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Thread: Core 2 Duo or AM2?

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    Core 2 Duo or AM2?

    Hi

    I'm going to be upgrading soon(end of Aug., beginning of Sep.) but I'm just not sure wether to go with Core 2 Duo or go for the cheaper AM2 chipsets. I've decided to set my budget at £600, I'm finding the Core 2 Duo systems I'm trying to set up to be a little expensive considering I'm not adding a monitor, speakers, keyboard and mouse. There's maybe about £70 between them and the AM2 X2 systems which are the cheaper ones as you'll know no doubt.

    Would it be worth paying the extra £70 or so for a Core 2 Duo system? I'll using the PC for playing the latest games and recording music. I'm not planning on overclocking anything though, never been sure about that in case I damage something .

    Also can anyone tell me if my current Thermaltake Silent PurePower 480w will be enough to run an AM2 or Core 2 Duo system?

    Thanks .

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    Moderator chuckskull's Avatar
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    Core 2 is worth the extra money if you're really on a budget your question should be 939 or core 2. Remember prices will of fallen a bit more by septmer on at least of your bits.

    That PSu should be fine, so long sas it has rthe 4pin motherbouard connector and a PEG connector PCI-E, which I believe it does.

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    Senior Member FatalSaviour's Avatar
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    I would be tempted to go for the Core 2 Duo, and indeed I did...just last week.

    I had an old 6600GT PCIe card and a gig of high-spec Patriot DDR RAM lying around so I decided to build a spare machine around the E6300.

    Not sure whether you're in a similar situation, but if you've got a fairly decent AGP card atm, and DDR RAM, you might even want to consider buying something like the AsRock Dual VSTA for now...to tide you over until prices have dropped sufficiently.
    http://www.asrock.com/product/775Dual-VSTA.htm
    Performance lags slightly behind comparable 965 or 975 boards, but are generally in the same ballpark.
    It all depends on what you've got at the moment, whether you can make do for a while with some of the components you've got, and any overclocking plans.
    Last edited by FatalSaviour; 18-08-2006 at 01:24 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Noni
    What the hell does "WTH" mean


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    if you get am2 youre looking at the 4600+ and 5000+ being comparable to the e6300 and e6400 chips

    i should think the core2duo setup would be a bit more expensive for comparable performance but it will OC to be much much better if thats something you would consider (and are willing to invest in good components and cooling)

    if you have more to spend the only option is a c2d, if you have less to spend then get a lower spec AMD

    939 is only really good if you already have a low end 939 system already and dont want to buy a new board and new ram, otherwise just invest in ddr2 now while you have the option otherwise youll be stuck with an un-upgradable cpu AND board AND ram

    at the moment am2 is basically identical in performance to 939 as only the ram has really changed which makes it seem like a pointless choice (apart from the fact that you can keep your DDR2 ram from it when you upgrade later), but theyre making am3 chips backward-compatible to fit am2 boards so you will be able to use k8l chips when they come out... so its a much wiser investment

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    480W is more than enough.

    As for which to go for, if you are against overclocking then I'd have to say core2duo - the whole system price is more expensive, which means you'll have a cheaper gfx card for the same budget and consequently lower game performance, but it will last longer before needing replacement.

    CPUs only have to be fast enough to feed information to the gfx card as far as games go - if the card can't cope with what it's sent then you are wasting CPU power. An AMD system will keep up in that regard for quite a while, depending on how much money you spend on graphics card (the less you spend, the longer the CPU will keep up ) but eventually you will need to overclock it to keep up, where as that won't happen with the core 2 duo for quite a bit longer.

    So in the lack of overclocking, the best value for todays/tommorows games is almost certainly AM2, but beyond that the core 2 duo. So the price difference just affects how long it'll be untill you have to upgrade.

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    I just had a look at the manual for the PSU and there's no mention of one of those PCI-E connectors.

    Is it likely there'll be more Core 2 Duo mobos out by the end of the month? I've got my eye on the Gigabyte DS3(if the price goes down that is) at the moment but people seem to be having mixed reactions, so I'm not sure wether to go for it or wait for a new mobo to get released, as long as it doesn't cost more than £85.

    Ok I'm thinking something along the lines of this:


    Gigabyte GA 965P-S3 i965, S775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533 / 667 / 800, SATA II, ATX £86.94 Inc. Vat

    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro - P4 up to 4.4GHz - S775 Dual Core Ready £15.08 Inc. Vat

    Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 S775, 1.86Ghz, 1066Mhz FSB, Conroe Core, 2M Cache OEM (w/o Heat Sink Fan) £123.54 Inc. Vat

    256MB Sapphire Radeon X1900 GT PCI-E (x16) 1200MHz GDDR3 GPU 575MHz 36 Pipes CrossFire £143.00 Inc. Vat

    2Gb (2X1Gb) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC5400 (667), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12 £124.55 Inc. Vat

    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music Sound Card OEM £56.58 Inc Vat

    480W Tagan 2Force SLi Ultra Quiet 21db Also support 12v EPS/SATA/XEON 3 Years Warranty ATX/BTX £56.04 Inc. Vat

    Total = £619.99

    All from Scan.

