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Intel or AMD?

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October 4, 2011 3:38:33 PM

Ok I know this is an old age question but I have to decide! To make it easy, I will list my question,

AMD or Intel:

1.) Reliability -
2.) Quality -
3.) Performance -
4.) Gaming -
5.) Power Usage -
6.) Speed -

Intel

Strengths:

Weaknesses:

AMD

Strengths:

Weaknesses:



My choice of processor if AMD wins: AMD Phenom X4 840 3.2ghz
My choice if Intel wins: Intel Core i3 2100 3.10

My budget is around $100 to $110 which explains my choice above. Please tell if I made a good choice in choosing the above processors. If not, please recommend better ones.

My needs: A good gaming PC, nothing else.
My current parts on my PC: Sapphire HD5450 1GB DDR3, 4GB DDR3 PC10600/1333

Thank you for your time!

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October 4, 2011 4:17:32 PM

Regarding #1 and #2, you generally do not need to worry about these two since CPUs generally do not fail, unless of course you overclock them too much and do not have an adequate heatsink to dissipate the heat.

Both AMD and Intel has had production issues in the past that may or may not have affected quality / reliability. It does not happen very often, but this is the nature of the beast.

#3 and #6 are more or less the same. It's all about performance. Speed in itself is no longer the #1 factor for processor performance. For example, the dual core Intel Core i3-2100 is 3.1GHz, the quad core AMD Phenom II X4 980 BE is 3.7GHz. The PII X4 980 BE has two more cores than the Core i3-2100, and it is 600MHz faster as well. However, the Core i3-2100 can beat the PII X4 980BE all game benchmarks that I have seen. There is one exception, in Mafia the PII X4 980 BE scored 89.9 FPS compared to the core i3-2100 which only scored 89.0 FPS based on whatever highend video card was used in both systems; it might have been a Radeon HD 6950.
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October 4, 2011 4:33:27 PM

Because games are so dummed down to accommodate consoles, extreme performance is not an issue. The AMD CPUs, though inferior to Intel's will cost you less initially, and will likely provide you with an upgrade path longer. IMHO, quality is no more an issue for one than the other.
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October 4, 2011 4:39:35 PM

There is one exception, [b said:
in Mafia the PII X4 980 BE scored 89.9 FPS compared to the core i3-2100 which only scored 89.0 FPS based on whatever highend video card was used in both systems; it might have been a Radeon HD 6950.]There is one exception, in Mafia the PII X4 980 BE scored 89.9 FPS compared to the core i3-2100 which only scored 89.0 FPS based on whatever highend video card was used in both systems; it might have been a Radeon HD 6950.
[/b]

89.9fps = 89.0 fps as far as the real world is concerned.

skip the phenoms, they're worthless.
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October 4, 2011 4:49:54 PM

wh3resmycar said:
89.9fps = 89.0 fps as far as the real world is concerned.

skip the phenoms, they're worthless.
The AMD Phenom X4 840 is fine, particularly if the OP doesn't upgrade the low-performance Sapphire HD5450 video card.

I'll admit that I found jaguarskx's 89.0 FPS comment very amusing.
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a c 123 À AMD
October 4, 2011 5:01:52 PM

Ooops... accidentally submitted my response and I can't edit.

To continue... It basically boils down to...

#3 Performance - Ever since mid-2006 when Intel released the Core 2 Duo / Quad CPUs, they have taken back the performance crown from AMD. AMD took the crown away from Intel back in 2002/2003 when they released the Athlon XP Palamino or Thoroughbred core.

AMD's current Phenom II CPUs are basically a generation behind Intel's Core i CPUs. Meaning the Phenom II family of CPUs competes against the Core 2 Duo / Quad CPUs, not against the Core i family of CPUs.

#4 Gaming - Intel holds the crown here. Like I mentioned in my previous post, the Core i3-2100 (3.1GHz) can beat the Phenom II X4 980 BE (3.7GHz) in games. That's Intel's slowest Core i3 dual core CPU AMD's fastest quad core Phenom II X4 CPU.

