Hi, i am new here but have read advice this site provides over many years, and value your tech opinions. I am looking to upgrade from the Sony VAIO VGC-RA840G (circa 2005;l 2.8ghz cpu; 3gb ram; XPsp3) which has been used extensively (approx 14 hrs a day) for years.
This use is not for gaming, but is for mainly research and writing, and thus I usually have about 70- 100 tabs open (Firefox 16.01) and often about 20+ documents being worked on as well (using OpenOffice), with a few other programs always running as well (and with some video editing and DVd burning, etc.).
This progressively uses up almost all 3gb of my ram, and while the PC is not slow (and is clean from malware), it has quit in the past (never found out why, though I see a swelled capacitor,) and has become somewhat buggy. Therefore I need a 64bit system, and would like even more speed and a PC that would meet our needs for many years.
I am trying to spend around $500 if that could do it - not incldg. monitor, optical drives, kbd. mouse, and no HD for the Intel system - ( high end graphics or audio are not a requirement), and rather than build it myself I am looking at systems from Pricewatch.com (Desktops) that you can customize.
I am looking at two competing systems, one AMD based and the other Intel, which i will list bellow. It seems the AMD system offers more for the money, though the mobo upgrade I chose is not as advanced as the one for the Intel, and the Intel (3.4) uses less power. Then there are politics.
The major upgrades from the stock configurations are more RAM (8gb) and a better PSU for the AMD (Antec 430WATT Basiq BP430). I did run a PSU calculator and both recommended less than 350 watts, the AMD being a little higher.
Mobo: Ecs A960M-M2 Amd 760G DDR3 Ati HD3000 Mb (2 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 16 GB; 6 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s devices; 1 x IDE connector; 6 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors, CHIPSET
AMD® 760G & AMD® SB710)
Mobo: Ecs H67H2-M2 LGA1155 DDR3 SATA3 Mboard (H67 Express Chipset; Etron USB 3.0 Controllor supports 2 x USB 3.0 ports at the back panel; 4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 32GB; 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors; 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors; AMI BIOS with 32Mb SPI ROM
CPU cooling: Regular Cooling Fan & Heatsink Combo Kit
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600MHZ PC3-12800 (2x4GB) Ram
HD: None ($55. I might use a 80gb 7200rpm one i have for now)
Video: Onboard Graphics Card Adapter
Audio: Onboard Sound Card Adapter
Networking: Onboard Ethernet Card Adapter
PSU: Standard Power Supply With Case Selected
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64BIT
Price: (no HD) $529.91
Note that the AMD would be even cheaper without the 70 PSU upgrade. What is the deal with the FX-4170? It is really 4.2ghz? There is another AMD system from another vendor with a w/ AMD FX6200 - Six - Core (6 x 3.8GHz - 14MB Cache), which is says is 39% faster than the FX4100, and a ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX mobo (3.0 USB), 8GB DDR3 1600MHz, Windows 7 Home Premium, 1TB 7200RPM SATA3 (6GB/s)
16MB Cache, standard 400 Watt Power Supply, for $486.60, but the PSU is standard.