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Which CPU and RAM for this rig?

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  • RAM
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Last response: in CPUs
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June 5, 2009 6:29:55 AM

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.

More about : cpu ram rig

a b à CPUs
June 5, 2009 6:49:13 AM

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.
a b à CPUs
June 5, 2009 8:59:55 AM

Can your budget stretch to a phenom II?
Related resources
June 5, 2009 9:56:43 AM

Probably, what would you recommend?
a b à CPUs
June 5, 2009 10:19:42 AM

The Phenom II x3 720 is a good choice, or the Phenom II 940 for a higher budget.
June 5, 2009 10:52:01 AM

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)
June 5, 2009 10:53:21 AM

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!!
a b à CPUs
June 5, 2009 10:54:29 AM

These 2 have beaten me to it. If you were thinking of going triple-core then the X3 720 will obliterate the 8650.
June 5, 2009 1:28:37 PM

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... .Oh and you also have an unlocked multiplier.
!