CPU Guidance

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
I haven't built a new system in a few years and am considering doing so
soon. I also haven't had the time to keep up with the latest hardware
developments. That being the case:

1) What is considered to be a stable, solid performing processor at a
reasonable price (from what I've read, $200-$300 will bring a pretty decent
CPU these days)?

2) Is it worth going quad core? I don't do gaming, but often do proccessor
intensive tasks, i.e., image editing (large files in LR & PS) and I do a lot
of multi-tasking. I'd like some overhead.

3) I currently have both AMD and Intel based systems. Is there any reason
NOT to go with one or the other?

Any mainboard guidance also welcome (with at least 2 or 3 slots for PCI
devices, i.e., NIC, sound cared, etc.).

Thanks for any input,

Re: CPU Guidance

Quoted text here. Click to load it

For image editing (with Photoshop etc)
you will really love the nice boost in performance that you get with a dual
core cpu
vs the single core.

If you can afford it sure...go for a quad core and a mobo that supports DDR3

Re: CPU Guidance

On Fri, 31 Oct 2008 20:20:14 -0500, "James Colbert"

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Sure, but as always the more you spend the less you get for
the increase in price.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Within that price range and with the video editing and
multitasking, yes a quad core might be useful, something
like a Q9300.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Not so much these days unless the budget is tight and you're
using spot pricing to get the best deal, otherwise Intel
seems a better bang for the buck in the midrange and higher.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Too many choices to list, but generally anything, at least
anything decent will already have gigabit ethernet built-in,
and sound too though adding a sound card may result in
cleaner sound or superior 3D gaming effects if those are
important to you.

Lots of brands are hit-or-miss, only after some time have a
sufficient # of users bought one, had problems, or had it
fail so we'd mostly be using retrospect about models you
probably wouldn't want today.  Having written that, Asus and
Gigabyte seem good alternatives once one spends enough to
get beyond the bargain bin defeatured motherboards.

Here are a few examples, read the buyer reviews to uncover
potential problems that might effect your use.

Re: CPU Guidance

You might look at this:

There are some nice 2 & 3 core units available for less than $200US.
From what I read, AMDs have less cache, but tend to be the bargains.

Price chart:

Re: CPU Guidance

Thanks to all for your replies. They have helped put me on the right track.

I decided to go with:

Asus PQ5 Pro
Intel Q9550
Corsair 4GB DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

Thanks for the article, baynole2. Quite informative. kony, your assessment
of the current climate and Intel's current status turned out to be dead on.
philo, DDR3 is a good thought, but it is pretty costly right now, as are the
supporting boards, but can't go wrong with Quad core...

I think that this config will carry me over for a while, plus the PQ5 has
room to grow (if Intel doesn't change their socket soon...), supporting 1600
FSB and DDR2 1200. I also like the 8 SATA connections and support for 8GB
RAM. It sports the ICH10R chipset, which I haven't heard a lot about.

All for less than $600. I hadn't planned on spending that much, but that is
what generally happens :).

These seem like pretty solid choices. If there is one component that I'm not
completely confident about, it's the mainboard. Any comments regarding that
or the other components are welcome.

Thanks again for all advice!


Site Timeline