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Budget CPU

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January 15, 2012 1:59:45 PM

I have done my own research but the AMD prices have fluctuated so much I thought it would be best to get a second opinion.

I am looking for a CPU to put an a HD 6850, the GPU will cost £100. I had previously settled on a i5 2400 but I didn't feel comfortable spending 50% more on the CPU then I was a GPU. I'm looking to spend around £100 on a CPU to go with the aforementioned GPU. I have been considering the following options:

1) Getting an Athlon II X3 455 3.3GHz and try to unlock the 4th core - £62

2) AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz - £80

3) AMD 960T BE 3.0GHz - £93

4) Newly found* i5 2320 - £130


I'm not limiting myself to those, but they are the best I could find so far. The cheapest Phenom II BE I could find was a 975 3.6GHz at £122. This would be for playing Arma 2 at 1680x1050.


The Athlon II X3 looks the most attractive, what are the ods of unlocking the 4th core?

*found after posting

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January 15, 2012 2:39:27 PM

I would go with the 960T. It is a BE should overclock well and some people have had luck enabling the 2 locked cores in it.
a b à CPUs
January 15, 2012 3:17:50 PM

You could also go with an i3, which is faster for gaming than all of those at the prize of around choice #3.
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January 15, 2012 4:34:27 PM

Thanks guys, I did consider an i3, but with games like BF3 utilizing more cores won't an i3 struggle with future releases?

Also, what about Bulldozers? I know they aren't that good now, but I heard they will soon be better optimized, would this make them a viable option or are they just a lost cause?
January 15, 2012 6:45:08 PM

What about an i5 2320? I can get one for £130 that is £15 less than an i5 2400. The only difference I can see is that the 2320 has 3.0GHz where the 2400 has 3.1GHz.

If things are as simple as that, how come the i5 2320 doesn't get the amount of attention the 2400 and i3 2100 do for low-mid end budgets?
a c 108 à CPUs
a b À AMD
January 15, 2012 6:55:33 PM


A PhII 960T with something like the Gigabyte GA-880GM-USB3 AM3+ should be around £150 with VAT, with a fun factor of A+++++.
a c 185 à CPUs
a b À AMD
January 15, 2012 10:36:02 PM

i3-2100 or the i5 :p 
January 16, 2012 7:57:07 AM

Ok thanks, I think I'll stretch my budget to the i5 2320 then. Only slightly worse than the i5 2400 but quite cheaper.
January 16, 2012 8:04:24 AM

If you can, stretch your budget to a 970BE, i've not touched the clock on it and im guessing your going to game correct?
If so, im smashing in BF3 all the best settings and theres not a touch of lag or anything as such.
When overclocked it reaches 4.1GHz which is a %20 increase on performance :D 
a b à CPUs
January 16, 2012 8:16:37 AM

if you are a budget gamer then buy an amd phenom ii x4 965be that will give you more performance for a better price and i know that the 960t can unlock into two more extra cores but the mordern games doesnt requires six cores all the time and even the 965be is far lot better then the six core phenom ii x6 1055t in gaming.:o  :bounce:  :) 
January 16, 2012 8:42:03 AM

I've looked but every retailer is out of stock with the Phenoms. If I cannot find one would an i5 2320 be a good choice?
a b à CPUs
January 16, 2012 8:55:42 AM

of those 970 and i5 2320 are best for gaming
if you do some multithreaded task then unlocked 960t is better
January 16, 2012 12:08:44 PM

bluepurple said:
I've looked but every retailer is out of stock with the Phenoms. If I cannot find one would an i5 2320 be a good choice?



Yeah the I5 will do fine but if you want to save some money, order online :p  the AMD 960-980 all come withing roughly the same price range :) 
January 16, 2012 12:17:04 PM

Thanks for the tip. I did have a look around at all the trusted UK websites I could find for buying hardware but the only Phenom II I could find was a x4 975 at £122. I figured for that price I might aswell pay £8 for a an i5
January 16, 2012 12:17:57 PM

but with paying the £8 for the I5 you have to get a motherboard as well unless yours already supports the I5?
January 16, 2012 12:28:55 PM

This is a new build, so I'll be getting a new motherboard once I've decided on the CPU.
January 16, 2012 12:30:30 PM

aah then i would really suggest on an amd, intel mobos are a little more expensive if your after a good one, what are you using it for mainly?
a b à CPUs
January 16, 2012 12:30:56 PM

why are you paying more money on that cpu just buy an 965be it will be good and its cheaper and almost same in the performance truely the phenom ii x4 965be is faster in the games then the 1090t six core processor as u can see the bench.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=146 :) 

!