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AMD vs Intel Clock for clock..... also need opinion for $640CDN build

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December 11, 2008 10:27:00 PM

Looking to build a new NON GAMING pc.

The budget is $640 canadian.

Could you give me advice on what components to use? This PC will NOT be for gaming. I WANT/NEED integrated graphics..... the pc may be used for gaming LATER- maybe summer 2009 when I have more time when school is done.

Also: I see that the Phenom 9950 and 9850 are cheaper than the Q6600.

What is their performance compared to the Q6600?

I remember that the P4 (prescotts?) were horrible inefficient compared to the AMD's at the time. C2D changed all that.... were the tables turned for efficiency? Or are AMD and Intel equal now? (For example: is the Q6600 equal or better than a Phenom 9750?)

For my build I want a quadcore.... however, I am not sure if I should maybe get an E8400 or E7300 and oc it to 4.0 or maybe just 3.6ghz....

Could someone help design a build for me? The cost for the hardware must be $640 Canadian or $520 USD.

Here's my starting ideas: I don't know what mobo supports the 125watt-140 watt phenoms,....

780G gigabyte probably
Phenom 9850 (I think this is the limit for this mobo @ 125watts.)
8gb ram ddr2 1066

more later.... edit soon

December 11, 2008 11:14:41 PM

I built a system based on 780G and i think if your going intergrated graphics thats the way to go. Lose out a bit on CPU performance by going AMD but for an overall system can't go wrong.
December 11, 2008 11:45:10 PM

What will you use it for, in your non-gaming time? For example, a quad-core and 8G RAM are overkill for browsing & e-mail & light gaming.

Yes, C2D turned the tables around for efficiency, but not a full 180.

Generally you get the performance you pay for. The Q6600 is a bit more expensive because it overclocks higher and is still more efficient than the Phenoms, but to overclock either close to their limits you can't use the cheapest motherboards. At stock I'd say Q6600 (2.4G) and Phenom 9950 (2.6G) are hard to tell apart, though benchmarks say the Q6600 has an overall edge.
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December 11, 2008 11:58:50 PM

if i had a 640 dollar budget, i would go AMD. the boards are less expensive, better integrated graphics.
December 12, 2008 12:02:19 AM

^agree
a c 83 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
a b À AMD
December 12, 2008 12:13:13 AM

The 9950 is around the performance of the Q6600. I agree that because the budget is so small, you should be looking to AMD. I'm not even sure you can afford a quad, as it would use a lot of your budget. 780 because they are cheaper then the 790s, but you need 4GBs of DDR2-800 ram. 8GBs is to much for a cheap build.

What can you re-use? Did you buy any of this computer already? If your not gaming, what are you doing? A nice 780 with 4GBs and a 5600-6000 would probably do you fine.
December 12, 2008 12:55:40 AM

The purpose is to have a future proof PC for the next windows OS- and also for lots of multitasking.

The average person doesn't JUST browse the web, or just listen to music.

Well, maybe the average person does.... but me, I usually have 2 FF windows open, 6-12 tabs each.

Windows media player, 2 word processors, virus scanner, win live msgr, skype....

It's not really that I NEED 8gb ram- it's just nice to have. 2gb is NOT enough anymore. 4gb is too much for 32bit, but not enough for 64bit. 6gb would be the sweet spot for 64bit, but i want a 4x2gb setup- not a 2+2+1+1 or 3x2gb.

I REALLY don't know if a 125watt phenom would kill a 780g mobo- I googled and found mixed results.....

Here's a possible intel config:
Q6600 -$230
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
P45 -$150
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
2 2gbx2 kits from corsair? $140
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
How many ram slots does this mobo have?
DVD Burner- $30
HDD 500gb western digital caviar? maybe? -$75
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I think that the only thing I can reuse is an ATI X1050 GPU.... possibly a harddrive?

Got any advice for a case and PSU?

HAHA- only $15 for a case and PSU.... may just have to skimp on the HDD.... or get a phenom 9850 on a compatible 780g board....
December 12, 2008 1:06:54 AM

The other post became kind of long so:

Could someone find me a compatible 780G mobo for a 125watt Phenom x4 9850BE? The BE is pointless because it's not going to get overclocked due to the 125watt limit- but it sounds cool- and I haven't seen a NON-BE phenom 9850....

If there is no phenom 9850-780g compatibility at all.... should I just go with an 8750 triple core?

Oh well, I can eventually figure it out on my own- it will just take longer.... however, I cant for the life of me figure out what case and what psu to use.

The computer might get a 4830 or 4850 or something in the future (Or an HD5000/GTX300 series) next summer... what kind of PSU and what kind of Case should I get?
December 12, 2008 1:54:32 AM

If you are in Canada...

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=24294&vpn=SO...

Case and PSU, slightly on sale now. 500W should be enough if you don't plan to SLI/Crossfire.

