$500 Budget Multitasker - Bulldozer?

Hey everyone,

I've been looking to upgrade my laptop with the i5-2430m and the integrated graphics because it's simply too slow. It can't keep up...at all. I need a good multitasking machine that can also handle GTA IV at max settings, and GTA V at max settings when it's released. For now I can use an old GT 240 and achieve max settings later when I can afford a high-end GPU.

I'm looking at the 8 core Bulldozers because I've heard they're good at multitasking and I know that the more powerful Sandy Bridge i5 and i7 processors are better for gaming.

Do you think I should go Bulldozer?

Approximate Purchase Date: Late September 2012
Budget Range: $500-$550
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Multitasking, photo editing, gaming, watching movies/TV, surfing the internet, video recording and editing, web design...sometimes all at once.
Parts Not Required:
I can reuse parts from my old desktop from 2009.
-Thermaltake Tr2 600W PSU
-XFX GT 240 1GB GDDR5
-MicroATX case
-SuperMulti CD/DVD drive
-750GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 *For some reason, the manufacturer of my old computer said this was a 5400rpm drive. O_o*

I have an old Dell keyboard laying around and by the time my dad buys his new computer, I'll borrow his 15" monitor and mouse.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg / Tigerdirect
Country: USA
Parts Preferences:
I want a SSD for windows and some of my programs,

I prefer NVIDIA's drivers, though I'm fine with AMD.

I'm fine with either Intel or AMD, I just don't know if the Sandy/Ivy i5 can multitask the way I need it to.
If I go with Intel, I'll lean toward the non HT ones, I haven't found much use with it enabled in my mobile i5.
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: Nope - I prefer single card
Monitor Resolution: 1024x768 for now, 1920x1080 X2 or 2560x1440 X2 in the future
Additional Comments:
I don't have sales tax where I live. :)

My GT 240 worked fine for me with my old system, just my old Wolfdale Pentium couldn't handle FRAPS. I'm fine with using that for a while.

I don't play many demanding games, I only play (in order of their demand) GTA IV, City Car Driving, The Sims 3, Sim City 4, GTA SA, Live For Speed and Fate Of the world.

What I mean by multitasking: 3 web browsers open with 15+ tabs in each, compressing about 300GB of data for upload to my web host, Paint.NET open with a bunch of photos being worked on, LFS is usually open because I edit DDS files in Paint.NET, and some background progams running in the background.

I do share my computer with relatives sometimes so I want the system to be able to alt+tab out of GTA IV so someone can check their email and it won't be the end of the world.

Hopefully I can squeeze this into my budget. I'm just not sure whether I should go for an Intel or the AMD 8 core for this type of computing.
4 answers Last reply
More about budget multitasker bulldozer
  1. For a video card i would recommend a GTX 560SE there about $120 on Newegg.(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130770) Its a faster than the GTX 550ti but slower than the GTX 560 and if you go with AMD I wouldn't go with the bulldozer. Instead, go with the Phenom Chipset they are cheaper and IMO better.
  2. The reason your games are choking is because of the Sandy integrated graphics on your lappie @@

    To answer your question : for today go with a simple i5 3450/H77 or B75 and 8GB DDR3, then snag a serious gaming card down the road. However seeing how you are not buying immediately a few incoming hardware might shake up the scene i.e the GTX 660Ti and the AM3+ Piledrivers so things might not be so clear cut when u are close to pulling the trigger ^^
  3. Yes, I know why the games are performing well, but that's not why I posted here. My old computer worked fine until I fried the motherboard. :P

    I don't want an H or a B chipset if i went with the Intel because I know I might want to overclock and I'm willing to spend a little extra for the peace of mind.

    I was looking around on Newegg and I found a combo that was a good deal.
    It's a bulldozer one but for $460, that's pretty awesome.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1019068
    If I added in Windows then it would be $560, but I could try and make that work.


    jjlu926- The only reason I would get a Phenom would be to upgrade to another AMD processor in a short time. I'd rather spend the money on a good processor and then upgrade the graphics card at a later time. We all know a GPU upgrade is way easier than a CPU upgrade. ;) Also I would use the Phenom more for gaming, and for gaming even a Sandy Pentium is better...and cheaper.

    batuchka- The Piledrivers are only like 10% better performance wise, not too much of an increase, imo. By "serious gaming card" I assume you mean like the $300+ ones? I'll probably be able to afford one of those when the next generation comes out and I doubt I would need anything hardcore because I'm not a serious gamer. Really the only demanding games I would be playing would be GTA and that's it, and I'm OK with not being able to max out GTA 5.
    Edit: I probably could stretch my budget to maybe $650-$700 and get a better graphics card, but I'll have to see what's out there.


    Thanks for the advice so far! :)
  4. Until we get Piledrivers tested thoroughly word online wildly varies on how much better it is vs Bulldozer so shall reserve comment on that until then :P

    Wat is important though is what AMD offers to the end user price/performance wise - if Piledriver closes the gap between BD and Ivy IPC wise and has an asking price closer to BD it could well be a home run....so hey not getting hardware today might actually work for ya ^^
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