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Discussion Starter #1
I will try to keep this short and to the point but looking for some outside feedback here as I find myself in an interesting situation.

I will preface this here by saying I recently built a PC for my nephew, and In had to be vigilant with my shopping because of the budget. Well the thing has surprised me to no end for how it performs vs the cost, and it has opened my eyes up A LOT on want vs need for PC.........

His build specs can be found here, and yes the prices listed is what the parts cost me.

I have been building my first water cooled PC since last year and I'm now back to square one after some hiccups with the custom case. I sold off all the high end stuff to do a reset and start from scratch as now I'm in 2016 and this year we wait for new GPU stuff and then Zen coming late this year early the following.

I am online a lot during the day as I work from home, and coming to PC gaming from an old Xbox 360. I want to be able to play Star Citizen, SW battlefront, AC, BF4, etc, and have no issues running a lot of tabs open at the same time on the net. I also watch a lot of streaming video on my PC's, not to be confused with streaming game play. First person shooters are amongst my favorite but I'm getting sucked into Star Citizen by a friend, and Metro has caught my attention and I would like to start with the Fallout games soon. The last time I gamed on a PC Wolfenstein was it lol
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Anyhow, now more to the point. I am not sure how smart it might be at this point to go all out spending a ton of $$ on a rig, with all the new stuff we are waiting for to drop, so was considering maybe a more budget friendly build and let things play out some more this year. I'm just tired of being on the laptop all the time and looking for a plug for the battery charger etc. Looking to go with a used deal on a 290X or a 390/390X for me for the GPU, but not sure what route to take on the CPU/Mobo, any help here would be appreciated.

I know the FX series stuff is old as hell, but it does offer some budget friendly options. The rest of the AMD line is foreign to me so if there is anything else out there worth checking I'm all ears.

I would also like to build my brother a gaming PC similar to my nephews but with AMD parts for his B-Day this month, and was thinking a 6300/6350 with an R9 380 might do him well for an air cooled 1080p rig.

I have built and used Intel stuff including a recent ITX Skylake build which worked well, but once you get over the benchmarking (which is A LOT of FUN!) the real world differences in a lot of the FPS is not huge between many of today's modern stuff, at least from what I have found.

Thank for your time and Happy New Year.......
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If you have a lower budget, say $600 to $700 or less for your tower, AMD in my opinion offers you the most performance in that price range. You could buy an 860k CPU for $70 and have that much more of the budget to put into your GPU, which is where you'll get more bang for your buck. Even the FX 8320 is a great choice. Lots of threads available to multi-task and it is well paired with a $200 - $250 GPU. If you went Intel in that price range, you would probably be looking at an i3, which is not ideal in my opinion for gaming or the multi-tasking that you mentioned.

Above that price range, $700 and up, the Intel i5 starts to make much more sense given how well it performs compared to the AMD counterparts. The i5 is better, it just costs more. With higher budgets, the i5 and i7 are just better options. I just hate to see people who get bad advice and blow all their budget on a $240 i5 4690k and then only have enough cash left over for a GTX 950.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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Originally Posted by Depauville Kid View Post

If you have a lower budget, say $600 to $700 or less for your tower, AMD in my opinion offers you the most performance in that price range. You could buy an 860k CPU for $70 and have that much more of the budget to put into your GPU, which is where you'll get more bang for your buck. Even the FX 8320 is a great choice. Lots of threads available to multi-task and it is well paired with a $200 - $250 GPU. If you went Intel in that price range, you would probably be looking at an i3, which is not ideal in my opinion for gaming or the multi-tasking that you mentioned.

Above that price range, $700 and up, the Intel i5 starts to make much more sense given how well it performs compared to the AMD counterparts. The i5 is better, it just costs more. With higher budgets, the i5 and i7 are just better options. I just hate to see people who get bad advice and blow all their budget on a $240 i5 4690k and then only have enough cash left over for a GTX 950.
Thanks for your input.

As for budget, I won't say budget doesn't matter, but it's not a primary concern. My thinking is to scale down from the build I was going to do, and wait and see what 2016 brings unless it's not worth it. But I'd hate to drop a grand plus on a tower right now and in a couple months new stuff comes out that does make it worth it to jump ship......

