PC Hardware forum


Simple CPU Question .... I Think :(

by Minicam9 / February 9, 2013 6:54 AM PST

I use to build computers all the time, maybe 20-25 total, but that was WAY back in the 2-core days. I just simply burned out & didn't have fun doing it any longer. But I still do my own family computers, since I'm a bit picky. I guess I was pretty good at picking the pieces, since this ancient Athlon64X2-4800+ / Nvidia9800GT rig is only now feeling serious effects of the "I-Can't-Do-That" disease. So it's time for new.

The results of several recent 3a.m. bedtimes have allowed me to figure out the best parts for my price-range ... graphics, memory, case, drives, etc. The MOBO won't be a problem, since that's always been my favorite piece to research. However, because of how long I've been out of the loop, I'm WAY behind on new CPU-tech. That's where I need YOUR help, although I have narrowed the possibilities down to a minimum. There's just a couple (that means 3 or 5) items which I'm still clueless about.

You saw above I haven't picked a MOBO yet, for the obvious reason I haven't picked a CPU yet. But I'm going with 1 of 6 for sure (or 1 of 9, I'll elaborate at the end). Although I've used 90% AMD's, I'm not completely Intel-Stupid. I'm NOT a fan-boy either way & hope this thread doesn't devolve into that.

So the basics are, I'm looking at AMD FX-8350, 8320, or 8120. I shouldn't even include the last one, since it ranks quite a bit lower than the first 2 on about every benchmark/comparison I've been able to find, at only $25'ish cheaper. These are all 8-core. Now, for Intel, I've picked i5-2450P, 3470, or 2500K. I've read remarkable stories about the last one, even though several benchmarks place it a bit lower than the 1st two. HOWEVER, I'm a good OC'er & seems like that "K" signifies a chip which works well with that art, so it could probably be convinced to operate at near the performance of the 1st two. And it also already has a higher clock speed than either, but significantly lower than the 1st two AMDs. I'm plenty computer-savvy to know that doesn't mean a whole lot in modern chips, but I'll be the first to admit that it's my major CPU-weakness .... I LUV seeing those monstrous clocks, like the 4.0GHZ of the biggest AMD above.

I do know that typically Intel usually beats AMD same-4-same, and quite often even a couple notches HIGHER of an AMD. But here's my main stickler. Best that I can tell, ALL i5's are 4-core. All AMD's above are 8-core. (Let's not get into hyperthreading discussion in depth, although it may play a part, if i5's actually have it) So ... even though Intel chips quite often outperform AMD chips, will those 8-core AMD chips have a noticable advantage above those 4-core Intels? If not, will those extra 4 cores allow the AMD chips to perform AS WELL as the Intels? I bring that up because ALL of the AMD's, with only 1 sole exception, are up to 60 bucks cheaper. I'm NOT building a bargain-basement system here, but I'm also a Disabled Vet with fixed income. $25 doesn't matter, $60 might.

So will I get better performance from those faster, bigger, & cheaper AMDs? Or will the somewhat more expensive, smaller, & slower Intels STILL outdo them?

That's the main question & the only one I need a definite answer to. However, as hinted at above, there are 3 more CPUs I'm eyeing as curiosities. The A10-5800K, A10-5700, & A8-5600K APUs, with integrated graphics. Now right off the bat I KNOW these don't ompute as well as ANY of the 6 above, but they aren't dramatically too far back. My new build WILL have a great graphics card in it, so I'm not saying I'll rely on the onboard video. But the plan is to buy SLI/Crossfire capable stuff, but only 1 card for now. I'm not even sure I'll like a dual graphic set-up, but doing it this way allows me to add that second card later, if I so choose.

But will these chips with onboard Radeon graphics work together with a dedicated Radeon card, much like a Crossfire setup? he biggest & neatest advantage I see by going this APU-route is that I would still have working video if I blew my card up. (Remember I said that I OC'd .... well, sometimes I OD too & burn something up Happy ) So does either of these reasons give me a legitimate reason to go with the less powerful APUs, which will actually do all the computing I want to do anyway?

