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Is the AMD Athlon II X4 630 (2.8GHz,2MB) a decent CPU for older games?

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December 3, 2009 7:57:02 PM

I am getting a computer for Christmas as a gift and need to know if the AMD Athlon™ II X4 630 (2.8GHz, 2MB) is a decent CPU for playing older games. This would be like Battlefield 2, Counter Strike Source, Unreal 3, Oblivion, etc. Now I'm not concerned about the graphics card at this point because I will be upgrading it either way.
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December 3, 2009 7:59:17 PM

it will work very well with older games, especially the ones you listed.
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December 3, 2009 8:01:13 PM

Now if I wanted to play a game like say Fallout 3, would this CPU be good for it? And what graphics card would you recommend for it?
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December 3, 2009 8:16:01 PM

yeah that would easy handle fallout 3 , graphics card , depends on how much cash you want to spend , for under £80 you could get a ATI 4670, which will handle any game , and most on high settings, another good cpu for games is the phenom II x2 550
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December 3, 2009 8:42:57 PM

The graphics card I was looking at is the XFX ATI Radeon HD 4650 1GB DDR2 PCI Express Graphics Card. But the thing is the computer I'm looking at is a Dell Inspiron 546 and I dont know how many PCI Express x16 slots it has and other slots. The site doesn't tell me.
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December 3, 2009 8:52:33 PM

620 v 550be

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December 3, 2009 8:55:01 PM

Lol well you were in my other forum post the other day. I've dropped the idea of getting the AMD Phenom X4 (since its outdated horribly apparently) My mother still wants a pre-built and the Dell is gonna be $498 before i get the new graphics card, but i dont mind buying that myself.
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December 3, 2009 9:00:20 PM

azurehobo said:
The graphics card I was looking at is the XFX ATI Radeon HD 4650 1GB DDR2 PCI Express Graphics Card. But the thing is the computer I'm looking at is a Dell Inspiron 546 and I dont know how many PCI Express x16 slots it has and other slots. The site doesn't tell me.


The details are under the "tech specs" tab http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/desktops/desktop-inspiro... They read: PCIe x16(1), PCIe x 1(1), PCI(2)

One thing you will want to be conscious of in this decision is that Dell will sell you the cheapest power supply they can for what you buy. The 4650/70 and other low end cards are totally safe, but if you were considering a higher end card you would likely need to put in a better PSU.


Are you certain you do not want general computer buying advice? You can find computers with better specs for gaming in this price range.

Even if you arent comfortable building your own like others here have suggested, there are good listings on newegg and there are other custom vendors with very competitive offerings.

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December 3, 2009 9:08:18 PM

I have no problem building my own rig, actually I would love to and I know it would be cheaper and better, but I'm not the one paying. My mother made a deal with me that she would buy me a desktop that was $500 and below but it had to be pre-built sadly. I am at a loss with that but I do plan on upgrading the GC and PSU after I get it, but I don't see myself playing high end games too much or at all. Fallout 3 would probably be the newest game I'd play besides Mirrors Edge.
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December 3, 2009 9:13:38 PM

Quote:
AzureHoBo,

I found a much better rig within your overall budget of £500.

It has a 4870 which is getting old but its much better than the 4650/4670. Check the chart I posted above to see the 4870s performance. The rig also has an Athlon II X4 620 quadcore and 4 GBs of ram.

Unfortunately it doesnt come with an operating system though.


http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=FS...


Hmmm I was actually wondering something about the OS situation. When I upgraded my Vista 32bit Home Premium laptop to Windows 7 32bit Professional it made me do a clean install. If I were to use a Vista 64bit disk and install it with an already used key and then run a Windows 7 64bit Professional install would it work? I ask this because like I said it made me do a clean install which means it didnt use anything from Vista right?
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December 3, 2009 9:14:38 PM

Quote:
Your in the US or UK?


US
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December 3, 2009 9:32:59 PM

Lol ya i'll keep trying to convince her! But thank you for all the support and tips, it really is helping me decide.
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December 3, 2009 9:35:37 PM

Haha ya it was one of the upgrades from the "Ultimate Steal" by Microsoft for college students. Funny thing is the Key for my Vista before the upgrade was automatically put in when I used my recovery disks from my earlier hdd failure. So my Key for Vista never matched the Key on that little Microsoft sticker but it registered ok lol
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December 3, 2009 11:19:55 PM

yeha it would be a better deal if you bought your own parts and built it

for around 500 USD u can get this:


http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

AMD propus athlon x4 620 2.6 ghz.........................99


http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

3 gb of DDR3 RAM.................40


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

ASRock AM3 mobo......................80


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

430 watt Seasonic PSU.....................75


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

LG optical drive........................26


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

Lian Li case..................60


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

ASUS 4870.................112


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

Samsung 160 gb 7200 RPM..........................39

total: 531 but this will be better than anything else you can get in the 500 dollar price range
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December 4, 2009 3:31:07 AM

