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AMD Llano or i3 2100 for 'business'?

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September 4, 2011 12:32:11 AM

Hi all,

Well it turns out my brother's Dell XPS 710 is finally giving out. Seems like the mobo's RAM slots are toast. Have to completely build from scratch (as it's a full size BTX case) with some salvaged parts.

Looking for a quick and cheap replacement.

The budget is around $500 Cdn.

He will only use it strictly for: productivity (MS Office), internet, email, 1080p video playback, very, very light gaming (not the heavy gfx kind).

Location: Canada

Time: As soon as I can figure out which end is up.

Looking at: www.canadacomputers.com, www.directcanada.com, www.ncix.ca, www.newegg.ca --> BUT will do local store shopping and price matching to the cheapest possible site.

He already has:
24" Dell 1920x1200 (16:10) monitor
Keyboard and mouse
2.1 Altec Lansing Speakers
EVGA 8600gts or 2x nVidia 7950's (don't think they're needed)
3x HDDs
DVD-ROM and DVD-RW SATA drives
Soundblaster XFi Audio Card (OEM)
Win7 Ultimate (have both 32bit and 64bit)

SLI/Crossfire: NO
Overclocking: NO

AMD or Intel; no preference, as long as it'll work straight out without tweaking.

To keep costs down to minimal and it's not for gaming...

For Llano, I've picked out the following:
CPU: A8 3850 = $125.69
MoBo: Asus F1A75-V PRO = $119.69


For Intel, I've picked out the following:
CPU: i3-2100 = $114.69
MoBo: Asus P8Z68-V LX = $123.76
--> Asus P8H67-M PRO/CSM = $109.20

With:
RAM: G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR) = $49.99 *is this compatible with AMD build?
--> G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL) = $45.29
PSU: Antec HCG-620 = $66.52
--> Antec HCG-520 = $55 $59.99

AMD: $361.89
Intel: $354.96 $328.88 $329.17

Cases (currently considering):
Antec Three Hundred AB (ALL BLACK) = $69.99
Antec Three Hundred = $49.99
HAF 912 = $49.69

I really picked these out of random and really didn't do any research to how good these parts are. Or how these integrated gfx chips are supposed to work. Hopefully I've got the right mobos for the task (otherwise, I'd have to pop in the old discreet card). Any cheaper/better suggestions welcomed. Or feel free to rip and piece back together again.

Any reason to go for Intel over AMD or vice versa? AMD currently gives me (I guess) the better bang for the buck considering it's quad vs dual core? There will be security programs running in background as well as concurrent programs, browser, etc.

Thanks in advance!
September 4, 2011 12:53:59 AM

The AMD Llano 3850 will probably give you the best bang for the buck.
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September 4, 2011 1:19:34 AM

Even though I'm a closet AMD fanboy, I would actually suggest the Core i3 for now. Unless you're planning some gaming on that machine. The main advantage of the Llano processor is it's video card/gaming performance.

The main advantage of the Core i3 is it's CPU performance which should be more important if all you're gonna do is productivity applications.
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September 4, 2011 2:08:14 AM

The A8 is quad core but is based off the old stars architecture and with no l3 cache it's similar to an athlon II performance. (So a phenom II would be better.) The main advantage is the better integrated graphics which can do most games on low/med. The i3 is dual core with hyperthreading so is 4 threads like the a8. It is a new architecture which will give better performance unless it's a multithreaded optimized program. Since real cores are better than hyperthreading.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-a8-3850-llano,2...

You can see in the review, the cpus trade blows between programs. All your uses are single threaded (except maybe those games) so the i3 would seem to be better; but either cpu has much more power than any of those tasks need, even if you were doing them all at once.

The i3 is cheaper so would go with that. You could save some money and go with h61 or h67. There's no point in z68 since you won't overclock.

Edit: Almost forgot to comment on the rest of the components. You probably don't need 8gb ram but it's so cheap so I won't really say anything. Although if you do go with h61 or h67, it can't OC ram so 1333 would be fine if you can find it cheaper. 620w is way over what you need, that's enough for a 6970/570 maybe more with these low power cpus. I'd say ~350w would be good and would allow a discrete graphics card upgrade if you ever wanted. The antec 300 and haf 912 are the best budget gaming cases but this isn't a gaming build so could go less if you wanted a smaller or quieter case. Airflow is important to keep things cool and cooler is better nonetheless.
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September 4, 2011 2:55:00 AM

Thanks for the quick replies. I wasn't sure if the h61/67 mobos would use the on-board gfx. Thought I would need discreet if I went with these boards. Shows how much I know when rushed to do things.

