What Would Be A Better Desktop?

#1
Hey Guys. I'm looking at buying a desktop and I've been looking around and I found these on eBay and I want to have your guys opinions on these.

For $549 dollars ($46.70 postage, not sure if I can pickup) I can get:
  • CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66GHz
  • Motherboard - Intel G41 Chipset Motherboard
  • Memory - 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz
  • Hard disk - 500GB 3.5" SATAII HDD
  • DVD burner - 22X CD/DVD Dual Layer Burner
  • Sound - Onboard 5.1 CH HD Audio High Definition Audio
  • Graphics - Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 (Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X4500, Max. shared memory 1759MB. and is that the video memory? or does the max mean something)
  • Network - Onboard Realtek PCIE x1 LAN (Supports Wake-On-LAN, whats that?)
  • Case - Front USB x 2 / HD Audio & Mic / 550W PSU

And for $639 (FREE postage) I can get:
  • CPU - Intel Core I5 650 Duo 3.2G, 4MB cache(Max Turbo Boost to 3.46Ghz! Fastest 2.50 GT/s Intel® QPI)
  • Motherboard - Intel H55 Chipset
  • Memory - 2GB DDR3 1333Mhz
  • HDD - 3.5" 500GB 7200rpm SATAII HDD
  • Disc Drive - 22X CD/DVD Dual Layer Burner
  • Sound - Onboard 8 CH HD Audio
  • Graphics - Built-in HDMI + DVI + VGA outputs
  • Networks - Onboard Realtek PCIE x1 LAN
  • Case - Same Case
 


#2
I would go with the second system, more up to date CPU and motherboard.

I would add another 2GB of RAM later though.

What is the power supply for it, same as the first one? What brand of case and power supply?

For the small difference in price, about $44, the second one is the better choice.

It's a Dual-Core CPU, and should be adequate for just about anything you'll need it for unless you do a lot of applications open at once and heavy Photoshop or Auto-Cad use.
 


Highwayman

Extraordinary Member
#3
Newer isn't always better, neither system is a clear winner however #1 has superior quad core despite lower clock speed (4x 2.6 beats 2x 3.2 although older games will only use 1 or 2 cores so bear that in mind) but is of older tech so less upgrade paths available , #1 also has more ram which a handy thing to have, #2 has the better mainboard, sadly both have what i'd call SUCKY Intel graphic options... which would need a upgrade to be of any use for gaming.
 


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#4
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66GHz has 4 cores, while Core I5 650 Duo has only 2 cores. 2 hyperthreading cores cannot beat 4 real in multitasking. The 1st system looks a little more powerful to me.


My preference now would be to get a motherboard as large as possible, because I had trouble fitting ATI 5870 on my G45 (when doing my recent upgrade). Ended up with jammed SATA cables underneath the card and no extra space left at all, not even for 1 SSD.
 


Highwayman

Extraordinary Member
#5
Ended up with jammed SATA cables underneath the card and no extra space left at all, not even for 1 SSD.
I had similar issue on my mobo despite being a full ATX size board, my 5870 covers 2 of the 8 Sata sockets, thankfully if I did need them you can get the sata leads that have a 90 degree fitment to squeeze under the GPU
 


Digerati

Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
#6
What Would Be A Better Desktop?
For what? Without us knowing what your intended use is for this computer, NO ONE can tell you which one will be better for YOU!

Newer isn't always better, neither system is a clear winner however #1 has superior quad core
True, newer isn't always better, but winner of what? We don't know the objective. And Quad does not automatically mean superior. The i5-650, for example, uses "superior" 32nm archetecture, consumes less power and generates less heat.

And also, I disagree with your comments about graphics capabilities. The i5, coupled with a suitable motherboard, provides EXCELLENT support for many games and is fully capable of providing HD content in a home theater environment. Note where Anandtech states,
For a HTPC there's simply none better than these new Clarkies. The on-package GPU keeps power consumption nice and low, enabling some pretty cool mini-ITX designs that we'll see this year. Then there's the feature holy-grail: Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-MA bitstreaming over HDMI. If you're serious about building an HTPC in 2010, you'll want one of Intel's new Core i3s or i5s.
Sure, if in to serious 3D animated gaming, you will want a good graphics card - but neither of these machines are gaming rigs. But to that, in the same Anandtech review, note the comment about the less powerful i3,
If you want an affordable gaming CPU, the Core i3 is where it's at.
The article does fault the i5s for being pricy, however, compared to the nearly as capable i3s.

If I had to choose, I agree with Nibiru2012 and I would definitely get the i5 model. And I would bump up the RAM to 4 Gb too - but that's to ensure all RAM is compatible - not always a sure thing when upgrading down the road.

