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New to AMD, need advice

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December 30, 2010 12:39:50 PM

hey guys im looking at building a new system.. ive never really used AMD processor before just wondering if this would be a good build for me....

just looking to do mostly browsing, downloading, music and video streaming.. im pretty much trying to get the best bang for my buck...
if anyone can let me know if this will be a good rig or possibly, have advice for a equal or better system for cheaper i would greatly apprecaite it...

MOBO + CPU combo - (294.00)

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI

RAM - (66.49)

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600


PSU - (69.99)

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply


after taxes and shipping works out to 497.73

More about : amd advice

December 30, 2010 1:10:37 PM

Why do you think you need an X6? Hell, you don't even need a quad core for what you're doing.

Here are two options that fit what you're doing:

CPU: i3-540 $110 or X3 450 $80
Mobo: Gigabtye GA-H55M-USB3 (combo with CPU) $83 after rebate or Asus M4A88T-M LE $80
RAM: Corsair XMS3 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 9 $40 after rebate
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 650W $50 after promo code and rebate. OCZ is not that high quality. You could get an even smaller PSU than this (down to 550W if you want to add a discrete video card for gaming later, or possibly down under 400W if not), but the prices are so similar, you won't save anything. Stick to Antec, SeaSonic, Silverstone, Corsiar and XFX to ensure getting a quality unit.

Total: $283 for Intel or $250 for AMD
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December 30, 2010 1:31:24 PM

The X6 is a good processor, but will be overkill for what you are doing. If you are looking for a good bang for the buck, I would suggest an Athlon X4 processor. That paired with a solid AM3 MB would be a good machine today, and accept an X6 down the road for a solid upgrade path.

If you have a MicroCenter near you...
GA-880GM-UD2H + Athlon X4 640 => $136
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...
...or hit up the NewEgg bundles (800 series chipset, minimum 4200 video chipset, USB 3.0)

4GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 => $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ StealthXstream II OCZ600SXS2 600W => $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 30, 2010 2:56:45 PM

@sadams: The Athlon X4s aren't that great. The Athlon X3s are generally considered better buys. Their clock speeds are faster, and they have the chance to unlock into a faster quad core. Extremely good for such a low price.

Also, as I stated before, OCZ PSUs are generally considered second tier behind Antec, SeaSonic, Corsair, Silverstone and XFX. Considering you can get the Antec Earthwatts 650W for only $5 more, there is no reason to buy an OCZ PSU.
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December 30, 2010 3:29:14 PM

@MadAdmiral - I guess we will have to agree to disagree on the X4 vs. X3. $136 goes a long way in the X4 link posted (granted that is local store vs NewEgg pricing). Dropping to an X3 won't save much money, if any at all, AND you get an extra core.
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December 30, 2010 3:41:59 PM

The difference (using Newegg) is $20. Not major, but it's significant. I find it hard to justify the X4 Athlon's when Tom's monthly CPU rankings doesn't even recommend the X4. Of course, that's using gaming as the main purpose, but I could only recommend the X4 if the build was for something heavily CPU based, like rendering or encoding. Even then, the i3 dual cores give the X4 competition due to the high clock speeds and hyperthreading.
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December 30, 2010 3:50:38 PM

hey guys thanks for all the replies


well i was originally looking at a quad core intel just for the fact i do alot of multi tasking and i wanted something powerful enough to media stream 1080p (reencoding on the fly if needed) and still be able to have my itunes, downloads, browsers all running without any little hiccups... i also want something i wont hafta upgrade for a few years and still be a decent machine 3-4 years from now...
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a b À AMD
December 30, 2010 4:08:06 PM

I agree with MadAdmiral; an Athlon II X3 is sufficient for this application, and an X4 won't be of sufficient added benefit to justify its trivial additional cost.
You may want a low-end video card like a HD5550 or even a HD5450 to do some of the video processing without eating system RAM the way an IGP will. If you think you might like to try some games (other than casual online stuff), then get a HD5670 which will at least let you sample most anything out there, even if you have to use lower settings (mostly med-high rather than high-max).
In any case, get a 380W Antec Earthwatts PSU for this rig.
Your upgrade path, if necessary, will be something like a Phenom II X4 in a couple of years, and a HD5770 or GTX460 (or their equivalent) if you start playing more games, any of which will still run on the 380W Earthwatts.
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December 30, 2010 4:13:27 PM

I really think the i3s (and the upcoming Sandy Brigde CPUs) would be best for you. Since you're not doing anything really intensive, you don't need a lot of power. The hex cores (and really most quad cores) only really shine once you start doing a lot of CPU intense tasks. Just simple multi-tasking isn't going to require a quad or a hex core. Running several programs in the background isn't really going to stress modern CPUs, assuming you're not trying to do all of that while gaming or encoding.

The main reason the i3 and SB will be good for you is that they're amazing everyday use CPUs. They're not tailored to gaming (like the i5-7xx) or heavy processing (X4s, X6s, i7s), and unlike the X3s, they have integrated grapics. What that means is that you're not just using onboard graphics, you're using the CPU to do some of the GPU work.

Basically, the i3s are good enough to get by with any tasks at stock speeds, but they really shine in media PCs and overclocking. Their high clock stock speeds and turbo boost make them decent gaming CPUs, but not as good as the X3s. Their hyperthreading makes them decent heavy processors, but not as great as the X4s and i5s/i7s. Their integrated graphics make them unparrelled media CPUs. Finally, to improve all of this, they run on very little power at low temperatures, allowing them to be overclocked like crazy.

The only downside to the i3s is that there isn't much of an upgrade path. With Sandy Bridge coming out on new sockets, the only real CPU upgrade you'd have is to the i5-7xx. You'd get more power, but you'd need to drop in a GPU to maintain performance. Of course, the build should last for a few years without worrying about anything. If you were really worried about upgrade potential, the X3 would be a better choice. With the AM3 socket, you could upgrade later all the way to an X6 if needed.
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