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Which is the better choice for me?

Associate
Joined
13 Nov 2011
Posts
352
Location
Lincoln
Hi everyone,

So, I've been planning a new build for a rather long time now. But I can't decide what I want to do in regards to my processor and motherboard selection.

Simply put, Intel or AMD?

Firstly, here is what I'll be using it for:

Light gaming (Minecraft & rFactor mostly, hardly that intensive)
Light video rendering (About 10-30 minutes of video at a time)
Recording and production of music (Most important thing I need the machine for)
General home use (Office applications, web browsing, etc.)

That's about it I think, can't really figure out if there's anything else I use my current machine for.

Currently, I'm running an AMD Athlon II X2 215, and a pretty basic motherboard, I only have x1 PCI slots, so it's pretty difficult to upgrade with new stuff. I've no graphics and no sound card, so it's not ideal.

I'm reasonably satisfied with the performance I've had from the Athlon, but while I'm no enthusiast PC user, a little bit more performance would be appreciated. For example, it currently takes about an hour to render 15 minutes of video, if I could at least half that it'd be great. I should mention, overclocking isn't necessary for me at the moment as far as I'm concerned, but if the CPU will permit it, it'd be nice in the future if required. So, is there any point my shelling out £160+ for an Intel i5, when for half the price I can get the Phenom II X4 Black Edition? Couple either of those with a decent, but useful motherboard and I'm set.

I just figure, the extra £80 saved from the CPU will be better spent in the graphics or more importantly, the sound department.

Makes sense to me at least, and I'm leaning towards the AMD option, especially if it'll decrease the amount I spend, meaning I can budget a lot better, rather than stretching right to the edge of what I can spend.

Any thoughts? And no doubt it's been asked a million times, but I'm stuck here.

Cheers,

- Anthony.
 
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Associate
Joined
13 Nov 2011
Posts
352
Location
Lincoln
I'm looking at spending no more than £700 really. That includes buying a keyboard, mouse, & monitor. However, those I'll likely get second hand. Can't take the ones I have with me when I move next year as they're not mine to keep.

Granted it's not the best budget, hence why I looked at the AMD chip. Performance wise, pretty much anything is a step up from what I have now, but the lower the cost the better.
 
Associate
Joined
14 Feb 2012
Posts
455
For light gaming I don't think it would matter too much, I've been having problems with older games on my AMD and with Age of Empires 3. Think next time around I'd go for an Intel. You get more cores for your money with AMD though.
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Mar 2010
Posts
11,914
Location
5 degrees starboard
YOUR BASKET
1 x Iiyama Prolite X2377HDS 23" Premium IPS Panel Widescreen LED Monitor - Black £131.99
1 x AMD A10-5800K Black Edition 3.80GHz (Socket FM2) APU Trinity Quad Core Processor (AD580KWOHJBOX) £95.99
1 x SanDisk Extreme SSD 120GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive - (SDSSDX-120G-G25) £79.99
1 x Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache - OEM (ST2000DM001) £74.99
1 x Gigabyte F2A75-D3H AMD A75 Chipset (Socket FM2) DDR3 ATX Motherboard £74.99
1 x Antec High Current Gamer M 520W "80+ Bronze" Modular Power Supply £63.98
1 x **B Grade** Corsair Carbide 300R Mid Tower Case - Black £37.19
1 x Patriot Intel Extreme Masters 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-17000C11 2133MHz Dual Channel Kit (PVI38G213C1K) £35.99
1 x Samsung SH-224BB/BEBE 24x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM £14.99
Total : £625.09 (includes shipping : £12.50).



Build using AMD Trinity quad core includes 23" IPS monitor 8GB 2133MHz ram, 120GB SSD 2TB storage.

You could of course swap the mobo and CPU for Intel alternatives, There is a better IGP in the AMD (HD 7660) so you probably don't need a graphics card.

YOUR BASKET
1 x Asus Xonar D2X 7.1 PCI-E Sound Card £81.98
Total : £91.88 (includes shipping : £8.25).

 
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Associate
Joined
13 Nov 2011
Posts
352
Location
Lincoln
Thanks for those suggestions, seems I have some better options than a 3 year old CPU.

However, I have a quick question.

Would I be better off holding on another month or two, increase the budget (grab some stuff in the January sales? (Hopefully!)) and go with an Ivybridge set up instead?

It's what I'd rather have, and I'm in no rush for an upgrade anyway.

Thoughts?
 
Soldato
Joined
10 Oct 2012
Posts
4,088
While Intel has the upper hand vs AMD CPUs in big game titles like Battlefield I would seriously think about the above AMD Build. AMD does pretty well when doing highly threaded work which video editing is.

Your gaming need doesn't need an Intel to power it. I would depending on how serious you are with your music development think about a proper sound card like the asus xonar series and ofcourse speakers/headphones to go with that if you don't have some proper ones already.
 
Associate
Joined
13 Nov 2011
Posts
352
Location
Lincoln
Forgive the poor expression, but it doesn't half mess your head up this stuff!

Thanks for the information, turns out I've got plenty to think about.

Hopefully, should be sorted by the end of January.
 
