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URGENT: i3 540 vs. Athlon II X4 635

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October 6, 2010 12:39:55 PM

I building a budget machine, and need some recommendations...WITHIN THE WEEK.

The two mentioned above are the only processors which fit my budget snugly.

I need this setup to last for as long as possible - looking at a time frame of at-least 5 years. I don't plan to overclock in order to prevent reliability issues.

I'll be using this rig mainly for web browsing, movie watching, document editing and maybe some casual gaming -- ordered from most important to least important.

If possible, I wouldn't like to spend any money on a graphics card unless I need to later, so the integrated GPU on-board the i3 is a plus.

If you look here:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/143?vs=122&i=2.3...

... it seems that the single-threaded performance of the i3 is a lot better than the Athlon, while the Athlon is better for multi-threaded apps.

On the other hand, if I decide to upgrade and then for the same socket, I can upgrade the AMD chip to a Phenom II X4 9xx or a Phenom II X6 1055T / 1090T once prices drop, but there's only the i5 750 / 760 as an upgrade option for the i3.

The Intel chip is also more expensive by about $20.

So for my kind of workload, which would you recommend and why?

More about : urgent 540 athlon 635

a c 110 à CPUs
October 6, 2010 1:33:11 PM

Do you have a budget for your 'budget' build?

Are you re-using any parts? A monitor? Do you have an OS? Do you have a preference as to where you would like to purchase (the Egg, Microcenter, etc. ...) ?



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October 6, 2010 2:35:53 PM

Of course you can upgrade the i3. Socket 1156 works with a wide variety of cpus. The 750 is a socket 1156. Frys has the 530 for $74.99 through tomorrow. They also have the 635 propus for $89.99, and a biostar 880g am3 board for $54.99 after rebate. These are in store deals only, though the frys website may have these parts for slightly more if you are able to order them online.
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October 6, 2010 2:41:10 PM

The i3 uses the same chipset as the i5s and i7 8x0 series. So yes, you would be able to upgrade them in the future.

I'd say you should get the i3.
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October 6, 2010 5:24:32 PM

Wisecracker said:
Do you have a budget for your 'budget' build?

Are you re-using any parts? A monitor? Do you have an OS? Do you have a preference as to where you would like to purchase (the Egg, Microcenter, etc. ...) ?


I don't think that I can post info about that without getting this shifted to the Systems section. I already have a thread there. Here's a link: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/296418-31-first-budge...

Thanks for replying.
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October 6, 2010 5:25:35 PM

Quote:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

Save $22.97 when purchased together

1. Raidmax ATX-238WRP :$49.99
2. ASUS M4A785-M :$74.99
3. AMD ADX445WFGMBOX :$77.99
(AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX445WFGMBOX)
4. G.SKILL F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ :$54.99

* Combined Total:$257.96
* Combo Discounts:-$22.97
* Combo Price:$234.99


I'm from India and sadly newegg doesn't ship here.
Thanks for posting though.
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October 6, 2010 5:40:54 PM

Bluescreendeath said:
The i3 uses the same chipset as the i5s and i7 8x0 series. So yes, you would be able to upgrade them in the future.

I'd say you should get the i3.


Sorry... my bad. They both use the P55.
But out of curiosity, if they didn't have a common chipset, just the LGA 1156 socket, would I still be able to upgrade from the i3 530 to the i5 750?

I'm guessing no... is that correct?

Here's something to consider: the AMD chip seemingly offers a better upgrade path - once the prices come down, the Athlon can be swapped for a Phenom II X4 965 BE or a Phenom II X6 1055T / 1090T without changing the AM3 mobo.

Also, future apps are likely to be multi-thread optimised (i.e. better suited for 4 cores than 2), no?

In addition, where I live (India), the Athlon + Asus mobo is cheaper than the i3 + Intel mobo by about $20.

What say?
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a c 110 à CPUs
October 6, 2010 6:07:59 PM

Well ....

You could go with the 635 Quad, 2x2GB of RAMs, and something like the Asus M4A78LT-M-LE AM3 motherboard --- I would put the money saved into the retail version of Win7 64-bit.

You could then move it all to an AM3+ motherboard in a few years (everything is supposed to be backward compatible with AM3). That would extend your upgrade path to a future AMD Bulldozer processor when the money permits.
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a b à CPUs
October 6, 2010 8:05:29 PM

hmdhruvarora said:

Also, future apps are likely to be multi-thread optimised (i.e. better suited for 4 cores than 2), no?

In addition, where I live (India), the Athlon + Asus mobo is cheaper than the i3 + Intel mobo by about $20.

What say?


Yes, but remember that the i3 is clock for clock far more powerful than the AthlonIIx4. The i3 also has hyperthreading. So it performs almost equal to that AthlonIIx4 in 2+ core applications, and should demolish the AthlonII in dual-threaded apps.
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October 16, 2010 7:12:11 AM

Best answer selected by hmdhruvarora.
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