I just built a cheapo system. I had two computers die within two months. Both were AMD’s. These machines lasted almost 7 years (motherboard and CPU).
I purchased an AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition (Deneb 45nm) for around $100 bucks, brand new, and stuck it in an Asus M5A97 that was even cheaper. The warranties were 3 years each, included. Only 8 G Single channel DDR3 @668MHz. The video card blows, short on cash, only a AMD Radeon HD6600 2 SATA hard drives totaling 2.5 Terabyte’s. This one has USB 3.0
I do a lot of CAD. This machines, and the one i built last month, virtually identical except with a MSI 870-G45 board (12G’s of Ram)
These machines run Rhino3D 4.0, at maximum settings really excellently. I have installed this same programs on friends machines costing 3 to 4 times, if not more, and the difference isn;'t just there, not enough to justify the price. Amazingly, these guys said the same thing. I teach them CAD.
I think this is the software’s inability to use all the cores. This NURBs modeling program is an excellent program. I also have AutoDesk, Photoshop CS3 and CS5 and again, these machines are great. I know they are "old’, not the latest and greatest, but, with dual 24’ monitors on each, and with the money I saved, I was able to get my son an Acer AMD Quad Core laptop, it is not a APU, this is a great Laptop, 512 mbs of video ram… The list was $650, I got it for $499 from Tigerdirect.com. It was below their cost, a loss leader. It isn’t the first time they have rewarded me for being a long time customer, though I also buy from NewEgg and Amazon. The Laptop was for my 12 year old, the school system told us two weeks in advance of this “new” requirement. So, I have 3 computers, 2 PCs and 1 Laptop, all new, for the price that some people have paid for one PC. AMD’s have their place, but this last generation of products from them has only been extremely disappointing. I was lucky to find these Phenom’s as they are getting harder to find. The single biggest upgrades will be faster hard drives, and better video cards. I imagine I will be running these for a long time. Maybe, AMD will have done something by then. If not, I will go Intel. I like to support underdog companies. I have made out. AMD has done well by me. I have not overclocked my AMD’s. I have not had to. A couple of my models are attached. These are models I have built in paper, none are for sale. The Bi-Plane is for a client. Rotating models like this are a good test for a computer. These files sometimes have four or five or the models within one file. These are all designed and unrolled at 1/50th scale using Rhino3D 4.0. The models are my designs of the real craft based on blueprints of the aircraft. A friend from Russian sent me the A90 Ekranoplan blueprints. That was risky for him. I have never seen the files I have on the internet. A great benefit of having associates around the world! The models are all works in progress.
There are still some great AMD processors out there, and if one is careful, a great computer that will serve the needs of 90% of the population can be served (a number I pulled from the air), very inexpensively. but with quality. IMHO.