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New budget build for friend - FX4100, Phenom II X4 965, or what?

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April 9, 2012 8:42:28 PM

So, a friend of mine at work is wanting to build a desktop, which he has never done before. He is ready to buy immediately, so we'll probably purchase this week. I've let him borrow my old rig for the last two LAN parties, and thought about selling it to him, but after asking here, I decided to tell him to build new (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/339556-31-worth). Hope that link works.

Anyway, trying to do a build under $400, excluding video card. That pretty much excludes Sandy Bridge, so I was thinking an AMD build. I know I've heard that the FX series are pretty much not all they're cracked up to be, but is it really that bad? I was thinking the FX-4100, since it's under $100. Should I get him an AM3+ board, but put a Phenom II X4 965 in it instead? Or should I go with an Intel Pentium dual-core from the Sandy Bridge line?

He will be doing some gaming in addition to normal computer activities (web surfing, paying bills, etc.) Here is my proposed build.

ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$89.99

AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4100WMGUSBX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$109.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$46.99

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$79.99

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner, Bulk Package 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW . . . Black SATA Model AD-7280S-0B - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$17.99

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$49.99

Total: $394.94
+ Tax ($37.53) and shipping ($10.75) = $443.22

I'll check prices on Amazon and TigerDirect, but I prefer newegg. Tax is a biatch, though.

He already has a very nice HP IPS 1920x1200 monitor that he got from a closed-out business. I'm giving him an old 650 W PSU and an old 7800 GTX card to hold him over for a few months.

I have a wish list on newegg:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
You can also search for "AMD Budget Build" and choose the one from 3/26/2012.
April 9, 2012 8:58:20 PM

The Pentium G620 would be a far better choice than the FX-4100 would, in tests it even beats the FX-8150: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

You sacrifice the built in graphics a bit but if you get a dedicated GPU like a 6770 that will be a far better system than any AMD build right now.
April 9, 2012 8:58:46 PM

I would get this



and



and then the rest is ok.
Related resources
April 9, 2012 9:09:01 PM

Thanks, I've been looking at the i3's, and they're about the same as the FX-quad cores. It just seems so impossible that 2 cores can compete with 4, but the benchmarks and lots of other posts that I've seen seem to support this.

The board you referenced is an H61 board - should I get that, or a Z68 for a little bit more? I'm currently running an i5 750 myself, so I'm not as familiar with the Sandy Bridge offerings. From what I can tell, the H61 is lacking USB 3.0 and SSD caching; not sure either would be used, but then again, I did suggest to build a new rig.

What do you think of this MB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$84.99

My friend's got a cheap ASRock, and he's got an i5 2500k OC'ed to 4.8 GHz on water. Or should I just stick with the H61 and put that $15 elsewhere in the build?
April 9, 2012 9:12:37 PM

^^
Good mobo!
April 9, 2012 9:15:36 PM

X4 965/980 or i3-2120. Forget the FX4100, even the $60 Pentium G beat it for gaming.
April 9, 2012 9:16:06 PM

i3 is not OCable, so stick with H67 boards.
April 9, 2012 9:29:17 PM

Ah, now that I look at it more, I think I've found a good board. I like the MSI route, and this is an H67 board which seems very capable:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's $84.99, $69.99 after rebate.

Is H67 recommended over H61? The number's higher, so I'm assuming. The H67 has Sata III as well as USB 3.0, and it's got better reviews than the ASRock.
Plus, it has Realtek ALC892 for audio, vs. the ALC887. My friend will not be buying a sound card, and this provides 6 3.5mm ports vs 3 on the 887.

So, right now, I'm thinking to pair the H67 MSI board referenced above with the Intel 2120 i3. This will make a Micro-ATX build, and probably let him buy a smaller case, if he wants.

No reviews on this MSI H67 board, however... :( 
April 9, 2012 9:42:24 PM

obsama1 said:
^^
Good mobo!


It's micro ATX though - I never, ever recommend micro ATX on any full desktop system. This would be a better choice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
X4 965/980 or i3-2120. Forget the FX4100, even the $60 Pentium G beat it for gaming.


That's what I was saying earlier.

Quote:
Thanks, I've been looking at the i3's, and they're about the same as the FX-quad cores. It just seems so impossible that 2 cores can compete with 4, but the benchmarks and lots of other posts that I've seen seem to support this.


It's actually not in the number of cores it has - it's how they're utilized - and there's where Intel does better than the AMD as its' core instructions are on the CPU where AMD offloads those to the operating system and that's never a good idea.

Quote:
Is H67 recommended over H61? The number's higher, so I'm assuming. The H67 has Sata III as well as USB 3.0, and it's got better reviews than the ASRock.


H61 has very limited expansion and disables a lot of features in the BIOS including access to the multiplier which would make any attempt to overclock not fun, but if you're buying H61 - you probably have no use for that anyways.
April 9, 2012 10:06:04 PM

I personally always choose ATX for my builds, but is there any particular reason why one should never build a gaming machine with Micro ATX? Just curious. I know I've seen some benchmarking overclocking builds using micro-ATX.

