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Non-gaming Budget Build

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January 25, 2010 9:16:10 PM

:o  So here's what I have lined up, allowing me what I think will be some good multitasking ability. I've basically taken tecmo34's budget build #1 and downgraded a few things, like getting rid of the video card, as I think the onboard GPU of ASUS' motherboard I picked out should be sufficient for my uses (maybe a movie here or there, that kind of thing).

My question now is will these components work well together?

ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : gaming budget build

January 25, 2010 10:22:30 PM

Not bad. Except that the 650W PSU is way overkill since you don't have a video card and the 785g has the lowest power comsumption of any chipset ever. I would also get a Athlon II x2 400 instead and OC the crap out of it. This chip run so cool you can do away with the aftermarket cooler as well. All the money saved from the above you can put into an SSD as a boot drive and use your samsung as storage.
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January 26, 2010 12:35:20 AM

@fafner except that the OP's main criteria was multitasking, and a triple core will out-multitask any dual core. Since gaming is not his concern, the triple core is a better choice.

Actually, at that price since you are not gaming the Athlon x4 630 would be better. According to Anandtech it will be dropping to $99 shortly:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3726
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January 26, 2010 12:45:29 AM

Switch your CPU for an Athlon II X4 if you want multitasking. Plus if you're not gonna overclock, you may want to get rid of the aftermarket cooler and stick to the stock one. And as they say, downgrade your PSU to a mere 300-400W. E.g. Corsair CX400 / Antec EA380.
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January 26, 2010 1:14:55 AM

zach538467 said:
@fafner except that the OP's main criteria was multitasking, and a triple core will out-multitask any dual core. Since gaming is not his concern, the triple core is a better choice.

Actually, at that price since you are not gaming the Athlon x4 630 would be better. According to Anandtech it will be dropping to $99 shortly:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3726


If price is of no concern then of course a x3 is better. What i'm trying to do is to save some money on the cpu and do away with the after market cooler and put the money on an SSD and hopefully stay more or less within budget. Keep in mind when you multi-task your spinning rust disk could be thrashing pretty bad. Seek time on a HDD is at best 12ms; on an SSD it is close to zero. Storage is much slower than the processor. It is the bottleneck of the system. It is much wiser to improve the performance of the slower component by 3 orders of magnitude than to put more money on the part of the system which is already pretty fast.

Also, why bother going from an x3 to an x4 when the sucess rate of unlocking the 4th core on an x3 is so high?
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January 26, 2010 3:02:21 AM

I disagree with the SSD vs. HDD...I admit that they are much faster, but not worth the price imho.

As far as the chances to unlock the triple core, this is true. But I don't necessarily recommend it or the 550 based on that chance alone, as it is not 100% certain. Don't count the chicken before its hatched, as they say:) 
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January 26, 2010 3:13:00 AM

^ True enough. Plus you could now get a cheap Athlon quad core which would do the job for you most of the time.

As for SSDs, they're really expensive IMO. If you want improved performance for less, just go with 2 Samsung F3's in RAID 1/0.
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January 26, 2010 3:40:06 AM

zach538467 said:
I disagree with the SSD vs. HDD...I admit that they are much faster, but not worth the price imho.


You don't know what you are talking about. We are dealing with multitasking here. Different programs are more than like to have to access different parts of the disk, hence trashing. How much does context switching cost? A couple of clock cycles? That's in the order of 10^-9s. Seek costs you 12*10^-6s. Come on now.

zach538467 said:
As far as the chances to unlock the triple core, this is true. But I don't necessarily recommend it or the 550 based on that chance alone, as it is not 100% certain. Don't count the chicken before its hatched, as they say:) 


So? Did you read that article on this site comparing the number of cores? In real life x4 doesn't buy you much over x3 so why pay a price premium for something that doesn't gain much? If it doesn't unlock, big deal, you still have an x3.
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January 26, 2010 3:46:08 AM

that should have been 12*10^-3s for disk seek. but you get the picture.
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January 26, 2010 3:57:25 AM

fafner said:
You don't know what you are talking about. We are dealing with multitasking here. Different programs are more than like to have to access different parts of the disk, hence trashing. How much does context switching cost? A couple of clock cycles? That's in the order of 10^-9s. Seek costs you 12*10^-6s. Come on now.



So? Did you read that article on this site comparing the number of cores? In real life x4 doesn't buy you much over x3 so why pay a price premium for something that doesn't gain much? If it doesn't unlock, big deal, you still have an x3.



Lol ok man. I was not attacking you personally bro. First, show me where you can buy an "Athlon x2 400". I couldn't find one but I didn't look real hard. And assuming your meant 4000, I couldn't find that either. And then I assume it will be around $50 or so. Show me how, while staying in the same budget that he can use the $50 that he saved buying that proc towards a boot SSD and the samsung.

