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I5 2400 or FX 8120?

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December 1, 2011 8:49:21 AM

I'll be receiving about 600 or so dollars in the coming months, and I intend to upgrade my current rig.
Im thinking of going dual 7850;s (or whatever equivalent Nvidia has) and either an i5 2400 or an FX8120. These are the same price where I get my stuff. The motherboards im considering are also the same price, so its pretty much a choice of CPU now.

From what I have heard, the FX is a quad core chip with hardware multi threading right?
Benches seem to indicate that the FX beats the i5 in some (heavily threaded) benches while the i5 beats the FX in others.
Im confused between the two- future games are surely going to use more threads. Wont the AMD gain some ground then?

I wont be able to upgrade again for at least another 3 years after this, so my only consideration is that a rig like this (i5 or FX + 2x 7850) should manage at least 30-40 FPS towards the end of it. Right now, my current rig is slowly starting to show its age.
I would prefer to go AMD, but if the FX has no advantages in the long run then i'm willing to go intel. My main concern is that it should last decently during those three years.

Both chips are 220 dollars each, both mobos (P67 and 990X) are 180 each, the 7850 is supposedly 200 each. Will be dipping into my savings for the second card.

What do you guys say?

More about : 2400 8120

a c 202 à CPUs
December 1, 2011 8:58:41 AM

I would say go AMD just because you can overclock when your system ages.
But if you are green aware power usage is a major issue on the FX processors.

The FX are Octocores (8 cores) but they share a part of each core which according to amd makes it more efficient as that part of the core is not often used at full. Utter bullshit that it makes it more efficient. BUT the FX acts alot more like a full octocore processor and not like quad with threading.

The FX processor will improve as Windows 8 comes out. But gaming over 8 cores will not be happening anytime soon.

My suggestion, spend abit extra on an I5-2500K. If not for some reason, get the FX.
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a c 123 à CPUs
December 1, 2011 9:07:58 AM

Considering the power usage of a FX that has been overclocked enough to get anywhere near an i5 in gaming performance, I also think the i5-2500K is the better choice. You may not need to overclock it at all, for years, but will be able to do so in order to extend its useful life.
Here's the I5-2500K vs the FX-8150: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/363?vs=434. Think of them as mildly overclocked versions of what you are considering. If games are your priority, note well the performance difference.
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December 1, 2011 10:16:03 AM

Yeah, im aware that the FX loses out the the i5 in quite a lot of benches. But the few benches in which the FX pulls ahead are what is keeping me from just going i5 straight- in genuinely well threaded benches it seems to come very close to the i7 2600. I dont mind sacrificing a bit of performance now if a year or two down the line things improve. Power consumption is not really a big deal so long as my current PSU can pull it. I suppose the 7850 will be an 80W part, if AMD's previous GPU's are anything to go by, especially since the chip will be used maybe an hour a day at max. Oh, and I wont be doing any overclocking. Will be running everything at stock speeds.


If the FX were pricier than the 2400 or if the total platform cost for the FX were lower, then it would be a no brainer.

Another concern, is how both will handle dual GPUs. The 7850 from what I have seen from rumours should be about as fast (or even faster) than a 6950.
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a c 80 à CPUs
December 1, 2011 10:37:17 AM

you might need at least a z68 motherboard with pcie 3.0 capability.
sb doesn't support pcie 3, so when that comes, you'd have to use an ivb cpu in the z68 mobo to get the pcie 3 cards running at gen 3 speed, otherwise it'll run at gen 2 speed.
so far amd has played down pcie 3. they support over 40 lanes of pcie 2 with 990fx but i haven't heard anything about 9xx chipsets eventually support pcie 3. moreover i read a rumor article that amd's upcoming 1050/1075-something chipsets will also support pcie 2, not 3.
wait till southern island gpu details come out on dec 5.
for currently available hardware, a z68 mobo with core i5 2500k has the best performance for price. if you want even more performance, then a 2600/2600k will easily outperform fx. however, you lose native x16+x16 support with z68/p67.
all these pcie-talk is about the new radeons using pcie 3.0. i read an article saying some of the new radeons might use pcie 2.0, it didn't mention which.
so try to hold out a little longer till more reliable, concrete information about the hd 7xxx cards emerge.
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December 1, 2011 11:47:39 AM

^I doubt the 7850 will need PCIE 3, from what I have seen it should slot in between a 5850 and a 5870 performance wise, tending to the 5870. Ive seen crossfired 5870's in CPIE 2.0 x8 run perfectly fine- the P67 board in question (MSI P67GD65). Pcie is also backward compatible.
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December 1, 2011 12:02:55 PM

Onus said:
Considering the power usage of a FX that has been overclocked enough to get anywhere near an i5 in gaming performance, I also think the i5-2500K is the better choice. You may not need to overclock it at all, for years, but will be able to do so in order to extend its useful life.
Here's the I5-2500K vs the FX-8150: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/363?vs=434. Think of them as mildly overclocked versions of what you are considering. If games are your priority, note well the performance difference.

