Selecting the Right CPU and Motherboard
Our first decision sets the stage for the rest of our build. Should you buy an AMD APU or an Intel CPU with HD Graphics? Intel’s Pentium G620 and Celeron G530 CPUs are a little cheaper than AMD’s A8-3850 and A6-3650. But most of that savings is negated by Intel’s generally more expensive motherboards. In the end, we're left to consider slightly more affordable Intel-based solutions.
We aren't including the AMD A8-3870K CPU in that comparison either, since it's quite a bit pricier and only makes sense for overclocking. The -3850 is a more budget-friendly choice.
|Core Frequency||2.7 GHz||2.4 GHz||2.9 GHz||2.6 GHz|
|Cache||512 KB L2 + 3 MB L3||512 KB L2 + 2 MB L3||4 MB L2||4 MB L2|
|Turbo Frequency||No Turbo||No Turbo||No Turbo||No Turbo|
|TDP Rating||65 W||65 W||100 W||100 W|
|Lithography||32 nm||32 nm||32 nm||32 nm|
|Integrated Memory Controller||DDR3-1066||DDR3-1066||DDR3-1866||DDR3-1866|
|Integrated Graphics||Intel HD Graphics|
850 MHz Base
1.1 GHz Max Freq.
| Intel HD Graphics|
850 MHz Base
1.0 GHz Max Freq.
|Radeon HD 6550D||Radeon HD 6530D|
Right out of the gate, we see that Intel's solutions have a slight advantage over AMD's from a pricing standpoint. Next, we'll take a look at how to keep these respective platforms cooled adequately, quietly, and inexpensively.
- Build A PC For Your Kid
- Picking A Platform: Comparing Intel And AMD
- Cooling On A Low-End Budget
- Memory Capacity And Data Rate
- Choosing The Right Power Supply
- The Case And Other Components
- Benchmark Results: Without Discrete Graphics
- Adding Discrete Graphics
- Benchmark Results: With Discrete Graphics
- Two Builds Call For Two Winners