Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

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Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:58 pm

The X4 has four real cores, and I have read several reviews claiming respectable overclocks on air cooling and stock voltage. I'm also inclined to believe that the TDP is lower than AMD's quoted 100W. It just doesn't make sense that a removed or disabled IGP wouldn't yield a lower thermal rating.

I am considering one of these for a low end to mid range itx gaming system. Anyone have any experience with the 631?
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:12 pm

Your going to want the Core i3-2100. That CPU wipes the floor with pretty much any Athlon II or Llano out right now. Despite the fact that it only has 2 cores, those 2 cores kick some major ass. Add that ontop of the fact that anyone looking at Athlon II/Core I3's are not doing intensive computational work and the real victor is easy to pick.

I would look over this reivew:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/21730

Thank use the 3650 as a reference for how fast the 631 is. I imagine you should come to the same conclusion.

Edit: It looks like that review doesn't cover the 3650, however judging that the 3800 gets stomped by the i3-2100 that should give you your answer. Also, for any amount the Llano can overclock, so can that i3. The difference being that the more you push that i3, the bigger of a performance gap there will be than an equally pushed Llano.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:43 pm

The i3 does not have turbo (let alone a fully unlocked multiplier) so you don't even get the possibility of a mild overclock, thanks to Sandy Bridge's bus setup.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:45 pm

Sandy Bridge Core i3 wins, and its not even really close.

Since you mentioned power, look at the -T models. 35W. This is what I used to build my HTPC. Its completely silent and will do anything I want it to, and more. If I can figure out an easier way to rip my BD movies (that I legally own) to it, I would, because the Quicksync is awesome.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:10 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:The i3 does not have turbo (let alone a fully unlocked multiplier) so you don't even get the possibility of a mild overclock, thanks to Sandy Bridge's bus setup.


Exactly. If it weren't for this I wouldn't even consider the 631. I will be playing BF3 and I have seen the benefit of having four real cores in that game specifically. Playing on all high settings isn't really my goal. I just want to be able to play at 1080, but even on low settings there is a LOT going on in that game at once. I guess my real question is what would be more of a bottleneck in a 64 player game of BF3: the i3's two cores or the 631's inferior single-threaded performance?
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:20 pm

ALiLPinkMonster wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:The i3 does not have turbo (let alone a fully unlocked multiplier) so you don't even get the possibility of a mild overclock, thanks to Sandy Bridge's bus setup.


Exactly. If it weren't for this I wouldn't even consider the 631. I will be playing BF3 and I have seen the benefit of having four real cores in that game specifically. Playing on all high settings isn't really my goal. I just want to be able to play at 1080, but even on low settings there is a LOT going on in that game at once. I guess my real question is what would be more of a bottleneck in a 64 player game of BF3: the i3's two cores or the 631's inferior single-threaded performance?


I would still put money on the i3 for being your better solution unless you are really really REALLY going to go balls to the wall with overclocking that 631. Its just hard to ignore how much of a lead the Sandy Bridge IPC have over the old Phenom arch.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:23 pm

Take a look at the i3-2100's performance in a CPU-intensive game like StarCraft 2. It's nearly at the top of the charts. Your GPU will be the only performance bottleneck.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:39 pm

FWIW, the Athlon II CPU's overclock well. I have my 640 at 3.6Ghz with a 1.5v over-voltage, and it's dead stable. It will hit 3.7Ghz if I remove 2 of the 4 DIMM's, so it's memory controller can't be all that though.

I guess the 631 will overclock just as well, if you have a decent ish cooler to keep it happy temp wise (That additional voltage = extra heat). I have no idea how an overclocked one competes with the i3 then, but it's probably not going to beat it. But hey, AMD motherboards are cheaper generally, so maybe the overall platform cost will be a decent amount cheaper and be worth the slightly lower performance...?

Edit: Here's my thread about the overclock and temps + volatge on the 640:
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=78372
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:49 pm

rcs2k4 wrote:FWIW, the Athlon II CPU's overclock well. I have my 640 at 3.6Ghz with a 1.5v over-voltage, and it's dead stable. It will hit 3.7Ghz if I remove 2 of the 4 DIMM's, so it's memory controller can't be all that though.

I guess the 631 will overclock just as well, if you have a decent ish cooler to keep it happy temp wise (That additional voltage = extra heat). I have no idea how an overclocked one competes with the i3 then, but it's probably not going to beat it. But hey, AMD motherboards are cheaper generally, so maybe the overall platform cost will be a decent amount cheaper and be worth the slightly lower performance...?