I am looking hard at an R9 390 for the GPU for this build. Just trying to get input on the CPU/Mobo......... to me that leaves me open to add another for cross fire later if the hype of 2016 is a bust.
 

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Anything that comes out later this year from Intel would just be an iteration on their Skylake platform. Typically, they raise performance 10% each generation. So, nothing game changing there. AMD is also supposed to release Zen. I believe that will be a sizable step up from current FX and APU chips. We won't know for sure until review samples go out. Even with Zen, it probably won't be a game changer either, but just bring AMD performance more in line with what is available from Intel. Hopefully Zen will close the performance gap, but I doubt it will surpass Intel by leaps and bounds. It will also be a higher price than current AMD offerings for sure.

You certainly wouldn't be foolish to build an Intel machine now. I also wouldn't say that buying AMD is bad right now either given how low their prices are. I think the only bad choice would be to build a more expensive Intel machine now if you were a huge AMD fan and knew you were going to build a Zen based machine when it came out. If you are definitely full in on Zen regardless of what it is, maybe save some dollars and build a cheaper AMD 860K system now. Otherwise, nothing is really a bad choice right now.
 

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I think that if you go AMD way, it is better to get FX-8320 and overclock it. Having [email protected] and R9 290 myself, I can run anything at [email protected] just fine. There are few games that utilize only 1-2 cores and GPU is bottlenecked by FX-8320. CPU overhead issue with AMD graphics drivers amplifies this effect in AMD CPU+GPU combo, however you still get acceptable performance in those games. Because of this, I think that the best combo would be Intel cpu + AMD gpu or AMD cpu + Nvidia gpu.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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Originally Posted by om3nz View Post

I think that if you go AMD way, it is better to get FX-8320 and overclock it. Having [email protected] and R9 290 myself, I can run anything at [email protected] just fine. There are few games that utilize only 1-2 cores and GPU is bottlenecked by FX-8320. CPU overhead issue with AMD graphics drivers amplifies this effect in AMD CPU+GPU combo, however you still get acceptable performance in those games. Because of this, I think that the best combo would be Intel cpu + AMD gpu or AMD cpu + Nvidia gpu.
Ok thanks, this is not the first I see mentioned of this recommendation. Very interesting it keeps popping up, and not an issue to me as I am not a die hard fan boy one way or other. I can sit back and talk about ethics, practices, etc, but at the end of the day if you're computer works the way it should, and you get the best per dollar spent that's the world we live in.....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by om3nz View Post

I think that if you go AMD way, it is better to get FX-8320 and overclock it. Having [email protected] and R9 290 myself, I can run anything at [email protected] just fine. There are few games that utilize only 1-2 cores and GPU is bottlenecked by FX-8320. CPU overhead issue with AMD graphics drivers amplifies this effect in AMD CPU+GPU combo, however you still get acceptable performance in those games. Because of this, I think that the best combo would be Intel cpu + AMD gpu or AMD cpu + Nvidia gpu.
Not a bad choice. I have the FX 8320 in my gaming rig/Plex server and it works really well. I just have a tough time not recommending the 860k when you can grab one for $70 and gaming performance would be comparable in most scenarios. FX 8320 is a good choice as well for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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Originally Posted by Depauville Kid View Post

Anything that comes out later this year from Intel would just be an iteration on their Skylake platform. Typically, they raise performance 10% each generation. So, nothing game changing there. AMD is also supposed to release Zen. I believe that will be a sizable step up from current FX and APU chips. We won't know for sure until review samples go out. Even with Zen, it probably won't be a game changer either, but just bring AMD performance more in line with what is available from Intel. Hopefully Zen will close the performance gap, but I doubt it will surpass Intel by leaps and bounds. It will also be a higher price than current AMD offerings for sure.

