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I3 2100 vs 960T vs FX4100

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Last response: in CPUs
February 13, 2012 4:35:34 PM

Hy there guys,


I'm going to build myself a new rig so I'll need your help with choosing from these 3 budget CPUs: i3 2100 or 960T or FX4100 :o  . My choice is limited to these 3 CPUs.


The target is a Diablo 3/DoTa 2/Darksiders 2/Warcraft 3 and some other old games mainstream gaming rig/internet browsing PC.

I don't really know how to OC but I will learn quickly if I feel the need to get some more juice out of those AMD CPUs. I know that the i3 CPU will not be able to get OCed.

I want my build to last for at least 5 years. I'm going to play ONLY the games mentioned above about 5-6 hrs a week (not really a gamer)

The display will be a BENQ 22" FullHD LED monitor.




The store is www.emag.ro and my build so far looks like this:

http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/4433/123tov.jpg



PS: now I work and play on an ASUS notebok:

Intel Core i5 2430M 2.40GHz, 4GB DDR3 1333 MHz, WD 750GB SATA2 HDD, nVidia GeForce GT 520MX 1GB

More about : 2100 960t fx4100

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February 13, 2012 4:41:58 PM

i3 2100, 960t is already 1 generation out of date and FX 4100 is generally bad
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February 13, 2012 4:44:04 PM

How about for the future ? i3 is a dual core with HT. It will not suffice in 2-3 years I think.
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February 13, 2012 4:52:25 PM

But at the moment it (the i3) beats the FX4100 in heavily threaded apps because it's architecture is so much better. (not sure about the 960t though).
Your build looks very similar to one I'm planning, make sure you get a compatible motherboard if getting the intel as the list you've posted is for AMD.
In 5 years whatever you buy will be out of date so buy a motherboard that will allow easy upgrading, I didn't and I'm stuck with a processor that's never run flat out ever and doesn't need changing but can't support new graphics cards and has a max RAM capacity of 2GB.
Hope this is helpful
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February 13, 2012 5:12:34 PM

I will not be upgrading anytime soon. I know that with the motherboard I have chosen the asrock 970 extreme3 I can unlock all six cores of the 960T (it's a big chance)
Also, it can OC like crazy the 960T...

PS: BigMack70 you do have a point there :) 
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February 13, 2012 5:20:25 PM

ivy bridge will be compatible with sandy bridge, so you can easliy upgrade in say 4 years, get intel
also if you can just upgrade to i3 2120 from 2100, you gain 200mhz for ~£15
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February 13, 2012 6:39:07 PM

The 960t is probably the better option given its 4 default core which work much better than hyperthreading. The i3 is about 30% faster per core but the 960t can be OC'ed so it will still match up decently. You don't really need to unlock the 6 cores.

D3 and Dota2 will both use more than 2 cores from the betas so I would say get the 960t. It can be OC'ed to 4ghz and thus is pretty effective even if the games are only using 2 cores. Hyperthreading just does not work well in games and decreases performance in multithreaded games more than it helps, its probably 50/50 if you get less more more fps depending on the game with it enabled.

the i3's advantage however is better power consumption and a better upgrade path if you get more money in the future since you can just put in an i5 or i7. the 960t is about as good as it gets for AMD right now unless games can use 8 cores which they probably won't be using at least for another 3-4 years given how long it took to get games to work with more than 2.
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February 13, 2012 6:48:07 PM

i3 would be better for games, 960t better for mutitasking
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February 13, 2012 6:52:43 PM

You could save 25+% and get a SandyBridge Pentium. Just as good as the AMD quads and almost as good as the i3. You can put the extra cash toward an i5 down the road.

Wouldn't go with AMD unless you have some insider information on Piledriver... FX was just a huge letdown.
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February 13, 2012 8:44:29 PM

According to maaaany benchmarks, i3 2100 has a slight ( 5fps ) advantage over a non-overclocked 960t. 5 fps is not very much, and the 960t can easily be overclocked and you can also unlock 2 extra cores. I chose it for my new PC, i am very happy with it. Paired up with a gtx 560 ti, it handles everything, including new games ( skyrim, batman AC, BF3 ) with ease. And those 2 ( 4 if you unlock ) extra cores may prove useful in the future.
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February 13, 2012 8:50:46 PM



If you just OC the 960t it will be better than the i3.
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February 13, 2012 9:19:35 PM

BigMack70 said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

The i3 actually (surprisingly?) holds its own against a 4GHz Phenom... so it's more accurate to say that an OC'd 960T will trade blows with an i3-2100.

