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Core i3 2120 or amd fx series for game build?

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June 15, 2012 2:26:49 AM

hey i have been looking at a new cpu for my rig. i have the phenom x4 9950 right now and would like a full upgrade. i looked at the core i3 2120 cpu from intel and the amd fx 4100 or the 1 right above that one. which is better? i do gaming alot and im not an enthusiast but i like to have high settings with 50-60 fps constant. i looked at some benchmarks for these cpus and it looked like the intel was better. but what does anyone else have to say about this? anyone had experience with these cpus?
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June 15, 2012 2:29:18 AM

The i3 is going to be faster all-around--multi-tasking, gaming etc. etc. The only games you may run into a bit of a snag with are games that take advantage of quad-core chips (ie Battlefield 3), but those cases are few and far between.
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June 15, 2012 2:33:46 AM

Keanu Reeves said:
The i3 is going to be faster all-around--multi-tasking, gaming etc. etc. The only games you may run into a bit of a snag with are games that take advantage of quad-core chips (ie Battlefield 3), but those cases are few and far between.


hey thanks for the snappy reply!

so the i3 is better? i figured so. what kinds of fps should i be expecting from either chip with 4 gigs ram and an hd6850
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June 15, 2012 2:41:34 AM

It all depends on the resolution, the in-game settings, and a few other factors, but it's definitely an upgrade from what you had. Games nowadays are more GPU-heavy than CPU-heavy.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=289

Here are benches comparing your old chip with the i3, and keep in mind that the i3 in the bench is the 2100 which is clocked a tad lower than yours. You should see a bit more performance even over those marks--2 maybe 3 fps.

Also, no problem about the quick reply. Happy to help.
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June 15, 2012 2:45:11 AM

Keanu Reeves said:
It all depends on the resolution, the in-game settings, and a few other factors, but it's definitely an upgrade from what you had. Games nowadays are more GPU-heavy than CPU-heavy.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=289

Here are benches comparing your old chip with the i3, and keep in mind that the i3 in the bench is the 2100 which is clocked a tad lower than yours. You should see a bit more performance even over those marks--2 maybe 3 fps.

Also, no problem about the quick reply. Happy to help.


i wish they could do bf3 bnchmarks lol. but it does look a good bit faster
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June 15, 2012 2:48:05 AM

Keanu Reeves said:
It all depends on the resolution, the in-game settings, and a few other factors, but it's definitely an upgrade from what you had. Games nowadays are more GPU-heavy than CPU-heavy.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/21?vs=289

Here are benches comparing your old chip with the i3, and keep in mind that the i3 in the bench is the 2100 which is clocked a tad lower than yours. You should see a bit more performance even over those marks--2 maybe 3 fps.

Also, no problem about the quick reply. Happy to help.


now what about the phenom series? i know theyre fantastic. like the phenom ii x4 975. but again which is better? the i3 or the phenom. the fx is just a joke to me
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June 15, 2012 2:51:12 AM

I wish they had BF3 in their benches too. haha. I've been looking to upgrade my CPU as well. I have a Phenom II x4 980BE, and I can tell you that my CPU runs the game just fine--and the i3 actually beats the 980 in most gaming benches I've seen.


Just to put your mind at ease though, here's a video of BF3 running on an i3--and the GPU you have will actually be more powerful than what this dude is running. You'll be fine. It won't be maxed, but you can definitely play it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=872QHqk23TQ
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June 15, 2012 2:52:36 AM

If gaming at resolutions of 1080p the GPU is far far more important and cpu bottleneck becomes negligible. i3 is a good processor but having a quad core helps out if you play games online with tons of other people i.e. BF3 or player hubs in MMO's. I'd probably go PII 965 but either would be a really good buy. Good Luck

