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  • Jovec - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I understand prices change regularly, but you should check the linked prices. The general use budget build is currently $70 than the chart price. (-$3 for CPU, +$5 for mobo, +$35 for HDD, +$30 for the SSD, +$3 for the DVD). The HTPC build is $68 higher and the DVD burner chosen is listed as discontinued. The gaming build is $59 higher than the chart. Reply
  • randinspace - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    As the author said, it's important to watch out for price changes during the holidays as 16GB of Ram was available at 8GB prices (outside of 4GB quad kits anyway...), and I personally got a 2TB HDD for less than what 1TB internal drives and 500+ GB external ones are going for "on sale" this week....

    That said, these guidelines might have done people more more good had they come out before some of the year's best sales rather than in the middle of some of its worst ones (I'm looking at you, Newegg "Cyber Week"), but such is life.
    Reply
  • Parhel - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice what Newegg's been doing. Most of their "deals" were old tech they're trying to clear out of inventory, even on Black Friday. Reply
  • MrRez - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I just built a system around the A10 5800k circa $600 all up, and I am really enjoying it! I paired it up with a 6670 1gig DDR5 cost me 80bucks and has given me a huge boost in some games.

    The main reason I went with the Trinity was that I had a small budget and needed something that I could do my work on, encode some video and play the odd game. I did alot of research and couldn't get an Intel system for the same money that would even come close to what the trinity could do.

    Anyway I would recommend this type of system to anyone on a budget.
    Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Conversely, I came from an "old" Phenom 2 x6 1090T @ 4ghz to a Core i7 3930K @ 4.8ghz and in games I noticed zero difference when gaming at 5760x1080 as I'm always going to be GPU limited.

    However, encoding saw *massive* increases, but that's not a task I do very often and I usually do it during the night whilst I am asleep anyway.

    Hardware today is still going to be more than ample for games of tomorrow, heck I know a few gamers still kicking around old Core 2 Quads that are heavily overclocked and game happily without a single issue, which says something about the state of games today not pushing the limits anymore.
    Reply
  • dishayu - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Heavily overclocked Core 2 Quad user here and i approve of this message. Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I know "LOTS" of gamers still on Quad 6600s.. C2D 8400s.. and Amd PIIs all happily playing along with decent video cards..

    The thing "today" is we really haven't hit the new big cpu yet. That was the Core2 and before the the Athlon64. Are cpu's better? Absolutely but they've been going in a sideways arc... with power+features rather then noticable brute power. I can go from my 2700K to a Q6600 to a E8400 to a PII920 to a 5800K all with enjoyable experiences provided the gpu power is there with 4Gigs of ram.

    Overclocking adds more umph on top of that but it's not neccessary.
    Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    As a aside.. anyone on a C2D E6400 or under... time to move on. Every last cpu on the market today will give very noticable boosts right straight from the $60 cpu on up to the latest and greatest. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    I finally upgraded from an Opteron 185 system (which I'm using to type this) to an i5 Ivy system. I also found an E8400 in the garbage and it works. It just needed a power supply a video card, and a hard drive. I have all of the above "just laying around" here so my girlfriend is getting a new system for Xmas too. :) Windows 7 is on sale at the Egg for $80. Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I agree. I'm gaming, programming and encoding on a Core2Duo E6750 and an AMD 6670 on Windows 8.

    I can run *ALL* my games on their maximum resolution and detail settings seeing as my monitor is a 19" and runs at 1280 x 1024... and that I really dig my old games :-) However, my point is that the equipment I am using right now is "good enough" for my particular needs. Would I consider an upgrade? Definitely - but for something that runs much (much!) cooler and quieter. Is that a high priority in my life? Not right now.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    E8400 here, still begrudgingly using a 4890. Waiting for a nice deal or the next gen. I want to get something that's just barely bottlenecking so I know I've exhausted this great CPU. Reply
  • Paulman - Sunday, December 02, 2012 - link

    Core 2 Duo E8400 Overclocked to 3.7GHz :P
    Started with a Radeon HD 4870 512MB (which died) and then bought a friend's used Gigabyte NVIDIA Geforce 460 GTX 1GB.

