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Intel Core i3 2120 OR Core i5 2400? Please suggest!

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August 1, 2012 3:58:52 PM

Hi Everyone

I'm purchasing a new system.

The configuration is:

Intel Core i3 2120 or Intel Core i5 2400
ASUS P8H61 M LX PLUS Mainboard
4 GB DDR3 RAM 1333 MHz
SATA 1 TB HDD
DVD Writer
LG LED Monitor 23"

I need to decide between core i3 and core i5.

I will be primarily using this computer for software and Website development (On VS2010 and Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 etc) and for Images and Video editing (on applications like Photoshop). I won't play any video games but maybe watch some High Resolution Movies. I will also be running virtual machines with windows 7 and Linux operating systems for testing applications.

So considering my usage requirements which one will be better, core i3 2120 or core i5 2400? Is it worth spending extra money on core i5 in my case?

Please give your suggestions.

Also, if you think that there is any other mainboard that can give better performance in this case at reasonable price then please suggest that also.

Thanks in advance.

a c 78 à CPUs
August 1, 2012 4:01:38 PM

i5-2400.. and yes it is worth it. I'd also consider 8GB of RAM for running virtual machines.
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a c 480 à CPUs
a c 119 å Intel
August 1, 2012 4:38:50 PM

PhotoShop can make use of quad core CPUs and video encoding can do so as well, but that depends on what program you are using and what codec you are using to encode with.

The XviD codec bascially uses only one core the vast majority of the time. However, the the x.264 codec can make use of 4 cores.

I would assume Dreamweaver can make use of more than 2 cores as well, but that's something you should research.
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a c 139 à CPUs
August 1, 2012 4:50:07 PM

i5 2400 quadcore is better
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2012 5:16:38 PM

i always get a kick how everyone makes assumptions and jumps on a quad core recommendation.
:non: 

OP it strictly depends on your work habits and budget. if you are multi tasking but only have one window active than an i3 is a great little processor for a single monitor set up. but if are actively using a multi monitor set up and switching back and forth between two or more active windows than an i5 is better.

actually even that is not entirely correct, let tell you my experience. i have three monitors; left photoshop to crop/resze images, middle dreamweaver to edit HTML to place an image and the right one had safari, chrome, FF and IE 8 to see the end result after uploading. my i3-2120 works like a champ.

but when i would use an effects brush in photoshop while doing a "find and replace" for 27 documents in dreamweaver than photoshop would lag not horribly but noticeably. that is when a quad core will come in handy. it does do not things faster, it helps to do more things.

so if you try to do more things at once, get an i5 but if you have only one monitor or not a heavy multitasker than an i3 is fine.

btw, you are going to need 8 gigs of RAM for running any VM; having the host with less than 4 gigs slows it down.
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a c 78 à CPUs
August 1, 2012 5:21:50 PM

Quote:
i always get a kick how everyone makes assumptions and jumps on a quad core recommendation.


But I'm going to have to kick you back because I would ask if you have any experience with running Virtual machines. Basically, you're operating an operating system within an operating system. Yay for me for using operating 3 times in one sentence. :kaola:  I actually did put some thought into it, ya know? Based on the OP's stated needs, the quad core is going to be the better choice here.
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a c 139 à CPUs
August 1, 2012 5:25:29 PM

dual core is fine but .. so ... whether that it will be used only photoshop ? I do not think so, quad core is now for his time
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2012 5:26:11 PM

nekulturny said:
Quote:
i always get a kick how everyone makes assumptions and jumps on a quad core recommendation.


But I'm going to have to kick you back because I would ask if you have any experience with running Virtual machines. Basically, you're operating an operating system within an operating system. Yay for me for using operating 3 times in one sentence. :kaola: 

yep VM ware and virtual box. but i haven't used either since i've left XP alone anymore and got of the pot and dual boot with ubuntu

EDIT: and add to that i stopped "testing" web sites with IE 6 with XP. thank god businesses are finally updating their web browsers.
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2012 6:28:43 PM

Quote:
gonna lose this one.
(2120) 3.3GHz 2C/4T vs (2400) 3.1GHz 4C/4T

2400 WIN all day long..

not about winning or losing but the application of the hardware . .thought you knew better.
:pfff: 







:lol: 
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a c 78 à CPUs
August 1, 2012 6:31:31 PM

Anonymous said:
not about winning or losing but the application of the hardware . .thought you knew better.
:pfff: 







:lol: 

Of course it is, *smack* I'm not Bipolar, I'm bi-WINNING!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QS0q3mGPGg
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a c 78 à CPUs
August 1, 2012 6:36:40 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Is it sad that I have that favorited on YouTube? :lol: 

Only slightly, but if you think thats sad. I have something worse.

