Now that AMD has finally released the rest of its new Piledriver line-up into the wild, I've been able to spend a little quality time with the six-core FX-6300 - a CPU that I think offers a sweet-spot in terms of price/performance metrics.
It's a decent little chip at stock speeds, and in raw CPU computational terms its six cores comprehensively out-play the i3-3225, Intel's similarly-priced dual-core Ivy Bridge chip, thanks to the extra multi-threading performance on offer. Intel's dominance in the gaming sphere is evident, however: the FX-63000 doesn't compete with the dual-core Intel chip in my Batman: Arkham City or Shogun 2 CPU tests.
Until you get busy with the overclocking that is. Then it's a very, very different story.
The Intel chip is locked down for marketing reasons - so it doesn't cannibalise any i5 sales - but the AMD chip can be clocked to within an inch of its life. With little effort, I was able to squeeze a stable 5GHz overclock out of this mid-range chip - and a 1.5GHz clockspeed boost is nothing to be sniffed at.
With that sort of performance it's actually encroaching on the territory of the i5-3570K, and all for around £70 less than the Intel chip. Now, I'm not recommending anyone rethink their purchase of an i5 for their rig build, but if you're on a tight budget for your PC then working a little magic with the overclocking wand could save you some pennies.