Core i3 or Phenom X4 965

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cryosin

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I am upgrading my rig for Planetside 2. I have an old 8800GTX which might work, but i definitely need a CPU/RAM upgrade.

I was searching around and saw that both the Core i3 540 and the Phenom X4 965 where retailing at $119. I was looking at the $100-$120 price range, and it seems to me that the 965 is a better choice here.

This machine is going to be a dedicated gaming machine, my laptop is for other work.

I like the 965 because the benchmarks are close to identical, but having 4 cores might pay off later. However, Planetside 2 developers are working together with Intel to develop tools. Would this effect my performance on an AMD chip?

I STILL play planetside 1, so ill be playing planetside 2 a lot and almost exclusively.

What do you guys recommend?
 

MMO Fan

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The AMD 965 is still a rocking chip but you never know how far Inei will go in some of the sponsored titles to cripple AMD it has been know to happen in the past and naturally so.
 

cryosin

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I thought about the i3-2100 as well. It was my first choice, actually. I used the 540 to compare same price points.

The big deal for me is the fact that the phenom is a quad core and .3 GHZ faster. Its cheaper, faster and has two more cores.

It makes sense mathematically, but i know that paper and performance are two different worlds.

 
i3-2100 uses the socket 1155 which has the highest upgrade path than the AM3/+ socket. If you are willing to wait 2 weeks, we can see what ivybridge i3's bring us and you can decide from there.

Upgrade paths with the i3-2100:
i3-2100 to SB i5
i3-2100 to SB i7
i3-2100 to IB i3
i3-2100 to IB i5
i3-2100 to IB i7
 

mocchan

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^ This
 

jaguarskx

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Ignore MMO Fan especially since there are grammatical errors in his sentence.

The Core i3-2100 can beat the Phenom II in most or all games.

Overall the quad core AMD Phenom II is better for multi-threaded programs like media creation and video encoding, but if your primary concern is gaming, then the Core i3-2100 is the better choice.
 

MMO Fan

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woZ ands spellinZg error big deal get a life any of those CPUs play games just fine it's the GPU that you want to worry about.
 

jaguarskx

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There are no spelling errors. There are grammatical errors which makes it harder to understand what you are trying to say.

Intel is not better for gaming unless all you play well really all games play well on AMD now in days Intels for production work.
Does the above really make sense?
 



Again with the upgrade path nonsense. Unless you plan on upgrading the CPU every couple months, thats a silly argument considering the motherboard, RAM, and just about everything else in the computer is yesterday's news in 2-3 years. It almost always costs more money in the long run to try to upgrade a dinosaur than it is to cannibalize and rebuild. As far as the upgrade path, you cannot argue that Intel has a better track record of not breaking backwards compatibility more quickly than AMD anyway assuming you wanted to try and upgrade a dinosaur.(LGA775, 1156, 1155)


As for the Ivy Bridge, the rumor mill has already been circling that Ivy isn't going to be all its cracked up to be. Now of course, I'm not going to weigh judgment just yet since Tom's hasn't had a chance to really put it through the ringer.


If you plan on upgrading a CPU every 6 months you have more money than brains or you actually have more CPU intensive work needed other than playing games.


The 965 indeed is a better choice for a well balanced system than an i3 if you cannot afford an i5. The 965 is overclockable, which is a feature the 2100 lacks, from an enthusiast standpoint it makes it a nice chip to play with. Perfectly safe to clock a 965 up to 3.7GHZ on the stock HSF which is the stock setting for a 980. For games the 965 plays games just as well as an i3, but the 965 beats the i3 at just about any software application that utilizes more than 2 cores. This would include multitasking, video editing, etc.


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-apu-benchmark,3120-3.html

Going by minimum FPS

Skryim- 1FPS difference
Battlefield 3- 1 FPS difference
Just Cause 2- 1 FPS difference
Starcraft 2- 7 FPS difference in favor of i3
Dirt 3- 4 FPS difference
Metro 2033- No difference


Now for non-gaming performance:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=362

Every single benchmarked program that uses more than 2 cores, the Phenom II outperforms.

Even a 965 not Oc'ed to 980 speeds this holds true:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=102

TLDR- If you want an Intel system, spend the extra money for the i5, it is worth it, and will become increasingly more practical as software catches up to hardware and utilizes more than 2 cores.
 

mubin

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Intel is always better than AMD for gaming cause, AMD lack in bus speed. High bus speed is need to communicate gpu faster. Or else, there will be bottleneck.
 



What? :sarcastic: Intel is better, but bus speed communication between the GPU and CPU is not the reason.

Phenom II is an older architecture, it was not then and isn't now "bad" design. Its just older than Sandy Bridge's architecture. FX CPUs have problems, and can be attributed to flaws in architectural design but again communication between the CPU and GPU is not the issue.

