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Best Quad Core / MB Value??

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January 5, 2010 2:55:31 PM

I am looking to start a home built system and I have around $450 to spend for the Hardware. I am looking for the best performance to cost ratio on the market today for a Quad Core Processor and Mother Board. Where do you guys think I should start. Intel / AMD and what chips and MB's??

Also, please let me know if you know of any packages or deals on the market I am looking to start this project asap.

Thanks In Advance,
J

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January 5, 2010 3:13:59 PM

AMD Athlon II X4 620/630 or the newer models if they are out when you purchase. Motherboards you have many options. Depends on if you need to onboard video and other features. I would not get a socket AM3 board though. Save a couple bucks going with the older boards and ddr2 ram.
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January 5, 2010 3:24:35 PM

AthlonII 620 Propus/Asus 785G AM2+: $159

Throw in another $80 or so for 2x2Gb of DDR2 800. Going AM3/DDR3 will probably cost you $30 or so more upfront and would be a good idea if your budget can stand it.
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January 5, 2010 3:32:01 PM

jeguzik said:
I am looking to start a home built system and I have around $450 to spend for the Hardware. I am looking for the best performance to cost ratio on the market today for a Quad Core Processor and Mother Board. Where do you guys think I should start. Intel / AMD and what chips and MB's??

Also, please let me know if you know of any packages or deals on the market I am looking to start this project asap.

Thanks In Advance,
J


I am guessing that the $450 is for the whole system, so what is this computer going to be used for and what other components do you need in it. With this information we can try to find you a good chip/mobo combo that will allow you to get the other components you need.
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January 5, 2010 3:34:36 PM

$450 is a lot of cash for a CPU/mobo combo. Not a budget build for sure. So, my recommendation is the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor -

$195

And you still get a nice chunk of change leftover for mobo and RAM.

Why did I choose this processor and not an Intel CPU at the same price?

Answer:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-965,2389-...
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January 5, 2010 3:39:40 PM

Sorry when I said the hardware I meant all the hardware from the ground up. I have a $500 total system build in mind and need about $80 for Win 7. I need a case / CPU / MB / HD / Fans / / RAM / etc.... etc...

This will be my parent home Office PC, used for web / MS Office / and minor Photo editing. I want this to be a solid performer and last them for a while. That is why I would like to use the Quad Cores, all things considered. They have a seriously outdated P4 1.8 with 1gb or ram, it barley moves... So they told me to replace it for $500, so here I am. Thanks Again Guys!
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January 5, 2010 3:55:25 PM

With that low of a budget and the computers intended usage, I would get a Dell Vostro.
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January 5, 2010 4:07:01 PM

jeguzik said:
Sorry when I said the hardware I meant all the hardware from the ground up. I have a $500 total system build in mind and need about $80 for Win 7. I need a case / CPU / MB / HD / Fans / / RAM / etc.... etc...

This will be my parent home Office PC, used for web / MS Office / and minor Photo editing. I want this to be a solid performer and last them for a while. That is why I would like to use the Quad Cores, all things considered. They have a seriously outdated P4 1.8 with 1gb or ram, it barley moves... So they told me to replace it for $500, so here I am. Thanks Again Guys!


Does it have to be a quad-core? What will be the main use of the new PC? Net surfing, basic tasks, or intensive video/photo editing, or gaming?

If gaming, go with a dual core that overclocks well and use more cash towards the videocard.
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January 5, 2010 4:21:43 PM

What does everyone think about the AMD Athlon II X4 630 for a build?? Onboard Video and sound is ok?
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January 5, 2010 5:04:47 PM

Quote:
I hate when people cheap out on the MB's. Spend 10-20 more dollars and get a REAL mobo

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



I did not see anybody cheap out on a board. You can save a couple bucks buy NOT going with the AM3 board and ram. The board I seen wisecracker link to was a REAL mobo. And you do not want to ever get a el cheapo psu. You always want to get a high quality psu. But around these forums most users think that means 700w tier1's. When even a solid 400w psu is more than enough.

You also left out the HDD in your part list.
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January 5, 2010 5:19:46 PM

Quote:
The Black is only 20 dollars more and well worth the price difference


Well ..... No.

Both the Blue and the Black WD drives have an average latency of 4.2ms. The Blue drives have a 10% higher sustained data transfer rate and consume less power.

You are correct they cost $20 more. For that extra cost a Black will consume more electricity, but it does have a 5-yr warranty as opposed to a 3-yr warranty for the Blue.

Being that the OP should partition the front of the drive for his OS and Apps, there is little, if any, basis for selecting the Black for a budget system.

