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On a budget, i3-2100 or x4 840?

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June 15, 2011 2:29:50 PM

Hi, I'm currently building a system but I would like to save as much money as possible. That said, I was looking at the current microcenter combo deals. I can get the i3-2100 and this mobo: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... for $122 after tax. I can also get the Phenom II x4 840 and this mobo: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... for $115 after tax, $105 after rebate. How much of a difference will I experience between these 2 cpus? I know the mobos aren't that great, but I'm going for money savings. I'm planning on general use (web, watching movies) and some gaming (sc2, diablo 3 when it comes out, bf2). I may also need to run a VM on this machine in the near future. I plan on getting either a 6850 or a gtx 460 1 gb for my vid.

Right now I'm more attracted to the i3 because of it's better performance in games and lower heat/power usage, but in order to fit the vid card in my budget I may have to go with the 840. I have about 300 to pay for both the cpu/mobo and the graphics, but would really like to keep it as low as possible. Thanks!

More about : budget 2100 840

a b à CPUs
June 15, 2011 2:36:58 PM

Depends on what games you'll play, with GPU intensive games (most) you'll wont see a difference, while with CPU intensive (SC2, BF series, FSX, etc.) the 2100 would coe out on top.

With the 840 however, you have the option to OC, which would close some of the CPU gap.
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June 15, 2011 2:56:17 PM

For real world application, though, would it make much difference? For example, fps of 80 vs fps of 60; 80 is nice, but I don't know if I would even notice the difference between the two. Also, I doubt I'll OC. That would require more investment in aftermarket hsf, and I would probably like a better mobo at that point.
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a b à CPUs
June 15, 2011 3:01:17 PM

Real world as in desktop and web surfing? The difference in that ends with a Athlon X2-ish. Just get 4GB+ RAM.

Games-wise, SC2 would suffer a noticeable bit. Other not so much. What resolution will you be playing at though?

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June 15, 2011 3:22:36 PM

Er real world as in what I can see. I know a lot of benchmarks show the differences, but the differences end up being like 120 fps vs 90 fps. The higher fps is nice, but realistically I probably wouldn't even notice. I suppose what I'm asking is if the increase in frames is worth it if I don't NEED sc2 to be set at Ultra, etc.

The resolution is kind of unknown at this point, I'm using an old 19" monitor at 1280x1024, but I plan on getting at least a 24" whenever I find a decent sale.
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a b à CPUs
June 15, 2011 3:49:14 PM

If you're heavy on SCII and RTS games like it, i would go for the 2100 as the difference is a real 10-15fps, which is pretty noticeable if you do get the 1080P monitor.

The Athlon is a good choice though if you really cant gut out the extra bucks. You should be able to hit 3.5 on stock fine I believe.
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June 15, 2011 6:12:25 PM

Best answer selected by sunglee2.
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June 15, 2011 6:14:52 PM

oops, selected the wrong post as best. still, your suggestions helped me alot. I guess if I can find another mobo that is close to my target price, I'll go with the i3. If not, I'll prob go with the 840.

Emperus, thanks for the suggestion, but that's just a little too expensive. Comes out to about $168 after tax before rebate, and I would rather put the extra $40-$50 towards a nice gpu.
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a b à CPUs
June 15, 2011 6:17:04 PM

sunglee2 said:
oops, selected the wrong post as best. still, your suggestions helped me alot. I guess if I can find another mobo that is close to my target price, I'll go with the i3. If not, I'll prob go with the 840.

Emperus, thanks for the suggestion, but that's just a little too expensive. Comes out to about $168 after tax before rebate, and I would rather put the extra $40-$50 towards a nice gpu.

Hope you go with the I3.
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June 15, 2011 6:51:52 PM

ghnader hsmithot said:
Hope you go with the I3.


Haha you really like the i3s don't you. What about the viability of the dual core vs the quad core in terms of the future? Wouldn't the quad theoretically last me longer as more and more programs take advantage of the extra cores?
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a c 81 à CPUs
June 15, 2011 7:06:17 PM

Dual core vs quad core debate is more appropriate when the tech involved is on the same level. Here the i3 is clearly faster compared to the X4. As for future, you can always upgrade to an i5 which is still better compared to the X6. So until AMD improves its core architecture, the half cored CPU's from Intel are better deals.
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June 16, 2011 5:00:32 AM

Thanks guys, I ended up buying the i3 with the biostar mobo! Now my question is, if I plan on buying this overclocked gtx 460:

http://www.amazon.com/PNY-Overclocked-PCI-Express-Graph...

What kind of power supply should I be looking at? I was thinking about this raidmax:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-152-...

but I'm a little leary of Raidmax in general. I'm not sure how much wattage I need, as well as if buying the oc'd 460 is a good idea. I've read that these cards tend to die faster because of the oc. For the case I was thinking about the NZXT gamma case:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UDK9U6/ref=ox_sc_a...

or the Thermaltake case:

http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Black-Plastic-Compute...

Sorry, this is turning into a whole build thread!
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a b à CPUs
June 16, 2011 5:26:32 AM

are biostar mobos good?
Never had a good experience with them.

Why dont you go for the radeon 6790?
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June 16, 2011 5:39:44 AM

Don't know much about the 6790, how does it stack up to the 460?

Im not sure about this particular mobo, but I have a previous build where I used a biostar mono, still running strong after 8 years (mom uses it now)
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