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Last response: in Systems
January 2, 2010 8:21:36 PM

Lets start off with my PC specs........











I've been reading up about updating my computer.... I definitely need a better gpu but thats better then my processor right now.... I'm wondering how good of a rig i could get by upgrading the GPU, CPU and maybe the main board.... after i thought about it im half way to building a new computer then. Are there parts on my computer now i can use if i buy a CPU/Mobo combo? I use the computer for gaming, work, school, and a little editing. One game i play with my younger cousin is silkroad. With just running silkroad it uses usually 70%+ of my cpu when you pull up task manager. I dont have the money to go out and buy a great rig right now... Id like to start with the CPU/mobo combo using parts I already have then upgrading them in the future.


Thanks ahead of time for the advice.

More about : upgrade

a b B Homebuilt system
January 2, 2010 10:13:45 PM

In my opinion go for a quad core, And you should probably upgrade that graphics card too. The socket 775 series have kinda been phased out because of the new i5/i7 so i would probably suggest that you upgrade to a i5 which leaves you for future upgrades open.
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January 2, 2010 10:35:12 PM

is it possible to get a i5cpu/mobo combo and use my harddrive power supply ram etc for right now untill i can upgrade?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 2, 2010 10:40:23 PM

Is the hard disk SATA or SATA II? If its SATA i would suggest just putting it into a secondary storage, Ofcourse you can run it as a boot drive but you well get a quite a performance boost from SATA II Hard Disk.

And how much watts is your power supply?
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January 2, 2010 11:00:37 PM

305w power supply and its just a SATA 320g hard drive
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2010 4:38:02 AM

I don't think 305w will be enough to power any home built these days unless your using a low profile graphics card etc etc, It may cost more $ but i would suggest going with a 600/700w with Crossfire or SLI certified which leaves you open to another graphics card in the future. And sorry you probably wont be able to use your old DDR2 Ram.
And you need a new Processor because of the slot used in that motherboard for the i5/i7s
since your processor is LGA775 and this motherboard is LGA1156 and of course new DDR3 ram, But don't think that you need heaps of RAM at the moment, Its going to be open to upgrades like i said.

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a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
January 3, 2010 4:50:50 AM

youd be better off building anew, but salvaging what you can.

your case and disk drive should be re-seuable. and your HDD should be too.
you'll need a new mobo/cpu/ram combo. but you can get a deal at a good price when you buy them together. then later on when you have the cash, a new PSU/GPU.

i agree with jason, i5 is probably the way to go. but if you are stuck on cash you could get a cheaper AMD build. and if you do that on an am2+ mobo you can even re-use your old ram.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 3, 2010 4:58:10 AM

welshmousepk said:
youd be better off building anew, but salvaging what you can.

your case and disk drive should be re-seuable. and your HDD should be too.
you'll need a new mobo/cpu/ram combo. but you can get a deal at a good price when you buy them together. then later on when you have the cash, a new PSU/GPU.

i agree with jason, i5 is probably the way to go. but if you are stuck on cash you could get a cheaper AMD build. and if you do that on an am2+ mobo you can even re-use your old ram.



I wouldn't recommend that he go with an AM2+ Socket mobo since the new AM3 sockets came out there will be more Processors based on the AM3 socket probably this year. But you are right, Going with an AMD build would probably be more cost efficient, But it depends if hes willing to fork out enough money for an i5 computer.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
January 3, 2010 5:18:19 AM

yes, but those AM3 socket processors will all run perfectly on an am2+ mobo. and like i mentioned, he can keep his old ram that way.

but yes, if money is less of an issue, an am3 mobo woul be better. or better yet, fo core i5.
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January 3, 2010 3:58:11 PM

the bundle i showed above includes the i5 processor

* ASUS P7P55D Pro Intel P55 Socket LGA1156 Motherboard
* Intel Core i5-750 2.66Ghz 8M LGA1156 Processor (Includes CPU Fan)

370 for the two of them together. Then ram shouldnt be to much If i could keep it around the $400 range right now I think i should be good. The reason im going with tigerdirect is because they do a trade in program and for some reason my friends give me all there old computers... i have 6 sitting in my office right now.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a c 895 à CPUs
January 3, 2010 4:06:53 PM

blown38pontiac said:
the bundle i showed above includes the i5 processor

* ASUS P7P55D Pro Intel P55 Socket LGA1156 Motherboard
* Intel Core i5-750 2.66Ghz 8M LGA1156 Processor (Includes CPU Fan)

370 for the two of them together. Then ram shouldnt be to much If i could keep it around the $400 range right now I think i should be good. The reason im going with tigerdirect is because they do a trade in program and for some reason my friends give me all there old computers... i have 6 sitting in my office right now.