Given the fact that there's no guarantee a 960T will hit 4.0 GHz+... it's hard to recommend the 960t over the i3. Also, remember that to OC the 960t you need to buy a CPU cooler like the Hyper 212+, which adds $30 to the price. That's unnecessary with the i3.

Unless you're doing work that you KNOW will benefit from more than 2 cores (rendering?), the 960t is a hard recommendation for a new build I think. It's certainly not clearly better...

That article has a very small sample of games and did not test many games which will use more cores. The 960t will offer more performance in games that uses 4 cores and both Diablo 3 and Dota 2 betas were using 4 cores on my system. Thus I would say for future games, the phenom II will offer more performance given an OC.

The stock 960t will trade blows with the i3 if more multithreaded games were tested.
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February 13, 2012 9:49:16 PM

Robi_g said:
i3 2100, 960t is already 1 generation out of date and FX 4100 is generally bad

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o... 960t will Overclock to same speeds of x4 980 so it is a full tier faster over the i3 plus the 960t can unlock up to 6 cores i3 only has 2 cores.
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February 13, 2012 9:50:09 PM

you will be very unlikely to be able do any OC with the fsb, less than 100mhz.

As for the heatsink, given the price of the i3 2120 and the 960t + heatsink, both will be performing about the same with 4 cores > 2 with multithreading in general use and games which use more than 2 cores. The 960t is also enough for anything that uses 2 cores so I see no need to get more single threaded performance.
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February 13, 2012 10:37:39 PM

BigMack70 said:
Could you please post any benchmarks where the 960t OC performs anywhere near 25% faster than a stock i3-2100?

All I've seen are a lot of different benchmarks that show the two trading blows.

Care to show where the 960t (on 4 cores) would be worth the 25% price increase, risk of a dud overclocker, and lack of upgrade path yet still warrant a clear recommendation? Because we can conjecture all we want about theoretical multithreading performance in future games, but the fact is that I haven't seen anything that warrants a clear recommendation to go to the 960t on a new build, particularly as far as gaming is concerned.

You know what my CPU utilization sits at in most games? About 30%. Games are just not threaded well currently, and as always - it is stupid to make current purchasing decisions of any kind based on future conjecture. If we're considering the future, the 2100 makes more sense anyways since it actually has a drop-in upgrade path.

Considering the fact that Dual Core is being phased out you might want to go back to Pentium4 with HT with your rational but industry is moving toward with quadcore and beyond.
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February 13, 2012 10:40:24 PM

I personally would go 4100 its a quad core compared to the i3 its a bit slower yes although that is true. as more applications use more cores the quad core will be better. and games that will use more cores too so i would recommend you go with 4100 Goodluck!
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February 13, 2012 10:51:00 PM

BigMack70 said:
Could you please post any benchmarks where the 960t OC performs anywhere near 25% faster than a stock i3-2100?

All I've seen are a lot of different benchmarks that show the two trading blows.

Care to show where the 960t (on 4 cores) would be worth the 25% price increase, risk of a dud overclocker, and lack of upgrade path yet still warrant a clear recommendation? Because we can conjecture all we want about theoretical multithreading performance in future games, but the fact is that I haven't seen anything that warrants a clear recommendation to go to the 960t on a new build, particularly as far as gaming is concerned.

You know what my CPU utilization sits at in most games? About 30%. Games are just not threaded well currently, and as always - it is stupid to make current purchasing decisions of any kind based on future conjecture. If we're considering the future, the 2100 makes more sense anyways since it actually has a drop-in upgrade path.

scaling is no linear...
can you post benches where the i3 is 50% faster than the p840 given the price?

as for gaming if you check the chart I posted, the 3.5 ghz phenom II is already on par with the i3, the 960t can be clocked higher.

