No, the i5 isn't unlocked, but it has much better gaming performance out of the box, especially when you consider the price/performance implications of the FX's power consumption (especially when overclocked). You can give the i5 additional turbo bins, too, if you want it to keep up with a highly overclocked FX8150. The FX81** series CPUs are typically slower in games than the cheaper FX41** counterparts, or the Phenom II line. The following benchmarks compare the FX-8120, FX-4100 and i5-2400. It's a small (10%ish) step up from each of these to the 8150, 4170 and 3550, so I think it's a fair gauge. Spoiler I agree about future upgrades, though. I imagine you will be happy with it at any rate - any modern $190 CPU is plenty for 99% of people.