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Intel i3 2120 or Phenom ii 965 x4

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May 22, 2012 8:27:42 PM

I'm looking to build a budget gaming pc and I'm wondering which of these two processors will give me the most bang for my buck.

My goal with this gaming build is to be able to stream/record games with several browser tabs open and maybe a music player like itunes up, all at once.

I realize intel is always the popular choice but I don't intend to upgrade anytime in the near future after building so I'm mainly concerned with what will provide me with the best performance until i decide to upgrade (which will probably be 2-3 years from now) So which cpu will serve me better in light of the goals I specified above?

I have heard that, for the price, the Phenom 965 is the better deal. Is this true? If so, how much better is it?

More about : intel 2120 phenom 965

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May 23, 2012 7:20:09 AM

The Phenom 965 will, as a whole, give you slightly better multitasking performance. Notice I said slightly. The i3 2120 however does have HT which will put it close to the same level as the 965 in multithreaded applications. The i3 2120 will give you better gaming performance hands down. It performs better than the 965 in games even after the 965 is overclocked.

My personal choice would be the i3. The reason I say this is that if you go with the i3 on the 1155 platform your will have a much better upgrade path for future use. Say you get an i3 and run into a few bucks to spend. You could buy an i5 2500k and swap it out with the i3 in a matter of minutes on the same motherboard. THE i5 DESTROYS anything AMD currently has to offer in both gaming and general use.

With all that being said either processor will do the things you stated. The Phenom 965 will multitask slightly better(i.e may allow you to have a few more browser tabs open at once) but will not perform as well as the 2120 in gaming. The 2120 offers a better upgrade path.

Decisions Decisions............
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a b K Overclocking
May 23, 2012 8:19:53 AM

I have the i3 and I had a fx6100 and the i3 was better in all real world stuff. The only thing I changed when I switched to the i3 from the fx 6100 was the motherboard. The motherboards were in the same performance range so good for comparison. I am running all good components and the i3 performs beautifully for the price and real world stuff I feel like it runs so much better than the AMD. I know you were asking about the Phenom but fx chip was supposed to be one up on the Phenom so I figured I would give you my opinion. I would hands down go with the i3 and with the hyper threading technology it acts like it has 4 cores and upgrade ability is better. Think in a year if you have some spare cash and you get a itch to upgrade with the i3 you have the ability to do so with the AMD you don't that is the end of the road you will need a new mother board. I am sure in another year the price of the i5 will come down and you will probably want to upgrade.
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a b à CPUs
September 12, 2012 1:29:59 PM

bigj1985 said:
The Phenom 965 will, as a whole, give you slightly better multitasking performance. Notice I said slightly. The i3 2120 however does have HT which will put it close to the same level as the 965 in multithreaded applications. The i3 2120 will give you better gaming performance hands down. It performs better than the 965 in games even after the 965 is overclocked.

My personal choice would be the i3. The reason I say this is that if you go with the i3 on the 1155 platform your will have a much better upgrade path for future use. Say you get an i3 and run into a few bucks to spend. You could buy an i5 2500k and swap it out with the i3 in a matter of minutes on the same motherboard. THE i5 DESTROYS anything AMD currently has to offer in both gaming and general use.

With all that being said either processor will do the things you stated. The Phenom 965 will multitask slightly better(i.e may allow you to have a few more browser tabs open at once) but will not perform as well as the 2120 in gaming. The 2120 offers a better upgrade path.

Decisions Decisions............


Overclocking a 965 to 3.7ghz or higher (easy and stable) will blow the i3 out of the water.
Especially in single threaded tasks.
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a b K Overclocking
September 12, 2012 3:47:36 PM

Sporting two physical cores with Hyper-Threading support, the i3 2120 has proven itself to be a potent little performer against its direct competition. As a low cost, low power solution, it offers improved performance in applications used every day for compressing data and editing pictures or movies. Having few faults, the i3 is able to perform all the tasks asked of a modern multimedia PC for a low cost of entry.

pros:

Performance
Low cost
Low power
Sandybridge architecture
Hyper-Threading

cons:

Limited overclocking
Lacks Turbo Boost support
HD 2000 IGP



I feel the Phenom II X4 965BE is a really tasty quad-core processor for budget minded overclockers and PC aficionados..

you'll absolutely like what it brings to the table. It's a product that makes a lot of sense and as such comes very much recommended - now with an even better energy efficiency and power envelope.

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