If I were to go ATX, I'd be more inclined to go with this ASUS P8H67-V:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My two favorite motherboard brands are ASUS and EVGA. I've always had good experiences with them. This ASUS is $104.99, which is a bit more than the others. Total build is $427.94 now, before tax and shipping. My peace of mind with the ASUS might be worth it though, especially since it's not my system.

Plus with the H67 + sandy bridge, he can use the onboard video until he buys a discrete card. No reason for him to borrow my dinosaur 7800 GTX.

Also, I noticed the memory standard for this board is 1333/1066. Am i wasting money with 1600 MHz memory?

April 9, 2012 10:30:40 PM

geekapproved said:
Micro-ATX is fine for a desktop gaming system. Your not running Crossfire and your using integrated audio so you don't need expansion slots. 8GB ram is more than enough for ANY gaming so having more than 2 is useless.

I'd recommend this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asrock is really updating their product support for H61 well:

http://www.tomshardware.com/us/sponsored/ASRock-Intel-H...


No it isn't - not only do you forfeit access to the multiplier and RAM multiplier, you also forfeit extra SATA ports for drive expansion (such as adding an SSD), 2 DIMM slots, PCI slots including both x16 lanes - which would water down and hinder any SLI or Crossfire setups you want to run and the more powerful GPUs you want to run, again - I say it's not fine for a gaming build. It's fine if you're using a true gaming board like the Asus Maximus IV but H61 is not acceptable on a gaming build, IMO because you forfeit so much to save a few bucks - get the ideal motherboard for your build, and don't go cheap.

Quote:
Plus with the H67 + sandy bridge, he can use the onboard video until he buys a discrete card. No reason for him to borrow my dinosaur 7800 GTX.


That's a way better option than an H61 mATX board is.
April 9, 2012 10:45:56 PM

Do you or your friend live near a microcenter? Beacuase CPUs there are really cheap.
April 9, 2012 11:21:41 PM

Dumb Intel fanboys whom just don't know LOL

Best solution

April 10, 2012 12:02:56 AM
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

You can get a 400 rig w/ this combo that is better than what you got so far imo.

From there you should get bits like the ones in the link I posted.



April 10, 2012 9:46:16 PM

loops said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

You can get a 400 rig w/ this combo that is better than what you got so far imo.

From there you should get bits like the ones in the link I posted.


I was thinking about this ASUS:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But I like that ASRock, as well. I had a bad experience with an ASRock P45TS-R (couldn't put it to sleep with more than 1 PCI-express slot filled - not good for an HTPC), but that seems like a solid board.

Sorry - no Micro Centers near Nashville, TN :cry: 

So, I may go with the combo on newegg, as the ASRock looks like a better board. The $20 in savings will end up being a wash with the taxes, but I prefer to buy from them if I can. My other option is to split up the purchase between Amazon and newegg, as Amazon is tax-free in TN.

Thanks to all for the good advice so far. I'll let you know what we go with.
April 10, 2012 10:56:06 PM

Quote:
So it seems your settled on Intel build.?

Yeah, I think it's the best option for him. I didn't see him at work today - I'll check with him tomorrow to see if he's ready.
April 11, 2012 6:29:21 PM

Sprinx said:
I was thinking about this ASUS:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But I like that ASRock, as well. I had a bad experience with an ASRock P45TS-R (couldn't put it to sleep with more than 1 PCI-express slot filled - not good for an HTPC), but that seems like a solid board.

Sorry - no Micro Centers near Nashville, TN :cry: 

So, I may go with the combo on newegg, as the ASRock looks like a better board. The $20 in savings will end up being a wash with the taxes, but I prefer to buy from them if I can. My other option is to split up the purchase between Amazon and newegg, as Amazon is tax-free in TN.

Thanks to all for the good advice so far. I'll let you know what we go with.



i3 + z68 will be a great option. No sli, but this not that kind of build. The z68 will also stay a bit more relevant than the one you have from asus over time. From here you have a nice upgrade path.

That link I posted uses amazon and the case in that link is the cheapest thing I would tolerate.
April 11, 2012 8:25:20 PM

I think that this i3 + Z68 (Asrock) will be the direction we go.
As for the case, I bought this for myself yesterday to put my old 790i build in:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$39.99 after $10 off code, and there's a $10 MIR. With free shipping, the case will cost me about $34.00
April 11, 2012 9:01:53 PM

Quote:
it's a good starter case but definitely not the best.
I had one for a primary unit and now after two years it's my son's case for his unit.
it's got room and easy to cable, for the price I can see it..
watch out for the windowed panel the little grommets might pop out if not careful.

the fan for the window I leave blank but I have 3x120mm fans in there now and had 4x120mm fans before.
standard ATX power supplies (newer ones) will block the bottom (very bottom) fan so do not bother with that one.