Associate
Joined
24 Sep 2012
Posts
1,670
Location
edinburgh
For music production go intel x79 if possible. Chance to upgrade to more cores in the future and some nice DAW performances to boot. Some of these prices are from the sale

Asus P9X79 - 229GBP

Intel Core i7-3820 3.60GHz - 220 GBP

EVGA GeForce GTX 650 - 90GBP

PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III Series 600W '80 Plus Bronze' Modular PSU - 70GBP

Phanteks PH-TC14PE CPU Cooler - Silver - 67GBP

BitFenix Merc Alpha Gaming Case - 30GBP (Maybe wanna change this)

TeamGroup Elite 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C11 - 28GBP

Total 727GBP
 
Associate
Joined
13 Nov 2011
Posts
352
Location
Lincoln
Ahh, I hadn't considered the 2011 socket.

A little more pricey, but if it's worth it, I could certainly wait and grow the budget.
 
Associate
Joined
24 Sep 2012
Posts
1,670
Location
edinburgh
I would say it's worth it. Little more cache (L3 2mb i think) on the 3820 over the 2600k which is useful in audio. Plus IB-E for the future... A good buy for a long term workstation i think. Just make sure you get an asus mobo for the platform and you're laughing.
 
Associate
Joined
13 Nov 2011
Posts
352
Location
Lincoln
Well, it's definitely another option so I'll keep it in mind.

Won't be buying anything until after Christmas anyway so I've plenty of time to discover, and weigh up my options.

Thanks!

- Anthony.
 
Associate
Joined
29 Dec 2004
Posts
421
Location
Fife, Scotland
The only thing you list that one of the new AMD Trinity processors (A8 I'd suggest) might not do well is the music, but since you don't say what software you use it's hard to comment.

I would NOT buy second-hand mice, keyboards and screens unless I was very sure about what I was getting. For me since they are the way I interact with a PC they are crucial to a good experience. For £560 you can build an A8 Trinity with an A75 chipset motherboard (the reviews don't seem to suggest much improvement for an A10 / A85 setup) with plenty of memory (8GB), a reasonable case, a good big HDD and a new SATA ODD burner plus Win7 and Office. That should leave plenty for a good screen (prices on IPS panels have plummeted), mouse & keyboard.

The CPU/mobo combination offers up to three screens at the same time - HDMI, DVI and VGA and the GPU will be more than enough for the use you describe. Depending on the software you are using for music & video editing the performance there should be more than adequate.

OS & Office software aren't mentioned anywhere I can spot above - I've included them in my list below. If you don't need them then you can get a decent PC maybe with a very good case and a very good screen etc. for your £700.

My own choices from OcUK would be:

£80 CPU http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP-328-AM&groupid=701&catid=1967&subcat=
£60 Mobo http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-421-GI&groupid=701&catid=1903&subcat=2399
£40 RAM http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-326-CS&groupid=701&catid=8&subcat=1390
£68 HDD http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-082-SA&groupid=1657&catid=1660&subcat=1665
£20 DVD burner - take your pick of whatever is on offer, it will be less than £20
£70 Power supply - see suggestions above
£50 Case - take your pick, the mobo is mATX so you have a wide choice
£80 Win7x64 http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=SW-127-MS&groupid=33&catid=1555&subcat=
£92 Office http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=SW-133-MS&groupid=33&catid=124&subcat=

Total is £560 which leaves £140 for monitor, mouse & keyboard.

I haven't included a cooler as I believe the A8 comes with one. The mobo is Gigabyte as I was very impressed with the one I built earlier this year, and it's an mATX as for most of us I reckon there are more than enough expansion slots, and you get a bigger choice of case.

Mouse & keyboard are a very personal thing in my experience, but for a monitor we have a BenQ that is a good basic monitor, similar to this:

£108 (offer) http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MO-060-BQ&groupid=17&catid=949&subcat=
 
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Associate
Joined
13 Nov 2011
Posts
352
Location
Lincoln
Thanks for the reply, I see what you mean regarding 2nd hand equipment. Makes a lot of sense now that I think about it.

If its of any use now, and I can't for the life of my think why I didn't mention it before, the software I use consists of mainly Pro Tools and Sibelius from Avid, and I sometimes dabble in Cubase.

Should that effect anything?

- Anthony.
 
Soldato
Joined
9 Nov 2009
Posts
22,215
Location
Planet Earth
BTW,cats five there is these two new Gigabyte A85X motherboards for around £60:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-427-GI&groupid=701&catid=1903&subcat=2399

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-426-GI&groupid=701&catid=1903&subcat=2399

They look great for the price.

Regarding the latest AMD CPUs,there seems to be lack of information on how well they can run audio software.

I suspect,Intel would be a safer choice in this case.

You will be able to save some money buy using the Windows 8 upgrade offer for example and upgrading from one of the free preview versions.

OTH,you would need to see whether the software you are using is fully supported under Windows 8,as are any audio cards you hope to use too.

Edit!!

Regarding monitors,I would look at the LG IPS224V which is around £100 to £110 and appears to use a 6 bit AH-IPS panel.
 
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Associate
Joined
13 Nov 2011
Posts
352
Location
Lincoln
Ahh, I've already got a Windows 7 Ultimate disc, so as far as OS goes I'm set.

Thanks for that extra bit of info regarding a monitor.

- Anthony.
 
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