In one of my recent posts here I talked about toying about the idea of grabbing an FX-4100. The thing is, after rolling the idea in my head for a few days I've come to the conclusion that, although the FX-4100 is priced pretty low and it's quite an attractive option, in the grand scheme of things the CPU is just one piece of the puzzle we call a PC. If you're gonna spend around a grand, would a difference of $100 (actually, later we'll see that it's just $49-$71) really matter if you get a Core i5-2500/2500K instead? Anyway, I've been doing some cross-shopping and here's what I came across:
AMD FX-8150 : $272
AMD FX-6100 : $180
AMD FX-4100 : $125
MSI 990FXA-GD65 : $174
Intel Core i5-2500K : $222 ($200 for non-K variant)
Intel Core i7-2600K : $200
Asus P8Z68M-PRO : $148
Note that I don't live in the U.S. so I had to convert these prices and do some minor rounding off.
On the Intel side, I really like the Asus P8Z68M-PRO. It has everything I could ever want in a decent LGA1155 board: supports up to DDR3-2200, comes with all the bells and whistles I'd care about (and probably won't even use), and doesn't cost a fortune. On the AMD side, the MSI 990FXA-GD65 is the cheapest decent AM3+ board I could find (with my limited time shopping, at least). It's more expensive than the P8Z68M-PRO, but at least it's fairly decent: no display output (I couldn't care less since I'd be using discrete graphics anyway), but there are 10 USB ports on the rear panel I/O cluster. For me, that's overkill, but at least they're there when you feel like connecting everything except the kitchen sink to your PC. No Firewire on both boards, but it's not something I'd cry over.
Now my beef is this: An FX-8150 + MSI 990FXA-GD65 combo will cost me $446, and a Core i5-2500K + Asus P8Z68M-PRO will cost $370 ($348 if I get the 2500 instead). So, if I go with the FX-8150, I end up spending $76-$98 more for a system that consumes more power and usually gives far less impressive performance on the things I'd care to do (i.e. gaming and other usual desktop apps). I've already ruled out the FX-4100 + MSI 990FXA-GD65 combo since both will total $299, and, in the grand scheme of things, there's just $71 between that and a Core i5-2500K + Asus P8Z68M-PRO combo, which is way faster and more energy efficient according to LegitReviews (so few FX-4100 reviews around). Given all this, I wonder why folks even bother with the FX-4100 unless they pair it with a cheap, barren board.
Bottomline: I'd really like to put up every reason to choose the FX-8150, and I really want it despite the low performance. I've been waiting for it for so long and now that it's out, I still wanna get it despite the reviews. When I go shopping and do the math though, and given the power the FX sucks in, it just doesn't make sense. AMD used to deliver better price/performance even when power is a bit higher, but in this case, price is higher, performance is way lower, and power is uncomfortably higher, especially when you overclock. I don't get it. I'm scratching my head over this, folks. The least AMD could do is price the FX-8150 on par with the 2500K and make sure there are a lot of decent but well-priced motherboards (i.e. cheaper than P67 or Z68 boards). I know those mobos exist, but they sure aren't flooding the market. As it is, I'm finding it very difficult to resist the Core i5-2500K + P8Z68M-PRO combo. For the first time, I actually feel like Intel is offering me better value for money than AMD.
I just realized that my AMD FX-8350 is more powerful than all of my former desktop CPUs combined, from my last Phenom II X4 925 all the way to my ancient NEC V20. And the NEC V20 was probably more expensive if you count inflation. I'm utterly speechless.