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Which CPU is better for my cheap gaming rig?

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July 28, 2012 7:17:04 AM

Hello everyone, long time reader first time poster. In my research I have come to learn that Intel is a far superior chip in general. My purpose is to build a gaming PC on a budget but I was having problems figuring out which on my two potential chips was better to buy and wanted to ask for your expertise. I was deciding between

FX-4170 Processor 4.2GHz w/ 12MB Cache @ $139.99
Core™ i3-2100 Processor, 3.10GHz w/ 3MB Cache @ $129.99

I don't know if it well help but I have been told that more information in making a decision is better :p . I play games like Cyrsis 1 + 2, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, Modern Warfare 3. For ram I was planing on sticking around 16 gigs of ram, using my SATA 2 HD and my Radeon HD 6450, with the choice of the chips I will make my choice of board but I wanted to know what gets me more bang for my buck.
Thanks for your time and help.
Mike

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Anonymous
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July 28, 2012 7:28:17 AM

you will have to overclock the FX-4170 to get the same performance of a i3-2100, so add the cost of a good cpu heatsink in there.


edit: btw, later we can discuss what a waste 16 gigs of ram is for gaming.
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July 28, 2012 7:32:21 AM

I am a fan of both Intel and AMD. They both have some great processors and each company has their strong points. In this situation I would definitely recommend the AMD FX 4170. For $10 extra you get a lot more, such as a higher clock rate and 4 cores and a much larger cache which will greatly help with multitasking and gaming.
I hope this helps
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July 28, 2012 8:31:43 AM

Actually the i3 2100 is a far better CPU than the FX 4100.To answer the quiestion though if you want to play games on your PC you should buy a new graphics card or an APU.The new CPU will not increase your gaming performance as long as you stay with the same graphics card.Also 16GB ram is Overkill.You'll never use more than 8.Never.

If i were you i'd buy a good dual channel 8GB ram kit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And uh btw tomshardware's article on gaming CPU's is just... wrong.According to every other website a Intel G840 is as good as an Athlon II X3 450 for gaming.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/pentium-g8...

So... i'd just buy a Phenom 955
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
With a decent cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
And overclock!

And you REALLY need a new graphics card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This one is the gamer's starting point.


Or if you cant afford all this then just buy an APU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 28, 2012 12:55:43 PM

Ill agree with Axel,4170...4170 Is better than the 4100,Keeps up moreso in gaming and can clock higher...The i3 2100 cant overclock and will bottleneck more with higher video cards Due to its lack of overclockablility.If you had enough i would say 3570k...If you live near a microcenter you can get the mobo and 3570k for about $266 dollars
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July 28, 2012 1:22:12 PM

Anonymous said:
you will have to overclock the FX-4170 to get the same performance of a i3-2100, so add the cost of a good cpu heatsink in there.
http://media.bestofmicro.com/G/O/324600/original/OC_StarCraftII.png

edit: btw, later we can discuss what a waste 16 gigs of ram is for gaming.



Also note above chart where the Phenom II @ 4GHz is... as good as the the FX4100 @ 4.5GHz. Phenoms are cheaper get that and OC it if your on a budget and want AMD.

(and I wish they did that chart in performance order its horrible to read!)
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Anonymous
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July 28, 2012 4:58:48 PM

On the fence with this one. An FX 4170 is a bit slower then the i3 at stock, but an overclock (which FX are very, very good at doing) will help bridge the gap.

If you want those extra 2 cores against the i3 , buy a water solution or an Hyper 212 for the FX.
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July 28, 2012 9:47:11 PM

The FX4170 like all other AMD FXs overclock like a dream. But what is the motherboard that you would buy with it? It's all very good with you being able to overclock the FX, but if the motherboard is crap then you won't get a very good OC, especially if you got a Phenom ii. I would personally go for the FX4170 due to it's extra cores and overclocking potential, but I'm one for the underdog. Being impartial, if you're getting a cheap board, get the i3, as overclocking would be fruitless with a cheap AM3+ board. With a decent board then an overclocked FX4170 would be the better choice, and the FX would introduce yourself into what is one of the best bits of self build PCs and being a general computer nerd- Overclocking.

I would also get a better graphics card. The HD6450 is, to be blunt, crap for gaming. If you're strapped for cash get something off ebay, you should be able to find a good geforce 9 series or HD3xxx series GPU for not much at all. They may only be direct x 10 but they're still light years ahead of what you have. If you do have the money get something like a HD7750 or HD7770 or a HD6770/HD5770 if you can find one. Some of those cards go stupidly cheap.
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July 28, 2012 10:41:20 PM

you really don't want the 6450 for serious gaming. Buy a pentium and a 7770 would give you 5x the performance of either of those cpus with a 6450.

gpu matter much more in gaming than cpus.
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