The Blue and Black hard drives spin at 7200 RPM ---- but the Green spins at 5400 RPM. Maybe you are off your meds, again? :lol: 
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January 5, 2010 5:29:38 PM

If you have lots of building experience experience and can put together a system and run all your burn in torture tests in a few days, you can try Newegg's open box motherboards. It ony has a 30 day warranty but you'll know by then if it's a keeper. I both both my Asus mobos that way, still have them over a year, powered on 24/7 and overcloked, no issues, and saved lots of cash too!
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January 5, 2010 5:56:23 PM

+1 to Athlon II X4 630.
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January 5, 2010 6:03:54 PM

What is a good MoBo for the Athlon II X4 630 for me to get started with then?? I think this is the route I am looking to go. Or the Intel Core2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz if there are some good deals??
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January 5, 2010 6:07:15 PM

$30: Rosewill case : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45: Seasonic SS-300ET 300W : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$56: WD HD 500GB : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$60: ASUS Mobo : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$89: 4gb Corsair RAM : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$166: Phenom II X4 955 BE : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total: $446
All prices are with shipping, but not tax. If you live in a state that newegg needs to tax you in the story will change a bit.

If you really wanted a ddr3 set up here is the mobo and ram that you would use in place. It cost $30 more in total.
$85: ASRock Mobo : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$94: GSkill 4gb RAM : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Good luck on your build
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January 5, 2010 6:44:38 PM

Pro Llama, the Phenom II X4 is a better processor than the 630?? Correct? If so this looks like a really solid build. Anyone else have any thoughts on this setup??

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January 5, 2010 6:54:30 PM

jeguzik said:
Pro Llama, the Phenom II X4 is a better processor than the 630?? Correct? If so this looks like a really solid build. Anyone else have any thoughts on this setup??


Yes the PII X4 is a more powerful processor.
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January 5, 2010 7:06:21 PM

Hey pro llama,

One thing you forgot to do is check asus web site to make sure the cpu you list works. ;) 

http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=YPZrr3KRcW3MBX5G

To OP:

As for cpus, i would recommend athlon II x3 or X4.

Phenom II are better but for what there needing the computer for (from what you said they do), thats a lot of wasted power and money. I would only recommend Phenom II for gaming or cpu intensive task like rendering.

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January 5, 2010 7:12:04 PM

Pro Llama said:
$30: Rosewill case : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45: Seasonic SS-300ET 300W : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$56: WD HD 500GB : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$60: ASUS Mobo : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$89: 4gb Corsair RAM : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$166: Phenom II X4 955 BE : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total: $446
All prices are with shipping, but not tax. If you live in a state that newegg needs to tax you in the story will change a bit.

If you really wanted a ddr3 set up here is the mobo and ram that you would use in place. It cost $30 more in total.
$85: ASRock Mobo : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$94: GSkill 4gb RAM : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Good luck on your build




So are you looking for a complete system build-- or just a CPU/mobo combo?

This is a great build--but is missing a graphic card--if its just a parent computer I would stick in a 4650.


This is a good deal--assuming that you own a copy of Win7--if not the extra ~$120 on the price will make it difficult for you to beat budget retailers who buy windows in bulk.
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January 5, 2010 7:46:22 PM

warmon6 said:
Hey pro llama,

One thing you forgot to do is check asus web site to make sure the cpu you list works. ;) 

http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=YPZrr3KRcW3MBX5G


Your right I had originally setup the system with a PII X4 925 and check that it was on the list. When I finished and noticed that I had a little extra money I put it into the cpu without checking again.

The two chips you can go with jeguzik:
$141: Phenom II X4 925 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$166: Phenom II X4 945 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would go with the 925 it will give you extra money for the os.

warmon6 said:

As for cpus, i would recommend athlon II x3 or X4.

Phenom II are better but for what there needing the computer for (from what you said they do), thats a lot of wasted power and money. I would only recommend Phenom II for gaming or cpu intensive task like rendering.


He said he wanted a quad cord and he also wanted something that will last a long time. If he would like to go with a less powerful chip, but the more powerful one may stick around a little longer.
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January 6, 2010 3:19:13 AM

Do I require any cpu cooler if I am not overclocking??
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January 6, 2010 12:24:20 PM

jeguzik said:
Do I require any cpu cooler if I am not overclocking??


As long as you are buying a retail cpu it will come with a stock heat sink. You will not need to buy a heat sink unless you think that the one that comes with the cpu is not functioning properly or you feel it is just too loud for you. If you would like, you can buy some thermal compound to use instead of the stock thermal compound that comes on the heat sink, which would reduce the temperature of the chip slightly. Considering you are not overclocking, I don’t believe this is needed.

Good luck with your build and let us know how you and your parents like it when it is built.
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January 6, 2010 1:53:49 PM

Can't really stress enough how much better off you will be in the long run with AM3/DDR3.

There are no guarantees in life ---- and certainly not with computer hardware :D  --- but AM3/DDR3 will give you the best opportunity for future CPU/RAM upgrades in the next 18-24 months.

AMD was nice enough to make current AM3 microprocessors 'backward-compatible' with AM2+ chipsets by enabling both a DDR2 and DDR3 memory controller. Nobody knows how long this may last, nor how long motherboard OEMs will continue to update their AM2+ BIOSs.

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January 6, 2010 2:07:53 PM

Wisecracker said:
Can't really stress enough how much better off you will be in the long run with AM3/DDR3.