Did I ever disagree with you that an SSD was faster?

And, I did read the article, thanks though. There was not much of a jump I'll give you, but there was one. For a savings of $5 I'd do it. But before I argue this point any farther, the OP never even said what his actual use is. Just non-specific multi-tasking. Yes an SSD would give him a huge jump. But they also cost a lot.
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January 26, 2010 3:59:14 AM

masterjaw said:
As for SSDs, they're really expensive IMO. If you want improved performance for less, just go with 2 Samsung F3's in RAID 1/0.


Then you probably won't understand why all the enterprise users laugh at all the "enthusiasts" using firmware RAID. People pretty much have to get burnt big time before they will learn. I'll rather do load balancing than RAID if I have more than one HDD and I'll never ever RAID my boot drive.
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January 26, 2010 4:04:49 AM

masterjaw said:
If you want improved performance for less, just go with 2 Samsung F3's in RAID 1/0.


Also RAID will only gain you transfer rate. It doesn't improve seek time which is what is crucial in a heavy multi-tasking environment.
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January 26, 2010 4:30:32 AM

zach538467 said:
But before I argue this point any farther, the OP never even said what his actual use is. Just non-specific multi-tasking. Yes an SSD would give him a huge jump. But they also cost a lot.


Fair enough. I assumed his usage pattern is more of a single user multi-tasking pattern than that of a database/web server environment which I think is a fair assumption. Most applications today are not that CPU intensive. Even if he runs 8 or 10 programs at once I doubt he'll be able to saturate 2 cores frequently and that means even a dual core might be enough. Like I said, context switching is cheap. Running 16 programs at once on just 2 cores is not a problem. You just need a lot of RAM to avoid swapping to disk.

You're right. SSDs sure are expensive so whether its worth it depends on his budget and his usage pattern. I was hoping the price by now would be lower than what it is.
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January 26, 2010 4:43:12 AM

zach538467 said:
First, show me where you can buy an "Athlon x2 400". I couldn't find one but I didn't look real hard


Oops, I meant Athlon II x2 240.

That "e" version is supposed to be more overclockable but then I'm not sure if its worth $20 more.
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January 26, 2010 4:47:33 AM

fafner said:
Also RAID will only gain you transfer rate. It doesn't improve seek time which is what is crucial in a heavy multi-tasking environment.


Which is still cheaper solution than SSD. A budget build with an SSD? Come on. No one argues about the performance gained by using SSD, but it is expensive and that is a fact. Should getting an SSD important in a budget build? Definitely no.

EDIT: And I wouldn't recommend getting an Athlon II x2 and an SSD for a budget multitasking build.
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January 26, 2010 4:52:10 AM

fafner said:
Fair enough. I assumed his usage pattern is more of a single user multi-tasking pattern than that of a database/web server environment which I think is a fair assumption. Most applications today are not that CPU intensive. Even if he runs 8 or 10 programs at once I doubt he'll be able to saturate 2 cores frequently and that means even a dual core might be enough. Like I said, context switching is cheap. Running 16 programs at once on just 2 cores is not a problem. You just need a lot of RAM to avoid swapping to disk.

You're right. SSDs sure are expensive so whether its worth it depends on his budget and his usage pattern. I was hoping the price by now would be lower than what it is.


Agreed, I would have hoped to have at least 256gb ssd's for around $100 by now, but no such luck. I would love to have one as a boot drive but I can't justify to myself the price/performance of a drive that wouldn't have me shuffling for space all the time. Admittedly my drive is messy right now and I could trim the fat, but I'm too lazy for that:) 

You are correct that there would be a more noticeable increase with an ssd vs more cores. If the OP can live with a fairly small boot drive. And I encourage anyone taking my advice or advice given by anyone on the forums to research for themselves and see what is best for their situation haha. And I was actually just looking at a 240 build for myself, mostly so my roomate can play civilization on that and I can have my PC back! ha!

To the OP: Sorry for the slight hijack, hope we didn't scare you off.
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January 26, 2010 4:52:56 AM

masterjaw said:
Which is still cheaper solution than SSD. A budget build with an SSD? Come on. No one argues about the performance gained by using SSD, but it is expensive and that is a fact. Should getting an SSD important in a budget build? Definitely no.

EDIT: And I wouldn't recommend getting an Athlon II x2 and an SSD for a budget multitasking build.


Reason being?
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January 26, 2010 5:02:28 AM

fafner said:
Reason being?


Well, surely your disk read and write would improve with an SSD but is that what you will do most of the time? Transfer files from here and there? It would depend on what the OP wants to do but moving files from one place to another isn't multitasking IMO.

