AM3 or Core 2 Duo Gaming rig

draekin13

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Alright so I am going to build a new machine for my wife. Main thing for her is World of Warcraft. Will be running WoW, Ventrillo, quite possibly pandora and sometimes another Firefox browser or 2 open. The tower she has now is a 939 single core with 1.5GB mem and a 8600GT video card. Nothing amazing now days. My wife really likes the Lian Li case the computer is in so will be keeping that. I have already ordered EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP for my video card. There are two builds I'm looking at are an AM3 the other is a Core 2. Just need some advice as its been a while since I have built a machine. Budget wise I am looking $750 or less minus a video card and case. I would also like it to last 3+ years like the last one.

Both builds I have the following parts

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive $70

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit $99

Arctic Silver AA-1.75G Thermal Compound $4 Think I may have some around still... Not sure if it goes bad over time.

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC $100

Not sure if I need the PSU or not. The one in the old tower is Antec Neo Power 500 500W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply.



AM3 Build

ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 DDR3 AMD 790GX ATX AMD Motherboard $140

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor $245

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit $60

Total $753.93 with a rebate and no combo deals selected from newegg


Core 2

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor $168

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard $135

Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel $56

Total $667.92 Again rebates and no combos selected


Any help or suggestions you can give would be awesome.



 

BoBzzz

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If all you're going to be playing is WoW you'll be very happy with the C2D. Get a decent cooler and overclock it to ~3.6 and you'll be set + you can spend some of the money you saved on a second monitor (great for WoW) or simply a better GPU.
 
Well if you are looking at pure gaming rig that could also perform simple tasks like browsing, watching movies, copying, etc, then get the Core2...
Get a system like this and save more...
E8500 - Little higher clock and has better multiplier than the E8400
Mobo - save some money there going with a single pcie slot as you cannot SLI on P45 mobo...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128372
RAM - Comparatively cheap but is highly rated...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231209

Get this Hdd...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319

And the PSU that you have is suffice for that setup...For now it is not required to get a new PSU...

But if you are planning for a overall better performing setup(To do video editing, converting, multitasking, gaming, etc...) then the AM3 is good...

P II X4 955 + AM3 mobo...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.186486

RAM - same

So finally it is upto to you as you would know what you want and what you would be using the PC for...
 


That Corsair 650w psu is over kill for that build...a decent 550w is more than sufficient. OCZ and Corsair both have quality 550w psu's for cheap. This one down below is modular and makes for a cleaner build.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341022 $74.99 ($49.99 after $25.00 Mail-In Rebate)
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Seeing how your not going to go with Crossfire, try this mobo down below. It's identical to the one in your Intel build except that it has only one PCI-E slot and it's cheaper.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128359 $114.99 ($99.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
2 oz copper PCB + Easy Tune 6 for OC(

Now pair up that mobo with this cpu and RAM down below....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115131 $219.99 Free Shipping*
Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231219 $44.99
G.SKILL HK 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
 

xthekidx

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I think I would get a Phenom II 720BE, it performs admirably in gaming and is much cheaper than the comparable Intel Duals, and has an extra core to help multitask and play multithreaded games which will become more prevalent in the coming years.
 

curryj02

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I definately second xthekidx on the Phenom II 720BE idea. Have a look at the benchies/review at either tom's or anandtech. When you factor in the price savings ($145 for the 720 and $168 for the e8400) the 720 comes out on top. Also you could save some more money on getting a cheaper motherboard, like a 780g instead of the more expensive p45.
 

downix

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Third on the Phenom II 720BE. I ultimately chose it after realizing that my game (City of Heroes) only can multi-thread to two cores anyways, so three cores means one core for OS tasks, two for game, ideal for my situation.
 

