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Budget Intel builds: H61 vs H67

RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

In general, I kinda of shirk when I hear "budget" and "gaming" computer in the same sentence. It's like trying to build a budget race car. But you can still get decent enough performance without spending a ton of cash.

My personal recommendation for anyone considering gaming on Intel is to go with the P67 chipset, since it allows you to overclock should you choose to do so, in addition to SLI/Crossfire and other high performance options.

A lot of people I've been talking to have been looking at budget Intel builds with Core i3 CPU's, these are price-comparable to Phenom II's (although you only get half as many cores), and H61 motherboards are price comparable to Socket AM3 boards.

I admit, I haven't really ever considered the H61 as a gaming option. I always rather shoehorned it as the low-end office/productivity chipset option for people who wanted a light computer and were probably just going to be using Intel On-Die video anyway.

So, the technical difference between the H61 and the H67 only appears to be a couple of SATA ports and a couple of USB ports (most of which go unused anyway), and the software-based Intel RAID support.,52806

So, if you can't afford to go P67 and your dead set on Intel, is there any real reason to go H67 over H61 (aside from motherboard-specific differences)?


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    One consideration is that you don't just buy a chipset by itself.  You buy the entire motherboard.  H61 motherboards tend to be really barren of features, and every single one on New Egg is under $100, including shipping.  For example, all but one H61 motherboard on New Egg right now has only two memory slots, not four.  If you want to use Intel integrated graphics and want a decently nice motherboard, H67 is the only option.  If Intel charges $13 less for H61, and you don't need the motherboard to do much, then H61 makes sense.

    For what it's worth, P67 isn't just about letting you overclock the processor yourself.  The same processor will more aggressively use turbo boost (even at stock settings) with a P67 chipset than H61.  A Core i5 2500 with a P67 chipset will clock all four cores up to 3.7 GHz indefinitely, and a single core as high as 4.1 GHz for short periods of time, if the temperatures and current draw are safe.  The same processor with an H67 chipset won't push a single core past 3.6 GHz, even if only one core is being used much.  I don't know if H61 is identical to H67 in that regard; it might be more conservative yet.  Take away the more aggressive turbo boost and Sandy Bridge loses quite a bit of its advantage--especially compared to Bulldozer.

    Now, Intel doesn't advertise that, because they want you to see P67 benchmarks, and think that that's what you're getting from H67 or H61, and overestimate the performance of the cheaper Intel options.  That's why they only sent out the Core i5 2500K and 2600K processors for reviews, as those have the Intel HD 3000 graphics, while all other desktop processors go wtih Intel HD 2000 graphics--so nearly everyone with Intel graphics in a desktop will get the latter, and hence only half of the graphics performance that they see in reviews.

    If you're trying to save money on a budget build, it's really just a question of how tight of a budget that is.  For more severe budgets, there are things like this:

    Note that that is your processor, graphics, and motherboard, not just the motherboard.  The processor is much weaker than a Sandy Bridge dual core, but the graphics are a lot better.


    For a budget gaming system, I don't think H61 makes any sense at all.  That's what Llano will be for, and it's only a couple of weeks away.  Now, a Llano processor plus a Socket FM1 motherboard will probably be more expensive than a Core i3 Sandy Bridge plus an H61 motherboard.  But you make that back and then some by not having to buy a discrete video card for the Llano system, like you would with Sandy Bridge.  This is why integrated graphics that are good enough for gaming are going to be a huge deal in the laptop and budget gaming markets.

  • ShinamiShinami Member UncommonPosts: 825



    "Race Car" is my favorite Palindrone...




    Its not just a small margin either...I tested H-series motherboards and those are also more error prone. They are designed for integrated graphics and tend to be lower end than standard boards and their role really is to save power by actually providing businesses with a low power computing setting to run moderate computing and low cost approach.


    By low cost, I don't mean in just "buying a computer" as AMD low cost solutions exist too. I mean the entire idea that you don't have to hire a tech to actually test if a video card is broken and a comp needs a replacement. In short, companies can rely less and less on technical assistant by keeping a lot integrated. 


    Of course it really does mean the H-Series should be avoided as it targets another consumer base altogether. 


    @both of you


    Sure, we have our debates, arguments, insanities and disagreements. Doesn't I don't read your posts and wonder from time to time. 


    Like I've mentioned before, there is a very clear road on budget gaming. 


    The real short term goal of a gamer is good performance in a game they like. What matters (and I make this statement in every guide I write about the matter and distribute) is to achive 60+ FPS in any multiplayer game possible on a graphic setting that you like and have some headroom to keep playing such a game through its expansion.


    The measurement of requirements really is in the form of the most demanding game one wishes to really take part in.


    Of course you know how much I like intel solutions and they really help a lot in creation....


    I think it can be agreed upon that if you REALLY are tightly on a budget and really just want to play some games with great performance....that going AMD is actually cheaper but will limit you at a closer point, that is until AMD comes out with a new processor. Yet their high end processor is affordable and I've reached high overclocks with them too.



