While Intel has been the dominant force in the PC industry and has made good use of their position by offering CPUs with unlocked multipliers and charging $1000 or more for them, AMD has always buzzed with the keyword “Value” with everything they sell; be it their recent success with the keyword “Value” in the video card arena, or their CPUs over the years. They have tried to sell their CPUs at lower prices than Intel when they are not able to offer the performance levels of Intel CPUs in order to gain the business of their customer. Their recent success with the Phenom II lineup has been due to extreme overclockability due to unlocked multipliers of the Black Edition CPUs and the low cost of their platform overall.
Today we won’t be looking at their quad core lineup, but at a “value” PC in every sense. Although this PC won’t be able to do any high-resolution gaming, it should be able to offer decent performance at 1280×1024 resolution with most of the games ever released for PC. The games have been chosen carefully to represent some of the most graphically intensive games currently available. This PC is far from being a “Crysis” beater so Crysis is not chosen for this analysis. The resolution 1280×1024 has been chosen because currently this is the most widely used resolution as depicted by Steam’s Hardware survey.
For this analysis, I will be using a $80 CPU, a $50 GPU, and a $80 motherboard to try to demonstrate what kind of performance and overclockability you can expect out of an AMD based platform. If you are playing games on such a PC, a GPU upgrade will provide you with the maximum performance increase. Thus, I will be upgrading the GPU to a $100 one, then to $130 and finally to a $180 video card.
I have a lot to show you. So without further ado, let’s get started.