I actually like Jack Sparrow by Lonely Island. Not just for the comedic element.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI6CfKcMhjY
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2012 6:38:02 PM

Quote:
i do and if you haven't forgotten, psst - look at my signature..... ;) 
(i5-2500K)² | i5-2400 | i3-2120 | 980BE C3 | (nVidia)⁵ - SLi

and the latest web site you've done is? . . .
www.qbsinfo.com

hey tight budget . .:p 
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August 1, 2012 6:39:50 PM

Anonymous said:
i always get a kick how everyone makes assumptions and jumps on a quad core recommendation.
:non: 

OP it strictly depends on your work habits and budget. if you are multi tasking but only have one window active than an i3 is a great little processor for a single monitor set up. but if are actively using a multi monitor set up and switching back and forth between two or more active windows than an i5 is better.

actually even that is not entirely correct, let tell you my experience. i have three monitors; left photoshop to crop/resze images, middle dreamweaver to edit HTML to place an image and the right one had safari, chrome, FF and IE 8 to see the end result after uploading. my i3-2120 works like a champ.

but when i would use an effects brush in photoshop while doing a "find and replace" for 27 documents in dreamweaver than photoshop would lag not horribly but noticeably. that is when a quad core will come in handy. it does do not things faster, it helps to do more things.

so if you try to do more things at once, get an i5 but if you have only one monitor or not a heavy multitasker than an i3 is fine.

btw, you are going to need 8 gigs of RAM for running any VM; having the host with less than 4 gigs slows it down.


Thanks everyone for all the helpful suggestions.

I won't be using multiple monitors.

My work habits... well, I generally run quite a number of applications at the same time, though, only one window active at any given time. (honestly I'm confused and want to know the effect of multiple active windows and how is that different from multitasking and more than one active window and suitability of core i5 for the second case).

To be specific, I run Visual Studio 2010 and at the same time a virtual machine (Oracle Virtual Box) with Win-7 is also running and sometimes an image editing program like photoshop or coreldraw or corel paintshop pro (any one of the three for making icons and images for buttons or importing some text from PDFs etc.) is also simultaneously running. While developing websites, Dreamweaver CS6 and Eclipse PHP and WAMP Server (For testing PHP Websites) is also running along with some image editing application like photoshop. I don't happen to edit too many videos but I do use Camtasia and other screen capture programs and later edit the captured videos for adding banners and callouts etc.

So should I go for core i3 or core i5? I know that Core i5 must give better performance in any case but I want to know that, considering my usage requirements, is it worth spending extra money on core i5.

and yes, I will buy 8 GB RAM for VM instead of 4 GB. Thanks everyone for this suggestion.
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a c 78 à CPUs
August 1, 2012 6:45:07 PM

You're welcome, considering the usage you just described now and your original post, my answer remains unchanged. Yes the i5-2400 is justified. I'd even potentially consider an i7 for that kind of workload.

Quote:
(honestly I'm confused and want to know the effect of multiple active windows and how is that different from multitasking and more than one active window and suitability of core i5 for the second case).


Well when you're talking about running all those things simultaneously, that is the definition of multitasking. More cores from the i5-2400 is going to allow the workload to be split up between the extra 2 cores in order to not overwhelm the 2 cores of the i3. The i3 has HyperThreading, which are 2 extra "pretend cores", they can help out some here, but its not quite the same as having 4 real cores. And the difference between the i5 and i7 is that the i7 has 4 "pretend cores" again. The i5s don't have HT like the i3s and i7s, they're just straight up 4 cores.
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a b à CPUs
August 1, 2012 6:47:16 PM

get the i5, windows 8 will make better use of multiple cores as 'the AMD club' have been saying for a long while now. And more programs now will use more cores, especially media editing stuff. andt the i5 is just generally better
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2012 6:50:34 PM

angela_s said:
Thanks everyone for all the helpful suggestions.

