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AMD vs Intel - Which to choose?

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  • Intel
  • AMD
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October 25, 2012 4:33:06 PM

I need to buy a computer but can't decide between AMD and Intel processors. My price range would be under 500$. The primary purpose will be downloading and reading lot of documents all simultaneously, lot of surfing, probably some programming using SQL, Java and sometimes watching online movies.

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October 25, 2012 4:59:08 PM

For your use either will work just fine!
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October 25, 2012 5:04:17 PM

sab432000 said:
I need to buy a computer but can't decide between AMD and Intel processors. My price range would be under 500$. The primary purpose will be downloading and reading lot of documents all simultaneously, lot of surfing, probably some programming using SQL, Java and sometimes watching online movies.


The requirements you've specified doesn't need a lot of CPU power. An AMD 5800k APU is the best choice for you, if you want a good balanced system that can handle light gaming as well.
If your looking for raw CPU power, get an i3, but you'll need to buy a discrete graphics card separately, and that might exceed your $500 budget.

I'll give you a rough skeleton to start with, you can fine tune it the way you want to,

AMD A10-5800K APU
Any cheap FM2 board (buy only a ASUS or Gigabyte board)
4GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM (faster the speed, the better, see if you can get 1866 rated RAM for cheaper)
500GB WD Caviar green HDD

keyboard, mouse , cabinet and monitor is totally upto you :) 
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October 25, 2012 5:25:53 PM

$hawn said:
...If your looking for raw CPU power, get an i3, but you'll need to buy a discrete graphics card separately...


i3/i5/i7 includes integrated graphics as well, no video card needed unless there is a going to be some gaming going on.
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October 25, 2012 6:03:37 PM

Key question: do you live near a Mirocenter? :) 
http://www.microcenter.com/

Also +1 to festerovic for the Dark Tower quote...
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October 25, 2012 6:11:42 PM

Eh. Phenom II x4 965 is £40-£50 cheaper than an i3 2100. £50 will get you a 6670 DDR3.
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October 25, 2012 9:43:18 PM

If you do get i3 get the one with HD 4000 no reason to have less igp. It's better for movies than Hd 2500 or 3000.

Otherwise an APU is good for you I agree. It can play 1080p movies fine and the boards can come with HDMI outputs that it can actually utilize fully. It has better graphics processing power in the CPU than any of Intel's CPUs as of today.
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October 25, 2012 10:24:06 PM

NoUserBar said:
If you do get i3 get the one with HD 4000 no reason to have less igp. It's better for movies than Hd 2500 or 3000.

For movie playback, it makes no difference. Any SB/IB IGP will be capable of playing online streaming and BD movies. Even without hardware assist, the i3 would still have enough processing power to handle full software decode.

The i3-3225 costs ~$10 extra and is not really worth it unless planning to do some low-end gaming on a GPU-less PC.
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November 4, 2013 7:11:11 AM

better buy an i3 3rd generation thats enough
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November 4, 2013 7:46:03 AM

I'd personally take a high end A10 APU, that is the best all around CPU+GPU package for low end machines.
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November 4, 2013 2:04:11 PM

Gaidax said:
I'd personally take a high end A10 APU, that is the best all around CPU+GPU package for low end machines.


+1

A10-6800K would be good here:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1XrZc
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1XrZc/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1XrZc/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A10-6800K 4.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88X-D3H ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($93.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($63.75 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Case: Xigmatek Recon ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: FSP Group 550W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($58.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDC-207DBK Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($45.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $472.65
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-04 17:03 EST-0500)
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November 4, 2013 10:02:53 PM

I'd take a weaker 450w PSU with bronze certification, slightly cheaper memory and that motherboard is a total overkill. Just get the basic motherboard with one PCI-E x16 and 2 DIMM slots.

All he will ever need for his usage and it will save another 40-50$ with 0 performance impact.
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November 5, 2013 10:27:22 AM

Gaidax said:
I'd take a weaker 450w PSU with bronze certification, slightly cheaper memory and that motherboard is a total overkill. Just get the basic motherboard with one PCI-E x16 and 2 DIMM slots.

All he will ever need for his usage and it will save another 40-50$ with 0 performance impact.


That MB is the cheapest FM2+ I could find...which would allow him an upgrade path to Kaveri architecture down the road. A cheaper FM2 board would work, but would require a new board purchase for any upgrade later...

Also, APUs get a huge boost to the iGPU using dual channel memory...so I recommend at least having that.

APUs are also very bandwidth sensitive on the RAM when using the iGPU. The difference between DDR3-1600 and DDR3-2133 is something like a 35% performance boost. If he is doing any light gaming, he will appreciate the 8 GB of higher bandwidth memory.
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November 5, 2013 10:31:24 AM

But he doesn't so it's just a waste of money really.
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November 5, 2013 11:19:24 AM

Gaidax said:
But he doesn't so it's just a waste of money really.


But when streaming, he will want it, as well as Blu-Ray playback.

APUs use your system RAM as their VRAM...so higher bandwidth and more memory is absolutely necessary to get good performance.
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November 5, 2013 11:35:32 AM

8350rocks said:



PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1XrZc
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1XrZc/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1XrZc/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A10-6800K 4.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88X-D3H ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($93.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($63.75 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Case: Xigmatek Recon ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: FSP Group 550W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($58.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDC-207DBK Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($45.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $472.65
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-04 17:03 EST-0500)


excellent build for sure. In my opinion, it is better to build with easy upgrade paths in the future, than go cheaper (provided you are still within your budget).
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