See definition here.

If you want to do more in a short span of time, you would require more processing cores than a faster disk. Say I want to compress a file, who would accomplish the task faster? An x2 with SSD or an x4 with F3? Definitely the latter.

And again, this is a budget build.
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January 26, 2010 6:08:56 AM

masterjaw said:
Well, surely your disk read and write would improve with an SSD but is that what you will do most of the time? Transfer files from here and there? It would depend on what the OP wants to do but moving files from one place to another isn't multitasking IMO.


So you mean the kernel, all the foreground processes, and background services do not access the disk unless the user is moving files around? :kikou:  :kikou:  :kikou:  :kikou:  :kikou:  oh, man. You are quite funny.

masterjaw said:

See definition here.


LOL. I did a university level course in operating systems. I know what multi-tasking is. Thank you very much. In fact, in UNIX lingo it is called "Multiprogramming."


masterjaw said:

If you want to do more in a short span of time, you would require more processing cores than a faster disk. Say I want to compress a file, who would accomplish the task faster? An x2 with SSD or an x4 with F3? Definitely the latter.


LMAO. really? why are you so sure? did you run any benchmarks or are you talking out of your a**?

You are only 50% correct according to this:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/cpu-cores-performance,rev...

masterjaw said:

And again, this is a budget build.


People are installing SSD's on obsolete laptops to try to give them a new lease of life instead of throwing them away. If machines that are heading to landfills are worthy of an SSD why not a budget build?
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January 26, 2010 6:34:43 AM

Quote:
So you mean the kernel, all the foreground processes, and background services do not access the disk unless the user is moving files around? :kikou:  :kikou:  :kikou:  :kikou:  :kikou:  oh, man. You are quite funny.

There is a concept called caching. Are you familiar with that? CPUs have L1 up to L3 of that. Plus there's RAM which is faster than your SSD. There are levels in which information is being passed on. It is not always CPU to Disk. If your PC is like that then be gone.

Quote:
LOL. I did a university level course in operating systems. I know what multi-tasking is. Thank you very much. In fact, in UNIX lingo it is called "Multiprogramming."

No need to mention "unix" just to make yourself look good. In fact, if you really study your course, you should know that the disk isn't always being accessed by the CPU. That's why they have cache memory + system memory (RAM) which is faster and that's why it matters. The first-gen Phenoms failed to implement this part properly which contributed to its demise. Maybe you should study again your college course.

Quote:
LMAO. really? why are you so sure? did you run any benchmarks or are you talking out of your a**?

How about you? Did you run benchmarks to support your dual core + SSD logic?

Quote:
People are installing SSD's on obsolete laptops to try to give them a new lease of life instead of throwing them away. If machines that are heading to landfills are worthy of an SSD why not a budget build?

Then get me a cheap SSD that would surely make it look like budget.

Honestly, what's with the attitude? You want to troll that much? go on, have fun.
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January 26, 2010 7:10:15 AM

masterjaw said:

There is a concept called caching. Are you familiar with that?
CPUs have L1 up to L3 of that. Plus there's RAM which is faster than your SSD. There are levels in which information is being passed on. It is not always CPU to Disk. If your PC is like that then be gone.


What do you mean by "be gone"? Why are you saying something totally irrelevant? Is it because you know you don't really have a point and hoping that reciting a bunch of terms is going to help you weasel out of your dead corner?

Well too bad. I know this concept. It is called "memory hierarchy". So as it turns out I don't think i need to redo my course.

If caching is a cure all then they wouldn't need to invent SSD, won't you agree?

You want some benchmarks for SSD's? click here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-ssd-perform...

Intel 40G SSD is going for about $130. I hope that's "budget" enough for OP.

masterjaw said:

No need to mention "unix" just to make yourself look good. In fact, if you really study your course, you should know that the disk isn't always being accessed by the CPU. That's why they have cache memory + system memory (RAM) which is faster and that's why it matters. The first-gen Phenoms failed to implement this part properly which contributed to its demise. Maybe you should study again your college course.


LOL why don't you look at YOUR own attitude? You want a real troll? Look into the mirror.

I'm sorry I'm being so harsh on you. I have an extreme low tolerance for BSer's. ;) 



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January 26, 2010 7:50:59 AM

zach538467 said:
Agreed, I would have hoped to have at least 256gb ssd's for around $100 by now, but no such luck. I would love to have one as a boot drive but I can't justify to myself the price/performance of a drive that wouldn't have me shuffling for space all the time. Admittedly my drive is messy right now and I could trim the fat, but I'm too lazy for that:) 


Yup, space can be a problem if you go the route of low capacity SSD's. Plus, if OP is still reading this, you have to deal with the usual caveat when using SSD's: switching off superfetch, never defrag the drive, updating firmware, running TRIM, expecting the performance to noticably drop when it is 80% filled etc.

