The Best CPU for the Money: Intel Core i3-6100 vs. i3-4360, i5-4430 & AMD FX-8320E

By Steve · 32 replies
Nov 18, 2015
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  1. Early this year we compared AMD's $150 quad-core FX-8320E processor with Intel's $150 Core i3-4360 and $185 Core i5-4430. On paper the AMD chip looked like a no brainer -- four cores, eight threads, overclocking support -- but when it came to it both Intel chips were faster for gaming and even encoding.

    In the nine months since we published that article, the FX-8320E is still $150 and AMD's go-to option for budget quad-core computing without integrated graphics.

    Meanwhile, the landscape has shifted on Intel's side of the fence as we've recently seen the arrival of its new Skylake-based Core i3 and Pentium processors, the first of which was the Core i3-6100. At $125, the new dual-core chip comes clocked at the same 3.7GHz as the Haswell 4360/4170 models, except the i3-6100 has the advantage of being even more efficient thanks to an updated design using the 14nm process.

    After being disappointed in August by the marginal performance between Skylake and Haswell Core i7s, we're interested in seeing how the i3-6100 stacks up against the older i3-4360, as well as the i5-4430 and the overclocked FX-8320E.

    Read the complete review.

  2. Zenodroid

    Zenodroid TS Booster Posts: 132   +27

    Good to see the best cpu for poor people. Could you please make a test again this week, for the best cpu for rich people? ;)
    deemon likes this.
  3. The answer to that is self evident. Go to your favorite outlet and look for the highest priced CPU.
    Reehahs, Cryio and BMfan like this.
  4. hojnikb

    hojnikb TS Enthusiast Posts: 33

    Could you guys test a budget config aswell ?

    Something like pentium/i3 and Athlon x4 with a midrange gpu like 950/960 and 370/380.

    I'm especially interested in minimum fps performance and how does an comparable nvidia/amd (like 370 and 950) fare on a weak cpu (like pentium or athlon x4).
    Because nvidia is suppost to have more efficient DX11 driver, which I'm sure it helps when pairing a lowend cpu.
  5. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    Great write up and lots of depth but I'm curious why, when doing a CPU faceoff
    the higher tier graphics cards aren't used?

    I realize something like the 960 is what we are most likely to see paired with these processors
    but just for testing sake why not give them a R9 Fury or 980 and just let them fly.
  6. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    We almost always do, in fact this is the first time we haven't. Ideally we would have liked to include both but that is a serious amount of testing.

    How do you define best and what do you want it for?

    The 5960X is the best desktop processor but you can go Xeon if you require more cores and have thousands to spend. Otherwise the 6700K is a smart choice though for gaming you might as well just get the Core i5-6600K.
  7. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 272   +88

    Love to see the value of this CPU. I definitely get one of these for my nephew's first gaming rig... ;-)
    Steve likes this.
  8. Zenodroid

    Zenodroid TS Booster Posts: 132   +27

    Since TechSpot make an article on the best cheap cpu, then they should also make the other way ;) im not the one making articles :p
  9. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    I just wrote my article, it is in the post above. You now know everything you need to make an informed stupidly expensive CPU buying decision :)
  10. ku4eto

    ku4eto TS Rookie

    @TechSpot , @Steve : how about fixing your mistake where you have put the FX-8320e as a quad core CPU. Either a 4 module CPU or 8 core CPU, quad core is wrong.
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,735   +3,706

    Lets wait for the recent lawsuit settlement against AMD, so we legally say it is wrong or right.
    Reehahs likes this.
  12. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,674   +990

    The core count is not wrong, it's just AMD is marketing something the CPU is not entirely. From this article and the previous revision of the budget CPU comparison earlier this year:
  13. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 272   +88

    Actually it is 4 cores, AMD has serious issues about this nowadays as they were providing false specs to consumers. google it mate...
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,735   +3,706

    Yes I will
    Not exactly, the module is the core. The duplication is nothing more than a poor attempt at mimicking Intel's hyperthreading.
  15. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    It has been an honor to be on your list, even if it was briefly.

    Thanks for the info, now can you please take yourself and Alastair back to the forums where you can continue to rage about the fact that we called an FX processor a quad-core with 8-threads.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
    gamoniac likes this.
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,735   +3,706

    I say the same thing about Apple. I don't think they are going anywhere either.
    Steve likes this.
  17. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Apple hardly ever wastes time arguing with AMD fan boys over how many ‘cores’ an AMD FX processor does or doesn’t have so I will do the same.

    Moreover this has absolutely no influence on the articles findings or conclusion so is it really worth arguing if the FX processor has 8-cores with 4-modules or 4-cores with 8-threads or 4-modules with 8-threads? If I were an AMD fan boy I couldn’t imagine arguing that an FX processor has 8-core and 8-threads so that seems out of the question.
  18. gamoniac

    gamoniac TS Guru Posts: 306   +73

    Don't sweat it. Some just see the tree and miss the forest. Core count argument is not the point of this article, nor is it TechSpot's duty to credit/discredit AMD's claim.

    Anyway, regarding the write-off of FX8320E, I think the opening statement was a bit strong, considering FX8320E came out on top in the app (productivity) benchmarks and some of the encoding benchmarks. (I have both intel and AMD in my rigs)
  19. Zenodroid

    Zenodroid TS Booster Posts: 132   +27

    I have 1 million $ to play with, im a hardcore gamer. what is the best cpu for me ? money is no problem, but I want full performence.
  20. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,674   +990

    We are working on updating our PC buying guide, but this should serve you well for the most part in the meantime:
  21. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,374   +69

    Too bad it wasn't a 4341. Those were some ibm mainframe computers I worked on. My brother has an hp2000. I typed a 5000 line star trek game into an hp 2000 mini computer in 1976 in college and maybe they filmed star wars and star trek after that. Gave up my medical career, but in computers in civil service earned more.
  22. Spad7

    Spad7 TS Rookie

    Hire me to build it for you. I can put together a blisteringly fast system, and probably come in under budget at least a FEW thousand . . . ;)
    Steve likes this.
  23. Spad7

    Spad7 TS Rookie

    I've read the entire comment section to date . . . and frankly I don't see where the staff was unfriendly? The question of core count for the FX-8320e is beside the point in the performance tests this article is about. If someone wants to argue semantics about what constitutes a core or a module, there are other places to do that. The article presented testing results of different CPUs performance . . . and if you think the 8320E is a quad core with 8 processes, or a true 8 core CPU, it won't make a rat's rump of a difference in those performance results.

    If you want to argue the point in a comment section for an article that was about performance comparisons . . . kinda does sound a bit on the fan boy side, lol
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,735   +3,706

    The 960 is plenty adequate for testing low budget CPU's. What is your problem? Forget about this core thing because it will soon be a not issue with ZEN. As for the attitude, look in the mirror. You are pointing a finger at someone and accusing them for acting the very same way you have been from your first post. And to top it all off you are linking this attitude to credibility, that's irony for you.
  25. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,674   +990

    Well, you know. Trolls and the Internet... :cool:

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