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Thread: The right AMD Proc

  1. #1
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    Default The right AMD Proc

    First off hello Phoronix members. Great sight, with very insightful threads!

    I am having a difficult time deciding on the right AMD CPU for a new build. I have lost touch over the last few years on processor specs and performance and can not find a good link to save my soul with a roundup on AMD procs.

    System Specs so far:
    Usage : SOHO - Video (playing/editing/creation), Picture (editiing), Small business apps (calendaring, email, financial, small database usage, etc), Virtualizaton (win xp - to run specialized software for example to interface a blackberry)

    OS : Ubuntu 8.10 then 9.04 and onward
    Mem : 4 GB
    Video : Nvidia 9600gt
    Monitor : 19" widescreen
    HDD : 7200 SATA II 750GB
    Processor Price : $150 or less - can spend more for a good price/performance break point

    What are some thought for a CPU. I would like to stick with AMD and have some muscle to spare as I am sure that the usage demands will grow for this system. This system will do very little gaming if at all so I am thinking a good quad core is the correct choice but am not sure on what chipset to go with as I am not too familiar with the latest AMD quads and triple cores.

  2. #2
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    As for the CPU I would recommend the AMD Phenom II X4 920 @ 2.8 GHz which is due to be released in five days. The problem is that with ~ 220€ it is more expensive than you would have liked. You could however chose an not so expensive AMD 770/SB700 based motherboard which costs you around 70€ over the well spread AMD 790GX/SB750 motherboards that include the new southbridge for improved overclocking abilities (and slightly better SATA/USB performance as far as I know). This way you would probably have the most performance for your money if you expected the motherboard to be more expensive. The current AMD Phenom X4 processors are placed in your expected price range but are not only around 25% slower but also have a much higher power consumption. It is up to you...

  3. #3
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    I would recommend against purchasing a 920 or 940. I would hang tough until the AM3 versions come out (late 1st/Early 2nd quarter). The 920 and 940 have a really short run (4 months before they are EOL) and limit you to using AM2+ boards only. The AM3 processors on the other hand can be used in a AM2+ and AM3 boards and give you more upgrade path options. If your going for overclocking it's also better off to get a Black Edition processor that has a unlocked multiplier which is crucial for maximum overclocks on AMD processors. I cannot in good faith recommend any current AMD chipset boards (reasons of which can be found in multiple threads here). Fortunately nVidia is due with their new chipsets, which also have ACC, around the same time as the Phenom II debut.
    Last edited by deanjo; 01-03-2009 at 07:44 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the reply d2kx. I should have listed my expectation for motherboard pricing. Was expecting to pay around 70$. I did some looking around with the suggestions you gave me. I do like the power savings of the Phenom II and I like the idea of getting a mobo with built in ATI video because I have high hopes that ATI will continue to improve the video drivers both open and blob. I would have the option of test fglrx and eventually pull the Nvidia 9600gt from the mobo if the demands on video editing are not met.

    I wonder if there are any concerns/pitfalls to using an add on Nvidia card with an nvidia northbridge over ati northbridge.


    This is going to be a tough choice.
    I am leaning towards a mobo with 790GX/SB750.
    As for the cpu. I will wait for the release and see how pricing and availability are. Looking at these 3:
    Phenom II 920
    Phenom 9850
    Athlon X2 7750BE

  5. #5
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    There are apparently some mobos coming out with the 780G and the SB750, which gives you the overclocking assist without paying for the faster graphics. Might be an option.

    EDIT - found one : http://www.ocia.net/reviews/ecsa780gm/page1.shtml

    I had previously posted that it cost $70, but looks like the web site happened to slip in an ad for the previous version (the non-Ultra with SB700) and *that's* the one which is $70. The reviewer mentioned that the Ultra would be either same price or a bit higher, but didn't have a price at the time. Anyways, you want the Ultra version to get SB750.
    Last edited by bridgman; 01-03-2009 at 08:27 PM.

  6. #6
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    Should be able to use a ATI card on a Nvidia board and vice versa without issue.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    There are apparently some mobos coming out with the 780G and the SB750, which gives you the overclocking assist without paying for the faster graphics. Might be an option.
    ACC boards have been out for a while already Bridgeman.

  8. #8
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    Yep, but the first wave all had the 790GX and cost $$$. These ones have ACC but use the 780 instead of the 790GX and cost a lot less.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    I would recommend against purchasing a 920 or 940. I would hang tough until the AM3 versions come out (late 1st/Early 2nd quarter). The 920 and 940 have a really short run (4 months before they are EOL) and limit you to using AM2+ boards only. The AM3 processors on the other hand can be used in a AM2+ and AM3 boards and give you more upgrade path options. If your going for overclocking it's also better off to get a Black Edition processor that has a unlocked multiplier which is crucial for maximum overclocks on AMD processors. I cannot in good faith recommend any current AMD chipset boards (reasons of which can be found in multiple threads here). Fortunately nVidia is due with their new chipsets, which also have ACC, around the same time as the Phenom II debut.
    Well I took to long to type my reply. I see you have touched on one concern of mine with chipsets. My delema will be if I can hold off the purchase long enough for the AM3 chips.

    I can save some money back on the HDD and monitor selection for the Phenom II chips.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the advice so far everyone. Looks like I will have to wait 5 days for the Phenom II's to come out then do some price comparisons and look for some price drops. Having read the forums some more about the AMD chipsets I am leaning towards the nVidia chipset motherboards with ACC. After all, I have multiple PC's running now with Linux and nVidia chipsets not to mention my nVidia 7150igp mthybuntu 8.10 is playing HD tv flawless and does gaming (FOF and Sauerbraten) well on slightly lower graphics settings.

    I may end up going with an AM2+ mobo/proc with DDR2 and use the price difference to recommend full upgrade in future to AM3 mobo/proc and DDR3 after the prices come down.
    Last edited by dsk2; 01-03-2009 at 10:23 PM.

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