Confused, Please help.

Hi Everyone,

After a couple of weeks of reading reviews, benchmark tests and forums my head is spinning and I am no nearer making a decision.

After 5 years of having just my laptop and no desktop, due to issues with space and money I am now in a position to get myself a new PC :ange:

What I would like is some recommendation on the CPU.
I am not a gamer, unless you count Solitaire Blitz on Facebook as gaming ;) The PC will be used for the mainly mundane things of web browsing, email, documents etc. I'm looking for something that will allow me to have quite a few applications on the go at one time, many webpages open at a time, email on the go, music playing, webcam and remote connection to friends PC (when they call on me to try and sort things on the machines) without the system bogging down to a crawl as happens now with my laptop.

I'm kind of leaning toward a Z77 chipset and maybe an i5-3570 or 3570k though as a non gamer I'm guessing I wouldn't reap any rewards from the k version.. Is this far more than I need? Are there similar priced or cheaper alternatives that would allow me to spend more on RAM and maybe a SSD hard drive?(these 2 come in at towards the top end of my budget, a couple of quid more could be spent I guess if there is a REALLY compelling argument but I'd rather not) Is there a viable AMD alternative, a lot of reviews and forums seem to have written them off lately.

It's a long time since I bought my last desktop (maybe as long as 10 years), back when things were simpler, when all that seemed to matter was clock speed so I have little to no idea what to go for.

Any suggestions, and reasons why would be much appreciated.

Thanks very much in advance for any help,

James
26 answers Last reply
More about confused help
  1. If you want an intel quad core cpu, an i5-3470 is the best value, since you don't want to overclock, add any h77 motherboard, you won't need a z77 motherboard.
    8GB of ram is suffice, a 90GB or more for a ssd is recommended.
    If you want to cut costs, there's also the i3-3220 for intel.
    For the amd side there's the apus, like the FM2 ones : http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/cpu/#xcx=0&qq=1&k=23

    It lists all of the FM2 apus, it's a good tool to see the prices.
  2. A quad core is FAR from what you need! Just get an i3 3220. The i5 is meant for people who do things like BF3 and the i7 is meant for people who do things like BF3 and rendering (there is a ton more uses of the i7's hyperthreading then that). I would also like to say that a 6 core CPU isn't worth it unless you plan on using it with something like dual GTX 690's or just for a video editing only machine that you use a lot. I would say just a dual core, upgrade in the future and leave some money for a good brand PSU and solid parts.
  3. "solitare, web browsing, email, documents"

    an i5 is completely unnecessary.. a cheap AMD APU will perform exactly the same and save you hundreds of $$$
  4. Go for i3 put an 8 gb DDR3 mem, a 128GB SSD for OS(win7 or 8), 500GB HDD for data storage a 500 Watt PSU, H77 board LGA 1155 socket, a $40 chassis and you good to go. Later on in the future you might want to add a good GPU for video streaming as you said.
  5. Thanks for the replies guys.

    With regards the H77 board, I can't seem to find many pre-built systems that use it and the ones I can find seem to be more expensive.

    With one company a system based on the H77 with the i3-3220, 8gb RAM, 60GB SSD hard drive and 500W PSU comes in at £420.

    With the same company, same specs but with a Z77 board the price is £309.
    I can make that an i5-3570 (non k) with Z77 for £357, still cheaper than the H77.


    Am i missing something or just looking in the wrong place?

    Thanks,

    James
  6. I would not worry about the mobo chipset too much, if you can get good deal on 3570 and z77 then just go for it.
    The only difference between them is z77 allows sli for graphics cards and overclocking, and h77 does not have overclocking or sli capable.
    pick a package with either i3/i5 and h77/z77 board and for your needs will perform everything you need very well.
  7. LagerDrinker said:
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    With regards the H77 board, I can't seem to find many pre-built systems that use it and the ones I can find seem to be more expensive.

    With one company a system based on the H77 with the i3-3220, 8gb RAM, 60GB SSD hard drive and 500W PSU comes in at £420.

    With the same company, same specs but with a Z77 board the price is £309.
    I can make that an i5-3570 (non k) with Z77 for £357, still cheaper than the H77.


