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Core i3 2100 vs FX 4100 vs A6 3670K

post #1 of 43
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Hello Guys,

I know this is the AMD thread but I'm planning to compare which of this one is a better upgrade path. I built a rig for my brother last year and was aiming at budget in mind. With the price and performance of the Pentium G620 at that time, I selected it as his processor for his MMO gaming rig. Now, one thing that I forgot to look into was that my brother was also a multi-tasker... He plays World of Tanks (his MMO) on one side and does chatting at Facebook, Skype/TS, plays Music and some other things while on the go.

Because of his multi-tasking attitude, this kinda creates some lag while switching into Gaming and alt-tabbing into other apps at the same time. I reckon that a better processor and an additional stick of RAM will probably eliminate this minor concern. He is willing to shell some funds for this endeavour.

Currently these are his specs:

CPU = Pentium G620 2.6GHz
Mobo = Asrock H61M-S
GPU = XFX GTS 250
HDD = WD Caviar Blue 500gb
PSU = Antec Neo ECO 400
RAM = 1 x 4gb Transcend DDR3

I'm proposing these options:

Option 1. Upgrade CPU to Core i3 2100
Option 2. Upgrade CPU to FX4100 with FX Mobo
(sell current CPU and mobo)
Option 3. Upgrade CPU to A6 3670K with FM1 Mobo (sell current CPU and mobo)

They were all in the same price range and I wonder if getting the AMD counterparts (with higher core counts) would prove to be more beneficial on his computer usage type. What do you guys think is the better upgrade path? I need your expert opinion on this one.


Thank you.
Edited by stukav - 2/6/12 at 5:38pm
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post #2 of 43
given what you are looking at id say get the i3. Im an avid supporter of amd even if intel has a jump but the fx4100 is so slow even with more cores. If he is just running 1 heavy game and doing light stuff like facebook, skype, etc then i3 is plenty fine.

If your going hardcore multitask id go with the 1100t.
Anything else is i5+
post #3 of 43
If the lag exists primarily while alt-tabbing into other apps, I'd say there's a good chance that this is a result of paging activity from his hard drive. An easy way to check is to leave the system monitor open and watch for spikes in disk activity corresponding to the time of slowdowns. Also, check how much of his RAM and page file are being utilized. In my experience, multitasking in Windows 7 can quickly exceed 4GB of RAM. When the RAM is being used up, idle applications are moved over to the page file, which is stored on the slow hard drive. When those applications become active again, those pages need to be retrieved from the disk.

I get this same problem frequently on my fairly new computer at work, which has an i5-2400, 4GB RAM, and the same WD Blue 500GB HDD. A better CPU will not fix this. I would start by upgrading to 8GB and see if the problem still occurs. RAM is cheap, there's almost no reason not to buy 8GB on a new computer that will multitask.
     
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post #4 of 43

Both the FX-4100 and A6-3670k should provide superior multitasking performance.  The FX-4100 can maintain 33% better multithreaded performance alongside near-equivalent single-threaded performance when overclocked at lower power consumption than K10 cores used in Phenom II and Llano APU.  The A6-3670k is not far behind but if you are going to be using the CPU cores alone, it is not worth the extra investment to be wasting the GPU potential and getting a CPU that will consume a bit more power than the 4100 while more or less being equivalent in actual performance (you can expect mulithreaded to be somewhat better due to the 4100's architecture design but that is it).

 

Socket FM1 might be phased out this year; whereas Socket 1155 will take on the 22nm Ivy Bridge (but that is the end of the road as the next 22nm generation uses LGA1150) while socket AM3+ will take on two additional AMD CPU generations, additional to the FX-series processor out today.

 

Considering your budget ideals for both CPU and motherboard choices I would say that this config rules in favour of the FX 4100 - even when other processors such as the Phenom II x4 960T are taken into consideration.

 

Dual channel RAM (as opposed to the existing single channel setup) will improve bandwidth capabilities and may help when multiple tasks are running at once, and may also proivde a slight performance boost.

post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post

Socket FM1 might be phased out this year; whereas Socket 1155 will take on the 22nm Ivy Bridge (but that is the end of the road as the next 22nm generation uses LGA1150) while socket AM3+ will take on two additional AMD CPU generations, additional to the FX-series processor out today.

Got any source on this? As far as I know only Vishera is confirmed to be on AM3+.

