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Old 11-11-2006, 05:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Which AMD CPU/Mobo?

Hello all, I’m a newbie to building a machine from scratch but have been playing with/fixing older machines for several years. I’ve only had experience with Intel CPU’s and would like to try a current AMD. I’ve been watching Newegg, Fry’s and TigerDirect for specials on a CPU/mobo combo in the $200-300 range and I see several permutations of the Athlon series. What is old and what is new? I assume that the Athlon 64 designates a 64 bit capability? What are the pros & cons for the various models (e.g. Venice, San Diego etc?)

I have read the stickied intro threads here….very good info, I learned a lot, thank you. I guess my question is…what CPU/mobo would you folks buy in that price range? Do you think the price on the X2 core units will be coming down soon?

Best,

John
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Currently, you could get a good Intel Core 2 Duo for $180 and an Intel motherboard (if you don't plan to overclock) for $100.

I don't want to go against your wishes for AMD, just food for thought.
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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what is your budget and what do you wish to do with your new system? we can help you put something together
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Old 11-11-2006, 06:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi KBlair & Nukem,

I will consider an Intel, just thought that AMD offered more bang for the buck lately.

I’ve been collecting pieces when I see them on slickdeals.net, dealcatcher.com etc. So far an Ultra Aluminus full tower case ($20 shipped after rebate), Ultra 500W ATX power supply (free after rebate), BenQ DVD/CD burner ($19.95, free shipping), 3.5 Floppy (99 cents!), Maxtor 120 Gb 7200 RPM, 8Mb cache HDD ($10 after rebate)… as you can see, I like to find deals….lol, but I realize I will have to spend some money on a CPU, mobo, RAM, graphics card etc.

I’d like to build with components that will run Windows Vista (I have the RC1 eval copy, good until June ’07). And have something that will not be obsolete by the time I put it together (I know, that’s asking a lot).

I do appreciate your expertise, and welcome all suggestions.

Best,

John
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Not trying to be rude, but you are kinda of behind the times. Intel has taken the lead now. They have a better price-to-performance ratio.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crazed_climber
Not trying to be rude, but you are kinda of behind the times. Intel has taken the lead now. They have a better price-to-performance ratio.
Hello climber,

Not rude at all, I asked and I am learning….thanks. I have been looking more into the Intel Conroe core duo series. What is your (or anyone’s) opinion of this combo:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...606515&CatId=0

From the reviews, the e6300 CPU looks like a good one, but I find no reviews on the mobo

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?inv...5P-A7A&cat=MBB

Is Biostar a decent brand?...any drawbacks with the specs on this mobo? I would like to experiment with OC’ing the processor (never done it)…

Again, thanks for the input.

Best,

John
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The combo looks good and the motherboard should be fine, but only as long as you aren't overclocking.

See, at stock speeds, the E6300 is around the performance of a A64 X2 4600+. While that's excellent performance, and more bang-for-the-buck than the A64 series, the real gem of the Core 2 Duos is their overclockability. A relatively small .5Ghz or 500Mhz overclock on that processor will put it on par with both, AMD highest-performing, as well as highest-priced processors (they are different for some odd reason).

500Mhz may seem like a high overclock, but the C2D processors have been consistently overclocking to speeds upwards of 3Ghz. It is not uncommon to see a E6300 overclocked to 3.2Ghz.

But to achieve that, you need a good motherboard. The minimum motherboard recommended for this costs ~$150.

Memory is also important, but can be bypassed with the use of memory dividers, thus saving you money.
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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But to achieve that, you need a good motherboard. The minimum motherboard recommended for this costs ~$150.

Thanks for your input. What features or components does an "overclockable" motherboard have that are lacking on the one listed in the CPU/Mobo combo? Or is it just overall quality of design & construction? The Biostar model listed claims to have:

“WarpSpeeder™
a new powerful control utility, features three user-friendly functions including Overclock Manager, Overvoltage Manager, and Hardware Monitor.”

And

“WatchDog™
It is important to know that when overclocking, the system can be at a vulnerable state. Therefore, the [WatchDog™] technology was designed to protect your PC under dangerous over-clock situations. Any over-clocking that reaches the threshold settings, the WatchDog Technology will automatically restart the system.This user-friendly design can save you from squandering your time on opening the case just to clean the CMOS. In the end, thanks to the WatchDog Technology, everything is back at normal.”

I’m new to overclocking and don’t want to buy something substandard, but on the other hand I’d rater put the savings into more RAM or other stuff if this mobo would do the job.

Thanks,

John
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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well.. .alot of ppl are getting good oc (over clocks ) with the asus p5b and the gigabyte ds3 but... i was looking at that mobo and for my moms intel c3d rig i think ima go wiht the s3 .... but the biostar may have all those flashy doohickys but sometimes the fun of ocing is opening that case and reseting your cmos knowing that your pushing it to the limit!
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It is, as you said, about the quality and construction of the motherboard, as well as how far you can push some components (eg. the amount of voltage capable of being supplied). Those "overclocking helpers" are simply marketing tools, and you will rarely, if ever, use them in actual overclocking as most of that is done via the BIOS. With that motherboard, I can guarantee you that you will not get past 2.4Ghz. While that is still very fast, and may be good enough for you, you're going to be wasting a lot of potential from your processor. It would be akin to buying a processor that runs at 3.2Ghz, but then getting a motherboard that limits it to 2.4Ghz.
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