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Buying a new PC, advice needed on processors

By McYaballow ยท 42 replies
Aug 30, 2009
  1. So I'm planning to buy a new PC since my old one malfunctioned and I was unsuccessful at repairing it. I was mainly paying attention to the processors of the choices I have and these mainly caught my attention:

    AMD Phenom X4 9650B
    AMD Phenom X3 8850
    AMD Athlon X3 8750
    AMD Phenom X3 720

    And basically I want to have a fast computer which would allow me to use many programs simultaneously. I don't care for performance concerning games, so that's why I've payed attention to the multi-core ones for cheaper PCs. Which one of these could be considered fastest for general purposes and should dual-cores also be considered?
  2. mica3speedy

    mica3speedy TS Rookie Posts: 87

    I would stat away from the phenoms, and look at the phenom II's . Also what motherboard are you looking at getting, Am2+, or Am3?
  3. McYaballow

    McYaballow TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well i think my original question was a give-away that I really don't know much of the technical aspects of computers. But I have no specific motherboards in mind since I don't really understand the differences. I'm not intending to get all the individual components separately. But so you're saying basically that out of the four processors the last one, Phenom X3 720 would be most feasible since it is the only one from the list in the Phenom II series? Is it possible for a Phenom II dual core to be faster than, say a Phenom quad core?
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,397   +37

    The Phenom II is faster than the other overall, and the best choice IMO.
  5. McYaballow

    McYaballow TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok and howbout the Intel Core 2 series.. How do they compare with the AMDs listed above?
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,397   +37

    Depends on which Core 2 processors you are referring to. The AMD CPUs are usually more cost-effective, so unless you are getting a Core 2 Quad Q9x50 series CPU for cheaper or for $20 or so more than the Phenom II, I would advise going with the X3 720.
  7. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,657   +9

    The X3 720 will be a good choice considering the price/performance ratio like Rage pointed out.
    As for the motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128378 should be a good option if you will go for AM3 and DDR3.
  8. 04ihegba

    04ihegba TS Rookie

    If your looking for bang for bucks I would go for AM2+ over AM3. 8GB 800mhz kits are going for as little as $100 now and are currently far more reliable than DDR3 kits due to them being established tech.

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=K10N78FullHD-hSLI R3.0&s=
    You can pick up this mobo for about $70 now, its what I got my hands on for my X4 945, and the last board I had from them (swapped because it wasn't AM2+) was beyond bulletproof. I was actually able to spill sugary coffee all over the open internals whilst the thing was turned on (a very scary moment tbh), and after airing it out and cleaning the whole thing with white spirit it worked like a charm. Gigabyte can't do that.

    Oh btw AsRock is ASUS daughter brand if you are wondering.
  9. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    a couple of flaws there 04ihegba ,
    DDR3 is proven tech and very reliable.
    ummm how could you know that?. i was unaware the anyone has conducted a "spill sugary coffee all over the internals whilst the thing was turned on" benchmark

    3) Asrock is a entry level motherboard manufacturer, and is of inferior quality compared to Gigabyte.
  10. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,341


    They have come along way in the last few years, they used to be downright abysmal, but I would still stay 10ft away. The only time I have ever actually seen capacitor fatigue was in a Asrock.

    I would much rather have 4GBs of current technology then 8GBs of a standard that is on its way out. don't get me wrong, I have ddr2 and do not plan to make the jump for awhile. But why would you buy a generation back?
  11. 04ihegba

    04ihegba TS Rookie

    Since then, AsRock have upped themselves to their owners (ASUS) level of quality, using their parts and (japanese) capacitors at a lower price (oh the joys of buying in bulk), and now I can honestly swear by them. I have built a good near 20 PCs with them (8 of which were for family and friends) and never encountered a problem, and that "sugary coffee" mobo still works fine now even though the thing is over 3 years old.

    The Gigabyte Intel board I had before that died of capacitor fatigue, incidentally. The only other 2 Gigabyte boards I have installed have both failed. Maybe I'm just a Gigabyte failure magnet, but I dont belive Gigabyte offers anywhere near the reliability of ASUS or their daughter company, AsRock.

