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AMD or Intel?

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June 26, 2009 4:19:18 AM

I was wondering which is the best idea for a budget build. Normally, I'd choose AMD automatically but with Intel prices coming down, perhaps, initially get cheap but quality Intel components and then you can upgrade later on.

Or, alternatively, go with an AMD budget build and you can still upgrade later on. I like to support AMD but my last build was Intel and it's been very good thus far.

I guess by budget I mean $100 for the mobo, CPU of $60-$120 or so and then I wonder if I should stick to DDR2 RAM memory or try DDR3? I can already get two sticks of DDR2 so I have that or I can sell it.

Is there any discussion on what runs cooler or has AMD caught up to Intel now with their most recent hardware? I know that the older AMD hardware had heating issues (Socket 939 boards and processors, anyone?) but how is AMD now?

Anyway, please recommend and if possible, list or mention some motherboards and processors. I have experience with ASUS and Gigabyte motherboards although I'm inclined to go with Gigabyte since my P35 board has been solid and Gigabyte motherboards seem to be a bit cheaper while having similar quality, imho.

The processor can be easily upgraded so I thought get a decent mobo and pair it up with a budget CPU for now. Then I'd just need PSU and maybe video card although I could consider the motherboards with integrated graphics? If I go with a video card, I think I'd pick Nvidia for now (I dual boot Windows and Linux).

Thanks in advance for any replies!

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a b V Motherboard
June 26, 2009 7:29:17 AM

The AMD has very good options for that price range...
And the newer Phenom CPUs have actually caught up with the Core2 CPUs in terms of performance and they dont have those heat issues that plagued the older CPUs...

Here is a config that you can look into...

AMD X3 720 + ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GSkillz - DDR3 1333MHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total - $260

If you want to go more cheaper, then here is another config with a Gigabyte mobo and a possiblity to unlock 2 cores and make this dual core into a Quad...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-x2,2324.h...
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1184444/phenom...

AMD Phenom X2 550
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 - Has ACC option in BIOS, that when set to AUTO, can unlock cores...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - SAME

TOTAL - $247
a b V Motherboard
June 26, 2009 1:07:07 PM

Quote:
Nice job gkay09.

:) 
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June 26, 2009 7:19:37 PM

Yeah, gkay09, thanks for that recommendation! :) 

Do you really think I should go for the boards with DDR3 RAM, though? I understand it's going with the current technology and there are some benefits (not needing as much power and/or running on less heat etc.) but what should I do then with my current DDR2 RAM?

I have 2 sticks of Crucial PC-8500/1066 MHz DDR2 RAM. I have them because one of my older sticks I had went bad so I sent them off RMA and rather than wait for new ones to be sent back, I bought 4GB of DDR2 RAM for my Intel-based system. I got GSkill RAM instead, though. Thus, when Crucial got around to working out the RMA and sent the replacement, I have two sticks not in a system now. I thought I could use them for a future build or sell them.

However, DDR3 RAM is still a bit pricey although some combos (i.e. 4GB) are on par with DDR2 but there doesn't seem to be any 'deals.' In other words, not a lot of choices on the cheap.

Anyways, thanks for the ideas and recommendations regarding the AMD hardware. You're probably right, it would be a good system and presents a good price/performance ratio. Also, I think it's good to buy AMD now and then to even things out. As long as they have some good quality hardware that is not producing too much heat.

Btw. to clarify things, this is a 2nd build or system. It's replacing an OLD, Pentium 3 system that seems to be having problems. I have it at a relative's place and everything is so old. The hard drive is tiny, under 20GB, and the video card is an old ATI Radeon 7000. Yeah, it might be a good idea to invest in a cheap yet powerful system.
June 28, 2009 12:46:31 AM

AMD with hte most recent cpus are on pair with the old gen core2 quads and duos which is ALL you need for gaming and stuff
June 29, 2009 4:22:45 AM

Okay, this is all out of the blue but does it mean anything that Intel's Quad Core processors such as the Q9550 is running only at 95 watts while AMD's Phenom II X4 940 (closest AMD match for that processor?) is running at 125 watts? The Phenom CPU is about $50 cheaper but slightly slower (?) but is running at a higher power consumption, right? I would figure the Intel CPU might last longer or can tolerate an overclock more efficiently or for a longer period of time. Or am I totally off base (and missing something?)?

I have one Intel build with a Q6600 so I could either leave it and upgrade it later (while having it as a decent machine) and then build a 2nd system with Intel (make this the new powerful computer) or I can go AMD and have it almost as powerful as the current one for a lot cheaper than an Intel alternative. However, whenever I'd upgrade the AMD system, the processors might still be choices that run at the higher wattage (so should I care or not?).

Any comments?
a b V Motherboard
June 29, 2009 6:01:00 AM

Though they carry a higher TDP rating, the CPUs, generally dont draw much power compared to other components - Especially the Graphics card...
And the current AMD CPUs might draw about the same power as that Q6600 or less...
And if you can sell your DDR2 RAMs and invest in that AM3/ DDR3 setup...And you can expect newer CPUs from AMD for AM3 unlike the LGA 775..
!