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View Full Version : Performance impact of chipset with Athlon II CPU


CaptNKILL
02-10-10, 03:24 PM
I'm going to be building a basic gaming system for someone on a fairly tight budget.

Right now the specs are going to be something like this:

Athlon II X2 240 (2.8Ghz)
Radeon 4770 512Mb (they're on sale right now)
2x2Gb DDR2-800
Corsair 400W PSU (used one of these in a system with a 4870 and a Core 2 Duo... it works like a champ)
320Gb WD Caviar Blue
Rosewill ATX case (has good reviews and I've used them before)
LG SATA DVD burner

I'm trying to save as many pennies as possible because the 4770 is cutting into my profits a bit. I was originally going to go with a 4670 because I can get it about $30 cheaper overall, but I want this guy to be happy with his system for as long as possible and a 4670 is barely going to cut it these days as it is. A 4770 or 4850 will be between 50% and 100% faster than a 4670 in most cases.

The motherboard is pretty much the only area that I still have room to cut some costs on though.

At newegg there are some nice combos with the X2 240 CPU. Here are my options:

ECS 785G M-ATX board combo for $104 (ECS isn't too bad and this is a brand new chipset, though the board is pretty basic)

ASUS or Gigabyte Geforce 7025 M-ATX board combo for $97 (would save me $7 over the ECS, and its a better brand but a much older chipset with a much slower HT frequency)

Biostar Geforce 6150SE M-ATX board combo for $92 (would save me $12 over the ECS but its obviously quite old and low end)

Long term reliability and performance take priority over saving a couple dollars, so I'm more inclined to go with one of the better name brand boards, but I have no idea what a dated Geforce chipset will do to the performance of a fairly new CPU like the Athlon II.


If anyone knows of any other places that can beat newegg's prices I'd love some alternatives. They're killing me with shipping costs. Plus, RAM is pretty expensive. The most basic 2x2Gb DDR2 kit I can find is over $80 shipped.

ragejg
02-10-10, 03:39 PM
From what I've experienced, the older AM2 chipsets really don't hold the new "II" cpu's back by any noticeable margin. My Asus M3A which has the old AMD 770 SB600 chipset performs on par with newer setups.

Cap'n I really recommend a third core, or an AM3 x2 with some L3 cache (a Phenom II x2).

Maverick123w
02-10-10, 03:46 PM
You could probably build a 775 machine that will perform similar for less money. Though the customer will be stuck at a dead end upgrade wise.

The 4770 is no slouch and will make for an extremely powerful budget machine.

Edit** NVM just noticed it was an athlon II and not a phenom II

Maverick123w
02-10-10, 03:48 PM
What are you trying to buy the parts for price wise?

CaptNKILL
02-10-10, 03:50 PM
From what I've experienced, the older AM2 chipsets really don't hold the new "II" cpu's back by any noticeable margin. My Asus M3A which has the old AMD 770 SB600 chipset performs on par with newer setups.

Cap'n I really recommend a third core, or an AM3 x2 with some L3 cache.

The 770 is actually fairly recent and has a full 2600Mhz H/T, where as the older Geforce chipsets are only 1000Mhz.

And a faster CPU is just not possible given the budget. If I'm going to build, deliver and maintain a system for someone I have to make some money off of it. As it is I'm barely making enough for it to be worth it and I'm planning on charging the guy $100 more than I originally intended.

Stuff is cheap, but the prices have gone up a bit lately. He's used to running a pretty ancient system that can't even play any games so nickel-and-diming myself into a marginal profit isn't really worth it. Good performance and good reliability is what I'm shooting for.

If nvidia would drop the freaking prices of their GPUs I'd probably be a little better off. The 9800GT has been the same price for like 2 years and they keep releasing slower cards for the same price. :headexplode:

Maverick123w
02-10-10, 04:00 PM
I'd tell the guy that you're not in the business of doing favors, and to either fork some more $$ or deal with a weaker video card.

Even with family I still make sure I make a decent amount of money on my machines.

ragejg
02-10-10, 04:03 PM
My guess is that the performance per core of the Athlon II in an H/T limiting setup will be that of the previous generation Athlon 64 x2's.

FWIW there are new first generation Phenom x3's out there selling for around $65.

Oh wait, here's a newegg link.

