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What is the best quad core processor under $140?

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March 17, 2012 12:53:14 AM

Hi, I'm looking for a new quad core processor for a gaming build but I'm on a budget. I want to get the most bang for my buck, I don't care if it AMD or Intel but I would like to go with a quad core or better. I had a few in mind like the FX-4100,FX-4170, and any of the A6 or A8 processors but I'm open to whatever you think is the best processor with the most power for the price. Also I am not going to overclock and I am not interested in anything more expensive than $140. Thank you for anything that you can tell me.
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March 17, 2012 1:01:50 AM

Your goals of 1. quad core and 2. not overclocking are conflicting in the the current crop of sub $140 cpu's.

The 4170 is the best quad-core @ $140 or less, but the dual-core i3 2120 is much better for gaming unless you overclock the 4170.

The fusion processors are not worth considering for an enthusiast gaming rig.

*edit*
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

tom's chart ranks by stock performance.
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Anonymous
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March 17, 2012 1:02:35 AM

tygasp said:
Hi, I'm looking for a new quad core processor for a gaming build but I'm on a budget. I want to get the most bang for my buck, I don't care if it AMD or Intel but I would like to go with a quad core or better. I had a few in mind like the FX-4100,FX-4170, and any of the A6 or A8 processors but I'm open to whatever you think is the best processor with the most power for the price. Also I am not going to overclock and I am not interested in anything more expensive than $140. Thank you for anything that you can tell me.


for gaming that would be an i3 2120 period.

but since you want a quad core, that disqualifies it. :( 
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March 17, 2012 1:04:41 AM

quilciri said:
Your goals of 1. quad core and 2. not overclocking are conflicting in the the current crop of sub $140 cpu's.

The 4170 is the best quad-core @ $140 or less, but the dual-core i3 2120 is much better for gaming unless you overclock the 4170.

The fusion processors are not worth considering for an enthusiast gaming rig.

OP will not notice even a scant bit of difference gaming between an phenom x4 980 BE or i3 unless you consider SC2 LOL.
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March 17, 2012 1:06:30 AM

Anonymous said:
for gaming that would be an i3 2120 period.

but since you want a quad core, that disqualifies it. :( 

Phenom II x4 980 BE for $135 with $15 off w/ promo code EMCNGJG53, ends 3/19 is much better deal than a core i3 and there is no difference in gaming even an Athlon x4 645 is good enough for gaming LOL.
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Anonymous
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March 17, 2012 1:10:04 AM

Demon slayer said:
Phenom II x4 980 BE for $135 with $15 off w/ promo code EMCNGJG53, ends 3/19 is much better deal than a core i3 and there is no difference in gaming even an Athlon x4 645 is good enough for gaming LOL.

*sigh*

another ignorant amd fanboy . . :( 
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March 17, 2012 1:19:22 AM

Demon slayer said:
OP will not notice even a scant bit of difference gaming between an phenom x4 980 BE or i3 unless you consider SC2 LOL.


Processor reliant games have nothing to do with my comments.

The difference depends entirely on his graphics card setup. You need enough processor to not gimp you graphics cards.

Most new builds aren't balanced and have way more processor capability than graphics. In that case you would be right.

However, as quality of your graphics setup rises, you will notice the *stock* 980 or 4170 gimping gaming performance before the 2120.
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March 17, 2012 1:20:03 AM

Anonymous said:
*sigh*

another ignorant amd fanboy . . :( 

Not at all just a realist I will want you to show me the links where core i3 out performance Phenom II x4 980 in gaming by such a huge margin so I can learn the higher path that is Intel but please don't show SC2 we all know that game was coded to run better in Intel CPUs.
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March 17, 2012 1:23:03 AM

quilciri said:
Processor reliant games have nothing to do with my comments.

The difference depends entirely on his graphics card setup. You need enough processor to not gimp you graphics cards.

Most new builds aren't balanced and have way more processor capability than graphics. In that case you would be right.

However, as quality of your graphics setup rises, you will notice the *stock* 980 or 4170 gimping gaming performance before the 2120.

