Cheap Desktop Computer Battle

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Swordkd

The Intel build is the only one that matters since all builds included an OS in the build price, but the Intel build is the only one that included an optical drive to actually install the OS.

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PCLinuxguy

While I am a fan of ODDs and using DVDs and the like, but to dismiss the AMD machines just because they did not include an ODD in the build is asinine. You can always use an external ODD for the install instead of buying a part that you may only use just once.

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Insula Gilliganis

Since it has been months (late April) since I originally read this article in the magazine, I don't remember my specific reasons for disliking it. And since the magazine has already published some reader comments and responses concerning this article, I won't comment on specifics since I probably will just be rehashing something already discussed.

But I will write this, hopefully, unique perspective.. I do remember having the feeling that the article was a "rush job", something thought up in the morning around the coffee machine, worked on during lunch break, and eventually completed for the copy editor to read by the end of the same day. I am sure it wasn't executed this way.. but it sure felt like it was!! I have that same feeling about all these articles that pit one or more editor against each other in some kind of build. It is almost the exact opposite feeling I get when reading the "Build It" section.. there I feel that some time, thought & effort was spent to put together a reasonably good, balanced rig. I get none of that when reading "editor vs editor" pieces.

How about in the future, have all the editors work on building the same system.. one issue has all 3 editor build competing FM2 systems, next month AM3+, then next 1150. At the very least, give the most experienced editors the more difficult build.. Gordon should have done the FM2!! Bet he pulled rank on Chris!!

For the record, Tom's build was really the only one I would even want to receive as a gift!! Chris's build totally negated and/or neglected any of the strengths of FM2 platform while Gordon's has too much cheapness attached to his.

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Hilarity

Pffft, Intel shilling. The AM3+ whole package is still better than the Intel, stop relying so much on benchmarks. You sacrifice nearly everything to pack an i5.

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Ghost XFX

Sorry, Gordon, judges, but that Intel build has committed one of the worse sins possible: relying on a generic PSU. When it fails, it will do so epically.

That AM3+ build, Does Tom realize he could have got himself a 7950 for cheaper than that 7870?

Not sure what could have been done about the FM2 build, but having a high priced GPU wouldn't have been the focal point for me. I would have started with the best Proc possible below $150. APU's have came a long way, and have some ways to go yet.

If AMD wants APUs to be highly relevant, they should start integrating known and available GPU families within them. So say, for example, take the A10-5800K with a integrated 7790 GPU. obviously, you'd buy yourself a 7790 GPU to couple with it for Crossfire. But those dumb dumbs went with a 7660D, leaving potential buyers scratching their heads. What do you buy to crossfire with a 7660D? They don't even make a discrete 7600 series, let alone a 7660...

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tom_m

We actually built these systems several months back, before AMD's GPU price drops :)

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PCLinuxguy

So you don't know about hybrid crossfire for the APUs? 7660 IGP coupled with a 7750 or 7770 in a hybrid crossfire setup uses both the discrete card and the IGP together for increased performance though only for low end discrete cards. I'm not sure if a 7790 is supported for that mode or not, but anything higher than the 7790 for sure will be just discrete only.

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Ghost XFX

Crossfire only works when you have like family cards in unison. It's always been that way. You couldn't take a 7950 and pair it with a 7790. It would never work properly. The same applies with APUs. AMD is using unfamiliar graphic families with available known GPUs, there's no way they'll work as well.

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PCLinuxguy

Not trying to insult you, but have you checked for how this works with the APUs? Google and Youtube (And AMD's website) are good resources on this one. Quite a few people have taken an A10 Trinity series APU and paired it with a 7750 and 7770 with hybrid crossfire working just fine. Or you can go previous gen on the GPU with the 6000 series card to use with the IGP in the APU (as the 6000 series is recommended).
Prime example of a Hybrid CrossfireX system: AMD A10 APU with 7660G graphics = Radeon 7770 GPU + DDR3 1866 or higher + 256GB ssd. Very fast and with good graphics. Now don't get me wrong, even this setup would not be as potent as using a 7850 or higher card by itself and the APU's CPU side only. (or an FX series 4 core) But it IS plausible and possible to do with success.

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vrmlbasic

But hybrid crossfire is still reportedly buggy and results in games being largely unplayable.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dual-graphics-crossfire-benchmark,3583.html

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PCLinuxguy

right, but it's still plausible. it seemed to me (which is why I replied to the first post) that the person did not believe it possible due to the low end nature of the graphics and/or mismatched card types based on model e.g. 7660 not being a real card like a 7790 is so crossfire won't work etc.

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w2ed

Wow - Gordon's was fairly solid, with using NVidia and Intel my only complaints. (If it wasn't a budget build, it'd be a completely different story.)

Tom's mentality towards the build was spot-on with mine: Something that will last. His impressed me the most, in spite of Gordon's SSD and ODD.

Chris, may I smack the stupid out of you? I was looking forward to your build the most, as I was considering on using FM2 for a future build. However, you chose a direction that was completely different from what I was considering, in an effort to win a contest, and not only did you lose, but you blamed the parts for it! I don't think anyone will dispute the disadvantage you had compared to parts from platforms that are closer to the higher end than the consumer end, but to cut out potential shared advantages by going with another GPU maker killed both what could have been an awesome, if slower, system.

I hope to see this again soon.

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tom_m

In Chris's defense, we decided that his angle was to strap a rocket to a sled and see what happened, which led us to the modest APU and GTX 670 combo. While the experiment wasn't a success, we can still glean useful info from it.