    DDR 3 is about as much proven tech as Windows 7 is. It has had a fairly decent run, but cannot currently be compared with the reliability of DDR2 simply due to the fact that DDR2 has had time to season and go through many redesigns. Plus its very cheap and I don't believe the OP is a gamer who would benefit from DDR3 at the price point and risk of using newer less reliable tech.
  12. 04ihegba

    04ihegba TS Rookie

    Sorry to doublepost, but I thought I would point this out.

    8GBs of DDR2 is around the price of 2GB of Current gen DDR3 unless you buy the original 2 volters which are cheap as they are very dangerous territory.
  13. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    they have not, and they are still an entry level board.

    anecdotal, and its not even debatable that Gigabyte is of higher quality. and you "not believing it" does not make it so.

    that doesn't even make sense. comparing an unfinished beta operating system that has not even been released ,with a hardware technology has has been out since 2007. and rolled out over a year ago.
  14. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    Gigabyte and asus would be my top pics for best MBs made at this time
  15. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    Just go with Asus then O.O.
    I like Gigabyte.
    AsRock isn't bad.
  16. 04ihegba

    04ihegba TS Rookie

    Entry Level does not mean unreliable, I am not claiming they make better boards here, simply that they make reliable boards, more so in my experience than Gigabyte boards. They remind me of Foxconn, sacrificing bells and whistles for stuff that just works. No gimmicks, just reference designs. Also, I am recommending them over ASUS boards simply because of price when, if you actually look at the parts list now the majority of the sourced chips are identical to those used by ASUS, as its more economical for ASUS to unify the parts pool. The price difference and fact they are considered "entry level" is merely brand snobbery and that accounts for the extra you pay for. If Asrock were truly "entry level", they would not make 3 way SLi boards, X58 chipset mobos and other high performance gear aimed at non- entry level users.

    DDR3 is emerging tech. We saw in the i7 1.65v **** up that the tech was still new enough to cause problems with hardware. Whilst that was a while ago, its still new enough to be more likely of facing problems than DDR2, and has little noticeable benefits if your not a gamer or heavy 3DS Max etc. user.

    Just like Win 7 will have faults when it comes out despite all the testin and betas that have been done... OK, it wasn't the best analogy tbh. :) But Win 7 has already gone gold and patches are still being released for it before it has even reached the release date.

    On the contrary, the price differences between 1333mhz DDR2 and 1333mhz DDR3 is quite significant and they are identical performance wise. I sincerely doubt the OP will need higher clock speeds than that as he/she has not mentioned a need for that.
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    what are you talking about?
    I did not say unreliable,I said gigabyte makes higher quality boards.
    This is from their own website BTW :
    ????again ,what does win7 have to do with this? and the problems you cited were with the CPU, not DDR3

    on the contrary to what?. i said nothing of the price difference DDR2 vs DDR3. what i said was:
    "that doesn't even make sense. comparing an unfinished beta operating system that has not even been released ,with a hardware technology has has been out since 2007. and rolled out over a year ago." in addition DDR3 will overtake DDR2 by the end of this year. its entirely possible the OP may not want DDR3, and that was never my point, it was that you saying DDR3 was unproven and unreliable.
    once again your changing the issue, i did not say anything to the contrary to that. it does at this time have a very marginal performance gain over DDR2, however it is the present and immediate future of computer memory....and then not even long, DDR4 is due out by Q4 of 2011.
  18. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,657   +9

    I completely agree. AM3 along with DDR3 provides a better upgrade path for later. More future proof or, as red might state, forward compatible. :)

    If you intend to go for ASUS, you might want the M4A78T-E.
  19. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    ROFL!! Thanks Rit! :wave:
  20. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,397   +37

    That is untrue. Motherboard build quality goes far beyond the quality of the caps. ASUS and Gigabyte mobos come with 8-phase and 16-phase power designs, as well as better-quality PCBs and better MOSFETs with lower drain-source resistance, which leads to longer-lasting motherboards that also allow for greater overclocks.

    ASRock are great budget boards, but I would only consider them if there was no alternative from Gigabyte or ASUS.
  21. 04ihegba

    04ihegba TS Rookie


    It seems you are deliberately misinterpreting me.

