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Hello, should I wait for the new AMD APU's or get an i5?

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July 14, 2012 1:17:30 AM

For my first computer I would like to build something around 450$. I'm aiming for an all around fast computer with low-mid level graphics. I am deciding whether I should wait for those new "Trinity" APU's so I can Crossfire (Dual Graphics) with a cheap 7000 series video card and get decent performance or just spend more and get an i5 with a cheap video card.

The next gen APU's look promising.

More about : wait amd apu

July 14, 2012 1:28:34 AM

It depends. But first, what are you gonna do with the PC?
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July 14, 2012 1:33:48 AM

I think it will be hard to build an entire unit with an i5 chip for $450. Unless you have several of the components already that you can reuse.

An i5 costs $180-$230 depending on the model. $70 minimum for a decent motherboard, $100 minimum for a low end but capable GPU, $25 minimum RAM, $45 minimum for decent PSU, $70 minimum for sizeable non-refurbished HDD.

I'm already at almost $500 and haven't even got an OS or optical drive. Maybe a G800 series pentium or an i3 is more in your budget. Two very good gaming chips just dual core instead of quad core.
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July 14, 2012 1:47:05 AM

I am aiming at entry level gaming and speed for general use.

I honestly don't think I would need an i5 for this build. Thanks for the input. Do you guys think an APU would get the job done for that amount of money? Or can I get a better deal?
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Best solution

July 14, 2012 2:14:54 AM

Here is an example of a really strong $500 build (after rebates and shipping costs):

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MSI R7770-PMD1GD5 Radeon HD 7770 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CORSAIR Builder Series 430W - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Rosewill RANGER-M Computer Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS 24X DVD Burner - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


You could cut some corners by getting a cheaper case (save $10)
Get a G860 instead of an i3 (save $30) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Get a 7750 instead of a 7770 (save $20) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That motherboard you could probably find a cheaper one but its a great board and will be upgradeable in the future.
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July 14, 2012 2:23:59 AM

stickg1 has a great build for entry desktop I +1 it.
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July 14, 2012 3:05:13 AM

stickg1 said:
Here is an example of a really strong $500 build (after rebates and shipping costs):

ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


A couple questions about this board ...

1) For a first time PC builder is a micro-ATX board a lot harder to use?

2) Would a Hyper 212 EVO cooler still work on the board, because it is smaller?
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July 14, 2012 3:15:09 AM

jrau said:
A couple questions about this board ...

1) For a first time PC builder is a micro-ATX board a lot harder to use?

2) Would a Hyper 212 EVO cooler still work on the board, because it is smaller?


No, its not any harder to use. They typically cost less because they usually have slightly lessfeatures then their ATX counterpart.

The 212 would definitely work, the case needs to have adequate space, since it is a tower cooler with a 12cm fan it is very tall and the case needs to be about 6.75in or more wide for it to work out.
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July 14, 2012 4:14:51 AM

What are your thoughts on crossfiring a relatively mid low end gpu to a future trinity APU vs the i3 route?
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July 14, 2012 4:24:38 AM

I haven't read much about the desktop Trinity APU hybrid crossfire compatibility list. IF it is compatible with a HD7770 or higher then it will be great. However I've done a hybrid crossfire with a neighbors Llano APU and using the 6670 the result still was not as quality as a 6770 by itself. If AMD fixed it's hybrid crossfire scalability it will be nice. However, as it stands, I would much rather have a stronger CPU with better IPC (i3 or i5) with a discrete GPU like the 7770 if I were making a budget build. I actually did have a machine like that for my son but since he's only 6 and I needed the money for something else, I sold it after a few months because it didn't get used. While I had it though, its performance was excellent. And since I was only on a 1600x900 screen the gaming performance was great on medium/high settings.
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July 14, 2012 11:03:22 AM

stickg1 said:
I haven't read much about the desktop Trinity APU hybrid crossfire compatibility list. IF it is compatible with a HD7770 or higher then it will be great. However I've done a hybrid crossfire with a neighbors Llano APU and using the 6670 the result still was not as quality as a 6770 by itself. If AMD fixed it's hybrid crossfire scalability it will be nice. However, as it stands, I would much rather have a stronger CPU with better IPC (i3 or i5) with a discrete GPU like the 7770 if I were making a budget build. I actually did have a machine like that for my son but since he's only 6 and I needed the money for something else, I sold it after a few months because it didn't get used. While I had it though, its performance was excellent. And since I was only on a 1600x900 screen the gaming performance was great on medium/high settings.

Interesting, maybe the drivers weren't updated when you tested crossfire with the Llano. I've watched a bunch of tests on youtube and crossfiring the two significantly increased performance which attracted me to using the APU's in a budget PC.

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July 14, 2012 11:12:09 AM

phoenixfudge said:
Interesting, maybe the drivers weren't updated when you tested crossfire with the Llano. I've watched a bunch of tests on youtube and crossfiring the two significantly increased performance which attracted me to using the APU's in a budget PC.

Its typically the reason people dont like something... The drivers control EVERYTHING, even going from the most previous to current version of a driver you can see 8%-20% performance increase in certain games and situations.

So imagine a messed up origonal version vs the most up to date one...
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July 14, 2012 12:29:51 PM

Well actually even with current drivers when you match the 6550D of the APU with a 6670 (strongest card you can crossfire with) what your left with is what AMD calls a 6690D2. A 6770 performs slightly better than this setup. That's why I see the Llano and any current APU available as more of an HTPC chip. For budget gaming I would much rather have a stronger CPU, preferably with and L3 Cache and a higher IPC, and spend about $120 or more on a decent GPU. This would outperform any hybrid CF-X Llano has to offer. Hopefully Trinity is a little stronger. It looks like the CPU will at least be a little stronger, still can't touch any Intel offerings.
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July 15, 2012 11:45:28 PM

Best answer selected by phoenixfudge.
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nThanks for the input, I will look more into Intel CPU's.
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