The combo is a good one, particularly if you can take advantage of a trade-in. a 4gb kit of 2x2gb ddr3 ram should be about $75-80.
The motherboard is a ATX board, make certain that it will fit in your case.
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January 3, 2010 5:38:34 PM

I looked online and 2 of the desktops i have and 1 laptop are worth right aroung 100 a peace... im sure i could probably get more for them if i took the time and upgraded and sold them but dont really want to take that time right now. My goal is to use what i can from the dell im using now. As I can buy more parts for it im going to put it back together and trade it in for a laptop. So by the time im done I want to have a custom built rig. I just dont have the money to buy it all now and i dont want to be left without this computer. Maybe ill just end up trading the old computers in and if i get 300 for the 3 of them my $400 limit just went to $700.

Luckily Tigerdirects warehouse is only 2 towns away from me and they did say i could pickup instead of deliver.

lets do the math.....

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... - 370

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... -70

thats 440 obviously lol

When looking for the PSU I dont know what to look for besides wattage.
Case.... I really dont know what im looking for either... For my case id like to have a temp display on the front.

Any suggestions or would be much appreciated... thanks!
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a c 895 à CPUs
January 3, 2010 7:17:54 PM

Don't upgrade any old PC's. As a rule, the individual parts will sell for more on e-bay than a complete PC. Verify that all parts work well first. You will probably get double what tiger direct will allow you as a trade in. Look on e-bay at the completed sales for an idea of what your parts are worth. If you like any of the cases, keep the best which should work fine.

For a PSU, the first thing to look for is quality. Pick a tier 2 unit from this list:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
Cheap psu's advertise high wattage, but they don't deliver them on the 12v rails which is where modern parts need them. Also a cheap psu will advertise peak power, not continuous power. A cheap psu will measure it's capabilities at room temperature which is unrealistic when installed in a case. A quality unit will measure at 40c. or better.

The next thing is sizing, and the wattage is mostly irrelevant. It is the 12v rail amps that are important. As a simple rule, count the number of pci-e 6 or 8 pin connectors that your graphics card/s will require. If a quality psu has enough w/o adapters, then you are good.
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January 4, 2010 1:17:12 AM

the only problem i have with selling on ebay is that i never have sold on ebay b4. I know a lot of people wont buy from new ppl on ebay.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2010 1:54:15 AM

As long as you have a good listing that isn't 'buy this plz i needz monayh' and with pictures it'll do fine. Also seeing multiple things up at once is good too.


An i5 is not a good upgraders choice. Unless you want to buy a new mobo with your next CPU I'd stay away from it. I'd recommend AM3 anyway.

As concerning the computer in your first post it is a dual core already. That graphics card is pretty terrible in comparison.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...
Look at this chart and buy anything in between the x1950 Pro and the HD 4670 off of ebay, or newegg. Then it should be fairly good. It's always nice to have a secondary desktop for friends or whatever.
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January 4, 2010 2:17:32 AM

i def want to stick with intel bc thats all i know really. The computer in my post is the computer im running right now. It's pretty decent and yes i agree the graphics card isnt the best. But from the integrated one it came with the graphics card was a huge step up and it was free.

why do you say the i5 processor is not a good upgraders choice?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2010 2:39:45 AM

Because they have said that the socket that goes with will not be seeing anything higher than a quad core. They have 2 (!) active sockets on the market. If you get that there's a good chance you won't be able to drop in a better CPU in the future.

It's not like running intel or AMD is actually any different... And for the record my gaming laptop is an intel. (the rest isn't)

Also originally you were talking about what to do with what you're running now, and doing what I said with the graphics will "max" that out without also doing the CPU on it. Oh and regarding your 70% number alot of games don't actually use a specific amount of CPU power. As an example while running in-game Overlord will use less than one of my cores (which is a Phenom II x3 720) but if you pause it, it maxes out two cores while paused...