There are no guarantees in life ---- and certainly not with computer hardware :D  --- but AM3/DDR3 will give you the best opportunity for future CPU/RAM upgrades in the next 18-24 months.

AMD was nice enough to make current AM3 microprocessors 'backward-compatible' with AM2+ chipsets by enabling both a DDR2 and DDR3 memory controller. Nobody knows how long this may last, nor how long motherboard OEMs will continue to update their AM2+ BIOSs.


I was kind of thinking the same way and that’s why I gave the am3 option. The thing that I thought of is if he is planning on making no changes to the system within say 4 years the am2 is the way to go. If something breaks after most of the am2 parts are out of production, it will cost a little bit more which would make that am3 worth it now. In other words the only way the am3 would be worth it is if he plans on upgrading it within 2 year or plans on parts failing within say 3 years. If you buy quality you can expect more than 3 years out of your build.
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January 6, 2010 2:26:16 PM

Yup.

If a total re-build is the plan in a few years I like going as low as possible with AM2+. Will not be a big difference in system performance either way --- depends on how the OP looks at it.

Maybe in a few years that quad may actually be worth it --- LOL.
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January 6, 2010 2:27:11 PM

Wisecracker said:
Can't really stress enough how much better off you will be in the long run with AM3/DDR3.

There are no guarantees in life ---- and certainly not with computer hardware :D  --- but AM3/DDR3 will give you the best opportunity for future CPU/RAM upgrades in the next 18-24 months.

AMD was nice enough to make current AM3 microprocessors 'backward-compatible' with AM2+ chipsets by enabling both a DDR2 and DDR3 memory controller. Nobody knows how long this may last, nor how long motherboard OEMs will continue to update their AM2+ BIOSs.


I agree. But at the same time I don't in this case. As this is for his parents and is not going to upgraded probably ever I would go the cheaper route. His parents are still running a 1.8ghz p4. For his parents and what they use the machine for this machine will never need a cpu upgrade. And if they did it would so far down the line that AM3 would most likely be obsolete as well.

If possible I would go with the AM3 system but it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me in this case.
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January 6, 2010 4:44:18 PM

Hey guys, I am going to head the AM3 / DDR3 Route. Costs considered it gives me more flexibilty to maintain this system in the future. Since the machine will be around for a while, this is my prefference.

What do you guys thing of this mother board for 99.99 after rebate at Newegg - GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail?? I was thinking for the extra $15 I may go this route, is this a good board IYO?? How would this compare to the 785 ASROCK recommend abovce, worth the extra $15? I was thinking the onboard Grafics in the Giga make it a better deal, since I am not budgeting for a video card? Thanks Again!!
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January 6, 2010 5:06:29 PM

the onboard will be good enough for most things i would imagine an older couple can do... the 790GX suppose to be able to play back blu-ray 1080 stuff with the HDMI out to a big screen, so hell that will cover beyond of what likely (assuming dvd here lol) is gona be thrown at it.

and yes a PII is "better" but hell, if the most demanding application is going to be web browsing and some HD 1080 video then well, why light a candle with a flame thrower? buy a better PSU to guaranteed this 500 dollar wont go up in flames and that may be smarter, or put it towards a really nice looking case and maybe even call it a Home Theater PC (sans a tv in card a bit, remote controls and what nots and just hook it up to the internet and watch hulu or what nots) with the HDMI thing and be done with it.


read about the 1080 play back:

http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2374&p...
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January 6, 2010 5:40:10 PM

theholylancer said:
... or put it towards a really nice looking case and maybe even call it a Home Theater PC (sans a tv in card a bit, remote controls and what nots and just hook it up to the internet and watch hulu or what nots) with the HDMI thing and be done with it.


This could potentially be a good idea for an entertainment computer-- do your parents have an LCD TV? You could put together the system with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and hook it into a home theater/audio....
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January 6, 2010 6:25:35 PM

jeguzik said:
Hey guys, I am going to head the AM3 / DDR3 Route. Costs considered it gives me more flexibilty to maintain this system in the future. Since the machine will be around for a while, this is my prefference.

What do you guys thing of this mother board for 99.99 after rebate at Newegg - GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail?? I was thinking for the extra $15 I may go this route, is this a good board IYO?? How would this compare to the 785 ASROCK recommend abovce, worth the extra $15? I was thinking the onboard Grafics in the Giga make it a better deal, since I am not budgeting for a video card? Thanks Again!!



Generally, the '790gx' would be considered more of an 'enthusiast' motherboard with advanced BIOS features for overclocking, chipset cooling and a second PCIe x16 Gen2 slot which may be used to CrossFire two discreet video cards.

The 785g chipset has only a single PCIe x16 Gen2 slot for a discreet video card, a slightly better IGP with the ATI Radeon HD 4200 and less fancy chipset cooling.

Something like the Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 785G HDMI additionally has an eSATA port which the 790gx you listed does not offer.

Oh, boy! We are havin' some fun now! ---LOL
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