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AMD or Intel for basic system?

By CMH
Nov 12, 2012
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  1. Building a comp for a friend, budget is to be as low as possible (sub AUD$350 hopefully, check www.centrecom.com.au for prices).

    She's going to be using it for basic computing (web browsing, watching DVDs) and basic photoshop. This computer is replacing an 8 year old laptop (to give you an idea how much computing power she really needs).

    I'm thinking Intel G550, just because she'll get better use of more CPU power over the better graphics the AMD5300 would offer.


    I really just need a suggestion for CPU, but if you have a motherboard suggestion that would be good, and if you really want, feel free to build a complete box (if you do, she doesn't need a storage HDD, just a boot HDD/SSD depending on budget).

    Thanks in advance.
  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    For basic PC usage a G550 will be fine since those tasks don't really make use of multiple cores or threads. But I'd be more inclined to go for a G860/G870, they don't cost that much more.
  3. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Do you already own any parts? (e.g. Hard drive, Operating system, mouse, keyboard, optical drive, monitor, etc)
    If not, then you're gonna have a tough time keeping the budget under 350 AUD.
  4. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    slh28 the only thing is that she also does do a bit of photoshop. I'm assuming that should make use of some cores... Having looked at the i3, they don't look like its going to be worth the extra.

    xcylent Going to reuse mouse, keyboard, got our own OS, and monitor is on another budget.


    CoolerMaster Elite 343 (includes 420W PSU)
    Intel G550
    Asus P8H61-Mx-R2
    Corsair 4GB 1600mhz
    LG DVD burner 24x
    Samsung 830 64GB

    All that came up to be $282. I don't think I missed out on anything there. Plenty of room for upgrades if required.
  5. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Looks good to me. maybe throw in a 500g HDD for her to keep all her music and pictures and stuff on.
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    She's got those already, hence the SSD. I'm quite surprised at how little its costing. I'm really considering an AMD quadcore, only if it costs less than 75 more though. Which is entirely possible. Either that or maybe an ATX motherboard (instead of the uATX).
  7. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    It's debatable whether AMD's FX quad cores are really quad cores, and anyway general computing and basic photoshop won't see much benefit from multiple cores. Clock speed and CPU architecture are more important, which is why I would go for a higher clocked Intel CPU.

    There would be no difference between a micro ATX and ATX mobo, your friend isn't even using any of the expansion slots.
  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    Good point. uATX with Intel it is then.

    AMD is so fked then, no performance crown, no value budget. Looks like they're throwing the towel to Intel for the whole desktop market.
  9. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Well AMD's APUs are doing ok. But I don't see much hope for them at the moment on their FX processors, they're slower, consume more power and not that much cheaper than the equivalent Intel CPUs.
  10. remixedcat

    remixedcat TS Rookie Posts: 41

    Intel is best for media processing.... most benchmarks prove that. That's why I chose Intel.
  11. Vipin

    Vipin TS Rookie

    Intel is truly the best for reliability and low power consumption.
    Furthermore, AMD is currently at a huge market loss due to low sales.
    So, the figures speak themselves...
     
  12. stonarda

    stonarda TS Enthusiast Posts: 180   +17

    Not quite, I am not going into an argument over which is better AMD or Intel. My preference is AMD. We have used AMD since the 2000's and have never looked back! We got a laptop ith an intel processor for roughly the same price as a AMD and it performed not as well as the AMD (I knwo there are other factors to this). I use AMD at the moment in both my deskotp and laptop, and another deskopt with a single intel laptop. For basic computing, they are great and work fine! For a budget computer, I would go with AMD and only with Intel if I needed extreme processing power (with their I7 extreme edition which is incredibly expensive). I would in your position, have a look at a Phenom processor as they are still perfectly usable and work very well with modern software. When compared with itnel, I would say that phenom processors are better in value.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,680   +880

    The reasons for bumping up to ATX from uATX are basically extra expansion slots and RAID. Your friend doesn't sound like she's going to want SLI or Crossfire video cards or a RAID array. So, generally speaking, and given the same basic chipset numbers the micro boards will perform as well as the full sized jobbies.

    This i3-3225 has Intel's best integrated graphics: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116774

    It would kick the price up quite a bit, but there are many plausible reasons to justify the upgrade. 22nm (draws only 55 watts max), graphics performance adequate for Blu-Ray, hyper threading (acts like a quad). No pressure though.
  14. stonarda

    stonarda TS Enthusiast Posts: 180   +17

    I would suggest going with something that would be upgradable in the future, in case his/her computing needs change. I've seen it happen before and instead of paying for a reasonably low-priced upgrade, someone had to fork out for a new system.
  15. platinumsteel

    platinumsteel TS Rookie Posts: 27

    You should check out the AMD APU A-10. and a Vertex 4.Build it around that platform..and u are good to go...Nice affordable gaming system....I personally own 1.can play any demanding game at medium settings perfectly.
  16. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,832   +164

    I'm an Intel fan all the way... I do repair a lot of AMD laptops though:oops:
  17. R3DP3NGUIN

    R3DP3NGUIN TS Enthusiast Posts: 154

    AMD APU's are good for people who want decent media/ gaming for the cheap, with at least i3 level processing power. Talking A10 of course. Quite a few people I speak to want decent on chip GPU rather than have cheap dedicated card (A10 kills alot of cheap dedicated video cards. Then of course you can Crossfire with another AMD card (lower-end) to boost performance.
  18. irsoldier337

    irsoldier337 TS Rookie

    Apu really isn't that all worth it for price since you're gonna be wasting all that money down the toilet if you want to upgrade to a better system. If you want to invest and save money at the same time, go with an am3+ build and get yourself a crossfire board.
  19. bwchato

    bwchato TS Rookie Posts: 53

    I never use intel and no,I'm not a gamer.been using amd for 10 years and have no complaints.have a 3.1 dual core running at 3.6ghz.my raid array runs at 155mbps.the only intel I have are in my 3 dell precision m6400 laptops
  20. misor

    misor TS Maniac Posts: 1,011   +150

    Intel Pentium G2010 (2.8Ghz, 3MB) or Intel Pentium G850 (2.9Ghz, 3MB)
    Asus P8H61M LE USB 3.0
    8GB DDR3 1600Mhz Kingston HyperX
  21. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,573   +9

    Clearly for a gaming system, which would be pretty much wasted and way over budget for a non-gamer, as mentioned in my first post.

    I would like to say I sit on the fence, but I admit I've never bought an AMD system. Although during their golden years I did not have a say on which CPU I would prefer.

    Again, clearly with games in mind. If I did as you suggested it would be way over the budget, and money down the drain.

    Finally someone who actually read the first post!



    Anyway, I did buy the system some time ago now. I went in looking for the G550, but ended up with a G830 because they sold out.
    Budget motherboards were scarce as well, so I had to settle with whichever they had in stock (and I did check a few of the larger shops). Ended up with a basic Asus board which was clearly built with industry in mind (with some weird connections that will never be used). Comes with everything needed (plus 2+4 USB 3.0), didn't see the point in spending more on a more game-y board. Worst case scenario thats $50 down the drain. A night out drinking costs more.
    Also got her an intel 330 SSD 120GB. They're ridiculously cheap nowadays, plus she has external HDDs for everything else (as per first post).
    Together with Case, PSU, DVD burner, (donated RAM) I managed to stay under budget.

    Thanks for the valuable input.


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