Funny cause an Athlon II x4 645 pushes an Radeon 7970 to very very playable levels of performance and the difference between 60fps and 100fps in nothing on a 60hz monitor.
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Anonymous
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March 17, 2012 1:27:07 AM

Demon slayer said:
Not at all just a realist I will want you to show me the links where core i3 out performance Phenom II x4 980 in gaming by such a huge margin so I can learn the higher path that is Intel but please don't show SC2 we all know that game was coded to run better in Intel CPUs.


how about a crysis bench?
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2011/07/01/intel-...
and thats a 2100 not 2120
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March 17, 2012 1:32:11 AM

Please understand that all I really want is something that can get me above 30fps in something like fallout. If that is a i3 then fine, but I was under the impression that AMD best chips in the gaming hierarchy charts would be pretty good for gaming, especially since they make graphics card too which would complement their chips. I could be wrong but that was my thinking. So what should I do?
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March 17, 2012 1:34:10 AM

Demon slayer said:
Funny cause an Athlon II x4 645 pushes an Radeon 7970 to very very playable levels of performance and the difference between 60fps and 100fps in nothing on a 60hz monitor.
http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o607/headspin146/Screenshotat2012-03-16202751-1.jpg


Photobucket? How about posting the link to the reviewer. I don't think photobucket is qualified :D 

Lol that's just flat out wrong and ignorant of facts. I don't even have to leave the site to disprove that one....

According to Tom's, the 7970 is slightly better than a 5970
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Also according to tom's Balanced pc guide

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/balanced-gaming-pc-...

the 5970 is VERY gimped by even an overclocked 640, so I'd imagine the 645 isn't going to fare much better, and will certainly gimp the crap out of a 7970.

Seriously. It was posting 45 fps in Crysis with the 5970 at 1920 with settings maxed. Metro 2033 at those settings would likely be under 30.
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March 17, 2012 1:39:02 AM

tygasp said:
Please understand that all I really want is something that can get me above 30fps in something like fallout. If that is a i3 then fine, but I was under the impression that AMD best chips in the gaming hierarchy charts would be pretty good for gaming, especially since they make graphics card too which would complement their chips. I could be wrong but that was my thinking. So what should I do?


If that's all you want, then don't worry about all the replies here. Either processor would be more than adequate. There's no real benefit to using an AMD card with an AMD processor, at least not yet, so get whatever your personal preference is.
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Anonymous
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March 17, 2012 1:44:36 AM

tygasp said:
Please understand that all I really want is something that can get me above 30fps in something like fallout. If that is a i3 then fine, but I was under the impression that AMD best chips in the gaming hierarchy charts would be pretty good for gaming, especially since they make graphics card too which would complement their chips. I could be wrong but that was my thinking. So what should I do?


it ALWAYS turns into a flame war, the AMD fanboy get diaper rash rather quickly.

btw, here is a guide for buying CPUs for gaming. not the end all but a comparison of choices.
Picking A Sub-$200 Gaming CPU: FX, An APU, Or A Pentium?
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
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March 17, 2012 1:45:15 AM

quilciri said:
Lol that's just flat out wrong and ignroant of facts. I don't even have to leave the site to disprove that one....

According to Tom's, the 7970 is slightly better than a 5970
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Also according to tom's Balanced pc guide

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/balanced-gaming-pc-...

the 5970 is VERY gimped by even an overclocked 640, so I'd imagine the 645 isn't going to fare much better, and will certainly gimp the crap out of a 7970.

Seriously. It was posting 45 fps in Crysis with the 5970 at 1920 with settings maxed. Metro 2033 at those settings would likely be under 30.




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March 17, 2012 1:48:41 AM

P.S. @ Demon I'm using an fx-4170 right now, and I'm rooting for AMD. I bought that mobo a while back with an x3 450, hoping that bulldozer would eat intel's lunch.Unfortunately the 4170 overclocked is the first one to be competetive with sandy bridge as a gaming platform. I'm just as unhappy about that as you are.
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March 17, 2012 1:52:53 AM

quilciri said:
P.S. @ Demon I'm using an fx-4170 right now, and I'm rooting for AMD. I bought that mobo a while back with an x3 450, hoping that bulldozer would eat intel's lunch.Unfortunately the 4170 overclocked is the first one to be competetive with sandy bridge as a gaming platform. I'm just as unhappy about that as you are.

