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Build Advice Budget Build Advice i3 2100 vs Phenom II X4 955 BE

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Comrade Penguin, 1 May 2011.

  1. Comrade Penguin

    Comrade Penguin New Member

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    Budget: £650 including monitor, tower and OS. Only the keyboard and mouse are being kept. Being a student I can get Windows 7 for a smidge under £40 leaving around £600 for everything else.

    Main uses of intended build: Just gaming initally. I have an aging iMac that I'm currently dual booting which is more than capable of doing my web browsing, word processing etc. so I'll keep that for day to day stuff and the new one can be just for gaming plus storage.

    Parts required: My main point of confusion is the CPU/Mobo. I'm already pretty settled on:

    Sapphire 5850 Xtreme edition - £108 OCUK
    Dell U2311H (refurbished) - £150 OCUK (Has anyone got any experience with these and do you still get the 3 year warranty?)
    Antec Earthwatts 500w PSU - £52 Scan (Or whatever decent branded PSU is on Today Only)
    4GB DDR3 - £36 Scan
    1tb Samsung F3 - £38 Scan
    DVD drive - £15 Scan
    OCUK Postage - £12

    That leaves me around £190 for Case, CPU and Mobo (plus any cooling).

    An i3 2100 + a cheap H67 mobo comes to £160ish leaving £30 for a Coolermaster 335 or similar.

    A X4 955 + an Asus M4A87TD would come to £170ish so I'd probably have to stretch a bit for a decent case. And I'm guessing I'd need to add an Artic Cooling Freezer 7 pro for £15 if I wanted to do any serious overclocking.

    From what I've read they'll be close in performance depending on whether the game uses four cores or not. The i3 offers a clear upgrade path but I have to give up USB 3.0 etc to get it under budget and hence the uprgadability becomes less attractive.

    Any alternatives to these two are obviously welcome. I haven't OC for a few years now so I'm a bit wary the G6950 on this basis.

    Previous build information (list details of parts): Core2duo 2.0ghz, 2.5gb ram, x1600 so anything is going to feel rapid in comparison.

    Monitor resolution:1920x1080

    Storage requirements:1tb should be plenty.

    Will you be overclocking: If I get the X4 I'm sure I'll give it an OC but I doubt I'll do anything too serious.

    Any motherboard requirements: USB 3.0 would be welcome but I'm willing to give it up if the CPU offers more in gaming. No real interest in crossfire though if it's a few more quid to get it on the mobo as an upgrade option I'd consider it.

    Extra information about desired system: I'd like it to be reasonably quiet as my other half will often be sleeping a few feet away when I'm gaming.

    Thanks a lot for any help.
     
    Last edited: 1 May 2011
  2. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    Tough call if the sandybridge stuff wasn't so awesome. I'm not up on the mobos or what not, so can't really say.

    I can tell you the arctic freezer is real quiet though... and the Scythe Gentle Typhoon is also nice and quiet at 1450 if you need any fans.

    Edit: Should make myself more clear. Sandybridge as an upgrade path is the way to go...
     
  3. frontline

    frontline Punish Your Machine

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    I'd go with the i3 if you think you can upgrade the CPU in the near future, otherwise the Phenom II X4 955 is great value for a quad core gaming system. I had one in my last system and it was more than capable of handling the latest games when paired with a half decent GPU.
     
  4. mrbungle

    mrbungle Undercooked chicken giver

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    a refurb from ocuk

    **** that
     
  5. Comrade Penguin

    Comrade Penguin New Member

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    Cheers for the replies guys. I'll definitely have a look at the Typhoon if I need any extra case fans.

    I guess my worry with the i3 is that by pairing it with a H67, as my budget requires, I'll never be able to match it up with something that can OC. That combined with the lack of USB 3.0 in the cheap boards I can find means it might not be offering me much of an upgrade path in reality.

    Also what are the well thought of cheap cases other than the Antecs? Not sure about it aesthetically and I suspect I'd be better off getting a custom cooler and a cheaper case from a noise level point of view.

