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Intel i5 2500k vs Intel i3 2100

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August 14, 2011 5:05:46 AM

I am about to buy the 500$ June build at Newegg.ca and then build the pc myself. However, I am wondering if i should but the Intel i5 2500k instead on the Intel i3 2100. I know that the motherboard can be used with the i5 2500k so this isn't a problem. I am to use this pc for gaming and want it to be able to play the up and comming games such as Battlefield 3, Skyrim and other games. Should i get the i5 2500k or will the i3 2100 be enough ( knowing that i would have the same graphics card for both) I want to be able to play at the max settings for games already out such as battlefield bad company 2. I plan on recording sometimes (using fraps). Which should I get?

More about : intel 2500k intel 2100

August 14, 2011 5:47:40 AM

oh and is the Antec EarthWatts Green EA380D 380 W good enough for the intel i5 2500k? it is 30 watts more then the i3 2100
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August 14, 2011 6:35:46 AM

Both i3 2100 and i5 2500K can play those games if paired with a good GPU. Its just that newer games are coded to utilise more and more cores and maybe in the next 2-3 years highend games will require atleast 4 Physical Cores to run. So, the i5 2500K is a better choice IMO, its also overclockable if fitted on a P67/Z68 board.

The 380W PSU would be quite insufficient for a mid or high end graphics card.
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August 14, 2011 6:40:54 AM

If you are going to OC and spend the necessary expenses on cooling for the 2500k, then go with it as it is more future ready than the dual cored i3.

If OC and the rig is purely for a casual gamer, if you want a quad why not just get the 2400 for $40 less and save on cooling to, In gaming the 2400 and 2500/k are the same thing with vastly different prices.

Having built an I3 system for someone else, I will say that the 2100 is a nifty little thing, if the 2100 can compete with quad core processors and in instances beat them, clearly the sun has not yet set on the dual core market. I have seen suggestions that HT is worthless, but it does clearly make a difference, by giving the i3 sufficient kick to play with the big brother quads.

If you are a casual gamer then saving the extra $100 could be put to use building a solid system all around, just get a good z68/p67 motherboard so that you can replace only the cpu down the line.

If you want a system sorted for 4-5 years without any upgrades other than slapping in a further two memory modules or changing the GPU for something newer, then the bigger i5 is the way to go, can't see that processor being redundant in the foreseeable future, having seen it perform, it is well worth its price.
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August 14, 2011 8:45:15 AM

380w is a bad choice you may as well got 650w so you can always upgrade your parts later on down the line.
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August 14, 2011 9:17:29 AM

BFBC2 already uses 4+ cores so BF3 will run better on a quad core cpu over a dual. And like said above, you're going to want to but a good quality 500w or higher to facilitate a powerful gpu for games likes BF3 and Skyrim, even the aging BFBC2.
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August 14, 2011 10:58:24 AM

with that 380w psu you could run the i5 2500 and get a 6850 to go with it. Although as others have said, it doesnt leave much room for the increased power consumption of overclocking or a beefier graphics card. It would probably be a better option to get the i3 and spend a bit more on the GPU and PSU. A similar antec 500w unit would be a better choice.
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August 14, 2011 1:04:44 PM

At the moment i3 2300 is sufficient. But after 1 or 2 years you badly needs 4 cores or more to play games and use applications with good performance at that time. Upgrading to i5 on a latter date wastes lots of money for what you get.
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August 14, 2011 2:21:31 PM

Even an i3 might struggle with battlefield 3, can't guarantee that statement, but everywhere I look says minimum dual core and quadcore as recommended.
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August 14, 2011 2:52:04 PM

Ok so I found a 650w psu and will take it but is the ASRock H61M-VS ok for the rest of the 500$ June PC. I know it is compatible with the 2500k but is their something else id have to worry about?
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August 14, 2011 3:03:10 PM

Nooo if your getting the "K" series chip, you want a p67 or z68 chipset for the mother board. Anything else won't let you overclock. Now that's fine but if you go that route, save a couple bucks and grab a non K chip.

