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Advice on Mobo / CPU for business

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May 9, 2012 3:03:01 PM

Hello,
I need to upgrade my system to cope with increased workload. I am creating online trainings which sometimes requires video editing, sometimes multiple other apps (Powerpoint, Adobe Presenter) and also to generally multitask around MS Word, Skype and occasionally Photoshop. With Outlook running too.
In the past I have preferred AMD. Now I am not so sure it's the right choice. What combination of mobo and CPU would you recommend? I have an Asus 5450 graphics card that I am hoping to retain, and was hoping to spend around 200GB£ (300 US$) on the CPU/Mobo
I don't have any USB3 devices, but ideally would like to have that capability for the future.
Any suggestions please?
Much appreciated,
Jon
a b à CPUs
May 9, 2012 3:50:04 PM

Your budget is quite limiting higher end CPU's could eat most of that budget alone. What do you currently use? I'm assuming you have DDR3 RAM already so the budget is just CPU/Mobo

Your either going to have to go midrange on the CPU and mobo or higher on the CPU and dirt low on the mobo.

Using an older Phenom II you could do this

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz Quad Core
http://www.cclonline.com/product/26600/HDZ965FBGMBOX/CP...

Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 Socket AM3+
http://www.cclonline.com/product/60859/GA-990XA-UD3/Mot...

That weighs in at £176.41

Pro's - The quad core will multitask nicely and if you are prepared to fiddle a bit it can usually be clocked up near 4GHZ. The motherboard has plenty of SATA 6GB/s and USB 3.0, theres a possible future upgrade to Piledriver CPU's when they release.

Cons - If you want the "latest thing" this isn't it.

Or

Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual Core Processor
http://www.cclonline.com/product/44985/BX80623I32100/CP...

Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H Motherboard
http://www.cclonline.com/product/78338/GA-Z77-D3H/Mothe...

Total - £171.92

Pro's - Cheap, will do all your office stuff, Motherboard would allow Ivybridge upgrade if you plan to upgrade soonish.

Con's - CPU loses to the Phenom II in most video related stuff and anything that really utilises more than 2 cores. Motherboard has less SATA 6GB/s and less USB3.0

OR

Intel Core i5 (3450) 3.1GHz Processor
http://www.cclonline.com/product/73987/BX80637I534501/C...

Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H Motherboard
http://www.cclonline.com/product/78338/GA-Z77-D3H/Mothe...

Total £239.56

Pro's - Outperforms the Phenom, CPU is the "latest".

Con's - Overbudget, same motherboard as with the i3 combo so same limitations

I'd take the AMD based on price. Performance wise for your uses it will sit between the other 2, also you get a more featured board with it. If you infact do need DDR3 RAM for 8GB look at adding around £35 to totals.

I didnt make any combos with the new AMD FX CPU's as for your uses the Phenom II is better. I didnt bother with the Llano APU's either even though they fit a budget choice somewhat they are soon to be replaced with a new APU using a new APU socket so they are a bit of a dead end.
a c 147 à CPUs
May 9, 2012 9:56:39 PM

Since you do some video editing I would spend the extra and opt for the i5 3450 build.
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May 10, 2012 10:02:13 AM

Thanks for this detailed response. My quoted budget was just for the Mobo and CPU. I know I need to buy memory too, and I also need more hard drive because of the volumes of video material to store and back up/

My current system is Gigabyte MA770T-UD3 AM3 mobo with AMD Athlon II x4 quad-core 2.6GHz CPU. I have 4Gb of DDR3 DRAM 1333Mhz, a 1Tb Hitachi drive, a 320Gb Hitachi backup drive and an older 160Gb IDE drive which holds some archive stuff I don't really use. I run Windows 7 ultimate and experience slow swapping between apps, slow sorting my outlook lists (which I refer back to regularly so don't archive in an ideal way for performance) and slow conversion of video file formats. Ideally I would like to double the performance. If I didn't constrain the budget, what would it take to achieve that? I expect I will regret that question.

In general, having learned my tech skills in mainframe and midrange days, I find it difficult to understand the balance of mobo, CPU, graphics, memory, peripheral I/O speeds etc. in dealing with performance. If my machine was a midrange I might just think that I needed to double or quadruple the memory. I also wonder if there is somewhere that would help me know what applications will make good use of threading multiple cores and which ones will not.

Thanks for your help,
Jon
a b à CPUs
May 10, 2012 10:33:05 AM


I would venture to say your RAM is severly holding you back 4GB to multitask while encoding/converting video files is not nearly enough you want to be looking at the 16GB ballpark.

The Phenom would give anywhere between a 10-20% improvement in video related tasks

The i5 in video releated benchmark shows around a 10-15% improvement over the Phenom II

The i5 would suit your aim better without utterly trainwrecking your budget.

If money is no issue then an i7 2600k offers a smallish % improvement on the i5. Whether its worth the large amount extra boils down to how long you spend working on video. If your pushing 8 hours a day encoding/converting that small % over a month of work = alot of saved time and extra productivity. If your spending 2 or 3 hours a day however its harder to justify the extra cost.

SATA and USB speeds .... SATA 6GB/s is nice to have but to be blunt using normal HDD's you wont see much if any difference to SATA 3GB/s. USB3.0 again nice but unless your devices are USB3.0 they wont use the extra speed.
May 11, 2012 11:42:41 AM

Thank you so much, both for your clarity and for your speed of response.

Maybe I will start with a RAM upgrade to my current system and see how far that gets me before doing anything else. I probably will need to do the upgrade, but feel the need to know more about how much of an improvement I need, and where

I don't expect to spend anywhere near enough time on video to justify an i7. I look forward to the day when I can say that money is no issue. Today isn't it.

I am surprised that the percentages you quote are not higher. Apparently Moore's law doesn't apply to whole systems!

I assume that SATA 6Gb/s spec is faster than normal drives can access and deliver the data, so maybe more use for network servers than domestic systems.

Thanks so much for your help. It has already been useful and will position me well for future decisions.

Jon
a b à CPUs
May 11, 2012 12:05:29 PM

Your mobo specs show it can take 16GB I'd throw this in and if it doesn't help enough you can use in new build

http://www.cclonline.com/product/66091/F3-10600CL9D-8GB...

X2 to make the 16GB

Moores law is more about the amount of tranisistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit (CPU) inexpensively. Doesnt always translate to a double in performance. Personally I think its BS Intel has simply timed its stuff to correleate roughly with their false demi-god and the "law" itself has been changed more than once since its inception. Also Moore plagiarised it from somebody else in part. However thats a whole other subject (that I recentely got panned for suggesting in an Open University module forum)
!