The upgrade path is another story.
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February 13, 2012 11:02:53 PM

dirtyferret said:
phased out by whom? laptops now make more then 50% of the PC market and most laptops are dual cores or very slow quads. the i3-2100 is not some core 2 duo so maybe you should do a little research before posting nonsense and making your self look like the village idiot. the i3-2100 beats anything AMD has in a quad hands down. at worst the CPUs are a wash, at best the intel i3 runs away. even phenom II x4 at 3.8ghz and 6 cores get beat in a number of games, not to mention the bulldozer failures. once you factor in the upgrade path, the intel path is no the brainer unless you are paying pennies on the dollar for the AMD alternative.

http://media.bestofmicro.com/X/F/323907/original/Averages.png

With the sub-$100 Pentiums performing so well, Intel's $125 Core i3-2100 easily beats more expensive Phenom II and FX models. And the $190 Core i5-2400 dominates the sub-$200 landscape without challenge, really. As such, we're almost-shockingly left without an AMD CPU to recommend at any price point.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

dual cores are cheaper that's why you see them in budget laptops plus they are throw away the future is going to be more cores this is a proven trend and fact LOL. PS your propaganda and rhetoric will not fool me prey.
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February 13, 2012 11:07:48 PM

I would say either the I3 or 960. What ever you deicide I would stay far away from the Bulldozer.
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February 13, 2012 11:09:42 PM

rds1220 said:
I would say either the I3 or 960. What ever you deicide I would stay far away from the Bulldozer.

Some how your opinion has not president here AMD.
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February 13, 2012 11:11:58 PM

Gamer Dude said:
Some how your opinion has not president here AMD.


Huh maybe you want to try that again in English. I don't speak or understand stupid.
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February 13, 2012 11:16:49 PM

dirtyferret said:
and budget laptops sell more then $1k laptops. software developers make software so the majority of the market can utilize it. this is the reality of business, not your fan boy fantasy world we are talking about where grandma and grandpa have a 2500k & GTX580 set up and play call of duty all day long.

With your logic or lack thereof consoles would have more performance than a decent PC and really dude market share is not the point here cause most people just use a PC or laptop for Facebook, Porn, and Email.
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February 13, 2012 11:32:27 PM

BigMack70 said:
Well, Gamer Dude clearly doesn't know what he's talking about. Best reply in this thread:





@esrever: "scaling is no linear...
can you post benches where the i3 is 50% faster than the p840 given the price? "


This is a cop out answer and you know it. You post some bench's where a 4 GHz 960t will probably beat a stock 2100 by a narrow margin. Tomshardware posts other bench's where a 4 GHz 960t trades blows or loses to a stock 2100.

Yet, somehow this winds up with the 960t being the better recommendation for 25% more money and the risk of getting a dud overclocker.

Even without consideration of upgrade paths (or lack thereof)... Huh???

So instead of understanding the facts that people present you with you call down people whom are learning English as a second language very smart of you and mature. PS if a dual core i3 is so much better than a quad core Phenom II x4 then why does TH put the overclocked 960T equivalent a whole tier above the i3 2100 LOL.
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February 13, 2012 11:44:36 PM

Gamer Dude said:
So instead of understanding the facts that people present you with you call down people whom are learning English as a second language very smart of you and mature. PS if a dual core i3 is so much better than a quad core Phenom II x4 then why does TH put the overclocked 960T equivalent a whole tier above the i3 2100 LOL.


You have no clue on what you're talking about. Cores aren't everything. Just because the Bulldozer is a "quad core" ( I wouldn't even call it that) that doesn't mean anything. It's all about archit of the chip. The Sandy Bridge processor has a faster archit then the Bulldozer so even a dual core I3can beat out a quad and six core Bulldozer. Clock for clock the Bulldozer can't compete with Sandy Bridges it's a piss poor performer.
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February 13, 2012 11:56:53 PM

rds1220 said:
You have no clue on what you're talking about. Cores aren't everything. Just because the Bulldozer is a "quad core" ( I wouldn't even call it that) that doesn't mean anything. It's all about archit of the chip. The Sandy Bridge processor has a faster archit then the Bulldozer so even a dual core I3can beat out a quad and six core Bulldozer. Clock for clock the Bulldozer can't compete with Sandy Bridges it's a piss poor performer.

We are not talking about that the topic at hand is core i3 vs 960T and TH facts state that the OCed equivalent of the 960T is one full tier above the i3 2100 you are way off base and stop harassing me please I am human to bro.
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February 14, 2012 12:02:11 AM

If you don't like it don't post mis-information. If you don't know what you're talking about and post mis-information prepare to be corrected.
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February 14, 2012 12:11:12 AM

rds1220 said:
If you don't like it don't post mis-information. If you don't know what you're talking about and post mis-information prepare to be corrected.

