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PC Hardware buying guide [Q1 2013]

official neowin buying guide pc hardware guide

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#1 Muhammad Farrukh

Muhammad Farrukh

    The End is Nigh

  • Joined: 15-August 11

Posted 15 April 2012 - 14:39

Welcome to Neowin' official PC Hardware buying guide. For those who don't have time to keep track of the latest news and don't want to go through the hassle of reviewing every new product that comes out, we have build a comprehensive guide, specifically for you. You can trust this guide with all your money. We have developed it, taking into consideration, all the reviews from various technology sites, throughout the internet.



Budget - Everyday work, with casual gaming

Intel Pentium G860 – LGA1155 - $74.99
GIGABYTE GA-H61M-DS2 - $49.99 or Asus H61-M LE LGA1155 - $59.99
AMD Radeon 6670 1024MB DDR3 1280x800 to 1440x900 - $54.99 or AMD Radeon 7750 1024MB GDDR5 1600x900 - $99.99
G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 4GB 1333MHz - $23.45
Antec BP430 430W - $48.80 or Xigmatek NRP-PC 402 400W - $5742


With components on the left: 253 USD
With components on the right: 317 USD


Budget - For Gaming

Intel Core i3-3220 - LGA1155 - $124.99
ASRock B75M-ITX LGA 1155 - $89.99
NVIDIA GeForce 7750 1680x1050 - $79.99 or AMD Radeon 7770 1024MB GDDR5 1680x1050 - $134.99
G.Skill DDR3 4GB 1333MHz - $23.45 or G.Skill DDR3 2x4GB 1333MHz - $53.99
Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W - $71.24


With components on the left: 391 USD
With components on the right: 463 USD


Budget - For Multi-threaded apps, and casual gaming

AMD FX 4100 - $108.99
GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 - $94.24
AMD Radeon 7770 1024MB GDDR5 1680x1050 - $134.99
G.Skill DDR3 2x4GB 1333MHz - $53.99
Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W - $71.24


465 USD


Mainstream

Intel Core-i5 3470 – LGA1155 - $179.99
ASRock Z68 Extreme4Gen3 LGA1155 - $132.99
AMD Radeon HD 7850 1 GB 1680x1050 to 1920x1080 - $228.99
G.Skill RipjawsX Series DDR3 2x4GB 1600MHz - $46.99
OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 120GB - $117.99
CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W - $72.99


780 USD


High End

Intel Core i7 3770K - LGA1155 - $309.99
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP5-TH LGA 1155 - $244.99
AMD Radeon HD 7970 Boost - $379
G.Skill RipjawsX Series DDR3 2x4GB 1600MHz - $46.99
Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 256GB - $179.99
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W - $79.99


1242 USD


Extreme Performance

Intel Core i7 3930K - LGA2011 - $569.99
ASUS P9X79 PRO LGA 2011 - $309.99
2x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked in SLI 2560x1600 - $878.99
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1866 MHz - $119.99
Crucial M4 CT512M4SSD1 512GB - $384.99
CORSAIR TX750 V2 850W - $104.99


2369 USD

Edited by Anaron, 25 December 2012 - 18:16.



#2 htcz

htcz

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 14:47

You do know that this thread has to be updated everyday right?

#3 OP Muhammad Farrukh

Muhammad Farrukh

    The End is Nigh

  • Joined: 15-August 11

Posted 15 April 2012 - 14:48

You do know that this thread has to be updated everyday right?


Not everyday. Not necessarily
Once in a month only :p

#4 htcz

htcz

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  • Joined: 22-July 11

Posted 15 April 2012 - 16:06

Not everyday. Not necessarily
Once in a month only :p

More like once a week, at least. Every week at least 1 thing better than what is posted comes out. Thats why threads like this cannot exist. The PC building industry is too fast.

Another thing, all your parts are from Newegg. There are better and cheaper parts than from Newegg. Besides that, Newegg does not ship everywhere.

#5 kaffra

kaffra

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  • Joined: 13-December 01
  • Location: Deutschland

Posted 15 April 2012 - 21:58

for "Budget - Everyday work, with casual gaming" a celeron g530/40 offers pretty good performance for about 40euros.

http://www.xbitlabs....40_5.html#sect0
http://www.xbitlabs....40_6.html#sect0

h61 chipset is ok for ultra low budget but rather then the 2nd listed Asus H61-M LE, an extra $9 with the Asrock H67 board brings more features like hdmi, usb3, 2 x SATA 6Gb/s, optical out

#6 Phalesafe

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  • Joined: 26-October 05

Posted 15 April 2012 - 22:41

The Extreme Build is odd 32GB RAM, SLI/Crossfire and a large RAID 0 for storage of games would make more sense. Why a 512GB SSD? SSDs arent exactly THAT cheap yet.

#7 primexx

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 23:51

The Extreme Build is odd 32GB RAM, SLI/Crossfire and a large RAID 0 for storage of games would make more sense. Why a 512GB SSD? SSDs arent exactly THAT cheap yet.


pretty sure an SSD will outperform a RAID 0 easily. Don't need 512 gigs of it though.

and 32 gigs is overkill when most games can't use a fraction of that.

#8 OP Muhammad Farrukh

Muhammad Farrukh

    The End is Nigh

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:26

Why a 512GB SSD? SSDs arent exactly THAT cheap yet.


An SSD will outperform RAID 0. And we are talking about people who want to maximize the numbers, and who don't care about money, in this last portion, so yeah... :p

#9 Wildies

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  • Location: Cairo, Egypt

Posted 16 April 2012 - 13:14

surprised no AMD APU A-series get in the list specially in the budget area. They sound good to me, future proof cheap to buy and run, and gonna save you the GPU!!!