FWIW my friend let me purchase his athlon x4 quad core for cheap to upgrade my old HP athlon x2 duo core. After swapping it out it was a noticeable 10 FPS+ with a lot less lag than before when I used to play SWTOR. They were pretty much the same clock speeds so it really was a duo core vs a quad.
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June 15, 2012 2:53:40 AM

schecterplayer said:
now what about the phenom series? i know theyre fantastic. like the phenom ii x4 975. but again which is better? the i3 or the phenom. the fx is just a joke to me


If it's just going to be for gaming, basic internet surfing, and microsoft word etc. etc., I'd get the i3. If you plan on doing any video encoding or anything of that nature, the extra two cores of the 980 will come in handy.
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June 15, 2012 2:54:23 AM

ohyouknow said:
If gaming at resolutions of 1080p the GPU is far far more important and cpu bottleneck becomes negligible. i3 is a good processor but having a quad core helps out if you play games online with tons of other people i.e. BF3 or player hubs in MMO's. I'd probably go PII 965 but either would be a really good buy. Good Luck


well my main focus is bf3. plus i want to be somewhat future proof
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June 15, 2012 2:59:09 AM

Keanu Reeves said:
If it's just going to be for gaming, basic internet surfing, and microsoft word etc. etc., I'd get the i3. If you plan on doing any video encoding or anything of that nature, the extra two cores of the 980 will come in handy.


just gaming nd basic stuff. o and i record and produce my own music. but its nothing insane in terms of editing and effects. i mean i have alot but nothing like pros would. someone said the quad core is better for bf3 online though. how much better could it be? sorry im asking so many wuestions. i just want to get the best out of my money ( who doesnt i guess lol)
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June 15, 2012 3:00:02 AM

updated my previous post. I suggest the 965.
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June 15, 2012 3:00:10 AM

well i3 isnt future proof thats for sure . but it does play most games pretty well . i my self have an i3 2100 and its run pretty good on diablo 3 and mw3 pretty smooth along with me having to web browse on the internet at the same time
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June 15, 2012 3:01:04 AM

I can tell you from personal experience that a good GPU and a 980 will run BF3 just fine. I have not personally played the game on an i3 machine, but I haven't heard of anyone running into issues.
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June 15, 2012 3:03:56 AM

schecterplayer said:
well my main focus is bf3. plus i want to be somewhat future proof


I'm gonna be "that guy" for a second, so hold on, lol. There's really no such thing as future proofing when it comes to computer hardware. The closest thing to that in gaming is a 2500K/3570K.

With that said, my vote is for the i3 or a PII X4 965 or above, if you have to stay within a budget.
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June 15, 2012 3:04:06 AM

sepulvedajoseph94 said:
well i3 isnt future proof thats for sure . but it does play most games pretty well . i my self have an i3 2100 and its run pretty good on diablo 3 and mw3 pretty smooth along with me having to web browse on the internet at the same time


pretty smooth as in constant 60 fps?
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June 15, 2012 3:04:22 AM

BF3 can make use of more than 2 core in multiplayer. In my opinion, only the FX-81xx series are worth considering, therefore I too recommend the PII X4 965 if you are looking for an AMD CPU that's comparable to the core i3 in price.
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June 15, 2012 3:06:27 AM

jaguarskx said:
BF3 can make use of more than 2 core in multiplayer. In my opinion, only the FX-81xx series are worth considering, therefore I too recommend the PII X4 965 if you are looking for an AMD CPU that's comparable to the core i3 in price.


+1 Agreed all around.
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June 15, 2012 3:06:38 AM

I tell you what would be even better is a Phenom II 965, like everybody else was saying, and an SSD. Since I added an SSD to my machine, my load times are cut in half, and it may be my mind playing tricks on me, but the gameplay seems a bit smoother too.
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June 15, 2012 3:08:20 AM

Keanu Reeves said:
I tell you what would be even better is a Phenom II 965, like everybody else was saying, and an SSD. Since I added an SSD to my machine, my load times are cut in half, and it may be my mind playing tricks on me, but the gameplay seems a bit smoother too.


