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Would a core i3 2100 be a good upgrade?

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October 29, 2011 4:05:54 AM

Hello everyone, PC noob here.

I'm currently thinking about doing a somewhat new build within the next few months and would like advice on the processor I'm looking at. I currently have a maxed out AMD am2+ system ATM and was thinking about switching over to intel and doing a sandy bridge build. What worried me was that I was thinking about either crossfiring my 6870 or upgrading to a 7xxx series processor in the future and being that I can't upgrade my cpu anymore, I'd probably end up with a big bottleneck.

So I'm thinking about future proofing myself a little bit by getting an lga 1155 socket motherboard and maybe the core i3 2100 processor since the i5's are beyond my budget for a new cpu. Another question is whether the core i3 2100 is a decent step up from my old phenom II x4 945 cpu. Would it allow me to crossfire my 6870's or upgrade to a 6970 in the future without a cpu bottleneck? Of course I eventually would plan on upgrading to a core i5 2500k or Core i7-2600K down the road when they get a little bit cheaper.

My current PC
-ta790gx a2+ mobo
-Phenom II x4 945
-4gb g skill ddr2 ram
-1tb WD HD
-750 watt corsair psu,
-xfx 6870 1gb

I'll keep my video card, psu, and Hard drive.

core i3 2100 link
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

or core i5
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

I posted the core i5 just for the heck of it.

More about : core 2100 good upgrade

a b à CPUs
October 29, 2011 8:17:53 AM

If you're definitely going to get 2500k/2600k,then yes;otherwise no.
i3 2100 is a good CPU but I can't exactly call it an upgrade from your X4 945.
For 2 6870's I definitely recommend a stronger CPU than either X4 945 or i3 2100 such as 2500k
October 29, 2011 9:14:04 AM

its more of a sideways/downgrade/upgrade... kind of complicated. i honestly cant suggest it at all. i can see you want an upgrade path and the 1155 chipset certainly offers some powerful cpus for bargain prices. however! the 2100 isnt what i would call cheap. its cost makes up a substantial amount of the cost of a 2500k. wait on the upgrade altogether until you can afford the 2500k. the 2100 is just a waste of money for you at this point. you have a computer. a good one. save for the great one.
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October 29, 2011 2:25:49 PM

What about the 2400? I know that the 2500k would require a special motherboard and all if you want to overclock it down the road (which I have no experience with). So maybe the 2400 would be a good enough upgrade? And if I were to get the 2500k or the 2400 would there be a worthwhile cpu upgrade after that with a 1155 board? I would like to be able to keep the system for at least another 2 years while upgrading the cpu at least once down the road.
a c 113 à CPUs
October 29, 2011 4:07:48 PM

Snag a second HD6870 and have at it in CrossFire - save your $$$ for a complete rebuild when you have enough cash to fully fund it.

Your PhII 945 should be 'comfortable' around 3.5GHZ or so. You won't necessarily double your frames but I imagine you will come close to it, and beyond an HD6970 fer sure.

I think your 'bottlenecking' concerns might be a bit overstated -- don't worry too much -- concentrate on finding a proper CF bridge (if you don't already have one)

a b à CPUs
October 29, 2011 5:28:11 PM

dennis555 said:
What about the 2400? I know that the 2500k would require a special motherboard and all if you want to overclock it down the road (which I have no experience with). So maybe the 2400 would be a good enough upgrade? And if I were to get the 2500k or the 2400 would there be a worthwhile cpu upgrade after that with a 1155 board? I would like to be able to keep the system for at least another 2 years while upgrading the cpu at least once down the road.

What do you mean 2500k requires a special motherboard ? Any 1155 motherboard support it.I recommend 2500k over 2400 because it's faster and the price difference isn't much.
October 29, 2011 6:35:24 PM

Maziar said:
What do you mean 2500k requires a special motherboard ? Any 1155 motherboard support it.I recommend 2500k over 2400 because it's faster and the price difference isn't much.


Sure any 1155 motherboard supports it but not all of them allow overclocking. Wouldn't I need a fancy P67 or Z68 one? Even then not all allow for OC'ing.

I also read an article from this website stating that battlefield 3 only utilizes 2 cores and no HT. So if that's the case than a $100 motherboard + core i3 2100 $100 + some ram would give me a new system. Most games don't utilize 4 cores anyways besides some major titles like Bad co 2 and Gta/iv.

Instead of paying $180 for a video card (that would be heavily bottlenecked by my processor according to all the research I've done), I could do a complete overhaul for $250 with some head room to upgrade to an i7 2600k down the road when it gets cheaper. On Passmark's benchmarks the core i3 2100 proves faster than the phenom II x4 945.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Co...

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=AMD+Phen...

