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.
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.
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).
From the link I posted above (http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/362?vs=289 ) 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.