Cheap quad core platform advice, please.

Hi all, I am some what out of the loop these days, so aren't up with all the recent developments, but I am after a new machine and was wondering if some one could give me some platform advice.

I am after the cheapest possible quad core system, that has some scope for overclocking, I already have a half decent GPU (hd4850 - although aging plays what I need to fine) I do not want this new system to bottle neck this card, but don't need tons of horse power either.

Upgradable is also important, I need a platform with scope to upgrade.

I was wondering about x3 AMD chips seeing some of them seem to be 'unlockable'; I assume they aren't all unlockable seeing as the idea was to reuses defective yields. Is there any way of knowing before purchase which will work.

I was looking a the 3.1 and 2.7ghz "rana" cores. Is there a decent unlock success rate with these chips, what are they for overclocking?

I have traditionally always gone with intel, but are they able to compete with AMD in the low end of quads?

I don't need a lot of HDD space and 4Gb of RAM will do fine with the intention to upgrade to 8Gb.

Thanks for any advice.
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  1. Instead of taking a chance of unlocking the 4th core why not start a build with something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.538105
  2. ^+1 that's an excellent suggestion.
  3. ^+2. I agree with that.

    Also OP what do you currently have?
  4. I say wait if you can. Since you are looking for upgradability then I would wait for the new socket (AM3+) to come out first; then you would have greater upgrade prospects being able to use the upcoming bulldogs along with the current crop of AM3 processors. AM3+ cpu's will not work in an AM3 socket motherboard.
  5. Thanks firstly I am not in the USA, so any deal won't really pursaude me. However I will look further into the prices of Athlonx4 here in the UK and consider them.

    Shadow:
    before I moved to uni I had a desktop (propper) PC but had to leave that back at home as I was not the only User of it, however I took my Graphics card as no one else games and it drink power.

    So currently I have a laptop, and that got to change.


    So from what I am reading there is no surfire way of knowing whether the a locked core is usuable before purchase?

    I understand that AM3+ chips wont like AM3 but what about AM3 chip in AM3+? What is the time scale for AM3+? Months, Weeks?

    And without going back to Core2 era I assume there is no real competition from intel in this space.
  6. i have a rana x3 and I couldn't unlock it , but it does overclock very well ...on reflection I would say if you can afford it go with the 640 x4 suggestion , if you can't the x3 is a great performer for the money
  7. Quote:
    I understand that AM3+ chips wont like AM3 but what about AM3 chip in AM3+? What is the time scale for AM3+? Months, Weeks?

    Are you talking about AM2+? AFAIK, AM3+ doesn't exist yet. If you are talking about Bulldozer realize that it WILL NOT work with current motherboards.
  8. dobby said:
    Thanks firstly I am not in the USA, so any deal won't really pursaude me. However I will look further into the prices of Athlonx4 here in the UK and consider them.

    Shadow:
    before I moved to uni I had a desktop (propper) PC but had to leave that back at home as I was not the only User of it, however I took my Graphics card as no one else games and it drink power.

    So currently I have a laptop, and that got to change.


    So from what I am reading there is no surfire way of knowing whether the a locked core is usuable before purchase?

    I understand that AM3+ chips wont like AM3 but what about AM3 chip in AM3+? What is the time scale for AM3+? Months, Weeks?

    And without going back to Core2 era I assume there is no real competition from intel in this space.


    An AM3 processor should move to an AM3+ motherboard. As far as a rollout for AM3+, best guess would be next April/May. March would be nice but unlikely.

    An Athlon II X4 Propus Quad Core with AM3 785g motherboard should be around £140 with VAT. You might be able to save £20 with an Athlon II X3 Rana.
  9. Quote:

    An AM3 processor should move to an AM3+ motherboard. As far as a rollout for AM3+, best guess would be next April/May. March would be nice but unlikely.

    Correct. You can use a AM3 CPU on an AM3+ socket. However you WILL NOT be able to use a AM3+ CPU on an AM3 socket.

    As far as the architecture goes, Bulldozer will use what are called "modules". For more info on the arch: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3863/amd-discloses-bobcat-bulldozer-architectures-at-hot-chips-2010/4
  10. Hmm thanks guys, I can't wait as long as March, I reckon that waiting any more than a month for new tech to come out is futile, as your always gonna be waiting.

    Looking at the price difference between the x3 and x4 I think I am going to take the x3 route; roll the dice as it were. Unless the x4 are Hex cores with 2 cores disabled?.

    thanks
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