    It's been serving me decently for Starcraft 2 and BF3 was ok, too, I think :P 1920x1080 (no AA on SC2, I can't remember for BF3)

    A Sandy Bridge Core i5 quad-core would be a really nice upgrade for me, though :P But way too much work to change.

    Oh yeah, and I'm running Windows Vista 64-bit hee hee
    Reply
  • Stupido - Sunday, December 02, 2012 - link

    Here, one more... Reply
  • dananski - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Single threaded CPU performance still becomes a bottleneck when the game is poorly coded. Ever played Cities XL? 100% CPU on one core all the time. Anything beyond a small town and it starts lagging, even on my i7-3770 :( Don't even get me started on Neverwinter Nights...

    But yes, the majority of modern games will not experience much issue on a decent Core 2 Quad. Just get the beefiest graphics card(s) your wallet / power budget / ears can take!
    Reply
  • Ethaniel - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    So, on average 20 percent of the computer's budget is eaten by the OS. The world is mad. Or is it Microsoft...? Reply
  • philosofool - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    The price of the OS seems pretty reasonable to me. I know people who built a computer when XP came out that didn't have to upgrade their OS until 2010. There's no other part in a computer, except maybe the case, that has that sort of life span. Reply
  • Zodiark1593 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    DVD Drive? The drive in my parents computer lasted from 2003 to just a couple months ago when my little sister snapped the tray off. :/ Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    DvD Drives are fickle. Some last 6 months some just go on and on. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    I second that. Although most run for years. Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Saturday, December 01, 2012 - link

    Well, especially for an htpc that is insane. If you're going to run xbmc on it anyway, why bother with all the extra work you need to do to keep Windows secure and running - AND pay for that 'privilege'? With Valve coming to Linux and wine taking care of most slightly older games there's no need for that... Reply
  • MadMan007 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I am looking forward to AMD keeping up with the progress they've made with APUs. It looks like they might be going 'tick-tock' style with alternating updates to the CPU and GPU architectures. Piledriver makes these competitive-ish for their price point on the CPU side, a GCN GPU which I expect to be the next update will make these good for older games even at higher resolutions. I don't play the newest, most demanding games, so if AMD can make an APU with something like HD 7750ish-class graphics that would be awesome. I know that's asking a lot for 28nm, but maybe they can do it with GloFo's 14nm/20nm process, that will give them a lot more silicon to use. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Oh, I also meant to say...do something like that and I might consider buying an AMD CPU for my main computer for the first time since Core 2 came out. Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    As a laptop gaming setup Trinity is damn nice.. and a great deal at current pricing.. but for desktops.. most gamers playing todays games will still want/need a little bit more umph then what the gpu offers. Pairing it up with a $75-100 card will give a happy experience for most who are not looking to win benchmark awards. The same applies to the i3 (obviously) A Radeon 7750 or a Geforce 650 (if you prefer Nvidia..) fits the bill nicely. Alternatively a 6670 which will take advantage of the hybrid crossfire. Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    As a forinstance Guildwars2 needed to be turned down a fair ammount (going to 1440x900 for good playability.. Frames were good then but most eyecandy was off.. The GPU is great at lower resolutions and older games.. but it can't quite handle the good stuff at 1680/1050. Playable? yes. Enjoyable? not so much.

    AMD is really really close but not quite there.
    Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Pretty much the problem still with Trinity for the desktop IMO. Almost but not quite good enough. The graphics is either more than the non-gamer needs or not quite good enough for gaming. Yes, you can play some games at moderate resolutions and settings. But if you are spending a few hundred dollars for a computer, not to mention buying games, why would you want to limit yourself so much.

    And if you are not interested in gaming, it still uses more power than a dual core intel without a descrete card.

    I see a good place for Trinity in laptops if the price is right. But for the desktop, not so much.
    Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    For budget builds it's spot on.. an i3 or Trinity does the job nicely with a decent video card and won't break the bank. There is a place for it. If you need a everyday type computer with light gaming duties it also works well with the onboard gpu.. really well infact. Great for a office computer, or a set top box in the living room.

    But yeah.. not quite there sums it up nicely for gamers looking to play todays games. Most are at 1080P or 1680/1050 resolutions and it's just not enough.
    Reply
  • tocket - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I recently upgraded my HTPC from a Pentium G620 to A10-5800K and the most obvious difference is really the power consumption. With the stock cooler the A10 easily heats up to the point where the fan gets too noisy when you're watching a movie in XBMC. Even though the Intel cooler is smaller, this was never a problem with the Pentium. I would really recommend adding a good cooler to your A10 HTPC setup if you're sensitive to noise. Personally I decided to get a Big Shuriken, which I'm very happy with. Reply
  • cyrusfox - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Do you regret the upgrade? Do you notice any performance advantage, from your comment it seems it was a bad upgrade. Whats your opinion? Reply
  • tocket - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Oh, not at all. It was a good upgrade that I'm very happy with. The CPU is noticeably faster and the graphics are a huge improvement from the G620. I was just not fully prepared to deal with 100 W TDP in a mini-ITX system. With the upgraded cooler the system is nearly silent and the performance is great. Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I didn't bother with the included cooler so wasn't sure how temps were with it. With a $17 Zalman cooler it rarely goes to 40 in a 8 year old case with limited airflow. (older lian-li with 2 80mm fans in the front and 1 80mm in the back) What were the temperatures like in your itx case with the included cooler? Curious.. Reply
  • zilexa - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I disagree with the HTPC setup, it's definitely NOT an HTPC.
    HTPC should be small and completely silent (fanless) and use very, very little energy since it will be online all the time (so you can access your media in any room, your tvshows will be downloaded via rss or other system automatically etc).

    The A10 uses little power when idle but way too much for an HTPC under load.

    I understand you NEED to add a HTPC to this guide, and AMD simply doesn't have a Trinity-based HTPC solution for desktop because they lack mITX motherboards and they don't bring the 25watt and 17 watt mobile Trinitys to the desktop (BIG MISSED OPPERTUNITY!). But al least elaborate on that a bit more.
    Reply
  • Medallish - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I agree an HTPC should be small, but saying it has to be 25-17W is overdoing it, I have a mATX based HTPC and I'm using a 3870k, which works with the fanless design of my Streacom case, but obviously a 65W APU would be a better choice, and you could even go with mITX case from Streacom. The Trinity is superb as a HTPC processor.

    Another thing you're simply wrong, there is HTPC's that uses Mobile APU's ranging from the 19W APU (Sapphire VS8) to 35W A10-4600.
    Reply
  • zilexa - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    @Medallish, Streacom case is just 1 solution (only works if you buy an expensive Streacom case). No choice in cases.

    I Just want to buy a cheap ass small case such as this one:
    http://www.lc-power.de/index.php?id=122

    No need for expensive passive case. Just need a low power APU.

    The HTPC's you mention using Mobile APUs like the ones from Arctic or the miniplayers from Zotac are complete solutions (and Arctic is VERY expensive with €400. You cannot buy these mobo's with FP2 sockets (for mobile) and you cannot buy the Mobile APUs. So these solutions are not for people who want to build their own HTPC! Therefore not even related to this article.
    Reply
  • Medallish - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    You said you wanted it to be fanless, If you want a fanless design then I'm afraid you've limited your choices, and currently there's basically no one who has the solution you ask for unless you look at Brazos or Atom solutions.

    Buying any Mobile motherboard and mobile processor tends to be hard to find, as a system builder and if I wanted what you're asking for I'd probably get a A10-5700 and downclock and undervolt it like crazy, although I doubt you'd get any cooler big enough to be fanless, and that goes for the 25W APU idea too.

    You're original claim was that Trinity simply wasn't a viable HTPC solution, and I just want to point out that's false, also there is several Mini-ITX boards for FM2, from Asus, Asrock and MSI.
    Reply
  • zilexa - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Can't argue that. It's just soo sad AMD doesn't bring mobile Trinity to the desktop, would be the perfect basis for my HTPC. I am waiting for Brazos E2-1800 to arrive but I doubt it will ever arrive as motherboard (Sapphire announced the Pure White Mini E2-1800 6 months ago, I doubt they will ever release it to the market) . Reply
  • Hubb1e - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    You can reach the same wattage limits on a desktop Trinity if you are willing to underclock and undervolt. Drop that multi as low as you are comfortable with the performance, and then find the lowest voltage that makes it stable and bam, you've got your mobile trinity. Reply
  • ThomasS31 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    If you noticed usually the low TDP part are underclocked and speed cap binned.

    Who told you, that you can't reduce the multiplier to get a low power part with a K series Trinity?
    Also in case you might need processing power (like 10-bit high bitrate videos) you can alwas put it back...

    Especially if your motherboard has a good management software for this. (Or use AMD's own "oc" app.)
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Totally agree.

    Ideally an HTPC should be in a passive case (both Hdplex and wesena are good) that means the CPU needs a low TDP and should be frugal even at load (for example ripping a blu ray disc).

    HTPCs are meant to be on permanently so should be sipping not gulping energy at load.

    I would argue that an HTPC needs only a Mini-ITX board - preferably with MSata (can we have sata3 on the Msata please!) if only to reduce cable clutter in the case.

    I would also strongly recommend Samsung green low profile memory. Not only are they memory sticks potent overclockers but when they said low profile they really meant it, if you must have a CPU cooler the samsung memory will never interfere with it.

    AMD could easily take over the HTPC market, just bring the mobile CPUs to a mini0itx desktop board
    Reply
  • zilexa - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the HDPlex tip, I love the H3 case, absolutely beautiful, simple and small. But including power its $300!!! damn.. thats just an empty case. Anybody will just buy a Zotac for €230 you have complete system :(

    If the H3 would be €100 or less I would definitely go for this solution..
    Still would want a below-65watt APU.
    Reply
  • BPB - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I actually let my HTPC sleep a lot. I realize that when booting into WMC you may lose what was on the last half hour, but that's no biggie to me. WMC will wake the PC up to record shows, so I am good with letting it sleep at night. This helps save on cost when using a setup that isn't as low in wattage as you'd like. I do reboot it now and then because I find that after so many times going to sleep Windows gets messed up. Rebooting cleans that up. So if you're worried about electrical costs, let the PC sleep, it doesn't need to run 24/7. Just my 2 cents. Reply
  • superjim - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I don't understand how noise is a problem in HTPCs even with 4 fans running at moderate speeds during movie/music playback. How low is the volume and how close are you sitting to it?

    In my world, an HTPC is meant to playback all media on a close-proximity display. If you want to be able to stream said media to any device in the house, that's what an energy-efficient, always-on NAS is for. I only turn-on/use my microATX HTPC when I want to watch a Blu-ray, digital videos/music or some light gaming. It runs 4 fans from 60mm to 120mm and I can't hear them even if I listen for them from 3 feet away. A microATX build gives me options for expansion later. Want to add a cable card? Done. Faster GPU for heavy gaming? Done. Turn it into a DVR with more HDD space? Done. With a mini-ITX build you would have to get a bigger case.

    That said, Trinity is unmatched for HTPCs and budget laptop gaming.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Agreed. People talk about an HTPC being on 24/7, when the usage they mention means they are really talking about a hybrid HTPC+server. That's great if you want both together but for the storage alone you're looking at a larger box than it needs to be. To me an HTPC is a 'set top box PC' which is on when actively being used and with no significant local storage. Reply
  • benedict - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Why is the OS included in the price list? Does Zach receive a paycheck from Microsoft to promote their products? The article is about hardware, leave software out of it. Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Huh?? I have always thought it was bogus to NOT include the OS. What do you do, pirate yours? It is a valid expense unless you have a family license or something, and even then you have paid for it at some point. Reply
  • jabber - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    All PC CPUs have been 'good enough for basic computing' since around 2005-6.

    I think we need a better definition or metric really.

    In the real world very few folks actually do video encoding etc.
    Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Disagree. Top end X2's and low end Core2duo's really show their age in comparison to what's been on the market since 09. I work on them from time to time and it's very noticable now. Reply
  • jabber - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    Hmm could that be due to the fact those machines are also using a 2006 spec HDDs also?

    In most cases yes. Stick a SSD or modern large capacity HDD in and the difference largely disappears.
    Reply
  • just4U - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    sadly.. yes that's using newer HDDs. While their totally usable .. the slow down is very noticable. The way I see it, once you can really start to notice the difference between an older computer and more modern stuff with even simple tasks then it's time to maybe consider upgrading. Reply
  • jabber - Saturday, December 01, 2012 - link

    If a C2D machine is struggling with Office or the Web then I feel the problem lays elsewhere.

    Not the CPU's fault.

    More likely a poor build.
    Reply
  • just4U - Saturday, December 01, 2012 - link

    now now .. these are systems built by me, and 95% of them last 5+ years with quality part selection. Lets see if I can word this better.

    I don't see slow downs (much) for most programs on Quads and dual cores above 6550s. X2s and the 6300 I was on though were quite noticable. Even on fresh installs you can still tell the difference.
    Reply
  • mrsmegz - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Is there any reason to use an A85X chipset other than the extra 16x slot/lanes for Xfire? Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I would say no until the price comes down... I bought one and regret wasting the extra $60 as it simply wasn't neccessary. I don't even see a reason to pick Trinity for crossfire setups as that should be handled /w their new Piledriver proccessors or a intel offering. Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    Yeah, if you're going to do XF anything it better be dual graphics, or you're wasting your money. Reply
  • Medallish - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    It supports SLI afaik too. Reply
  • ThomasS31 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Yes. If you need more that 6 hdd, you need the A85x.
    I personally planning to build a media PC which can contail all my old HDDs with videos. I have 8HDDs... so this is my only choice. :)
    Reply
  • dingetje - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    i would drop the burnarrrr and drop windows (aarrrrr), and add an ssd daaarrrrive Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I've bought a i7 860 (Socket 1156) and that only lasted for that one generation. I bought a A6-3500 (Socket FM1) and that only lasted one generation. That's the reason I'm not upgrading to IVB, and will only upgrade to Haswell when I know that socket lasts at least another generation. :D

    Good guide, always interesting to see other peoples suggestions for these builds.
    Reply
  • xxtypersxx - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    How were you able to play Amazon HD video? Last time I tried (admittedly a couple months ago) it indicated HD couldn't be played in browsers and required approved devices (eg. Roku 2's). Has this changed or do you have some secret I desperately want to know?

    As others have said, pricing is tough during the holiday season as it fluctuates so much. Your writing however is excellent.
    Reply
  • bill.rookard - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    from someone who was having troubles with it and Win8. So - I took the tower computer, gutted it, dropped it into my HTPC case and did an install of Win7x64. Runs great. Geekbenches at 6100 or so with no clock adjustments which is right around what my Athlon quad-core benched at - at half the power budget.

    More than enough power for HTPC use at a very reasonable power envelope with enough processing power for most anything I'd need to use it for.
    Reply
  • Esben - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Thanks for an interesting buyers guide, and good choice on components. An important feature for me to note with the ASRock FM2A55M-DGS is the support for 2560x1600 using the DVI-output. None of the Intel boards support dual-link DVI. Only through DisplayPort is this resolution possible. Intel boards with DisplayPort are usually much more expensive than boards with only DVI/HDMI.

    Would it be possible for you to verify if the DVI output of the A55 can also support audio, if used with a DVI->HDMI converter?
    Reply
  • jwcalla - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    From a pure HTPC perspective, I always feel uneasy recommending AMD because it pretty much requires you to drop $100 on an OS license, which is a huge chunk for such a small function.

    I think this market is best served with the smaller Zotac solutions, or if you want to build your own box, just use one of those $10 fanless NVIDIA cards. Then you're free to install XBMC Live or whatever and still get flawless video playback... since NVIDIA actually steps up to the plate and supports their products with drivers that don't suck.
    Reply
  • Medallish - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    How is AMD related to having to buy an OS? I have an AMD based HTPC, it works perfect, and I don't have any issues with drivers or anything else. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Sunday, December 02, 2012 - link

    I think he's talking about drivers: AMD's non-Windows drivers aren't as good as Nvidia's, so with an AMD system you 'have to' get a Windows license but with Nvidia you can use XMBC/linux for free. Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    "If you're hesitant about using the unlocked 100W Black Edition A10 APU, but don't want to drop all the way down to a meager dual-core, the A10-5700 is a lower-clocked 65W TDP quad-core with less capable graphics than the A10-5800K. Again, however, for most HTPC duties like SD and HD media content playback, you won't really save much electricity (and thus heat and noise) compared to the A10-5800K."

    Hexus seems to think that the 5700 should use less power than the 5600K and perform generally between that and the 5800K in games as its GPU is merely 5% slower and has the same number of shaders.

    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/cpu/47257-amd-a10-57...

    There are very few 5700 reviews about so if AT ran one, it'd be very much appreciated, more so to see if it really does use much less power than the 5800K. I would find it very strange if boosting CPU clocks by about 10% really does eat all that power.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    A10-5800K is the better bin I'm pretty sure. As in, you should be able to underclock and hit same or lower thermals versus the 5700 Reply
  • djsvetljo - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    How do you stream HD videos from Amazon on a PC??? I tried so hard a few months ago and I could not get. Amazon does not allow that - they are scared of Streaming 1080p HD video from Amazon piracy.

    So if anyone knows a away to stream HD movies on a PC (windows or linux) I will be very thankful !
    Reply
  • iamben - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    Do you guys think that the first would be a good webs server build? The website it would be hosting is techclimax.com. A website that me and a couple friends made. Reply
  • Mugur - Saturday, December 01, 2012 - link

    What about put to use those 8 SATA 3 ports and build a home sever? Besides HTPC, this the best scenario for Trinity, in my opinion... Reply
  • bigbrave - Saturday, December 01, 2012 - link

    The FX 8350 is much faster than the Core i3s and actually complete very well against the Core i7s in both the desktop and notebook platforms. Only the deaf, blind and stupid (aka fanbois) think benchmarks are actually true. I can understand you have to believe all your hard work means something, but it doesn’t.

    Bench marks are equivalent to looking at sports teams on paper and determining how they will do in their respective leagues. That’s why they play the game, because judging the teams on paper don’t mean a damn thing and won’t tell you anything.

    When you benchmark the Core i7s vs. the 8150 or 8350 (desktop) or A10 (notebook), the bench marks are not even close. Intel’s are way ahead, however, when you put the two systems next to each other, you won’t be able to tell which is which. Especially in a blind test http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1838/1/. If bench marks were actually true, then those results would be very visible when using the computer the way it is when you add 2 GB of RAM to a computer running Vista with only 1 GB of RAM.

    When it comes to notebooks, AMD destroys Intel. Why, because of the graphics that Intel lacks. AMD hit a home run with the APUs which is why Ivy Bridge is the start of Intel’s own APUs. Haswell will be a version of an APU though Intel won’t categorize it that way.

    When surfing the internet, computers use more graphics and less CPU these days. Web Browsers use the graphics card to render data faster like with Firefox’s Direct 2D hardware acceleration. Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome also do the same thing. The better the graphics, the better the video playback (watching videos) and video conferencing (Skype) is. This is where Intel falls short and AMD exceeds in the notebooks. With desktops, Intel is better because you get the better CPU and just have to plug in a nice graphics card. However, with the notebooks, you need good graphics and AMD’s “Trinty” A-Series APUs provides a terrific CPU (Piledriver cores) with it. I’m not so big on the A4 or the A6, but the A8 and A10 are terrific and very fast.

    My girlfriend purchased an ASUS notebook with the Core i5 (Sandy Bridge) in March of this year from BJs. I connected it to the internet and went to a site which allows me to check off many programs I want and it will download and install them for me. That was in one window, and in the other, I started the many Windows updates. That took close to two hours to finish before I was rebooting the computer. I thought the Core i5 was supposed to be fast?! Wait it’s the hard drive right? Well, that’s what I’ve heard many Intel fanbois say when using a notebook with an Intel Core processor and it’s extremely slow.

    Anyways, over the next two days, my girlfriend struggled to receive any joy from the system. The videos she tried watching on different websites were slow and blurry, and Skype didn’t work very well. Three days later, she was feed up and took the computer back to BJ’s were they have a 14 day return policy on all electronics. BJ’s gave her a full refund and we left. The following Thursday evening when stopped by Office Depot. We picked out an HP notebook with the A8 “Llano” in it. The A8 had the 3520 quad-core CPU with the 6620 GPU (with 400 Stream processors). I did explain to her at the store that the ASUS quality would be much better than all the OEMs like HP, Dell, Toshiba and Sony for example. She didn’t care she just was happy to rid herself from the ASUS. I told her that it wasn’t the ASUS brand she hated, but the Intel crap (Core i5 - Sandy Bridge) which was powering it. Still don’t think she understands that however.

    When we arrived home, I did the exact with the HP as I had done with the ASUS. Went to the website and checked off many programs I wanted downloaded and installed for me in one window. Then using the Windows 7 snap command, I opened another window and began the Windows updates.

    It only took 35 minutes to do what the Intel Core i5 2410 took almost 2 hours to do. I was so shocked that I actually thought HP had put a 7,200 RPM hard drive in the system instead of the common 5,400 RPM drive. Instead of rebooting, I shut the system off and ripped open the hard drive cover thinking I was about to see a faster drive. NOPE, it was the same 5,400 RPM crap that all the OEMs sell in their sub $1,000 notebook junk.

    Despite one manufacture being a non-OEM (ASUS), and the other is simply just an OEM (HP), both systems came with crappy slow hard drives which won’t last two years. My point though, is that the AMD A8 (Llano) completely destroyed the Core i5 Sandy Bridge in performance, speed and graphics!!! AND it was cheaper!!!!!

    As a computer technician, I have worked on many notebooks with the crappy Intel processors inside, and I’m not impressed. I worked with a terrific tech who is an Intel fanboi through and through, and he would always just blame the slow performance on the hard drive. I would just laugh and tell him it’s more the crappy Intel design.

    I’m not an AMD fanboi as your suspecting, I’m actually NOT a fanboi of any product or company. All fanbois are deaf, blind and stupid. When you’re a fanboi, you only accept information that supports your opinions and quickly reject everything else. So it could be facts you’re rejecting, but won’t even realize it.

    I’m very objective and open-minded which allows me to learn more about what AMD, Intel and Nvidia have to offer. All three companies have strengths and weaknesses which I point out to my many customers. Of course, since 70-75% of consumers look at price FIRST, AMD tends to be the best choice for them. A better overall solution at an outstanding price! Sure I try to get my customers and others to look beyond the crappy $300 - $400 systems, but many times they only want the cheapest crap they can get due to total ignorance. Their excuse, “all I need is” or “all I’ll use it for is…”. This is what almost every customer of mine as told me and I just have to laugh. So I then point them in AMD’s direction and tell them to buy either the A8 or A10 and stay away from the C & E class APUs and the A4s. The A6s are ok, but I recommend the A8 the most. They respond by purchasing the C or E class cheap garbage! Maybe they spring for the A4. lol

    In both my girlfriend’s account and AMD’s FX experience, listed in the above link, provide examples of how benchmarks are just not true and don’t provide proper or genuine guidance of the comparison between AMD and Intel products. If I had you play a game on a system with the FX 8350, could you really tell the difference from it and a system with the Core i7 3770 Ivy Bridge? In actuality, probably not.

    These benchmarks have totally given the general public a false sense of reality when determining which system to purchase. So this is where computer review websites, like the one you work for, come in. You need to be impartial and unbiased. You should understand that instead of looking at stupid software results, you should place two systems next to each other and see which one is faster. Don’t tell me you do, because if that was true, you would have a totally different opinion in regards to AMD.

    I have worked on many notebooks with Intel processors and they all seem very slow compared to the AMD APU counter parts. Must just be the graphics as the difference maker. However, when it comes to the all mighty desktop, Intel isn’t a bad way to go, it just cost more for the motherboards and CPUs. I have built customers Intel systems this year, I just prefer the way AMD sticks with one socket for later upgrades. Just another strength AMD has going for them!
    Reply
  • Burticus - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    OK I understand that prices fluctuate daily on the net. But that proposed A10 build for $507 seemed high to me.

    Pricing from my local Microcenter store, and ditching that A10 for a FX 6300... I come up $157 (not figuring tax) cheaper without a discreet video card. You will need one, surely, but a $150 discreet video card will kick that APU up and down the street for gaming.

    Just sayin'.
    Reply
  • batguiide - Sunday, December 09, 2012 - link

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    Reply

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