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Old 03-26-2009, 11:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Which CPU?

I have been kind of doing my homework on CPU's trying to figure out which one to build my system with... and I have a few questions.

So I am trying really to get the best bang for my buck, and I was going to spend $500 for the entire system, but I am considering spending near $700. Here is what I have been looking at:


AMD Phenom II X4 940 (In addition to all of AMD's Quad Core Processors)

Intel Dual Core Processors

Intel Quad Core Processors

In reviewing a few benchmarks it seems like the Core 2 Duo chips almost always beat the Intel Quad Core chips (with a few exceptions) and in some cases the AMD Phenom Quad Core Chips. But to get one of the higher end Core 2 Duo Chips, or Intel Quad Core chips I'm going to have to pay a lot more money. If I try to go for a low end i7 chip everything just goes up in price. So how do the AMD Quad Core chips compare to the Core 2 Duo's and the Intel Quad Cores? They are obviously a much cheaper option. Are they Good, Bad, even? Is it a better buy to get an AMD Quad vs a lower end Intel Chip? Is the AMD Phenom II 940 much faster than the other chips in that line, or would it be better if I decided to go AMD to get a chip lower in that line and save a few bucks?

Im thinking about matching this chip with 4GB of either DDR2 or DDR3 depending on the chip, and an Nvidia GTX 260. Im simply going to be gaming on this machine, I do all my school work on my laptop.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Which CPU?

I seem to be linking to this build a lot in the past few minutes, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaricloud View Post
Alright, let's get this build organized.

Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
Newegg.com - G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory
Newegg.com - Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives
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Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies
Newegg.com - LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - CD / DVD Burners
Newegg.com - NZXT Apollo Black SECC Steel Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases

The total comes to $607.92 after shipping, and you get 40 bucks back in MIRs. Not to mention you get a NICE machine. The new pII X3 720 is an amazing little processor, and it will run circles around the E5200, 8450, and 7750 mentioned before.
I personally have the x3 720, and it rocks. I haven't tested it to it's full extent, but it has a lot of potential. But if you want to go with a X4 940, it will cost an extra 75 bucks.

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Old 03-27-2009, 02:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Which CPU?

The best price to performance setup at the moment is in the AMD x3 710/720 chips. They are plenty fast for most situations and one of those, a mobo and some ram will generally be able to be gotten for less than an only marginally faster Core2Duo/Quad setup.

What is going to be your main use of this PC?
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Which CPU?

Well, my main use will be gaming, I do all my school work on my Laptop. As I said, benchmarks show that the AMD chips are far behind even some of the Core 2 Duo chips and I was just wondering with all your experience are they good chips, or am I going to get better performance for the dollar in Intel?
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Which CPU?

Better performance per dollar right now is that x3 720, and it is an amazing little chip. I know, I have it. It overclocks like crazy, even on stock cooling. The performance is ridiculously good on it.

If you are REALLY wanting Intel, I would recommend an E8400, but you probably won't be able to get as good a build for 600 bucks, especially considering it's more expensive than the 720 before any combo deal, and the 720 comes with a 45 dollar off combo deal with one of the best mobos you can get. It's a steal.

EDIT: Check out these benchmarks here. They threw up the 720 against a bunch of other CPUs, including the E8400. It edges it out by a few fps, and you can go earlier in the article to see the synthetic benchmarks. Even though the few fps might not matter too too much, you gotta think, the 720 essentially costs about 70 bucks less than the E8400 with that combo deal, and you're getting a better chip with an extra core.

AMD Phenom II X4 810 and X3 720BE review (AM3)

EDITEDIT Scratch 70 bucks, it's actually 85 bucks cheaper with the combo. Wow.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Which CPU?

Will that X3 720 work with the Biostar Motherboard you posted? It says the chip is a Socket AMD3 not AMD2+/AMD2 as specified on the board.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Which CPU?

It will, AM3 is backwards compatible with the higher end AM2+ boards...besides, newegg wouldn't bundle it without it being compatible.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Which CPU?

Thats good to know, now I won't have to spend as much money on DDR3
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Which CPU?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaricloud View Post
EDIT: Check out these benchmarks here. They threw up the 720 against a bunch of other CPUs, including the E8400. It edges it out by a few fps, and you can go earlier in the article to see the synthetic benchmarks. Even though the few fps might not matter too too much, you gotta think, the 720 essentially costs about 70 bucks less than the E8400 with that combo deal, and you're getting a better chip with an extra core.
.
The x3 720 may be cheaper but it is by no mean a better chip than the e8400 if you plan on overcloking. Also factoring in the mir's and combo deals available on both the x3 720 and e8400 the Intel setup is only $45 more.

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Currently you also have better upgrade options with lga775 since AMD doesn't offer a cpu on par with the q9550 or q9650.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Which CPU?

There's really no point to upgrading to the 9550 or 9650, in my opinion, and that's the end of the 775 line either way. AMD is coming out with some newer AM3 chips.

And yes, the E8400 is an overclocking beast, but to fully gain the OC benefit, you need to grab a water cooling setup. You can hit almost a full 1ghz overclock on stock cooling, I'm sure with a core contact you could do much better. Not to mention the extra core helps with just about everything else besides gaming. I would say on an overclocking scale, the x3 720 is just below the E8400. But I don't think it's worth an extra 45 bucks to get an E8400 unless you're looking to grab a water cooling setup as well.
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