@OP

Getting dual channel RAM first is what I would do. Grab another stick of identical RAM. You can also sell the G620 and get i3-2100 instead (cheaper given that you don't have to swap the MB). I haven't see any benchmark regarding this 33% better on multi-thread on FX-41xx either. As far as I know when OC'd FX-41xx should be comparable to i3-2100. Got any benchmark to support this 33% claim xd_1771 (I don't mean synthetic benchmark, but realistic benchmark)?
Edited by trumpet-205 - 2/6/12 at 11:20pm
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post #6 of 43
No doubt a better processor would improve multitasking performance. However, the main complaint was lag when switching applications, not while using them, which has more to do with memory than it does the CPU. A better processor would speed up the applications while in use, but it will have little to no effect on this specific issue. We all agree that a second stick of RAM should improve things but I disagree that this would be due to transitioning to dual-channel memory. While this will speed up memory access, the fact that the system will no longer require paging to the disk is far more significant. In a 4GB system that is used for multitasking the page file can see significant use, while in an 8GB system it typically will not.

A CPU upgrade may well be in order too, but if this specific problem is the only issue that needs correction then suggesting that as a solution may be overkill. If, after adding more RAM, the computer still runs too slow, then a new CPU would help. I agree on going with the i3-2100, since your brother already has a compatible motherboard. The FX-4100 will offer comparable performance but it will be at a higher cost, since he would have to take a loss on sale of the existing motherboard and buy a more expensive one. True AM3+ motherboards are still somewhat pricey compared to what he owns. I suspect that if he wishes to upgrade to a next-gen AM3+ CPU in the future, cheaper motherboards will become available by then.
     
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post #7 of 43

Taking Cinebench as an example, the FX-4100 scores 3.78 on multithreaded when overclocked to 4.6Ghz - that's ways up from even an i3 2120 (see here).  When manipulating the overclocked multicore result to get a somewhat accurate single core result when overclocked to 4.6Ghz (that is... 3.78 divided by 4, divided by 0.8 [80%] to compensate for architecture performance scaling which is not linear between multithreaded and single-threaded performance), the 4100 scores ~1.18.  That's pretty close to the i3 2105 here (1.25 single thread) and taking that 4.6Ghz to 4.8-5Ghz should close the gap.

 

I almost forgot that he already has an LGA1155 board in which case a drop in i3 2100 wouldn't be a bad choice for an upgrade, but then you might as well wait for 22nm Ivy and then reap those performance benefits in April.


The latest AMD roadmaps show us that Vishera will continue to push the desktop market into 2013 but with improved-upon CPU models.  So no change in socket.  Earlier roadmaps showed another generation on AM3+ though.

post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post

Taking Cinebench as an example, the FX-4100 scores 3.78 on multithreaded when overclocked to 4.6Ghz - that's ways up from even an i3 2120 (see here).  When manipulating the overclocked multicore result to get a somewhat accurate single core result when overclocked to 4.6Ghz (that is... 3.78 divided by 4, divided by 0.8 [80%] to compensate for architecture performance scaling which is not linear between multithreaded and single-threaded performance), the 4100 scores ~1.18.  That's pretty close to the i3 2105 here (1.25 single thread) and taking that 4.6Ghz to 4.8-5Ghz should close the gap.

I almost forgot that he already has an LGA1155 board in which case a drop in i3 2100 wouldn't be a bad choice for an upgrade, but then you might as well wait for 22nm Ivy and then reap those performance benefits in April.


The latest AMD roadmaps show us that Vishera will continue to push the desktop market into 2013 but with improved-upon CPU models.  So no change in socket.  Earlier roadmaps showed another generation on AM3+ though.

AMD roadmaps led me to believe that Vishera will be introduced in late 2012 and continue through out 2013. I don't see any evidence that there will be 2 Vishera models. I'm pretty sure (and hope) that Steamroller will use a new socket.

I am looking for realistic benchmark, something more practical. Cinebench is what I would call synthetic benchmark. Any FX-41xx user wants to simulate what OP is describing and report your experience? It would be great if you happened to use 1333 RAM, as it appears that OP is using 1333 RAM.

@OP, if you do move into AMD CPU (FX or Llano), DDR3-1600 is highly recommended.
Edited by trumpet-205 - 2/7/12 at 8:27am
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post #9 of 43

Tons of "real-world" benchmarks to choose from in that same review.

 

i.e Handbrake encoding:
handbrake.jpg

That gap widens with an overclock.

post #10 of 43
you may want to look into getting a SSD
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