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Best CPU for 100$ range

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November 30, 2011 12:35:13 PM
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November 30, 2011 12:43:41 PM

for me it would be a quad core. duals are almost useless for what I do. you need to think of YOUR needs. then I look below your question and have to ask what you're doing ?
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November 30, 2011 12:44:24 PM

I May not use AMD that often, nor do I own a Phenom processor, but from the looks of it I think the Phenom II X2 560 would be a better bet.
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November 30, 2011 12:47:36 PM

basic daily computing, light gaming, nothing heavy though. im just looking for something with regular user speed.


also how does the intel HD graphics work? iv always used AMD, does it work in support of your graphics card? or work as a graphics card?
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November 30, 2011 12:55:29 PM

see if you likeany of these. i particularly like the sandy bridge pentium and the llanos.
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November 30, 2011 1:29:43 PM

definitely the i3 - people underestimate these things immensely. Great for gaming (even 2011 titles) and fast for basic computing.
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November 30, 2011 1:47:12 PM

I would personally go the AMD route for the lower side of $100.
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November 30, 2011 1:49:17 PM

Of those the i3 is definitely the best. It's only a dual-core, but with hyperthreading enabled it can achieve better results than the Athlon X4.
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November 30, 2011 2:32:43 PM

If you are going to be using onboard graphics for gaming I would suggest -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As the GPU inside the non SB i3's is not good enough for even what I would consider light gaming, if you are buying a GPU then your choice will be between the i3 and the Athlon X4 640 as those two go back and forth in benchmarks the X4 being faster in heavily threaded programs and the i3 faster in single threaded applications with no real clear winner.
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November 30, 2011 2:33:10 PM

That's a tough call, but definitely not the AMD X2. Considering the lower power consumption, I'd probably choose the i3. I agree with de5_roy though on the Llano CPUs, especially if you want any chance of not needing to buy a separate GPU for your games.

Edit: ...such as the one caqde linked.
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November 30, 2011 2:34:33 PM

caqde said:
If you are going to be using onboard graphics for gaming I would suggest -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As the GPU inside the non SB i3's is not good enough for even what I would consider light gaming, if you are buying a GPU then your choice will be between the i3 and the Athlon X4 640 as those two go back and forth in benchmarks the X4 being faster in heavily threaded programs and the i3 faster in single threaded applications with no real clear winner.


+1
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November 30, 2011 2:40:47 PM

caqde said:
If you are going to be using onboard graphics for gaming I would suggest -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As the GPU inside the non SB i3's is not good enough for even what I would consider light gaming, if you are buying a GPU then your choice will be between the i3 and the Athlon X4 640 as those two go back and forth in benchmarks the X4 being faster in heavily threaded programs and the i3 faster in single threaded applications with no real clear winner.



+2 I have one of these in a small desktop and I love it
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November 30, 2011 3:30:19 PM

a few comparisons:
Intel Core i3 540 3.06GHz 512KB L2 4MB L3 vs AMD Athlon II X4 645 3.1GHz 2MB L2 0MB L3
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/143?vs=188
Intel Core i3 540 3.06GHz 512KB L2 4MB L3 vs AMD Phenom II X2 565 BE 3.4GHz 1MB L2 6MB L3
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/143?vs=204
Intel Core i3 540 3.06GHz 512KB L2 4MB L3 vs Intel Pentium G850 2.9GHz 256KB L2 3MB L3
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/143?vs=404
i added the sb pentium vs clarkdale i3 because if you use the pentium with a cheapo h61/h67/z68 mobo, you open an upgrade path to ivy bridge, just in case, you decide to upgrade your cpu in the future. with athlon, llano or clarkdale, you don't get that opportunity. however, with llano you get cheap 32 nm quad-core with a good igp and native usb 3.0 support.
this is a small list of intel chipset motherboards from $54 and up
and list of intel chipset motherboards from $49 and up
edit: tried to fix the previous paste-fail.
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November 30, 2011 3:52:31 PM

I'd go with either a Llano CPU or the i3.
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November 30, 2011 6:13:50 PM

If you're keeping your 5770, forget anything but an i3 at that price range. Go for Sandy Bridge, you'll be glad you spent the extra $20-$30.
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November 30, 2011 8:03:11 PM

the Llano looks good, but how would that the CPU aspect of it compete with only 2.1ghz?
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December 1, 2011 3:35:18 AM

CrysisComa said:
the Llano looks good, but how would that the CPU aspect of it compete with only 2.1ghz?

that's the problem with llano. amd didn't clock any of them high enough (3+ ghz) to be competitive cpus. they made users choose between fast clock speed (ph ii, athlon ii, fx) and strong igp (llano a8, a6). even the fastest socket fm1 cpu - the athlon ii 631 or something has no igp and has 3 ghz clock speed. so if you want ghz, llano is not gonna satisfy you. otoh llanos try to make up for their lack of cpu speed with more cores and igp. you can also try to oc llanos (a8) to 3.1-3.3 ghz with a good cpu cooler. dual core llanos fall behind core i3 or phenom in cpu intensive tasks. tri and quad core ones are also slower as cpus but they have the very slight advantage at multi tasking because of their real 3-4 cores as opposed to core i3's or pentium's 2 real cores.
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December 1, 2011 12:10:14 PM

hm...i think id rather go with something with a bit more kick, im sure eventually ill upgrade the GPU in this thing anyway so id like to not have to replace the CPU as well. for i can go with onboard video.

right now i see the i3 as the best choice here, anyone have any motherboard ideas with onboard video?
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December 1, 2011 12:45:59 PM

I strongly suggest looking into the Socket FM1 Athlon II 631/651

They can be overclocked to around the 4.2ghz mark and are blisteringly fast for the price.