    That was the first point: 


    The second point is the idea of "budget" solutions and "gaming" which is a matter of opinion as I've constantly restated throughout:


    "People talk about an Economic Crisis in the US...Money this! Money that!...budget this and budget that...but what do I see? Children as young as 9 being given Consoles + HDTVs, walking around with $600 cell phones and family plans with internet fees....Kids and teenagers who are willing to spend money on the latest clothes, a new cell phone every six to twelve months...


    Hell, they are willing to spend $60 on a video game and then shell out $15 a month on a subscription fee and/or deal with a cash shop while shelling out money for an expansion....Some even go the extra mile for boxed $90 - $120 and when they get weaker performance they will ALWAYS ARGUE and throw every possible type of resistance....


    ....resistance towards paying the extra $50 for an extra 4GB of RAM (if they need it) or pay the extra $30 - $50 that will get them a more powerful video card or power supply....and we then analize a lot of failures are attributed to two things:


    "Poor Maintanance" and "Taking Chances on cutting corners on even the most decent of platforms" 


    The people always want the most possible for the least amount of money so to make those products to be sold at such costs power and performance (and even quality) gets chopped as we see cut corners all the time, granted sometimes a real winner comes down the aisle. 


    I used to be PRO-Budgeting and Efficiency....that was until I took a job helping a non-profit organization in my freetime which provides services for inner city children and it required at times going to the houses of poor and low income families and tutoring kids in school work. I thought the idea would be good as it would give me a hands on approach to analizing something with my own eyes as seeing is believing at times...


    What I saw was a real shocker...specially when the solution for controlling their children is buying them expensive consoles and computers...along with those super expensive cell phone plans for a family...with families of course dealing with being below the poverty line. 


    I became friends with many people who really are nice and caring, below the poverty line and I found them to be loaded with technological gadgets, old computers anything of that matter to integrate, survive and spend time.


    I knew a kid who's family combined made around 40 - 50K a year and they commented on them starting out and living in such an expensive city. They had one old car and when they spoke about their family life and situation as they are quite hardworking and going through community programs and education....Their son had thousand dollar+ computers, expensive cell phones...Dressed up in Nike Shoes and mid to higher fashion...and I really wondered if the reason they were poor and requesting service is because they themselves cared more about having what they think everyone else has that they are willing to become poor in order to do so...


    And of course this wasn't the only case as I did see homes where kids really did have nearly nothing and they went out and played but they had more smarts....


    My point to all of this is that the entire "OH I AM ON A BUDGET of X" really really doesn't cut it anymore. I don't take those people seriously. I've dealt with families before who earn over $150,000 a year and they REFUSE to upgrade any piece of technology or even spend money on it....and I've seen many who low income earners who cant live without the latest gadget.


    Reality is important: 


    If you want to succeed in a game you need the framerate and the technology and if you are willing to put up money on buying consoles + expensive games + HDTVs for resolution and spend money on expensive internet connections and other technologies....You HAVE NO EXCUSE for your performance. 


    You either GET your performance of you DON'T GET IT. There is nothing in between...


    ..and some kids crying because they can't afford to upgrade their PC, but when the latest game comes out they are willing to spend tons on buying the game, all the expansions/DLCs and even pay monthly fees and ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY HAVE MONEY...


    Seriously, don't let them fool you. 


    If you want "BUDGET GAMING" that is what consoles. If you want to join the big leagues and you are going to make a commitment to actually SPEND A LOT OF TIME playing a game, SPECIALLY AN MMO....Be ready for it and don't scrunge on at LEAST BUILDING A DECENT TO GOOD SYSTEM...


    No I don't mean GO CROSSFIRE/SLI and buy the most expensive thing money can buy....I mean BUY PARTS AND STOP and make a decent system and learn a bit about computers too as it does affect performance knowing how A and B work together....Oh wait? THEY CAN'T LEARN because they don't have any time? Oh wait they have plenty of time to be text-messaging, posting in forums and in game servers.


    I am not about ELITISM....I am about people having some dignity and common sense to at least think for themselves. I mean...I was part of a music ensemble at one point where people had to audition to get in, and guess what? Half of them couldn't speak English and Couldn't Read Music! ...and then I am told that I am being "Insensitive" for saying..."You know you should know how to read music if you will sing in a group where a piece we have has 12 parts!"


    So yeah.....Go for H61 - H67 if you want to cut corners and have a platform with lower ends when you can actually spend the same amount of money and get a medium to higher end platform on the AMD side of things at least for that category. 

  • stayontargetstayontarget Member RarePosts: 6,519

    Here's a really good write up for all you budget builders out there.

    $599 Gaming PC Build   ( they went slightly over that cost :p )

    Velika: City of Wheels: Among the mortal races, the humans were the only one that never built cities or great empires; a curse laid upon them by their creator, Gidd, forced them to wander as nomads for twenty centuries...

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    With no case, no optical drive, no OS, and going over the budget even without those things, that's more like an $800 gaming PC build, and even that is excluding peripherals.  And it's not even a good $800 gaming PC build, seeing as it has only a painfully slow WD Caviar Green hard drive for storage and a mediocre power supply.

    An Asus P8P67 Pro on a tight budget?  Really?  That's a completely trivial thing to drop down to a more budget-friendly motherboard, as if you can't even afford one high end video card, you don't need to make room for two of them in CrossFire or SLI.

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