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900$ challenge

Last response: in Systems
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February 5, 2010 3:32:21 PM

hello everybody,
i have a friend who is in need of a new computer, and has been for a while. he is now where near teach savvy, but he knows a little, and know that he needs lots of ram, and a powerful cpu, but basically NO gpu power. for this, i am SUPER leaning to a I3 530, but any other suggestions are ok. this is a complete build, so monitor and os are needed. preferably a 1 tb f3, or maybe 2 500 gb f3s in raid 1, and 4-8 gigs of ram obviously. im not quite sure if 4 is enough, but i think so (also i3 is obviously meant for 4) budget is 900$ but it is a lil flexible. best build (from newegg) gets a cookie. :D 

More about : 900 challenge

February 5, 2010 3:57:14 PM

The i3 is NOT a powerful CPU.

Here's what I'd do:

CPU: i7-860 $280
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 $135
RAM: 2x G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $230
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $90
PSU/Optical: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W and DVD burner $49 after rebate
Case: Antec 200 $50
GPU: HD 4670 $70

Total: $904.
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February 5, 2010 4:12:48 PM

haha, compared to what he has (1.6 GHz single core) yes it is. im not saying its an i7, but it is definitely capable of some medium level business computing. also, not to sound mean...but...that build is 4$ over :)  and it doesnt have a monitor or os, like i said...
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February 5, 2010 4:28:01 PM

happens to me all the time :lol:  "must buy from australia" (goes to newegg :D  ) but idk im pretty sure a 945 might beat a 530, but a benchmark would be good. also wouldnt mind seeing the onboard vs integrated graphics benchmark with amd vs intel. but aside from that, not too bad...
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February 5, 2010 4:34:08 PM

First, benchmarks are going to be useless with integrated graphics. None of them are good enough to show anything on what is used. Also, they won't really matter if you're not gaming.

Second, I can't find any benchmarks for the i3 that I'd trust. But I know that a quad core is going to beat a dual core in just about everything.
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February 5, 2010 4:39:45 PM

but the i3 has HT, so it is in a way like a quad core...to my understanding. and from what ive seen the 530 beats the 620 and the 720 (quad and triple) pretty decently, so i would assume it would be close to the 945.
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February 5, 2010 4:45:29 PM

Hyperthreading makes a little difference, but it's not the same as having 4 true cores.

Keep in mind that those two it beats are two generations behind. Here's a quick comparision between the 955, 945, i5-661 and i5-661. If the 945 is the same or better as the i5 dual cores, it will certainly be better than the i3s.
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February 5, 2010 4:51:15 PM

im more willing to accept that, even though the i5s beat the x4s in more of the important things (dont care about gaming what so ever) now....what about a 440 rana, 635 x4, or 255 x2, he is coming from such a pathetic cpu, i was thinking a 440 x3 would be good enough, if not more than enough.
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February 5, 2010 4:55:59 PM

All of those are good CPUs, but I would definitely stick to the quad cores. Go into the charts area and look at the CPU charts at the others.

It's not about what he's moving from, but what he could be going to. Yes, he will see a big improvement in any of these CPUs, but the best would come from the X4s or expensive X3s.
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February 5, 2010 5:01:33 PM

but are the x4s the best value? does normal computing even utilize 4 cores?
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February 5, 2010 5:12:18 PM

The X4's are a great value.

Yes and no. This really depends on what he's doing with it. "Normal business computing" doesn't really explain it. Is he doing multiple tasks at once? Is he crunching numbers?

While nothing "requires" 4 cores, almost everything will utilize them. It's just a matter of how it uses them and how much faster to makes it. On the other hand, not everything utilizes hyperthreading...
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February 5, 2010 5:18:25 PM

he needs multiple threads open at the same time, multiple programs, and some web building/ relatively medium intensuve programs, and he needs it all to be pretty instataneous.
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February 5, 2010 5:24:01 PM

That would be the definition of a quad core then. Ideally, you'd want a quad with HT, but that's not in the budget. The next best thing is a higher end quad without HT. After that, it might be a toss up between a low end quad, a high end triple core and a dual core with HT.
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February 5, 2010 5:25:56 PM

soooo...do we have a finalized build we wanna post? i have 5, one from dell, hp, gateway, newegg, and me, so lets see if you can best them.
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February 6, 2010 1:59:11 AM

Well, you could go with this combo:

ASUS M4A785-M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... ($191)

Then get this RAM for $85:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and then take the difference and get the HD4670 suggested or even something a bit more powerful since the difference is about $180 with the different CPU/mobo/RAM.



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February 6, 2010 3:38:09 AM

nah, theres no way im going am2+ and ddr2, he just needs integrated anyway.
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!