i have an old e6600/4gb ram system. my primary reason for upgrading is that 4gb doesn't cut it anymore, but it's silly to buy 2gb sticks (that aren't that cheap for ddr2) for an old format. so that brings me to upgrading
my priorities are
1) best bang for the buck
2) future proof-ability
no real amd/intel preference. i don't mind overclocking but it shouldn't be a huge factor in my decision
if i'd be better off waiting a month or two because of incoming price drops let me know tht as well. thanks !
Overall speed and quality at that price would probably suggest an AMD rig. You can get a phenom X4/X6 and a good quality motherboard for 200-250. Intel has some great CPU's but there price point would have you skimping on the motherboard. Mabe once Ivybridge comes out the current intel stuff will drop in price and fit your budget.
Where do you intend to shop? If you have access to Microcenter they have some really good CPU/Motherboard combos. And do you plan to overclock the processor? If not you should be able to get a decent motherboard and Intel I5 2400 for under $250, if you want to overclock you need to spend more for an I5 2500K or go AMD.
I have to give the 2100 credit, for a dual core it does well. It out games pretty much any AMD (at stock settings, and honestly not by alot compared to the top end phenoms) But those same phenoms will out perform the i3 by a good margin in more heavily threaded/efficient apps. Below is a comparison between an X6 1090T and an i3 2100 (roughly same price)
You will see that indeed the i3 does out game the phenom but the AMD more than makes up for the i3's small performance advantage in gaming by quite hands down whooping the i3 at basically everything else.
The total price of the dual core intel setup is $248.98
The total price for the six core AMD setup is $228.52 (that $20 save will get you 2GB more RAM, or just pocket it lol)
Future proof wise on the AMD if you pick up a nice AM3+ mobo it will support the next gen "piledriver" who knows how great it will be but still a 3.1 Ghz X6 will last you plenty until you want to buy a new machine. You want bang for buck this is it !