Bitfenix budget cases are by far the best http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=63256&vpn=BFC-MRC-100...
April 11, 2012 9:20:43 PM

Quote:
that actually looks kinda nice 'MMO'...

Pretty great for a $40 case plus an extra $5 gets you a side window and the build quality is actual real solid.
April 19, 2012 2:45:00 PM

Okay, so we had some snags in getting together to make the final decision. Luckily the i3 + Z68 combo is still active. Also, the Rosewill Challenger case has a nice combo deal w/ a Rosewill semi-modular PSU, which means he can buy a new PSU instead of re-using the one from my closet, which is probably about 6 years old now. I was slightly nervous about that.

Anyway, here's the current build:
This MB + CPU Combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Intel Core i3-2105 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I32105
ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$219.98 after $10.00 instant and $20.00 for combo

This case + PSU combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower
Rosewill HIVE Series HIVE-750 750W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified, Modular Design, Single +12V Rail, ATX12V v2.31/EPS12V v2.92, SLI Ready, CrossFire Ready, Active-PFC Power Supply
$109.98 after $40.00 instant and $30.00 for combo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
$69.99 after $10.00 promo code

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SAMSUNG DVD BurnerSH-222BB/BEBE
$16.99

Total $426.94 + $38.57 (tax) + $0.00 (shipping) = $455.51

I've changed the HDD and DVD burner due to price changes and free shipping choices. I'm slightly hesitant about the Samsung (by Seagate), but it's $20.00 less than the WD Blue I originally picked out (which packs a $10.00 shipping charge now, vs. free shipping earlier)

I will give him 4 GB of DDR3 1600 and let him borrow a spare 9800 GTX+ until he gets a newer card. Since his monitor is 1920x1200, he'll need one for newer games.

BTW, the Bitfenix cases do look nice, but I could not find a way to buy them in the U.S.
April 19, 2012 6:24:16 PM

Best answer selected by Sprinx.
April 19, 2012 6:34:51 PM

He ordered the above combo today for $458.77 after "rush processing."
It also came with a free 1-year extended warranty on the CPU, for whatever that's worth. I never buy them, so I'm not sure, but it was free.

Hopefully we'll get everything tomorrow (Friday 4/20), provided it ships from Memphis.

Thanks to all suggestions and comments! I chose "loops" for best answer as he recommended the CPU/MB combo deal that I finally went with, but most everyone was helpful.

On a side note, here is my personal 790i build that I bought that Cooler Master Case for:
http://www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?BuildID=21014
I was pretty satisfied with it, especially for ~$30.
April 19, 2012 8:39:42 PM

Sprinx said:
He ordered the above combo today for $458.77 after "rush processing."
It also came with a free 1-year extended warranty on the CPU, for whatever that's worth. I never buy them, so I'm not sure, but it was free.

Hopefully we'll get everything tomorrow (Friday 4/20), provided it ships from Memphis.

Thanks to all suggestions and comments! I chose "loops" for best answer as he recommended the CPU/MB combo deal that I finally went with, but most everyone was helpful.

On a side note, here is my personal 790i build that I bought that Cooler Master Case for:
http://www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?BuildID=21014
I was pretty satisfied with it, especially for ~$30.


LOL 9800GTX+ I owned that card back in the day 08 I think boy I am glad I just ordered a Radeon HD 6870 for $135 last night form NCIX.com my current GTX 275 is killing me LOL.
April 20, 2012 1:57:19 PM

Yeah, it's definitely old school. It runs pretty well with Tri-SLI, though. It gets over 100 FPS average in the Heaven Benchmark (D3D10, 1280x1024).

I'll try it out at 1920x1080 once I have a chance to hook it up to my main monitor.

That's just a fun side project using spare parts. My main rig is an i5 750 and a GTX 680 SC.
http://www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?BuildID=24240
April 20, 2012 4:41:36 PM

It's actually 10-10-10-27, not sure why the 7 doesn't show.
In AIDA64, i get:
Memory Read - 14276 MB/s
Memory Write - 13181 MB/s
Memory Copy - 17132 MB/s
Memory Latency - 50.0 ns
It's technically DDR3 1333, but it AIDA64 reports it at "Dual DDR3-1464"

What do you recommend for timings on those? I haven't messed with the RAM timings too much on this one. G.SKILL recommends 9-9-9-24, and I think I bumped it up a notch just to be safe since it was over 1333.
April 20, 2012 5:45:18 PM

The RAM is sold as 1333 MHz, with recommended stock timings of 9-9-9-24 from their web page for this product.
I made the timings worse (10-10-10-27) so that there would be no issues with the fact that they are running slightly over 1333 (@1464 MHz). Honestly, I forgot about it since then.

I should try to push them back down to 9-9-9-24 and see if they are MemTest86+ stable. Or I could even try to run them at 1600...

!