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Processor and Graphics Card Guide

Discussion in 'Computers, Games, Electronics etc' started by endlesszeal, May 12, 2011.

  1. endlesszeal

    endlesszeal Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    Nov 13, 2002
    MattsHB thread prompted me to start a little guide on what I think is the best buy in terms of processor and graphics performance.

    However, the very first thing I want to say is, if you dont absolutely need to purchase a machine right now, I would HIGHLY recommend waiting till end of June. This is because AMD will be releasing its much anticipated Bulldozer and Llano processors. It could possibly change everything, but it could probably be a bust as well.

    Anyway, to the good stuff. Lets start with mobile from lowest to max.


    -Netbooks: AMD's E-350 Brazo platform is the way to go. Intel Atom cant touch it.
    -Entry Notebook ($500>): Intel. Better everything, recommend any of the i3 or i5 series. But Core 2 Duo is still very good, beating the best AMD has to offer.
    -Intermediate Notebook ($1000>): Intel. Look for i5 or i7 with 2xxx. The ones with 3 digits are older Nehalem based and is easily 20% slower than Sandy Bridge.
    -Professional Notebook ($1000<): Intel. Same story as intermediate notebooks.

    -Integrated: Intel because even though AMD has the better graphics, they get worked in the CPU department. And since most notebooks dont come with discrete graphics card, the CPU you choose determines your GPU (graphics). The only exception is with netbooks. AMD has a much much better platform. Note: Core i3, i5 or i7 with 2xxx series is comparable to AMDs best integreated GPU.
    -Discrete: Im not well versed, but the common consensus the AMD GPUs are a step ahead of Nvidias offering.


    -Entry ($400>): AMD based machines over more for the money. Also, very good upgrade paths. Look for Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X4 (w/L3 cache).
    -Intermediate ($600-800): Either AMD or Intel. However, ONLY the Phenom II X4 with the L3 cache or Phenom II X6 (6-cores). Its murky here because AMDs best is just barely a match for Intels entry Sandy Bridge machines (again with Core i5 and i7s with 2xxx). If you're able to land an Intel machine with core i5 or i7 with either the 7xx, 8xx or 9xx for the same price, these will handily beat any AMD machines.
    -Professional ($1000<): Hands down Intel. Completely embarrasses AMD.

    -Integrated: If youre going with an AMD machine, you get AMD. If you go with Intel, you get Intel. However, unlike notebooks, desktops 99% of the time allow you to throw in a discrete GPU. Thus, DO NOT let integrated GPU dictate your buy, rather let CPU. There are very very few exceptions like a HTPC or mini-ITX build where GPU will lead you to decide between Intel or AMD machines.
    -Entry ($50-80): You can easily find 9800GT, GTS250, HD4850 and so forth for this price.
    -Intermediate ($100-150): Easily find something like GTX460 or HD5830 for this price.
    -Professional ($200<): GTX 560 Ti or HD6950 2GB.

    From here, i will let tomshardware's chart give you an idea of what GPU to choose and whats comparable. Price wise, I would follow my recommendation. If you find a GTS250 at bestbuy for $120 obviously its not worth it because on newegg you can score a GTX 460 that would f**k it up.

    Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart : Best Graphics Cards For The Money: May 2011

    Anyway, I hope this helps some people. Maybe someday ill get around to finish my DIY computer guide thread i started like 2 years ago.
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