Xmas and my Brother in law

So my bro in law wants to build a PC. For Xmas I was going to give him a spare processor, my DDR3 that I have (12G), a spare HDD, and then write a list of what he could get later on. I might also give him the case I am using as I want to strip the first PC I got from its case and put my current Xeon machine in that case (and make a post :D ). We haven't had time to do xmas so we're doing such things on the 7th.

My question to the borg is what do I do for a CPU to him? He has a surface pro (newest one whatever it is) and a laptop that he killed the fan on. He wants a box for windows 10 and to game on but also use for work for college. He's in Grad school to be a doctor so it doesn't need to be crazy cad stuff. Since I know what the thing does, I was going to give him my Phenom X4 and 250X and he could go up from there. But I also have an i7 870... From what I understand the 870's platform is either hard to find or stupid expensive, where as AM3/+ boards are everywhere and he could upgrade to an FX chip later on. That way he has some expansion as procs get cheaper and cheaper.

So, what do I do? Phenom or i7? The rest is easy, I'd just want to get him off the ground with this.

I'd say Phenom. It's not the fastest thing on the planet, but like you said, boards are plentiful and cheap. Although I think either way unless he plans on upgrading in the very immediate future he'll have to swap out motherboards and CPU. The FX line is pretty much worthless to buy at this point, and Intel likes to change sockets every couple of hours, so it will only get harder to upgrade using existing parts.

That, and I will always have a soft spot for Phenoms.

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the i7 wont be hard to find a motherboard for they are lga 1156


If you stick with AM3+ it's most likely not worth upgrading to an FX chip, better to wait for Ryzen and see what that offers

ASrock has this solid board, not 100% on Phenom compatibility, I believe it's advertised as compatible though

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The server board there lacks onboard audio no? probably not worth going with a server board unless it's super cheap

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For ~$120 you could get an Intel Xeon X5650 second hand off Amazon, and a motherboard from ebay to go with it.



X4 because of the availability of cheap new MB's. Once he starts his residency he won't have much spare time:)

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Yeah thats why I'm doing this now so he has the ability to have down time. He starts Res in july I think, august maybe.

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That is the wrong chipset

i7 870 is lga 1156

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You didn't read the first part of my post.

For ~$120 you could get an Intel Xeon X5650 second hand off Amazon, and a motherboard from ebay to go with it.

He already has the i7 870 why buy a whole new cpu and stuff lol

Also the phenom @FaunCB already has as well is probably a good idea because am3 and am3+ mobos are dirt cheap, even nice ones. Like the M5A78LM-USB3 which is usually $30-40

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No. Old AMD is shit. And I used to have a PhenomII x6.

Just buy a used 3770, 4770, 4771, 4790, or the K variant of any of those systems off craigslist. I see them all the time in the $300-400 range.

Example given

Old AMD is pretty good though not great
The x4s are muchhh better than Core 2 quad
The ii x6 cpus are meh though compared to i7s

Did you not read my post all the way or are you too used to trolling?

I think I would give him the i7 for a simple reason: if he's not really interested in PCs he's not going to take the time and money to upgrade just the CPU (in case you gift him the Phenom) and also will resort to you to help him out to do a CPU upgrade. The i7 is the safest bet I think and it's also more powerful I guess (don't quote me on that).
But if you need to spend way too much money to gift him the i7 just go for the Phenom and settle everything once and for all.

I read it, but your constraints are irrational. Spending money to create a 'stone soup' system out of some old hardware is stupid and wasteful. Or if you are so sure what you are doing is a good idea, why even ask? I gave my input and its the most rational response in this post. For $300-400 you get a whole computer that achieves the goal, and you can sell off your parts or whatever you have to offset the price.