Ahh, nvm.

L3 cache + 3 cores for $65 from Newegg. I don't think you can go wrong there.

CaptNKILL
02-10-10, 04:05 PM
What are you trying to buy the parts for price wise?

I'm shooting for close to $500 for the whole system, minus the monitor since they already have one.

I already have a copy of Windows 7 which I bought for $50 and I plan on buying the keyboard, mouse and speakers (all Logitech) for around $30. They also need a DVI cable for their monitor since their old system just used VGA... I can get one of those for around $8

So, figure around $90 into that for the OS and peripherals.

With the setup I just put together it came out to around $540 total, which is a little more than I wanted to spend.

I was going to tell them $700 for the system built, configured and delivered. Which is a pretty good deal, and its worth my time. Considering that a decent emachines from wal-mart with a slightly slower CPU, 6Gb of ram, 750Gb hard drive and (crappy) 6150 graphics can be had for $400, it is a bit hard to compete. I know that my system will be FARRRR faster and is made of much better components, but its hard to get people to understand how that's worth an extra $300.

CaptNKILL
02-10-10, 04:11 PM
My guess is that the performance per core of the Athlon II in an H/T limiting setup will be that of the previous generation Athlon 64 x2's.

FWIW there are new first generation Phenom x3's out there selling for around $65.

Oh wait, here's a newegg link.

L3 cache + 3 cores for $65 from Newegg. I don't think you can go wrong there.

An Athlon II X2 240 at 2.8Ghz is actually a bit faster than a Phenom X3 8750 in non-multithreaded apps.

The original Phenom was just a weak CPU. The Athlon II is just a better CPU and has higher clocks and lower heat output for a lower price.

Also, I need a retail CPU with a cooler. The Phenom X3 8750 retail at newegg is $14 more than the Athlon and has $8 shipping, vs free shipping.

ragejg
02-10-10, 04:27 PM
3 cores, 2.7ghz, free shipping, comes with cooler...

Athlon II x3 425 Rana, $71:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103726&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Processors+-+Desktops-_-AMD-_-19103726

Thats just a few bones for an extra core...


Dang, there's so many variations these days WRT cache, clockspeed and number of cores. Jeebus.

CaptNKILL
02-10-10, 04:31 PM
3 cores, 2.7ghz, free shipping, comes with cooler...

Athlon II x3 425 Rana, $71:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103726&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Processors+-+Desktops-_-AMD-_-19103726

Thats just a few bones for an extra core...


Dang, there's so many variations these days WRT cache, clockspeed and number of cores. Jeebus.

That one is a possibility, I've looked at it before, but at this point I'm just randomly guessing at what will be good enough for this guy's gaming habits.

Maybe I'll offer him a couple of choices depending on how much he's willing to spend.

ragejg
02-10-10, 04:35 PM
Right on. Narrowing down cpu choices is a biotch sometimes.

marqmajere
02-10-10, 04:56 PM
I have almost that same rig, Capt. It plays everything I play 1680x1050 no problem. L4D2, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age, Borderlands, and Crysis mod Living Legends. I'm not looking to upgrade for a while yet.

CaptNKILL
02-10-10, 05:10 PM
I have almost that same rig, Capt. It plays everything I play 1680x1050 no problem. L4D2, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age, Borderlands, and Crysis mod Living Legends. I'm not looking to upgrade for a while yet.

You know, I just remembered that they are going to be playing games on a 19" LCD.

So, probably like 1366x768 or 1440x900... max.

The 4770 is probably more than they're going to need honestly. I just wish there was something in between the power of a 4670 and a 4770\4850 that was actually priced accordingly.

ragejg
02-10-10, 05:15 PM
Cap'n, the 4830 is the in-between card.

But right now on newegg it's priced the same as a 4850 ($99), sooooo... yeah.

CaptNKILL
02-10-10, 05:26 PM
Cap'n, the 4830 is the in-between card.

But right now on newegg it's priced the same as a 4850 ($99), sooooo... yeah.

Yeah, nothing is priced correctly for performance any more.

The 4670 should be like $50, the 5670 should be $75, the 9600GT should be $65, the GT 240 should be $65, the 9800GT should be $80, the 4830 should be $80...

