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1508 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 87884 9-Aug-2011 16:38
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Im looking to build a basic desktop to do some heavier lifting than my old laptop can do, mainly video encoding and editing. It is going to be using onboard video for now as I dont have the budget to put a graphics card into it yet. 
From what I can see, I have a choice between an Intel core I3 2100 and an AMD phenom II 840 quad core. They both bench pretty much the same on, but the Intel uses a little less power and costs a bit more.
Im not looking for an Intel/AMD fanboy war!, just looking for anyone who can tell me whether the extra cost of the Intel with Intel graphics is worth it over the AMD chip and an ati graphics chip onboard.

Im guessing that there wont be much in it. It will likely be running Linux, at least at first, so if anyone can tell me if there are incompatibilities with linux, that would be great.


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423 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 503971 9-Aug-2011 17:09
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Video encoding seems to be one of the areas where the extra cores really pay off. The Intel will probably be faster for general use, the AMD will probably be faster for video encoding.

You're right that the AMD is cheaper and uses more power. The difference in power use can actually be quite high.

Also, don't forget to look at the motherboard cost.

1508 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 503983 9-Aug-2011 17:35
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AMD wins in the motherboard cost stakes too. Difference in power is about 30W in theory, so there are a couple of low power lightbulbs in it. 
The Intel has hyperthreading to make up for the lack of 2 cores, but maybe physical cores are slightly better than virtual ones when it comes to video.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 503986 9-Aug-2011 17:39
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If you are primarily going to be running Linux then it is worth checking out graphics driver issues, Sandy Bridge's out of the box experience on Ubuntu Linux is not good by the looks of things.
This may have changed since this article and I must admit I don't run Linux on my desktop, haven't used my integrated sandy bridge graphics either so I'm no talking from personal experience.

Amd are actively working on graphics drivers for Linux, both open and closed source so they are more likely to have a stable working driver out of the box and a straight forward update path.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 508495 18-Aug-2011 12:13
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Eventually got an AMD athlon II 265 dual core and Asus mobo. It wasnt worth getting the quad at the moment because I would have needed a better mobo and Ram and more money.
Only problem was I installed linux mint and the dvd drive would not read dvd movies. Got frustrated and bought win 7 64 bit and dvd drive wouldn't read the install disc. Installed with usb stick and it turns out dvd drive is broken. Fun times restoring older PC's!

Happy now and system runs like a dream and is very fast. 

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