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Core i3 or phenom 2 x4

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July 5, 2010 1:13:51 AM

I'm building a partial desktop for my dad (using the old hard drive because he refuses to believe that i can save his data, easier to just use the old drive than argue) this is going to be a surprise for his birthday and i have limited funds.

My plan right now is to go with this as the core components,

Intel Core i3 530
Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H motherboard
Corsair XMS3 4 GB PC3-12800 1600Mhz Dual Channel Core i3 i5 i7 DDR3

i was wondering if a setup like this would be better,

AMD Phenom II X4 945
MSI 785GTM-E45 motherboard
PNY Optima MD4096KD2-800 4GB 2x2GB Dual Channel Kit DDR2 800 MHz

the intel setup will cost me $300 and the AMD will cost me $305 so they're pretty much the same costwise. this computer will be used by my dad for normal work related tasks (word excel etc.), some light photoshop, (i cant understand how he can run it so slow on his 2005 dell) and i'm going to be doing some light gaming on it, i need imput. (note, i'm not going use any older processors, unless you can find somthing of similar age and performance for less, please dont suggest it)

More about : core phenom

a c 81 à CPUs
July 5, 2010 1:27:45 AM

You'd be running either with onboard graphics i guess.. In that case, i'd vote for the AMD setup as it has a better onboard graphics chip..
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a c 203 à CPUs
July 5, 2010 1:37:20 AM

Hello hourglasss;
Here is a benchmark comparison between Phenom II X4 940 vs Core i3 530 X4 945 wasn't an available option but it should let you gauge about where the X4 945 and i3 530 stand among various applications.

Even for light 3D gaming I don't think either the Intel HD graphics IGP or the HD 4200 IGP will be satisfactory. For everything else, including 2D gaming (board and casino games for example) either one would be fine. They're close enough in performance you can feel good about using which ever CPU best suits your needs.

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a c 203 à CPUs
July 5, 2010 1:41:59 AM

hourglasss said:
I'm building a partial desktop for my dad (using the old hard drive because he refuses to believe that i can save his data, easier to just use the old drive than argue)
I went through a similar issue and ended up buying a new HD & using it as primary and the old HDD as secondary in the same machine. Of all the computer parts the mechanical HDD is one of the weakest links in longevity. A new HDD will let you keep the old HDD as 'backup' and still get the higher reliability of a new HDD into the upgraded system.
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July 5, 2010 1:44:44 AM

i will be adding this graphics card
PowerColor ATI Radeon HD5550 512 MB PCI-Express Video Card AX5550 512MK3-H

i wanted imput on the usefullness and ability of the processors
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July 5, 2010 1:46:32 AM

oh yeh, my main worry was the fact that the AMD had only ddr2 ram
will this make much of a difference
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July 5, 2010 2:05:14 AM

WR2 said:
I went through a similar issue and ended up buying a new HD & using it as primary and the old HDD as secondary in the same machine. Of all the computer parts the mechanical HDD is one of the weakest links in longevity. A new HDD will let you keep the old HDD as 'backup' and still get the higher reliability of a new HDD into the upgraded system.


I will add a new HDD soon, this is proof of concept, also I can probably get my dad to pay for it after i give him the rest ;) 
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a c 81 à CPUs
July 5, 2010 2:15:52 AM

I guess DDR2 or DDR3 wont make such a big difference.. The i3 530 is overall a faster processor compared to the X4 945 i guess.. So, since You'll be using a dedicated video card, getting the Intel config looks the right step..
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July 5, 2010 2:18:29 AM

thanks, problem solved
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July 5, 2010 2:18:42 AM

Best answer selected by hourglasss.
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a c 81 à CPUs
July 5, 2010 2:32:49 AM

hourglasss said:
thanks, problem solved


Happy to be of help.. Hope your dad likes his gift.. All the best..
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a c 203 à CPUs
July 5, 2010 3:05:39 AM

That HDD replacement plan will work. Having a good backup before putting the old HDD into a new system raises some issues. The HDD has the old hardware drives installed.

DDR2/DDR3 isn't a major issue in most cases. Usually DD2 has lower CAS latencies than DDR3 that keeps the performance close.
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a b à CPUs
July 5, 2010 9:46:58 AM

Emperus said:
I guess DDR2 or DDR3 wont make such a big difference.. The i3 530 is overall a faster processor compared to the X4 945 i guess.. So, since You'll be using a dedicated video card, getting the Intel config looks the right step..


I'm not so sure you guessed right. The benchmarks I looked at show quite a big win for the X4 945 in the majority of benchmarks. It's also a true quad whereas the i3-530 is a dual-core.
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a b à CPUs
July 5, 2010 6:16:34 PM

For a strictly gaming machine I could see i3 pulling ahead a lot of times when OC headroom is taken into account.

However if the game is well coded for more than 2 cores the Phenom II will take the lead.

100% increase in cores is quite a bit. :) 
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a c 81 à CPUs
July 5, 2010 7:08:37 PM

Herr_Koos said:
I'm not so sure you guessed right. The benchmarks I looked at show quite a big win for the X4 945 in the majority of benchmarks. It's also a true quad whereas the i3-530 is a dual-core.


My guess is based on the requirements posted by OP.. Moreover, the platform is newer and has good quad core CPU's to which OP may upgrade at anytime he feels the need for it..
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