    EDIT:
    I was worried this would be the response. This was why I was wondering about the warranty from Dell as that would at least offer me some protection? I'd really rather like that IPS goodness. I suppose if I drop it I could get a cheaper monitor and maybe squeeze my budget to i5 levels. I'd rather invest in a decent one though given I'll be staring at it all day. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: 1 May 2011
  6. Moyo2k

    Moyo2k AMD Fanboy

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    If you're building a gaming rig the Phenom II probably offers better bang for buck
    [​IMG]
    Leaves the £40 for an OS and £150 for a Monitor
     
  7. IvanIvanovich

    IvanIvanovich будет глотать вашу душу.

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    personally i'd go for more computer like an i5 and get a value monitor for now. save up and buy the ips later.
     
  8. Sponge12349

    Sponge12349 (づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ ︵ ┻━┻

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    Yeh, get a i5 2500k and the cheapest 1080p monitor you can find and save up for an IPS monitor.
     
  9. Comrade Penguin

    Comrade Penguin New Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys. Really got the brain ticking over. The thought of an i5 is very attractive. However I'm tempted by the Dell as they're meant to be so good. Plus the one thing I have at the minute is a good screen and it would be a bit sad to downgrade in that aspect.

    Don't think my budget will stretch to a 2500K. If I went for Scan's today only i5 bundle at £462 plus the 5850 delivered at £116 that would only leave me £32 for a monitor. More realistically the cheapest sandybridge i5 is about £50 more than the i3 meaning I'd be looking at around the £100 mark for a monitor. Having a quick look round Scan suggests that would still be pretty tight for a decent 1080p monitor. Any suggestions for something cheap to look out for.

    EDIT: Also I note Moyo2k has recommended dual channel ram. Is there any particular advantage to this? I was going to buy a single stick as they're similar prices and the spare slots allows more headroom for upgrades if and when.
     
    Last edited: 2 May 2011
  10. Sponge12349

    Sponge12349 (づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ ︵ ┻━┻

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    Dont bother with the cheap monitor then, just save up for a decent IPS like the Dell U2311H. As regards to RAM, Get 2 sticks if your motherboard has 4slots. i.e. 2x2gb
     
  11. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    The HD5850 works, although I'd honestly stretch to a HD6950, they're not THAT expensive anymore. Admittedly a bit more to chuck out, but hey it works out.

    By the way, Dual Channel RAM while a bit more expensive works in tandem making the transfer speeds much faster. You will get better performance than with 2 different sticks.
     
  12. thetrashcanman

    thetrashcanman Angel headed hipsters

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    if you really can't get any more money together then I'd suggest something like this

    Description Scansure
    Available Ex VAT Inc VAT

    LN28153
    LG GH22NS50 22x DVD±R, 16xDVD±DL, DVD+RW x8/-RWx6 ,12xRAM SATA, Black, OEM £12.29 £14.75

    LN28751
    500GB Samsung HD502HJ Spinpoint F3, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ, OEM £25.25 £30.30

    LN36253
    Antec 100 One Hundred, Black Midi Tower Gaming Case w/o PSU £35.59 £42.71

    LN35692
    500W Corsair CMPSU-500CXUK Builder Series, 80% Eff', 120mm Fan, Single Rail, ATX £37.37 £44.84

    LN37493
    4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 Classic DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.5V £33.12 £39.74

    LN36724
    Intel Core i3 2100, 1155, Sdy Bridge, 3.1GHz, 5 GT/s, GPU 850Mhz, 3MB Cache, Core R 31x, 65W, Retail £74.95 £89.94

    LN38035
    Asus P8P67-M Rev3, Intel P67 Express, S1155, PCI-E, 2.0 x16, DDR3 2133 / 2200, SATA 6Gb/s, RAID MATX £80.67 £96.80

    LN37975
    1GB EVGA GTX 460 SE, 3400MHz GDDR5, GPU 648MHz, Shader Clock 1296MHz, 288 Cores, 2x DL DVI-I/ mHDMI £103.46 £124.15

    Recalculate Basket

    Save Basket

    View Saved Baskets

    Net Total
    Carriage
    VAT
    £402.70
    £0.00
    £80.53
    Total£483.23

    with free shipping, add on £40 for the os leaves you around £130-140 for a reasonable monitor, it also leaves you a clear upgrade path, with i5 2500k on the horizon. I know you where saying earlier about a h67 board and a i3, but that would be pointless as when you want to change to the quad core 2500k you would need to change the board as well to overclock and seeing as your purchasing a gpu anyway you don't need the h67's onboard graphics, hence the p67 board. Also something i didn't understand earlier that you said "Plus the one thing I have at the minute is a good screen and it would be a bit sad to downgrade in that aspect" what did you mean by this? do you already have a monitor? If so I'd say wait until you have enough for a brand new dell u2311h and blow all that you can gather together now on a 2500k and a p67 board :) you won't regret it!
     