Do note that neither of those computers listed mention anything about an operating system so that would be an addional expense. I would certainly go for 64-bit Windows 7.
 


Highwayman

Extraordinary Member
#7
True, newer isn't always better, but winner of what? We don't know the objective. And Quad does not automatically mean superior. The i5-650, for example, uses "superior" 32nm archetecture, consumes less power and generates less heat. And also, I disagree with your comments about graphics capabilities.
Hmm best overall system performance is what I would refer to as the winner, seriously though would you take a i5 dual core over a core 2 quad on performance? I certainly wouldn't care to test them head to head on new game benchmarks. To quote power saving and thermals as the main reason to choose the i-series CPU seems a bit silly, that said I stated the core 2 quad would provide less upgrade options in the future based on the motherboard limitations, still doesnt clinch it for pushing the dual cored i5's as the better CPU option especially paired up with a hideous Intel GPU, and I really must insist that any Intel based graphics solution is currently inferior in every way to a "proper" GPU chip by Nvidia or Ati, especially for 3d games, even Intel's Larrabee GPU project was abandoned due to terrible 3d performance compared to their rivals. After my initial rant though I do admit an Intel chipset would be adequate for simple tasks like watching movies or using office where any old crap does the job. :redface:

To summise... I'd pick neither option and get a rig of similar price range with a more well rounded spec list, to include 3gig+ 1333mhz ram, quadcore cpu, and a half decent ati/nvidia GPU, bundled with Win7 x64 for a machine that will do any job you chuck at it very nicely, and for that kinda cash range you should be able to get something like that in my opinion although it might be at the expense of having the latest generation tech, but even the i7's are soon to be phased out so it's all relative really, it's also worth pointing out that GPU assisted applications are on the increase now thanks to windows 7 so the sensible money would invest in a DX11 GPU somewhere down the road if you buy an option with a rubbish Intel onboard GPU.
 


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Digerati

Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
#8
To quote power saving and thermals as the main reason to choose the i-series CPU seems a bit silly
First, do not misquote or twist my words around! That's not silly, it's simply wrong and I don't appreciate it! I NEVER said anything about power consumption or thermals as being the "main" reason to do anything. Whether you personally think power consumption and heat generation is silly or not is totally immaterial to this discussion. For many people, they are very important - especially power consumption.

I am afraid you are sadly misinformed, biased, or stuck in the past about the newer Intel graphics. Judging by your use of the descriptive adjectives of "SUCKY" and "hideous", my guess is a bit of all three. You need to read some current reviews about the graphics performance of Intel's newer IGP solutions compared to competing IGPs starting with the review I noted above - which you seem to have totally ignored. Another good read is this Bit Tech comparative review where it concludes,
When we combine the value factor (cost vs performance) and the efficiency factor (power vs performance) the two Intel setups lead the pack with scores of 19.75 and 18.69 for the Core i3 530 and Core i5 661 respectively. The AMD and Nvidia setups yield just 16.92 and 16.38 respectively.
But to the point of graphics, note that both systems above use Intel graphics. And note today's computing world (which includes more than playing games - a point you again seem to be stuck on) is highly graphics oriented so I would take a superior graphics solution, such as that offered by the i5 any day. Sure just about any 1/2 way decent card will yield better performance than integrated graphics, but that's not part of this discussion.
***

BTW - using bold through the whole post is a bit distracting. It makes it look like you have some need to draw attention to yourself. You don't need it to get our attention - what you say is what is important.
 


#9
BTW - using bold through the whole post is a bit distracting. It makes it look like you have some need to draw attention to yourself. You don't need it to get our attention - what you say is what is important.
Touche'! ;)
 


Highwayman

Extraordinary Member
#10
First, do not misquote or twist my words around!
BTW - using bold through the whole post is a bit distracting. It makes it look like you have some need to draw attention to yourself. You don't need it to get our attention - what you say is what is important.
LOL call the way I see it, as for the bold thing.. what's the point of having all those font features going unused? think outside the box dude, he wanted pros and cons of the systems listed, both have flaws which I pointed out, sorry if you take that the wrong way.

To confirm your opinion I spotted this on Toms Hardware showing the newer Intel intergrated GPU and the results are very sucky except at 1024x768 low detail, though seems the ati 4200 pitted against it is also rubbish but at least playable at the lowest settings... where 30fps is considered minimum playable speed.

Capture.JPG
 


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Digerati

Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
#11
what's the point of having all those font features going unused?
So they can be used when emphasis is needed and makes sense.

As for calling it they way I see it, it's right there in black and white. You implied I said something when clearly everyone can see I didn't. What does that make you?

