Homework/Productivity $400 A10 vs $450 i3 Builds

Hey teksyndicate community, I've found myself in a predicament of sorts and could use a second opinion or two... or three as I have not built a new rig in about 6 years. The wife just started taking online classes and my old AMD 64 4000+ system just ain't cutting it any more. Until now we have gotten by with using our laptops for 90% of our usage but it's time work a new workstation.

This new build will be used for her online classes, homework, web surfing. I would also like to be able to do some occasional audio capture/video encoding. It will most likely not be used for anything besides very casual gaming. With this system I would also like to leave an upgrade path open for a new CPU, adding a GPU, etc. in a few years. Also, I'm not really interested in overclocking at the moment, however... path open... blah blah blah.

I'm torn between these two builds I have been working on. And before you point it out, I have a relatively new storage drive I will be transferring to the new system. Just want some insight into what would be the best performer per $ and if there is anywhere I could save a bit of $. 

P.S. USB 3.0 Headers are a must have.





Thanks for looking! Any feedback is appreciated.

So it seems like you're trying to keep it around $400 or so with that in mind here's what comes to mind.

1.) Get 2 sticks of ram not 1 for Dual Channel memory

2.) What are you doing for an OS? If going windows you need to account that into your price.

3.) That adata drive while not bad, you can get better write speeds with a Samsung 840 evo for about $20 more.

4.) Your case is fine, but you may want to check out Fractal Design's new budget cases. The 3100, 3300, etc.



Thanks for the input, I changed my i3 build to 2*4GB Dual Channel RAM. I was going to keep the APU build at 1*8 because that particular mobo only has 2 RAM slots and I wanted to leave one open for possible future upgrades. Not sure if my logic there is correct with that build.

I wasn't going to factor the OS into the hardware cost.

And thanks for the case suggestions I'm going to let the wife look at a few and make the final decision.

8Gb of 1600Mhz in a 2x4 configuration of ram is all you will need. I would also bump up the CPU on the AMD build to be at the same price point as the  I3 build.

Quad cores at 4.1Ghz will definitely trump dual cores at 3.5Ghz ... Both builds will push dual monitors which will always improve productivity.

That being said ... both builds will do homework.

AMD A10-6800K 4.1GHz Quad-Core Processor



Both the A10 and i3s will do homework just fine.  I put together an i3 build here which is cheaper than yours, and should perform just as well.

ThinkServer 70A4001LUX($350) Xeon E3-1225

That is a good option, alternatively AM1 if you don't need any CPU performance.