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Which AMD cpu?

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March 2, 2012 8:28:22 PM

Hi, I was wondering if you guys could give me your opinions on what I should do for my budget gaming build*. Main uses will be gaming, some light VM use, and it will be my primary computer for college next year where I plan to major in computer science or software engineering. Right now my budget ideally would be to stay under $200 for CPU + mobo, but I could go a few dollars over if necessary. Right now the three contenders are as follows:

Fx 8120 + AsRock 970 Extreme4 ($189)(free mobo combo deal)
960t + Asus 970 ($200)
1045t + Asus 970 ($210)
The only intel processor within my price range wold be the i3 2100 once the price of a motherboard is factored in

*primary games will be World of Warcraft and Battlefield 3 Online, along with new titles coming out soon such as command and conquer and the next rainbow Vegas. Also I will be overclocking to at least 4ghz if the chip will allow it. *

Right now I am leaning towards amd for my cpu; let me explain my reasoning. First off I have to say that I was very disappointed with Toms sub $200 CPU roundup. The bias in that review was astonishing, with it appearing that the reason these benchmarks were selected were to show the Intel pentiums in the best light possible. Three of the six games used ran on the havok engine, which doesn't scale past two cores and is owned by Intel. Also, these three games were the three used in the overclocking segment, which further increases the deception. Battlefield 3 is known to be very GPU dependent, plus the benchmark is single player only and I play online only so I ignore it for the most part, namely because all CPUs in the test save one scored almost identical scores. That leaves Dirt 3 and Metro 2033, which are the most indicative of performance. The i3 comes out ahead of all the amd cpus in dirt 3, showing that it is a very capable cpu, while the 8120 takes the performance crown of the 4 in metro 2033. This closeness lead me to look for more benchmarks. Based on this: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/434?vs=289 comparison it becomes clear that the 8120 slightly loses at gaming but crushes in everything else. The 2100 is the only intel I would be able to afford in this price range and a amd cpu is a superior product choice based on an overall look at all benchmarks.

The battle becomes more heated when AMD cpus are compared. They are near identical in gaming performance but the 8120 wins the multimedia battles. Multimedia performance isn't important to me however, so I am deadlocked between the choices. I was wondering which AMD cpu you guys think I should go with. (I would prefer to buy from Microcenter as there is one 15 minutes from my house). Right now I have a XFX 5770 gpu, which I will be upgrading once the Nvidia 600 series cards are released.

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March 2, 2012 10:04:12 PM

Go for a combo deal; sometimes microcenter has Intel cpus on sale without notice. I would jump on an Intel combo with low cost board. The amd's are less attractive, but some phenom II's are getting hard to find. Newegg is almost out of most models.
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March 3, 2012 1:32:31 AM

If you are planning to crossfire you might want to look into the 990fx series. Due to the dual pcie x16 vs 16 x4 with the 970 mobos. I remember looking that up before I ended up going with my 990fx, I've heard conflicting stories with how much performance difference there really is but I decided I might as well go with dual x16.

Anyways, supposedly the FX4170 and FX6200 should be on shelves within the month so you might want to look into that (I know I will). If the system is for gaming exclusively then you should consider the 4100 bulldozer since it seems to game just as well (sometimes better) than the higher core fx series according to the benchmarks. In any case, out of those 3 I'd go with the 8120 or 960t, cheers.
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March 3, 2012 5:07:59 AM

ohyouknow said:
If you are planning to crossfire you might want to look into the 990fx series. Due to the dual pcie x16 vs 16 x4 with the 970 mobos. I remember looking that up before I ended up going with my 990fx, I've heard conflicting stories with how much performance difference there really is but I decided I might as well go with dual x16.

Anyways, supposedly the FX4170 and FX6200 should be on shelves within the month so you might want to look into that (I know I will). If the system is for gaming exclusively then you should consider the 4100 bulldozer since it seems to game just as well (sometimes better) than the higher core fx series according to the benchmarks. In any case, out of those 3 I'd go with the 8120 or 960t, cheers.


Not planning to Xfire. Any particular reason why you chose the 960t over the 1045t?
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March 3, 2012 5:11:31 AM

o1die said:
Go for a combo deal; sometimes microcenter has Intel cpus on sale without notice. I would jump on an Intel combo with low cost board. The amd's are less attractive, but some phenom II's are getting hard to find. Newegg is almost out of most models.

Right now they only have the combo on the 2600k combo which is way out of my price zone, and due to my current situation I need to get this new PC up asap, while keeping the cost as low as possible as I am a high school senior off to college next year.
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March 3, 2012 5:52:57 AM

Id say go for the 8120 combo, not sure how easy the as rock board is to overclock, but my asus sabertooth (the $289 combo) runs it at 4.7 ghz at 1.344V, 90% of the 8120s are hitting 4.4ghz and up.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1741/14/

just a look at some more game options.

BF 3 absolutely screams with the 8120, no stuttering at all

as for the 960t, a lot of people like it because its an unlocked multiplier and has a possibilty of being an X6. If your good at playing with bus speed overclocks, the 1045T can go faster usually on overclock since the 960's extra cores were disabled for a reason.
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March 3, 2012 6:24:21 AM

noob2222 said:
Id say go for the 8120 combo, not sure how easy the as rock board is to overclock, but my asus sabertooth (the $289 combo) runs it at 4.7 ghz at 1.344V, 90% of the 8120s are hitting 4.4ghz and up.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1741/14/

just a look at some more game options.

BF 3 absolutely screams with the 8120, no stuttering at all

as for the 960t, a lot of people like it because its an unlocked multiplier and has a possibilty of being an X6. If your good at playing with bus speed overclocks, the 1045T can go faster usually on overclock since the 960's extra cores were disabled for a reason.

I personally prefer bus speed overclocks. I will probably end up going with the bulldozer chip since it will give me acceptable gaming performance while allowing me to run a VM or two in the background.
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March 3, 2012 7:04:44 AM

aganarok said:
I personally prefer bus speed overclocks. I will probably end up going with the bulldozer chip since it will give me acceptable gaming performance while allowing me to run a VM or two in the background.

Same here, 17.5X269 fsb, 2133 memory speed.
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March 3, 2012 7:50:49 AM

Ust a little note... WoW needs very low requirements... I get 20fps ish in an nVidia GeForce 4 MX440SE(very old and slow)
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March 3, 2012 4:39:44 PM

Matt_1 said:
Ust a little note... WoW needs very low requirements... I get 20fps ish in an nVidia GeForce 4 MX440SE(very old and slow)


Im getting acceptable performance on WoW, but during BF3 there are some lag spikes that make it unplayable.
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