What company makes the 650w psu you found?
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August 14, 2011 4:13:44 PM

Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply (is the 650w psu)
and kk ill get the p67
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August 14, 2011 4:17:49 PM

Your good for the psu, just making sure you didn't pick some crap no name 650 watter.
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August 14, 2011 4:21:20 PM

haha kk and is the motherboard ASRock H61M-VS good for the Intel i5 2400 even if u turbo it to 3.4ghz?
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August 14, 2011 4:50:14 PM

Turbo is a built in thing so yes, but you won't be able to overclock beyond what the max turbo speed is with out a K chip and the motherboards I mentioned.
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August 14, 2011 5:29:36 PM

I know that the status quo position is people forcing one to go the i5 2500k route and in the process needing to spend excessive expenditure to get a high end GPU and PSU to compliment it. In a gaming rig with the right components the i3 2100 will give you in excess of 40FPS in mainstream titles like Crysis 2 and Metro 2033. If Intel did not believe that the I3 could compete against quads they would have discontinued them a long time ago. Lessons of the past can be learnt from the Core2 Duo, schooling the Quads with relative ease.

As to unnecessary expenses on upgrading the i3 2 years down the line, really is it that hard, buy a good P67 or Z68 motherboard and it is as simple as buying a 2500k or 2600k when it becomes dirt cheap. Benchmarkers and enthusiasts make out as if the 2500k or current motherboards will just fall off the edge of the cliff, there are many users here still using C2D and C2Q builds that are more that able to manage Crysis 2 on high details without going overboard in the man purse.

I really do hope that AMD APU's get to a level to be regarded as legitimate competitors, when that happens we can forsake the need to put those petty heat generating, energy consumer monstrosities called GPU's into our systems.
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August 14, 2011 7:09:00 PM

Crysis 2 isn't a massive online game like BF3 is going to be. My overclocked i7 920 loads up pretty well in Battle Field BC2. So you can bet BF3 will benefit from more horse power. I'm not saying the i3 won't run the game, I'm saying it's not ideal. There fore it may have to work quite hard in a game like that.
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August 15, 2011 2:56:04 AM

an i3 2100 beats out most AMD quad core processors even in games designed to work well with 4 cores. it wwill run bf3 fine.
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August 15, 2011 6:21:51 AM

I am not denying that the eol is closer for dual core processors, and they will also have performance drops in CPU intensive applications, though when GPU's raise to the level of existing processors, that will reduce the loads a bit too.

I3 is a good solid investment friendly option for 2-3 years at least, if one buys a higher quality z68 board they can go straight to i7 after 2 years and it is as viable as going to i5 and deadending yourself.

Lastly to run the 2500k you can only expect to pay for expensive necessaries to go with it, as the 2500k only runs with high end components.
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September 19, 2011 2:40:44 PM

I know that the status quo position is people forcing one to go the i5 2500k route and in the process needing to spend excessive expenditure to get a high end GPU and PSU to compliment it. In a gaming rig with the right components the i3 2100 will give you in excess of 40FPS in mainstream titles like Crysis 2 and Metro 2033. If Intel did not believe that the I3 could compete against quads they would have discontinued them a long time ago. Lessons of the past can be learnt from the Core2 Duo, schooling the Quads with relative ease. said:
I know that the status quo position is people forcing one to go the i5 2500k route and in the process needing to spend excessive expenditure to get a high end GPU and PSU to compliment it. In a gaming rig with the right components the i3 2100 will give you in excess of 40FPS in mainstream titles like Crysis 2 and Metro 2033. If Intel did not believe that the I3 could compete against quads they would have discontinued them a long time ago. Lessons of the past can be learnt from the Core2 Duo, schooling the Quads with relative ease.


Seriously? Then why haven't they discontinued the Pentium D, Celeron, and Atom processors since they CAN'T compete? It has nothing to do with competing with different lines of processors. It's about price points and capabilities of each line. i3 is great for beginning gamers, work environments with Office/Quickbooks and handling everyday operations at a favorable pace for a period of 3-4 years.

i5 will expand the everyday work environment computers use an extra year or two, give the hardcore gamer a more upgraded gaming experience with smoother framerates and offer a machine that will start to hand other programs such as CAD and CS5.

