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80 posts

Master Geek

# 45382 1-Nov-2009 14:48
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Hi all

I'm building a new home PC with a budget of about $2000 - that has to include everything + display, Windows 7, and a printer.

This is only my second system build so you can assume I know almost nothing...

The choices:
AMD Phenom II X3 720 CPU (AM3), 2.8GHz Black Edition
and Asus M4A77TD Pro Motherboard (AM3)


Intel Core 2 Duo 2.93GHz CPU (E7500)
Gigabyte GA-EP45T-UD3LR Motherboard (775)

The computer is just a general home PC but I will play a few 3D games on it. I heard Windows 7 has good support for multi core processors - does this give the AMD 3x core CPU the advantage here over the Intel x2, or is there more to it than that? The budget for CPU and Mobo is under $400 at the moment but of course I can choose to downgrade other components if there and better ones to go for.

Have also been looking at the new Sapphire HD5770 video card - with DirectX 11 support - but is DirectX 11 enough to justify an extra $100 vs a cheaper video card?

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71 posts

Master Geek

  # 269142 2-Nov-2009 00:28
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Personally I would go the AM3 as the Intel 775 is on its down cycle, limiting upgrade options in the future. The 5770 is an ok card depending on your size of display and the type of games you're into. Although more expensive the 5850 is probably the best bang for buck graphics card at the moment.

361 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 269151 2-Nov-2009 07:05
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You'll likely find the Intel chip to be faster for single and dual threaded applications. But as Wilstar said you'll have much more in the way of upgrade options later for the AM3 board.

Personally I'd get the AM3. And as Wilstar mentioned a 5850 graphics card, even if that meant nerfing the CPU for a while and upgrading it later to stay within budget.


80 posts

Master Geek

  # 269156 2-Nov-2009 07:56
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Great, AM3 sound like a plan. I had read good reviews about the 5850 but when comparing the specs with the 5770 they seemed almost the same:

Sapphire HD5770 PCIE Video Card, 1GB DDR5
· I/O Output: Dual DL-DVI-I+DP+HDMI, Triple Display Support
· Core Clock: 850 MHz
· Memory Clock: Effective 4800 MHz
· PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface
· 1024MB /128bit GDDR5 memory interface
· Dual Slot Cooler with Auto Fan Control
· On-board HDMI, supports HDMI 1.3 with High Bitrate Audio
· On-board DisplayPort
· Maximum Board Power: 108 Watt; Idle Board Power: 18 Watt

Sapphire HD5850 PCIE Video Card, 1GB DDR5
· I/O Output: Dual DL-DVI-I+DP+HDMI, Triple Display Support
· Core Clock: 725 MHz
· Memory Clock: Effective 4000 MHz
· PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
· 1024MB /256bit GDDR5 memory interface
· Dual Slot Cooler with Auto Fan Control, 2 Ball Bearing
· On-board HDMI, supports HDMI 1.3 with High Bitrate Audio
· On-board DisplayPort

In most cases there the cheaper option appears to be better, but am I right to assume there is more to it than just what they've shown here? The price difference is $160.

2260 posts

Uber Geek


  # 269159 2-Nov-2009 08:16
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Yeah +another one for Am3 :)
The Phenom is a powerful chip

There is quite a lot more difference than just the specs, the 5850 is about 40-50% faster in almost all games/3dmark/photoshop editing. It's due to:
128bit memory bus vs the 256bit
I remember when the old 32bit vs 64bit DDR and DDR2 cards came out, big big difference in speed

Here's a brief review where they compare the 5770 to the 5850
basically they are saying, the 5770 is a 4870/4890 repackaged with a new chipset of course and extremely low power levels :) oh and the new triple monitor support

In most of the reviews however, it is outpaced slightly by the 4870. But only just and with such a low power useage, who cares :) If you want a good solid card basically as fast as the last gen top ATI cards(with exception of the 4870X2) then go the 5770. if you want a very very fast card go for the 5850 :) that $160 extra is giving you 40% more performance in most cases and would be future proof....well at least for another 6 months

I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 

8033 posts

Uber Geek


  # 269281 2-Nov-2009 14:28
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128bit vs 256bit memory interface makes a huge difference.

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