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Old question- fx 4100 vs i3 2120

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February 6, 2012 2:59:31 PM

I've seen this question asked many times, but I would like to add some details.
I'm building a new budget rig, and i've narrowed it down to two different types of builds in my price range.
Case, PSU, memory and mobo will all be similar, the main differences would be in the cpu, gpu, and storage. I've considered adequate cooling for 4100, and both mobos are well-reviewed lower-end.

Build 1 has i3 2120 (z68), ATI 6870 gpu, and a 64gig ssd with 500gig hdd utilizing smart response. I'm thinking that when ivy bridge comes out, the prices on current i5's will drop and I can upgrade if I want.

Build 2 has FX 4100, ATI 6850 gpu, and a stand-alone 180gig ssd. I've barely used 100 gigs on my current 4 yr old hdd, so I think 180 gigs will be plenty.

Is the 4100 as bad as everyone says? Will lack of cores be a problem with the i3? How much better is the 6870 than the 6850? Smart Response looks cool- is it? Will performance of stand-alone ssd be that much better than Smart Response?
This build will be for general-purpose, moderate gaming use. The "family computer". I need reliability and best-bang-for-buck.

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February 6, 2012 3:28:55 PM

Prices on new Intel cpus don't drop much; in some cases, they actually rise as the supply dries up. I would suggest you check anandtech or one of the other hardware for sale forums for a used cpu or system when you decide to purchase. I use craigslist. You may also check newegg.com for daily shellshocker package deals to build your own system. Some include everything (for the box) but the operating system.
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February 6, 2012 3:53:43 PM

Benchmarks can tell you a lot, but how that reflects in the real world is probably not as apparent. While Intel architecture may be regarded as better and efficient, I really can't see a tremendous fall off in performance. I would say it is a myopic point of view towards AMD FX chips.
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February 6, 2012 4:03:55 PM

twinkletoad said:
I've seen this question asked many times, but I would like to add some details.
I'm building a new budget rig, and i've narrowed it down to two different types of builds in my price range.
Case, PSU, memory and mobo will all be similar, the main differences would be in the cpu, gpu, and storage. I've considered adequate cooling for 4100, and both mobos are well-reviewed lower-end.

Build 1 has i3 2120 (z68), ATI 6870 gpu, and a 64gig ssd with 500gig hdd utilizing smart response. I'm thinking that when ivy bridge comes out, the prices on current i5's will drop and I can upgrade if I want.

Build 2 has FX 4100, ATI 6850 gpu, and a stand-alone 180gig ssd. I've barely used 100 gigs on my current 4 yr old hdd, so I think 180 gigs will be plenty.

Is the 4100 as bad as everyone says? Will lack of cores be a problem with the i3? How much better is the 6870 than the 6850? Smart Response looks cool- is it? Will performance of stand-alone ssd be that much better than Smart Response?
This build will be for general-purpose, moderate gaming use. The "family computer". I need reliability and best-bang-for-buck.


Stand alone SSD is way much better than SRT as I've read a lot in this forum.
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February 6, 2012 7:33:27 PM

I think the fact that the FX series failed to conclusively outperform the previous generation of AMD chips really limits their desirability. That being said, I'd build an i3 based system. Drop in a 2500k later and you're pretty much set. Toms just did a story on this, showing that in some cases the flagship FX chips were beaten by a Sandy Bridge based Pentium and i3 despite having far more "cores".

Let Bulldozer rest. This generation is Intel or bust. Before the "Fanboy" statements start, I'm writing this from my 1100T media tower. :)  My gaming tower is Intel all the way, however. Four cores on the i5 easily tear past the six on the 1100T, and while they aren't side by side... it's still a large enough difference for me to notice. That's my two cents.
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February 6, 2012 8:21:53 PM

The FX and the 6850 should be more than enough for a family computer for light gaming. Its all up to you to decide if the SSD is worth it.
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February 6, 2012 9:25:44 PM

^Are you implying that a SSD may not be worth it? Sounds like they're bee's knees.
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February 6, 2012 9:33:54 PM

well all depends on what you store on your ssd, for my computer much of the HDD space is for music, videos and games and none of which would go on an SSD considering it would be really costly but the 64gb ssd should be sufficient for windows and the most essential programs and make things much faster in general use. Having 180gb is nice but if you are loading pictures or video from it, its not going to be that noticeable compared to an HDD and I don't think it justifies the cost.

Either should be good but the i3 and 6870 is going to give you about 10% better performance in games. While the SSD would make programs load faster.
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February 12, 2012 4:30:46 AM

Best answer selected by twinkletoad.
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February 12, 2012 3:49:15 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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