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i3 vs Phenom II x4

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So im going to be building a home "server" of sorts, for file sharing, as a print server, backups, etc... possibly even some sort of HTPC (just hooked up to a TV, to watch a show or movie) but the main use will be for doing backups and file sharing (local and FTP)

I have put together two builds, one using an i3-540, and the other with the Phenom II x4 925. They are both very close in price, so deciding is proving very difficult for me.

They will be mildly over clocked, and im sure the i3 will clock higher than the phenom, since i have already had experience with the i3s and they are fun and easy to get clocked high.

So i ask you, fellow citizens of ocn, is there going to be a huge performance difference between the two? in the benches i have seen (at stock) they seem to trade punches depending on the test, i would kind of like the phenom since it is a "real" quad, but it doesnt really matter that much since the i3 technically is a quad too.

thanks for any input.

EDIT: Oh yeah i forgot, i also host a Teamspeak server and sometimes a minecraft server for my friends and I, teamspeak isnt cpu heavy, but minecraft can be (at least when theres lots of TNT )
Edited by Fooxz - 1/16/11 at 12:15pm
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post #2 of 10
Well for a server it doesn't really matter, the 925 is better than the I3 without a doubt but just go for the cheapest since you don't need the best. The I3 has 2 cores and 2 thread which is NOT the same as 4 cores and CANNOT compete. As I said just go for the cheapest
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jy360 View Post
Well for a server it doesn't really matter, the 925 is better than the I3 without a doubt but just go for the cheapest since you don't need the best. The I3 has 2 cores and 2 thread which is NOT the same as 4 cores and CANNOT compete. As I said just go for the cheapest
well of course 4 cores =/= 2cores + 2threads, but the i3 in my main computer @4ghz is quite beastly.

the difference in price is $10, the phenom being slightly more expensive, which i think i might just go with that since its something different, just was curious if there was a huge difference between the two.
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post #4 of 10
It all comes down to this: Will the computer be using thread heavy software or are the applications single/double threaded?
If the former, the phenom should do as it is a quad core. The latter will benefit from the i3 since the i3's are far faster CPU's clock for clock.

I'd go with an i3 since it runs cooler and it is far quicker than the Phenom.
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post #5 of 10
the phenom II with out a doubt. As the i3 isn't a bad processor the phenom II has 4 cores whereas the i3 has 2. 4 is bigger than 2 (AMD WINS)

Also the i3 and the phenom II overclock around the same (4ghz) Though you seem to have more experience with i3 so maybe that might be a better choice for you. (NEITHER WINS)

The Phenom II is much cheaper ( AMD WINS)

So as you can see out of these three major points AMD won 2 of them and the middle one regarding overclocking was neutral. Go for AMD, i have an AMD myself and even though i don't heavily overclock it its not very hard. Just get the voltage right
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by andycludge View Post
the phenom II with out a doubt. As the i3 isn't a bad processor the phenom II has 4 cores whereas the i3 has 2. 4 is bigger than 2 (AMD WINS) i3 has HT, so it has 4 threads too.

Also the i3 and the phenom II overclock around the same (4ghz) Though you seem to have more experience with i3 so maybe that might be a better choice for you. (NEITHER WINS) i3 is faster clock for clock.

The Phenom II is much cheaper ( AMD WINS) wrong. the 540 is $114 whereas the 925 is $125. and the i3 comes clocked higher out of the box...
reguardless, they are very close. i wouldnt say either "wins" by a huge margin.
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post #7 of 10
better go for the phenom because you can always upgrade your chip if needed at a low cost.buying a i3 you limit your self to upgrades and its more of a wast.

depending on your budget maybe sandyb. could help you out.
post #8 of 10
For a server? I think the i3 is the obvious choice due to much, much lower power consumption.
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Finally an update
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post #9 of 10
I'll just add another CPU into the mix:

*for file server needs
**Intel i3 - low power consumption - recommended (from own experience even a lowly DC Atom can play this role)
**Phenom II - high power consumption
**Athlon II x3 - mild power consumption

*for CPU heavy tasks
**Intel i3 - high per-task performance, can choke if more is asked from it (it is still a 2 core CPU - in order for one core to run 2 threads, the threds need to use separate parts of the core's pipeline. Some threads use the full pipe of a core so that a second thread, even though theoretically possible, can't move due to the bottlenecks)
**Phenom II x4 - good for heavy lifting, good idle power (similar to i3) but higher load power
**Athlon II x3 - 3 real cores so more powerful than the i3, low idle power intake, slightly higher load power intake than the i3

My 2 cents: if you run on the server Teamspeak, sometimes minecraft and maybe you want to watch a movie streaming - the i3 may get overwhelmed. You may need to OC which negates its power consumption advantage.
The x3 is the jack of all trades because you might need more threads, but not so much per-thread performance. For the same reason it's not necessary to get a Phenom II, since an Athlon II delivers enough per-thread performance and doesn't the power hungry L3 cache.
Edited by dragosmp - 1/17/11 at 7:05am
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Drago, thanks for pointing out the Athlon x3 (+rep)

I had looked at the x4s, but thought for only a little bit extra $$ i could go with the phenom, but the x3 is at a nice looking price.

I planned on mildly overclocking the CPU, so i think the Athlon x3 is the way im going to go. (low power consumtion + low TDP means i should be able to keep it cool and still energy efficient with a small OC bump)

Thanks for all the help guys!
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