eoinycroiny

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iv got a dual core E5200 which is easily over clocked and runs like a dream but this will shorten its life span. iv never used amd proccesors but hear they are very good so not sure about which one you should go for but i run multiple browsers while downloading and playing games at the same time and the E5200 is great. it only cost me €89 not sure in $ but its the cheapest intel chip i could find. have a look at my system specs, i built it for about €650, only thing not new is monitor and dvd drives. havnt played WoW on it but im sure it would run nicely as everything else run beutiful on maxed out graphics settings

if you put a quad core in it you wont need to overclock, and it hopefully would be good for 3-4 years maybe more. A little overkill on the PSU is advisable since they lose wattage over time, up to 30% apparently and get a MB that can take at least 8g of ram and its got pcix16 2.0. basically if games get more demanding quickly you will be able to increase ram and throw a quad in and it should be able to keep up with games for 5-6 years id imagine. also its a good idea to have a good cpu fan and 2 120mm case fans, one sucking in cold air at the bottom and one trowing it out the top back with the PSU + a fan on your hard drive and heatsinks or fans on ram. keeping your system cool will increase its lifetime and will help keep it stable under strain.
 

Helloworld_98

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fourth on the 720, and you can save even more if you get an am2+ motherboard.

and you could try for the fourth core and the oc to 3ghz with the stock cooler.

might help also if you get a 2nd gen stepping version.
 

draekin13

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Ok so I think I'm going to go with the Core 2. So here is what I'm looking at now.

Case
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $120

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 - Retail $270 w/Vista

Mobo
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $99

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM $75

Memory
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B - Retail $50

Cooler
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail $40

Total $679.91

Is the thermal compound the cooler comes with worth using or do I still need to get artic silver? Also will it fit ok in the Antec 900?
 


Nice looking build. :)
 
I don't have a preference between Intel and AMD, but I'm going to have to add a fifth vote for the Phenom II 720. The benchmarks show the E8400 and 720 perform almost identically in games and the third core helps out in multi-threaded applications.
 

draekin13

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Ok so since so many are suggesting to look at the 720 I'm doing that now. With it pulling more watts will I need to buy a new power supply as my old one is a 500w or will that still work for the AM3? Also should I use the same AM3 Mobo and ram or look at getting an AM2 and getting DDR2 for a little savings? Like I said before I would like this to last 3-4 years like the last one I built.
 

Helloworld_98

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it doesn't really pull more watts since some intel chips actually draw a bit more power than said on the box and intel chipsets use a bit more energy than amd ones.

what make is the PSU?

and am3 is not worth it whatsoever at this time, unless your using ddr3-1800 ram +. otherwise you will see little difference from 1150mhz ddr2.
 

xthekidx

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How old is the PSU? If you have been using it for a few years, then regardless of whether you go AMD or Intel I think I would replace it since you got the GTX 260. The GPU is almost always the determining factor in the system on the PSU, it will draw more power than the processor. At $80 after rebate, that 650tx is a pretty good deal.
 

draekin13

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draekin13

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I was looking at that ram. Would there be a problem with using that ram with the XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V? Great price if it will work

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996599 $65 with $10 MIR

Myself as well as several of my friends have used mushkin and never had a problem.
 

xthekidx

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Mushkin is excellent ram too. I think that the S1283 would interfere with the heatsinks though, so if you are getting that cooler get the standard sized ram heatsinks. Those mushkins would probably do well, as would these, you get to decide how much you wanna spend :p:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231241
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227419
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145215

Don't get the DK version of that Heatsink, just get the HDT-S1283. The DK comes with an intel backplate and has a nickel coating (which actually makes it cool less than the original) so for an AMD build its a waste of money.
 

draekin13

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Sounds dumb but I really like the black look of the DK one haha. Looks are important when your a nerd like me.

Could I use the ram in the outside set of memory slots and be ok? Don't really think for the usage of the machine that she will need more than 4GB of ram anytime soon.

One more edit... Do I need to get some Arctic silver while I'm at it? Found my Arctic Sliver scratch that question.
 

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