You certainly wouldn't be foolish to build an Intel machine now. I also wouldn't say that buying AMD is bad right now either given how low their prices are. I think the only bad choice would be to build a more expensive Intel machine now if you were a huge AMD fan and knew you were going to build a Zen based machine when it came out. If you are definitely full in on Zen regardless of what it is, maybe save some dollars and build a cheaper AMD 860K system now. Otherwise, nothing is really a bad choice right now.
Ok thanks we must have been typing at the same time. I have absolutely no experience with the 860K's can you shed some light there for me? How would a 6300/6350 fit in here in the scheme of things, I think the 6300's are like $90-$99 right now......?
 

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The 860k is a newer architecture and a newer platform.. FM2+. There are some board features that just come standard that didn't originally come on the AM3 (FX) board. Things like pcie gen 3, all sata ports are 6GB/s and USB 3.0. Most of the newer AM3 boards have those things now.

Comparing the 860k to the FX 8320, core to core comparison the 860k is slightly faster... slightly. Which means for gaming. the 860k would theoretically perform better in single core, dual core, and quad core optimized games. I call it comparable because I'm sure the difference in slight and can easily be made up with overclocking. So, for a pure gaming machine, the $70 860k is a really good choice. For a multipurpose machine, the bit more cash for an FX 8320 makes more sense. My machine doubles as a media server, so I wanted the extra cores for trans-coding video. The question really is, "Do you need the extra cores?" If so, get the FX CPU. If not, then save some cash and get the 860k.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Depauville Kid View Post

The 860k is a newer architecture and a newer platform.. FM2+. There are some board features that just come standard that didn't originally come on the AM3 (FX) board. Things like pcie gen 3, all sata ports are 6GB/s and USB 3.0. Most of the newer AM3 boards have those things now.

Comparing the 860k to the FX 8320, core to core comparison the 860k is slightly faster... slightly. Which means for gaming. the 860k would theoretically perform better in single core, dual core, and quad core optimized games. I call it comparable because I'm sure the difference in slight and can easily be made up with overclocking. So, for a pure gaming machine, the $70 860k is a really good choice. For a multipurpose machine, the bit more cash for an FX 8320 makes more sense. My machine doubles as a media server, so I wanted the extra cores for trans-coding video. The question really is, "Do you need the extra cores?" If so, get the FX CPU. If not, then save some cash and get the 860k.
Thank you very much.

Incoming PM , don't want to derail the thread but have a question.
 

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Even when zen comes out. you'l probally want to wait a month or so. 9series cpu was sky high in prices and dropped to near 8350 prices after a month or few months.

CPU having more ghz and cores will allow you to have more web broweres and programs running at the same time.
Where as a slower cpu will have 100% cpu usage with a llot of web browerses oppended and you'll start to lag.

Where as you have lower than 90% cpu and memory usage then you will have same performance between a 8Core and a single core cpu

You can expriement your self by disabling cores. or have same HDD and GPU moving it to a slower cpu with less ram or same ram.
 

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Here are my 2 eurocents.

As things are now, in the AMD camp, the most longlasting solution on a budget, is go FX 8 core. Since there is no new CPU coming on that socket, it's "go big or go home". The FM2 socket gives some very good bang for buck solutions (860K) and PCIE 3.0, but if heavier games come out, the 4 cores will fall behind the FX. The PCI 2.0 AFAIK isn't a problem yet, even for high end cards. USB3 and SATA 3 exist on AM3+ motherboards too, the difference is that USB3 isn't native, but from a 3rd party (big deal!). There are even a few motherboards with USB 3.1 and M2.

But the problem with hardware is this. There is always a new standard coming out. This doesn't end. In 1 year from now there could be USB 3.2 or SATA 3.1. One must stop and reflect on what his needs are or this never ends. All those who rushed to buy DDR4 for example, will find themselves in 1 year or 2 with the equivalent of DDR3 1333Mhz high latency of today. Nobody wants them. If anything, the AM3+ is as mature as it gets.

So: Get the cheapest FX 8 core you can get and overclock it to 4.4Ghz or more. The FX8300, 8310, 8320E are often found in USA very cheaply and are low leakage parts and so usually they overclock to 4.5 at lower volts than 8320 or 8350. Of course some then have problem going higher with low voltage, but 4.5 should be plenty.

