How Much Do I Need?

I need to build a second system and I wonder how fast of a processor do I really need? I don't want something holding me back, but don't want to spend too much. Computer will be used for web, word processing, media, light gaming (WOW), and lots of multitasking. This computer will be used a lot, but not for video encoding or any extensively CPU hungry tasks.

I was thinking of the following: Athlon II x4 620, AM3, DDR3, and an SSD (...I hate slow hard drives). I like the AM3 idea because it will likely be more future proof...and its cheap.

My question is: for a low price processor (Athlon II x4 or maybe a Phenom II 710), how much does it take to feel the bottleneck? I don't want the CPU to slow me down, but I don't want to buy an i7 and have it throttled down all the time. I've looked at specs, but its hard for me to determine how those will apply to every-day computer.

Also, for the activities described, which would be best AM3 processor for the money? (To intel fans, I know they're great but I want a future proof set-up with focus on price/performance).

Thanks
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More about need
  1. The x4 620 is a cheap quad core perfect for multitasking.
  2. Would I be able to notice a CPU bottleneck with these tasks? Say if I compared an i7920 with the x4 620? Where would I actually notice a difference between these two if I'm not encoding or gaming?
  3. It will not be noticeable. For example I am typing this on a 5 year old notebook (first gen centrino) it browses the internet as fast as my sons phenom X4 desktop, it plays WOW no problems (GPU ATI mobility 9700) but it sucks at multitasking because of the single core CPU and only 1gb ram.
  4. Thats what I was thinking. As long as the other components are good, fast HD, good RAM, 4 cheap cores should be able to handle anything that I throw at it (see above) for at least 2 years right?
  5. As long as you have enough memory to do your multitasking you are all set.
    In all reality the biggest reason people upgrade computers these days is hard core gaming. (more visual effects)
  6. An entry level tricore like the $76 A2X4 425 is good to go for your uses but hey a smallish top up at $99 for A2X4 620 isn't such a bad idea hehe. So with multi tasking + WOW my suggestion

  7. A Raid-0 slows down modern disks, as I saw experimentally. Forget it. Only Ssd are faster.

    -----

    AMD 955 BlackEdition? Isn't it the one that was unusably bugged? And then Amd issued a patch to insert in the Bios, and the patch improved the bug but made the processor so much slower than its competitors?
  8. Pointertovoid said:
    A Raid-0 slows down modern disks, as I saw experimentally. Forget it. Only Ssd are faster.

    -----

    AMD 955 BlackEdition? Isn't it the one that was unusably bugged? And then Amd issued a patch to insert in the Bios, and the patch improved the bug but made the processor so much slower than its competitors?



    Dude, you are very out of touch. The 955 is AMD's second best desktop processor. It is based on the deneb core. You are talking about the old phenom one series and the TLB bug.
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