I understand the facts and they are the 960T OCed is one full performance tier above the i3 2100 which means you are wrong. But yes there are a few games where Intel's architecture does better like StarCraft2 but a few frames is really how do you say it spiting hairs or being fickle.So overall for gaming and production the 960T is the best CPU and yes 4100fx is the last CPU I would pick cause the performance is only on par with i3 2100 but 960T is better than i3 2100 in more ares and applications. PS I remit my previous statement when I say you are moron my apologizes please thank you ;-)
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February 14, 2012 12:12:37 AM

Gamer Dude said:
I understand the facts and they are the 960T OCed is one full performance tier above the i3 2100 which means you are wrong. But yes there are a few games where Intel's architecture does better like StarCraft2 but a few frames is really how do you say it spiting hairs or being fickle.So overall for gaming and production the 960T is the best CPU and yes 4100fx is the last CPU I would pick cause the performance is only on par with i3 2100 but 960T is better than i3 2100 in more ares and applications. PS I remit my previous statement when I say you are moron my apologizes please thank you ;-)

HELLO http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...

Dual Core is not being "phased out" The 2100 is higher up than my Core 2 Quad. I'm afraid that the "More core myth" will become like the "megahertz myth" where "more is always better, amiright?" The i3 isn't no Pentium D, its an ultra efficient dual core.
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February 14, 2012 12:19:22 AM

Damn it I posted the 2011 one lmao. 2012 one tells the same story though. The FX8150 is the same tier. You are looking at the ULP i3. LMAO a quad core needs to be OCed just to meet a ULP i3.
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February 14, 2012 12:21:19 AM

Vettedude said:
Damn it I posted the 2011 one lmao. 2012 one tells the same story though.

well the 2012 in this context just adds the 8150FX to the mix as the top end AMD part but the 960T when OCed will be right under it.
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February 14, 2012 12:35:54 AM

I actually don't care enough about the argument but theres no reason to get an i3 over a pentium g in my opinion and if you want more multithreading performance, the 960t is the obvious choice over the i3.

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February 14, 2012 12:48:34 AM

esrever said:
I actually don't care enough about the argument but theres no reason to get an i3 over a pentium g in my opinion and if you want more multithreading performance, the 960t is the obvious choice over the i3.

It's no argument here just some people not letting the unequivocal cold hard facts settle in to there brains HDD as a true foundation of reality.
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February 14, 2012 12:52:15 AM

the i3 2100 is much better than a 960T there is just nothing that can be said to change that. for gaming and anything else.
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February 14, 2012 1:28:43 AM

BigMack70 said:
Total # of mindless AMD trolls in this thread now up to 2. :bounce: 

Even if Intel made a half core CPU you would still think it is better than any AMD cpu but in reality AMD make some pretty dam good CPUs.
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February 14, 2012 1:30:31 AM

either CPU should be good. Im just saying that based on my experience with D3 and dota 2 beta that they both use 4 cores which generally mean 4 real cores are going to out perform the hyperthreaded ones.
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February 14, 2012 1:31:37 AM

dirtyferret said:
the cold hard fact is; you have been asked to post any benchmark proving your opinion several times. you failed to do so every time and simply post incoherent nonsense like the console topic you posted above that sounded more like the rambling of an idiot then anyone trying to prove a point. you posted your point about the 960T, you have been proved wrong every time with numerous benchmarks. you failed to post any counterpoint benchmarks. end of conversation, your opinion was wrong and proved so with facts.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o... I dont know how much more clear it could be OCed 960T is the CPU to get for OPs application.
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February 14, 2012 1:33:12 AM

OK I am dont bickering over a CPU lol Good luck to the OP and any of these three mentioned CPUs will fit the bill just fine.
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February 14, 2012 4:52:39 AM

Just a thought: I know the fx series gets poor benchmark scores, but if you see the reviews of people who actually bought the cpus, it gets pretty good feedback. Look at the reviews on newegg, youtube, and other forums of people who actually bought the bulldozer and are playing games. Most of them are happy and have positive reviews (from what ive seen). I dont think most people can detect a 5 FPS or so drop off with their naked eye. :D 
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February 14, 2012 6:00:55 AM

computernewb said:
Just a thought: I know the fx series gets poor benchmark scores, but if you see the reviews of people who actually bought the cpus, it gets pretty good feedback. Look at the reviews on newegg, youtube, and other forums of people who actually bought the bulldozer and are playing games. Most of them are happy and have positive reviews (from what ive seen). I dont think most people can detect a 5 FPS or so drop off with their naked eye. :D 


"Most people" are stupid. Not only Bulldozer loses to Sandy Bridge in gaming, but it also costs more and takes way more power.
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February 14, 2012 6:43:10 AM

stock 960t is around 940/945, you can easily overclock it to 970/980 (even with stock cooler), 980 is equal to i5-23xx in multithreading.
And thus 960t is simply better than i3 in multithreading

unlocked 960t will equal to 1075t and is equals to upto i5-24xx in multithreading.

