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Which one to buy

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March 4, 2011 6:43:27 PM

Which is the best and cheaper option for a new system. AM2+, AM3. 2,3, or 4 core?
Which is fastest for the lowest price?
Is onboard video better these days? Would save some peripheral cost if going this route?
Is more than 2 cores necessary? Not a huge gamer but maybe someday. Might run CAD as well.

Have a 2 system network now with Socket A's running at 2.2 ghz. Hate to just throw away all the money invested in them and peripherals. Whats the best and latest Socket A boards released?

More about : buy

March 4, 2011 6:45:21 PM

Also have Windows xp. Need to upgrade the OS as well?
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a c 235 V Motherboard
March 4, 2011 9:47:50 PM

What is the uses of the system??
  • AM3 is the route to go and the Athlon II X3 450 is a good budget CPU, which has plenty of power for most setups!!
  • A great motherboard for the price is the ASRock 870 Extreme 3 but has no onboard graphics. On-board graphics is good for standard usage but for gaming, a dedicated GPU is still the way to go!!
  • I recommend going with Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium at a minimum but Windows XP will still get it done on a tight budget.
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    a b V Motherboard
    March 5, 2011 2:57:19 AM

    I wouldn't bother updating the socket A boards. Really. I own several myself, and they can't do anything. None of my engineering applications will run well on them, virtually no modern games will, and they're sluggish at everything save for MP3 encoding.

    Unless you have a specific purpose, they really aren't worth it.

    That being said, the Athlon II's are good value. Get an AM3 board if you can.
    How complex is the CAD you're looking to do? If it's not bad, and you're not a gamer, you can save the cash and find a board with onboard graphics. If not, I'd recommend at least an entry-level card of either consumer or professional type, though the latter of the two will be more expensive. Consumer cards can do fairly well with CAD.

    Having 2 cores is certainly an asset. If you're getting a new machine, get as many cores as you can muster with your budget. More and more CAD and meshing programs are getting multithreaded, though the basic ones still depend on only one core.
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    March 6, 2011 8:20:35 PM

    frozenlead said:
    I wouldn't bother updating the socket A boards. Really. I own several myself, and they can't do anything. None of my engineering applications will run well on them, virtually no modern games will, and they're sluggish at everything save for MP3 encoding.

    Unless you have a specific purpose, they really aren't worth it.

    That being said, the Athlon II's are good value. Get an AM3 board if you can.
    How complex is the CAD you're looking to do? If it's not bad, and you're not a gamer, you can save the cash and find a board with onboard graphics. If not, I'd recommend at least an entry-level card of either consumer or professional type, though the latter of the two will be more expensive. Consumer cards can do fairly well with CAD.

    Having 2 cores is certainly an asset. If you're getting a new machine, get as many cores as you can muster with your budget. More and more CAD and meshing programs are getting multithreaded, though the basic ones still depend on only one core.


    Thanks for the input. Electrical CAD is the intended program. HAve been reading that some 2 core Phenom processors have hidden cores unlockable by the right motherboard? Liking the sound of that but also questioning the validity. Heard onboard video is good with an additional card in crossfire mode. So much to consider. Appreciate your posting
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    March 6, 2011 8:28:43 PM

    tecmo34 said:
    What is the uses of the system??
  • AM3 is the route to go and the Athlon II X3 450 is a good budget CPU, which has plenty of power for most setups!!
  • A great motherboard for the price is the ASRock 870 Extreme 3 but has no onboard graphics. On-board graphics is good for standard usage but for gaming, a dedicated GPU is still the way to go!!
  • I recommend going with Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium at a minimum but Windows XP will still get it done on a tight budget.



  • Are there really un lockable cores in the Phenom x2 for the AM3? Heard some ASUS boards have a a core un-locker. Leaning that way if I do this soon. Maybe looking at a 6 core if I end up waiting. Not really understanding however the value of all the cores(more than 2 anyway). ASRock as good as ASUS? Onboard Video less expensive out of the gate and can crossfire later?Thank you for your posting.
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    a b V Motherboard
    March 6, 2011 8:33:29 PM

    I believe there's two disabled cores, yeah. They're not guaranteed to unlock, and if they do, they might not be stable. Plus, it'll run hotter with an extra core or two working.
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