    Am i missing something or just looking in the wrong place?

    Thanks,

    James

    in that case definitely go for the i5+Z77 combo
  8. Right, so I have got this far,

    with a Asus P8Z77-V LX2 mobo, 8GB DDR3 1333mhz, on board graphics and sound and 500w PSU the prices are as follows.

    i3-3220 £309
    i5-3470 £357
    i5-3570 £371
    i5-3570k £387

    Would I be better off getting the i3 and spending more on ram, maybe a better PSU or cooling or going with one of the others with the same standard specs?

    Sorry if i'm being a pain in the arse :??:
  9. For your needs i5 is overkill.i would suggest simply go with i3 3220.it is more than enough for your needs.why to spend more? Just think.
  10. Im trying to spend as little as possible ;) i just don't want to buy something that will disappoint me later on and make me wish I had spent the extra few pounds, though I guess that after using my 6 year old laptop anything is gonna seem quick. And as I haven't caught the overclocking/gaming bug after 15 years of computer ownership I guess i'm not likely to now :ange: so the i3 would seem to be the way to go??
  11. An i3-3220 would be sufficient for the needs you gave in your initial post.

    As for the other parts, ASUS makes good motherboards so that LX2 model works. The 8GB of RAM is certainly enough, and the integrated on-board ALC887 audio and Intel HD 2500 video will be OK for non-gaming tasks (and even Solitaire Blitz and/or Angry Birds). Be advised however, that if you're going to use the on-board video that the LX2 motherboard only has VGA (aka D-Sub) and HDMI connections. Make sure that your monitor has at least one of those, as there's no DVI on this model!

    One more thing: Could you tell us precisely what PSU you're lining up to get, as not all models are created equal by any stretch of the imagination. And the case as well, just for kicks...
  12. Are you buying a pre-built system or are you choosing components and then build by yourself? When you buy a pre built system, the consequences would be the cost will be more expensive and the components(hardwares) are cheap sometimes garbage(sub-standard) compared to when you when you choose your own components and built it by yourself its gonna be less expensive and at the same time you will learn how to built a PC.
  13. Get 4GB of RAM, An intel Core i5 3330 or 3470, 128GB crucial M4 SSD and a good motherboard from asus, msi or gigabyte (z77) and a good power supply from Corsair or Seasonic. An Good i3 will also be enough for your needs but having an i5 is better as it is futureproof. The i5's integrated graphics is more than enough. And for PSU dont get anything lower than 80+Bronze. I cheap option is the Corsair CX500M. Its a 500W power supply and its modular. And for case buy a Corsair 200R its a cheap case with great features.

    And why do you want a prebuilt system? build your own. Its very Easy. I built mine when i was 13.
  14. I have decided that I will by the parts and assemble them myself.

    the parts list is as follows.

    i3-3220

    Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H MOBO

    8GB Crucial 1600 Mhz Ballistix sport RAM

    Casecom 5788 Black Mid Tower Case

    Corsair 430W V2 CX psu (80 Plus bronze)

    Kingston 60gb SSDNow V300

    liteon lhas 120 DVD writer


    Does this sound a sensible configuration for what I need, anything I should/could be spending more or less on? Is there anything I have missed??

    Any comments appreciated,

    Cheers

    James
  15. Forgot to say, shopping around I can get those parts for £318.

    On a side issue, do you guys think there are any real performance benefits to running Windows 8. I've been using it on my laptop for a while and am not a great fan, spending most of my time on the desktop, so I'm thinking of going back to 7 unless there are ant compelling reasons to stay with 8.

    Cheers

    James
  16. Buy An Intel Core i5 3330 instead
    Buy an Asus P8H77 V
    4GB RAM is enough
    Buy Corsair 200R instead
    PSU is fine.
    Try to buy a Crucial M4 128GB
    DVD Writer is fine.

    Arent you going to buy a graphics card? are you a gamer?
  17. LagerDrinker said:
    Forgot to say, shopping around I can get those parts for £318.

    On a side issue, do you guys think there are any real performance benefits to running Windows 8. I've been using it on my laptop for a while and am not a great fan, spending most of my time on the desktop, so I'm thinking of going back to 7 unless there are ant compelling reasons to stay with 8.