As to unnecessary expenses on upgrading the i3 2 years down the line, really is it that hard, buy a good P67 or Z68 motherboard and it is as simple as buying a 2500k or 2600k when it becomes dirt cheap. Benchmarkers and enthusiasts make out as if the 2500k or current motherboards will just fall off the edge of the cliff, there are many users here still using C2D and C2Q builds that are more that able to manage Crysis 2 on high details without going overboard in the man purse. said:
As to unnecessary expenses on upgrading the i3 2 years down the line, really is it that hard, buy a good P67 or Z68 motherboard and it is as simple as buying a 2500k or 2600k when it becomes dirt cheap. Benchmarkers and enthusiasts make out as if the 2500k or current motherboards will just fall off the edge of the cliff, there are many users here still using C2D and C2Q builds that are more that able to manage Crysis 2 on high details without going overboard in the man purse.


The point of purchasing it now is so you only spend the extra $100 now on the upgraded CPU instead of $300-$350 in the future on a new Mobo/CPU combo and also having downtime from a teardown and reinstall. As for buying them when they get dirt cheap, look at the Core 2s and Quads that have been out for 6 years now. Are they any cheaper than they were then? Sorry. Processors will never be dirt cheap unless they are dirt cheap.

Minimum requirements for many games today are Core 2, which is basically what the i3 is with some upgraded back-end architecture. Ever play a game with minimum requirements? It's not the most fun and you will be complaining all the way to the final kill cam screen about how that chopper blew up too much dust and lagged you.

I really do hope that AMD APU's get to a level to be regarded as legitimate competitors, when that happens we can forsake the need to put those petty heat generating, energy consumer monstrosities called GPU's into our systems. said:
I really do hope that AMD APU's get to a level to be regarded as legitimate competitors, when that happens we can forsake the need to put those petty heat generating, energy consumer monstrosities called GPU's into our systems.


Please, please, pleaaaaase...... Somebody shut this blabbering idiot up before I slit my wrists. That's like saying I hope that hybrids get to a competing level with a 3/4 ton pickup. It will never happen. There is a calling for onboard and one for discrete.

Lastly, don't listen to the guys talking about onboard handling gaming ok or that all you need is a cheaper CPU and throw in a better video card and you will be ok. Some games are CPU intensive, some want more RAM, but all want a better GPU.

A few years back I was playing Battlefield 2 and America's Army. At 2 Gigs of DDR2 AA was running great, but BF2 was bogging down until I went to 4 Gigs. At the same time BF2 was still running great on my AMD X2, but my AA framerate increased almost 90-95% when I opted for a Core 2 Duo while my BF2 increased a mere 10-15%.
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September 20, 2011 7:04:23 AM


There are two upgrading philosophies being discussed here.

The first is to buy mid to high end and then wait for 4 to 6 years before doing a complete overhaul.

I used to follow this method, and I think a lot of people do too. My previous machine was 6 years old. It was a monster when I first bought it and cost me a packet. My aim was that it should handle everything that was available at the time and the foreseeable future.

The problem was that technology improved in massive leaps and strides. To my dismay, in just a couple of years my CPU, motherboard and RAM were rendered completely and utterly obsolete. Only my GPU remained competitive for maybe about 3 years. But I'd spent all that money and I didn't feel like upgrading. So I waited and waited until my machine became so unbearably slow that upgrading became absolutely necessary.

I don't want to go through that again.

The second philosophy involves buying cheap and upgrading more frequently. The objective is to spend the same as what I did six years ago on my first machine, but incrementally in low cost budget components. The reason I want to do this is because the budget CPU of today (E.g 2100) outperforms the mid-range CPUs (Lynnfield) of last year and the high end CPUs of the year before that.

This is what I have now done. I purchased the i3 2100 with a Z68 motherboard combined with a HD5850 GPU. This purchase is about 50% of my 6 year old machine.

