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Budget Build: Athlon II X4 620 vs Q9300.

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November 24, 2009 6:05:38 PM

Hello,

I am looking at new low end computers for my computer-challenged father. He will use it primarily for multimedia, internet, word processing, multitasking, etc. Nothing high end, no gaming. I'm looking at quad cores mostly to future-proof, as he will keep this computer for as long as possible.

I've recently been considering similarly priced builds with Athlon II X4 620, and Q9300 processors--- which of these would be a better option assuming equal price? (is DDR3 worth the Athlon?)

Thanks Everyone! I appreciate your help in advance.
-Chris

*Please try not to be too much of an enthusiast: This computer will never be upgraded, never be overclocked, and not have anything more than a moderate graphics card. All I care about is a processor that will be able to continue basic tasks for the next 5-6 years or so. I dont have time for a custom build, so I'm looking at processors I can actually get in $475 computers.


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FYI these are my current top two contenders:

-Free upgrade to AMD Athlon II X4 620 CPU on Gamer Ultra 7500. + In customizing this I nerfed the graphics and case to get it down to a competitive $479 (620, 4gb ddr3, 4650, 500gb, 420w)

-$459 ZT Affinity 7304Mi-37 Core 2 Quad Q9300(2.50GHz) 4GB DDR2 500GB Intel GMA 3100

(i know its a weak motherboard, but the price is right after adding a $40 graphics card) (And vista isn't a problem--I can get $20 student Win7)

If you want to comment on other features that's welcome, but the AMD-Intel processor comparison is the only area I really think I need help in. DD

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November 24, 2009 6:12:59 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=106&p2=75

As you can see in just cpu terms the intel is clearly superior. As for the other components, they are basically identical except for the graphics.
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November 24, 2009 7:36:21 PM

The Q8400 even nearly matches the Phenom II 940s when both are overclocked but you'll probably have a better upgrade path going AMD compared to LGA775. Although if you can get a Q9300 setup as cheap as an identical Athlon II 620 setup I'd probably take the Intel.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx...
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November 24, 2009 8:03:12 PM

My suggestion would be AM3 since LGA 775 is EOL or will be shortly once stores get rid of the remaining CPU's. Later on down the road if the 620 starts to bottleneck you can always pop in a newer CPU....
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November 24, 2009 8:13:03 PM

The OP said he will never upgrade.
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November 24, 2009 8:20:06 PM

haha typical Intel Fanboy post.....

LGA 775 is dead, what is the OP's father supposed to do once the CPU/mobo starts to botleneck?? Throw it away??
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November 24, 2009 9:03:34 PM

Simply stating facts.
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November 24, 2009 9:05:48 PM

Not to mention the intel build has an Asus board, while the amd build has a cheesy msi board.
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November 24, 2009 9:17:09 PM

He isn't gunna overclock
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November 24, 2009 9:19:51 PM

BadTrip said:
Not to mention the intel build has an Asus board, while the amd build has a cheesy msi board.


It's also DDR2 on the intel vs DDR3 on the AMD, but don't rush to mention that. :whistle: 

Anyway, at that price it's hard to argue against the q9300. It isn't actually *that* much better than the x4 620, you just need to look at the real results instead of the synthetics on that anand bench.

The intel GMA is an atrocity and it will have to be upgraded however. The AMD could get by on the mobo graphics easily if that is a money saving option.
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November 24, 2009 9:36:10 PM

Why wouldn't you just use the integrated graphics? It looks like your father won't need anything better.
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November 24, 2009 10:24:02 PM

jennyh said:
It's also DDR2 on the intel vs DDR3 on the AMD, but don't rush to mention that. :whistle: 

Anyway, at that price it's hard to argue against the q9300. It isn't actually *that* much better than the x4 620, you just need to look at the real results instead of the synthetics on that anand bench.

