Budget gaming PC - which processor?

  Nethergater 16:32 01 Nov 2008

I'll be buying a new gaming PC very soon most likely from from powerc.com as I've heard good things. However, I can't decide between an AMD Phenom Triple Core 8450 (with a ATI 4850 512mb) for £434.95 or a Intel Core2Duo 8400 (with an ATI 4850) for £479.95.

Is the Phenom Triple Core any good? I've not heard much about it.

  citadel 18:57 01 Nov 2008

core 2 duo 8400 will overclock equal to a cpu costing a lot more.

  GaT7 19:19 01 Nov 2008

An AMD X3 8450 has a default clock speed of 2.1Ghz, while an Intel E8400's is 3Ghz.

Most games (at the moment) do better with higher CPU clock speeds, than an extra core or two.

And, as citadel mentions, a C2D E8400 will overclock much better [than any AMD] for an even greater boost - should you ever want to go down this route in the future, i.e. when the PC's warranty runs out. Get a good after-market CPU cooler/HSF, & make sure there's good airflow in the case before attempting to overclock the CPU. G

  rustyboy 22:43 01 Nov 2008

As both the above posters said. Don't bother with the triple core. Whilst alot of games will utilise a 2 core cpu very few if any will use 3 or four. The faster E8400 (3Ghz) will be of alot more use in gaming than the 8450 (2.1Ghz). Also you'll find that the E8400 having 3mb of cache per core will be alot more useful than the 8450's 1.5 mb cache per core. Second lvl cache is utilised in gaming quite alot.
Whats the rest of your chosen spec? And what type of gaming are you intending it for?

  Devil Fish 00:29 02 Nov 2008

get a cheap core 2 duo after market cooling and crank it up most will run to 3ghz quite happily with the right cooling

  robbiepaul79 11:33 02 Nov 2008

Q6600 still is a great chip choice i think, i myself am placing an order with that chip from powerc this week.

  Nethergater 16:37 02 Nov 2008

Thanks for the help guys. I'll go with the Intel chip then as it seems worth the extra.

rustyboy, rest of my spec is as follows:

Premium ATX Midi Tower Case
650 Watt Power Supply Unit
Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3
Intel® Core™2 Duo E8400 Dual Core 2x3GHz 6MB cache
Standard CPU Cooling Fan
Kingston 2GB (1x2GB) DDR2 800MHz
Samsung SH-S223 22x DVD RW Black SATA
ATI Radeon 4850 512MB
Built-in audio
2 Years Return to Base inc. 2 Years Free Collect & Return Parts & Labour

- £479.95

I just want something that'll run recent games to a decent if not spetacular level and last me a couple of years. I don't need a monitor/sound card/keyboard/mouse/ speakers etc as I can canibalise my existing PC. I'm also gonna continue on with XP for the forseeable future.

Incidentally, the AMD Athlon 6000+ dual core processor runs at 3.1Ghz and is considerably cheaper again. Is this chip is quite old and outdated now?

  citadel 16:45 02 Nov 2008

amd have been out in the cold since the core 2 duo came out. amd are working on a new design that will come out next year.

  rustyboy 16:56 02 Nov 2008

AMD Athlon 6000+ 3.1 Ghz is a good cpu for OC'ing but to be honest i'd stay with the intel. Its widely accepted that intel chips are better than their equivalent amd counterparts for gaming.

Good choice with the company you are using also. Ive got one of their machines and two of my friends have recently purchased machines from them (to run warhammer on) and they are happy as larry with them.
the premium case will be good enough for cooling what you have as long as you don't start OC'ing to any extreme limits. Enjoy your new beast :-)

  Nethergater 17:04 02 Nov 2008

Cheers. Will do!

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