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New Computer for programming/virtual machines

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So my uncle needs a new computer for around 500-600, solely for running Virtual Machines and programming. I was thinking a 3770K from Microcenter and random parts for everything else, since it has 8 threads, and onboard graphics. Would 8 core AMD be good here? Thanks!
     
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post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALiShaikh View Post

So my uncle needs a new computer for around 500-600, solely for running Virtual Machines and programming. I was thinking a 3770K from Microcenter and random parts for everything else, since it has 8 threads, and onboard graphics. Would 8 core AMD be good here? Thanks!

If you got an 8 core AMD I'm fairly certain you'd need a discrete graphics card. I think the 3770k was a good call provided that he's going to be overclocking it if not then there's really no need for an unlocked...wait..what am I saying..you're going to OC this right?!?! biggrin.gif

Things like VMWare and Virtualbox support discrete graphics so if necessary you could drop the 3770K to perhaps a 3570K. Also, I'd recommend a sizeable SSD over a larger hard drive for those virtual machines since they would benefit greatly from it.
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post #3 of 17
A good recommendation here is going to depend a lot on what OS and languages are being used and what type of programming is going on. Also, what client OSes and applications are going to go on in the VMs?

For instance... the AMD 8-core will be very fast at multitheaded compile in gcc under Linux, okay in MS Visual Studio, and pretty awful in Java. So it depends.
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post #4 of 17
Given your budget, an 8 core FX is probably the better bet, since it does very well at highly threaded operations (example lots of virtual machines). But, that does mean you need a dedicated graphics card as someone else said, which gets rid of the real price advantage.

To simply answer the question though, a 3770k from microcenter would be great, or even a 3570k.
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Alright, he says he will be running Windows, but will be running Backtrack Linux and Unix on the Virtual Machines.
     
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post #6 of 17
Which languages does he program in? Does he primarily program in a single language?

And what sort of applications is he interested in coding?
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post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by synge View Post

Which languages does he program in? Does he primarily program in a single language?

And what sort of applications is he interested in coding?

It really doesn't matter what language he's using if this is going to be hardware. Unless he needs a specific architecture to run off of then hardware won't matter
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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelamacmdr View Post

It really doesn't matter what language he's using if this is going to be hardware. Unless he needs a specific architecture to run off of then hardware won't matter

I disagree. Most interpreted languages (like APL, VBscript, Lisp, PHP, Maple, MATLAB) execute slowly, and can't multithread at all, so performance would be dramatically higher on Intel with those cases. And Java performance on AMD FX tends to be poor too - even multi-threaded.

C/C++ and variants, Visual Basic, Perl/Ruby, Python, and Pascal should all be great on FX though.

i7-3770k will be best, but probably out of OP's budget. FX-83xx vs. i5 3xxx will depend on his usage, but they're both good. AMD FX series do not have integrated graphics, so figure on $30 for a cheap discrete graphics card (Assuming he's doing no 3D here).

At current Microcenter prices.... all FX processors have $50 off with certain motherboards.... and i3-3220 / i5-3570k have $50 off with any compatible motherboard. It looks like i5-3570k combo comes to almost exactly the same price as a FX-8320 combo + $30 graphics card (selecting equivalent motherboards.) I'd say it's a close call between those two, and which choice is better will depend on the usage scenario.

Of course, depending on what he's doing, your uncle may not need the kind of horsepower that those setups offer. You're on a budget, so take a close look at the FX-6300. It's a tremendous value for the money, really, and it may serve his particular needs just fine. It's a better bang for the buck than any of the setups mentioned above.
Edited by synge - 2/12/13 at 9:43am
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post #9 of 17
From Anandtech:

FX-8350 easily beats Core i5, and comes close to the i7-3770K in gcc compile times:


But, the same FX-8350 loses out to a $99 Pentium G2120 in JavaScript execution:


Programming language matters - a lot.
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by synge View Post

I disagree. Most interpreted languages (like APL, VBscript, Lisp, PHP, Maple, MATLAB) execute slowly, and can't multithread at all, so performance would be dramatically higher on Intel with those cases. And Java performance on AMD FX tends to be poor too - even multi-threaded.

C/C++ and variants, Visual Basic, Perl/Ruby, Python, and Pascal should all be great on FX though.

i7-3770k will be best, but probably out of OP's budget. FX-83xx vs. i5 3xxx will depend on his usage, but they're both good. AMD FX series do not have integrated graphics, so figure on $30 for a cheap discrete graphics card (Assuming he's doing no 3D here).

At current Microcenter prices.... all FX processors have $50 off with certain motherboards.... and i3-3220 / i5-3570k have $50 off with any compatible motherboard. It looks like i5-3570k combo comes to almost exactly the same price as a FX-8320 combo + $30 graphics card (selecting equivalent motherboards.) I'd say it's a close call between those two, and which choice is better will depend on the usage scenario.

Of course, depending on what he's doing, your uncle may not need the kind of horsepower that those setups offer. You're on a budget, so take a close look at the FX-6300. It's a tremendous value for the money, really, and it may serve his particular needs just fine. It's a better bang for the buck than any of the setups mentioned above.

Python is an interpreted language...
Getting an i7 will be superior to an AMD chip regardless of language. I have never met a programmer that only uses 1 language in his/her line of work. There will be a point where they'll focus on one language more but unless he's got an infatuation with c++ it behooves him to focus on the performance he wants rather than the language he's leaning towards.

Regardless, 500-600 is plenty for a 3770k provided he's using random parts for everything except CPU and motherboard. If he goes to MC he might even have enough for a solid state if he budgets on the motherboard. The 3770k is the best choice for him imo.
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DeadHost
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Core i5 2500k 4.7 Ghz ASRock Z68 Extreme4 MSI GTX 670 PE 8 GB Crucial Ballistix 
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1 TB WD Green Crucial M4 Antec Kuhler H20 620 Windows 7 Ultimate x86_64 SP1 
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