Works with 1600mhz RAM
Lots of head room for overclocking
Cons Less heat efficient then similar CPU's from Intel.
Summary After reading reviews for the first two weeks after the FX chips went retail (Most of which gave the FX chips dismal marks). i decided i needed to test one of these things out for my self.
My Set up Contains
AMD FX 4100 - $132
Asus M5A97 EVO - $124
8Gs Crucial Balistix - $63
Sapphire 6850 - $165
Cooler Master HAF 912 - $62
(Prices are high sense i purchased locally)
Once i got this baby all slapped together i was delighted to see this machine post and register the RAM at 1600mhz, I know phenoms had serious problems using this ram, and Intel wont use 1600mhz until over clocked.
Once windows was all updated and i had ran some utilities to clean up the machine, it was time for overclocking. Right of the bat the machine went stable at 4.4 off the multiplier, the machine will load window at 4.6 but often crashes out, unfortunately im not the best over clocker around and don't have alot of experience modifying anything but the multiplier.
As it is the machines stable at 4.4 on the stock air cooler. Passmark's Performance Mark software gave this machine a composite CPU score of 5403, which puts it well over 20% above any of the i3's available for comparison, this score also beats many of the locked i5s.
With More Over Clocking to come, this CPU promises to be a serious contender for its price range
Pros Fast, responsive, great for overclocking and keeps fairly cool with just the stock cooler.
Cons Not really a con: Read the Summary and I'll explain my thoughts.
Summary A great CPU for the price and the perfect CPU for anyone who wants to overclock as it's a completely unlocked 4 core processor at stock speed of 3.6GHz, now you would have to get a new aftermarket cooler for this CPU if you did overclock it as the stock CPU cooler is nothing special, I suggest the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus if you don't want to use liquid cooling. Personally I haven't overclocked this card as it already has enough power for playing games all maxed out, running Firefox with even a hundred or more so tabs open without a problem and so on.
My Con Thoughts: Like I said, this isn't really a con but more of a thought, the Phenom II X4 is a bit more expensive than the FX-4100 but the FX has more room for overclocking and stays a lot cooler and DOES NOT use 1600MHZ DDR3 RAM were as the FX-4100 does but the Phenom calculates a tiny bit faster in some aspects of which I will not go into, the Phenom line will also no longer exist soon as AMD is shutting down that series of CPU's and will continue to build upon the FX series.
A word of advice to anyone with an ASUS Mobo who uses the Phenom II or the FX series is to shut off Q-Fan in the BIOS as it kept my fans at really low speeds at all times including heavy gaming so my CPU once hit 116F while using HWMonitor in the background just to check the temps, after disabling Q-Fan, my CPU always stays under 100F even upon hours of intense gaming and stays 77F on idle.
Another thing that comes to mind is that some people say that this gets hotter than Intel's i series of CPU's and I have to say that's actually wrong, a few of my friends have i5's and i3's and tell me that they reach sometimes up to 130F or so after gaming in a room about 60-70F with the stock cooler and no fan controlling application in the BIOS or in Windows so it's about the same but it seems the i series gets a bit hotter.
I hope this helps you decide which kind of CPU to get and while this isn't the best CPU in the world, it's the best bang for your buck with more than enough power for anyone.