I am currently leaning towards the i3 due to a more future proof plan. At least if needed a discreet gfx card or better cpu can be added later. And right now price is a little more cheaper than the llano.

As I will be putting in a stock cooler, I thought good airflow should be key in keeping temps down...

I'll definitely be looking at the 'h' boards now and see if I can squeeze a few more $$ off. :) 
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September 4, 2011 3:38:35 AM

neograndizer said:
Thanks for the quick replies. I wasn't sure if the h61/67 mobos would use the on-board gfx. Thought I would need discreet if I went with these boards. Shows how much I know when rushed to do things.

I am currently leaning towards the i3 due to a more future proof plan. At least if needed a discreet gfx card or better cpu can be added later. And right now price is a little more cheaper than the llano.


Actually, with the llano you won't be needing to get a video card since it already has a 6000 series gpu built in video card which is a good card for gaming. So you save more with the llano than with the i3 in the long run.
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September 4, 2011 4:54:29 AM

ervinelim said:
Actually, with the llano you won't be needing to get a video card since it already has a 6000 series gpu built in video card which is a good card for gaming. So you save more with the llano than with the i3 in the long run.


He's priced out both builds with no gpu. The cpus and mobos are similarly priced. 6000 series is irrelevant, it's still not for gaming.

Llano is socket fm1 which is amd's low end. Intel is 1155 compatible all the way up to the current i7 and supposedly with ivy bridge.
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September 4, 2011 4:59:17 AM

ervinelim said:
Actually, with the llano you won't be needing to get a video card since it already has a 6000 series gpu built in video card which is a good card for gaming. So you save more with the llano than with the i3 in the long run.


But if he wants to upgrade the CPU in future? Would the F1 socket be able to use bulldozer or any other AMD chip? Or is another mobo needed? Can Llano based CPUs be upgraded in future?

With H61/67 there's an upgrade path that can be utilized in the future for the CPU i5/i7. Maybe not Ivybridge, but the choice would be open.

I am still trying to put a quick parts list together to review with him and still have options for some upgrades if needed. And with upgrades, still have a system that can last a long while without needing too many parts swapped/replaced.

Another case caught my eye, though not sure what he will think. :p 

NZXT Source 210 Elite WHITE = $59.99
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September 4, 2011 5:02:15 AM

I believe fm1 will be compatible with fm2 with a bios update. That's what amd usually does. Bulldozer will be am3+ so wouldn't be compatible.

Case is usually a personal thing since you'll be looking at it for a long while. (maybe)
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September 4, 2011 5:04:48 AM

k1114 said:
Intel is 1155 compatible all the way up to the current i7 and supposedly with ivy bridge.


So far, I heard a BIOS update is needed. But I also thought it would be on the P67/Z68 boards only. But I can be totally incorrect on this...
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September 4, 2011 6:02:16 AM

Okay, I've updated my list:

New mobo:
Asus P8H67-M Pro = $109.20
This has what he'll need for transferring ODDs and HDDs from old system (that's 5 devices in total). 6 SATA ports and 1 PATA. Yeah, he actually has an old IDE HDD in use too.

New PSU:
Antec HCG-520 = $55

No change to RAM because 1333 is the same price for 1600... :sarcastic: 

Any other suggestions? I'll leave the case hunting to him. :pt1cable: 

Thanks again for the help and input.
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September 4, 2011 6:25:49 AM

H67 supports DDR3 1600? I doubt.
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September 4, 2011 3:17:08 PM

008Rohit said:
H67 supports DDR3 1600? I doubt.


No it doesn't. But would it not downclock the RAM? And if settings can be set manually, can it not run at lower speeds and CAS latency?

If not, I'll switch RAM to 1333.
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September 4, 2011 3:31:24 PM

I dont think so.

1333 is a safe option.
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September 4, 2011 3:36:42 PM

some H67s can, some can't. That particular model can't (1066/1333 only)
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September 4, 2011 3:57:16 PM

It will downclock it.
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September 4, 2011 6:17:40 PM

Okay, so I guess it would be safer to go with 1333 rather than 1600. I'll probably get the Ripjaws then. No saving anything since they're the same pricing reagrdless.
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September 5, 2011 5:32:04 PM

Alright, I found some cheaper 1333 RAM. So final parts list:

CPU: i3-2100 = $114.69
MoBo: Asus P8H67-M PRO/CSM = $109.20
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL) = $45.29
PSU: Antec HCG-520 = $59.99

Total: $329.17 Cdn

As for cases, I'll probably just slap it into the cheapest thing I can find with good airflow. He really doesn't care what it looks like. Just as long as it gets the job done.

Thanks for all the input. It is very much appreciated!
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September 5, 2011 5:33:40 PM

Best answer selected by neograndizer.
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