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Upgrading from Phenom 9850, i5? or i3 until Ivy Bridge?

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November 18, 2011 3:42:02 PM

Hello all. This is my first forum post, so go easy on me :) 

Current system:
Phenom 9850 2.5GHz quad
AM2+/AM3 motherboard
8GB DDR2
GTX 465

I'm looking to build a new Intel box. I'm not sure where to start, processor-wise. I'm not buying an i7.

Going from the 9850, will I notice a performance loss going to a dual core, HT processor like the i3?

Should I snag one on the cheap and wait until Ivy Bridge drops? Or should I spend another $100 and get the i5 2500k?

It's my understanding that, due to my 9850's lack of efficiency, I would actually notice an increase in performance moving to an i3, even though it is only a dual core CPU.

If this is the case, I will simply buy the inexpensive i3 and wait for Ivy Bridge. If not, I will shell out the extra $100 and pick up the i5.


Other info:

I play most games at a relatively low resolution of 1680x1050, and I have no troubles running Skyrim or MW3, but I'm starting to feel the age of my current setup.

After doing some research I found that it would be more cost effective long term to invest in a new Motherboard/CPU/Memory. I prefer to start with something inexpensive that has a good upgrade path. The 1155 platform looks to be the way to go.

I've already decided on the motherboard and memory I'm going to purchase, but I can't seem to make up my mind on the CPU.
a c 159 à CPUs
November 18, 2011 4:14:31 PM

Sandy bridge cpus won't drop in price for maybe 3-5 years, but microcenter or frys may have a special sale next black friday weekend or in dec-jan reducing year end inventory. I don't recommend phenom II's unless they're dirt cheap. One place I'd never heard of had the 965 for $109.99 yesterday listed on fatwallet or slickdeals. Can't remember which. Don't buy parts piecemeal. Save and get everything at the same time, including a new power supply. Don't go cheap on the ps; get a cheaper video card or motherboard but use one of these brands of ps: antec, corsair, xfx, seasonic, enermax, or ocz, which I use. Cheap brand ps are nothing but headaches.
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a c 188 à CPUs
November 18, 2011 4:26:13 PM

For games right now it is extremely hard to beat the performance and value that the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K gives you. The Intel Core i3-2100 is a very nice processor but if it were me I would save and pick up the Intel Core i5-2500K.

Christain Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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November 18, 2011 4:27:01 PM

Thanks for the response, but my question is pertaining to the performance difference between a Phenom 9850 and the i3/i5.

I have already selected the other components. I will not be buying a Phenom II. I could drop a Phenom II in my current system.

I agree on cheap power supplies. I'm keeping the video card, though. I have had a great experience with it and it's still plenty powerful enough for today's games.
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November 18, 2011 4:32:57 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
For games right now it is extremely hard to beat the performance and value that the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K gives you. The Intel Core i3-2100 is a very nice processor but if it were me I would save and pick up the Intel Core i5-2500K.

Christain Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team



Thank you, Christian. I was thinking the same, but I'm looking to make the move away from AMD and my budget is limited. For about $400 I could snag a new motherboard, 16GB DDR3 1600, and an i5-2300. I have a new power supply and my video card is only about 2 months old. I was considering the i3 to shave off another $50~ until I can drop in an Ivy Bridge.

Do you think I would notice a serious change between a Phenom 9850 and an i3-2100? I'm a little gunshy moving to a CPU with fewer cores, but I'm beginning to see that more cores not = higher frame rates.
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a c 159 à CPUs
November 18, 2011 5:13:43 PM

Also check newegg for open box specials. One guy got an open box 2500k for $133 including shipping. It will still have Intel's 3 year warranty. He was happy as a clam. Best time to check is Tues, Wed, Thurs, or friday nights about 5-8 pm pacific time. If you find one, order if immediately, and finish the order quickly. It will sell out in seconds. If you don't finish placing the order quickly, someone else will beat you to it.
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November 18, 2011 7:34:32 PM

I think I'm leaning towards the cheaper i3 solution, until Ivy Bridge hits. It should do everything I need it to do, and according to Anandtech, will be a significantly faster processor than the 9850 I currently have.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=29

Anyone else have any opinions on this?
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