Best budget motherboard that goes to 4.4 without problems:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128651

^ The BIOS is ugly and unfriendly, but it's a good motherboard and CPU temps stay low.

You want motherboard with latest bells and whistles? (USB 3.1 and M2?)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128887&cm_re=Gigabyte_970_Gaming-_-13-128-887-_-Product

^ Nobody has bought it yet in this forum, but if you can't find better deal on the UD3P, at this point i 'd get this one.

Here's just a screenshot from my task manager:



^ Most of these, are Chrome tabs. Everytime you load a new tab, these threads become active. So the more threads the CPU can run, the better.

Plus, you think the 8 core is "too much" or "too hot"? You can go to BIOS and disable 2 cores and you get automatically a 6 core.
You think some years down the road to change everything? If you get the 95W FX 8 cores, you can drop them back to stock clock (95W) and use them for any non demanding use (HTPC, guests PC, office PC etc).

For the record, Battlefield 4 is one of the few games that can spawn 8 threads in an 8 core CPU. For now, BF4 is a minotiry. But for such games, an FX 8 core will always perform better than any other AMD CPU. The unfortunate thing with BF4, is that it's not heavy enough. With AMD, the heavier the game and the more cores used, the better. Intels perform so well, because you have dual core and it's working at 100% load. The FX 8 core, in most games works at 50% capacity.

Last but not least, the FX 8 core, allows for flexibility. Suppose that in the future you get into the mental trap of recording your games and upload them to youtube, like some gamers do. The more cores help a lot in that (it's x264 encoding).

P.S.: I have both FX6300 and FX8320 and FX8300. Even for simple desktop operation, the FX8320 feels faster than the FX6300, because there are always some background tasks that run and eat threads, so the more cores the better.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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Originally Posted by Undervolter View Post

Here are my 2 eurocents.

As things are now, in the AMD camp, the most longlasting solution on a budget, is go FX 8 core. Since there is no new CPU coming on that socket, it's "go big or go home". The FM2 socket gives some very good bang for buck solutions (860K) and PCIE 3.0, but if heavier games come out, the 4 cores will fall behind the FX. The PCI 2.0 AFAIK isn't a problem yet, even for high end cards. USB3 and SATA 3 exist on AM3+ motherboards too, the difference is that USB3 isn't native, but from a 3rd party (big deal!). There are even a few motherboards with USB 3.1 and M2.

But the problem with hardware is this. There is always a new standard coming out. This doesn't end. In 1 year from now there could be USB 3.2 or SATA 3.1. One must stop and reflect on what his needs are or this never ends. All those who rushed to buy DDR4 for example, will find themselves in 1 year or 2 with the equivalent of DDR3 1333Mhz high latency of today. Nobody wants them. If anything, the AM3+ is as mature as it gets.

So: Get the cheapest FX 8 core you can get and overclock it to 4.4Ghz or more. The FX8300, 8310, 8320E are often found in USA very cheaply and are low leakage parts and so usually they overclock to 4.5 at lower volts than 8320 or 8350. Of course some then have problem going higher with low voltage, but 4.5 should be plenty.

Best budget motherboard that goes to 4.4 without problems:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128651

^ The BIOS is ugly and unfriendly, but it's a good motherboard and CPU temps stay low.

You want motherboard with latest bells and whistles? (USB 3.1 and M2?)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128887&cm_re=Gigabyte_970_Gaming-_-13-128-887-_-Product

^ Nobody has bought it yet in this forum, but if you can't find better deal on the UD3P, at this point i 'd get this one.

Here's just a screenshot from my task manager:



^ Most of these, are Chrome tabs. Everytime you load a new tab, these threads become active. So the more threads the CPU can run, the better.

Plus, you think the 8 core is "too much" or "too hot"? You can go to BIOS and disable 2 cores and you get automatically a 6 core.
You think some years down the road to change everything? If you get the 95W FX 8 cores, you can drop them back to stock clock (95W) and use them for any non demanding use (HTPC, guests PC, office PC etc).