dont care too muc about load times lol. but i am still torn between the 965 and the i3. theyre both great from what i hear
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June 15, 2012 3:11:28 AM

schecterplayer said:
dont care too muc about load times lol. but i am still torn between the 965 and the i3. theyre both great from what i hear


I do but probably only because I'm ridiculously impatient. haha. You say you do some music editing now, and even if now it's on a small scale you may need more advanced software later on. At that point, the 965 would benefit you more.
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June 15, 2012 3:17:20 AM

Keanu Reeves said:
I do but probably only because I'm ridiculously impatient. haha. You say you do some music editing now, and even if now it's on a small scale you may need more advanced software later on. At that point, the 965 would benefit you more.


ok so i think ill go with the 965. thanks for the help everyone!

now my next question lol. whats the best motherboard for the 965. prefferably a 120 dollar cap
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June 15, 2012 3:24:03 AM

you'd want a quad core minimal if you want to get a decent experience in bf3 multiplayer. The i3 will be jumpy sometimes.
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June 15, 2012 3:34:39 AM

schecterplayer said:
im seeing alot of DOA for that board. the other one i looked at reviewd much better


ASRock is a good brand. Every brand has their share of DOA boards. Most of the reviews are good.

With that said the Gigabyte that ohyouknow linked is the one that I would go with on a budget.
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June 15, 2012 3:38:37 AM

well i have a good idea what i need to do now. thanks guys!!!
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June 15, 2012 4:54:43 AM

What a good thread without the flame! I like the suggestions too. Even after all this time the 965 is still a viable chip especially at $120.
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June 15, 2012 5:03:51 AM

lemlo said:
What a good thread without the flame! I like the suggestions too. Even after all this time the 965 is still a viable chip especially at $120.


yep it appears to be a great chip!
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June 15, 2012 7:14:27 AM

Well when I read the title I thought to myself "get ready to view a troll war ending with some nullified cranium suggesting to the op to scrap all other suggestions and get a 3960x." Was pleseantly surprised.

Oh and yeah, I have owned a 965 black edition and it is a fine chip.
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June 15, 2012 10:10:06 AM

lemlo said:
What a good thread without the flame! I like the suggestions too. Even after all this time the 965 is still a viable chip especially at $120.


Yeah, I'm pleasantly surprised by that. I suppose that's because intel and AMD both have fairly reasonable low-end offerings.
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June 15, 2012 10:18:14 AM

If you get the i3 it gives you potential to upgrade to an i5/i7 later on.
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June 15, 2012 12:06:56 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Here is a Phenom II x4 970 for $109.99, and it comes with a free game as well. The 970's base clock is a little higher than the 965 and it happens to be $10 cheaper than the 965. It is OEM , so you would have to use your heatsink from your current phenom 9950.

If it were me I would go with an i3 for now since it has a decent upgrade path. Or as you would call it...futureproofing. You can always go to a i5/i7 later down the road if needed. The bulldozer chips are really not an upgrade over the Phenom II line when it comes to games, and the piledriver chips will most likely fall short of any 4 core sandy bridge/ivy bridge chips. Not much of an upgrade path IMO.
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June 17, 2012 10:44:48 PM

sincreator said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Here is a Phenom II x4 970 for $109.99, and it comes with a free game as well. The 970's base clock is a little higher than the 965 and it happens to be $10 cheaper than the 965. It is OEM , so you would have to use your heatsink from your current phenom 9950.

If it were me I would go with an i3 for now since it has a decent upgrade path. Or as you would call it...futureproofing. You can always go to a i5/i7 later down the road if needed. The bulldozer chips are really not an upgrade over the Phenom II line when it comes to games, and the piledriver chips will most likely fall short of any 4 core sandy bridge/ivy bridge chips. Not much of an upgrade path IMO.


i would love the option to do that. what kind of performance would the i3 give me in bf3?
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June 18, 2012 5:30:17 AM

schecterplayer said:
i would love the option to do that. what kind of performance would the i3 give me in bf3?