Edit: Here's my thread about the overclock and temps + volatge on the 640:
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=78372


Since the Athlon II X4 631 is really just running off the Phenom II arch, you can take a look at the Phenom II 980 for a general understanding of what the performance would be overclocked to 3.7Ghz (if you get that far). Granted you don't have the same cache as the Phenom II, but either way this should make no difference. The Core i3-2100 has been equal to or better than the Phenom II 980 for quite some time now...though the race is closer than a Athlon II X4 631 at stock clock.
Last edited by StuG on Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:49 pm

StuG wrote:I would still put money on the i3 for being your better solution unless you are really really REALLY going to go balls to the wall with overclocking that 631. Its just hard to ignore how much of a lead the Sandy Bridge IPC have over the old Phenom arch.

This is true. I was only pointing out the lack of OC because you specifically mentioned it. Still, SB is where I'm going to be putting my money stepping up from something marginally faster than a 631 mostly because of single (and dual) thread performance.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:51 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
StuG wrote:I would still put money on the i3 for being your better solution unless you are really really REALLY going to go balls to the wall with overclocking that 631. Its just hard to ignore how much of a lead the Sandy Bridge IPC have over the old Phenom arch.

This is true. I was only pointing out the lack of OC because you specifically mentioned it. Still, SB is where I'm going to be putting my money stepping up from something marginally faster than a 631 mostly because of single (and dual) thread performance.


Thanks, I never knew that they were so gimped on overclocking using methods other than unlocked multipliers. That sucks. :(
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:58 pm

ALiLPinkMonster wrote:Exactly. If it weren't for this I wouldn't even consider the 631. I will be playing BF3 and I have seen the benefit of having four real cores in that game specifically. Playing on all high settings isn't really my goal. I just want to be able to play at 1080, but even on low settings there is a LOT going on in that game at once. I guess my real question is what would be more of a bottleneck in a 64 player game of BF3: the i3's two cores or the 631's inferior single-threaded performance?


Look at all the games that utilize 4 cores. There just isn't that much of a difference between an i3 and an AMD x4. I have a Phenom II 975. In Civ V, its a dead tie between an i3-2100 and a PhII 975.

Checking the review of the A3850, and it (and my own 975) are either tied or beaten soundly by the i3-2100.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:00 pm

Its TDP is 100W, but TDP is not power consumption. You're certainly right that its power consumption will be lower than that.

Actually, since these "Athlon II"s must to be chips harvested due to defects in the GPU portion, I suspect their power consumption will probably vary wildly from one chip to the next. It's probably a throw of the dice what you'll get there.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:37 pm

Is a LGA1156 system still viable these days? I seriously don't know, but if you could pick up an LGA1156 CPU that you can actually overclock then it might be a better option than the gimped SB or the X4 631.

Or, honestly, why not look into the unlocked X4 955 as an option? I think those are running around $120 these days and have the unlocked multiplier. Maybe the X4 965 is only a few buck more at that - don't know. And even the 1055T might be a possibility.

Look on Craigslist too. Might find something real good used. Never know.

If you can you should just bite the bullet and spend the extra $100 for the i5 2500K. I know the extra money is tough to come by but so are decent CPU choices these days. The only decent CPU choices any more are the i5 2500K and.... yeah, that's it. I've got an i5 2500K that effortlessly overclocked to 4.0 GHz without touching the voltage at all.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:45 am

Hi guys I found interesting benchmark : http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=AMD+Athlon+II+X4+631+Quad-Core Athlon II x4 631 is much better than i3-2100 and costs a much lower . Is there still a point to buy i3-2100? I think about this two options :)
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:55 am

TiJi wrote:Hi guys I found interesting benchmark : http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=AMD+Athlon+II+X4+631+Quad-Core Athlon II x4 631 is much better than i3-2100 and costs a much lower . Is there still a point to buy i3-2100? I think about this two options :)

You're looking at a purely synthetic benchmark there. Unless you're going for the best possible PassMark score in your system (which even then, you're buying in the wrong price category) I'd look for real-world benchmarks.

An X4 631 runs at 2.6GHz. An A8-3850 runs at 2.9GHz. With that in mind, check out the best comparison I could muster, an A8-3850 vs a Core i3 2100 on Anandtech Bench.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/399?vs=289

The synopsis is:
In games: the i3 wins.
In apps that use 4 cores (video encoding or Cinebench's multi-threaded render for example) the Athlon wins
Pretty much everything else: the i3 wins

Unfortunately there's not a lot here for 4-thread games.
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Re: Athlon II X4 631 vs. Core i3-2100

Postposted on Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:02 am

Better option is to try to scrape up the extra coin for a SNB i5, even a low-end one. Turbo and overclocking (even limited OC) will make up the GHz gap quickly.
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