#10 ARchamps

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  • Location: Toronto ON

Posted 16 April 2012 - 13:37

I agree with the APUs. Great for budget builds. Good job on creating this. It will at least provide some guidelines for those looking for build help!

#11 OP Muhammad Farrukh

Muhammad Farrukh

    The End is Nigh

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 13:41

surprised no AMD APU A-series get in the list specially in the budget area. They sound good to me, future proof cheap to buy and run, and gonna save you the GPU!!!


I had them in my mind, but when reviewing some benchmarks, on average the Pentiums gave better performance. APUs were a bit ahead in gaming, but a bit behind in other tasks, where Pentiums excelled

#12 Site Lab

Site Lab

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  • Joined: 23-August 11
  • Location: Manchester, England
  • OS: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Posted 16 April 2012 - 15:32

I had them in my mind, but when reviewing some benchmarks, on average the Pentiums gave better performance. APUs were a bit ahead in gaming, but a bit behind in other tasks, where Pentiums excelled


Pentiums faster.. lets see :p

Pentium G850 (£66.88) vs AMD A6-3670K (£83.99)

On paper:

G850

Dual Core
2.9 GHz
2 x 256KB L2 Cache
3MB L3 Cache
Intregated Intel HD Graphics 2000

A6-3670K

Quad Core
2.7 GHz
4MB L2 Cache
Integrated AMD Radeon HD 6530D


G850 has an L3 Cache and is clocked higher. However, the APU is a quad core (better for non-gaming tasks, and some games such as GTA4 which require a quad core to run smoothly.) and it has a better integrated GPU.

First of all, here are the pass marks cores:

G850 2731 Rank 308th
A6-3670K 3861 Rank 180th

The APU here wins in the Pass Mark benchmark by 1130 points. It is also a higher ranking than the G850.

However, I cannot find any benchmarks for the A8-3670K :(. So I am going to bump it up to the top of the range (next dearest one) A8-3870K £101.99 and compare it against the similarly priced Intel Core i3-2120. £94.79

Intregated Graphics

Posted Image
A8-3870 is nearly double the fps, when using integrated graphics.

(The other benchmarks were a pretty similar result from that website.)

(2100 is used in below benchmarks, because the 2120 isnt used...)

Other Benchmarks

Posted Image


In this benchmark, the A8 gains 11FPS more than the i3 2100, along with a 560TI.

With cinebench:

A8-3870K 3.46 Points
i3-2100 3.00 Points

With WPrime:

14.350 A8-3870K
18.090 i3-2100
Lower is better

The overall score for multitasking

i3-2100 1476
A8-3870K 1082
However, overclocking (which is relatively easy) brings it to a more respectable 1264.
Plus, since there is more cores availble, multithreaded apps will gain an advantage.



GAMING BENCHMARKS http://www.bit-tech....8-3870-review/6(Internal GPU)

Crossfiring, the APU with a cheap 6670 is where this APU gains an advantage over the i3. This is a lot cheaper (the motherboards are also cheaper). I am going to post benchmarks, but this is getting to be a very long thread, so Im going to leave it as it is at the moment.

#13 CentralDogma

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 16:00

Bout time someone made a topic like this.

Pentiums faster.. lets see :p

Pentium G850 (£66.88) vs AMD A6-3670K (£83.99)


Recommendation from Tom’s Hardware is to go Intel.

Posted Image

I would compare the G860 to the G850 and the A6-3670K to the A8-3870K.

Also, all these builds have dedicated graphics, so the performance of integrated graphics is moot.

EDIT: Muhammad Farrukh, you should consider adding in case recommendations, that’s actually something I spent some time finding while I was doing my build.

Also, I wouldn’t recommend a 512GB SSD. That’s going to be way too overpriced. A 256GB SSD and a traditional hard drive for storage would be my recommendation.

In lower tiers you should also have traditional hard drive recommendations, but you should also probably have a warning about the increased prices due to the flooding in Thailand.

#14 OP Muhammad Farrukh

Muhammad Farrukh

    The End is Nigh

  • Joined: 15-August 11

Posted 16 April 2012 - 16:26

[...]



I was waiting for you to show up :p

As CentralDogma, before me pointed out, from TomsHardware, AnandTech and Guru3D, I was able to conclude that overall, on average, Pentium is a better option. Sure, the APU gives a bit better gaming performance, but on average, as a whole, I think Pentium is a better option. I will review the APU from the source you have provided, and consider it in the next update.

Muhammad Farrukh, you should consider adding in case recommendations, that’s actually something I spent some time finding while I was doing my build.


I was thinking about it, but since everyone have their own taste, so it might not interest all.
Regardless, I will try to add some decent recommendations, in the update.


Also, I wouldn’t recommend a 512GB SSD. That’s going to be way too overpriced. A 256GB SSD and a traditional hard drive for storage would be my recommendation.


I initially thought of adding a 350/360 one, but couldn't found an M4 variant of it. As this is what we call the ultimate power house, so we'd expect top of the line performance, and according to benchmarks of AnandTech, M4 tops the charts.
I'll see if I can find a cheaper one next time.


In lower tiers you should also have traditional hard drive recommendations, but you should also probably have a warning about the increased prices due to the flooding in Thailand.


Here, too, I thought of adding HDDs. I will add them in the update.

#15 CentralDogma

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  • Joined: 29-February 08

Posted 16 April 2012 - 16:33

Now I feel like my post was a little bossy. :p

You did a good job though; lord knows I don’t have the patience to come up with a whole bunch of builds.

Fake edit: you’ll also need a fan/heatsink in the LGA2011, Intel doesn’t include a stock cooler with those CPUs.