BTW, we have an i5-2400 system in the house in addition to my rig, they both play games just fine with no noticeable difference.
 

AMD X6850

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What AMD is lacking is clock-for-clock performance.
Sandy Bridge beats both Bulldozer and Phenom II clock-for-clock.
What that means is, in a single core program, a Sandy Bridge processor at 3GHz will beat an AMD Bulldozer/Phenom II at the same clock speed.
Either way, it is better to look at existing benchmarks for actual performance, which people in this thread have already posted.

I have never heard of AMD's "lack in bus speed" causing a bottleneck with CPU-GPU communication with Phenom II or Bulldozer but if you can link me to something relevant, I would like to read it :)




Not particularly true. From what I've heard, Piledriver will drop into AM3+ as well so the upgrade path in terms of generations is better with AM3+ (Phenom II -> Bulldozer -> Piledriver).
However Piledriver is an unknown in terms of performance considering Bulldozer's lacklustre performance, but then again, I haven't been reading good things about Ivy Bridge either.

In any case, its better to wait the two weeks and find out what Ivy Bridge is really like. With release this close, unless the OP is in a real hurry to get a system together, it would be wise to wait for benchmarks on Ivy.
 

jaguarskx

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AMD is hoping for about a 10% increase in performance over Bulldozer, however, that estimate was from last year a few weeks before Bulldozer's launch. Generally speaking, that is a realistic performance gain. However, that would mean the PileDriver CPUs will be on par with the 1st generation Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs (Nehalem / Lynnfield). Sandy Bridge CPUs are about 12% faster than the 1st gen CPUs. Ivy Bridge will likely be 6% - 8% faster than Sandy Bridge.

While PileDriver is likely to be an improvement for AMD, they will still be behind Intel in terms of performance even if Ivy Bridge has a 0% performance improvement over Sandy Bridge.
 

jaguarskx

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AMD has not release any roadmap info beyond 2013.

I think PileDriver will be AMD's final consumer CPU which means it will be the last AM3+ CPU. I think they will simply focus on APUs for the consumer market so the future of AMD in the consumer market will be socket FM2 when Trinity is eventually released. The successor to Trinity will be Kaveri and at least for now, I believe it will be a socket FM2 socket APU.
 

yummerzzz

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+1. This is what you need read.

Get the i5 if you're going Intel, otherwise just get the 965, it's cheaper anyways.
 
First, I try not to attack a point on spelling and grammar – I’m terrible in both categories – But that has not hampered Me, being in the minority – Classed as a Senior Eng without an EE degree.

OP – You would probably be happy with either choice, but my preference is the Intel platform.
On upgrade path – When I upgrade, Yes I normally upgrade both the MB and the CPU. Reason is NOT that I find the CPU lacking – it’s based on the advancements in MB features. However in the Ops case a simple upgrade in a year from now to an i5-25xxK would be a good way to go - even though it effectivel means that the i5-25xxk cost an additional $125 (Fror the i3) But you gota do what you gota do with the money you have at the time.
For Gaming, unless the CPU bottlenecks the GPU – it is the GPU that is the primary driver in Gaming performance.

My choice is based more on supporting chipset (and drivers), hardware and software. In many cases the performance of hardware and software are identical – BUT not always.
A) Rational is based on Intel has around 75% market share vs 20% for AMD. AMD is both cash strapped and short on developers. You can find this in financial evaluations and in AMDs’s comments about completion which basically stated they are limiting their focus to Low-to-mid end desktops.
B) Intel updates their chipset more often and is generally better than AMD’s driver.
C) If you are a 3rd party developer of either hardware or software, Your target is first geared toward the largest market then if possible optimize for the smaller market IF POSSIBLE.
D) Look to SSDs. What systems are most often used in reviews to benchmark SSDs. Look at How long AMD took to get a chipset driver that worked well with SSDs.
E) While all my desktops have used ATI/AMD GPUs. My newest laptop is an i5-2410M with an Nvidia 540m GPU. NVidia had “working” software to switch between iGPU and dGPU when switching between 2D and 3D applications – NOT sure if AMD has finally got a working solution.
 

MMO Fan

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For you perhaps but nobody else has an issue and whats you point my information is and was valid get over yourself grammar come on are you in school still.
 

MMO Fan

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I guarantee you in gaming there is not much difference perceivable from an OCed Phenom II to a 2500K as in you won win or lose on the Battlefield cause of the CPU you run LOL as long as it is decent. I will guarantee you that that dual core Pentium you are running is a POS for gaming and the AMD would wipe the flipin floor with it.
 

yummerzzz

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Actually I had NO idea what that meant either.
 
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