But on doing a new build an AM3 would allow for the six-core CPU's they will release at least, along with being cheaper right now if you just go for one of its dual cores. Which will also be faster than the dual core you're on now.
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January 4, 2010 2:47:47 AM

wow thanks! Thats a lot of great info. I dont want to seem like one of those guys asking people to do things for me but could u suggest a good starting point for me.... if you know of any combos that are worth looking at.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2010 3:12:10 AM

Combos move pretty quickly. I'll look at some for you right quick if you give me some preferences. Do you want it to be as bone cheap as possible (dual core) or still really cheap but with a good bang for the buck (one of the triple cores, faster per core over the cheapest dual core but also with an extra core)

AMD is really good about sticking with one socket for awhile. I'm actually running a AM2+ motherboard but with a current CPU.

If you still want intel I'd say to go with the higher socket because you should be able to upgrade that, but it is also more expensive. Or to go with the i5 anyway even though there's a good chance not much can be done with it, your call.
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January 4, 2010 3:16:56 AM

give me an idea of AMD. perferably quad core. dont want to upgrade for a while if i dont have to. Maybe a comparison 3core. I dont want cheap but id have to say a good board that i wont have to replace with much room to upgrade. Thanks again for your time.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2010 3:29:36 AM

Eh, I'll give you one with a triple core similar to mine. (mine is at $120) I'll assume you won't want to do the multiple graphics cards thing (it's really a waste of time unless you have the cash for multiple at once) and I'll toss in a x4 as well.

Hmm there aren't any combos atm. But here's stuff anyway.

either this RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

and any of these CPU's
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for graphics for any of the CPU's look at that tier list and pick from pretty much the HD 4770 or higher. Just price it out.

Edit:
Oh, and PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
there are some other good ones too, but these should cover really good but not too much money and just plain awesome.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a c 895 à CPUs
January 8, 2010 2:02:00 PM

Pick the parts yourself. Keep what you can reuse. Sell/give away the rest.

The ultra psu included in the bundle may not be of the best quality, depending on the specific model:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

Look at newegg, and other online retailers.
tigerdirect has had some issues:
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/computers/tiger_defectiv...

You might want to look at the new 32nm cpu's from intel:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and the H55 based motherboards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2010 4:14:24 PM

AM3 has a better upgrade path. Especially over the low-end H55 boards. Those just came out, and it seems like you'd only want those paired with the new dual cores. If you wanted to upgrade on that socket, depending, you may have to upgrade to a P55 board.
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January 8, 2010 4:46:27 PM

from what ive been reading, the AM3 is better to go with for future upgrading. Ive never owned an AMD before always intel. I'm a Computer Informational Systems student at Devry Univerisity and I'm somewhat into gaming also. I want something that I wont have to keep replacing every year or two. I also want to build it, whether its a kit/combo/individual pieces.

Games i play would be COD, Silkroad (havent really found anything better) and Diablo 3 (if it ever comes out) I like mmorpgs and first person shooters.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2010 5:00:38 PM

Well I'd say to go with that build I gave you earlier. Preferably with the x3's or maybe the top athlon ii x4. You'd have to use your current graphics until you save up enough. Then go for a 5770 or a 5850 These are DX11 cards and should last you for awhile. Do you need a case too?

I don't think that barebone kit is all that great in comparison. While the other one does have the current top CPU, I don't know much about that particular motherboard and I was under the impression that price was a factor. The motherboard I chose is good for overclocking, and yet for only one graphics card, which really is all that most people (me included) will use anyway.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a c 895 à CPUs
January 8, 2010 5:07:26 PM

For games, the graphics card is all important. Any motherboard with a pci-e 16 bit slot will be able to be upgraded to the fastest vga card existing today, and probably tomorrow. The need is greatest for gaming at high resolutions such as 2560 x 1600, and for fast action games such as first person shooters. At 1920 x 1600 a
$300 card should get you best possible gameplay; a $200 card will still be very good.