For the record, Battlefield 4 is one of the few games that can spawn 8 threads in an 8 core CPU. For now, BF4 is a minotiry. But for such games, an FX 8 core will always perform better than any other AMD CPU. The unfortunate thing with BF4, is that it's not heavy enough. With AMD, the heavier the game and the more cores used, the better. Intels perform so well, because you have dual core and it's working at 100% load. The FX 8 core, in most games works at 50% capacity.

Last but not least, the FX 8 core, allows for flexibility. Suppose that in the future you get into the mental trap of recording your games and upload them to youtube, like some gamers do. The more cores help a lot in that (it's x264 encoding).

P.S.: I have both FX6300 and FX8320 and FX8300. Even for simple desktop operation, the FX8320 feels faster than the FX6300, because there are always some background tasks that run and eat threads, so the more cores the better.
Thank you so much for such a detailed reply. What about the 6300/6350? No one seems to touch on these, is the $99 USD 6300 worth it?
 

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Originally Posted by Evil-Mobo View Post

Thank you so much for such a detailed reply. What about the 6300/6350? No one seems to touch on these, is the $99 USD 6300 worth it?
The answer is hidden in my previous post, but i will be more explicit:

1) The FX6350 is just a factory overclocked FX6300. So, with a simple overclock, any FX6300 can become 6350. So why give extra $ to buy that?
2) In USA, from i 've seen, last week in TigerDirect i think, people were saying that you could find FX8300 for 90$. Even if you can't find such deal anymore at this time, if you don't have an absolute budget costrain, i think it's worth to give 20$ more to get an FX83xx. The cheaper you find. Because the 2 more cores can come in handy. Myself, i have felt a snappier enviroment even on the desktop when i passed from the 6300 to the 8320.
3) You can transform the 83xx into 6300 anytime (you just go to BIOS and disable 2 cores), but you can't transform the 6300 into an 8 core.
4) There's nothing wrong with the 6300 per se even game wise, since most games currently use 4 cores. BUT, gamers here say that with the coming of dx12 this may change and even in current games, the FX8 core usually scores better than the FX 6 core, even if the difference isn't huge.

EDIT: I have bought the 6300 at first, because i was scared from the initial accounts from FX 8 core users, that the CPU was too hot. This may have been true back in the FX launch day that the CPUs weren't optmized. Today, if you get any of the 95W FX8 cores, you are guaranteed a CPU that will run at very reasonable temperatures up to 4Ghz, even with medium coolers. If i could go back in time, i wouldn't have bought the 6300 and i would have bought another 8 core again. Well, indirectly i did that. I bought an 8300 in November which i keep for spare for now. At some point in the future i will use it... The amazing thing with the FX83xx is that you can literally pound the CPU with anything you have and it won't budge. I have even played Skyrim heavily modded while doing x264 encode from Blue Ray to mkv and the CPU wouldn't sweat (i have permanently set the x264 program to run in lower priority and so the game isn't impacted visibly either).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I looked on tiger direct today and did not see that sale lol. But I see more the point you make now, sorry for not catching it before.
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Originally Posted by Evil-Mobo View Post

I looked on tiger direct today and did not see that sale lol. But I see more the point you make now, sorry for not catching it before.
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Yeah, unfortunately i think it was during the Xmas-New Year offers... The point is, overclocking the FX is very easy. The FX is the first CPU that i ever used overclocked on daily basis, even though i am an undervolter (i run 4Ghz undervolted). So it doesn't matter which model you find, just get the cheapest and overclock it. They all go at least to 4.5Ghz. It's just that not all motherboards can go to such clocks without problems (you need at least 6+2 phase motherboard).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
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Originally Posted by Undervolter View Post

Yeah, unfortunately i think it was during the Xmas-New Year offers... The point is, overclocking the FX is very easy. The FX is the first CPU that i ever used overclocked on daily basis, even though i am an undervolter (i run 4Ghz undervolted). So it doesn't matter which model you find, just get the cheapest and overclock it. They all go at least to 4.5Ghz. It's just that not all motherboards can go to such clocks without problems (you need at least 6+2 phase motherboard).
Thanks for all the help
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