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"Upgrade" i7-860 to FX 8120 or stick with cheap 2nd PC

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February 18, 2012 3:44:33 AM

I normally don't care for the "this processor vs this processor" threads, cause there's a million benchmarks out there to do simple comparisons, but I'm looking for some personal opinions from the community given my sittuation.

My current rig is an i7-860 on an Intel H55 mobo overclocked as far as the mobo will allow (because it doesn't allow voltage changes) despite having liquid cooling to a reasonable but unimpressive 150 mhz FSB or about 3.3Ghz with all 4 cores ablazing. So I reckon it's comperable to an i7-880 stock or i7-960 stock.

I am in need of a second computer almost exclusevely for letting her watch movies; blu rays, dvd's, some ripped ones, etc. But she's gonna grow into doing more on it and it'd be nice if it lasted for awhile. I have 4 gigs of DDR3 ram laying around, and a case and PS and HDD and disk drives. So all I need is a proc and mobo.

The plan was to get a Sandy Bridge Pentium G620 for 50 bucks and a 55 dollar mobo from Microcenter. It would be upgradable to the i3/i5/i7 of sandy or ivy bridge in the future, should the need arise. But then I got to Microcenter and saw a deal that made me pause. Buy a bulldozer FX chip and get a free mobo.

So now I am stuck between 3 choices.

1) Stick with the G620 and mobo and roll with it.
2) Get the FX 4100 for $109, and get the free mobo. The 4100 is faster in almost everything except games for the same price.
3) Get the FX 8120 for $199, get an even better free mobo, make that my primary rig, and give her the i7-860 rig.

I'm torn on if I believe the FX 8120 would be an upgrade from the i7. It wins in Premiere Pro and After Effects, which I use often, but loses so badly in many games, which I also do often. But option 3 gives me 2 very powerful PC's for only a little more money than either of the other 2 options.

So, what would ya'll do in my spot?
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February 18, 2012 4:09:35 AM

Bulldozers are garbage.

199 for an 8120 with a [probably crappy] mobo isn't an awful deal but the fact that a brand new 'high end' processor is going for that price tells you that they're having a hard time selling them at a higher price point.

AMD did a lot wrong with the Bulldozer processors, and unfortunately they didn't do very much right.

My suggestion to you is to keep your existing i7. There's nothing wrong with it and it will most likely outperform the bulldozers in most metrics.

For the second PC I would recommend going with the G620 for the simple reason that it will win out in terms of power efficiency. 2 cores is more than enough for watching movies and enjoying a few games. It will not be a power house, but it will get the job done.
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February 18, 2012 4:10:43 AM

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/108?vs=434
With the exception of video encoding your i7 will meet or beat the FX-8120, and that is before any OCing has taken place.

Still, throwing that free mobo in there is a killer deal worth looking into. If you find a good mobo with newer features you would use then I would go with the FX8120. Otherwise I would stick with the G620 ($50) and a h67 or p67 mobo ($60-75) with an Ivy Bridge option later if it is really needed. Most likely though there is a limit on the mobo discount, and you would be tied to an old/crappy board with a CPU no better than what you have now, so I would look very carefully before biting. I love microcenter, and they really know how to do a sale right... but they are also to be treated like used care salesmen because they know how to stick you with crap so that you come back later to upgrade and get what you really needed in the first place.
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February 18, 2012 4:15:04 AM

Pinhedd said:
Bulldozers are garbage.

199 for an 8120 with a [probably crappy] mobo isn't an awful deal but the fact that a brand new 'high end' processor is going for that price tells you that they're having a hard time selling them at a higher price point.

AMD did a lot wrong with the Bulldozer processors, and unfortunately they didn't do very much right.

My suggestion to you is to keep your existing i7. There's nothing wrong with it and it will most likely outperform the bulldozers in most metrics.

For the second PC I would recommend going with the G620 for the simple reason that it will win out in terms of power efficiency. 2 cores is more than enough for watching movies and enjoying a few games. It will not be a power house, but it will get the job done.


