Witcher 2 - i3 vs fx vs phenom 2

Ive been gaming on an A4 APU laptop(lol) for the the last year and its been working quite well(high settings on UE3 games is quite good). then one of the games I most anticipated, witcher 2, came along and crippled that poor A4 badly(5 fps on lowest settings?! O.o). story over...

looking to build a new budget pc. my budget forces me to choose between an i3-2100, an fx-4100, and a phenom 2 in the same price range. i know many reviews put the i3 in the lead, but I still havent seen an i3 review with witcher 2 benchmarks. but I have seen a cpu review of the witcher 2 that makes me worry with the i3.

this review shows clock speeds, cores, and L3 cache dominating. Im aware that phenom 2s and fx cpus can oc beyond 4ghz. also shows witcher is very cpu driven.

in short, I just want to play witcher 2 on ultra settings(except ubersampling [pc rape setting] off) and at decent fps(35+). should I worry too much about the cpu?

the pc wont be only for gaming. I will also be doing some music editing and very light video editing. But it will be 80% used for gaming.

I will likely be getting a gpu in the 6950/560 ti range.

which cpu would be the better investment for the next 1-2 years before I upgrade it? As I mentioned just now, I dont want a cpu so I can upgrade it in the near future. I need a cpu that will keep me happy the longest.

thank you for your time
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  1. Best answer
    You'll need a better GPU to run Witcher 2 on ultra at 1080p resolution. 560Ti/6950 will do high settings okay (30+FPS), but it will choke on ultra, even without ubersampling. If you resolution is considerably lower, you might be able to pull off ultra with those cards.

    As for the CPU, your non gaming tasks will give an edge to the Phenom II and FX, especially if you OC them. For gaming, the Phenom II is better. However, the Phenom II is getting dated, and may start holding back the higher end graphics cards in less than 2 year's time. Witcher 2 also really favours Intel CPUs as you've seen, but that is with a GTX 590, a dual GPU card whose current equivalent would be well above your budget. Odds are you are going to be GPU bound in Witcher 2 unless you are willing to spend $400 to $500 for a top of the line card.

    If you can't extend your budget, I would say just accept high settings for Witcher 2. Witcher 2 is one of the most demanding games out there right now, and needs a really high end single GPU just to run ultra smoothly with no ubersampling at 1080p resolution. If you are running at 720p, the 560Ti or 6950 might pull off ultra okay. Above that resolution, things will start to get choppy.

    In any case, with any of your CPU choices, you may have to upgrade sooner rather than later. The Phenom IIs and FX CPUs fall behind Intel's dual cores in gaming. Some games are getting more threaded though, so it's possible that the i3 might find itself struggling with some future games too. The i3 might also not perform your non gaming tasks as well as an overclocked Phenom II or FX CPU can. I'd say choose based on what's more important to you, maximum gaming performance, or getting your editing done faster.
  2. thanks dude. this helped me alot.
  3. Best answer selected by bustapr.
  4. I have a Phenom II 955 at 3.6ghz with a 5850 (about equivalent to a 6870) and play it with everything ultra except ubersampling at 1360x768, rarely drops below 40fps.
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