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AMD multitasking/office build, reusing some parts

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October 17, 2010 4:15:24 PM

Multitasking/office build for someone else. He is using obsolete computers, so pretty much anything will be an improvement for him. He will probably use the new computer until it is obsolete again (unless he gets money to upgrade cpu and motherboard), so I want to get as current tech as I can get for a bargain budget.

Purchase date: Probably more within 1-3 months than 6 months, but 6 months is possible, if I should wait for better deals.

Budget range: US $350-450 with 400 or below being goal including tax and shipping and after rebates. (only parts needed: PSU, CPU, Motherboard, Video card, RAM)

System usage:
Multitasking/office. No games.
He uses AutoCAD and rendering (older version which might be for win98, but not sure which one), along with number crunching in excel, some minor photo editing, word, internet.

Parts not needed:
Monitor (using CRT still), mouse, keyboard, speakers, sound card (will use onboard sound), using 2 or 3 IDE hard drives, optical drive (I don’t know if its IDE or not, if it is, I guess I’d buy him a SATA), using office 2010, using windows XP (just for now, trying to keep the computer cheaper),
Using a CM 690 II advance case.

Website for parts: newegg or amazon

Parts preferred:
CPU: AMD for value. I’m looking at a Phenom II x4, but I am not sure if that is the best choice for the budget or if I should go one step down.
Motherboard: AM3 socket only (unless I should go with AM2+ cpu). ASUS or Gigabyte, but not firm on it. Need IDE connectors.
Video card: I prefer Nvidia (I guess it goes better with autocad), but it’s not firm. I’m not sure how current of a card I need since it’s not a gaming build.
RAM: 4GB DDR3 (I know windows xp won’t see it all, but will get win7 later)
Quality Power supply that will last through an upgrade or two on the computer (maybe around 550 or 650 watts, but maybe I don’t need it that powerful).

Not overclocking: this computer will be used a long time
No SLI or Crossfire to begin with (maybe never)


I want him to have something fast compared to what he had. I am not sure if AM2+ and DDR2 is fast enough or if it's too old, given that he will use this computer a long time.
October 17, 2010 4:30:01 PM

GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H + AMD Athlon II X4 640
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$332.96

The motherboard has onboard video. The PSU is overkill but maybe he will add a video card. Anyway for rendering he will use the CPU though not the video card so it's redundant.

Another PSU in combo with the RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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October 17, 2010 4:30:06 PM

That's a little low for a complete budget build for autocad, but I'd say it's not worth hanging on to pretty much anything from the old build.

Hard drives have actually improved quite a bit in terms of performance since the old days.

I would go with the 880G+Athlon X4 combo above, this ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., this PSU for 40$ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

Totals 280. With the money I would get a new optical drive, a good terabyte drive, and upgrade to Win7 sooner rather than later.
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October 18, 2010 5:37:34 PM

After thinking about both of your responses (I do like the 880G+Athlon x4 combo), I'm wondering if I shouldn't increase the budget and go for an i5 750 platform. With that, I would by an H55 gigabyte motherboard to use the integrated graphics. And of course, get a SATA HDD. While I know intel is more expensive for the value, would this be an okay purchase or would this be irrational?
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October 18, 2010 8:59:00 PM

strangequark said:
After thinking about both of your responses (I do like the 880G+Athlon x4 combo), I'm wondering if I shouldn't increase the budget and go for an i5 750 platform. With that, I would by an H55 gigabyte motherboard to use the integrated graphics. And of course, get a SATA HDD. While I know intel is more expensive for the value, would this be an okay purchase or would this be irrational?



i5-760 actually has no integrated graphics.
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October 19, 2010 3:20:21 AM

Oh yeah, i5-750 doesn't have integrated graphics. I forgot. So far, I am still liking the 880G+Athlon x4 combo and the G.Skill RAM best and like the idea of increasing the budget for a good SATA drive. What are a couple of reliable hard drives?

Is the WD Caviar black 640g still a good choice or are there reliable drives at 1TB?
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October 19, 2010 7:48:16 AM

For the sub $400 one could, via juicy combos make the step up from Propus to Deneb ^^
$374AR

Edit: Whoops this would be for a full build less OS
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October 19, 2010 6:14:54 PM

Thanks batuchka. That looks very tempting, which would easy allow for an added video card if he wanted a discrete one or win7. He's got 3 dvd burners, but I am not sure if any of them are SATA (will ask of course).

If he decided he wanted a video card between 50 and 75 dollars, what would be best? Does it matter if its nvidia or ati?

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October 19, 2010 9:11:52 PM

If he's not gaming I would say you needn't worry about a videocard.
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October 19, 2010 9:37:49 PM

This is a helpful discussion for me as I am looking at similar, for a non-gaming machine that I want to last for next 5 yrs.

I was looking at the Gigabyte 880 UD3H board, but then also being tempted up by the 890 UDH3. Worth it for the extra $30 for a non-gamer? Anything in the 890 chipset vs 880 that helps make it more future proof for a non-gamer?

I was hoping to get by with integrated graphics, and I assumed there was an i5 760 mobo that would also include IG so I wouldn't need to spend cash on a video card. But apparently that's not the case.

So now I guess it looks like the i5 760 build becomes even a little more expensive vs AMD. Better to take the money I save on video card and cheaper mobo and drop in a Phenom x4 or even x6? (vs i5 760) Guess I gotta go look at the video encoding benchmarks one more time......

help this sux for slightly obsessive compulsive peoples like me.....
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October 19, 2010 11:09:11 PM

There's very little at all that makes the 890 compelling over the 880. At all. It's just a clockspeed bump and more PCIe lanes.

I would say for 5 years the AMD X6 build would probably last longer, if only because it's already faster in threaded benchmarks than the i5s, and as more apps become fully threaded multithreaded situations can only become more common.
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October 20, 2010 8:39:40 PM

Would the 890GX be better to go with if he decided to upgrade to the phenom II x6 at some point?
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October 21, 2010 12:45:54 AM

Will this heatsink and fan, Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm CPU Cooler, fit on either the 880ga or the 890gpa with the ripjaw g. skill ripjaw RAM okay?
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October 21, 2010 10:05:33 AM

Not really - peeps have done fine Thuban + 880G/SB710 even ^^
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October 21, 2010 2:06:13 PM

Okay. It's not really the extra cooling I am after, but more so for quietness, given that this will be sitting in the cm 690 advance case. I'll have him use 3 s-flex fans that I have on hand and one or two of the cooler master fans. It will be louder than my computer is, but hopefully not too bad. I use all low dba s-flex fans in mine with a noctua cpu fan and heatsink. I usually can't hear my computer enough to tell if its even on. It's awesome.

Do mobo with onboard video have fans for the video? I hope not. I suppose I just check the manual for this.
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October 22, 2010 6:45:43 AM

Peeps go IGP with HTPCs precisely due to absence of active cooling for IGP hence less moving parts = less noise in dB generated ^^
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October 26, 2010 7:20:58 PM

Can DDR3 1600 be used with either the 880ga or the 890gpa board? How is it used?
Meaning, what needs to be changed in the bios and does the memory have to go into the 3rd and 4th slot?

Does the cpu have to be overclocked?
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