Skip to main content

AMD FX-4170 Vs. Intel Core i3-3220: Which ~$125 CPU Should You Buy?

Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Conversion

We know that the iTunes AAC conversion process is single-threaded. And although it's possible to make Lame a more parallelized workload by running multiple conversions concurrently, our benchmark isolates the performance of one core.

Not surprisingly, then, the FX is beaten handily. Its higher clock rate and modest Turbo Core state cannot make up for the fact that Intel's Ivy Bridge architecture gets substantially more done per clock cycle. As we've known for a year now, AMD's design relies on parallelism in order to compete.

When we give Bulldozer a workload that keeps its modular design fully utilized, it fares much better. In both HandBrake and MainConcept, the FX-4170 uses its four integer cores and higher clock rate to slip right past Intel's Hyper-Threaded Core i3. AMD cannot match a Core i5, but then again, remember that it's in a different price segment, too.

  • EzioAs
    Nice review as always. Nothing really too surprising but I guess it was quite necessary to compare the 2 CPUs at the same price point (not everybody prefers Intel). If Piledriver pulls through (I hope it does), then maybe AMD will have the slight edge at performance per dollar against the i3 Ivy Bridge
    Reply
  • jerm1027
    At $125, they should have included the FX-6100. That's $120 on Newegg, plus an additional $15 off on sale.
    Reply
  • Soma42
    Nothing too surprising I suppose. AMD is looking to cut 20% of it's workforce and I think I know why. Performance is hit or miss and at twice the power of Intel's offerings. Intel is getting close to competing with ARM with their mainstream lineup and AMD's dual module is still at 125W. What's wrong here?

    Hope Piledriver is all that it promises and more.
    Reply
  • joytech22
    Damn it AMD, I really want you to pull a rabbit out of your cake hole and do well.
    Reply
  • theabsinthehare
    This hurts. I've been an AMD fan for a long time and I was really excited for Bulldozer. However, after seeing the lackluster performance, I put off upgrading until Piledriver. I'm not so sure about Piledriver now, though, and I think it might be time to throw in the towel and finally buy an Intel chip for once.
    Reply
  • abitoms
    One thing in the review's last page's title really piqued me

    "...but Tomorrow Shows More Promise for AMD".

    Tomorrow...as in ... Oct 16, 2012 or is it only figurative?
    Reply
  • abhijitkalyane
    Hope Vishera changes this - a $125 chip that can beat i3 at stock (apps & games) and can ALSO be overclocked would be a great thing for budget enthusiasts, who right now are stuck with either locked Intel CPU or not-so-great-performing AMD CPU. Power numbers still don't look good. Probably due to the 32nm process (and also due to architectural differences I suppose). Is Vishera 32nm or 22? Fingers crossed for healthy competition :)
    Reply
  • cleeve
    jerm1027At $125, they should have included the FX-6100. That's $120 on Newegg, plus an additional $15 off on sale.
    At 3.3 GHz, the 6100 doesn't fare well. It's easily out-gamed by the FX-4170, and only gets a bit of a break in highly threaded apps.
    Reply
  • user32123
    Why not compare with Trinity? It has higher performance, lower power and modern chipset
    Reply
  • abitoms
    @user32123, i guess it's because that's already done
    Reply