Honestly I'm not really sure since I haven't come across any benches that have the i3's in multiplayer. All the reviews i've seen have single player only benchmarks. :pfff: 

If you could afford the extra bit of money I would get atleast this chip. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or one of these chips. i5 2500k: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or i5 3570k: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you don't plan on overclocking at some point, then go for the first chip.(i5 2400) If you would like to overclock down the road then I would definitly go for the 2500k/3570k

Here are some benches with the Phenom II x4 970 vs. the intel i5 2400 http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/186?vs=363 intel has quite a lead right now in quad core performance.


If you want to stay somewhat futureproof for gaming then spending the little extra money now would probally be a good idea. The sandy/ivy bridge chips are monsters for games, and without tring to be biased(notice I have a phenom II myself) I really think that intel has a far better upgrade path at this point in the game. I really do not see any reason to go AMD for gaming right now honestly, unless money is the main issue. Too bad there are no sandy/ivy bridge quad core cpus at sub $150.... Either way you will probally end up spending more in the long run with AMD since you will end up having to buy more chips to even get to intels current performance level. Maybe even a new motherboard along the way tring to keep up. That may be 2 or 3 years and then intel will no doubt have alot more powerful cpu's out by then. Just my honest opinion.
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June 18, 2012 6:26:07 AM

You don't want to buy a AMD right now, with trinity due out in a couple months. If you can wait it out a little while for trinity/piledriver reviews and benches to be released then do that, if it is time of the essence then a i3 will suit your cause.
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June 18, 2012 7:50:09 AM

schecterplayer said:
hey i have been looking at a new cpu for my rig. i have the phenom x4 9950 right now and would like a full upgrade. i looked at the core i3 2120 cpu from intel and the amd fx 4100 or the 1 right above that one. which is better? i do gaming alot and im not an enthusiast but i like to have high settings with 50-60 fps constant. i looked at some benchmarks for these cpus and it looked like the intel was better. but what does anyone else have to say about this? anyone had experience with these cpus?


Hi schecterplayer,

If you're on a tight budget then, I think AMD FX-4100 will be good for you. Otherwise, you should buy one of the Intel Core i5 2nd or 3rd generation quad cores because AMD is only good for Budget-Builds .

Now, as for FX-4100, it is cheap, fast, overclocks very well and performs almost similar to an i3 2120 CPU. At stock, FX-4100 will get beaten by i3 2120 but when overclocked to 4.2GHz, it will provide equal performance and when pushed further to 4.6GHz, it will take the lead.

To get constant 50-60 FPS, a better Graphics Card matters more than the CPU. So getting a cheaper quad-core and an efficient Graphics Card will make more sense.

Here is a 50 CPUs Gaming Test based on Battlefield 3. In this benchmark, they have used Nvidia GTX 590 GPU and they tested the game on 1440*900 resolution to maximize CPU bottlenecks.
http://en.inpai.com.cn/doc/enshowcont.asp?id=7986&pagei...

According to the benchmarks, AMD FX-4100 offers 79 FPS! Acceptable for the price it bears. When overclocked to 4.2GHz (AMD FX-4170), it becomes the second fastest CPU among the AMDs listed there and is beaten by only 0.5 FPS offered by much expensive Six-Core CPU i.e, AMD Phenom II X6 1100T.

Therefore, I think you should get AMD FX-4100 as it is cheaper than most of the Phenom II X4s, offers reasonable performance, has better overclocking potential and will not bottleneck most of the Mid to High range GPUs.

One more thing, the article on Tom's Hardware shows that x86 Piledriver Cores on AMD's Trinity APUs offer around 15% more performance. So, I think waiting will be worth it but if you can't and are on a tight budget, then the FX-4100 will keep you happy.