The intel GMA is an atrocity and it will have to be upgraded however. The AMD could get by on the mobo graphics easily if that is a money saving option.



even with thee ddr3 the amd still loses the majority of the benchmarks. For a computer that will never be upgraded the intel is a more powerful machine.
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November 24, 2009 10:44:44 PM

If it really will never be upgraded the Q9300 is the more powerful *processor*.

I'm not convinced it's the best overall machine, no. That intel GMA is a horror, barely capable of what most pc users would consider acceptable visual standards. The AMD is the best all-rounder for that reason alone. The Q9300 with discrete graphics probably just wins out, but it really is *that* close.
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November 24, 2009 10:45:29 PM

I do agree with you on that jenny.
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November 24, 2009 10:52:15 PM

BadTrip said:
Simply stating facts.


Facts about what? about how shitty that comp will be in a year or two down the road? And yes he will have to throw the mobo away in a few years due to the socket... If he is ok with discarding the mobo sooner than later then so be it. The wiser choice would be AMD regardless....

Diactivated ITEM :.

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

Non Diactivated :.

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

and much cheaper than a q8400.....







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November 24, 2009 10:59:40 PM

Can you not read or is it your comprehensive skills? The OP is buying a computer for his father for very basic tasks. For all intended purposes a P4 2.4ghz would suffice. Either of these cpus are better than he needs. He is asking which one is more powerful.
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November 24, 2009 11:42:39 PM

BadTrip said:
Can you not read or is it your comprehensive skills? The OP is buying a computer for his father for very basic tasks. For all intended purposes a P4 2.4ghz would suffice. Either of these cpus are better than he needs. He is asking which one is more powerful.


One thing is FASTER and the other is BETTER. Like I said if he decides to get rid of the pc sooner than later then go ahead and convince him that the Intel would be a better buy. I just don't see the point....
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November 25, 2009 1:10:01 AM

Wow.

He said it will NEVER be upgraded.

He also said this. "i know its a weak motherboard, but the price is right after adding a $40 graphics card) (And vista isn't a problem--I can get $20 student Win7" So he will not using the Intel gpu anyways.

The better buy is whatever system he can get for cheaper. Period. For what the machine is going to be used for both are more than enough. 6 years from now BOTH machines will still be more than enough.

I would be more concerned about the other hw in the machine to be honest. Like the quality of the psu's in the machines or the drives in them. That is more important than anything else in this purchase. The more powerful cpu really means nothing in this.

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November 25, 2009 4:59:10 AM

Wow. I am really glad you were all so enthusiastic. I'll take the debate to mean it was a worthy question!

I know this is a CPU thread, but if anyone wants to keep arguing the merits of DDR3 this was another area of concern for me. Also the 4gb ceiling on a G31 chipset worries me-- I know that I rarely utilize more than 2gb of the ram in my overclocked E8400, but do you think this might be a future sticking point for a quad core?

BadTrip: Thanks for the careful reading of my post and for linking me to the comparison. Also for reminding others that I dont intend to spend my time replacing processors in a sub $500 computer.

Raidur: Thanks!

Someguy-- The parts quality is a big concern to me as well, but at this price range can I assume quality from anyone? I had also looked at a compact system (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) but for exactly these concerns wanted a case big enough for economical replacements+ full profile video card. (I currently own a CyberPower with a crappy (and soon-to-be-replaced PSU)--as far as I am concerned it was worth it to get my system at a price that Dell and HP still cant match a full year later... )

Jenny-- I agree with your GMA opinion-- If I were to get the ZT I would definitely stick in a low power 4650 or maybe GT 220 that the 300w psu could handle.

I'm sorry I cant pick multiple best answers--several of you have good points. I'll close the thread soon.
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November 25, 2009 3:16:14 PM

Neither of those cpus can max the bandwith of ddr2. DDR3 will show only minuscule improvements. 4gb should be plenty for the life of those computers, with your intended uses.
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November 26, 2009 2:23:18 PM

Thanks! My best answer decision is cumulative, not relative to the single post.
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!