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Old April 26, 2011, 07:45 AM
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The previous generation Core processors are not worth considering anymore. If you want an i3 it is better to get it from the 2nd generation Sandy Bridge instead. The i3 2100 is way better than the i3 540.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old April 26, 2011, 08:19 AM
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or you could go

gigabyte ma880
athalon x3 maybe x4
xfx 5770 or 5750 maybe 5670 (ive havent played sims since the original)
antec earth watts 450 or 500 watt psu
4GB of whatever ram you want
wd black 500GB
coolermaster elite (comes in a rainbow of colors)

this comes out to about 650 but it should keep her happy for a few years if all she does is play sims
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Old April 26, 2011, 11:45 AM
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The Sims2 is released in 2004. Cannot be more graphically intensive than the NFS Underground 2 which can be played at low resolutions with integrated graphics from the 785G/790GX/880G/880GX platform. I have seen one review also where the IGP in Sandy Bridge was outpacing the Radeon 4250IGP from the 880G. So one Sandy Bridge Core i-32100 would also be a good choice as cpu+gpu solution. In plus if you go with core i3 you can get one mini ITX mobo like the Asus P8H61-I (rev 3.0) and with a mini ix case like the InWin BP655 build a mini system that would also look cool. Pricing is taken from newegg.ca but you can also check directcanada.com might have smaller prices.
Ok so :
Intel platform :
Core i3-2100 120$ (use stock cooler)
Asus P8H61-I (rev 3.0) 85$
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 45$
IN WIN BP655 200W PSU included 60$
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U HDD 320GB 43$
ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD burner black, SATA 22$
grand total 375$
if you feel the need for a videocard I would go with a low profile nvidia GT430 or radeon HD 5570
ASUS ENGT430/DI/1GD3(LP) 70$ (before a 15$ rebate card)
So a big 450$ worst case scenario, meaning additional videocard.
Additional notes : the Samsung HDD seems to be the fastest thing on 7200rpm. I personally have it in my system and I am very satisfied with it. Not as quiet as the Barracuda 7200.12 family but faster. Scores 5.9 on WEI in Win7.

AMD platform :
AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz 80$
ASUS M4A88T-I Deluxe AM3 130$ (this mobo has core unlocker which would allow you to unlock 4th core for even more horsepower and value)
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 45$
IN WIN BP655 200W PSU included 60$
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U HDD 320GB 43$
ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD burner black, SATA 22$
grand total 380$
if you feel the need for a videocard I would go with a low profile nvidia GT430 or radeon HD 5570
ASUS ENGT430/DI/1GD3(LP) 70$ (before a 15$ rebate card)
So a big 450$ worst case scenario, meaning additional videocard.
Keep in mind these are ideas od a mini itx system, using micro ATX mobos you could end even lower in price, especially on the AMD platform which would allow you to get an Antec NSK4482B case which is 90$ and includes a PSU of 380W 80plus certified.

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Old April 26, 2011, 01:54 PM
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well, 1156 for overclocking,1155 for no overclock or rather limited overclock but better performance per thread per clock.

so i3 all the way i think. a bit more expensive than amd's duallies but oh boy they make up for the price difference.

1155 i3's hang with be quads in most scenarios,and suck much less juice.
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