I won't be using multiple monitors.

My work habits... well, I generally run quite a number of applications at the same time, though, only one window active at any given time. (honestly I'm confused and want to know the effect of multiple active windows and how is that different from multitasking and more than one active window and suitability of core i5 for the second case).

To be specific, I run Visual Studio 2010 and at the same time a virtual machine (Oracle Virtual Box) with Win-7 is also running and sometimes an image editing program like photoshop or coreldraw or corel paintshop pro (any one of the three for making icons and images for buttons or importing some text from PDFs etc.) is also simultaneously running. While developing websites, Dreamweaver CS6 and Eclipse PHP and WAMP Server (For testing PHP Websites) is also running along with some image editing application like photoshop. I don't happen to edit too many videos but I do use Camtasia and other screen capture programs and later edit the captured videos for adding banners and callouts etc.

So should I go for core i3 or core i5? I know that Core i5 must give better performance in any case but I want to know that, considering my usage requirements, is it worth spending extra money on core i5.

and yes, I will buy 8 GB RAM for VM instead of 4 GB. Thanks everyone for this suggestion.


when a window is "open or active" then it will use more cpu resources than if it minimized and idle.

though the bottom line is you are using this as a tool for work and making money. spend the $60 to be able to increase your productivity when you need to instead of reaching for a cup of coffee to wait on anything.

to refine my statement: the i3 will be able to do what you are requiring of a system without a doubt. but if you can afford the i5; go for it. i just arbor the knee jerk reactions that everyone *must* get a quadcore cpu anymore. (there are plenty of quadcores that an i3 leaves in the dust. but of not recent generations of sandy/ivy bridge)



and strictly for my own entertainment when my status gets updated:
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a c 78 à CPUs
August 1, 2012 6:51:16 PM

Robi_g said:
get the i5, windows 8 will make better use of multiple cores as 'the AMD club' have been saying for a long while now. And more programs now will use more cores, especially media editing stuff. andt the i5 is just generally better


Well everything is going to head multithreading eventually, how prevalent that will be as to make dual cores completely obsolete is up in the air, but yes its certainly going to happen sooner or later as software catches up to hardware technology.

Eventually we hit a technological wall where 1 core wasn't good enough and we couldn't improve them much more, so we went to 2 cores. Now we're heading towards the quad core standard. A lot of software still doesn't make use of more than 1 core, but that doesn't mean in 2012 it would be wise to buy a single core processor for a modern system (I'm not even sure if they're even made any more) just to put it in perspective.

Anonymous said:


i just arbor the knee jerk reactions that everyone *must* get a quadcore cpu anymore. (there are plenty of quadcores that an i3 leaves in the dust. but of not recent generations of sandy/ivy bridge)



*smack*
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2012 6:55:44 PM

Quote:
what's web design have to do with a better processor.?

I like you but I got a personal noet for ya, maybe you'll get the hint..

my 4.5 year old daughter's unit:
i3-2120 | ASUS Z68 Pro-M | GT 440 | 8GB DDR3 1600 (2GB RAMDISK) | WD VelociRaptor 10K

besides your GTX 550 Ti (and try gaming @ 1080p with that... :/  )
I'd take her unit over yours.

hence she's 4 1/2 and she runs the i3-2120.....
I'm just saying..

:heink: 

just pointing out the experience part of my POV.

and i do game 1080 with my 550ti :p  (and not too bad mind you)

i act 4 1/2 at times so her and i have a lot in common :lol: 


EDIT: woo hoo look at the nice shiny new badge AND hammer :) 
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2012 7:06:35 PM

nekulturny said:

*smack*

:love: 
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August 1, 2012 8:29:11 PM

What I can gather is that core i5 is better suited to my needs as everyone here seems to agree on that.

I guess I'm going for core i5 then.

Thanks everyone for helping me decide. :) 
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