I would also consider getting the 790GX with sideport memory, that would provide a nice boost, although your paying for the 750 southbridge that won't help if you don't OC.
a c 83 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
a b À AMD
December 12, 2008 2:03:50 AM

For a guy asking for help, you do seem to have your mind made up on a lot of things...

So you did your build, and found out you don't have enough for a case and PSU. Guess what? Drop down to 4GBs and don't worry about it. You would now have $85 for a case and PSU, perhaps you can get an Antec combo for around $100. If you can re-use a harddrive, then do so, as that frees up another $75, and you can get a good case and PSU with the $150. Its easy to add ram or harddrives, its a lot harder to "add in" a new motherboard. Get a good core setup first, add the video card, extra ram, new harddrive, etc later when you have the $$$ again.

BTW, 4GBs is the sweet spot for all computers right now. 2x2GBs is really cheap. 32bit windows might not see all of it, but it will see enough. 6GBs is the sweet spot for the new i7, but its not mainstream yet.
December 12, 2008 2:40:46 AM

To be honest with your workload and especially budget, a fast dual core would be best. A triple- or quad-core would be there solely for the purpose of future proofing.

Firefox seems to load 1 thread per instance - browsing takes very little CPU power. All of those apps should run on a 3 GB 32-bit dual core system, with room to spare. The bottleneck becomes the hard drive, especially if the AV is doing a scan while you're surfing, and you have FF set to cache to the same HD. That means pick a good AV that doesn't hog resources and run scans while you're at work.

Example build:

Phenom 8750 2.4 GHz BE $156
ASUS M3A78-EM 780G micro ATX $96
(CPU/mobo combo deal) -$38
Corsair DDR2-667 4 x 2 GB $111
Seasonic SS-500ES $85
Western Digital WD5000AACS 500 GB $75
Samsung SH-S223F 22x oem dvd burner $32
subtotal $517
shipping $19 ??
handling $26 ??
total $562
(case, monitor, peripherals, software excluded)

Warning - a micro ATX board is not designed for heavy overclocking, and 780g/sb700 boards lack some of the overclocking optimizations found on 790gx/sb750.

Other options:
Brisbane x2 5400 BE $83 (~$35 less after breaking combo deal)
Phenom x4 9850 BE / Asus M3A78 combo $300 ($80 more)
December 12, 2008 2:42:19 AM

ok..... throw out some old preconceptions....

What complete build do you recommend?

4gb ram
reused HDD (currently in another pc used as a data drive... not 100% necessary though)
smithereen's psu and case seem decently good
CPU and HDD? 780g + 8750x3 or P45 + q6600 +X1050 (p45 had no intergrated gfx as far as I could see)
Yes, there is a big difference between the 8750x3 and q6600- but judging by newegg reviews- it overclocks surprisingly well. (I don't know if this is with the 790gx mobo and SB750 part though)

Price could flex a bit though.....

If I started with the $625 pc from the system builder marathon.... and got rid of the GPU, and HDD.... what could I do to it to improve that build?
NVM: it's all in USD...

Would the $625 build without the HD4850 still be future proof for heavy multitasking? Could an E7300 be better but still in budget?

December 12, 2008 8:55:44 AM

Maybe I'm the only person here who likes the solution between a dual core and a quad, and that's the triple core Phenom 8750. I have mine on a Gigabyte 780G board and the only thing I regret is not getting a board with sideport memory. When my GPU died on me last week, I had to rely on the HD3200. It actually allowed me to continue playing LOTRO with high/medium settings @ 1280x1024.

Either AMD or Nvidia's a good choice for current gen IGP, wherea's Intel's a bad choice. Light gaming is possible for many titles (just not the graphics intensive Crysis or Fallout 3). It can handle everyday graphics, video editing and playback fine too.

The reason I like the 8750 (or the slightly faster 8850) is that they match similarly priced Intel dual cores in games but have the extra core for graphics when it's needed. Not sure how much future proofing it will be two years down the line.

Xbit Labs compares two new inexpensive Intel dual cores with the 8750, and the AMD CPU doesn't do badly at all:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2duo-e...
December 12, 2008 12:54:32 PM

If you plan on using integrated graphics then AMD does have a good advantage. While the intel integrated graphics controller is generally fine for business use you might find it a bit lacking for home use.
December 12, 2008 1:42:08 PM

Honestly, if you're considered an AMD based platform with integrated graphics and you want a good motherboard then you should look into 790GX boards and wait until Jan 7th-8th for the release of Phenom II. (Which is rumored to be a hell of a lot better than the current Phenom)

BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
December 12, 2008 3:15:30 PM

Phenom II comes out in a week or two - I would wait if you can as they may offer vv good price / performance
December 13, 2008 2:01:46 PM

The thing is that Biostar 790GX board costs $125 CDN, but the combo deals on the 780G boards make them only $50-60 CDN.

Phenom II / 790GX would certainly break that $640CDN budget, but you can hope it drives down previous-gen prices.