Lol actually went and got a Dell. Ya I know pre-built suck but it kinda matches yours here. AMD Athlon II X4 630 (2.8GHz, 2mb). 4gb DDR2 SDRAM, 320gb hdd, ATI 3200 16x OpticalDrive, and the standard sound card and all that jazz. My PSU is probably gonna be crap and I'll upgrade that when I upgrade the GC. Total $468 for hardware (free shipping), but $30 to get windows 7 upgrade from Ultimate Steal
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December 4, 2009 3:45:54 AM

I'm going to complement BDDAZZA's suggestions with a few of my own.

1. You might consider building a rig at Cyberpower.com. They are about as close to building it yourself as you can get--you can select every part(unlike dell this includes PSU, Fans, Case, etc.) and leave off unneeded stuff (mice, keyboard, etc) to save money. While they are not known for excellent customer support, they do offer highly customized, yet low cost PCs.
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/AMD_Quad_Core_Config... I am confident you could beat dell pricing on the X4 630 if you only select the upgrades you need while still getting a 430w PSU and decent graphic card. Also, if you order a model without windows you could get it $90 cheaper.

2. These are $50-60 above your price range, but both these processors would be a significant upgrade from the X4 630.

$569 ZT Affinity 7345Mi-37 Core 2 Quad Q9300(2.50GHz) 4GB DDR2 500GB NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS Windows 7 Home Premium - Retail

$559 ZT Affinity 7343Ma Phenom II X4 925(2.8GHz) 4GB DDR2 500GB ATI Radeon HD 4350 Windows 7 Home Premium - Retail

Each only has a low end graphic card... but would likely be enough to tide you over until you can pick up a replacement. I think its worth it for the processor specs. If it helps sell it to your parents you can argue that its an American made PC.


3. If you feel really cheap, you could go lower to a $419-449 Core 2 Quad Q8200(2.33GHz) 6GB DDR2 640GB Intel GMA 3100 Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit - Retail
The processor isnt awesome for gaming, but you would have some extra money for a better graphic card--which is more important.

There are quite a few C2Q 8200, and a few 8300 models on newegg near this price (i randomly picked this one because it has lots of room for a graphic card) they would still be decent family PCs. I've been considering one for my family.

Best of luck!
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December 4, 2009 6:23:41 AM

That GPU is awful weak, but rest of your specs look decent. Enjoy your PC!
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December 4, 2009 12:35:58 PM

The iBuyPower Gamer had a fecal PSU in it; claimed to be 680W but was more likely good for only 400W. You didn't want it.
+1 to deadlockedworld's observations about power limitations though.
You may find the integrated HD3200 is actually able to play some of your older games. You don't mention your resolution. You will no doubt prefer a discrete GPU, but you may not actually suffer too horribly in the interim. You should be able to use a HD4670 on the included Dell PSU without problems. Dell PSUs, though typically the smallest needed for the job, aren't known to be crappy.
If you want a beefier GPU, e.g. a 5750 or 5770, you will want to replace the PSU. For either of those, you don't need more than 500W, and could actually use something as small as an Antec Earthwatts 430. When looking for a PSU, choose one that has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and is at least 80+ certified. Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, and Enermax are among the better brands.
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December 4, 2009 12:52:14 PM

azurehobo said:
Lol actually went and got a Dell. Ya I know pre-built suck but it kinda matches yours here. AMD Athlon II X4 630 (2.8GHz, 2mb). 4gb DDR2 SDRAM, 320gb hdd, ATI 3200 16x OpticalDrive, and the standard sound card and all that jazz. My PSU is probably gonna be crap and I'll upgrade that when I upgrade the GC. Total $468 for hardware (free shipping), but $30 to get windows 7 upgrade from Ultimate Steal


Pretty good price and Dells are far better then HP/Compaq Gateway and others.

However the radeon3200 is an intergrated card that will not run games.

Throw in a Radeon 4670 or better yet a 4870 (if your PSU is 400W or greater) and you have a fair gaming computer.
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December 4, 2009 2:42:21 PM

so the simple answer is YES, and for quite a lot of more modern games too
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December 5, 2009 3:20:20 AM

Thank you everyone for the replies and I'm glad to see that I chose an ok rig for older games. I'm already looking at PSU's on Newegg (mainly 500-580w), but your saying Dells sometimes only allow their PSUs in them? Is it because of their size or mounting it?
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December 5, 2009 8:39:29 AM

most pre built manufacturers have actually been using standard atx psu's a while now so a new atx psu wouldn be a problem
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December 5, 2009 2:22:22 PM

1. dont let all the enthusiasts convince you to spend too much on this. You said you wanted to play OLDER games. A ($45-55)4670 is powerful enough to play those games--and probably shouldn't require a new PSU.

