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Phenom II X4 970 VS i3-2100 for AutoCAD/SolidWorks/CATIA

Last response: in CPUs
March 17, 2012 5:22:39 AM

I am an engineering student & am going to learn the following CAD softwares.
I am going to build a new system which would be running mainly CAD softwares like AutoCAD / SolidWorks / CATIA and some occasional gaming (NFS).
I shortlisted two processors, : Intel i3-2100 (2 cores, 4 threads) and AMD Phenom II X4 970 (4 cores, 4 threads). Both are similarly priced.
So my question is with which one should I go?
Do the above CAD softwares use multi-threading? If they do use, then do u think Phenom II would be good for its 4 cores @ more clock speeds & still overclockable. Or should I choose i3 for its modern arch. and better single threaded performance.
I am going to add a GPU (maybe Radeon 6670).
Gaming is no question here as they both perform very well when mated with a decent GPU. :bounce: 

Best solution

March 17, 2012 5:52:53 AM

I would assume the Phenom II would be better for the programs you listed due to the 4 cores versus 2 with Hyper-threading, although I doubt the difference would be noticeable. I would go the 2100 route as you will always have the option to upgrade to a much more powerful CPU without having to change your motherboard if you ever feel the need.
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a c 184 à CPUs
March 17, 2012 6:13:24 AM

I would get an i3 and get an nvidia card with CUDA.
a b à CPUs
March 17, 2012 6:27:05 AM

Did some Googling on those three. They are primarily single threaded applications but can use multiple cores for certain functions. Seems two cores would be sufficient. I would just go for the i3-2100 and have the better Intel upgrade path open to me. I just can't see building an AMD PC from scratch these days (and I own one). Actually an i3-2120 is only a few dollars more and the extra 200 mhz might come in handy (since these CPUs aren't unlocked).
March 17, 2012 10:18:50 AM

From the link I posted above ( ) we can find that phenom II is better than i3 in 3dsmax r9 benchmarks because of its 4 physical cores. So I think AMD would be better for me. And future is for quad cores, so future will be secured and will give good performance for 5-6 years.
a c 184 à CPUs
March 17, 2012 10:32:50 AM

If future is for quad cores, am3 is a dead socket but 1155 isn't. There are many upgrade paths from an i3-2100 compared to the phenom.
March 24, 2012 1:05:33 PM

Got Phenom II X4 955 BE, running great
March 24, 2012 1:07:04 PM

Best answer selected by psm360.