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QuantumCD

"Those who have high-res panels of 2560x1600 will also benefit from the 670, as it outperform the other video cards at higher resolutions."

Wait... what? So you buy a $1,200 dollar monitor, and then build a $750 computer to use that monitor?

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aarcane

Gordon: Cut the ODD and the SSD from Hardware, then choose Ubuntu Linux for the OS and you'll get the K series CPU and quadruple the RAM. With gaming platforms flocking to Linux Left and Right, you'll not be losing much for long.

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Upyourbucket

This was a really interesting read. Tom surprised me this time with the parts he chose making a sleeper rig.Gordon built a formidable contender.And Chris was digging deep with the Fm2.I liked this budget build showdown. I bet you guys had fun picking parts versus each other and letting the specs do the talking.Nice job guys.

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Xenite

Seeing how CPU heavy benchmark tests rarely translate to real world performance, they should not be given that much credence. Gaming benchmarks are and always will be the best standards to use. It's what the vast majority of these rigs are going to be used for.

Not many people are building rigs with gaming video cards so they can whip out some 'killer' Sony Vegas videos.

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j_j_montez

I used the R103A (identical to the R218) in a budget build for a client's computer. They had a budget of $450 with possible expandability. As the article stated, a budget is harder to plan for. PC Partpicker helped with getting the information on the best prices.

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/j_j_montez/saved/2ma2

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appleroxinhouston

The AMD Athlon X4 750k is just the A10-6800k without the integrated graphics, so it's a TOTAL HIT at around $80. With that, I managed this at under $700 on pcpartpicker.com. you can't really beat this CPU on a tight budget. If you wanted to go up to the $750 budget you cold get a better HDD, an SSD, and/or a better CPU cooler, but I think this cooler is adequate for a budget overclock.

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/appleroxinhouston/saved/2m4W

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vrmlbasic

Wow, that's interesting. Somehow I missed that the Ax4 was in the FM2 socket. The faux-apu. I wish that the guys at MPC had gone this route now as I'm curious as to how it would have gone down but now I know that a single Piledriver module is something to avoid.

With the ~43 dollars of headroom in your linked build, what about a hybrid HDD?

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appleroxinhouston

The AMD Athlon X4 750k is just the A10-6800k without the integrated graphics, so it's a TOTAL HIT at around $80. With that, I managed this at under $700 on pcpartpicker.com. you can't really beat this CPU on a tight budget. If you wanted to go up to the $750 budget you cold get a better HDD, an SSD, and/or a better CPU cooler, but I think this cooler is adequate for a budget overclock.

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/appleroxinhouston/saved/2m4W

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iplayoneasy

I feel like the AM3+ machine brings more to the table with the better case, a good psu, and future possibilities. I've used that combo before but have gotten 4.6 ghz thanks to the hyper 212. If he could have switched to a 600 watt inland psu you could have the option of a 2nd gpu in the future. More ram slots. This rig has expandability options. You'd have to start over if you wanted to upgrade the intel machine.

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PCLinuxguy

Indeed, as Haswell uses LGA1150. Such a waste IMO with Intel to have to change sockets and boards just to use a new CPU. Granted not everyone updates every few months to bleeding edge so by the time upgrades roll around they get a new board and CPU, but still. AM3+ from AMD supported Athlon IIs al the way to the latest FX 8 core.. Less cost to 'level up' meaning more money to put toward Ram or GPU or maybe even storage via HDD or SSD.

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dgrmouse

PCLinuxguy said, "Such a waste IMO with Intel to have to change sockets and boards just to use a new CPU."

Honestly, by the time you're ready to upgrade your CPU there are usually enough corresponding, supplementary technology upgrades (RAM type and speed, USB vX, GbE, SATA vX, PCIe vX, etc) that you're likely to want a new board as well - new socket or otherwise.

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PCLinuxguy

nice try troll but if you actually read my entire post you'd see that I made a clear statement that while not everyone swaps boards/sockets every time a new one comes out just to be bleeding edge, i can see how a socket change may not be a big deal to others that don't upgrade as frequently and they wouldn't notice the difference. So basically you wasted everyone's time and your own futile IQ stating part of what was already stated in my post.
Way to Epic Fail dgmouse.

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vrmlbasic

That hasn't happened for me yet. The only new tech that exists that my AM3+ board lacks is the newest PCIe, and lacking that doesn't really hurt my machine.

2 years ago I got this motherboard with a Phenom II x4 955. When I put my 8350 in I didn't really wish that I could upgrade my motherboard as there's nothing too new for it yet; it's a tragedy that a motherboard designed over 2 years ago is still cutting-edge. Where's our DDR4, SATA IV and GPUs that truly need PCIe 3?

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PCLinuxguy

I'm actually surprised an FM part was used in this. Not to say that they aren't a good APU, but normally in this price range, and with such a high end GPU it seems odd to go with an "athlon x4" instead of the "Phenom x4". Overall I liked all three builds, but I'm still sticking to my new gaming rig build that I'm working on with a 4GB GTX 760 and a 6 core AMD FX CPU with 16GB of ram for good measure. All wrapped in a Corsair chassis.

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misterz100

Corsair makes freaking nice cases. I don't like budget builds, as in obviously, you're restricted, I prefer to get nearly top of the line and hold onto it till I deem it no longer my worth, as for the Intel VS AMD upgrade thing, I prefer to get a new chipset with my new CPUs.

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PCLinuxguy

I decided to go with their Graphite 600T chassis. it's pretty nice.