Yeah, that pretty much sums up my entire gut feeling (though I think 'garbage' is a LITTLE extreme. It can hold its own in many apps against a 2500k) I guess I just still have a soft spot for AMD. I had a 486 DX, a Pentium 1, and then it was all AMD until this i7. I loved my Ahtlon, my Athlon XP, and my Opteron 64 to death. I guess I just needed someone else to tell me what I already knew. AMD is not competitive.... *tear*
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February 18, 2012 4:15:58 AM

I'd take the bulldozer, it may not be a fast chip in gaming but I'd say its still ok. $200 for it and the mobo is pretty killer and it is really amazing if you are doing video work.
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February 18, 2012 4:18:11 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kd4dvLJQP4

8150 @ stock
Metro- min-27 max-60 avg-43
BFBC2- min-45 max-94 avg-65
Crysis2- min-42 max-91 avg-58
Lost Planet2- avg-33
Dirt3- min-75 avg-99
Cinebench- 5.84

i5 2500K @ stock
Metro- min-27 max-59 avg-43
BFBC2- min-44 max-97 avg-65
Crysis2-min-36 max-88 avg-62
LostPlanet2- avg-34
Dirt3- min-79 avg-105
Cinebench- 5.12

Looks like BD fx - 8150 and i5 2500k are pretty similar in terms of gaming performance add in the additional average cost of an Intel platform and slightly higher cost of the 8150 chip and looks like AMD and Intel offer up pretty even results on average as far as gaming as I have outlined and double certified above with link provided.
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February 18, 2012 4:18:20 AM

CaedenV said:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/108?vs=434
With the exception of video encoding your i7 will meet or beat the FX-8120, and that is before any OCing has taken place.

Still, throwing that free mobo in there is a killer deal worth looking into. If you find a good mobo with newer features you would use then I would go with the FX8120. Otherwise I would stick with the G620 ($50) and a h67 or p67 mobo ($60-75) with an Ivy Bridge option later if it is really needed. Most likely though there is a limit on the mobo discount, and you would be tied to an old/crappy board with a CPU no better than what you have now, so I would look very carefully before biting. I love microcenter, and they really know how to do a sale right... but they are also to be treated like used care salesmen because they know how to stick you with crap so that you come back later to upgrade and get what you really needed in the first place.


I actually thought the mobo options with the FX8120 were decent;

http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...

If you don't like the "free" ones there are even some pretty snazzy ones at 100 bucks off.

But the free ones with the FX 4100 are pretty crappy. Then again, so is the mobo I can reasonably see myself spending money on for the sandy bridge. So it just seems like, at the same price, the FX 4100 sorta wins most performance benchmarks. But maybe down the road I can find someone looking to upgrade from a 2500k to an ivy bridge and get a good deal on one.
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February 18, 2012 4:25:29 AM

Boopoo said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kd4dvLJQP4

8150 @ stock
Metro- min-27 max-60 avg-43
BFBC2- min-45 max-94 avg-65
Crysis2- min-42 max-91 avg-58
Lost Planet2- avg-33
Dirt3- min-75 avg-99
Cinebench- 5.84

i5 2500K @ stock
Metro- min-27 max-59 avg-43
BFBC2- min-44 max-97 avg-65
Crysis2-min-36 max-88 avg-62
LostPlanet2- avg-34
Dirt3- min-79 avg-105
Cinebench- 5.12

Looks like BD fx - 8150 and i5 2500k are pretty similar in terms of gaming performance add in the additional average cost of an Intel platform and slightly higher cost of the 8150 chip and looks like AMD and Intel offer up pretty even results on average as far as gaming as I have outlined and double certified above with link provided.


Hmm, very interesting video. It is counter to what I took away from Tom's sub-200 gaming chip article. In particular I look at Skyrim, a game I intend to play the hell out of soon, where the 2500k scores an average 51 fps and 8120 scores 27.0, being beaten by the Pentium G630. That's almost half the frame rate. That is very significant. I wonder, though, at lower quality settings if those scores would come closer. I have a Nvidia GTX 560 2 GB card, so I don't think that's enough to run it at the settings in Tom's test...
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February 18, 2012 4:33:13 AM

Im pretty sure they didn't update skyrim in that test cause skyrim got like a 10 fps boost from patch 1.4, it should still be ok.

