AMD the budget King?

Mike Marchetto

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Apr 15, 2013
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Okay, I'm putting together a budget build for a friend. It will be mostly for schoolwork and basic internet use. He insists that I can't convince him to play games on it (he'd rather use the PS3). So, MS Office, Youtube, and some very light photo editing with some consumer crapware will be the majority of the usage. I've priced out two nearly identical PCs for roughly $600. To include (hardware only):

A Samsung 120GB SSD (~$100 on sale)
1TB WD Blue ($75)
Rosewill Case and PSU combo (~$45 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147099)
212 plus CPU cooler and a case fan or 2 ($40)
DVD drive ($18)
8GB Ram (on sale ~$30)
Cheap graphics card: HD6570 (~$40 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102994)

SO, I can now either go AMD piledriver or intel i5.

AMD FX-8320 with ASRock
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157323

OR

Intel i5 3350P with ASRock
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157303

I think I know which one I would prefer, but I would love to hear the community's thoughts.

Thanks!
 

logainofhades

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I would go with the 8320. More cores, will multitask better, can be overclocked, and can still run IGP of motherboard if the GPU dies. The 3350p doesn't have the Intel HD graphics and has very limited OC capability. Honestly, if they are not gaming, you don't even need the HD6570 unless he plans to use more than 1 monitor.
 

bignastyid

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The PSU that come with that case is crap, when building a system never skimp on the power supply its the most important component and the most often overlooked. Its the only part in the system that can destroy the other hardware in the system. For the systems intended purpose 8gb of ram and either one of those cpus is overkill.
 

8350rocks

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Corsair Builder's series can be had for $30-40 and it's a good PSU.

FX8320 is a monster, if he's not gaming, you could cut back to the FX6300 and he would likely never know the difference! Plus, if he does decide to game, it's on par with midrange i5's for that as well...so he would still be fine.
 

Mike Marchetto

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Apr 15, 2013
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Thanks for all the advice fellas. I guess the common theme is that the CPU might be a little more than necessary. My thought is, the more capable a processor I put in there, the longer it will feel snappy. I would agree that no one needs a 8320 to watch youtube videos today, but I doubt this system will be updated anytime soon (perhaps 5 years).

So, what are the thoughts on downgrading the CPU to a 6300 or i3 and upgrading the PSU quality. On a side note, I've heard mostly positive things about the rosewill PSU. Has anyone had bad experience with it. I don't always believe that cheap = bad.
 

logainofhades

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Rosewill's bronze rated or better are not bad. Most of their bundled ones are not very good. Their capstone series are really nice.
 

8350rocks

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The FX6300 is more than capable, and it's an extremely good value for $130. It's unlocked...unlike i3's...so overclocking would be an option later...plus it's more cores, so if he runs anything heavily threaded he will be fine. If he gets into games, the FX6300 is equivalent to i5's in many games.
 

Mike Marchetto

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I like what you are saying 8350rocks. I know he wont overclock himself, and I am hesitant on giving him an overclocked rig in case of stability issues. Even low overclocks can have stability issues when a machine hasn't been cleaned for 4 years.

Any intel rebuttals? Intel's selection in the $130 range would be something like the i3-2130 which has its HD2000 integrated graphics. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the FX-6300 doesn't offer anything like that. Would that even make any difference with zero gaming?
 

sarinaide

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Casual Usage system

Bitfenix Prodigy $90
ASRock FM2A85X - ITX $100
A10 5700 - $119
Corsair CX430M $50
G.Skill Snipers 2x4GB DDR3 1866 $66
Optical Drive $17
1TB 64MB Seagate Barracuda $75
OCZ Vector 128GB SSD $150

Total: $668

* The Bitfenix Prodigy has a number of color schemes and versions price may vary.
** Does your friend need a SSD now, SSD prices have gone up a lot due to NAND and DRAM pricing going up, can be added later.
*** The APU has onboard graphics which is more than enough to play BF3, he may find the AMD steady stream technology and OpenCL useful.
 


