I am still working on figuring out all of these different processor specs. Can someone explain please how an intel i5 3570 at 3.8Ghz is faster than an AMD 4170 black at 4.0Ghz? This is where I get confused with looking to upgrade my CPU. Thanks for your help.
First of all that i5's speed is 3.4GHz stock, and 3.8Ghz on max turbo.
The FX 4170 is rated at 4.2GHz stock/4.3GHz turbo.
The i5 is much more powerful than the FX 4xxx series chips. This is because, even though they have 4 cores just like the i5-3570, and that too rated at higher frequencies, the AMD cores are considerably much more weaker.
A current AMD FX core has only about 55% the performance of an Intel core, if both cores are run at the same speed. In other words, AMD cores have only 55% the IPC (measure of the amount of work done/GHz) of the Intel chips. So, even though AMD clocks the chips real high, it still can't keep up with the i5.
On an average basis, expect the FX 4170 to have only about 70% of the performance of the i5. However, the AMD chips are not a bad deal for those on a budget, because the i5 costs nearly $110 more than the FX-4170!!! AMD chips are really value for money
If your looking for an AMD chip in the $190 range, then get the FX-8350. Although this chip has the same kind of weak cores, it has 8 of them, so if you run properly threaded modern stuff, or are a heavy multi-tasker, they should perform on the same level as the i5, if not better, and that too for around $30 less
Thanks for the info on the cores, that does clear things up. From all I have read it seems or gaming intel pretty much wins most of the time. I use Flight simulator X more than anything else which is heavily processor dependant and as far as I know won't take advantage of multi core procssors. I am leaning toward converting over to intel. I have about $400 I can spend between the CPU and MB.
I'm in Michigan and I just need a new mobo and processor. I am leaning toward the i5 3570
You might check some of the FSX specific forums for performance info.
It is my understanding that FSX is very cpu intensive. There are some FSX updates that will allow multithreading, look for those.
For what it is worth, the FX-4170 has a passmark cpu capability rating of 4841.
A 3570K has a rating of 7139 at stock 3.4.
If you raise the 3570K multiplier to 4.3, the new rating would be close to 9000.
With a $400 budget, I would look at a 3570K which is about $220($180 if you can walk in to a microcenter). The value of the "K" is that you can raise the multiplier form the stock 3.4 up to 4.3 for a nice 25% boost in capability for a small price premium over the 3570.
To do this, you will need a Z77 based motherboard. It should cost about $100 if you can do with a M-ATX format, or $130 if you need more than 4 expansion slots.
I would also buy an inexpensive cpu cooler like the cm hyper212 for $30 or so. It will keep your cpu cooler and quieter.
It will also let you raise the multiplier(called overclocking) a bit easier.