Need help deciding

By thattimguy7
Oct 7, 2010
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  1. I'm in the market for a new computer and I'm seeking some advice to help me decide between 2 good deals I've come across. Here's what I'm looking at:

    #1
    AMD Athlon II 635 (2.9GHz) Quad-Core, 6GB DDR3, 1TB SATA II Hard Drive (5400RPM), Integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics

    #2
    AMD Phenom II 945 (3.0GHz) Quad-Core, 8GB Memory DDR2, 1TB SATA II Hard Drive (7200RPM), Integrated ATI Radeon HD 3100 graphics

    Both systems are $600, run Windows 7 Home Premium, and seem otherwise pretty similar, I'm already planning on adding a graphics card and better power supply.

    So it's pretty clear both have pros and cons. Athlon II 635 vs Phenom II 945, 6GB DDR3 vs 8GB DDR2, 5400rpm vs 7200rpm drive, and the integrated graphics cards (from what I can tell the 3100 has been around for a long time, too long?)

    Thanks for any advice, or even better finds for $600.
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,884   +77

    1) I take it then you have no interest in building your own system?

    2) what will you use it for?
    3) The DDR2 alone eliminates that one
  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,351   +122

    I'd rather say the 5400rpm hdd eliminates one...
  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,884   +77

    That's not good either, however the DDR2 system starts him out with at least 3
    year old tech.
  5. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,041   +72

    Key issue is what the OP plan to do with it, hence, red is right on this one, as I too wouldn't recommend anything with DDR2, beside, HDD's are dirt cheap and you can always buy one yourself at some later date without much fuzz.

    Also, what is the total budget you plan to spend on this system (considering that you want to add a graphic card + better PSU) ?
  6. thattimguy7

    thattimguy7 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies...

    I have built my own system before, and I had mixed feelings. It was fun to do, but for the same money minus the time and hiccups, I could have just paid the same for one with the same specs that would have at least had a warranty and support. If it was drastically cheaper to build one I'd do it.

    Mainly I use it for simple things, games, and a little graphics and video but nothing too demanding. As far as games, I'm talking more like World of Warcraft than hardcore fps or anything crazy.

    I had the same reservations about the DDR2 memory and outdated mobo, vs the slower drive.

    For my budget, right now I can't go all that much more than $600, and I'd be putting my current graphics card in until I can afford a new one.

    Thanks for the help.
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    I think $600 would get you something much better for the money if you built it yourself. The quality of the components would also be much better, and don't forget every part often has a warranty that easily outlasts a standard 1 year warranty.

    You don't need 6/8GB of RAM anyway, certainly not for WoW. 4GB is plenty, so you can save there, and still have the capacity to upgrade later on.

    Check out Techspots Desktop buying guide for inspiration. If you have an LCD, keyboard, mouse and speakers already, then you have more to spend on a PC.

    You could manage dedicated graphics at that price point as well.
  8. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,041   +72

    Good recommendation @Leeky, but I think the OP is getting that system without monitor. So he probably would end up saving roughly 180$ (if he choose the TS recommended system); and for that money you can easily get nVidia GTX460 (768 MB vRAM) version, or even a HD 5770 will serve him well. But obviously, it is his call.


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