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FX-4100 or i3-2100/2120

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May 10, 2012 9:43:09 AM

Ok so I'm helping a friend with a build currently who is on a tight budget.

He has about £400-450 to spend on this build, and the requirements are simply to play games, listen to music, and general web browsing/day to day tasks.

I cannot decide on which is the best set up for him....so please feel free to offer any input.

Originally like everyone else on TOMs will tell you is to get an i3-2100/2120 over the FX-4100....BUT.....after actually looking a little deeper into this, the FX-4100 actually makes a lot more sense for THIS build.

Due to his budget, he's only looking at getting an ATI 6850 graphics card. When reading through this TOMs article ( http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/fx-4100-core-i3-2100-gami... ) BattleField 3 and Skyrim both bench almost exactly the same when using an i3/FX-4100 with a 6850!

And that's without the FX-4100 being over-clocked. (Bare in mind here that the i3 DOESN'T overclock at all so performance there is already at its maximum, the FX-4100 possibly has quite a bit more potential).

The FX-4100 would allow for a quad core system, and at a VERY good price.

FX-4100 = £80, motherboard = £35
i3-2120 = ~£90, motherboard = ~£55

The FX-4100 will also allow for 1600MHz RAM.

So based on all of this information (purely due to the fact the system is being used with a 6850), does anyone actually have any objections to this system using an FX-4100 > i3?

Interested to hear your thought's and feedback.

More about : 4100 2100 2120

May 10, 2012 9:51:29 AM

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I would cut between those two choice's adrian, go for the Phenom II x4 9XX.

Better than the FX, and on par with the i3 ;) 


Are we not talking a £100+ CPU then though? Please bare in mind this build is trying to be built as cheaply as it can be without it being totally useless :) 

The FX-4100 paired with a 6850 just seems like a perfect sweet spot and at a seriously competitive price. Just trying to work out if im missing something or this combo is really as good as it seems. (when comparing to an i3-2100/2120)
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May 10, 2012 9:56:59 AM

if you disregard power consumption (average and load, stock and oc) and take only price/budget and performance into account: fx4100 seems like a better choice. if you oc, get a cm hyper 212 evo instead of the b.e. stock cooler, and a good psu like cx500 v2.
if you take power consumption into account and won't mind using 2 ram slots (fill them with 8gig modules): core i3 (+h61 mobo...asrock icafe/asus) seems better. save cooler cost, use a cx430 v2. imo, for basic tasks and gaming on budget, core i3 seems better.
middle ground: i agree with what recon said: ph ii x4 9xx b.e. and amd's am3+ socket will exist longer than intel's lga 1155.
you could also look into oem intel cpu prices, if you think they're good enough.
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May 10, 2012 9:58:38 AM

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The FX 4100 is a suitable CPU for a 6850.
If the PH II costs too much, then sure go for the FX, i3 is only good with single threaded apps, remember this. ;) 


Yeah the Quad-core value, the option for faster RAM, and the fact it was an over-all cheaper build than an i3 set up just seemed too good to be true.

I know when you shove in higher tier graphics cards the i3 starts to show its "superiority" in gaming, but the fact they both bench exactly the same across a number of games when paired with the 6850, all common sense seems to point towards the FX.

Hopefully this stands true, cos I quite fancy helping out on my first AMD build :) 
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May 10, 2012 10:00:28 AM

de5_Roy said:
if you disregard power consumption (average and load, stock and oc) and take only price/budget and performance into account: fx4100 seems like a better choice. if you oc, get a cm hyper 212 evo instead of the b.e. stock cooler, and a good psu like cx500 v2.
if you take power consumption into account and won't mind using 2 ram slots (fill them with 8gig modules): core i3 (+h61 mobo...asrock icafe/asus) seems better. save cooler cost, use a cx430 v2. imo, for basic tasks and gaming on budget, core i3 seems better.
middle ground: i agree with what recon said: ph ii x4 9xx b.e. and amd's am3+ socket will exist longer than intel's lga 1155.
you could also look into oem intel cpu prices, if you think they're good enough.


PSU will be an XFX 450w Bronze rated. - more than capable.

Cooler, yes, more than likely will be a 212+ or something a little smaller (like my own Arctic Freezer 13).

RAM will be x2 4GB sticks of 1600MHz - no more than 8GB RAM will ever be required in this builds lifetime.
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May 10, 2012 10:04:24 AM

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AMD are no slouch.
The badness of FX, is it's power draw vs it's main competition (intel).
But because the drops in price are significant enough to warrant a budget purchase, it is a decent chip in that range.


Power draw shouldn't be an issue.

XFX 450w Core Edition should easily handle anything thrown at it. And in terms of electricity cost, this isn't an issue. The FX-4100 only had TDP of like 25w more? Or is it even only 15w more? Can't remember off the top of my head
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May 10, 2012 10:07:21 AM

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No, the power draw is not an issue, i was speaking in general why people dislike FX so much.


Ah okay :)  thanks for the clarification.

I was always fairly ANTI-AMD myself, but after really taking a good look into this FX-4100 vs i3 with the right combination of other components, i was actually really impressed with what the cost vs performance was showing :D 
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May 10, 2012 10:10:58 AM

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I like AMD more than intel, but with current CPU lineups, i had to go 2500k for my uses :) 


Same :)  although looking back I probably shouldn't have sunk £850 into my build (back in July) and I always wish id just gone with a simple i3-2100 and 6870 (or similar) set up. Meh live and learn ey. My system now is pretty much just used as a web browser, really putting the 560Ti to use watching youtube vids ;-) haha!
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May 10, 2012 10:12:18 AM

Best answer selected by AdrianPerry.
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