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 Post subject: Where is the sweet spot right now?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:40 pm 
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Currently, which models of desktop processor from either Intel or AMD offer the best value? I'm building a desktop PC, want more than two cores and am considering spending under $300.

Doesn't have to be cooled passively, although I will at least want a good aftermarket _quiet_ CPU cooler.

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 Post subject: Re: Where is the sweet spot right now?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
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Location: Switzerland
It depends on your locale and how you measure value.
With my local prices and considering strictly the CPU, the best general value would be the G530.

The number of cores is irrelevant since different designs do not include the same things in what their vendors call "core" and there are large differences in performance.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is the sweet spot right now?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:07 am 
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You say you want more than two cores. The only viable options in that area is quad-core Sandy Bridge processors. More specifically, core i5 2300 or 2400 if you don't want to overclock. Otherwise, the i5 2500k for overclocking. The 2600k is only for users who need the hyperthreading.

What exactly are your needs for the CPU?

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 Post subject: Re: Where is the sweet spot right now?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:13 am 
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No AMD candidates?

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=63794

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 Post subject: Re: Where is the sweet spot right now?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:23 am 
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Location: Switzerland
AMD has core count, which is irrelevant.

I thought you meant $300 for the whole computer, not the CPU. $300 CPUs are poor value today. It makes little sense to pay more than the cost of a 2500K for a desktop CPU and I personally would not consider paying more than the cost of a 2400. The 2500K is for overclocking and if you want to overclock, it would be best to wait until April for the 22nm 3570K.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is the sweet spot right now?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:33 am 
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I'm looking at newegg's available i5 and i7 LGA 1155 processors. What's the difference between K-series, non-k and S-series processors?

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 Post subject: Re: Where is the sweet spot right now?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:16 am 
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K: unlocked multiplier, i.e. able to overclock.
non-k: not possible to overclock noticeably.
S: power-saving

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 Post subject: Re: Where is the sweet spot right now?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
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Location: Guatemala
JJ wrote:
Currently, which models of desktop processor from either Intel or AMD offer the best value? I'm building a desktop PC, want more than two cores and am considering spending under $300.
Below $300, if you apps dont benefit a lot from hyperthreading, i5 2500K imo is a really nice CPU for the money, if you dont need the HD3000 or an overclock CPU, check the i5 2400. Now if you do benefit from hyperthreading and still below $300, Intel Core i7-2600.

All the intel CPU line will be referesh by april 8 with ivy bridge, expect replacement both the i7 2600K and i5 2500K on launch, the gains on performance wont be that big as its mostly a die shrink, maybe around 10%, but they will consume less power, but one decent gain in the integrated GPU, the HD4000 will be around 30% faster than the HD3000.

JJ wrote:
Doesn't have to be cooled passively, although I will at least want a good aftermarket _quiet_ CPU cooler.
Depending on the mobo and case, if you dont have any clearance issues i recommend, Thermalright HR-02 Macho or Scythe Mugen 3.

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 Post subject: Re: Where is the sweet spot right now?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:46 am
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
What will be using the PC for? As long as you aren't gaming there is value in the onboard GPU on Sandy Bridge processors as that should be enough graphics power. And it means no discrete graphics card which means less heat and (perhaps) one less fan assuming that you were considering a graphcs card with a fan.

edit - Here is a quote from a SPCR review in March of 2011 - I don't know enough about AMD's lineup to know if things have changed materially in the last ten months:
Quote:
Unfortunately, we don't have many positive things to say about AMD's latest dual core processors. The reality is that the K10 architecture is looking really long in the tooth and it's going to take a lot more than clock speed bumps to stay in the race. The fastest Athlon II and Phenom II X2's are still trying to keep up with Intel's previous generation Clarkdale CPUs, and as such they are completely outmatched by their new Sandy Bridge opponents. Not only is the i3-2100 faster, the difference in energy efficiency is massive, and the integrated graphics baked into every Sandy Bridge CPU also outperform AMD's offerings.


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 Post subject: Re: Where is the sweet spot right now?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:46 am
Posts: 206
wayner wrote:
What will be using the PC for? As long as you aren't gaming there is value in the onboard GPU on Sandy Bridge processors as that should be enough graphics power. And it means no discrete graphics card which means less heat and (perhaps) one less fan assuming that you were considering a graphcs card with a fan.


The HD3000 can even handle some gaming (I was playing SC2 on my 2500K HTPC earlier this evening). Other games, not so much - from what I've seen, Civ5 is essentially unplayable on it. Certainly, for gaming in general you'd be better served going to an i3 and using the savings on a dedicated GPU. I'm just waiting for Kepler.


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