Though the 4100 probably is the best idea in your situation cause of the price.
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February 18, 2012 4:33:19 AM

wildside50 said:
Hmm, very interesting video. It is counter to what I took away from Tom's sub-200 gaming chip article. In particular I look at Skyrim, a game I intend to play the hell out of soon, where the 2500k scores an average 51 fps and 8120 scores 27.0, being beaten by the Pentium G630. That's almost half the frame rate. That is very significant. I wonder, though, at lower quality settings if those scores would come closer. I have a Nvidia GTX 560 2 GB card, so I don't think that's enough to run it at the settings in Tom's test...

Well Skyrim runs allot better after Patch 1.4 they fixed the performance allot plus an OCed 8120 performance a world better than at its stock clocks. PS Skyrim is not a very hard game to run maxed ot as in it does not take a whole lot of power that 560ti you have will be plenty to run Skyrim maxed so long as you have a good OCed CPu.
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February 18, 2012 4:38:04 AM

Boopoo said:
Well Skyrim runs allot better after Patch 1.4 they fixed the performance allot plus an OCed 8120 performance a world better than at its stock clocks. PS Skyrim is not a very hard game to run maxed ot as in it does not take a whole lot of power that 560ti you have will be plenty to run Skyrim maxed so long as you have a good OCed CPu.


It's actually a 560 non-Ti, though it is 2 GB (amounting to probably .001% performance increase over the 1 GB model, but oh well). But, I still expect Skyrim to look prettier than it would on Xbox or PS
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February 18, 2012 4:41:42 AM

the 560 non ti will run skyrim on ultra no problem. The 2 gb is somewhat helpful when you get the high def texture update.
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February 18, 2012 4:42:32 AM

wildside50 said:
It's actually a 560 non-Ti, though it is 2 GB (amounting to probably .001% performance increase over the 1 GB model, but oh well). But, I still expect Skyrim to look prettier than it would on Xbox or PS

I run Skyrim on a GTX 275 just fine with many graphical enhancing mods etc I get like around 45 to 50fps everywhere with minimum dip down to 35fps before Patch 1.4 is dipped down to 25fps in the same spots it now dips down to 35fps min this is on a Phenom II 955 OCed to 3.7ghz
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February 18, 2012 4:53:26 AM

Good price but did you read the fine print?

"Available for In-Store Pickup Only."

Looks like a marketing ploy to show up higher in the search engines.

I was about to order the FX-4100 just to have something new to toy around with. LOL!
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February 18, 2012 5:11:05 AM

Cazalan said:
Good price but did you read the fine print?

"Available for In-Store Pickup Only."

Looks like a marketing ploy to show up higher in the search engines.

I was about to order the FX-4100 just to have something new to toy around with. LOL!


Oh sorry, I should have been more explicit. I live very near a Microcenter, so the in-store only is a boon for me.

You might be right though in terms of marketing ploy. Black Friday style, but it benefits me none the less. So I guess if you had the choice of a very cheap LGA 1155 chip/mobo combo (Pentium G620) or a very cheap AM3+ chip/mobo combo (FX 4100) for the same price thrust in front of you, which would you choose?
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February 18, 2012 5:49:13 AM

By your description I think the FX-4100 w/free mobo is the best option.
It's unlocked so you can get some easy overclocking.

I don't think the FX-8120 will be noticeably different from your i7, and not worth the time to move/re-install applications.

By the time you get around to upgrading there will be another $100 offer. In 10+ years of building PC's I've never upgraded a CPU without changing the mobo as well. Save the money for another time. Knowing women she'd probably be more impressed with a CLEAN new keyboard/mouse/monitor/kindle/(insert shiny bobble here) than a faster CPU. ;) 


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