In the $130 range there is the Ivy Bridge i3-3220 CPU which has the Intel HD 2500. The HD 2500 is good enough for every day usage, but if you plan on playing games, then the HD 2500 is not an ideal integrated graphics solution. Currently the best integrated graphics solution from Intel is the HD 4000. It is 2x more powerful than the HD 3000 in Sandy Bridge CPUs (and in turn is also more powerful than the HD 2500). However, the least expensive desktop CPU with the Intel HD 4000 is the i3-3225 which sells for $145.

The Intel HD 4000 is a little slower than the desktop Radeon HD 5550 while AMD's A10-5800k with the integrated Radeon HD 7660D is slightly faster than the Radeon HD 5570. As integrated solution they fall way short of what a gamer would want. Compared to the PS3 both AMD and Intel will look like dogs compared to the PS3 for games. AMD's FX series does not have integrated graphics so you will need to purchase a graphics card.
 

sarinaide

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I can do HD7660D benches just to show you how crafty this iGPU is, depending on the title the iGPU can max out textures with some AA and AF, or if it is a tessellation junkie like BF3 you can get 35-40FPS at 16x9 resolutions on lower presets. This is a vastly faster iGPU solution than Intel has and will have for a while yet but its not only limited to pure gaming. AMD does feature HSA support along with impressive OpenCL/GL support on the APU's, this leverages massive advantage when you want a iGPU that will not stutter around while browsing Google Chrome, but also have muscle in productivity. HD2500 and HD4000 are barely passable but enough for casual usage, but its hard to justify the added price that is more expensive than the top end APU.

The downside is x86 but again a similar arguement can be made that the APU gives copious amounts of x86, more than a casual user really needs.
 


I would forget the SSD it is more of a luxury item even in a non-budget PC build. It allows programs to load faster, that's about it. So Windows will load faster and games will launch faster, but it basically ends there. There is no increase in actual performance during the game except when the game needs to access data on the hard drive. This can cause the game to momentarily stutter. A SSD reduces this issue.

I would rather spend the an extra $10 for the A10-5800k for the Radeon HD 7660D, and I would also spend an extra $10 - $15 for 8GB of DDR3 2400 RAM since AMD's integrated graphics do benefit from faster RAM. However, the performance increase from DDR3 1866 to DDR 3 2400 is somewhat small depending on the game, 5% - 8%. However, with a weak gaming system to begin with, I suppose getting that extra little boost is worth the money.
 
In this situation, I recommend that his friend sticks with playing games on the PS3 unless there are specific PC only games he wants to play. And when PS4 comes out I would recommend he buys that. Especially since the OP's friend insisted the OP would never convince him to play games on the PC.


By sticking with a console he doesn't really need to worry about any upgrades since any game released in 2015 or in 2020 for the PS4 will run on the original hardware. The same cannot be said of PC games.
 


I suppose it would be nice incidental information, but I prefer to rely on benchmarks that are done professionally like from Anandtech, Techpowerup, XBitlabs, etc. I place more reliance on them because they have a general history of doing benchmarks correctly and they have more credibility because that is what they do. And they also run benchmarks at the same settings on different configurations so that you get an overall sense of performance.
 

sarinaide

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The A10 5700 has the HD7660D as well, the only difference is locked multipliers on the CPU side. The A8 5600K has the HD7560D which is the slight step down.



XBitlabs, yeah loved when I sent them links of their own benchmarks contradicting themselves then got ignored despite the blatant fact they deliberately inflated numbers. I used to test hardware but never reviewed, but honestly what is so darn hard and special about doing it?

 

8350rocks

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If you want to go integrated graphics, look at the AMD A10-5800k...it would do anything he wanted well enough, and even holds it's own if he ever does buy a PC game...
 


Ahh, yes... so it does. For whatever reason I thought it had the Radeon HD 7640D.



Hmmm.... I don't recall seeing or noticing that. Then again I more or less switched over to techpowerup for GPU benchmarks a couple of years ago. I guess I'll keep an eye out on XBitlab's benchmarks, especially when I am ready to upgrade from my Radoen HD 5850.
 

cmi86

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I agree that the system is quite overpowered on the CPU end of things and also agree with jaguar that an SSD is somewhat unnecessary as well. You could knock down the price or bump up the quality by alot by adjusting these 2 components.