Regards,
SmartGeek
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June 18, 2012 2:05:31 PM

SmartGeek said:
Hi schecterplayer,

If you're on a tight budget then, I think AMD FX-4100 will be good for you. Otherwise, you should buy one of the Intel Core i5 2nd or 3rd generation quad cores because AMD is only good for Budget-Builds .

Now, as for FX-4100, it is cheap, fast, overclocks very well and performs almost similar to an i3 2120 CPU. At stock, FX-4100 will get beaten by i3 2120 but when overclocked to 4.2GHz, it will provide equal performance and when pushed further to 4.6GHz, it will take the lead.

To get constant 50-60 FPS, a better Graphics Card matters more than the CPU. So getting a cheaper quad-core and an efficient Graphics Card will make more sense.

Here is a 50 CPUs Gaming Test based on Battlefield 3. In this benchmark, they have used Nvidia GTX 590 GPU and they tested the game on 1440*900 resolution to maximize CPU bottlenecks.
http://en.inpai.com.cn/doc/enshowcont.asp?id=7986&pagei...

According to the benchmarks, AMD FX-4100 offers 79 FPS! Acceptable for the price it bears. When overclocked to 4.2GHz (AMD FX-4170), it becomes the second fastest CPU among the AMDs listed there and is beaten by only 0.5 FPS offered by much expensive Six-Core CPU i.e, AMD Phenom II X6 1100T.

Therefore, I think you should get AMD FX-4100 as it is cheaper than most of the Phenom II X4s, offers reasonable performance, has better overclocking potential and will not bottleneck most of the Mid to High range GPUs.

One more thing, the article on Tom's Hardware shows that x86 Piledriver Cores on AMD's Trinity APUs offer around 15% more performance. So, I think waiting will be worth it but if you can't and are on a tight budget, then the FX-4100 will keep you happy.

Regards,
SmartGeek


well thank u so much for all the info! i really cant make my choice. i am on an extremely tight budget and intel would be nice but for a good while that just wont happen. i love amd and i just want to get better performance from my games. games like skyrim and bf3 show what my cpu can handle and their framerates plummit quite a bit sometimes. even with my hd 6850. so i dont care about bencmarks, i dont care about the intel vs amd bull!@#$. all i care is getting a quad core gaming cpu for around 120 dollars
i would love the new fx series if i know they game well
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June 18, 2012 3:12:55 PM

so i keep reading how the fx sucks and looking at benchmarks ya it does. why would someone recomend it? the phenom ii 970 kicks!!! really which one wins!!! ugh this is so frustrating lol
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June 18, 2012 5:03:25 PM

schecterplayer said:
so i keep reading how the fx sucks and looking at benchmarks ya it does. why would someone recomend it? the phenom ii 970 kicks!!! really which one wins!!! ugh this is so frustrating lol


I recommended it because I actually own it and I am satisfied with it too. Going by the title of this thread, FX-4100 vs i3 2120, I would say FX-4100 is a better choice between the two because the former is cheaper, provides similar performance, overclocks very well and above all it is a quad core. BTW, I got this processor for only $100 and paired it with a HD 7750. I play games at 1366*768 resolution and believe me I never had any kind of lags or something like that. I also read the negative reviews about the Bulldozers on the internet but they get overshadowed by the positive ones. Other processors (Phenom II X4 980 and Intel Core i3 21xx) which are a little bit more costlier seldom provide a Max. of around 12 FPS more in games but this gap narrows when this FX processor is overclocked. If someone is on a tight budget, then this processor becomes the best choice.

There are equal negative and positive benchmarks about this processor. For evidence take a look at these gaming benchmarks---
Resident Evil 5, HAWX 2 and Stalker---
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1766/12/

AMD FX-4100 vs Intel Core i3 2120---
http://atenra.blog.com/2012/03/27/amd-fx4100-dx-11-budg...

However, if you and the other experts here, think AMD Phenom II X4 970 will provide more performance and will overshadow the price increase, then you should go with the X4 970.

Regards,
SmartGeek
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