AMD or Intel (same old story)


Jul 24, 2009
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Fall (september - october)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: web development & design, programming, video encoding, web surfing (future possibilities: video editing & the rarely odd game)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse; Keyboard, DVD-RW drive


PARTS PREFERENCES: Nothing specific



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This will be my first custom build from scratch. However, I have replaced almost every part in a PC just never all at once. I am not actually going to order parts until fall. So even though things can easily change within a couple of months, I'm technically just trying to get a feel for what is a good option for me. I have setup some configuration (AMD & Intel).

General Components:

Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit $65.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache $99.99

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel $50.99

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V $87.99

SAPPHIRE 100274L Radeon HD 4350 1GB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 $50.99

Monitor not selected but $150 put aside


AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 $199.00

MSI 770-C45 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard $91.99


Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail $219.99

ASUS P5Q SE PLUS LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard $129.99

AMD Cost: 796.94 (excluding taxes & shipping)
Intel Cost: 855.93 (excluding taxes & shipping)

With the pieces I've selected the difference in price is not significant. My concern first is which is the better CPU? Am I going to notice a difference if the AMD chip is not as fast?

Also, I believe I've read that DDR3 performance can only be really seen with triple channel that is only possible with the I7 processors? Is it worth getting DDR3 then? This is my biggest concern. Just one other thought, if I chose a 6 gig kit would 2 of the dimms still run in dual channel?

I welcome all opinions and thank you in advance for taking the time to respond.
I would suggest comboing the mobo and AMD processor you are looking at
that saves you enough to upgrade to 8GB of RAM which may be helpful depending on what you are using for your web development, if you are just using dreamweaver you arent going to notice much of a difference but if you use photoshop and flash fairly often then you will get a benefit from it.

Triple channel DDR3 stands out over dual channel DDR3 because it cheats and adds a third channel increasing the bandwidth by another 50%. the performance difference between different speeds of ram is minimal as shown in todays article so it doesnt really matter if you go DDR2 or DDR3 but DDR3 will be getting cheaper in teh future.


If you are not buying until Sept. or Oct.... I recommend waiting to see how the Core i5 plays out and DX11, which both will be out in Sept/Oct. The Core i5 may replace the Q9400 in your price bracket and compete or exceed the AMD in price per performance. If you were to buy now, I would say go with hunter315's combo deal.