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Best bang for $200?

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Last response: in Systems
March 3, 2012 1:26:15 PM

I have about $200 and need to get a CPU, Motherboard and Memory to update my old system. I have been looking at an x3 455 Rana (to overclock) since the price is right and overclockable.

So my question is
1) best MoBo for the x3 455 Rana ($90) to overclock plus memory under $200 (CPU,MoBo,Memory)
2) What about a AMD A8-3850 instead of the Rana? ($130)
3) How about a FX-6100? ($145 leaves $60 for the mobo -I can maybe get $40 for Memory)

Here are some good combo deals i have been looking at
AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX
BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX
BIOSTAR TA870U3+ AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 970 Deneb 3.5GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ970FBK4DGM
BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Then there is this:
ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD FX-6100 Zambezi 3.3GHz Socket AM3+ 95W Six-Core Desktop Processor FD6100WMGUSBX

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: $200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Basic home use, media server, light gaming (World of Tanks and Civ 4)

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Keyboard, mouse, Hard drive (500gb IDE), Case, 400w PSU

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, amazon, what ever is the best price

Country: U.S

Parts Preferences: None- but looking at AMD

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire:Not

I know its alot of questions, but I hope you guys can give me some direction.
I have XP-pro, Visa Ultimate 32 and Vista Ultimate 64 - Which should I install?

More about : bang 200

Best solution

March 3, 2012 2:02:42 PM

jsrudd said:
I would consider this one. Its only on weekend special (so you would have to decide fast), but the i3 is better than those AMD chips.

I have to agree. The i3 2100 would crush the triple core, and still beat amd quad cores by a noticible margin.

The motherboard is a z68 which is the best lga 1155 chipset. This also means that the motherboard supports future Ivy Bridge processors, as well as high end cores like the 2600k (for the future). The sli capability is just standard on most z68 boards, and is an added bonus.

If you can afford it, I would push for this deal. You can get 4gb of ram for only 21 dollars on newegg, and you can get 8 for 35.

As for the operating system I would go for vista 64, but windows 7 would be nice. Windows vista got some service pack updates that made it a lot better than it originally was. You want 64 bit if you are going to have more than 3.25gb of ram, because 32 bit is only limited to that.
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March 3, 2012 10:10:14 PM

Thanks for the insight guys. However using the i3-2100 would put me at about $200 while the x3-455 would be $158.
looking at AnandTech for a comparison after overclocking the x3-445 (to a X4-970 Deneb) v. the i3-2100
The benchmarks seem to be the same. Which then would give me space for a video card. Thoughts?
March 3, 2012 10:53:14 PM

I'm well aware of the fact that one can unlock cores on many AMD processors. There is one problem though... the reason why AMD makes these triple core processors. Not every phenom II that comes off the assembly line is flawless, and many have a damaged core or L3 cache. It is really a game of chance as to whether or not you get a chip that can be unlocked. Sometimes you can only get one or the other.

It is also notable that the z68 chipset is superior to ALL of AMD's chipsets.
March 20, 2012 1:19:31 PM

Best answer selected by chulo_allen.