I now feel more upgrade friendly. In fact I look forward to the budget options offered by Ivy Bridge which my Z68 board supports. In two years time my machine will perform well. In four years I may need to overhaul my mobo, CPU and GPU, but still in terms of overall cost I may be within limits.

In six years I want to have a machine that still has a respectable performance.

Now BF3 is a CPU and core intensive game, but from what I read the i3 could manage it on at least medium settings without too much trouble. But truthfully is BF3 worth the extra $100 in additional expense in order to get a quad core CPU? I don't think so!
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September 20, 2011 5:11:57 PM

Sorry bro. But PC gaming is not budget friendly. And if you hope to upgrade "incrimentally in low cost budget components", it won't happen. In order to upgrade your GPU, you will need to jump from a $120 card to $300, or $300 up to $500-600. For a better CPU you will need to forget about your $100 you already spent on your i3 and spend ANOTHER $250 on an i5. If you can afford it, DO IT NOW! I can't tell you the times people have asked me to build a specific machine and I did so, with my own suggestions for what I thought without pushing. Within i few months they came back ticked because it wasn't performing the way they wanted. I told them all I could do was to sell and upgrade their parts for them, and it ended up costing them usually 40-60% of the original machine in upgrades when it would have only cost 15-20% if they had done it at the time.

I will close it with one thing. Ask yourself," When I come home from a long day, do I want to sit in front of a computer and get frusted with bogged down, choppy, juttering, laggy machine? Or do I want it to just work without frustrations and enjoy my gaming?" Invest in it. It's a toy. Do you go and spend $100 on a new bow, $4,000 on a new car, $400 on a Wal-mart 50" TV? Then don't sell yourself short on your computer. Like everything else, you get what you pay for....
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September 20, 2011 5:55:01 PM

i3 2100 is quite a nice gaming CPU.

Unlike all the geeks at TomsHardware, there are people outside using old pentium dual cores and they only dream of having an i3. ;) 
Just check the gaming forums and such. If you have money, go for the i5 2400, if you dont, i3 2100 will serve you just fine.
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October 22, 2011 2:24:48 AM

I have the Intel i3-2100 and it is a great processor. Obviously if you are a overclock-er than the i5-2500k is the way to go, as the i3 can only have a 100 MHz overclock I believe. Even without the capability to overclock it is a great proccesor, and the stock heat sink keeps it below 60 degrees Celsius running Prime-95 for half an hour. The gaming preformance is great. I would definitely recommend it.
The i5 is amazing but the i3 was perfect for me!
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October 26, 2011 1:30:49 AM

Hi!
I was just wondering, do you think that this build could max out Skyrim and Battlefield 3?
EVGA P67 Micro SLI
LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipset

Intel Core i5-2500K
3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache

Cooler Master Hyper TX3

Mushkin Enhanced Redline 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1600 Kit
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit

2 x EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
1 GB GDDR5

OCZ Vertex Series 30 GB SATA II SSD
30 GB, SATA 3Gb/s

Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB
750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s

Sony Optiarc DVD Burner
24x DVD Burner

Raidmax Atlas-295WB

Corsair CX600 V2 600 W
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified

Thanks a lot!
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November 2, 2011 12:00:36 AM

hayden1911 said:
Hi!
I was just wondering, do you think that this build could max out Skyrim and Battlefield 3?
EVGA P67 Micro SLI
LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipset

Intel Core i5-2500K
3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache

Cooler Master Hyper TX3

Mushkin Enhanced Redline 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1600 Kit
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit

2 x EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
1 GB GDDR5

OCZ Vertex Series 30 GB SATA II SSD
30 GB, SATA 3Gb/s

Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB
750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s

Sony Optiarc DVD Burner
24x DVD Burner

Raidmax Atlas-295WB

Corsair CX600 V2 600 W
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified

Thanks a lot!

Please make your own thread... It's rude to hijack someone else's. You will get better answers if you open up your own too!
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