Also good overclocking boards for amd are cheaper than that of intel (like p67/z68)

if you want performance in every tasks and mainly in multithreaded then 960t is the way to go , if you want performance in (mainly) lightly threaded tasks then i3 or even a pentium g860 is a good choice.

You can use anandtech bench to compare their multithreaded performance
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February 14, 2012 8:50:29 AM

Gamer Dude said:
The chart you posted is 1 year outta date here is the current Jan 2012 most up to date one http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o... and the 960T OCed @ between 3.6 to 3.7ghz would put it on par with Phenom II x4 980/975 and just under 8150FX which is one full tier above core i3 2100.


" alt="" class="imgLz frmImg " />

I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-fx-pentium-apu-ben...

That article shows emphatically enough that Intels low end can game better or on a par with AMDs best.







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February 14, 2012 12:46:35 PM

sarinaide said:
Intel's low-end can game on a par with AMD's best.

Truth.

And again, it really makes no sense to go with AM3+, unless you like upgrading your motherboard every 2 years... Get LGA 1155 and give yourself plenty of drop-in upgrade options. Seriously, up to an Ivy Bridge i7 if you want.

A Pentium G850 is best bang for your buck right now. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 14, 2012 1:06:53 PM

Damn!

This really is a hard choice I see.

First of all thanks to all of you for the replys.

I guess the i3 2100 will suffice for now ( http://www.emag.ro/procesoare/procesor-intel-174-coretm... )

But how about a mobo for it ? That will be good for OC in the future...

In 2-3 years I'll be getting a 2500K or 2600k.

Can you pick one from these:

http://www.emag.ro/placi_baza/stoc/filter/cpu-socket-v1...

Now i3 2100...but in 2-3 years a good old 2500k or 2600k maybe :) 

Thanks again guys!



Is this one good ? http://www.emag.ro/placi_baza/placa-de-baza-gigabyte-z6...

It features a Z68 chipset but has no cooling on the VRMs.
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February 14, 2012 1:45:18 PM

BigMack70 that ASROCK looks very good but in my country it's about 181 $. I might consider it.
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February 14, 2012 2:31:12 PM

I would look at the MSI Z68A GD65 (G3), not only because I am a MSI fan and I have the board it is also a pretty handy board with PCI-express 3.0 support along with all the bells and whistles of a Z68 chipset.
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February 14, 2012 2:40:52 PM

sarinaide said:
http://i43.tinypic.com/i2ujir.png" alt="" class="imgLz frmImg " />

I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-fx-pentium-apu-ben...

That article shows emphatically enough that Intels low end can game better or on a par with AMDs best.

;-)
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February 14, 2012 2:57:12 PM

dirtyferret said:
have fun while being banned AMD fan boy. while being banned, try to ponder the fact that this has little to do with AMD/Intel but rather upgrade paths and performance for your dollar. every post as proven the i3 is better then the phenom II x4 in gaming, even your hierarchy chart proved you wrong.

Just cause nobody here has the gumption to stand up outta the crowed and speak the truth. That's all I have herd when it was proven that sometimes AMD is a better choice then Intel a fanboy always counters well AMD has no upgrade path well nether does Intel if you get an i7 2600k so if you get what you need today there is no point in pondering about what and how to upgrade tomorrow you cross that bridge when it comes.
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February 14, 2012 3:03:18 PM

I never knew OC'ing makes a chip better than another but lets just think about this, stock the FX 4100 and i3 2100 are similar architectures, 2cores/4threads at stock the i3 2100 pretty much runs away with 90+% of the benchmarks. It is upgradable to any Sandybridge and to be ivy bridge processors which are significant upgrades. Sure the FX 4100 has a upgrade path to Piledriver but that is putting a lot of faith into AMD delivering a top chip which in itself is a gamble.


Simple fact here value for money the i3 is far better. As for the question of overclocking, that doesn't make your chip better than it actually is, in fact the only thing OC'ing does is voids manufacturer warranties on certain components. Give me a stock chip that performs like a beast for its purpose, ie: gaming machine, I will take the 2100 or 2300/2400 over any FX, or Phenom II(bar maybe the 1100T).
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