Last thing, an "addie" since we got to talking about onboard graphic stuff. I noticed that some new MOBOs have some decent onboard graphics now. Will THIS graphics do an SLI/Crossfire-type deal with a dedicated video card? Does it have to be the same brand? In other words, if the MOBO graphics are Radeon, will it work with Nvidia, or just Radeon? THIS option would allow me to do what I SHOULD do anyway & go with one of the faster pure-CPUs. But then I'd still have that extra graphics when I melt my new dedicated video card.

Thanks in advance for all help.

Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Simple CPU Question .... I Think :(
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Simple CPU Question .... I Think :(
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Extra Stuffs
by Minicam9 / February 9, 2013 8:18 AM PST

Add this. Maybe it'll help with the CPU choice between Intel 4-cores & AMD 8-cores. 3 things I basically do:

1. I game. NEVER on-line. My games are almost entirely simulators. SimCity4, upcoming SimCity Limited, Trainz 2011, Cities-XL, Tropico-4, Civ-5, junk like that. I'm not running & shooting, but sometimes (often) build up humongous maps & metros.

2. I'm an author. My books are almost always 1 of 2 genres. #1 is novels built around events which could, or have, happened. These require LOTS of research, so sometimes I may have 50 tabs open on 2 different browsers + my text editor open somewhere else. I figure this type usage is more bandwidth/memory intensive, but it does use processor power also. #2 type is BIG eye-candy books, the expensive type with large pretty pictures & little writing which you leave open on the end-table to impress your friends. Here I may have much fewer tabs open, but they will each contain large hi-res images. I may also have 1 or 2 image editors going (Photoshop, Ultimate-Paint, format changers, etc.) So I figure this type is more graphic intensive, less bandwidth, about the same memory.

3. I'm a very active & somewhat advanced astrophotographer. The images I take through the scopes via CCD are B&W exposed through 4 color filters. The result is a set of "FITS" files, usually around 1500X1200, & often up to 300MB each, depending upon how long the exposure was. All 4 of these will be open at one time in Photoshop, while I align, crop, adjust, etc. The final, usually 500MB'ish, then goes through a converter to make it into hi-res TIFFS or lower-res PNGs. VERY high memory usage, CPU, GPU, everything.

Maybe that info will help a little on which CPU-type is better.

Collapse -
Some thoughts
by Bob__B / February 10, 2013 7:26 AM PST

Being a little intel biases and with bucks in mind.

The I5-2500/3570 seems to be the sweet spot/bang for the buck.
If you want to overclock add a "k" to the model.

Yes it only has 4 cores and yes you may have some app/s that will be faster with 8 cores.

Ram...........the fastest the machine will support.
Amount......enough to keep the swap file quiet.

I don't think your going to go very far wrong with that combo.

Collapse -
what is the difference between I5 2500 and 2400
by verbatimline / February 11, 2013 3:58 PM PST
In reply to: Some thoughts

I'm in the process of my first custom build and was about to purchase an I5 2nd Gen 2400. What is the difference between the two. And do I need a gen 3 Intel processor to take advantage of SLI PCIe 3.0?

Collapse -
computer issues
by charlesDean / February 11, 2013 9:04 PM PST

I have a cousin who is an accountant and I built her a system around the Intel® Core™ i5-2400 and the Asus P8Z68-M Pro board. She loves it and very happy with it. For gamer the Intel Core i5-2500K is a great value but if you aren't going to overclock then that really isn't much of a reason to spend the extra money.

Collapse -
by Bob__B / February 11, 2013 9:47 PM PST

2400@3.1......turbo 3.4
2500@3.3......turbo 3.7

And do I need a gen 3 Intel processor to take advantage of SLI PCIe 3.0?
Looks like yes.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Free trip to the Grand Prix

Don't miss your chance to win a trip to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco for you and a plus-one.