This is a very good deal:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


2. If you do decide that you want to get a new PSU, dont concentrate on wattage, concentrate on brand. Corsair, Antec, PC Power and Cooling are all brands you should consider. Its not really the wattage that matters, its the other specs. This one would handle almost all graphic cards under $160 or so. Having only one +12v rail is simpler to install.

Best low-cost PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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December 5, 2009 2:38:11 PM

azurehobo said:
Thank you everyone for the replies and I'm glad to see that I chose an ok rig for older games. I'm already looking at PSU's on Newegg (mainly 500-580w), but your saying Dells sometimes only allow their PSUs in them? Is it because of their size or mounting it?


You got a great deal --- should turn out well for you.

You might be able to get away with the XFX Radeon HD 4770 and not have to purchase a new PSU. Total power at the wall at load should be in the 170w-180w range with the HD 4770 (which will pull 20w at idle and 50-60w at load). Check the rating and efficiency of the OEM power supply and see what you think.

And LOL at the "Ohhh .... '4' is better than '2' cores" post. With the exception of video encoding 2 fast cores win every time. Dual-cores still rule in gaming and will for the foreseeable future. More importantly in this case, the Phenom 550BE would pull 25w less at load.

We've been hearing this "multi-threaded games are right around the corner and you need 4 cores to be ready" bull-bleep for well over 3 years now. Just because people keep repeating it does not make it true. The concept of 'future-proofing' is asinine. Build your rig for what you need now because hardware and upgrades will always be faster, cheaper and more capable just down the road.

The cost per CPU core in less than 3 years has dropped from $210/core for the Q6600 to $25/core for the 620 Propus. My math may be fuzzy but any way you look at that it is a 90% reduction in cost for nearly identical performance.


I now return you to the thread in progress :D 
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December 5, 2009 2:55:53 PM

Deadlockedworld is right on. For older games, you don't need to spend tons of cash. The PSU he linked is also good, or any of the Antec Earthwatts (one or another of them is often heavily discounted).
Wisecracker must not have read the article that showed that three cores was notably better than two, but four, although better still, was a lot "less better" than 3 vs. 2. Part of it is because with three, you'll have an extra core to handle OS and background tasks. Here's the Conclusion page link from part 1: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/multi-core-cpu,2280...
...and part 2: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-cores-performan...
As to the PSU, some years ago (but no longer!) Dell used to use a proprietary PSU that was wired differently although it used the exact same connectors. You had to buy a Dell replacement if your PSU smoked. Now, that is no longer a problem. If you decide to replace your PSU, do not buy a "cheap" one. Look for full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and 80+ certification. Antec, Corsair (like the one he linked), PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, and Enermax are among the better brands.
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December 5, 2009 6:10:16 PM

Wisecracker said:


And LOL at the "Ohhh .... '4' is better than '2' cores" post. With the exception of video encoding 2 fast cores win every time. Dual-cores still rule in gaming and will for the foreseeable future.


Just in case you were responding to me.

1. He is buying a family PC, that doesnt need to power high end games. Hes not looking to superclock a dual-core. Since his mom is buying this--they probably wanted a good multitasking home PC.
2. My suggestion was that he boost it to the Phenom X4 295 and a slightly better PSU for an extra hundred bucks--this would have been faster, not because of the cores, but because of the other parts.


I think the decision he made was excellent, and a good deal.
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December 7, 2009 12:22:23 AM

deadlockedworld said:
Just in case you were responding to me.

1. He is buying a family PC, that doesnt need to power high end games. Hes not looking to superclock a dual-core. Since his mom is buying this--they probably wanted a good multitasking home PC.
2. My suggestion was that he boost it to the Phenom X4 295 and a slightly better PSU for an extra hundred bucks--this would have been faster, not because of the cores, but because of the other parts.


I think the decision he made was excellent, and a good deal.


Ya basically just old games, back-up space for my laptop (school documents, music, etc.). I went with the quad core because for the price it didn't look bad and had pretty good MHz. I bought Turning Point: Fall of Liberty to test out the graphics card it comes with (I highly doubt it will work good), but I also noticed on the back since it's a Games for Windows game it says "Enhanced for: Multi-core." And well I really got the game because it was $5 at Five BeLoW lol
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December 7, 2009 2:24:25 AM

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is a horribly coded games so I really wouldn't use that to judge performance.
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December 8, 2009 1:51:47 PM

BadTrip said:
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is a horribly coded games so I really wouldn't use that to judge performance.


Eh it was five bucks, it was that or Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 Platinum and I already have the gold edition of that game.
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