a decent warranty. You'll lose less sleep this way too. :) 
Here is what I'd start with:

CPU - $54 shipped. You can get better, but trying to keep price down, this is where I'd start.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo - $102 shipped. Not the cheapest, but I'm not a fan of ECS mobo's, so this is the cheapest 780g mobo on newegg. Like stated before, if you want a little GPU bump, just get the 3650 for the Hybrid Crossfire.
ASUS M3A78-EMH HDMI AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory - $69 shipped - $40 MIR = $29!!! Cheapest CAS 4 DDR2 800mHz RAM. This can't be beat at this price range for this quality.
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case/PSU combo - $80 shipped! One of the better buys, when it comes to Case/PSU combo's. The PSU has 27A on the 12V rail, so you'd be able to support quite a few GPU's out there. It could even handle the 8800 gtx, see my signature for details, but I wouldn't push it that hard. For this build this is plenty of power for what you need. The PSU is a >80% efficient PSU and has a 3 yr. warranty too. :) 
Antec NSK4480B Black 0.8mm cold-rolled steel construction ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD - $80 shipped! One of the fastest 320gb hard drive out right now. You can spend less if you deem it necessary.
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3320613AS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner - $38 shipped! This is a retail version, so it comes with the necessary software to read/burn DVD's. It is also has a SATA interface, so you'll have better airflow in the case, due to the smaller cable.
LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total ~$417.69 - $40 MIR = $377.69!! Now if you need to add an OS, you'd be at about $477 or so. Not too bad for this budget. Obviously if you want to go even cheaper you could buy a cheaper HD, but that is about the only part that I'd downgrade on.
April 8, 2008 6:35:02 AM

Thanks for the pick mate.

Yeah, I have that LiteOn DVD for my pc, and it works great.

Also the HDD is quite nice, I will get that as well. What I will do is replace that with my old 160gb and i can toss that 160gb SATA to the new build.

Memory wise.. I bought the XMS for my sister but had a problem with the rebate, so i will stick with A-DATA this time, its $43 without rebate.

CPU is fine, we both picked the cheapest brisbane CPU with the factory cooler, so thats good.

Mobo.. Im not so sure about spending the extra 30 bucks just for an Asus board, i know ECS sucks, but it shouldnt be that bad.

As for the case, the Antec case + PSU is really good, but its a tad bit more than the Rosewill option and it doesnt have free shipping. Argh, i will just have to see how much the whole system will come down to.

April 8, 2008 8:22:35 AM

The PSU is probably between a Tier 2 and 3, so you can't go wrong there. If the ECS works for you, than go ahead and get it. I know I'd pay the $30 more to have a better board, especially since your probably going to have to support the build. Just don't want you to have to support the system too much in the future, but the ECS board might work out for you. Just thought I'd state my opinion up front, so you know where I'm coming from. The Case/PSU combo only has $10 shipping, which I showed you in the final price. This isn't much from shipping charge from newegg and other sites. The ones that I usually frequent are charging about $15-16 for shipping and they are charging about $5-10 more than newegg right now. You can decide what you want, but at least with the combo that I picked, you'll have a better and more stable PSU than the Rosewill ever will be.
April 8, 2008 9:08:44 AM

Shadow703793 said:
WTF? You don't know what you are talking about. The new Intel dual cores are true Dual Core, only the Intel Quads are not true Quads, but lol they still work better than the Phenom.


Well he has that wrong, but so does the guy who says go for the Intel CPU and overclock it. How many of your parents, aunts, uncles or grandparents overclock? How many need to overclock? I'm kind of tired of hearing the "buy Intel [at every price point] because it overclocks" mantra. It's chanted way too often. In this case, it's wrong.

Why is it wrong? Because the 780G chipset beats out any budget Intel solution. Most parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents can do quite nicely with an Athlon X2 65 watt CPU. It usually beats a C2D based "Pentium" and generally equals the Allendales. Intel has nothing to match a 780G chipset. Add in a 3470 for hybrid Crossfire and performance is good enough for the budget mainstream.

If hybrid Crossfire's too much of a hassle, then a 780G's IGP is fine by itself. It's aimed at budget home PC's and HDTV's. I've gotten Athlon X2 4200+ CPU's bundled with 4 gigs of DDR2 800 at Newegg for quite reasonable prices. Along with a 780G, it makes a great kid's PC too. In fact, that's what I did for my 7 year old. Right now, the 780G is the budget chipset of choice, just choose a good motherboard vendor.

There's an Antec case that has an Earthwatts PSU. I'd go with that. While older relatives aren't likely to stress out their PSU, going bottom of the barrel or barebones PSU can be asking for trouble. I've often spent more on the PSU for a budget build than the CPU itself! I'd recommend everyone else does too.

lunyone said:
Mobo - $102 shipped. Not the cheapest, but I'm not a fan of ECS mobo's, so this is the cheapest 780g mobo on newegg. Like stated before, if you want a little GPU bump, just get the 3650 for the Hybrid Crossfire.
ASUS M3A78-EMH HDMI AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case/PSU combo - $80 shipped! One of the better buys, when it comes to Case/PSU combo's. The PSU has 27A on the 12V rail, so you'd be able to support quite a few GPU's out there. It could even handle the 8800 gtx, see my signature for details, but I wouldn't push it that hard. For this build this is plenty of power for what you need. The PSU is a >80% efficient PSU and has a 3 yr. warranty too. :) 
Antec NSK4480B Black 0.8mm cold-rolled steel construction ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Good choice for the mobo and case. That's the motherboard in my kid's PC, and that's the case I was thinking of when I recommended the Earthwatts but was too lazy to look for. It's dropped in price since I saw it last. Here's the case I got my kid. For anyone thinking of a new build for their son or nephew, this In Win is great:

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

I used an Antec True Power 500 PSU to go along with it.

