$500: AMD vs. Intel?

kladal

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I am building a gaming computer in the $500 range that a friend would like to play games on. Fortunately, he has a small 15.4" LCD that won't require super high-end video cards. We will also be scavenging some other components (optical drives, hard drive, XP 64-bit, etc.) from his old system.

What are your opinions on the AMD/Intel mix below? Again, we are looking for a respectable gaming computer that can handle Crysis, CoD5, etc.

---AMD---

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail 39.99

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail 49.99

ASRock A780GMH/128M AM2+/AM3 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail 71.99

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Retail 184.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail 46.99

MSI R4850-2D512-OC Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail 114.99

Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM 41.99

GRAND TOTAL: $551


---Intel---

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail 39.99

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail 49.99

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail 52.99

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail 184.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail 46.99

MSI R4850-2D512-OC Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail 114.99

Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM 41.99

GRAND TOTAL: $532


I understand that the processing cores between the Intel listed and the AMD are worlds apart but I have heard quite a bit about how in the gaming world AMD has disappointed the market. I tried to select a respectable PSU and good MOBO. The tower is very basic with great reviews.

Any thoughts on the MSI video card?

Thank you.
 
You made a couple great lists there, but at that price point I would go a different route, to get more performance.

AMD X3 720BE -145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103649&Tpk=X3%20720
Whoa... they raised the price... it's popular.

You also need to use 1066 memory with a PII build:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227289
If you like rebates :p The AMD PIIs make better use of 1066 memory than Intel, and it's a reasonable upgrade as long as you don't pay too much.

4770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102835
Why? So you can get a second later :)

Get a nice 790GX board now:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157156

And then a bit more PSU to support the crossfire setup:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341019

With the above build you really haven't sacrificed much performance (with a tiny monitor) but you have a great platform to build on. Add a monitor, add another GPU, do a little overclocking, and you suddenly have a huge upgrade without replacing most of your parts.

 

curryj02

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I agree with Proximon's comments.
Phenom II 720BE FTW...
a 4770 will save you dosh and be basically as good as a 4850 (and better in the long run).
the 790GX i would only recommend if you plan to overclock though...
 

eagles453809

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go for the intel system BUT...instead of that e8500 (although i have one and love it), go with something like an e5200 or an e4500...save money there and get a radeon 4870
 
G

Guest

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Go with Proximon's suggestions.

The 720BE has three cores so when it comes to movie editting or a program that uses multiple cores, the 720BE will 99.99% of the time triumph over the e8400. Gaming wise, most games are dependant on the video card.
 
Both of your lists were well thought out and great performance bang for the buck. I think the Proximons suggestions are great, especially in long term upgradeability. Whatever way you go it's a good setup.
 

kladal

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Thanks - I like your triple core suggestion quite a bit. I did a little research on the new 40nm card you mentioned. I saw that I can get it for 90 after MIR. However, the card I mentioned can be purchased for 95 after MIR and I think it performs quite a bit better. Any other reason why you chose this one over mine? Perhaps to coincide with future CF with the current PSU?

Thanks again.
 
Yes the 4770 pulls less juice and so needs less PSU... but then that 700W PSU I linked would run the 4850 in CF no problem as well.

The 4770 is brand new, so it might come down a bit more by the time you get a second.

Really as long as the case is adequately cooled get whatever card you can afford for it. Any card up to the 48701GB or GTX 260 core 216 is a great buy.
 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.186959&cm_sp=Subcat_Processors-Desktops-_-AMD/042909-_-http%3a%2f%2fpromotions.newegg.com%2fAMD%2f042909%2f478x88.jpg

Phenom 2 940 and 790GX mobo for $229.

Nice deal! Just a single PCI-E slot though.