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Is the Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz good for multiprocessing

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December 13, 2011 4:44:50 PM

I'm going back and forth between buying the Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz or the Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz

I do not play games. this will be my first build and for my business. I usually have 4-6 apps open, some side by side. Apps include Filemaker Pro, Firefox (3-5 tabs including yahoo email all the time) Adobe acrobat 6.0, Microsoft office/excel just to name the most frequent.

my build will consist of the following:

Case
Rosewill GEAR X3 Gaming ATX Mid Tower
(even though I'm not gaming, this case provides me with upgradability, such as USB 3.0 and room for future SSD drives)

CPU
TBD

MoBO-ATX
ASUS P8H67-V (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

RAM
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory

Power Supply
Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

HD
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD800AAJS 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

Video
ASUS EN210 SILENT/DI/1GD3/V2(LP) GeForce 210 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card

Monitor
ASUS VE249H Black 24" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 10,000,000:1 (ASCR) Built-in Speakers

Thanks in advance

a c 146 à CPUs
December 13, 2011 4:52:54 PM

What is this computer for gaming or just home work? For now I'm going to say the I5 but it will depend. I'm also not a fan of the I3 and would pretty much always say spend the extra money and get the I5.
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a b à CPUs
December 13, 2011 4:53:49 PM

For multitasking is better an quad, buy an i5 2300 is cheaper.
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a c 188 à CPUs
a b å Intel
December 13, 2011 5:39:33 PM

Hyper-threading is really about leftovers, it allows a second path of data to enter the processor core and take advantage of left over resources. So while it is better than nothing it isn’t anywhere as good as having a full core to work on for multi-tasking. So go with the Intel® Core™ i5 and you should be a lot happier with the performance that it will give you.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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December 13, 2011 6:04:00 PM

If I'm reading the info correctly for the I5 2400,
I do not need to purchase a separate video card, as the processor will handle the video?

Seperate Video__
ASUS EN210 SILENT/DI/1GD3/V2(LP) GeForce 210 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card
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a c 146 à CPUs
December 13, 2011 6:45:47 PM

It does have on board graphics it uses Intel HD Graphics 2000 but I would just go with a discreet video card. On board video really isn't that great and even a cheap $50-60 video card like a Radeon 5570 or an Nvidia GT 520 would be better than the onboard graphics.
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a c 82 à CPUs
December 13, 2011 7:06:34 PM

the video card you picked is no better than the integrated graphics in the i3. so that a waste of money right there. instead of a p67 motherboard just get a h61 or z68 motherboard so you can use the cpu's build in graphics ([p67 cant use integratedgraphics). If you want to be able to play games you will need to spend at least $100-150 to get a graphics card that is capable. but the in-built graphics of the cpu is fine for anything but gaming, but will play some really low end or older games just fine. since your not making a gaming pc save some money by getting a lower powered PSU (antec earthwatts 380) you dont need 550w for that setup, ditch the gt210, get a h61 motherboard to save a bit more money, and put all the extra money into a better i5 cpu.
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December 13, 2011 7:34:53 PM

Agree with the Crow....

You can use the Onboard Video just fine with the right Mobo.
No need for addon graphics for your needs.

The CPU is really overkill as well, the one he mentioned is has plenty of power to spare.

I would also reconsider your HDD.
That is a very old model and will be MUCH slower than newer 7200 RPM Drivers.
More important than RPMs is Platter Density.

Modern HDDs have up to 500 GB on a platter.
I'm not sure how many platters that drive has, but lets assume one.

A 500GB Platter Drive is 6x more dense.

This means for every inch of space that passes under the head, 6x more data goes by.

This would sort of like being a 43,200 RPM drive.

Now the math and real world performance difference is not that great, but you get the idea.

If price is a major reason for that drive, look for new larger 5400 RPM drivers.
They will actually be faster than that old drive.
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