I too dislike ECS. IMHO, any motherboard that's consistently bundled at Fry's with CPU deals is a bit dodgy. Of course, I've seen a couple of MSI and ASUS, as well as Intel bundles, but 9 out of 10 will be an ECS Nvidia chipset mobo for AMD under $100 bundles.
April 8, 2008 9:50:03 AM

Yeah, ECS is pretty dodgey around the whole world, IMO they are on par with Jetway, and that is really saying something cos Jetway is probably one of the worst brand Ive ever come across.

Im 24, which means I got loads of things to do during day instead of sitting on my arse and play games everyday, so yeah.. it might be a good idea to get my aunt an Asus board, seeing that I prob wont have time to fix her pc if something goes wrong.
April 8, 2008 11:05:19 AM

MadCow809 said:
Yeah, ECS is pretty dodgey around the whole world, IMO they are on par with Jetway, and that is really saying something cos Jetway is probably one of the worst brand Ive ever come across.

Im 24, which means I got loads of things to do during day instead of sitting on my arse and play games everyday, so yeah.. it might be a good idea to get my aunt an Asus board, seeing that I prob wont have time to fix her pc if something goes wrong.

Now that is what I'm talking about!!!! I built my mother-in-law a PC 2 years ago and she still has me work on it. Last time she thought is was bad was because her computer wouldn't get online. Come to find out, her wireless ISP modem wasn't picking the signal up well in the back room, so I moved the modem to the front of the house and "BINGO" it all of a sudden worked!!! Well you get my point. If you build it for a friend/family your going to be tied to it for its life, so put in quality parts and you hopefully won't have to work on it again!!
April 8, 2008 11:16:14 AM

MadCow809 said:
Yeah, ECS is pretty dodgey around the whole world, IMO they are on par with Jetway, and that is really saying something cos Jetway is probably one of the worst brand Ive ever come across.

Im 24, which means I got loads of things to do during day instead of sitting on my arse and play games everyday, so yeah.. it might be a good idea to get my aunt an Asus board, seeing that I prob wont have time to fix her pc if something goes wrong.


You know that Dell with a 19in flat screen, 2gb's RAM and a Dual-Layer DVD for $439........if it breaks, make them fix it.
April 8, 2008 12:51:19 PM

Ask Dell to fix it... Yeah try that and let me know how it works out for you. I got a Dell laptop for school... worst purchase ever. Though I doubt any other mainstream brand is any better.
April 8, 2008 2:29:34 PM

compy386 said:
Ask Dell to fix it... Yeah try that and let me know how it works out for you. I got a Dell laptop for school... worst purchase ever. Though I doubt any other mainstream brand is any better.

Funny thing is I have had a Dell laptop for over 2 yrs without any issues whatsoever. All manufacturers have issues with some of their systems, but if there are too many than I would say that there is a problem. Hopefully your Dell laptop was able to be fixed without too much fuss.
April 8, 2008 2:45:44 PM

zenmaster said:
Does your Aunt Game?

If So, Get a Dell Dude!

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us...

This includes everything down w/monitor for $399.
Updated the RAM to 2GB for $25.

If she really needs to game, find a 8600GT or other GPU that does not require a Power Adapter and you should be fine if she is a gamer.


I have to second this one.. Building the actual machine out is never a problem. Its supporting the machine for people who dont know how to use it that makes me send everyone to Dell and the like. And as someone who worked tech support for both Dell and Gateway, its all hit or miss as far as real support goes. Sometimes you get someone who knows whats going on and can fix your problem in 10 seconds and sometimes you get someone who cant speak a damn word of English. But as long as they dont call me, I dont have a problem with that.
April 8, 2008 3:23:06 PM

blackened144 said:
I have to second this one.. Building the actual machine out is never a problem. Its supporting the machine for people who dont know how to use it that makes me send everyone to Dell and the like. And as someone who worked tech support for both Dell and Gateway, its all hit or miss as far as real support goes. Sometimes you get someone who knows whats going on and can fix your problem in 10 seconds and sometimes you get someone who cant speak a damn word of English. But as long as they dont call me, I dont have a problem with that.


I also agree with that.
Supporting computers for others is a real pain.

In the Link above, for $40 you can get updated to 2GB of RAM and a DL DVD Burner.
For another $100 you can get a real nice upgrade to the E8200 processor.
(Less Upgrades if you are on a real tight budget available.)

Much comes down to how many parts you really need.
OS as well as Monitor, keyboard, Mouse, and speakers really eat into a budget.
And After Build Support is never fun.
April 8, 2008 4:27:36 PM

Unless it is your own rig. I'm always looking for an excuse to rip out components and replace them :lol: 
April 28, 2008 9:56:50 PM

Hate to change the AMD direction, but I would stretch to get an intel board. Intel is leading the processor battle by a good length, so future upgrades of your processor will be easier if you already have a Mobo for Intel. Intel is better now, and it will be better for a while. Those really fast quad cores will be cheap in about a year an a half, which will help in photoshop and illustrator.

Again this is my opinion. I tend to spend more money to get the right foundation and then keep upgrading everything else as I need to. I am by no means saying that AMD sucks or isn't good, but right now they are behind.
!