But when your windows boot time is cut down to 30s including POST it's all worth it.
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January 26, 2010 1:54:07 PM

WOW!


This is a lot of feedback.

I'll definitely downgrade my power supply, and you guys think I'd be alright with the stock cooling system? I definitly don't want to fry anything.

In regards to the CPU, I just want to be able to run multiple internet browsers, FL Studio 9, a torrent downloader, and a media media player. Oh, and Adobe SoundStudio as well, plus a few others in the future??
Basically, the more I can have running smoothly at the same time, the happier I am, but I'm not talking about simply moving files from point A to point B.

Will the AMU Triple Core be sufficient?

for the record
-I'm not gunna overclock (at least not on my first build, maybe later tho)
-I'm not gunna game
-I'm REALLY new at this (I can only google so many definitions of terms simultaneously on my computer!)


My budget is $500, sans monitor, case and mouse, and I just want a well-functioning machine. Nothing super crazy, I don't think. Unless, of course, it's within my budget!
Will I be ok with the MOBO's internal GPU??
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January 26, 2010 2:03:29 PM

Haha, glad we didn't scare you off. Stock cooling will be fine and dandy if you don't overclock. Yes, the triple core will perform well, and if you reach a level of familiarity you will have a chance to unlock the forth core on the triple core(basically, that triple core just has one core disabled).

You will be fine with the mobo's onboard gpu. In the next few years ATI and nVidia are trying to push to have more computing done on the GPU. But for now its not going to make a huge difference, if any at all for you.
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January 26, 2010 10:52:26 PM

kyleshike said:
WOW!


This is a lot of feedback.

I'll definitely downgrade my power supply, and you guys think I'd be alright with the stock cooling system? I definitly don't want to fry anything.

In regards to the CPU, I just want to be able to run multiple internet browsers, FL Studio 9, a torrent downloader, and a media media player. Oh, and Adobe SoundStudio as well, plus a few others in the future??
Basically, the more I can have running smoothly at the same time, the happier I am, but I'm not talking about simply moving files from point A to point B.

Will the AMU Triple Core be sufficient?

for the record
-I'm not gunna overclock (at least not on my first build, maybe later tho)
-I'm not gunna game
-I'm REALLY new at this (I can only google so many definitions of terms simultaneously on my computer!)


My budget is $500, sans monitor, case and mouse, and I just want a well-functioning machine. Nothing super crazy, I don't think. Unless, of course, it's within my budget!
Will I be ok with the MOBO's internal GPU??



Any basic machine will be able to do all the things you listed quite comfortably EXCEPT the audio editing programs.

For audio programs, that's a whole different ball game. I would have to agree that more cores are indeed better here. These programs are heavily multi-threaded and the last thing you want is for the sound to skip or to suffer high latency. If you are a pro who loads tons of VST's and samples and effects you would probably want a triple channel memory Core i7 machine. But for a $500 budget I'll be happy to settle for an AMD x3.

I have the same ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO mobo and I was playing GTA-SA with the onboard video yesterday! It's more than good enough for non-gamers. It can offload video encoding jobs from the CPU too. That's a nice feature to have in case you want to do video editing in the future.

If you are not overclocking it's pointless to get a black edition CPU as they are designed for overclockers. Get a boxed CPU with a stock heatsink so you don't have to spend extra on an aftermarket heatsink. DO NOT EVER START YOUR COMPUTER WITHOUT A HEATSINK ON THE CPU!


Now that you gave us a budget to work with, here are my picks:

AMD Athlon II X3 425 2.7GHz $71.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS M4A785-M $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB DDR2 $83.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SeaSonic S12II 380B 380W $51.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel 40GB SSD $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WD5000AADS 500GB $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG DVD Burner GH24NS50 $27.99 (or any burner of your choice)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TT = $500.93 <-- I hope I got that right



Notice I picked the DDR2 version of the ASUS board. Currently DDR3's do not perform better than DDR2's (see http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/245145-30-ddr2-ddr3). This will change in the future but since budget is tight, focus on performance instead of futureproofing.

When you build, remember to install both sticks of RAMs in the blue slots to get dual channel performance.

I like WD for its lower power consumption and quietness. Sustained transfer @100MB/s but Samsung is fine too.

The Seasonic is a 80+ bronze. Seasonic makes their own PSU. Most other PSU's are rebranded. I had 2 Seasonics before. They were both rock solid.

The ASUS M4A785-M supports both unlocking and overclocking so you can if you want to do those in the future.



I hope my picks maximize your bang-for-buck.
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