Looking for CPU/MOBO advice.

May 23, 2010 at 19:01:20
Specs: Windows 7
One of the regulars here, jam, gave me some advice on a very cost-effective system, for my budget. A GA-EP45-UD3L (775) and a Intel E5300 2.6 Ghz. Which is under $145, at Newegg, and more than adequate for my needs.

OK so I did some research, which is probably just dangerous since I am a software guy working in a vacuum... you guys know this stuff inside/out so I don't want to waste a lot of bandwidth going into the rationale (just fire away if I am off the rails):

If I go with a P45, it would make sense to spend a little more and get a GA-EP45T-USB3P ($109 after rebate at Fry's) w/Intel E7400 2.8 Ghz ($125 at NewEgg) for $235.

If I go P55, the GA-P55-USB3 ($116 at NewEgg) wIntel i3-530 2.93 Ghz ($119 at NewEgg) for $235.

... same price! But I really don't know which is better, I would just assume the P55 system.

I can't even spell AMD, so please spec me an Intel killing - AMD mobo/CPU combo for under $250. I don't care what brand... stability and reliability (build it and forget), along with full size ATX and 7.1 surround (optical SPDIF and HDMI) are my main objectives.


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#1
May 23, 2010 at 20:51:16
I found a magazine "Build The Perfect PC" at the store. The budget system is a $647 (closer to $635 now) AMD based, M-ATX rig, that is really budget conscious.

They spec'd an AMD Athlon II X4-620 and a GA-MA74GM-S2 mobo. They installed a Radeon HD 5770 and bench marked 97 fps for Unreal Tournament 3.

I am *not* building a dedicated gamer (which would make AMD a shoe-in) and I prefer a full size ATX, with the 7.1 surround sound and I/O connections of the P45/55 mobos. I looked at Newegg, now that I know just enough to hurt myself:

The AMD Phenom II X4 is $160...
ASUS M4A785TD-V ($100)
or
Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H ($140)

So, between $260 and $300, so is the Phenom II an unfair comparison to an Intel i3-530? That is would it be closer to apples-apples with an AMD Athlon II X4? That would save about $60 and put the AMD/mobo combo in the $200 - $240 range.

Thanks for your time and patience...


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#2
May 23, 2010 at 20:51:46
Here's a budget motherboard/i3 combination.

http://www.frys.com/product/6149409...

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#3
May 23, 2010 at 20:53:32
Hey Skip, thanks but none available in CA. Otherwise a killer deal for M-ATX and 5.1 audio... a $90 mobo.

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#4
May 23, 2010 at 20:55:48
Yeah, just saw that. Good ol' Fry's...

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#5
May 23, 2010 at 20:59:14
What about the AMD Phenom II X4 and Athlon II X4 comparison with the Intel i3-530? Which AMD is closer in class? TIA

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#6
May 23, 2010 at 20:59:20
They got it in Vegas; you have a friend in Las Vegas?

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#7
May 23, 2010 at 21:04:14
I have cousin who works at the Orleans. I'll give up the ATX form factor and 7.1, because that looks like a great mobo.

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#8
May 23, 2010 at 21:23:00
My buddy deals at the Palms and terrorizes Fry's whenever he gets the chance.

Note that an i3 is a dual core processor, not a quad core like the i5/i7 or the X4 AMD chips you mentioned. Still a dandy little processor though.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

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