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Which pc should I buy? Intel i3 2100 or amd Phenom II 521?

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January 12, 2012 11:39:52 PM

Hi, my old computer recently got a bad svchost virus, so I'm thinking it's time for an upgrade. I have my eye on two refurbished PCs and was wondering which one is the better deal. Note: my old pc is an outdated pentium 4 with a geforce 6200 graphics card, so these PCs would be big upgrades to me.

For $340:
HP Pavilion Desktop Computer featuring Intel Core i3-2100 Processor (P7-1027)

Processor Type: Intel Core i3-2100
Processor Speed: 3.1 GHz
Processor Cores: 2
RAM: 6 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM (Exp. To 8 GB)
Hard Drive Capacity: 750 GB SATA
Hard Drive Speed: 7200 RPM
Graphics: Intel HD
Pre-loaded Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

or for $250:
HP Pavilion Desktop Computer featuring AMD Phenom II 521 Dual Core (P6823W)

Processor Type: AMD Phenom II 521
Processor Speed: 3.5 GHz
Processor Cores: 2
RAM: 4 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM (Exp. To 16 GB)
Hard Drive Capacity: 1 TB SATA
Hard Drive Speed: 7200 RPM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4200
Pre-loaded Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

I'm looking for a cheap computer that would be decent for multi-tasking, I do a lot of website creation and 3d modelling/game programming using Blender. I'm a casual gamer, my favorite game being Medieval Total War II.

Which pc is the better deal? Is the i3 a big step up on the phenom (Which I've read is actually a re-named Athlon II)? For comparison, what games could these PCs run at medium settings? Also, would it be better to spend more on a graphics card with the $250 deal, or is the i3 more important than the graphics card?

Thanks for the help!
January 13, 2012 10:41:06 AM

The Core I3 is a faster processor for most things, but the AMD has better graphics for light gaming. I have both graphics and can tell you it is true.

Even though the i3 is a dual core, it is multi-threaded, so it acts like a quad core.

Best advice would be go with the i3 and if the Intel graphics are not enough, you could always add an inexpensive video card. You can look up your game(s) on this site to see what minimum video specs you need. http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri/intro.aspx
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January 13, 2012 10:55:13 AM

I agree with tlmck. The phenom cpu would easily be bogged down, and the graphics card is..not so good. That i3 with a 40-50 dollar card would be a much better choice.
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January 13, 2012 11:37:08 AM

compare Amd is 3.5ghz intel 3.1ghz ,a =1000gb hdd i =750 ,ram a=4gb upgrade upto 16Gb i=6gb upgrade upto 8gb ,amd has better graphics for gaming intel so far, so buy amd and upgrade ram into 8gb u get better system value for ur money
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January 13, 2012 11:37:32 AM

compare Amd is 3.5ghz intel 3.1ghz ,a =1000gb hdd i =750 ,ram a=4gb upgrade upto 16Gb i=6gb upgrade upto 8gb ,amd has better graphics for gaming intel so far, so buy amd and upgrade ram into 8gb u get better system value for ur money
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January 13, 2012 1:22:46 PM

Thanks for all the input! I've decided to go with the intel i3 as I think this pc will hold out better in the future. A cheap graphics card will also boost its gaming performance if I find it lacking. Thanks again!
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January 13, 2012 1:33:10 PM

You made the right choice, it's the far more powerful out of those 2 systems.
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January 13, 2012 2:15:17 PM

Hi, I would not touch any of them since :

1- refurbish only gives you 60 to 90 days warranty,
2- hp isnt's making any good quality computers these days
3- you have a bunch of low quality parts in there.

If you get one of them prepare to invest money in it soon.

Considering that I would get a computer with know parts in them at least.

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January 13, 2012 5:57:07 PM

Well I have bought refurbished PCs in the past and they have worked really well for me. I'm also not too picky about the parts and if some higher quality graphics don't run top notch it shouldn't be too much of a nuisance to me. Thanks a lot for the advice though.
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