UPDATE #2: Tom's has now done the ultimate low-cost showdown - Pentium 620/HD6670 versus 3870K: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pentium-g620-amd-a8-3870k-radeon-hd-6670,3140.html They answer the question of what $140 buys in CPU/GPU power, and yes, they overclock that 3870 to good effect. This one isn't nearly the blowout the other tests were - in fact, in applications, the 3870K comes out the clear winner. In games, not so much, but part of that is the weaker GPU. UPDATE: Tom's has now put two ~$120 CPUs, the i3-2100 and the FX4100, under the microscope, using a variety of graphics cards (5570, 6770, 6850, and 6950), to determine the best bang-for-the-buck setup: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-4100-core-i3-2100-gaming-benchmark,3136.html Take-aways: with anything under a 6950, you'd be hard-pressed to see any differences between these two CPUs - the GPU will be the limiting factor in reasonable budget builds. Metro2033 and StarCraft stand out as exceptions, however, where the 2100 pulls away with lesser cards. Tom's Verdict: "The good news is that AMD fans can still enjoy games on a capable machine without spending a ton of cash. With that established, though, getting in the door with an LGA 1155-based platform costs about the same and yields a more consistently-good experience." ------------------------ Tom's has done some very interesting testing of the value CPUs in a variety of games, using a 7970 as the GPU. The bottlenecking is pretty significant. Link: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-apu-benchmark,3120.html The Skyrim numbers show that this game responds to quads, but doesn't seem to work well on AMD - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-apu-benchmark,3120-3.html Note that the single-player BF3 tests predictably show now difference between CPUs - but don't let that fool you into thinking they'll all handle multiplayer the same way.