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A little lost on a new build's cpu type

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've not really been paying too much attention to the CPU news since December of last year, so I'm not really sure which is better: quad core/dual core; AMD/Intel.

I'm going to be putting a computer together for my brother soon, and I was wondering just what would be the best bet for a good solid CPU. Chances are, he won't be doing a whole lot on it. Gaming (up to Crysis' standards) is probably the most stressful thing he'll be doing on it (simple web browsing, music listening, etc. is included in things he'll do on it).

I've looked at several articles regarding quad core vs. dual core, and have looked at the charts on Tomshardware. According to the articles, it seems, to me, that quad cores are more optimized for multimedia and excessive multi-tasking, neither of which my brother will be doing. Dual core, on the other hand, sounded like it was (still) more geared for gaming and not as much multi-tasking, right up the alley of what this build is going to be designed for. Then, with Tomshardware, similar results showed up, so I'm kinda leaning towards putting in a dual core, but I'd like to be absolutely positive. Thanks.

P.S. - If you can put up links to other info, I'd appreciate it.
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Thing 3
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AMD Phemon II X4 955 ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO ASUS 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 G.Skill "Ripjaw" 6GB PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 500GB + WD 80GB DVD-RW Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 ASUS VH242 24" Monitors 
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Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 700W DangerDen Torture Rack Logitech MX 518 
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post #2 of 5
... you're asking if Intel or AMD is better, and 12 whole minutes have gone by without an Intel fanboy screaming Intel's praise?!?! They must be napping lol. Honestly though, Intel has the high end market right now hands down, no AMD user will argue that. For budget systems, AMD can sometimes be a better choice since they have CPU's for as little as $40 that will hit 3.0GHz overclocked, and Intel just doesn't have any CPU's for that cheap (unless you count the Celeron...). I think the E21xx series from Intel are the best compromise when it comes to price/performance for this build you're talking about. At around $70-80, an E2180 will overclock to 3.2-3.5GHz without much trouble and will be a great option for your brother and his casual gaming/basic computer use. Better dual cores like the E8400 can cost as much as $200 and will overclock to around 4.0GHz, so if you don't mind dishing out the cash go for it but given your brother's needs an E2180 sounds just fine.

Also, Intel is better clock for clock. So an Intel E2180 overclocked to say 3.3GHz is faster (by a noticeable amount) than say an AMD X2 5000+ Black Edition overclocked to 3.3GHz. As an example, my E2180 at stock speeds of 2.0GHz scored the same in 3DMark06 as my X2 4200+ did overclocked at 2.6GHz.

For the video card, I'd recommend the 9600GT as it can be bought for about $130 and will play Crysis just fine. Although 8800GT's perform about 15% better and are only another $30. Either is a good choice for your Brother's needs. A solid P35 motherboard (such as the Gigabyte DS3L) will work well.

I'd recommend 4GB of memory in a 2x2GB set, as this will become needed in the next few years, although right now it isn't needed for most users. 2x2GB sets go for about $70-100 so you might as well. It also keeps 2 slots free, giving him the option to go 8GB of RAM if future needs demanded it.

The hard drive is up to you, however big you think he needs. 500GB drives are only about $100 and will give him plenty of room for his music, "pictures" and "videos".

A quality 450-550W PSU will be more than enough. There were some great deals about 2 weeks ago on Corsairs and Antec earthwatts, but most have gone up a bit in price now. I still recommend them though, as they're high quality yet affordable.

DVD drive is pretty arbitrary, just make sure you get SATA not IDE (PATA). SATA is newer and has skinnier cables. PATA ports might be phased out in the future and their cables block airflow, embrace the future

As for the case, personal preference but the Cooler Master RC-690, Antec Nine Hundred, and Cooler Master Centurion 534 are all good choices for great airflow and classy (not gaudy) appearance.

EDIT: My suggested build (assuming you're overclocking)
$160 - eVGA 8800GT 512MB (after $30 MIR)
$100 - SG 500GB HDD 32MB cache
$90 - Gigabyte P35 DS3L
$70 - Intel E2180
$90 - 2x2GB G.SKill PC2 8000 5-5-5-15
$85 - Corsair VX550W (overkill, but future-proofs in case he upgrades the vid card later)
$80 - Antec Nine Hundred (after $40 MIR)
$27 - Samsung 20x DVD Burner SATA
$37 - Xigmatek S1283
$6 - Artic Silver 5
-----
$745 Subtotal (after $70 MIR)
$35 Estimated S&H
-----
$780 Grand Total
White Whale
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White Whale
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250GB Samsung Evo Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 24" Samsung ToC T240 1920x1200 
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey, thanks durch! I might overclock the system (my brother shouldn't have a problem with me doing that) a little bit, as I may use it for some "analysis" of my own for future reference. I'm liking the price there...he said he had around $800 to spare. As for the video card, I was probably going to get an 8800GT anyways (it's what I have, and runs everything fine). At first I thought "Ok, why bother with 4GB...", without remembering "duh, it'll be required for future apps/games".

Thanks again!
Thing 3
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phemon II X4 955 ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO ASUS 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 G.Skill "Ripjaw" 6GB PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 500GB + WD 80GB DVD-RW Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 ASUS VH242 24" Monitors 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 700W DangerDen Torture Rack Logitech MX 518 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Black with wrist pad JVC HA-RX700 Headphones Hercules 2.0 Speakers 
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Thing 3
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phemon II X4 955 ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO ASUS 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 G.Skill "Ripjaw" 6GB PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 500GB + WD 80GB DVD-RW Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 ASUS VH242 24" Monitors 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 700W DangerDen Torture Rack Logitech MX 518 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Black with wrist pad JVC HA-RX700 Headphones Hercules 2.0 Speakers 
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Reply
post #4 of 5
Intel processors perform better per clock, dissipate less heat (they are now down on 45nm which AMD doesn't expect before Q4 2008), are more overclockable (even though they perform better out of the box so you don't even need to do that) and now they are down on AMD's price levels too.

If I had known what I know now I would not have purchased this PC, I would've built a Core 2 system. Looking to rectify that in Q4/Q1 2009 though..
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post #5 of 5
Come on Guy's he's in the AMD section...Throw in a Opty 1210 or 1212 for $70-$80 best bang for the buck IMO...
Overclocked to 3.0 in a heart beat!
HAF H2
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HAF H2
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