Unhappy about what ? my Phenom II 955 is great and in maybe a year or 2 I will get the FX - 8120 or a 2500K or the like if something better is out for cheaper at that time.
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March 17, 2012 1:53:13 AM

even your own post shows the weakness of the 645, sorry.

the first couple games are both limited by some aspect of the card (I'd guess memory throughput),
but the 645's problems become apparent in anno @ 1920 with settings cranked.

looks like a x4 970 is enough, though.
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Anonymous
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March 17, 2012 1:53:45 AM

quilciri said:
P.S. @ Demon I'm using an fx-4170 right now, and I'm rooting for AMD. I bought that mobo a while back with an x3 450, hoping that bulldozer would eat intel's lunch.Unfortunately the 4170 overclocked is the first one to be competetive with sandy bridge as a gaming platform. I'm just as unhappy about that as you are.


hey don't you know the one that posts the most images of irrelevant benchmarks wins? :) 

actually i thought the FX 6100 is a pretty decent chip, keeps up with the 8120 at a little more than half the cost.
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March 17, 2012 1:55:48 AM

quilciri said:
even your own post shows the weakness of the 645, sorry.

the first couple games are both limited by some aspect of the card (I'd guess memory throughput),
but the 645's problems become apparent in anno @ 1920 with settings cranked.

LOL it's still Perfectly playable LOL so the 645 is not a detrimental bottleneck unless you have two 7970s and are shooting for 120fps on a 120hz monitor but even then 120fps min framerate is not possible in every high end game even with he best of the best hardware. Point is even a lowly Athalon II x4 offers up perfectly acceptable framerates that are competitive with an i3.
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March 17, 2012 1:57:55 AM

Anonymous said:
hey don't you know the one that posts the most images of irrelevant benchmarks wins? :) 

actually i thought the FX 6100 is a pretty decent chip, keeps up with the 8120 at a little more than half the cost.


You're right, it does, mostly because games aren't well threaded at all, so a 4 core fx will game as well as an 8 core part at any given clock speed.
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March 17, 2012 1:59:42 AM

Funny how even when the facts are right in there face the Intel Bigots will still never admit defeat LOL.
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March 17, 2012 2:00:31 AM

Anonymous said:
for gaming that would be an i3 2120 period.

but since you want a quad core, that disqualifies it. :( 

Its Hyperthreaded and probably still the best processor in that pricing bracket even as a dual-core. The OP would be wise not to disqualify it, imo.

Edit:
tygasp said:
Please understand that all I really want is something that can get me above 30fps in something like fallout. If that is a i3 then fine, but I was under the impression that AMD best chips in the gaming hierarchy charts would be pretty good for gaming, especially since they make graphics card too which would complement their chips. I could be wrong but that was my thinking. So what should I do?

AMD's processors and GPUs are two completely separate segments of their market share with little or nothing to do with one another. There is no hidden benefit of pairing an AMD CPU to an AMD GPU. While AMD makes fine graphics cards these days I would strongly recommend avoiding their processors right now. Its true that you wouldn't notice much difference in games that were relying heavily on the GPU, but in strongly-CPU reliant games it does matter. Check out Tom's buyers guide for their recommendations for the best CPUs for their price.

You could go with an AMD machine and be pretty happy with it, I just don't want to recommend you spend about the same amount of money for what is technically a less powerful, less efficient component.
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March 17, 2012 2:00:33 AM

Demon slayer said:
LOL it's still Perfectly playable LOL so the 645 is not a detrimental bottleneck unless you have two 7970s and are shooting for 120fps on a 120hz monitor but even then 120fps min framerate is not possible in every high end game even with he best of the best hardware. Point is even a lowly Athalon II x4 offers up perfectly acceptable framerates that are competitive with an i3.


Your phrasings also betray your confidence. You're not even having the same conversation. I'm talking about the best setup for the price, not just what's "playable".
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March 17, 2012 2:04:01 AM

Demon slayer said:
Funny how even when the facts are right in there face the Intel Bigots will still never admit defeat LOL.


are you talking about the facts i posted from tom's hardware, or the ones you posted from photobucket?
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March 17, 2012 2:05:02 AM

quilciri said:
Your phrasings also betray your confidence. You're not even having the same conversation. I'm talking about the best setup for the price, not just what's "playable".