CPU's of today are plenty fast enough to drive the highest end card of today to good effect. A dual core cpu clocked at 3.0 or better will do the job for any card costing less than $500 or so. Very few games depend on multi cores or high clock rates to perform adequately. Games developers would not sell very many games that did.

There is no such thing as future proofing. AMD and Intel are both adequate, go with whichever YOU prefer. I would suggest a 32 or 45nm based cpu on the basis that they are more efficient, and run cooler.

Look at a amd build and an intel build. There are fanboys on both sides that will be happy to spend your money to justify their own builds.
Whatever you spend will be worth it for the experience gained in building it yourself.
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January 8, 2010 5:08:34 PM

i am on kind of a budget yes. around $400 cash with the other computers im going to get rid of. Id like to start working on it soon. No rush in completing it tomorrow tho. I wouldnt think spending $300ish on the cpu and mobo would be to bad. I dont need to go get 8 gigs of ram or even 4gigs when i initially build it. I also dont need a huge HD bc I have two 320gig externals. I already have my monitor, keyboard, mouse, im going to use my graphic card for now. I will reuse a optical drive. So mainly PCU/MOBO/PSU/RAM for $400 plus what i have to sell. So lets just say $550-$600 is my total budget for those four things... Am i missing anything id need?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2010 5:19:53 PM

Well if you're selling what you have that sounds like you do indeed need a case.

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

but these should do
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Though you may have to research what can hold a 5850 if that's what you're gonna go for.

Edit: It may be cheaper to go with the motherboard I suggested plus a Phenom II x4 955 compared to that bundle as well then, if that's what you wanted to do. You may want to check that.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a c 895 à CPUs
January 8, 2010 5:24:31 PM

blown38pontiac said:
i am on kind of a budget yes. around $400 cash with the other computers im going to get rid of. Id like to start working on it soon. No rush in completing it tomorrow tho. I wouldnt think spending $300ish on the cpu and mobo would be to bad. I dont need to go get 8 gigs of ram or even 4gigs when i initially build it. I also dont need a huge HD bc I have two 320gig externals. I already have my monitor, keyboard, mouse, im going to use my graphic card for now. I will reuse a optical drive. So mainly PCU/MOBO/PSU/RAM for $400 plus what i have to sell. So lets just say $550-$600 is my total budget for those four things... Am i missing anything id need?


Do you have an OS? As a IT student, you should be able to get windows-7 academic license for very little, if not free.

Here is my suggestion:
cpu Intel i3-530 $125.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard Gigabyte H55 $90.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU Corsair 650TX $89.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This psu can run any single vga card out there up to the 5970

Ram 4gb 2 x 2gb $94
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ram is relatively cheap, and it is best to get a matched 4gb kit up front.
Here is some of the reason why:
http://www.corsair.com/_appnotes/AN804_Gaming_Performan...

Total $400 or so.

---good luck---
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January 8, 2010 6:12:49 PM

I was just looking at the motherboard and realized it only supported DDR2 RAM, seems like thats a little out dated isnt it and that would limit me on the upgradability (dont think thats a word). But that would also allowe me to use my RAM and save me money. how big of a difference would that make?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (70 with rebate)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (200)

so thats the same price with the better board and same processor.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (60)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (50)

$380 as my total without shipping and RAM. How does that look? Anyone see any issues with that?

RAM.... can i use ddr 2 on the board or no? I know it says supports ddr3. if not this is what i saw.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (100)

$480 plus shipping

is that PSU powerful enough?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2010 6:27:28 PM

I'd say bump down to the 955 instead of the 965. They are both black edition overclocking CPU's, just the 965 is one multiplier faster, which isn't worth the difference in price.

You can only use DDR3. That looks like a pretty good set.

The PSU is powerful enough but will limit the amount of graphics you can buy later.

You may want to use the money that you save on the CPU for a bit beefier of a PSU, of either the rosewill green series or corsair brands.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2010 6:35:12 PM

That PSU is pretty good though OCZ is falling down on my list of recommended stuff. If it's a significant savings over corsair or rosewill green series, (ignoring the rebate) then it might be worth it anyway.

