The X3 720 (OEM) is gonna end up costing me $15 more over the X3 435 (Box). Worth the L3 cache?
I'm building a system with crossfire HD4850's, and ideally I'll be able to overclock the CPU enough so that it won't bottleneck my system. I realize that the X3 720 might be able to unlock a 4th core, but it also runs 100Mhz slower clock speed.
Which of these will be more important to me, the clock speed or the 4th core? Both gaming and other daily functionality are important to me. Also, what have your guys' experience been in terms of these CPU's ceilings?
The 720 not only has L3 cache (which makes a small, but noticeable difference in gaming) but it has an unlocked CPU multiplier, making overclocking a lot more simple. To OC the 435, you would have to use the FSB, and thus, work with making sure all the other parts that run off the FSB (NB/SB/RAM) are set right and not overclocked past stable speeeds.
I would take the 720, if only for the ease of use. You will probably see a higher ceiling on the 720 as well, but that is no gauruntee, as each chip will behave differently.
One other consideration is the OEM 720 will have no warranty from AMD - only the Newegg warranty (which is very short) !! - AMD does not offer a warranty on thier OEM chips leaving that to the third party OEM supplier and Newegg does not mention that unless asked so be aware of that if you order it !!
That said I have the 720 (bought the boxed version when it was available) - and it is running fine at 3.2Ghz. with the 4th core unlocked - great chip for the price and if you get lucky and have a functional 4th core you wind up with a quad core system for a really good price !!
I just installed my CM 212+ a few hours ago. First time installing a backplate, took a few extra minutes, but not difficult by any measure, but also took the opportunity to pull out my 4870 and get a good cleaning of the heatsinks done. It is performing great so far, 27/48c idle (21c ambient) at 3.8ghz/1.4v.
The 212+ is just a couple mm too tall for my case (el cheapo CM 330 elite mid tower) so I will be modding the side of my case, again. Hotrod time.
I used two 90cfm CM 120mm fans for a push/pull configuration. It looks like the fan is touching the ram sticks heat spreaders, but there is actually about 1/2 inch of room between them: