Keep in mind AMD's claim of "8 cores" is more marketing than anything else. The reality is it's a quad-core class processor but each pair of Bulldozer "cores" is actually a cut-down integer unit and the pairs share a floating-point unit and most of the rest of a conventional CPU core's circuitry. The end result is closer to Intel's Hyperthreading than a true 8-core design. The result is anemic (to put it mildly) single-thread performance and rock-bottom floating-point calculation. AMD was betting that programmers would favor OpenCL type routines on the integrated graphics APUs to do floating-point math, meanwhile OpenCL remains a fairly exotic option and Intel chips keep pushing good single-thread performance.
I see, this is good to know. I've pretty much ruled out AMD at this point since I know a bit more about Intel architecture and they've become my safe brand for now. I'd be interested to look into AMD more, but since no one has really come forward to suggest more on them, I'm going with the Intel build.
At this point it's become just whittling down the price of the Intel build on certain parts, and replacing parts that have become sold out on Amazon. I figure that once I find a replacement for the RAM, I'm going to start ordering because there are some limited time rebates on some of the parts, and while I'm not factoring those into the final price, they'd still be a nice subtraction.
If the primary use is gaming then go with the i5. No contest at all; single threaded performance is key in gaming since most are not heavily threaded; plus the i5 uses less power. The performance difference between the 8350 and the 3570k in threaded programs is easily overcome with a slight overclock on the i5; would still probably use less power.
Pretty sure you can get a cheaper motherboard. I'd go with this one [link] . Swap the memory for these [link]
Those adjustments bring the required items cost down to $462.66.
I was hoping to leave future support for SLI and the board you provided doesn't support that. Should I just forget about the SLI? He isn't going to be running multiple monitors, and just has a 1080p TV monitor.
I did swap the memory out, thanks for that suggestion!
Unfortunately, the RAM you linked me to has sold out, and I can't find a cheaper alternative. Do you have any other suggestions?
I also think I'm going to keep the increased motherboard since I'm still in budget and I'd like to leave the SLI option open. An extra $30 isn't bad considering that cheaper board went up in price by $25.
Looks like the Vengeance is the cheapest option. Do you have a Micro Center nearby? Likely could find most of these items for less there.
If everything is in budget, no point really in trying to skimp. That's the biggest mistake people make when building their own rigs. If something is only a few bucks over what you want to spend, it's better to spend the extra.
The Intel build is unfortunately the over-budget project. I can't really think of anything on that list that I can try and cut costs on. Getting a smaller PSU only makes a $5-$10 difference and the motherboard seems to really be a sweet spot, anything cheaper by the same company seems to be MicroATX.
Oh, that line can be ignored. The two-day shipping line has no shipping because I am an Amazon Prime member. Two-day shipping is free, and one-day shipping is $4 per item. However, we've ruled out one-day because it's ridiculously expensive
Amazon prime is great for computer components. I get almost everything there these days when I can't make it to a store.
If it were me I would get the Intel build but would skip the aftermarket cooler and DVD drive. You can always get the aftermarket cooler in a few months when your friend has saved up a bit more money and DVD drives these days just sit there and look ugly. You can almost certainly salvage a DVD drive from somewhere else that you can temporarily plug in on the rare occasion that you need it.
You also can hold off on the two extra fans. I can tell you from personal usage that those particular fans are a bad idea. They're really loud and particularly annoying The computer certainly doesn't need them right now and it would be better to wait and upgrade all of the fans in the box at once with some good noctua's or the like.
I'm also not sure the mouse and keyboard are worth buying. They might be best left to old hardware until he saves up the money to buy better stuff.
Finally, I noticed you don't have an OS listed. Something to think about.