For my first build, I originally was going to go for an AMD FX8120, however I am beginning to question my fist choice. Especially after seeing the comparison charts http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/2
If I were to go for an Intel instead, what would be a good option in terms of Intel CPU/motherboard combp (motherboard does not need to be Intel), which can rival the FX-8120 in terms of performance and cost.
Also, in your opinions currently the best Intel CPU/motherboard value for money and performance combination.
If the sole purpose is to play games, then the cheapest and slowest 2nd generation Sandy Bridge Core i3-2100 ($119) can rival the FX-8120. However, the i3-2100 cannot be overclocked. You can pair it up with an average motherboard with the H67/H77 chipset which does not have overclocking abilities. See following for benchmark results. If you want to do 3D rendering or video encoding then the FX-8120 would be the better choice.
If you want an Intel CPU that you can overclock, then you need to get either the Core i5-2500k ($220) or Core i5-3570k ($230) and a Z77 motherboard. Z77 motherboards ($90 - $450) generally cost more than socket AM3+ motherboards ($60 - $300), but there should be plenty of good Z77 motherboards that overlaps socket AM3+ mobos as long as you do not go with the cheapest ones (generally speaking). Therefore, going with a Core i5 2500k/3570k will likely costs around $110 - $160 (including the $60 - $70 price difference for the CPU) more on average if you go with a moderately priced Z77 motherboard.
See comparison of the FX-8150 vs. Core i5-2500k. The slightly slower FX-8150 and the slightly faster Core i5-3570k are not listed as options.
The reason that any AMD cpu appears to win in 3d rendering, encoding, code breaking is the really powerfull ALU that always had. In Tom’s hardware benchmarks they using many different not just 1 and they end up getting 2 - 3 fps better Intel but in order to view that they forced to go at screen analysis really very high that the most users, games with a simple TFT, LED monitor will never go!! This is why I’m saying even if you fix the perfect work station with Opteron (AMD) and end up winning in any benchmark don’t expect your gaming experience to improve so much at list as you expected!
In the end I say yeah go with AMD is cheaper and you will do the job you need faster.
Ps look the motherboard to have onboard RAID controller you can add 2 ssd's in raid 0 and you goanna see a perfomance boost even in idle, real world experience.