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Is the AMD FX 6300 the best CPU under £100?

With so much emphasis on Intel’s amazing ‘k’ series chips, it’s easy to lose track of the fact that most systems sold in the USA and Western Europe, actually use something that costs far less. The latest offer from Aria has drawn our attention to an interesting question, “What is the best CPU on offer under £100?”  KitGuru gives it a ponder.

Often, it isn’t until you have seen a specific offer than you sit back with a cup of hot chocolate and consider “What would I do with that money?”

Over at Aria, there has been a price move on the FX 6300 which caught our attention. The actual move is relatively small – only a few pounds – but the result is interesting.

This move brings it under the ‘magic’ £100 mark.

A quick check around the same site and you can see that Intel’s closest rival in terms of price is the Core i3 3220T which only chugs along at 2.8GHz with 2 real cores (but can tackle 4 threads).

We should point out that the Intel processor does come with an integrated HD 2500 graphics solution, running at 650MHz, but it’s unlikely that anyone on KitGuru would spend that much on a CPU with no intention of getting a separate graphics card at the same time – so the benefit is limited.

The ‘Turbo’ function on the AMD FX 6300 processor will give anyone a 4.1GHz experience in a suitable environment, but a little tweaking can get you so much more. The actual O/C available on any individual chip can vary quite a lot, but by looking around the overclocking forums, you can get a handle on how just far the average chip will stretch.

For the FX 6300, a select few claim to be around 5GHz, but that seems very optimistic for long term use. Most claim a stable 4.7GHz, which seems much more reasonable.

Either way, if you have access to a sensibly priced overclocking mainboard, then the FX 6300 weighing in at something like £80 less than the Core i5 3570k will appeal to enthusiasts who are on a budget, but want to have some fun.

Alternatively, you could match the price and run on an SSD instead of a sluggish spinning drive. Just a musing.

Things are starting to look serious in the sub-£100 processor market. There is no 'k' version in the Core i3 series to stand against AMD's 6300, but will knowledgeable punters on a budget go for it? And with which affordable board?

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KitGuru says: Key to this decision is mainboard selection. The FX 6300’s ability to O/C up around 4.7GHz means it has a huge clock advantage over the 2.8GHz Core i3 3220T and 3 times as many ‘real cores’. Intel’s architecture is certainly more powerful core-for-core, but – in the hands of an enthusiast – we know where the clever money would go.

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