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Help! Which CPU is better? i3 540 or i3 2100

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July 1, 2011 8:34:00 AM

Which of the below is a better CPU?

i3 540 or i3 2100 or AMD 955 Black Edition.

For gaming ?

For over-clocking ?

Future proofing ?

Overall ?

More about : cpu 540 2100

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July 1, 2011 9:01:55 AM

The i3-2100 wins most of your categories. However, the Phenom 955 does have four cores, which counts in its favour for threaded apps and games with multi-core support.
July 1, 2011 10:14:39 AM

Herr_Koos said:
The i3-2100 wins most of your categories. However, the Phenom 955 does have four cores, which counts in its favour for threaded apps and games with multi-core support.

No, the i3-2100 is faster for all games. Here's the i3 beating the fastest AMD processor out, the Phenom II X4 980 BE:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=362
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July 1, 2011 2:17:21 PM

I lol'd.. Who buys a Black Edition processor to bench it at stock? The i3-wins at stock but has very limited overclocking headroom (if any at all). the i3- 540 is an OK processor that has room for a descent overclock. In terms of future-proofing thats "meh" to me as there is always something new coming out. If ur going the LGA 1155 route get a p67 board atleast so a cpu upgrade in the future would make sense.
July 1, 2011 3:44:03 PM

i3 2100 Best Choice
July 1, 2011 4:02:39 PM

AstroTC said:
I lol'd.. Who buys a Black Edition processor to bench it at stock? The i3-wins at stock but has very limited overclocking headroom (if any at all). the i3- 540 is an OK processor that has room for a descent overclock. In terms of future-proofing thats "meh" to me as there is always something new coming out. If ur going the LGA 1155 route get a p67 board atleast so a cpu upgrade in the future would make sense.


i3 2100 would destroy the PII and the i3 540 even when they are overclocked. Not to mention having to buy an aftermarket cooler and better PSU if you do overclock.
July 1, 2011 8:21:47 PM

AstroTC said:
I lol'd.. Who buys a Black Edition processor to bench it at stock? The i3-wins at stock but has very limited overclocking headroom (if any at all). the i3- 540 is an OK processor that has room for a descent overclock. In terms of future-proofing thats "meh" to me as there is always something new coming out. If ur going the LGA 1155 route get a p67 board atleast so a cpu upgrade in the future would make sense.

Well if they're going to overclock we should always take into account what that $30 for a cooler can do in terms of upgrading the CPU. In this case it'll move us from the i3-2100 to the i3-2120. Considering the i3-2100 beats the PII 980, the $30 is better spent on getting a better Intel processor rather than overclocking an inferior AMD processor.

Considering he might not even overclock the P67 board could be another area where he wastes his money as you are suggesting.
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July 1, 2011 8:32:10 PM

If you are going to overclock, then the 955BE is the best option. If you are afraid of overclocking or just don't want to, then the 2100 is the best choice in most cases save for a few heavily threaded applications that prefer four physical cores.
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July 1, 2011 8:35:33 PM

If you're worried about being future proof then an AM3+ board with the 955 is a good option. You should also consider a Z68 board for the i3 2100, but honestly Intel doesn't have a great track record as far as supporting a socket lately. Even for their last long lasting socket, LGA 775, new CPUs often required a new chipset to run properly.
July 1, 2011 8:49:34 PM

megamanx00 said:
If you're worried about being future proof then an AM3+ board with the 955 is a good option. You should also consider a Z68 board for the i3 2100, but honestly Intel doesn't have a great track record as far as supporting a socket lately. Even for their last long lasting socket, LGA 775, new CPUs often required a new chipset to run properly.

Again, he might not need a Z68 if he doesn't overclock.

Ivy Bridge will be LGA1155. Even so the current upgrade path for LGA1155 is much better than the AM3+. You can currently upgrade to a i7-2600 on the LGA1155 while the Phenom II X4 980BE is the fastest AMD chip at the moment. The i3-2100, Intel's crappiest i core chip, is faster than the 980BE.

The same thing could be said for AMD and their Phenoms. You wouldn't want to put a Phenom II in a AM2 motherboard if you wanted to maximize performance.
July 1, 2011 9:40:00 PM

megamanx00 said:
If you are going to overclock, then the 955BE is the best option. If you are afraid of overclocking or just don't want to, then the 2100 is the best choice in most cases save for a few heavily threaded applications that prefer four physical cores.


955 BE doesn't go far in terms of overclocking, even with an aftermarket cooler it won't go up beyond a shabby 4.0 Ghz.
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July 2, 2011 2:17:22 AM

szbxa said:
i3 2100 would destroy the PII and the i3 540 even when they are overclocked. Not to mention having to buy an aftermarket cooler and better PSU if you do overclock.

Can you provide sources for this claim? I to have the same issue as the OP, i3-550 with a high OC(thinking 4GHz) VS. the i3-2100, which I think you can take up to 3.4GHz if I am not mistaken(forgot where I read this on the forum).
July 2, 2011 2:37:51 AM

I was apparently overbiasing.
A 4Ghz i3-550 would definitly be better or on-par with a 3.4Ghz i3-2100 when it comes to gaming. You'd still have to pay extra for cooler, electric bill, and having to go with a dead platform. All of that for performance similar to the sandybridge i3, not worth it imo.
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July 2, 2011 3:40:23 AM

szbxa said:
I was apparently overbiasing.
A 4Ghz i3-550 would definitly be better or on-par with a 3.4Ghz i3-2100 when it comes to gaming. You'd still have to pay extra for cooler, electric bill, and having to go with a dead platform. All of that for performance similar to the sandybridge i3, not worth it imo.

OK, lets say I don't mind the electric bill or the fact that the platform is dead/dying and have a cooler on hand, would you still go for the Sandy i3 or the 4GHz i3-550? Also the fact that I can have fun doing a high clock OC.
July 2, 2011 3:37:48 PM

thechief73 said:
OK, lets say I don't mind the electric bill or the fact that the platform is dead/dying and have a cooler on hand, would you still go for the Sandy i3 or the 4GHz i3-550? Also the fact that I can have fun doing a high clock OC.


i3 550 then, it's apparently your preference. you like it, you buy it, and ignore the rest of us :D 
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