As for outside the box, I don't have a problem with that, as long as it is factual, and applies to the poster's issues - which have yet to be fully defined. Not everyone needs a gaming rig. In fact most people don't use their systems as a play toy - which you are still stuck on. Instead, most users want a computer they can use to create Word or PowerPoint documents for work and/or school, read and create email, browse the Internet, pay bills, watch an occasional DVD or BluRay, and maybe relax a little with game or two of Free Cell or Spider Solitaire. And for them, either of the two above are more than adequate.

But to that, the i5 system is more current and so has a greater chance of supporting a greater range of upgrades longer into the future. And that makes for a smarter purchase decision.

****

@ Soulja Pixii - sorry for the distraction. You asked about Wake-On-LAN. Most motherboards support several "Wake on" features. These include Wake on LAN, Wake on Modem, Wake on Mouse, and Wake on Keyboard. The ATX Form Factor standard calls for +5V standby voltage to be applied across several points on the motherboard when ever the PSU is simply plugged in and the power supply's master power switch on back (if equipped - there is no requirement for one) is set to on. This standby voltage keeps certain circuits alive, if they are enabled in the BIOS even when the computer is shutdown and turned off by the front panel power switch. So, if Wake on Mouse is enabled, for example, you can wiggle the mouse and the computer will turn on and boot up.

Wake on LAN does something similar for computers on a network. The network administrator can send a signal across the network to the computer, and when seen at the network interface, the computer will turn on and boot up. This is great for remote operation and access but is not normally used in home environments where the networks are not maintained (and secured) by IT professionals.
 


Highwayman

Extraordinary Member
#12
Clearly we ain't gonna be agreeing any time soon Digerati, so that's the end of it. I'll change the whole font (I wasn't bolding at all the font Arial black is just thick) to something more suitable to keep you happy...okay? next time pray i dont choose wingdings eh...lol
 


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#13
Hey, i just realised the people do upgrades. So on the i5 I would get a 2GB ram to 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz for $149. Would that make the i5 better. Because to ME that would seem better than the Quad core. By the way, I will use this for Sony Vegas, Photoshop, and a bit of Games (as well as internet but that doesnt really count). I am using a laptop with 1.6Ghz Dual Core with 1GB of ram. So anything will be a great upgrade.
 


#14

Digerati

Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
#15
8Gb would certainly be a HUGE improvement over 2 and for only $149, sounds like a good deal. And it will carry you into the future nicely where you can upgrade the CPU to an i7 with no problems, if you choose. If you only got 2 or 4GB of RAM now and you wanted to upgrade later, you may have problems finding compatible RAM so maxing out now is wise, in my opinion. But do note, to take advantage of the 8, you need to go 64-bit Windows - but when buying new, I see no reason not to go 64-bit.
 


#16
So is it settled? i should get the i5 with 8GB of ram, 64bit?
 


Digerati

Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
#17
I don't think you would be disappointed with that choice.
 


#18
I promise....I won't bold anything and I won't quote anyone, but is Intel the only word yous guys know? :(
For the past fifteen years, since the 486 days I've used nothing but AMD processors in the PC's I've built for myself and those I've built for my customers. AMD CPU's cost less, draw less power and produce less heat than the intel chips of equal productivity. For me, a poor boy, it was always a NO-Brainer.

Sorry, but I feel like all the hype over Intel products has got a certain part of the market brainwashed that they are the only ones in the game. It ain't so!

Ok, I'm done....put the bricks down!

Laters.....

OT
 


Highwayman

Extraordinary Member
#19
That's largely down to AMD's cpus being in a state of catchup since the Core2 series onwards in terms of performance, though there was a grace period where AMD took the lead getting 64bit CPUs to the masses in the Pentium 4 era, they kinda fell short due to bad timing on the OS support front. These days I totally agree AMD are generally better for the folk on a budget, but when you've cash to flash Intel gets the better benchmarks (I personally don't count any overclocking in that mind). As someone who has only recently jumped ship with a devorce from Nvidia to my new love Ati, I can fully appreciate both sides of the fence and despite several horrible experiences with AMD CPU's in my early PC days (500mhz and two very appalling bad 1.2ghz Thunderbirds) I strongly recommend the more recent AMD Phenom mk2's and hexacores, even though I suspect the Intel response to Hexacores will likely wipe the floor with them at least on benchmarks.

OMG no bold or special fonts....lmao
 


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#20
I didn't want to start a rant, but just to mention that for someone building a new PC, there really is a CHOICE.
I'm sure some new users don't even realize that they DO have a choice.
Good thread

OT
 


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