best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

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best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:41 pm

I have a customer who likes to upgrade a couple of computers every year to keep current but not get hit with a huge bill to do everyone at once. Like many businesses, they have had a slow year. I was wondering if I could get more bang for the buck by reusing their old cases and hard drives. Will an old Pentium 4 2.8ghz generic computer case hold a new motherboard? I would upgrade the power supply. What would be the best CPU to go for that is at an aggressive price.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:50 pm

Best bang for $ is almost always at the bottom end because performance doesn't scale linearly with price but what you probably really want are some i5 2500's. So long as the case fans can handle the heat (which shouldn't be a problem given the P4's that were in there beforehand) you should be good to go with new internals.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:09 pm

The old cases will hold new parts you just need to tell us if they can hold ATX or mini ATX boards....

As for a CPU, the only way to go right now is Intel. They're CPUs are much faster and consume way less power than the AMD ones, even though they come at a premium. I'm thinking the cheapest Sandy bridge quad core would be best suited (Core i5 2300) and since they have IGPs there is no need for a dedicated video card.

But i'm thinking that not many will need a quad core in a normal office (i'm assuming here they use the PC for web browsing, Word, Excell, Power Point,etc.) so a dual core (again Sandy Bridge based) would be better suited. Maybe make the quad core machines for the upper management. Plus with a 65 W dual core you don't need after market cooler.

Regarding the PSU, i'd recommend the Seasonic S12II-430 Bronze 430W, but i'm very picky when it comes to PSUs, i'm sure cheaper models with lower power rating will be fine for a office PC.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:29 pm

The potential hiccup with pre-built systems is that they sometimes use form factors that aren't well-supported in the DIY market, like BTX. If the case will take an ATX or micro-ATX motherboard, you're probably good to go.

As has already been noted, stay at mid-range or below to get the best bang-for-the-buck.

Do you know whether their hard drives are PATA or SATA? Be aware that most current motherboards have only one PATA port on them (some even have none).
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:36 pm

It's also important to understand the actual use, an i3 or a llano chip might be just as appropriate in this environment. And while I wouldn't reccomend it, if they're still fine with P4s a dropped in Core 2 Quad could probably service them another few years.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:51 pm

The old cases are fairly big and have micro atx mother boards.

They do browsing, Word, WordPerfect, Outlook, Excel, and Amicus. Amicus is the heaviest use on the computer. I did put in one i5 and it did not seem to help Amicus much, but when I added a SSD drive, it definitely loaded faster. Once it’s open, it is ok on all the computers as long as I have 2 GB of ram.

Good point on the hard drives, I think they are probably IDE. Maybe a slower processor paired with an SSD would be a good combination.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:45 pm

For an office type of environment, as someone mentioned already, I would go with 1 of the new SB based Pentiums, low power and fast.


I know this is not quite what your topic is, first I would stay away from ssd for an office environment, unless they are fairly savvy, plus don't forget, you get get a new case for pretty cheap.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811233071


I only say what I do about the ssd because I hear so many bloody story's about folks complaining about them, not me though, single biggest upgrade I remember making in a long time.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:57 am

If you're looking in the low end market, I would suggest an Intel Penitum G840 for $84. These are Sandy Bridge chips and will better an x3 450 in many comparisons.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116398

Here is the latest price/performance graphic that TR put together. Unfortunately the SB Pentium chips are not included, but the G840 would probably sit slightly higher than the x3-455 in that graph (though not by much). The two essentially cost the same but the Pentium is also a 65W chip with an IGP while the Athlon is a 95W with no IGP (most AM3 boards will have an IGP though, and the Athlon x3 has 3 phyical cores compared to 2 on the G840)
http://techreport.com/articles.x/21813/19

I would think the highest you would want to go would be an i3-2105 which sells for $135. With that step up, you get a better IGP, a clock speed bump, hyper-threading (4 virtual cores), and a couple other minor improvements that you can look up on intel's website if youre interested. However, at that price you're competing against the alternative of an Athlon x4-840 (4 physical cores) and still being able to have room for a cheap discrete card (~$40) that would better the HD 3000 graphics in the i3-2105. The x4-840 alternative really only stands if you can utilize all four cores though.

The reason we suggest Sandy Bridge is that "her" per-core performance trumps all AMD offerings at similar clock speeds. Not to mention higher memory throughput, lower power consumption, etc etc (see the rest of the article linked below). I would have a hard time recommending anything higher than the i3 for "typical" office work, but then again I dont know what type of work this company does.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/21813/6

As far as everything else goes, you can get decent cases for cheap ($40) but make sure they have 120mm fans cause they'll be quieter, IDE/PATA is going to be hard to find on 1155 motherboards but you can find them on many AM3 motherboards since they're older (an AM3 mobo can also be cheaper than an 1155 mobo, these may be selling points for an AMD system), Antec Earthwatts Green 380W PSU's are nice and they can be had for around $50, and $20 for 4GB of DDR3 1333 RAM is probably plenty for "typical" office needs. Reuse as much as you can. If the budget is tight you could forego the PSU's as they probably have enough wattage since they came from P4 systems, and if you can reuse the cases that would be great.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:23 pm

I would argue that the G840 is a good value and the i3 2100/2105 are not in a performance-per-dollar kind of way. The reason is that for $70 more (50% more money) you can at least have the potential for 100% better CPU performance in the form of an i5 2500 or i5 2500k. Depending on what you're doing, you're throwing away 30-40% more money (vs. the G840) for 100 more MHz and two virtual cores.

