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CPU: i3 vs. Phenom II x4 (pros and cons. Not which is better, please)

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July 28, 2012 1:59:25 AM

OK, I've been looking online and I found a couple of threads on Tom's Hardware basically along the lines of "is i3 better or phenom 2?"

I'd rather reword the question and say, what are the pros and cons of each one?

If you prefer one, go ahead and explain why, but don't say Phenom II is better because it has more cores, please. If it were that simple I wouldn't be asking :) 


__________________________________________________________

I expect the processor to,

-Play games that are dual and quad threaded
-have overclockability possibility (I've always overclocked my CPU's so I'd like to have this ability.)
-Be able to maintain multiple processes (as we speak I have about 8 tabs and 5 programs open including skype)


But please tell me the pros/cons. Not which is necessarily better since I need to make this decision in the end.

I'll use it with a Radeon HD 6950.



Quick Note: I doubt I will upgrade until 1-2 years from now (regarding CPU). It's a component that I'll be holding on to for some time and I'm saying 1-2 years as a minimum (you know, it always varies but I want to utilize it) so while I know a lot of you will suggest the upgradeability to things like i5-2500k's, I'd rather hear about the power of the two processors.

Not that I'm not considering the eventual upgradeability of the processor mind you! But I don't plan to spend $100-200 a year on processors.


Thanks in advance! Welcome to all Intel and AMD fanboys, but put that aside and recognize the flaws in your favorite cards please please please! :) 

More about : cpu phenom pros cons

Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 28, 2012 2:55:14 AM

i3 pros-

Much faster then any Phenom II or FX (bulldozer)
Sandy/Ivy bridge architecture
More futureproofed then Phenom II
Low TDP

Cons
Cost
Only 2 cores
Locked multiplier

Phenom II pros
Cheaper then i3 (mostly)
More cores
Will slot into AM2+, AM3, and AM3+
Unlocked multiplier on all

Cons
Lower performance
High TDP
Higher lithography
Aged architecture (K10)

July 28, 2012 4:38:36 AM

Thank you very much. :)  I think I might go with the Phenom 2 because of unlocked multiplier.
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a c 283 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 4:40:56 AM

Nicklovn said:
Thank you very much. :)  I think I might go with the Phenom 2 because of unlocked multiplier.


Only the Black Editions have unlocked multipliers, actually. The PII X4 965 BE is the de facto standard for anyone getting a PII CPU.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 28, 2012 4:45:14 AM

Even though a wide lot of Phenom II have unlocked multipliers, the i series with there lower TDP and better lithography makes it a better candidate. However, unlocked multipliers are exclusive for the i5 and better.

@DJ

Non BE Phenom II's nowadays are rare and aren't sold on Newegg.
a c 283 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 4:49:16 AM

Anonymous said:
Non BE Phenom II's nowadays are rare and aren't sold on Newegg.


That's true, just clearing that part up. Also the mobo needs to be able to support 125W CPU's for them, but most non-OEM boards do.
July 28, 2012 4:52:52 AM

Also, I forgot to add....

The i3 processor is in box.

The Phenom II is not. I found a good $20 heatsink on Newegg for this purpose.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The problem is that most people are saying I should go with the i3. But the big argument against this is the inability to overclock....
a c 283 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 4:54:32 AM

Nicklovn said:
Also, I forgot to add....

The i3 processor is in box.

The Phenom II is not. I found a good $20 heatsink on Newegg for this purpose.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The problem is that most people are saying I should go with the i3. But the big argument against this is the inability to overclock....


If you HAVE to choose between those two, go with the i3. You won't be able to OC as easily with that PII you linked either (albeit slightly easier than with the i3).
July 28, 2012 4:54:58 AM

DJDeCiBeL said:
That one is 95W, so that's a dead giveaway that it's not a Black Edition. All Black Editions that I know of are 125W TDP.



OK thanks. There's no point in buying an AMD processor if I can't overclock.

I looked and found the black edition one you spoke of. It's $90.

So now I'm faced with a decision. Price is 100% equal.




http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... this is the phenom II BE.

July 28, 2012 4:58:31 AM

By the way, is there any software available for OCing i3 outside of the bios? Truthfully this is a question purely out of curiosity.

I suppose I can survive without overclocking :) 
a c 283 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 5:00:20 AM

Nicklovn said:
OK thanks. There's no point in buying an AMD processor if I can't overclock.

I looked and found the black edition one you spoke of. It's $90.

So now I'm faced with a decision. Price is 100% equal.




http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... this is the phenom II


Yep, that makes it a harder decision now.

If you go with the i3, you can get an i5 or i7 down the road and get a pretty big upgrade from it, and if you go with the 965BE, you have good performance now, but depending on how good Piledriver is, an upgrade may never be worth it coming from the 965BE.

You would need to get an AM3+ board to even make a Piledriver upgrade possible though.

Quote:
By the way, is there any software available for OCing i3 outside of the bios?


Not really, but even if there was, I wouldn't recommend it. All it would do is what you can do in the BIOS (assuming you get a Z68/Z77 board) which is rase the BCLK to 103-105Mhz..
July 28, 2012 5:05:52 AM

my phenom II x4 965 has been working very very well.

Pair it with a decent graphics card and you're set for any game. As long as you have a quadcore cores it really doesn't matter when it comes to CPUs and gaming.
July 28, 2012 5:34:07 AM

Yeah I didn't think you would recommend it as that software typically goes haha! Oh well.

I'm tempted to go with the i3-2100.

One last question:

My Mobo for the intel says it has a 3.0x16 and 2.0x16 pci express slot.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This means I can use dual graphics in the future if I felt the need?


I'm not really sure if I would want to use dual or buy a single gpu in the future, though. That is, not sure if I'd want to buy a new gpu in, say, 1-2 years or buy a second one of my older gpu.
a c 283 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 5:38:29 AM

Nicklovn said:
Yeah I didn't think you would recommend it as that software typically goes haha! Oh well.

I'm tempted to go with the i3-2100.

One last question:

My Mobo for the intel says it has a 3.0x16 and 2.0x16 pci express slot.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This means I can use dual graphics in the future if I felt the need?


I'm not really sure if I would want to use dual or buy a single gpu in the future, though. That is, not sure if I'd want to buy a new gpu in, say, 1-2 years or buy a second one of my older gpu.


That board will do Crossfire, but not SLI. The 2.0 slot only runs @ x4 speed and SLI requires the slots that you will be using to run at at least x8.
July 28, 2012 5:50:22 AM

Thank you very much for your help! You were very helpful! :) 
a c 283 à CPUs
July 28, 2012 5:52:17 AM

You're welcome. :) 
!