Though I put the idea of a triple core on the table, that comes at some performance cost relative to a dual core, so it's a tradeoff between current performance and speculative future-proofing. It's dangerous because the best coded games in the future might still run best on 2 cores, or they might scale all the way up and still leave a triple core little better off than duals.
a c 83 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
a b À AMD
December 13, 2008 8:38:28 PM

As some people point out, with more then x cores you can still see some benefit. Two cores for gaming and another for AV scan? As long as they are clocked about same, you MIGHT see better performance with more then two cores while doing something else.

790 + 750 is good, but seeing as we have such a little budget, 780 with a good dual core isn't bad. Lets not forget the throw away factor either. Intel already has switched to the x58, and AMD is going back to 939 pins. (AM3.) Anything bought now won't be very upgradeable in 2 or 3 years. You could make the case that if he goes ultra cheap right now on the Mobo and CPU, he could get better stuff if he's upgrading in 2 years or so.
December 13, 2008 9:52:14 PM

idisarmu said:
The purpose is to have a future proof PC for the next windows OS- and also for lots of multitasking.

The average person doesn't JUST browse the web, or just listen to music.

Well, maybe the average person does.... but me, I usually have 2 FF windows open, 6-12 tabs each.

Windows media player, 2 word processors, virus scanner, win live msgr, skype....

It's not really that I NEED 8gb ram- it's just nice to have. 2gb is NOT enough anymore. 4gb is too much for 32bit, but not enough for 64bit. 6gb would be the sweet spot for 64bit, but i want a 4x2gb setup- not a 2+2+1+1 or 3x2gb.

I REALLY don't know if a 125watt phenom would kill a 780g mobo- I googled and found mixed results.....

Here's a possible intel config:
Q6600 -$230
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
P45 -$150
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
2 2gbx2 kits from corsair? $140
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
How many ram slots does this mobo have?
DVD Burner- $30
HDD 500gb western digital caviar? maybe? -$75
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I think that the only thing I can reuse is an ATI X1050 GPU.... possibly a harddrive?

Got any advice for a case and PSU?

HAHA- only $15 for a case and PSU.... may just have to skimp on the HDD.... or get a phenom 9850 on a compatible 780g board....


Is your old GPU an AGP or PCI-E boar? If its AGP forget about using it, I would ditch it either way as the onboard ATI 3200 on a 780g mobo or ATI 3300 on a 790gx mobo is probably faster.

Also, 8 gigs of RAM is overkill and you should be able to get 4 gigs under 50 USD.

I just recently built an AMD based gaming PC for under 600 USD using an existing case.
Specs:
athlon 64x2 black edition with AC64 freezer HSF (planning on upgrading to phenom II)
Biostar 790gx mobo
4gigs OCZ Platinum DDR2 800
500gb samsung HD
Samsung DVD burner
antec earthwatts 650W PSU
visontek HD4850

this machine plays most games at high setting at 1680x1050 except for crysis of course.

my advise would be to go a similar route, except drop the videocard and take the extra money to get a triple or quad core phenom and an inexpensive case like the antec 300. you could also save money by using a 780g mobo. In your instance I would stay clear of the black edition cpus since you are not overclocking and you would have to buy an aftermarker HSF.

If you can wait until phenom II is released in a few weeks, you can expect current phenom prices to drop.
December 15, 2008 11:44:05 AM

WR said:
The thing is that Biostar 790GX board costs $125 CDN, but the combo deals on the 780G boards make them only $50-60 CDN.

Phenom II / 790GX would certainly break that $640CDN budget, but you can hope it drives down previous-gen prices.


I should have gotten a 790GX myself, just for the SB750. There are a few 780G's with sideport memory. The other Gigabyte board has it:

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


WR said:

Though I put the idea of a triple core on the table, that comes at some performance cost relative to a dual core, so it's a tradeoff between current performance and speculative future-proofing. It's dangerous because the best coded games in the future might still run best on 2 cores, or they might scale all the way up and still leave a triple core little better off than duals.


That's why I provided the link to a review of cheaper Intel duo's with the 8750 actually doing well in comparison. The OP isn't going to be doing anything beyond light gaming right now.

I'd accidentally said "third core for graphics" when I meant "third core for video". Any program that uses up to 4 cores and is not insanely optimized just for Intel (itunes, for example) would benefit from the third core and the 8750 would beat similarly priced Intel Core 2 Duo's and Core 2 Pentiums.
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December 16, 2008 8:05:08 PM

@OP: Are you willing to OC?
December 18, 2008 11:01:11 PM

probably not
December 26, 2008 5:35:25 PM

If you don't need that good. Don't get it.

Don't spend extra money on a build that won't be fully used. In one year you'll be able to get that stuff even cheaper and it'll be outdated. Constantly upgrade using lower quality than shelling out the money all at once for a while. Nothing is "future-proof".
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