Which CPU and RAM for this rig?

Hello All,

I am going to be building a low/mid range computer.
I'll build a nicer rig after Windows 7 gets all the bugs worked out.
This comp will be used mostly for light gaming and maybe some video conversion.
I'm not sure which CPU or RAM to get.
I have listed 2 AMD CPU's and 2 sets of RAM.
With shipping and handling the prices are pretty similar.
I will be running Windows XP Pro, 300 GB HDD, and a nVIDIA 6600 GT GPU.

Question 1
Which processor should I get?
The dual core has a faster clock rating, but the other is a tri-core.

Question 2. Which RAM should I get?
The Crucial Ballistix utilizes DDR2 1066
The Corsair uses DDR2 800, but has faster latency timings.

Thanks in advance!

Here are the components specs.

AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core Processor 7850 (2.8GHz) AM2+, Retail (Black Edition)

* Process Type: AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core Processor 7850
* Frequency: 2.8 GHz
* FSB: 3600 MHz
* L2 Cache: 2x 512 KB
* L3 Cache: 2 MB
* Process: 65nm SOI
* Socket: Socket AM2+
* Power Consumption: 95 W

AMD Phenom X3 8650 2.3GHz 1800MHz (3600 MT/s) Socket AM2+ Triple-Core

* Series: Phenom 8000 Series
* Model: HD8650WCGHBOX
* Name: Phenom 8650
* Number of Cores: Triple Core
* Socket Type: Socket AM2+
* Operating Frequency: 2.3GHz
* L2 Cache: 3 x 512KB
* L3 Cache: 2MB
* 64 bit Support: Yes
* Thermal Power: 95W


Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Memory
* Module Size: 2GB kit (1GBx2).
* Package: Ballistix 240-pin DIMM.
* Speed: DDR2 PC2-8500.
* Configuration: 128Meg x 64.
* DIMM Type: Unbuffered.
* Error Checking: Non-ECC.
* SDRAM Timings: 5-5-5-15.
* Voltage: 2.0V


Corsair XMS2 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2-6400) Dual Channel Memory
* Model: TWIN2X2048-6400C4.
* Capacity: 2GB (2 x 1GB).
* Speed: DDR2 800 (PC2 6400).
* Cas Latency: 4.
* Timing: 4-4-4-12.
* ECC: No.
* Buffered/Registered: Unbuffered.
* Heat Spreader: Yes.
8 answers Last reply
More about which
  1. Between those, I'd go with the Athlon and the Corsair. What's your budget though? Those may not be the best choices in your price range.
  2. Can your budget stretch to a phenom II?
  3. Probably, what would you recommend?
  4. The Phenom II x3 720 is a good choice, or the Phenom II 940 for a higher budget.
  5. i would definitely recommend PhenomII X3 720 because its 45nm part clocked at decent 2.8ghz and tomshardware did an article proving that tri-core is the most optimum in terms of overall user experience like gaming, video encoding/decoding etc.
    Also as i too have PhII X3 720 with 4GB of ram and 790GX mobo you cant go wrong..i too built mine on a low-medium budget cost me £300 (ex monitor and other peripherals)
  6. oh and forgot to mention if you want you could unlock the 4th core but i didnt do mine koz i dont need a 4core nor do i do heavy gaming besides i dont want to void the guarantee :)
    point of me sayin is that u get 4 core for tri-core price!!
  7. These 2 have beaten me to it. If you were thinking of going triple-core then the X3 720 will obliterate the 8650.
  8. Or if you are on a low budget you could get a AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition because you can unlock the other two cores (not all of them unlock) and for about 100$ you would get a 200$+ processor. Check it out http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/phenom-ii-x2,review-31594.html .Oh and you also have an unlocked multiplier.
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