So I've been looking at building a new computer for quite a while. I'd like to play some games on it, but nothing too intensive. Will want to play starcraft 2, diablo 3 (if it ever comes out...) some fps/rpgs that aren't on the 360/ps3. I'm also a CompSci student in college, so I will be doing a lot of programming and I'd like to watch Hulu on my 32" HDTV (since my MacBook cant handle it that well). I'll normally be using the computer on a 23" Acer 1920x1080 monitor.
To stay within my price range, I've narrowed it down to getting a 965BE+5830 or a 720+5850. Other than that, I've spec'd out to get 4 gb of ram, a 650 watt Corsair psu and a gigabyte mobo. Personally I like the 965BE+5830 option, since it is still a little cheaper (with newegg discounts). Now that the 5830 is substantially chaper than 5850s, is it a good buy?
Also, how easy/likely is it to unlock the 720's 4th core? Cause if I could get a 5850 and a 720 w/ a 4th core, then I feel like that would be the obvious choice since its only slightly more expensive.
I think I covered everything that you might need to know...but I'm at work, slacking off, so if anybody needs any clarification, I'll be checking periodically.
Is the Athlon II x3 line still a worthy and (relatively) futureproof buy? It seems like I would be cheaping out on the CPU if I went with the Athlon II x3 series. Based on the charts and such that I've looked at, the Phenom II x4 is significantly faster esp. with the L3 cache (for only $25 more).
Also, the reason I listed the 965 instead of 955 is because, due to the awesome deals on newegg, getting the 965+5830 is cheaper than a 955+5830.
Is the Athlon II x3 line still a worthy and (relatively) futureproof buy? It seems like I would be cheaping out on the CPU if I went with the Athlon II x3 series. Based on the charts and such that I've looked at, the Phenom II x4 is significantly faster esp. with the L3 cache (for only $25 more)
Yes, the Athlon II X3 is a worthly CPU... http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-core-i5-... (It is in line with the 720BE in performance). Remember, you are wanting a gaming build, which the 5850 will play the GREATER factor than the CPU, in performance. You can't (or will not) go wrong with the Athlon II X3 440 and the 5850. You can always add another 5850 just as easy as the 5830...
As for upgrade ability. it is not different than the 720BE or X4 955 or another CPU. It will be upgradeable on the AM3 platform once the Phenom II X6 is more relative in performance.
The X3 all the way. The GPU matters much more for gaming that the CPU. Crossfire doesn't matter, as the CPU STILL wouldn't be the bottleneck. When putting together a gaming build, you should always get the biggest GPU you can and then focus on the CPU.
Besides, the 5830 is a horrible choice by itself. It's too expensive and doesn't offer enough performance. If your monitor has a 1600x resolution, you should save the extra bit and get the 5770. If your monitor is a 1900x, you need to get the 5850 at least. The 5830 is too expensive for lower resolutions, but too weak for higher resolutions. It is absolutely in the wrong spot.
Everything tecmo has said is accurate. If you got the 965 and 5830, you would be getting less performance than you could have gotten.
I have a Phenom II X3 720BE overclocked to 3.4GHz and a couple of HD5770s in crossfire. I get great gaming performance like that. I can also unlock my processor to X4 and do you know what difference it makes? None whatsoever. Sure some benchmarks are better with 4 cores but in real world computing, including gaming, 4 cores doesn't seem any better than 3 to me. For gaming it's your graphics hardware that matters. I'd go with the X3 and the HD5850.
He said that he's going to be doing a 'lot of programming'. Which to me sounds like it's more on the CPU than the GPU.
I agree that the 5830 is not a desirable choice and best avoided.
Has anyone else noticed that in the 'Gaming CPU Hierarchy' chart the i5-750/60 is in the bracket above the top Phenoms. Considering that the argument often pops up on this forum that the i5-750 and Phenom II X4 965 are fairly even, I don't see why members of this forum would put much stock in that chart.