    About the quote from the website

    Of course Gigabyte are going to promote themselves on their own site. And the 2oz copper PCB is a waste if you aren't going to OC. And I doubt the OP will if he cares about reliability. ASUS don't even offer that, and its common knowledge that they are regarded as the most robust boards in existence.

    A mainstream motherboard is pretty much what I think the OP wants. There is little point buying a ferrari to go shopping in, even if it is of "higher quality" and you'll find that your fiat punto is probably more reliable. Seeing as the OP had already failed at his last attempt to repair his PC, and wanted a PC that was fast for "general purposes" (I'm guessing day to day iTunes, Word etc) and didn't play games, or OC, I don't see the point in making him spend extra for things he doesn't need.

    Win7 was purely an analogy of a new product on the market, and you seem to have failed to make the connection, nevermind.

    And I was not changing the subject at all by making a price comparison. People live on a budget, and its entirely part of the subject if I choose to tell the OP that he can afford to get an even better processor if he does not invest in things he does not need at the whims of gaming PC builders. DDR3 may be overtaking DDR2 as you say, but the fact is it will be surpassed in 2 years and still has much lower chip yields than DDR2, making a large statement about its reliablity.

    Ritwik makes a huge example of what I am saying by directing him to an SLi boeard even though he explicitly said he did not want his PC for gaming! I have built many PCs for non-gamers and the fact is, if you save $50 on not having SLi on your mobo, that can be the difference between an X3 and an X4, and unlike that unused slot (the OP should probrably use onboard anyway), that will actually benefit you.


    Thank you Rage_3K_Moiz for coming with some measurable and quantifiable points, I seem to have a hard time actually getting any good reasons from anyone else as to why they believe that AsRock is so inferior to ASUS and Gigabyte. For my old mobo I can completely see where you are coming from, as I can see its a 4 phase design, but even though my new board is 8 phase you may be correct in saying that there are little 16 phase AsRock solutions.


    I think i have made my point, it seems there are many gamers around today who are convinced you want gaming parts. If you want something cost effective that will be fast and will last you a long while without needing to upgrade (remember that a gamers Idea of futureproof is that you will be able to put a newer faster part into it in 6 months, and I would hedge my bets you want your parts to last much longer than that), I would grab yourself and AsRock board, spend the rest on getting the fastest Phenom II processor you can, bag 8GB of RAM and slap it into your old case. you won't regret it.

    In fact, I have so much trust in this company that I advise you to google Broken AsRock. The majority of the posts are not actually broken or are ancient Geforce 2 boards, and no-where near the quantity that you would get from broken Gigabyte, or even broken ASUS searches
  22. gagansood77

    gagansood77 TS Rookie

    I am Running AMD Phenom 9650+ with ASUS M3N78-EM mother Board and I find the performance of the System is really good.
  23. 04ihegba

    04ihegba TS Rookie

    Just for reference, I am running a Phenom II X4 945 on an K10N78FullHD-hSLI R3.0 board. My board is $40 cheaper than gagansood77's, has 2 more USB ports, but doesn't have a e-SATA port or a Firewire port although there are internal connectors for that if you want them. Other than that, they are pretty much the same.
  24. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,657   +9

    I specifically said that the board was recommended if the OP wanted to go for AM3. Whether he wants that particular board or not is the OP's personal choice. There are a large number of AM2+ boards which will support the X3720 just fine.

    Again I mention, the AM3 along with DDR3 would provide a better upgrade path later. There's no point in picking a PC now which you would want to completely overhaul about one year down the line. As for ASRock or Gigabyte / ASUS, I personally would also recommend the latter.
  25. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,397   +37

    I was not specifically referring to the copper PCB since that is a feature only found on the mid-range boards, where ASRock & Gigabyte have far more competition from companies like DFI; the quality of the PCB on the majority of Gigabyte mobos is much better than that on ASRock mobos, mainly because Gigabyte mobos usually have better soldering and heatsinks for the NB.

    However, I agree that ASRock mobos are great for non-OC, sub-$50 budgets. I would pick them over PCChips, ECS & Jetway mobos any day!
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