So in that lgiht, I'd say G840 or i5 2500 (non-K version if you're going with a cheap mobo). Anywhere in between is kind of incremental gains for much bigger incremental dollars.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:14 pm

This isn't in the spirit of doing the upgrade yourself, but I've been buying these for people at work (it's our new standard) and it's such a phenomenal deal it's worth considering.

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/ ... tiplex-390

That's a quad core, free next day shipping (as in you don't pay more than standard for next day shipping) 3 year next business day service (which I've used and is quite good) for under 600 bucks. The value proposition of that system is simply stunning and it's got enough legs to last for years and years.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:55 pm

axeman wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:I would argue that the G840 is a good value and the i3 2100/2105 are not in a performance-per-dollar kind of way. The reason is that for $70 more (50% more money) you can at least have the potential for 100% better CPU performance in the form of an i5 2500 or i5 2500k. Depending on what you're doing, you're throwing away 30-40% more money (vs. the G840) for 100 more MHz and two virtual cores.

So in that lgiht, I'd say G840 or i5 2500 (non-K version if you're going with a cheap mobo). Anywhere in between is kind of incremental gains for much bigger incremental dollars.


I won't say your conclusion is wrong, the dollar for relative performance is better on the i5 vs i3, but it's going to be very few applications that make well enough use of four cores for the i5 to be 100% faster than i3. But for the love of Pete, if anything get an 2120, it's 200mhz faster, and can be had for 130. If you're primarily gaming, I'd say this is fine choice, use the $50 you save on a (better) graphics card.

On a totally non-related psychological note, if I was selling something to someone I would be inclined to avoid the Pentium branded chips because it is a name associated with low end products now. For those that know, well.... I just put an E5700 in an old system to replace a Pentium D chip. It's a wolfdale core with slightly less cache, but it's not a "Core 2", :roll:

The OP mentions the computers are for a business. That certainly should mean there is no gaming going on and probably no need for four threadedness either. I'd say the G840 is the best CPU for the job in this particular instance.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:44 pm

Most users arent going to know what kind of processor they have. Get the Pentium G840, its the best bang for your buck at that price point. The main reason I mentioned an i3 is because of hyperthreading. While 4 virtual cores is not the same as 4 physical cores, its still better than 2 cores total. i3's would inherently have a little more "future proofing" because they have 4 virtual cores versus the G840. But just to restate the obvious, the chances of an "office-use" computer using 4 physical cores enough to be worth it is very slim. Focus on a fast dual core chip, which Intel SandyBridge wins every time.

SSD's aren't necessary for every office computer, just like theyre not necessary for every consumer. My advice is to give the IT person in charge of ordering computers a SSD (perhaps a Crucial m4, theyre fast and reliable) and let the SSD sell itself. People that dont own a SSD dont think theyre worth the cost to upgrade, people that own a SSD know better. You dont need to go very big for most office-use SSDs since most storage is handled on a network drive. I say 90GB is a good place to start. With that capacity youre taking good advantage of SSD parallelism with plenty of storage for most typical office situations but youre not breaking the bank.
Last edited by DPete27 on Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:20 pm

For business use I seriously doubt anyone would notice the difference between a quad-core Sandy Bridge chip and one of AMD's fastest. Also, while there's less noticeable a difference between a single core and dual-core than a dual and quad-core chip it's still more responsive overall.

If you're worried about heat/power and going with a quad-core Sandy Bridge you could go with an i5-2400S which has a 65W TDP.

Having gone from an Athlon XP 2800+ -> Athlon 64 X2 6000+ -> Phenom II X4 @3.6Ghz over about the past year or so (and still need to get an SSD) I'm sure that whatever you go with will be a HUGE improvement. I'd go with something that allows you to get an 80+ GB SSD into your build which combined with a fast CPU will be a very nice upgrade.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:01 pm

So, you mention this is for a customer. I get the impression you would be building the systems for them. Once you consider the cost for your time and add that to whatever parts you buy I would think something like this is a very good way to go:

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/ ... n&setter=1

For about $375 delivered you get an Intel Core i3 system with Windows 7, a new keyboard & mouse, etc. No monitor. Has a 1 year warranty with NBD on site service. The only negative I see is that it only has 2GB of RAM. But you can get 4GB (2x2GB) from Newegg for $21 bucks and that's a very quick swap.

You can upgrade to a core i5 for an extra $50 bucks.