-If it matters I play at 1080p...
a b à CPUs
October 29, 2011 6:56:13 PM

Well,you can get a 2500 then(if you aren't planing to OC)
As for BF3,yes it plays fine even on dual core CPUs but not all games are the same;furthermore,apps like PhotoShop/3D max both benefit from a quad core CPU(which makes your current X4 945 a better choice),but like I said,if you're going to get i7 2600 soon,then get the 2100.It's a fairly powerful CPU especially if your main task is gaming
a c 80 à CPUs
October 29, 2011 7:36:46 PM

I think any P67 will cope with OC, and they are not that expensive. Z68's are more expensive however.

But I'd agree with most people so far, there's not a lot in it, have a look at toms bf3 article, to see about cpu scaling.
October 29, 2011 7:53:36 PM

What if I got a core i5 now? Would it still be worth it upgrading to a core i7 2600k later on?
a b à CPUs
October 29, 2011 9:36:37 PM

No.The difference between i5 2500 and 2600 is only 100MHz,so unless the price difference is under $50,I'd go with 2500
a b à CPUs
October 30, 2011 7:27:27 AM

Right,but as I said,it's slower in apps like 3D max.
Anyway,if your main usage is gaming,then get the 2100 and upgrade to 2500k later
a b à CPUs
October 30, 2011 8:01:40 AM

dennis555 said:
Well, after finding this neat website (AnandTech), I've been comparing the core i3 vs many of the Phenom II's.

It turns out the core i3 is better in games than most of the Phenoms including the x6.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=147

did you check the resolution that test were done. No AA no Af which means they turned the graphical settings down so the gpu can crunch the fps like there's no tomorrow. So they basically tried to enduse a bottleneck. Do we do that in real world circumstances? Wonder what gpu they used
a c 113 à CPUs
October 30, 2011 11:55:26 AM

The AT 'Bench' is at best, inconsistent. The PhII gaming scores have not changed since the HD4870 was benched with the X3 720BEs. I think that is a problem.

When you are budget-limited, why are you even considering something that will be replaced in the short-term? A second HD6870 will provide a significant boost, and the setup will move to a new rig when you have the cash.

October 30, 2011 12:29:39 PM

buy a p67 motherboard theyre not expensive, buy a 2500k, that way the overclocking is there if you want it for free performance
October 30, 2011 1:02:07 PM

Wisecracker said:
The AT 'Bench' is at best, inconsistent. The PhII gaming scores have not changed since the HD4870 was benched with the X3 720BEs. I think that is a problem.

When you are budget-limited, why are you even considering something that will be replaced in the short-term? A second HD6870 will provide a significant boost, and the setup will move to a new rig when you have the cash.


I don't know if what I did was a good test for cpu bottlenecking or not but I lowered the resolutions in many games 'from 1920x1080 to 800x600, same graphical settings otherwise, and saw little FPS gain. And I believe the core i3 2100 would up my minimum fps in certain games with it's core efficiency.

So I'm thinking if I buy another 6870 I would not get my money's worth. I've also heard there being complications with crossfire setups where there would be micro stuttering, heating problems, and some games don't even support it.

Also to one of my previous questions earlier, "will there be anything with the lga 1155 worth switching cpu's for in the future if I were to get a 2500k now?"



October 30, 2011 6:00:02 PM

at least get a i5 2300 the extra two real cores will make a big difference in multithreaded games such as bf3 and in other apps
a b à CPUs
October 30, 2011 6:19:27 PM

dennis555 said:
I don't know if what I did was a good test for cpu bottlenecking or not but I lowered the resolutions in many games 'from 1920x1080 to 800x600, same graphical settings otherwise, and saw little FPS gain. And I believe the core i3 2100 would up my minimum fps in certain games with it's core efficiency.

So I'm thinking if I buy another 6870 I would not get my money's worth. I've also heard there being complications with crossfire setups where there would be micro stuttering, heating problems, and some games don't even support it.

Also to one of my previous questions earlier, "will there be anything with the lga 1155 worth switching cpu's for in the future if I were to get a 2500k now?"

Probably not
October 30, 2011 6:34:17 PM

Maziar said:
Probably not


Ivy Bridge?
October 30, 2011 7:49:58 PM

Yeah it's a lot of information to take in. Will sandy bridge-e (lga 2011 processors) even be compatible with 1155 socket mobo's? Because I've heard that ivy bridge processors will be compatible with socket 1155 motherboards and all they would need is a bios update and the link you gave me is about sandy bridge-e(2011) cpus.
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2011 7:00:30 AM

Sorry for the link,I sometimes get confused with this names :D 
Anyway,I don't think Sandy bridge-e will be compilable with 1155 motherboards.
October 31, 2011 12:36:58 PM

Maziar said:
Sorry for the link,I sometimes get confused with this names :D 
Anyway,I don't think Sandy bridge-e will be compilable with 1155 motherboards.


Well I hope Ivy Bridge will be compatible with the 1155 socket.
!