Best setup for the money is Phenom II x4 980 for $135 on Newegg as I said before. Seems they get touchy when it's brought to light that there are competent options outside of the Church of Intel concentration camps LOL.
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March 17, 2012 2:06:36 AM

Demon slayer said:
Funny how even when the facts are right in there face the Intel Bigots will still never admit defeat LOL.

yeah i get a hearty laugh out of that too.

you know every time you type L-O-L you lose three points off your IQ right? :) 
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March 17, 2012 2:07:44 AM

Demon slayer said:
Best setup for the money is Phenom II x4 980 for $135 on Newegg as I said before. Seems they get touchy when it's brought to light that there are competent options outside of the Church of Intel concentration camps LOL.


Lol, I hope you aren't referring to me, because I use an AMD processor and this particular statement of yours I actually agree with *IF* you are willing to overclock. :) 

However, the OP *isn't* and at stock speeds, the 2120 outperforms it.
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March 17, 2012 2:09:08 AM

quilciri said:
are you talking about the facts i posted from tom's hardware, or the ones you posted from photobucket?

Ok friend Photo bucket is just a stored of photo like an album of pictures one has taken friend what are you scared of that Intel is not the Messiah you once thought it was what gives even with unequivocal proof you still deny the truth tooth and nail. Would you like me to make a video next time of the site I pull the pictures from LOL.http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-cpu-scalin...
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March 17, 2012 2:11:08 AM

oxiide said:
Its Hyperthreaded and probably still the best processor in that pricing bracket even as a dual-core. The OP would be wise not to disqualify it, imo.


My main concern is when games start using quad cores, thats the only thing. But I could get the i3 now and later get a i5 when the time comes. But I don't think that I could get a i5 right now, its just to much unfortunately. What would you think of doing that?
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March 17, 2012 2:11:44 AM

Demon slayer said:
Ok friend Photo bucket is just a stored of photo like an album of pictures one has taken friend what are you scared of that Intel is not the Messiah you once thought it was what gives even with unequivocal proof you still deny the truth tooth and nail. Would you like me to make a video next time of the site I pull the pictures from LOL.


You must have missed it. I already told you...a link to the review would be nice. That whole credibility and context thing.
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March 17, 2012 2:12:35 AM

tygasp said:
My main concern is when games start using quad cores, thats the only thing. But I could get the i3 now and later get a i5 when the time comes. But I don't think that I could get a i5 right now, its just to much unfortunately. What would you think of doing that?

It much more to do with the GPU for playing games not CPU so long as you have a decently newer Phenom II x4 or better.
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March 17, 2012 2:14:37 AM

quilciri said:
You must have missed it. I already told you...a link to the review would be nice. That whole credibility and context thing.

Oh yes I could really pull a photo and fix it up in GIMP or Photoshop ect in that amount of time LOL really nobody is worth that much effort LOL - heres the link http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-cpu-scalin...
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March 17, 2012 2:15:20 AM

Demon slayer said:
Oh yes I could really pull a photo and fix it up in GIMP or Photoshop ect in that amount of time LOL really nobody is worth that much effort LOL.


I'm saying that some sites are more credible than others. you're accusing yourself here.
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March 17, 2012 2:19:02 AM

quilciri said:
I'm saying that some sites are more credible than others. you're accusing yourself here.

Well some sites have Intel bigots you just have to weed through the BS and somewhere in between lye the truth. I never base my opinion on what one site says I follow 6 different ones before I formulate my own personal opinion and post rhetoric.
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Anonymous
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March 17, 2012 2:20:17 AM

tygasp said:
My main concern is when games start using quad cores, thats the only thing. But I could get the i3 now and later get a i5 when the time comes. But I don't think that I could get a i5 right now, its just to much unfortunately. What would you think of doing that?


i have been hearing about "when games start using quad cores" ever since the first quad core came out and it still hasn't happened on a grand scale.
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March 17, 2012 2:22:37 AM

Anonymous said:
i have been hearing about "when games start using quad cores" ever since the first quad core came out and it still hasn't happened on a grand scale.