Dude...go put on your glasses. He did not say i5 2500K. He said i5 2400. The i5 2400 does not have an unlocked multiplier, and overclocking options are virtually non-existent on the non-enthusiast SB chips.

The original advice was right about the FX. If they are about the same price, then the FX 8120 is the better buy due to the fact that the multiplier is unlocked, which will allow you to overclock the processor to get more performance. With the 2400, you do not have that option.

Now, if it is a 2500K, then yes, the 2500K is a better deal. But not a 2400.
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a c 202 à CPUs
December 1, 2011 12:09:39 PM

de5_Roy said:
you might need at least a z68 motherboard with pcie 3.0 capability.
sb doesn't support pcie 3, so when that comes, you'd have to use an ivb cpu in the z68 mobo to get the pcie 3 cards running at gen 3 speed, otherwise it'll run at gen 2 speed.
so far amd has played down pcie 3. they support over 40 lanes of pcie 2 with 990fx but i haven't heard anything about 9xx chipsets eventually support pcie 3. moreover i read a rumor article that amd's upcoming 1050/1075-something chipsets will also support pcie 2, not 3.
wait till southern island gpu details come out on dec 5.
for currently available hardware, a z68 mobo with core i5 2500k has the best performance for price. if you want even more performance, then a 2600/2600k will easily outperform fx. however, you lose native x16+x16 support with z68/p67.
all these pcie-talk is about the new radeons using pcie 3.0. i read an article saying some of the new radeons might use pcie 2.0, it didn't mention which.
so try to hold out a little longer till more reliable, concrete information about the hd 7xxx cards emerge.


The Z68 CHIPSET does not natively support USB3, so getting an Ivy Bridge CPU in a Z68 will not have you benefit from PCI-e 3.0 necessarily.

PLease don't spread conjecture on PCI-e 3.0. If mentioning an article, please post a link to it. Or it will be considered unfounded.

PCI-e 3.0 on new Radeon cards would be foolish on AMDs side as almost NO ONE has adopted it yet. So I seriously doubt all rumours about PCI-e HD7xxx cards.

Besides the PCI-e 2 standard bandwidth available is still not easy to fill even half a decade after release...
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a c 202 à CPUs
December 1, 2011 12:11:57 PM

Houndsteeth said:
Dude...go put on your glasses. He did not say i5 2500K. He said i5 2400. The i5 2400 does not have an unlocked multiplier, and overclocking options are virtually non-existent on the non-enthusiast SB chips.

The original advice was right about the FX. If they are about the same price, then the FX 8120 is the better buy due to the fact that the multiplier is unlocked, which will allow you to overclock the processor to get more performance. With the 2400, you do not have that option.

Now, if it is a 2500K, then yes, the 2500K is a better deal. But not a 2400.


If you had read the whole thread properly you would not be such a smartass. He was agreeing on my suggestion to pay abit more for 2500K.
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a c 202 à CPUs
December 1, 2011 12:15:43 PM

madass said:
Yeah, im aware that the FX loses out the the i5 in quite a lot of benches. But the few benches in which the FX pulls ahead are what is keeping me from just going i5 straight- in genuinely well threaded benches it seems to come very close to the i7 2600. I dont mind sacrificing a bit of performance now if a year or two down the line things improve. Power consumption is not really a big deal so long as my current PSU can pull it. I suppose the 7850 will be an 80W part, if AMD's previous GPU's are anything to go by, especially since the chip will be used maybe an hour a day at max. Oh, and I wont be doing any overclocking. Will be running everything at stock speeds.


If the FX were pricier than the 2400 or if the total platform cost for the FX were lower, then it would be a no brainer.

Another concern, is how both will handle dual GPUs. The 7850 from what I have seen from rumours should be about as fast (or even faster) than a 6950.


Since you will not be overclocking I would rather suggest a Phenom x 6 on a AM3+ board.

The FX processor and any current processor will be outdated LONG before any game comes out that can use 8 or even 6 cores and as single core performance need on ALL apps continue to increase and multi core are just starting, don't sacrifice on single core performance.

