Help me choose build: APU or CPU+GPU

fleur-de-lis

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Dec 30, 2008
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Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 days
Budget Range: ~ $450 after shipping/rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: General home use. Productivity, web browsing, streaming/dvd movies, light gaming (mainly older games), music burning/ripping, etc. Need a well-rounded machine.
Are you buying a monitor: No. Already own a Samsung SyncMaster.
Parts to Upgrade: Case, CPU, Mobo, Memory, Optical Drive, GPU (maybe?)
Do you need to buy OS: Not right away. Own Windows XP Home Edition. Plan on getting Windows 7 later this year (Full not OEM)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon.com
Location: Lake Charles, Louisiana
Parts Preferences: Not really.
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: Not planning on it, but never say never.
Your Monitor Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Additional Comments: Already own monitor, input devices, and 2 x HDD. The HDDs were recently purchased to replace what I initially thought was a failing disk. (see below)
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Current PC is ancient. Built in 2002 around AMD Athlon XP single core CPU. A few upgrades along the way (CPU, PSU, GPU, Memory, HDD) extended its life. It has served me quite well. I almost hate to part with it, but the more software advances the more sluggish it becomes. It has also been a little "flaky" lately when powered off and then back on. There have been a couple of times recently when the SATA HDD is not detected at startup. Usually after a restart or two it boots up ok, but I initially thought the drive was failing and ordered some new ones. Then the PC shut off once when I closed the dvd drive bay, so now I'm thinking mobo or PSU. Whatever the case, I don't see the sense it putting more $$ into this machine.

As mentioned, I already own the HDDs for the build:

Western Digital WD Blue WD2500AAKX 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - OEM

Here are the other components I am considering:

Build A: APU

APU + Mobo: ASRock FM2A85X Extreme4 + AMD A10-5800K Trinity 3.8GHz $199.98

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) $77.99

PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk III Series 400W Modular Power Supply $59.99 (-$10 MIR=$49.99)

Optical Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Black SATA - OEM $19.99

Case: Thermaltake Level 10 GTS Black SECC ATX Mid Tower $74.99 (-$25 MIR=$49.99)

Shipping: $13.64

Cost + Shipping: $446.58

Minus $35 MIR: $411.58


Build B: CPU + GPU

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz $79.99

Mobo: ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $94.99

GPU: EVGA 01G-P3-2632-KR GeForce GT 630 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card $64.99 (-$15 MIR=$49.99)

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) $77.99

PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk III Series 400W Modular Power Supply $59.99 (-$10 MIR=$49.99)

Optical Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Black SATA - OEM $19.99

Case: Thermaltake Level 10 GTS Black SECC ATX Mid Tower $74.99 (-$25 MIR=$49.99)

Shipping: $12.22

Cost + Shipping: $485.15

Minus $50 MIR: $435.15

So, which do you recommend, and why? I tried to make both builds as equitable as I could. I'm leaning a bit toward A since it is a little cheaper (falls under budget target even w/o sometimes risky MIR) and I think I can get by with just the included case fans for cooling. (Selecting a case BTW has been a PITA since my primary requirement is that it be under ~18.25 inches so it fits into the space allocated for it. This seemed to be the best constructed/most feature-rich case I could find that fit the size requirement and wouldn't make me feel like I was playing Operation getting in the components.)

Thanks for any and all input.
 

ASHISH65

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for you apu suits perfect go with this:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/MYFp
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/MYFp/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/MYFp/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($123.79 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($55.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Vulcan Black MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($78.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.97 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $380.71
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-29 03:44 EDT-0400)
 

fleur-de-lis

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Dec 30, 2008
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Thanks for the recommendations. Unfortunately, I cannot use that particular case because the i/o panel is top mounted. The space I have to fit the PC is basically a cubbyhole in a desk, so it will be surrounded on all sides except the front. The space is probably 1 to 1.5 inches taller than 18.25 inches, but I need the case to be around that height to get it past the trim pieces on the desk. The space is fairly deep and reasonably wide, and the room is usually one of the coolest in the house, so I'm not too concerned about the airflow/cooling. I am also a little hesitant to go the MicroATX route since I'm used to working in a full tower. I figured going down to a smallish Mid ATX would be enough of an adjustment to make.
 

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