Most newer games do run and support 4 cores however HT no so much.
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March 17, 2012 2:22:47 AM

tygasp said:
My main concern is when games start using quad cores, thats the only thing. But I could get the i3 now and later get a i5 when the time comes. But I don't think that I could get a i5 right now, its just to much unfortunately. What would you think of doing that?

Well the i3 is a Hyperthreaded dual-core. So while it has two physical cores, it has four logical ones. True, its not a real quad-core, but you will have a really hard time finding a difference on a chart. I would not expect games making such extensive use of four cores to be anytime soon, but the benefit of going with a Sandy Bridge i3-21xx is that its on the same processor socket (LGA-1155) as Intel's next generation, Ivy Bridge. So an Ivy Bridge i5-3750k is a pretty smart upgrade path whenever you decide you want to.

Just be aware that an upgrade to Ivy Bridge will require a relatively high-end generation 3 LGA-1155 motherboard, such as this which is otherwise unnecessary for an i3 system. Still not very expensive, though.
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March 17, 2012 2:22:54 AM

Demon slayer said:
Well some sites have Intel bigots you just have to weed through the BS and somewhere in between lye the truth. I never base my opinion on what one site says I follow 6 different ones before I formulate my own personal opinion and post rhetoric.


Are you saying Tom's hardware is one of those? Up until 2 months ago, when intel extended the sandy bridge line down into budget processors most of the CPU's they recommended were AMD.

...and if there are intel leaning sites, there are also AMD leaning ones.

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March 17, 2012 2:26:25 AM

tygasp said:
My main concern is when games start using quad cores, thats the only thing. But I could get the i3 now and later get a i5 when the time comes. But I don't think that I could get a i5 right now, its just to much unfortunately. What would you think of doing that?


It's unlikely that will happen in any significant manner in the next 3 years or so. Games aren't suited to parallel programming, even supportig dual cores was a long road.

NTM, parallel programming in an of itself is hard as hell, and game companies would need to start hiring specialists.
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March 17, 2012 2:30:04 AM

To the OP,

in single player gaming benchmarks Intel tends to outpace AMD. The i3 is a cpu that will suit your needs just fine. You could opt for an AMD cpu, however there is no real good reason for this unless you prefer AMD or have a strong distaste for Intel.

You say you want to play fallout at 30 fps. That would be achievable with any of the cpus mentioned in this thread.

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March 17, 2012 2:30:32 AM

quilciri said:
Are you saying Tom's hardware is one of those? Up until 2 months ago, when intel extended the sandy bridge line down into budget processors most of the CPU's they recommended were AMD.

...and if there are intel leaning sites, there are also AMD leaning ones.

That's why I stand by my firm belief that somewhere in the middle lye the pure truth. Personal hands on real time experience trumps all tho IMHO.
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March 17, 2012 2:32:57 AM

Demon slayer said:
Most newer games do run and support 4 cores however HT no so much.

and those are?

just the links please :) 

btw, if it uses quad it WILL use hyper threading because it sees the threads as a core, unless somehow it breaks the laws of core/thread architecture .
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March 17, 2012 2:37:05 AM

Demon slayer said:
That's why I stand by my firm belief that somewhere in the middle lye the pure truth. Personal hands on real time experience trumps all tho IMHO.


You're also ignoring the implications of the charts you yourself posted.

At the higher resolutions, those games are graphics card limited. but the framerate difference in lower resolutions implies that the processor doesn't have as much longevity. Somewhere down the road games will become more demanding; and you may want to SLI/Xfire, at which point a processor like the 645 will choke off performance more than a 980 or an i3.
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March 17, 2012 2:39:13 AM

Demon slayer said:
Most newer games do run and support 4 cores however HT no so much.


Guess I got beaten to the reply, but yeah. What Loon said. That is just flat out wrong.
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March 17, 2012 2:43:06 AM

quilciri said:
You're also ignoring the implications of the charts you yourself posted.

At the higher resolutions, those games are graphics card limited. but the framerate difference in lower resolutions implies that the processor doesn't have as much longevity. Somewhere down the road games will become more demanding; and you may want to SLI/Xfire, at which point a processor like the 645 will choke off performance more than a 980 or an i3.

I would suggest saving for a nice 2560x1600 HD+ monitor if your into gaming simple because it puts the load onto the GPUs and is just allota fun.
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