My suggestion would be an AMD A10 5800K for it's CPU side of things is more of a practical combination of core speed and count for a basic user. On the GPU side it is a perfect choice for a general use system providing more than enough power for general usage and media applications as well as light gaming.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703036




Paired with a high quality FM2 motherboard such as
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128566R

And some good high speed RAM like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233240

And last but certainly not least is a rock solid power supply like this one with a little extra head room for future upgrades like additional hard drives or a discrete GPU some point down the road.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703036

My logic in investing more into higher quality components practically suited to the usage scenario is to insure a high performance system that will offer un compromised reliability and stability in the hands of a general user who will most likely see it as nothing more than a computer and likely make no effort in the way of maintenance. People who don't know any better tend to break low quality PC's with a lack of maintenance. My aim is to avoid that.

The total for these core components is $389.97 leaving over $200 for case and drives
 

sarinaide

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If the Gigabyte FM2A85X UP4 is on sale for $100 when its normally $134 I would take that motherboard. It is far and ahead the best FM2 board available but for its lofty price tag.

Any K chip is pointless for a person not going to overclock it, and the stock cooler with AMD A-Series is very flimsy nothing like what FM1's or any AMD FX or Phenom cooler was like, its a aluminium fin with a fan on it under load at 3.8ghz locked this unit can hit 60*C stock frequencies and voltage. The 100w units are hot without any third party cooling I would seriously give consideration to using the A10 5700(HD7660D) or A8 5500(HD7560D).

The RAM choice often is where the best gains are made, the best AMD RAM available is the AMD/Patriot Radeon Performance Edition DDR3 1866 kit with AMP profiles, they cost the same as the listed Vengeance but AMP over XMP is around 3% performance for free.

He doesn't need a 600w PSU to stay within realms of reason. I use a Seasonic Plat Fanless 430w (expensive) but on the more reasonable builds I do, I have found a lot of reliability and love in the rediculously cheap Corsair CX430M (modular) range which is a massive step up from the disasterous CX430 standard. It powers all single 6pin cards so theoretically up to a HD7850, GTX650ti which for this platform is just golden. I tossed out my 7870 and went with a HD7790 which is just win, Crysis 3 is playable at high settings with lowered AA, AF.
 

palladin9479

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Just go with the A10-5700, cheaper and only slightly slower then the 5800K, also less power. SSD is not really necessary, neither is a 400W PSU lol. The 5700 is 65W maximum, the board is 15~20W maybe, 25W with memory. Single 7200RPM HDD is usually around 2~3W and will always be under 5W. DVD-RW being another 1~3W with 5W being the absolute highest you'll see. Fans are the wildcard as heavy duty cooling tends to consume more power, thankfully this is a light system so we're talking 10W maximum for all cooling requirements (with 5W being the most likely). That's a total of slightly over 100W of power consumption maximum. Welcome to the world of Mini-ITX. 400W is extremely overkill and chances are good your putting excess strain on the PSU and it'll fail early due to not enough load. Go with a quality 200W and an extremely small case and call it a day.

Something many people don't realize is that GPU's eat up a large part of modern system's power budgets and we've since ramped out PSU expectations into the range that would previous only belong to high powered servers.

APU chart
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_A_microprocessors#Virgo_.282012.29
 

sarinaide

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The Bequiet SFC 350w is cheap, yes it is excess wattage but it costs as much as a quality 200w. 200w also gives you no expansion that means he is limited to integrated only which is not a bad thing but nice to have. As much as I say yes high capacity is not needed, I think some headroom and modularity in ITX is pivatol.
 

palladin9479

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350W would be fine though honestly you don't really "expand" mini-ITX. APU's are at their best value in low-power SFF mini-ITX solutions, once you start going up in power / size discrete GPU almost becomes the better option.

Personally I'm just about done my own project that's very similar to this setup only no DVD-RW (using USB when needed) and going with a M350 case and 160W PicoPSU. Solved my last problem by going with the Noctua NH-L9A.
 

sarinaide

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I would love to test this HD7750 + HD7660D Dual Graphics rumor, if its true thne its a perfect SFF system and a 300-350w will be plenty some.

 

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