The main thing you don't want to do is buy a case with a PSU in it already. These are almost always terrible. (in comparison, at the least)
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January 8, 2010 6:49:04 PM

The case that i picked comes with 3 120mm fans is that sufficient enough? is there anything else id need before installing? any materials or gels or anything like that? One thing i was also wondering right now i have windows 7 professional running 32bit. I can get 64bit from my school for free is it worth it? anything special i need to do?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2010 7:01:09 PM

Heh, most people get by with one case fan, that's plenty. I guess you could buy some arctic silver 5 thermal paste, but you should be fine with the stuff that comes on the CPU's heatsink. With 4 gigs of RAM you might as well be running 64-bit. Nothing special I can think of atm.

Oh and could you give someone a best answer if you consider this post completed?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2010 7:23:09 PM

Seems the more expensive one is a newer stepping. It should have a somewhat higher possible overclock. It should also run slightly cooler. Other than that there is no difference.
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January 8, 2010 7:30:38 PM

If it comes down to $20-$30 difference between the 955 n 965 i think ill just not go to the bar one night and get the 965. Haha this is what im going to stick with....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (200)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... (130)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (60)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (100)

490 + tax and shipping.

Thanks a lot for your help!

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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a c 895 à CPUs
January 15, 2010 4:08:15 PM

blown38pontiac said:
RESURRECTING an old thread after glancing at this article
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quad-core-cpu,2499....

I'm kind of questioning the AMD build now.

Opinions?

Interesting article. From it, I conclude:
Nehalem is 15% faster, clock for clock than AMD or old intel Qxxx.

If you need a 2.8 quad and will not overclock, then go X4 amd, it will cost you less.
If you need the best performing quad from a $200 chip, and are willing to do a safe overclock, then i7-920 is about 15% better for the price.
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January 15, 2010 4:17:14 PM

im not going with the 2.8 the build i was planning on doing (starting today pay day) was with the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz (linked below) I'm just wondering if going with the intel comparable chip would be 15% faster too. Or if thats just for the 2.8 quads.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 15, 2010 4:20:54 PM

NEVERMIND! saw the prices of an intel quad core chip over 3ghz NO THANKS lol AMD is looking good
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a c 895 à CPUs
January 15, 2010 4:36:06 PM

blown38pontiac said:
im not going with the 2.8 the build i was planning on doing (starting today pay day) was with the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz (linked below) I'm just wondering if going with the intel comparable chip would be 15% faster too. Or if thats just for the 2.8 quads.

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


The nehalem architecture is what makes the 15% difference. It applies to i3/i5/i7 quads or otherwise. That is in comparison to old intel Qxxx or to amd X4.
If you are near a microcenter, you can get a X4-965-be for $186, a i5-750 for $ 190, or a i7-920 for $230.

At those prices, I would consider the intel options if you are willing to overclock, if not, then the AMD option is better.
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January 15, 2010 4:42:39 PM

ive never overclocked b4. I'm interested in trying it. I just am not sure of the possible repercussions of doing so. I do live near a micro center.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
January 15, 2010 7:50:52 PM

overclocking is very easy these days. as long as you don't do anything stupid there is very little that can go wrong. and i haven't heard of anyone doing permanent damage to their system from overclocking in a very long time.

the only real 'repercussion' is the reduced life span of a chip due to the higher heat and/or voltages. but reducing a chips life from 20 years to ten years is pretty superfluous realy. unless you plan on never upgrading.
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January 15, 2010 7:56:21 PM

20 years down to 10 years? Who keeps computers that long! lol hell ive never made it past 3 years!
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
January 15, 2010 8:03:54 PM

my point exactly.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 15, 2010 8:55:45 PM

Most of those tests are for things like encoding, etc. This kind of test is simply irrelevant when it comes to gaming. You'd have to buy one super fast graphics card to be able to see the difference between one of the top amd chips and a intel chip in regards to games. So could it be faster for stuff like that? Sure, but for a gamer it doesn't matter. It's not even that big of a difference if you were to do similar tests on, say, your old computer. And really, if somebody's doing huge encoding tasks, it's usually doing it without someone on it at the time.

The real advantage of the AMD socket that you're getting (besides it being the fastest offered at the moment) is that when it comes time to upgrade again, they will be offering six-core (at least) CPU's that will just work with your motherboard.
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