You can add another year of NBD on site warranty for $40 bucks if needed.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:25 pm

DPete27 wrote:If you're looking in the low end market, I would suggest an Intel Penitum G840 for $85.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116398
Why not the G850 for only $3 more or the G620 for $15 less?

DPete27 wrote:I would think the highest you would want to go would be a Core i3-2105 which sells for $135.
It's $135 -15 code "EMCJHJG58" at Newegg.

DPete27 wrote: Antec Earthwatts Green 380W PSU's are nice and they can be had for around $50.
The Corsair CX430 for $45 -6.75 code "CorsairPSU15" -20 MIR has the same 336-watt +12V capacity as the Antec EarthWatts EA-380D for $48 -5MIR.

DPete27 wrote: IDE/PATA is going to be hard to find on 1155 motherboards.
The Asus P8H67-V from the System Guide for $112½ -10 code "ASUS121319" happens to include PATA. You probably don't need PATA on a new motherboard. I've had good luck with a $10 SATA-to-IDE bridge for an old PATA device kept around for sentimental reasons.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:15 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:Why not the G850 for only $3 more or the G620 for $15 less?


Dont you think the G850 is being a little nitt picky? The G620 only supports DDR3 1066, in the grand scheme of things that probably isnt a huge deal for an office situation but I didnt like the fact that I couldnt run my (not really mine) ram at 1333 mhz on a recent build I did with a G620. Also 200mhz may provide some performance improvement over 2.6Ghz. Whether its a noticeable increase in performance to the end user....thats debatable
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:37 am

Most of the "Is OC'd RAM worth it" sort of articles I've seen had the below the standard clock RAM modules and the uber overclocked high voltage ones performing similarly in most stuff. And some office apps aren't likely to be that demanding chunk of software.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:27 pm

I've seen similar articles and I agree, which is why I said the memory speed probably doesnt make much/any difference. Ultimately, for pure value/performance the G620 is probably as good as youre going to get for office usage. However, my inner enthusiast has a very hard time dipping that low on the totem pole. So extras like DDR3 1333 support and a 200mhz clock bump makes me feel a little better, like im not scraping the bottom of the barrel, even if those extras make little/no tangible difference in the real world.

It's difficult when you read so many reviews and articles that it makes you think in terms of benchmarks and raw numbers to get back to reality and look at what (if any) differences those numbers make in terms of the end-user experience, especially for office-use computers. It would be hard enough to notice any given task completing a fraction of a second faster on a slightly better system even if you have two systems sitting right next to eachother without a stopwatch, let alone if that system is the only one you have to compare to. Whether or not we like to admit it, every system builder knows this. Which is why when you upgrade, you usually end up with a system that is significantly better component-wise than your previous one. In the gaming world, upgrades become a necessity to keep up with the latest titles. But that necessity has driven computer components so much higher performance-wise than what is needed for typical office use today. This is why office computers last so long, they're usually only replaced when they break or when they cannot handle the software being used (ie. 64-bit OS)
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:35 pm

The Intel Penitum G840 looks like a good choice to me. Would either of these motherboards be good?
Intel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... _-13121506

or
Gigabyte
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128527

The Gigabyte one looks like it would fit the bill. The Intel would be for my son who wants HDMI support. I like that in the future I could upgrade to an i5 or i7 if we so desire.
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:32 pm

The Pentium G850 is just $3 more than the G840.
I cannot recommend an Intel motherboard.

Gigabyte has provided excellent motherboards for the past several years, but recently they've been late to the party with UEFI support. Asus is the #1 supplier for a reason. If you're shopping for a cheap LGA1155 motherboard with USB3, you might consider something like:
$65 BioStar H61MU3
$75 ASRock H61M/U3S3
77½ ASRock H61ICAFE
$82½ MSI H61MU-E35
$87½ ASRock H67M
$97½ ASRock Z68M/USB3
$100 Asus P8H67-M LE
$112½ -10 code "ASUS121319" Asus P8H67-V
$122½ Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3
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Re: best cpu verses cost at the end of 2011

Postposted on Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:24 pm

JAE has a very valid point about the Intel mobo. I would have a hard time ever recommending an Intel board as well, I can ALWAYS find a more attractive alternative. It is true that Gigabyte does not have UEFI. On the flip side you have to determine what is right for the customer. Are they ever going to be digging around in the bios? If not, UEFI probably isnt a huge deal.

The first 3 combo recommendations look very good from JAE as well. (he is the king of combos) I don't know where you sit as far as Windows licences so that may have some pull in one direction or another. Your gigabyte board is a fine choice as well, its also on the low end of the cost spectrum even without the combo discounts so thats a plus as long as youre getting the features the customer needs. The two asus boards are probably a bit out of the price range we're looking at for the office computers, but they may be good for your son. Asus also has the best UEFI and fan control on the market. That gigabyte Z68...I feel like any Z68 is a waste of time unless youre pairing it with an unlocked (K series) processor. I say this all the time, but if you're looking for Asus-like features but don't want to pay the price, AsRock is the next best thing. Don't get me wrong, Asus is still definetly the top dog.
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