    Cheers

    James

    There is no real advantage to having Win 8 over Win 7 except faster boot in Win 8. But Win 7 with an SSD is really quick aswell. If you dont like the layout of Win 8 , go for Win 7 instead... I personally hate Win 8 on non-touch screen desktops. Its fine on mobile devices though/
  18. Hi timarp000

    Thanks for the reply,

    Changing to those parts would increase the price to £499, would I really see the benefit spending the extra £180?? The asus H77 board seems to come out more expensive than the Z77 G/B board.

    I am not a gamer which is why I haven't included a graphics card, thought I would see how i get on with the integrated graphics for now and maybe add a card at a later date if I need to.

    Totally agree with you about win 8.

    James
  19. get like a i7
  20. gunfun007 said:
    get like a i7

    They're are not gaming :pfff:.
  21. LagerDrinker said:
    Hi timarp000

    Thanks for the reply,

    Changing to those parts would increase the price to £499, would I really see the benefit spending the extra £180?? The asus H77 board seems to come out more expensive than the Z77 G/B board.

    I am not a gamer which is why I haven't included a graphics card, thought I would see how i get on with the integrated graphics for now and maybe add a card at a later date if I need to.

    Totally agree with you about win 8.

    James

    i think that the i5 will help you if you run multiple programs at once. 4GB ram is enough and buy the 200R instead of that other case, its way better(IMO). Im sugesting the 128GB SSD so you can install other stuff on it aswell, but for OS and softwares Buy the Crucial M4 64GB.

    And about the motherboard, since you are not installing a graphics card an mATX motherboard will do. Check this one out- http://goo.gl/b3NcN
  22. Just spotted this in a clearance sale, bargain prices. Any recommendations one way or other?

    GIGABYTE GA-Z77M-D3H mobo for £46.99
    MSI Z77A-G43 mobo for £39.99
    MSI Z77A-G45 mobo for £43.99
  23. i can personally say from first hand experience the Z77a-G45 is a great board. and as far as your processor...if you're not going to do any gaming or rendering and just want to run multiple things at once...the 3220 will do more than fine as will your other parts list. it would be hard to find an up-to-date config of any brand or type that would have any trouble whatsoever with the tasks you're going to be mainly concerned with. anyway, short answer is unless you're a gigabyte fan (which im guessing you dont have a preference) then I'd go with the msi mil class g45 . have you looked at product reviews on other sites also? sometimes that helps a lot too. good luck!
  24. I've looked at soooo many reviews from sooo many site I don't know whether i'm coming or going ;-) Sometimes difficult to draw a conclusion as with everything you get mixed reviews although all the above seems to get pretty good write ups, hence coming here for advice from people how use these things.

    The gigabyte seemed to get the best reviews so I was heading toward that, but with further reading the G45 seems to have more features and is overclockable, not something I will probably do, but if I get the msi over the gigabyte, I have the option if I ever feel the need, plus the cheaper price would maybe allow me to stretch to an i5, again probably overkill for my current needs but who knows, i may have an overclocking/gaming epiphany ;-)
  25. LagerDrinker said:
    I've looked at soooo many reviews from sooo many site I don't know whether i'm coming or going ;-) Sometimes difficult to draw a conclusion as with everything you get mixed reviews although all the above seems to get pretty good write ups, hence coming here for advice from people how use these things.

    The gigabyte seemed to get the best reviews so I was heading toward that, but with further reading the G45 seems to have more features and is overclockable, not something I will probably do, but if I get the msi over the gigabyte, I have the option if I ever feel the need, plus the cheaper price would maybe allow me to stretch to an i5, again probably overkill for my current needs but who knows, i may have an overclocking/gaming epiphany ;-)

    You cannot overclock the i5 i suggested to you as it isnt unlocked. If you want to overclock you have to buy the 3570K.
  26. Have reserved the MSI Z77A-G45 online, got to wait til tomorrow to check it is still in stock, so if anyone has any compelling arguments against it let me know quick ;-)

    timarp, thanks, i was aware, i should have said above...would maybe allow me to stretch to an i5 k


    Thanks again
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