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Best value for money - CPU

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November 19, 2009 1:50:26 AM

I'm having some issues selecting a CPU to go in a budget PC I'm building. Essentially I have around 600-700 max to spend (Aussie dollars) but the cheaper the better. The system wont be under a great deal of stress, but it needs to be able to play a few games from time to time, such as The Sims 3 etc. So far, I've narrowed it down to the following parts:

HDD - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS $50
GPU - Radeon HD 4670 $70
RAM - G.Skill 4GB (2GB x 2) PC3-10666 (DDR3-1333) $100
MOBO - GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P $105
PSU - Corsair CX400W $65

Initially I was going to buy the Athlon II X3 435, although it's not out in Australia yet and I'm not sure when its coming. I then began looking at the AMD Athlon II X4 620, but I'm not entirely sure how it compares to its competitors. Another option is the Phenom II X3 720.
At this stage I dont think I will be overclocking as I've never overclocked before, and the system isn't actually for me so if something goes wrong or if regular maintenance or adjustment is required then I wont be there to do it. Is it possible to set up an overclocked system and have it run reliably for a few years? My guess is it is unnecessary anyway.
And so my question is - what CPU should I be going for? (Also, if there are any problems anyone notices with my choices regarding the other parts, please let me know)

Thanks for your time :) 

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November 19, 2009 2:04:22 AM

My vote Phenom II x3
November 19, 2009 2:35:27 AM

You can have an overclocked system run fine for years, but since you are new to overclocking and the system is not for you I would leave it stock. If the buyer wants to overclock thats fine, but you don't want to be responsible for an unstable system.
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November 19, 2009 3:53:55 AM

Its usually simpler to chose your cpu and then pick out a motherboard that suits your expansion needs. This way you're not limited to a specific socket when trying to find the right performance that fits your budget.

Now I'm not too keen on aussie prices, but since you're going to keep the system around for a while, I'd go with a quad core. Athlon II x4 will suffice since productivity will likely be held more accountable than gaming because as you said, the user will only game from time to time.
November 19, 2009 4:48:45 AM

chowmanga said:
Its usually simpler to chose your cpu and then pick out a motherboard that suits your expansion needs. This way you're not limited to a specific socket when trying to find the right performance that fits your budget.

Now I'm not too keen on aussie prices, but since you're going to keep the system around for a while, I'd go with a quad core. Athlon II x4 will suffice since productivity will likely be held more accountable than gaming because as you said, the user will only game from time to time.


Well initially I had chosen the processor and then the motherboard, but the CPU I chose wasn't the best option in the end. Ultimately, if the motherboard needs changing then that's fine, although I think I'd like to go AM3 regardless.
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November 19, 2009 5:02:22 AM

P2X3 710/720BE with an aftermarket HSF :p  (outside regular rendering/encoding rig)

November 19, 2009 1:50:13 PM

spikesebrog363 said:
Well initially I had chosen the processor and then the motherboard, but the CPU I chose wasn't the best option in the end. Ultimately, if the motherboard needs changing then that's fine, although I think I'd like to go AM3 regardless.


Well its hard to say what will be perfect for your customer since you won't know all the applications they'll run. Athlon II x4 is a safe bet. Take a look at batuchka's chart. In my eyes, even for a hard core gamer, a 1% gain in games does not balance out the 32% loss in application performance by going from quad core to three core.
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