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new pc advice

Posted on 2006-11-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
i have to buy a new computer for older retired man,
all he uses is MS Office - Word and internet browser ( on XP, antivirus, firewall would also be installed ).
Computer should run fast for him, although he is not interested in spending way extra on tiny low percent differences.

Sempron or Athlon 64 ?
How much difference would there be between DDR2 PC5300 vs DDR1 PC3200 ?
Athlon 64 3500 S939 or Athlon 64 3000 AM2 - I believe only difference between S939 and AM2 is DDR2 support, but how much difference is there between Athlon 64 3500+ vs 3000+ ?
I planned to choose MB with integrated graphic card nForce6100 - but it seems bit does not support DVI,
is there visible difference between DVI vs analog graphic card output ?
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Question by:ed987
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Callandor earned 2000 total points
ID: 17946585
Athlon64's are fairly inexpensive right now ($70 for a 3000+) and are significantly faster than Semprons.  PC3200 should be more than adequate for office applications, and the integrated memory controller on the Athlon64 minimizes the advantage of DDR2.  A 3500+ sells for $85, so it's a small price increase for a 16% speed increase.  At monitor display sizes, DVI is not noticeably better than VGA; you would want it if you were using a large screen or a projector.
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by:garycase
ID: 17948541
"... Sempron or Athlon 64? " and "... not interested in spending way extra on tiny low percent differences ..." ==>  "way extra" is an ambiguous term, so I don't know what you have in mind;  but if $100 is an acceptable increase for significant increase in capability (easily better than 50%), then the answer to the "Sempron or Athlon 64?" question is NEITHER.   The bottom-of-the-line Intel Core 2 Duo performs on a par with the Athlon X2 5000+, and only costs $183 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819115005) => about $100 more than the Athlon's you noted.   And several motherboards with integrated video that support Core 2's are now available in the $75 range.   With the performance of the Core architecture chips, it's very difficult to recommend building a system with anything else UNLESS that extra $100 is a bank-buster.   If you do, however, need to keep the cost as low as possible, one nice side-effect of the Core chips is that the other CPU's (both Intel and AMD) have had significant price reductions ... so you can get some excellent deals on them these days (those $70 - $90 Athlons would have cost more than double that before the Core chips came out 3 months ago).   I agree that if that's the case you should go with the Athlon.

As for your memory question ... the difference in performance between DDR and DDR2 is very nominal.   I would not be concerned about which architecture your selected motherboard uses.   I also agree with Callandor that DVI doesn't matter at desktop display sizes.
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