Out of the wilderness

Hi all, I'm a long time fan first time poster here at Tom's and I'm contemplating a new build since my current setup is getting apalingly old (AMD x2 3800+ X800 3Gb after a 'recent' upgrade ;)).

My provisional budget is probably ~£650 (inc VAT). I am a casual gamer and home studio enthusiast; my highest priority is value for money. As such historically I've sided with the Intel alternatives over the years, simply due to cost, going back to a Cyrix 133 (remember them!?), otherwise I have no prejudice either way.

I've been reading up on the current mid-range crop; since I've been out of the loop so long the array of model numbers and ratings are pretty bewildering. So far I've settled on this provisional spec:

Phenom II x6 1090T £118.33 £142.00 - maybe x4 for economy.
Asus M4A89TD PRO £81.60 97.92
Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 6850 £119.99 143.99
Corsair Vengence 8GB (2x4GB) £62.08 74.50
(Win 7 ~£60)

Prices are quoted from microdirect.co.uk and are ex VAT inc VAT respectively.

The other components I'll need (heatsink/fan, psu, case etc) I'd like as quiet as possible within my budget.

Pertinent to this discussion of course is the impending (hopefully) release of Bulldozer and AM3r2 - I am keenly interested in this if only to see if it will push prices down further. Also I have not looked so closely at Intel so far because prices are roughly 20-30% higher for comparible hardware but perhaps I've overlooked something here?

Whatever I build I'm likely to stick with for the next couple of years.

Obviously anything I build will be lightyears ahead of my current machine so please feel free to suggest beneath this spec if it matches my #1 priority. Thanks in advance for your input!

11 answers Last reply
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  1. No takers huh?

    I'll elaborate my thinking in the hope of some advice:

    Reading around I figure that the BD leap is not necessarily going to affect my situation. Also there's always the inevitable "what if..." question that plagues all builds with the promise of new tech.

    Since I'm looking for a build now I'd really appreciate some insight into Intel's options. I'm looking at a SB 2500 and wondering whether the "k" is worth it. Also I'm pretty confused about the mobo chipset options and the current discorse on the SATA II fault.

    Would really appreciate advice on this from those in the know.

  2. the K series are the unlocked multipliers, like Amd's Black edition chips, if your overclocking its worth it, if not then no,
    I'd normally say drop the hex and get a 955be or 975be, but its quite close to bulldozer now so maybe worth waiting,
    but I'd up the graphics to a 5970, or 6950,
  3. bulldozer will be out mid-june wait and then see if you want an amd or a intel cpu
  4. mjmjpfaff said:
    bulldozer will be out mid-june wait and then see if you want an amd or a intel cpu

    Thanks, I had read somewhere the release date had been delayed(?) I don't mind waiting a couple of months but not to late Q3.

    If they're on track then I'll def check the lay of the land. Still it remains to be seen whether it'll affect SB and phenom II prices.
  5. Shouldn't think it will affect Intels prices, unless its a massive impact, but we should see some end of stock deals on Phenoms I reckon, I'm looking forward to those hehe
  6. Very true, if the x4 range drop any more it'll be a very good deal.
  7. I'm seeing 955's under £100 now and if i can pick up a 975 for £120ish soon, i'll be happy
  8. if you are just gaming that is true amd655
  9. Quote:
    if you are just gaming that is true amd655

    Agreed, I need an all purpose machine and right now the x6 seems very good value for money (still waiting for mid June of course). I use a lot of CPU heavy music production software so maybe the extra cores will help there, also I'm looking for something with some longevity since I prob wont be upgrading for a while after this - OC on the 1090t looks promising.

    Similarly with the GPU I can't justify spending more than £150 since I'm not that serious a gamer (and also I've got a whole bunch of games Shader 3+ to catch up on ;)). I might even have to step down here to make the whole rig more affordable so I might even end up with a 5770 for now. Here though could be a good place to save on the cpu and get an x4 955(/975) and maintain better graphics.

    It's hard not to get greedy with the spec even though anything I buy will be unbelievably fast to me!

    Any recommendations on ultra quiet cases/ PSUs/ fans which don't cost the earth?
  10. Thanks Why_Me,

    This really is a tough call. Every time I think I've gone one way I read another review which gets me thinking. This is definitely the most headache-inducing build I've worked on (things were simpler then when all this were nowt but fields...).

    I'm not planning to build for a least a month so at least the AMD speculation can sit in the background. If they do hit the market in July then I'll consider it, otherwise I don't really want to sink money into an AM3 board unless there is a decent discount - the provisional prices announced for AM3r2 boards look a bit out of my league anyway.

    It looks to me like SB-2500k is the way to go unless BD is a) on time and b) a serious rival or shakes down prices. Any more delays on BD and my desicion is made.

    That looks like a good 'board, I'll def check out aria.co.uk as their prices look pretty good.
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