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October 22, 2012 4:00:40 PM

Hello :)  I'm updating my desktop I built at the end of 2008. My hope is to build a new, budget system using eco-friendly, lower power/heat, but still powerful components. I tend to leave my computer on when I know I'll be back to it later in the day. I don't really know what I need to do with all brand new parts so I'm hoping to just plop in a new mobo/RAM/CPU/fan while plugging in a few new cords and be ready to go. I read some place about having to burn in RAM, which makes me worried I don't know what to do with all 100% new components. I've already had to redo thermal paste, swap cases and power supplies... the rest is easy and I've done plenty. If I can just plop in new RAM then I might just do it all myself.

I'm looking at PortaTech (used them before). I'm also a lifelong AMD guy, but that's mostly from a performance/cost standpoint. I don't mess with overclocking. This upgrade is more so that I can play games at 1900x1080p at a higher level than not. I don't care if it's .02 seconds faster on a load screen. I care that while I'm playing, I can play it at a high/ultra video setting without noticeable lag. Right now, I play everything on all the min. settings after a year or two of being capable of having everything on max. I also just got a SATA III SSD for my OS, but my old AM2+ mobo only supports SATA I. The older parts (with a cheapy video card, PS/case) is likely going to my father-in-law.

An FX-6100 with a ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX motherboard, upgraded CPU fan, 8gig (2x4gig) of DDR3-1600 RAM will run me $270.42. Swapping the 6100 for a 4170 adds about $9.

As far as the kinds of games I play, I haven't even finished the first Arkham Batman game because of my video card having heat issues on long game plays (I have itunderclocked a bit now, too) and getting attracted by games that seem to tax it less. I would love to finish it though. I'd also like to play the new Batman Arkham, Dungeon Defenders, WoW, Orcs Must Die, the new Sim City when it comes out, Civ 5, etc. Nothing that is all that extreme- I have a 4 gig XBox 360 I would use for games that it makes sense and don't have a bunch of DLCs.

All that said- I'm thinking the 6100 is the way to go, but I'd like to know if this is a mistake. I've read a bunch of bench marks and reviews of the AMD mobo options...I'm leaning quite hard that way. My budget is sub-$300 for the mobo/cpu/cpu fan/RAM. I guess the other question is if I could install some kind of SATA III controller that gives equal performance to it being integrated with the motherboard? Or is it worth the ~$300 to double my RAM while moving from DDR2 to 3, moving up from a AMD 9950, etc?

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October 22, 2012 7:04:21 PM

I am glad you posted this here, an answer to the FX-6100 is its a big mistake. The FX-6100 is marketed at a six core cpu but in reality it has only three execution cores so basically its a bit better than a mere tri-core but less than a quad core. So basically its a tri-core cpu with six threads. You will do yourself a favor by not wasting your money on it since I find AMD messed up and disappointed us all with the bulldozer series. I suggest putting your money in a quad core since current day computer games are optimized for quad cores.

That being said I urge you to get the FX-4170 as It is one of AMD's best quad cores built, it is however 125 watts and will need a good cooling solution but for gaming the best AMD Cpus typically use 125 watts. If your looking for power efficiency and performance but higher prices then turn to Intel processors such as the i5 2500k which uses 95 watts.

In addition, your overheating video card may mean its time for a routine cleanup for dust buildup. Also since you mentioned playing at 1900x1080p with this new cpu but just to let you know that depending on your video card you may want to upgrade it or run crossfire or sli because that's quite a hefty load on your GPU.




If your wondering about my cpu allegiances :pt1cable:  , I am acutally an AMD fan who is still running solid with a Phenom II X4 955 Black edition overclocked to 4ghz and an Asus HD 7770 playing games at 1600x900 with 40+ fps
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October 22, 2012 7:08:02 PM

phenom ii x4 850 will do, cheap and l3 cache can be unlocked. 95w too
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October 22, 2012 8:57:53 PM

SocialFox- I know what you're saying. I saw that, too. I know my Phenom 9950 had to get a different mobo to support the wattage. My wife is really huge into green and sustainable living. I realize she wouldn't know the difference, but I'm pretty sure I'd score some bonus points by telling her I have something that's considerably less wattage.

The issue with an i3 (all the i5's are out of my budget without any upgraded parts) is that the upgraded mobo costs an extra $45 and puts it out of budget. Without the upgrade mobo, I lose SATA III and USB 3.0.

I come back to my initial question though. Given the games I'm interested in playing, does the 6100 meet my needs? I currently have no issues with my Phenom 9950. My current processor is a 7.1/7.9 according to the WEI. I realize it might be a truer quadcore than the 6100. My question isn't is the 4170 the better processor, it's is the 6100 better for my needs than the 4170.


Darren- The Phenom line is actually cheaper in most cases. A Phenom II X4 965 comes in about $35 less. Portatech isn't stock the 850.

A different option might be the Core G 850 (rated best pick for ~$70 chips by Toms). With the upgraded mobo, I'd be sitting at $287.18. Less wattage than the 6100 or the 4170. The problem is I guess it doesn't support DDR3-1600 RAM, which is what the package I'm looking at comes with. It's a $40 jump to a i3-2100. Naturally, Portatech doesn't carry the G2120. If anyone has a suggestion of another quality site that I can get a mobo/cpu/RAM combo, let me know.
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October 22, 2012 10:04:03 PM

Well the FX6100 will do all your tasks given you have the sufficient video card to aid it in gaming since at that resolution most of the load is placed on the video card. Here is a video displaying the performance of the FX 6100 given it has a good video card and at your resolution with really good fps on Ultra quality/settings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giRESJ9bLMk
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October 23, 2012 12:23:37 AM

Socialfox- That video seemed rather low res. I did find a different video of Crysis 2 with the 6100 and a 6870 video card or something. I realize the 7750 I want is probably a weaker card, but I think most every game I'll play will be less intense than Crysis 2.

Does anyone else have any opinions? I really appreciated socialfox, but would like more feedback, if possible :)  Anyone that has a 6100 have any advice?
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October 23, 2012 7:04:56 PM

Sorry I dont have a FX-6100 but I can tell you that if you can up your budget a bit and buy the HD7770 you will play games much better. In addition, you can increase your CPU performance by quite a bit without paying any money given you have a good cooling solution by overclocking it.

Anyways just though I would show you this if you have not seen it, here is a cpu hierarchy list, top of the list are the best CPUs and the bottom are the slower ones:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

Perhaps there is a compatible CPU on this list that's friendly with energy consumption and your current motherboard?
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October 24, 2012 2:43:18 PM

Best answer selected by ikissfutebol.
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October 24, 2012 2:46:44 PM

Last night I bought my video card. I think I'm going to wait a bit before reevaluating my needs. From the videos I saw from the link socialfox posted, I think the 6100 will be able to handle what I throw at it (read- my needs, maybe not everyone else). My current system ran the same Batman demo and it's a 4+ year old chip. The main issue is that if I upgrade anything else, it will require a new motherboard. I'd like to wait a see if any news comes out about the next next-gen chips from Intel and AMD to see just how much longer it looks like the current chipsets will last. Of course, that means probably holding off several months, but that's fine.
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