Of course, if you take gaming out of the picture, then the Phenom II X4 980 BE can beat the Core i3-2100 in most other benchmarks like 3D rendering, video encoding,and compressing / decompressing files.

#5 Power - Basically both AMD and Intel are pretty close to each other in the power envelop when you look at comparable CPUs. In general, the more cores a CPU has, the more power it will consume. The same can also be said of the clock speed, the higher it is, the more power it will consume.


Based on the two CPUs you have choosen, the Core i3-2100 is better because:

1) Better gaming performance. But in programs that can use more than 2 cores, the Phenom X4 840 would probably be better.

2) It uses less power fewer cores and smaller die size in the manufacturing process; 32mm vs 45mm for the Phenom. Smaller die size typically means less electricity is used due to lower resistance. The Core i3-2100's TDP is 65w compared the PII X4 840's TDP of 95w. TDP typically relates to how much heat the CPU dissipates. The higher the TDP the more power the CPU uses.
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October 4, 2011 5:05:18 PM

Might I add that whatever CPU you choose to go with, your not going to get stunning results playing fairly modern games with your 5450, it's a pretty weak card.
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a c 121 å Intel
a c 123 À AMD
October 4, 2011 5:07:02 PM

wh3resmycar said:
89.9fps = 89.0 fps as far as the real world is concerned.



Yeah I know, but I figure give the PII X4 980 BE at least one victory to show that it is not completely dominated in games by a lower clocked dual core Intel CPU.

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October 4, 2011 6:39:57 PM

GhislainG said:
The AMD Phenom X4 840 is fine, particularly if the OP doesn't upgrade the low-performance Sapphire HD5450 video card.

I'll admit that I found jaguarskx's 89.0 FPS comment very amusing.



it isn't. anybody who's saying a phenom2 make sense would have to admit that the old p4 netburst made sense back in the day. it's the same story. high clocks that don't mean anything.

console ports which we have a steady influx of coming in are most of the time cpu bound.
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October 5, 2011 2:42:42 AM

Hey guys! I've been reading your posts and it's very good. I need a processor that can be used for a long time, like 2-3 years? and can compensate heavy games like Black Ops (minimum requirement: Core 2 Duo 2.40ghz) and more heavier games for the years to come. As long as the processor can play heavy games on minimum or recommended(definitely recommended), I will be happy with that processor.

As of now, I would choose AMD Phenom because it's a Quad Core as far as I know and I know games today require Quad Cores to play on recommended settings.
So the whole point is, which processor can compensate heavy games and time value... regardless of performance. I'm gonna upgrade anyway when I graduate in 2years so no worries.
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October 5, 2011 3:06:25 AM

Since the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition costs about the same as the i3-2100, why did you select the Phenom X4 840? If you prefer an AMD solution, then you should get the 955 BE.
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October 6, 2011 1:41:21 PM

As of now, I would choose AMD Phenom because it's a Quad Core as far as I know and I know games today require Quad Cores to play on recommended settings.
So the whole point is, which processor can compensate heavy games and time value... regardless of performance. I'm gonna upgrade anyway when I graduate in 2years so no worries. said:
As of now, I would choose AMD Phenom because it's a Quad Core as far as I know and I know games today require Quad Cores to play on recommended settings.
So the whole point is, which processor can compensate heavy games and time value... regardless of performance. I'm gonna upgrade anyway when I graduate in 2years so no worries.


the numbers of cores doesn't count if those cores are crippled. the 2100 can outperform any x4/x6 on cpu video bound videogames.
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October 6, 2011 1:54:00 PM

At this point, is it even a good idea to buy a dual-core processor when you can have double the cores for about the same price? He said himself he wants a CPU that can compensate heavy games and time value regardless of performance. My vote goes to AMD here, sure, the i3 may beat it, but it's still a good performer. And yeah, I agree with GhislainG, you might as well go with the 955BE.
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