Basically they are a Llano CPU with the IGP Disabled (More room for higher clocks ;)  ) which is perfect for someone using a discrete gfx card.
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December 2, 2011 10:35:23 PM

well i cant find the 651. but the 631 looks pretty good. Is it faster than the older Athlon II series?

specifically the 640.

im just wondering how it stands without overclocking, right now my budget doesnt allow an aftermarket cooler yet, so im wondering if 2.6 can compete.

also i havent read up on it, but whats up with the FM1 socket. is that a replacement for the Am3 or just a socket to allow for an Apu?
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December 3, 2011 1:37:38 AM

i3-530 is a beast, I wouldn't go for anything else in that price range.

The dual core SandyBridge is also something to look into, however it is a little heavier in price.

IMO I'd save up a tad more and go for the i5-2500k and be set for the next few years.

The extra OC headroom and IPC make a quad core SB worth 2x the price IMO.
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December 3, 2011 2:00:20 AM

CrysisComa said:
well i cant find the 651. but the 631 looks pretty good. Is it faster than the older Athlon II series?

specifically the 640.

im just wondering how it stands without overclocking, right now my budget doesnt allow an aftermarket cooler yet, so im wondering if 2.6 can compete.

also i havent read up on it, but whats up with the FM1 socket. is that a replacement for the Am3 or just a socket to allow for an Apu?

Its basically an socket for llano. And yes, the 631 is faster than the 640 despite the odd numbering.
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December 3, 2011 4:40:31 AM

the athlon 631 is a quad core but it doesn't have any l3 cache and has 100w tdp despite lacking the igp. imo the die-shrink and the really high tdp lets it oc so high. and it lacks one of the biggest draws of llano - the igp. if you're looking for a discreet card setup with an fm1 motherboard, the 631 should suffice. for casual use, you'd have to bear the cost of a discreet gfx card an after market cooler if you want to oc the athlon ii. you might have to buy a discreet gfx card with the clarkdale core i3 anyway because its igp sucks compared to llano a8 or a6.
the athlon has 4 real cores vs core i3's 4 logical cores. so in the tasks that demand 4 real cores, the athlon should come out ahead of the clarkdale core i3.
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December 3, 2011 1:38:58 PM

de5_Roy said:
...

All this. Except that with even "light gaming" on your list, you WOULD need to buy a discrete GPU with the i3.
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December 7, 2011 8:35:20 PM

alright so i plan to buy my parts on saturday. still debating on the parts. However, what about the Phenom II x4 840? is the cache size the only difference between that and the Phenom II 955? and how is the performance on it? 3.2ghz x4 looks fairly good. how would that work out if i bought a discrete graphics card like a Ati 5770?
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December 7, 2011 10:03:26 PM

Yeah the L3 cache makes a difference pretty much exclusively in gaming.

The clock speeds for the Athlon II X4 and the Phenom II X4 in this comparison aren't the major reason behind the huge gap in performance. The missing L3 cache in the Athlons and Phenom 840 are the real problem.

http://www.techspot.com/review/379-crysis-2-performance...
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December 8, 2011 12:58:58 AM

the 'phenom ii x4 840' is actually a rebadged athlon ii x4.
lookcs like the x4 955 b.e. is outta stock at newegg.com. make sure it is available where you're gonna buy from. if you can't get one, look for a 960T or a 970 be. check the benchmarks first.
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December 8, 2011 1:38:04 AM

Heres is what i have found as I to am looking to rebuild for light gaming, general use.

If you are not doing anything that is Heavly multi-threaded (Ripping BD movies, 3d rendering, photoshop) then the new Pentiums are AMAZING.

The new Pentium G840 will keep pace with the i3 and even the i5 in single-threaded applications, while blowing by anything AMD (This makes me very sad FYI).

For gaming with a Separate GPU you see anywhere from a 7-15 FPS gain over ANY Athlon II CPU.

I too was looking at eh A6 and A8 llano's but a G840 (or even the G620) and a simple 6550 or better will out preform the A8 all day long and it is not much more money AT all, and the results are much better.

anadtech has a GREAT review and has the proof of this.

Let me know if you need more help.
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December 8, 2011 7:47:09 AM

i had an 13-530 at a stable cool 4gHz it was cheap and very fast for the value
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December 8, 2011 2:52:26 PM

hippee921 said:
Heres is what i have found as I to am looking to rebuild for light gaming, general use.

If you are not doing anything that is Heavly multi-threaded (Ripping BD movies, 3d rendering, photoshop) then the new Pentiums are AMAZING.

The new Pentium G840 will keep pace with the i3 and even the i5 in single-threaded applications, while blowing by anything AMD (This makes me very sad FYI).

For gaming with a Separate GPU you see anywhere from a 7-15 FPS gain over ANY Athlon II CPU.

I too was looking at eh A6 and A8 llano's but a G840 (or even the G620) and a simple 6550 or better will out preform the A8 all day long and it is not much more money AT all, and the results are much better.

anadtech has a GREAT review and has the proof of this.

Let me know if you need more help.

True - Sandy Bridge is the best, but for many 2011 games and future games, 4 threads are required to get playable frames. I'd recommend the i3-2100/2105/2120 for better gaming and future upgradability. Also an H67/P67/Z68 mobo allows the use of the built-in integrated graphics on the i3 if that's what you're interested in.
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December 10, 2011 2:00:56 AM

so i found the Amd Phenom II x4 960T on Newegg. would that be faster than the i3 540?
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December 10, 2011 12:28:01 PM

CrysisComa said:
so i found the Amd Phenom II x4 960T on Newegg. would that be faster than the i3 540?

Yeah, if you overclock it a bit.
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December 20, 2011 10:50:01 PM

Best answer selected by CrysisComa.
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