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  13. Comrade Penguin

    Comrade Penguin New Member

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    That looks like a good suggestion for the upgrade options. I was thinking about i3+p67 f but didn't think I'd get one that price. I'd probably swap out the 460 for the slightly cheaper 5850 on OCUK and get a 1tb drive but otherwise another one to add to the thinking pile.

    Sadly that screen belongs to the iMac so it is somewhat unable to be used with anything else. The more I think about it the more I think it's worth investing in the monitor. I find using the cheap ones at uni and friends poor HDTVs really painful. Probably be worth more to me than the extra performance. I'll have a think about my budget and see if I can extend it to get both.

    Thanks again for all the replies. Seem to have just as many, if not more, options but they're much more exciting ones which is always good.
     
  14. Aliff

    Aliff New Member

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    If you are looking to OC later, Phenom X4 955 BE is better. You can't OC much with the i3 2100 because it is multiplier lock. Unless you go for i5 2500K.
     
  15. Throbbi

    Throbbi New Member

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    That suggestion from trashcan is probably the best idea to be honest.

    With a strict budget there's no real reason to ***** out extra cash on an IPS panel (especially a refuc.....sorry refurbed one by OCUK) for gaming.

    That build gives you the option of a 2500k in the future, all the discussion here (maybe with a few more posts)gives you the free delivery from scan (and therefore much better customer support :thumb:) and i honestly think the 460 is a better card than the 5850.
     
  16. thetrashcanman

    thetrashcanman Angel headed hipsters

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    doesn't that imac screen have display port input? if so you could use the displayport on the 5850 to hook it up and spend your saved cash on a 2500k and maybe a full atx board as well. Or alternatively you can get displayport to dvi adapters, so maybe get one of those?
     
  17. Comrade Penguin

    Comrade Penguin New Member

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    Thanks again for the thoughts guys.

    Throbbi - My understanding is the 460 and the 5850 pretty much trade blows evenly. However the one thetrashcanman had in his build is a smart edition so will fall a bit behind a 5850. There is an MSI 460 OC on Scan at a cheaper price but my understanding is that this card is noisy for a 460. The Sapphire on the other hand is meant to be pretty quiet. I have dealt with OCUK in the past and would rather avoid them but the quietness of the 5850 for less may prove too tempting.

    As for the monitor I have given up the idea of a refurbished IPS. I'll see what good deals can be had around the 130-40 range.


    thetrashcanman - Sadly not. Apple seem determined not to let you use the iMac as a monitor which is a bummer. Some of the newer ones let you do it restricted circumstances but with mine there is no dice. Once again thanks for the build. I'm going to go with pretty much that bar a possible tweak or two based on whatever's on Today Only and what I mentioned above. Going to hold off for a bit while I look at what monitors are worth getting and if I can up the budget up to afford an i5. Thanks again
     
  18. IronDoc

    IronDoc New Member

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    Pixmania have the 5850 xtreme for just over 110 delivered. Dunno how reputable they are.
     
  19. Telltale Boy

    Telltale Boy Designated CPC Jetwhore

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    trashcanman's build looks pretty good but you'll want to change that graphics card; it's an SE version which AFAIK locks up some of the cores, leading it to perform worse than a GTX 460 768mb. Either go for the Sapphire 5850 or pay that bit extra for a full 1GB 460 with all the cores (the cheap MSI one looks a bit iffy).
     
  20. thetrashcanman

    thetrashcanman Angel headed hipsters

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    good advice this, yeah I only picked that 460 because it was around the same price as the 5850 from ocuk, and seeing as scan don't have them it was just a fill in.
     
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