    Any good?

    A bit over budget but an extra £20 doesn't bother me too much. Not sure about the mobo though, don't know much about that model. Also is that PSU ok? I'll probably just have to stick with the case I've got just now as well.

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    i think the onboard audion on the gigabyte is the intel hd audio, which is fairly decent. Nowhere near the quality of the X-fi but not too shabby especially if you're not using high end 5.1 or 7.1 speakers.
    Maybe worth considering a different gfx card as well, if you drop the x-fi, you could afford something like a 7900gt?
    Only minor differences though, the system you're looking at would be fantastic

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    I guess I could drop the X-Fi then, also is 2gig of ram absolutely essential for this kind of machine? What if I just bought 1gig, would that cause problems? I just noticed I forgot to add an HDD to the spec, so that'll be an extra £40(if I go for the 160GB Samsung Spinpoint).

    Ok, I've taken away the X-Fi Card and the X1800GT and replaced them with a 160gb Samsung Spinpoint and this GFX card:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=443252

    Any good?

    All together it now costs £644.23, a bit over budget but I guess I could make that. I don't want to spend more than £700, that's my absolute max now .

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    Moderator chuckskull's Avatar
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    Yup good card comes with a zalman HSF which are very good.

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    WEEEEEEEEEEEEE! MadduckUK's Avatar
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    go for something around the 250GB mark. thats the sweet spot at the moment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ephesians
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    Ok I'll go for a 250GB one. I'm gonna need some case fans, 2-3 probably, what kind of make should I go for? I want silent ones since the fans I have at the moment are noisey as heck. I guess I could always get a new case instead since the one I have the now is looking a bit grubby.

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    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BorisTheSpider
    I'm gonna need some case fans, 2-3 probably, what kind of make should I go for?
    I bought a few of the ultra-cheap fans from ebuyer after seeing a thread here recommending them. They're quieter than many name-brand fans I've tried in the past, and at 30-40p each you can't go wrong.

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    Ok, I'll probably still go for Core 2 Duo, what do you make of this system?

    Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 S775, 1.86Ghz, 1066Mhz FSB, Conroe Core, 2M Cache OEM (w/o Heat Sink Fan) £123.54 Inc. Vat

    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro - P4 up to 4.4GHz - S775 Dual Core Ready £15.08 Inc. Vat

    Gigabyte GA 965P-S3 i965, S775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533 / 667 / 800, SATA II, ATX £86.35 Inc. Vat

    2Gb (2X1Gb) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC5400 (667), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12 £124.55 Inc. Vat

    512MB Sapphire Radeon X1900 XT PCI-E (x16) Mem 1450 MHz, GPU 625 MHz, 48 Pipes VIVO £216.07 Inc. Vat

    Pioneer DVR-111DBK Black 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer DVD Writer (Reduced Length) OEM £23.18 Inc. Vat

    AKASA Zen case - Black Silent Cool Midi-ATX Computing case w/2 silent 12cm fnas & front I/O ports £31.71 Inc. Vat

    480W Tagan 2Force SLi Ultra Quiet 21db Also support 12v EPS/SATA/XEON 3 Years Warranty ATX/BTX £56.04 Inc. Vat

    Total = 692.79


    I'm also thinking about selling my current motherboard, RAM, CPU w/ HSF and CD/DVD Drives.

    Any ideas what I'd get for the following?

    Asus A7N8X Deluxe

    Athlon XP 2700+ 2.17Ghz w/ Thermaltake Volcano 12(I think that's what it's called)

    Lite On CDRW 52x32x52

    Pioneer Slot DVD Rom 16x

    Thermaltake Silent PurePower 480W

    Apologies for the slightly long post.
    Last edited by BorisTheSpider; 18-08-2006 at 11:33 PM.

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    Moderator chuckskull's Avatar
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    Sounds about spot on to me boris.

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    Ok that's great. Now I've just to decided when to buy the parts, not sure wether to wait a couple more weeks or to just go and order the parts next week . Will it be likely that I'll see any of the parts drop in price quite a bit in the next couple weeks?

    [EDIT]

    Gah! I just noticed that I forgot to add a flaming HDD to the list. I guess I could add it, gonna be about £40 over budget, unless I drop the case and use my current one just now. More flaming decisions!
    Last edited by BorisTheSpider; 18-08-2006 at 11:57 PM.

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    Moderator chuckskull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BorisTheSpider
    Ok that's great. Now I've just to decided when to buy the parts, not sure wether to wait a couple more weeks or to just go and order the parts next week . Will it be likely that I'll see any of the parts drop in price quite a bit in the next couple weeks?
    It's not likely. The x1950 is coming out soon, but I doubt it will have any effect on the x1900 prices for a month or so at least. just order when you have the cash on hand.

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