Instead, they're all between $80 and $120 after shipping. Doesn't make any sense.

ragejg
02-10-10, 07:32 PM
Waow, there's a 4860 too, based on a cut down 4890. There's even some available @ Newegg. ATi really has the 256-bit memory interface category well filled, if a little congested.

CaptNKILL
03-08-10, 06:15 PM
The guy I'm building this system for called me a few days ago to let me know that he was ready to take the plunge. He gave me the $200 down payment on a $700 system today. He showed me the monitor he'll be using and its like a 17" dell widescreen. Probably like 1366x768 so it definitely won't need much graphics horse power, even for the latest games.

And today newegg has a fantastic deal on a 5670. Only $82 shipped! :)

The reviews put this thing at roughly 8800GT\9800GT performance, though slightly slower most of the time. For a much cooler, more power efficient and up to date DX11 card, I think that's worth the trade off. Especially if I'm saving $15.

So, the final specs will be:

Foxconn A76ML-K AMD 760G motherboard (highly rated at newegg and has the full 5200Mhz HT speed and PCI-E 2.0)

Athlon II X3 435 2.9Ghz (ragejg really got me thinking about the substantial benefits of having at least one extra core in the situations where it helps, and the 2.9Ghz was only $4 more than the 2.7 ;))

Sapphire Radeon 5670 512Mb (trades blows with cards that cost $15-$25 more, and its far more up to date... and at 1366x768 this should be plenty)

2x2Gb PQI DDR2-800

OCZ ModXStream 500W PSU (highly rated, supposed to be extremely reliable... my OCZ has been great for years)

Samsung SATA DVD burner (basically costs $5 with the PSU because of a -$20 combo deal with OCZ power supplies)

WD Blue 320Gb hard drive

Rosewill R230 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147075&cm_re=rosewill_case-_-11-147-075-_-Product) case (bought two of these the other day for $24 each SHIPPED... amazing price and the cases are definitely among the best budget cases I've seen)

Windows 7 Pro (bought from a member here for a low low price)

Standard Logitech Keyboard, mouse and speakers

Total cost to me is around $530, minus $35 in mail in rebates if they go through. So, if all goes as planned I'll be making $205 off of this and the computer should be pretty damned solid for many years to come. I could have saved a decent amount of money by going with a weaker CPU and some other cheaper components but the peace of mind brought by having a system that's up to snuff and is made of quality components is worth a lot more to me. I don't want to be fixing this thing or getting complaints about unplayable games any time in the near future.

nekrosoft13
03-08-10, 06:21 PM
3 cores, 2.7ghz, free shipping, comes with cooler...

Athlon II x3 425 Rana, $71:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103726&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Processors+-+Desktops-_-AMD-_-19103726

Thats just a few bones for an extra core...


Dang, there's so many variations these days WRT cache, clockspeed and number of cores. Jeebus.

this is much better deal

http://www.frys-electronics-ads.com/ads/2010/03/05/47033/AMD-Athlon-II-X4-635-Processor-BioStar-A770E3-Motherboard

even if you don't need a board, you can sell it, and basically have x4 635 for less then 50 bucks.

CaptNKILL
03-08-10, 06:27 PM
this is much better deal

http://www.frys-electronics-ads.com/ads/2010/03/05/47033/AMD-Athlon-II-X4-635-Processor-BioStar-A770E3-Motherboard

even if you don't need a board, you can sell it, and basically have x4 635 for less then 50 bucks.

If there was a Fry's within driving distance of here that'd be great.

I've never even been inside a Best Buy.

I think the only stores I've ever been in that sold computer components were Staples and Wal-Mart. There aren't any stores like that around here.

logan
03-08-10, 07:29 PM
Geez, newegg has that processor for $119 by itself. Where the heck was this when I bought my other system a few weeks ago? ;/

The only real electronics store I have near me is Best Buy and I don't care for them anymore. Otherwise it's just the usual "we have some stuff" stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Sears. I remember when my local W had 6-8 computers on display at one time. The last time I was there, they only had a cardboard cutout of a computer. Ugh, Wal-Mart. I feel so dirty when I go there.

nekrosoft13
03-08-10, 07:36 PM
Geez, newegg has that processor for $119 by itself. Where the heck was this when I bought my other system a few weeks ago? ;/.

yap, frys has awesome deals sometimes, i will be selling a biostar motherboard soon ;)