Phenom 955 or i3 2100?

Purpose of build is 3d modelling software (Maya).

I'm looking at the Phenom II x4 955 or the i3 2100. Both are similarly priced, if push came to shove an i5 is a possibility but it would have to be very much worthwhile in terms of software performance to convince me.

What say ye?
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More about phenom 2100
  1. its better you are going for the i3 that way you can always have a chance of grading your rig..
    just my opinion
    but if you dont think of upgrading i still think the i3 is the way to go..
  2. You can buy AM3+ boards now so the 955 can be just as upgradeable
  3. I won't be overclocking btw. But they are almost too close to call...dang! the i5 is tempting but do i spend the extra dough for it now or wait!?...hmmm

    Edit: I'm heavily leaning towards the i3. The i5 is too much at the moment, nearly twice as much as the i3. Depending on memory prices I'll have 4/6gb to accompany the CPU so I should hopefully not be faced with any performance problems. And then an upgrade to the i5 or i7 if need be in future is available.

    Now onto the motherboard.
  4. Personally I would get the i5 if I really could not afford it the 955 motherboards are cheaper and so thats what I would get.
  5. I've just come across this build on EBay:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Intel-i5-2500K-Quad-core-4GB-HD-3000-GFX-1TB-HD-/110662674656?pt=UK_Computing_DesktopPCs&hash=item19c40268e0

    RE: 955 motherboards. I had a quick look earlier at prices whilst reading a motherboard page here, the 955 were around £100, give or take10-15, but then the h67 for Intel were also similarly priced...

    Edit: Second thoughts on that link. I think it only has onboard graphics so I would still have to fork out for a GPU...
  6. 955BE is better, because AM3 motherboards is cheaper than P67, and better than H61/H67 Motherboards, which have only one PCI-E x16 normally. Also, 955BE can Overclock smoothly. i3 2100 can't and the most important thing is it has only two cores!!!!
  7. Cheers for bringing those prices to my attention Simon, I'll have to go through some threads on the mobo forum before I know what I'm after, they're probably the most confusing of all.

    @lcc37: Does the fact that I won't be overclocking change much?

    Also, aren't PCI-E slots for the GPU? And I'll only have one of those anyway...but if the AM3 is just better in performance rather than features then I'll have to keep it in mind.

    I might just plan along 3 routes: i3, Phenom 955, and an i5. And do a final evaluation at the end, the i3 and Phenom are really close and the money saved on the Phenom would edge it. But depending on how much an i5 rig would come to and because it seems to be significantly better it is still in with a shout.
  8. +1 i5!!!

    That i3 is going to devalue right when you buy it. Get the i5-2500 now and be happy for a good long while.

    Until we can see exactly how AMD's next lineup is going to perform I wouldn't touch AMD seeing how these Sandy Bridge CPUs are performing IMO.
  9. Aren't these SandyBridge CPUs faulty or has that been sorted now?
  10. cdem said:
    Aren't these SandyBridge CPUs faulty or has that been sorted now?


    Nothing was wrong with the Sandy Bridge processors, the problem was with the motherboards/chipsets, and fixed motherboards were released a few weeks ago.
  11. Noted. I'm looking at the i5 processors, there's a 2500 and a 2500k available, other than the price what's the difference?
  12. unlocked multiplier
  13. And what does that mean? ;)
  14. Since you are not overclocking you don't need to pay premium for k series parts. If you can't afford the i5 2500 I suggest you seriously consider the i5 2300 which has 4 cores @2.8GHz. Go with that or the i3 2100.
  15. thanks for bringing the 2300 to my attention. I've decided to drop the i3 and 955 in favour of an i5, so it's simply a case of the 2300 or the 2500. If I'm not too far over budget at the end I'll go for the 2500.
  16. Good choice
  17. if you're considering the 2300, don't overlook the 2400, which is just 5 dollars more and gives you an extra 300 mhz on the clock.

    I know 300 mhz is not a big difference, but I'm just putting it out there because, come on, 5 bucks??!
  18. just had a look at the 2400, on my supplier's website, and it's closer in price to the 2500 than the 2300.
  19. What site do you use and how much was it? Is it cheaper than Newegg?
  20. ebuyer.com - uk website

    i5 2300 £138
    i5 2400 £150
    i5 2500 £156
  21. cdem said:
    Purpose of build is 3d modelling software (Maya).

    I'm looking at the Phenom II x4 955 or the i3 2100. Both are similarly priced, if push came to shove an i5 is a possibility but it would have to be very much worthwhile in terms of software performance to convince me.

    What say ye?


    I suspect you should be more concerned with your video sub-system as opposed to your CPU.
  22. wisecracker, I'm under the impression that I'll find the greater performance via the CPU and RAM as opposed to the GPU, either way i'm looking at an i5 and a gtx460. so hopefully I'll get performance from these.
  23. cdem said:
    wisecracker, I'm under the impression that I'll find the greater performance via the CPU and RAM as opposed to the GPU, either way i'm looking at an i5 and a gtx460. so hopefully I'll get performance from these.


    Without stirring up the THG CPU Hornet's Nest, your processor is not going to make a huge difference. It may partially impact your final render if you sit around and watch your computer while it works to output your final product. It doesn't sound as if you will be out-putting huge scenes at this point, anyway, so I would still consider it a secondary issue. If you go with AMD be certain to purchase a 'black socket' which will support AM3+ processors.

    The GPU is far more important as you build your scene(s) due to re-gens in your view-ports. Your 460 should be okay but there seem to be a good many 'less than positive' reviews of Fermi and OpenGL. Give it a Google. ATI/AMD has upped their 'game' in OGL (or nVidia is 'firing blanks' on desktop cards). Some have speculated this was intentional by nVidia to move folks to Quadro cards (which seem to have much better performance in OpenGL).

    ATI/AMD is not without detractors. Folks complain about object selection but this seems to be based upon those who have soft-modded desktop cards into FirePro/FireGL workstation cards.
  24. so, would i be best off dropping down to an i3 and putting that extra cash into a better GPU?

    i'll probably stick with an intel + nvidia combo.
  25. cdem said:
    so, would i be best off dropping down to an i3 and putting that extra cash into a better GPU?

    i'll probably stick with an intel + nvidia combo.



    I don't think you will go wrong either way AMD/Intel/ATI/nVidia --- and instead of 'better' GPU, I would say 'right' GPU. OpenGL is in a bit of resurgence (and though not really related, OpenCL is gaining relevance). The reasons are far more complex than you will find here. Folks are tending away from D3D, CUDA and any other proprietary stuff -- but this tends to ebb and flow as new versions/drivers become available. Example: An earlier version may be more robust for your intentions when operating with the 'best' working drivers/application accelerators.

    The bottom line is 3 years ago folks were dancing on the grave of OpenGL and the tide has turned. You may well find that a GTX 2XX in OGL will perform on par with GTX 4xx & 5xx.

    Bottom Line #2: It's the OPERATOR working with the hardware, with an explicit understanding of the software. There is no hardware that will overcome a lack of understanding/ability in the z-plane. Some folks get it 'spatially' and some folks just don't.
  26. hmmm thanks for the info, the more i'm reading though the further i am from making my decisions lol, i'm also veering back into an AMD platform to save some cash.

    I'm now thinking the 955 with the GTX460, and 4gb RAM...
  27. XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB : $170 after rebate

    Don't know how that compares in price to your 460 but should be quite snappy in OpenGL. That price is good through 3/31.
  28. that's a bit too expensive but i've also heard that AMD/ATi can cause problems within Maya so I've been avoiding those GPUs
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