OR ofcourse a I5 2400 on a much cheaper H61/H67 board (non-overclockable board). You will not be using a P67 or Z68 chipset if you will not be overclock.

Between those two get the I5.
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a c 80 à CPUs
December 1, 2011 1:29:33 PM

Novuake said:
The Z68 CHIPSET does not natively support USB3, so getting an Ivy Bridge CPU in a Z68 will not have you benefit from PCI-e 3.0 necessarily.

PLease don't spread conjecture on PCI-e 3.0. If mentioning an article, please post a link to it. Or it will be considered unfounded.

PCI-e 3.0 on new Radeon cards would be foolish on AMDs side as almost NO ONE has adopted it yet. So I seriously doubt all rumours about PCI-e HD7xxx cards.

Besides the PCI-e 2 standard bandwidth available is still not easy to fill even half a decade after release...

lol when did i say z68 chipset supports pcie 3?
for example this motherboard supports pcie 3 but you'd need, as specified by the manufacturer (and by intel if you keep up with the specs), an ivb cpu to use the pcie 3.0 lanes. if you use sb, the slots will run on pcie 2 speed.
sb-e supports up to 8 gt/s - that's pcie 3.0 speed. it is available now.
rumors are always just rumors until tested true. don't read too much into it.
it doesn't really matter to amd or nvidia if they can saturate pcie 2 bandwidth or not. the pcie 3 cards are supposed (read - rumored) to be backwards compatible anyway.
i never said z68 supports usb 3. that's z7x and h7x territory. :) 
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December 1, 2011 2:38:05 PM

Novuake said:
Since you will not be overclocking I would rather suggest a Phenom x 6 on a AM3+ board.

The FX processor and any current processor will be outdated LONG before any game comes out that can use 8 or even 6 cores and as single core performance need on ALL apps continue to increase and multi core are just starting, don't sacrifice on single core performance.

OR ofcourse a I5 2400 on a much cheaper H61/H67 board (non-overclockable board). You will not be using a P67 or Z68 chipset if you will not be overclock.

Between those two get the I5.



H61/67 doesnt support crossfire or SLI. Hence the need for P67. For about 180, I can easily get a board with 2x8 PcIE slots.

As for threads, when I got my Athlon II back then GTA IV was the only quad optimized chip. Now I see quite a lot of games use all fours, whereas I see people with supposedly faster dual core chips bought around the same time struggle with games like BF3 and Burnout. That said, both the i5 and the 8120 are close to exactly 2x as fast as it......so tis def time to upgrade.

Right now its a question of more FPS now vs (maybe) more FPS later.
How certain is that maybe? Thats the question. Ive also heard stuff about how the power management on the FX seems to throttle back the chil to <3GHz at random mid game.....is that true? If so, and there is no fix, then I see no point in paying for extra cores if all it does is run at half speed. Keep in mind it has to last at least three to four years- my Athlon has managed the past three, has to last at least as long as that. This processor choice is seriously eating my head. Cant make up my mind one way or the other. Especially since the FX series performance is just too erratic to draw conclusions. The X6 was simple- 6 or more threads, faster than i5 prev gen slower than i5 2xxx. Else i5 was plain faster. The Fx is a lot more confusing than that.
But why an X6 though? The X6 is actually pricier than the FX in this part of the world.

EDIT: The build will be sometime early next year, if that helps.
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December 1, 2011 3:03:03 PM

One thing you may want to consider, and no one has mentioned. Amd is getting out of the cpu for pc market. So if your building for a few years ahead you may want to go intel, as there is really no way of telling how long they will choose to support there cpus. Worst case scenario there of course.
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a c 83 à CPUs
December 1, 2011 3:04:41 PM

It's going to be several years before any hopes of games fully utilizing 8 cores, Intel is still sticking with 4 core processors for mainstream and they're the majority of the market. Only a handful of todays games properly push quad core processors, they've been on market for around 5 years now, and today's budget dual cores out perform yesterdays quads in quad threaded games.

FX 8120 your sacrificing performance in all older games, all current games, most of tomorrows games, and even in 3 years when you consider upgrading, you'll be loosing performance in most of those games. Don't hope for some day better threaded performance in games while severely cutting performance in yesterdays, todays, and the majority of the futures games. Go with the I5, you even have a better chance at a real upgrade going that route without replacing the motherboard.
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December 1, 2011 3:09:05 PM

Best answer selected by madass.
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December 1, 2011 3:09:45 PM

Done. going 2400.
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