I'm trying to pin down a cpu/mb/memory for the wife's computer. I'm struggling most with the cpu decision. It will be used for light gaming (world of warcraft, minecraft) and general computing. Only other components in the setup worth mentioning are video cards: 2x 8800gt in SLI and monitor res: 1280x1024.
I think I've narrowed it down to either an AM3 or LGA1155 processor (if anyone has a good reason I should consider something else, I'm happy to hear it). Beyond that I'm considering basically either a quad core Phenom II or a dual core i3, but I'm uncertain on quad vs dual core for this application.
Moreover I'd like to be able to find a motherboard for whatever socket I end up choosing that supports SLI (preferably in dual x8 mode at least) and also DDR3 memory.
- Z68 Motherboard. Preferebly Asus P8Z68 V PRO rev3 (Allows for full upgrade path to the new Ivy Bridge Processors when they are released)
- Any Sandy Bridge I3 Clocked at 3ghz or higher will smash an equivilent priced PII
- I Strongly reccomend the Corsair Vengence White LP (1.35v) RAM at 1600Mhz.
(With the old 8800GTs which I used to run in SLI, you arent going to saturate a PCIe 2.0 x8 slot...EVER. So x8 is fine. The board I mentioned supports PCIe 3.0 which is has rediculous bandwidth, assuming you pair it with a 22nm Ivy Bridge processor when it is released.)
the 8800gt's are not being replaced in the forseeable future, barring a hardware failure. also bonus points for keeping this cheap - this is for the wife's computer, so she doesn't have quite the same discerning eye for performance that I do
I'm afraid I cant be much help here. I have the same eye for perfomance as you, but I'm now unaware of what exactly you require. The best thing for you to do is look at reveiws of attractivley priced mobos, stick a Phenom II 955 or 960T in there and get some cheap DDR3 1600 RAM like posted above.
The Intel system would be faster, but its definatley not cheaper.
I had initially planned to use the mb/cpu/memory from my old computer for the wife's computer, but I've decided to do something different with those. So consider the level of performance she would have gotten from them:
Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe mb
AMD Athlon 6000+ Windsor x2 cpu
4G Kingston cheap ram
I used to game using the above components with the 2 8800gt's, I was reasonably content with their performance at 1280x1024 in games such as WoW and SC2. They definitely struggled at 1920x1200 when I got my new monitor, so I upgraded the rest of the comp and am building the wife something out of the scraps. That's the backstory.