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Best Gaming CPU: Athlon II X3 440 or Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition

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April 9, 2010 5:53:34 PM

Which of these 2 would be better for gaming.

The Athlon II x3 has some advantages over the Phenom II x2 in that It is faster and aslso has More cores. Oh, and it is cheaper.

The Phenom II x2 also has some advantages over the Athlon II x3In that it can be unlocked for extra cores.

I already have the Phenom II x2 (unlocked and OCed to 3.8), and i like it alot. Am just acking this on behalf of someone who is assembling his first rig.
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April 9, 2010 9:22:02 PM

x3 440 hands down because the extra 2 cores on the 555 are not guaranteed.

The 440 can achieve 3.8Ghz easily on Air which is more than enough for gaming among other tasks..

The 440 can aslo be unlocked if "lucky".
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April 9, 2010 9:31:24 PM

+1 for the X3
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April 13, 2010 12:09:38 PM

What if the cores on the 555BE are successfully unlocked, will the 4 cores on the Phenom create an advantage over the 3 cores on the Athlon when it comes to gaming?
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April 13, 2010 12:18:46 PM

Starges said:
What if the cores on the 555BE are successfully unlocked, will the 4 cores on the Phenom create an advantage over the 3 cores on the Athlon when it comes to gaming?



Yes it will have an advantage but when the cores are unlocked. Even with one more unlocked core it can have an advantage;)
April 13, 2010 12:35:48 PM

But i also read somewhere that not that many games require 4 cores, let alone 3. I know that multiple cores are useful when it comes to multitasking, so why is it that more cores are better for gaming? :o 
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April 13, 2010 2:08:09 PM

Starges said:
But i also read somewhere that not that many games require 4 cores, let alone 3. I know that multiple cores are useful when it comes to multitasking, so why is it that more cores are better for gaming? :o 



3 cores are a must have for the new games to come out if you wanna play on high or very high (especially if ya play on a low res) and 4 cores for better fps at max settings and games that will come in the future, or if you play a game that require 2 cores, you can let the additional two cores to do virus scan ( about the scan it depends somewhat more on how fast your HDD is ), music, word, excel, browser, defrag (defrag depends more on your HDD though), etc.
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April 13, 2010 6:31:59 PM

Starges said:
But i also read somewhere that not that many games require 4 cores, let alone 3. I know that multiple cores are useful when it comes to multitasking, so why is it that more cores are better for gaming? :o 


Some games benefit from more cores and some don't. Most (if not all) gaming benchmarks benefit from more cores. Heavy threaded apps benefit from more cores. Multitasking benefit from more cores.

When it comes to gaming the average user would prefer an x3/x4 to an x2 just to be on the safe side, and more so when they know that they do not have to upgrade their CPU for quite some time.




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April 13, 2010 6:56:57 PM

OvrClkr said:
Some games benefit from more cores and some don't. Most (if not all) gaming benchmarks benefit from more cores. Heavy threaded apps benefit from more cores. Multitasking benefit from more cores.

When it comes to gaming the average user would prefer an x3/x4 to an x2 just to be on the safe side, and more so when they know that they do not have to upgrade their CPU for quite some time.




+1
April 14, 2010 3:50:40 PM

from what I read over the forums it seems that 555 has a better rate of unlocking to a quad. and can easily reach 3.8 GHz while in quad mode, In cooler climate with nice cooler has the potential to reach 4+. and also has a 6 MB L3 cache.
so how is X3 440 any better at gaming, I dont understand.

we really need a special review here comparing the diffrent CPUs compared at all their potential levels. X3 should be tested for overclock as well as unlocking, ditto for 555.
also compare them to their big daddys the Propus and the Deneb.
then we can argue all we want with raw data to back up those arguments.
April 14, 2010 4:11:14 PM

maddy143ded said:
from what I read over the forums it seems that 555 has a better rate of unlocking to a quad. and can easily reach 3.8 GHz while in quad mode, In cooler climate with nice cooler has the potential to reach 4+. and also has a 6 MB L3 cache.
so how is X3 440 any better at gaming, I dont understand.

we really need a special review here comparing the diffrent CPUs compared at all their potential levels. X3 should be tested for overclock as well as unlocking, ditto for 555.
also compare them to their big daddys the Propus and the Deneb.
then we can argue all we want with raw data to back up those arguments.


^ +1
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April 14, 2010 8:15:05 PM

maddy143ded said:
from what I read over the forums it seems that 555 has a better rate of unlocking to a quad. and can easily reach 3.8 GHz while in quad mode, In cooler climate with nice cooler has the potential to reach 4+. and also has a 6 MB L3 cache.
so how is X3 440 any better at gaming, I dont understand.

we really need a special review here comparing the diffrent CPUs compared at all their potential levels. X3 should be tested for overclock as well as unlocking, ditto for 555.
also compare them to their big daddys the Propus and the Deneb.
then we can argue all we want with raw data to back up those arguments.


The 555 has a better unlock rate but that still does not mean its 100% guranteed ;) 

Look at the reviews over at the Egg my friend :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N...

Most of the users that buy the 555 already know that if they are not able to unlock they will have to settle with a dual/tri depending on what cores are good/bad. So this in-turn tells you that if you decide to go with the 555 you better be prepared to end-up with a dual if indeed the 3rd and 4th core are faulty. This is the reason why the x3 is a better buy simply because you are guaranteed 3 cores.

If you want to take that chance go ahead, but don't compalin if you endup with a dualie ;) 
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April 14, 2010 8:17:56 PM

Starges said:
What if the cores on the 555BE are successfully unlocked, will the 4 cores on the Phenom create an advantage over the 3 cores on the Athlon when it comes to gaming?


Of course the x4 will have an advantage, the 555 when unlocked to a B55 is the same exact CPU as the x4 965BE C3

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 15, 2010 10:41:00 AM

I think i'll opt for the 555. I'll take my chances with unl0cking it. Most of the responses at Tom's seem to be positive at unlocking it anyway.
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April 15, 2010 10:51:09 AM

Do not bet on the unlock. I just built a PC with a friend this past weekend (555 + 785g + 5770) and while the cores unlocked, even at stock speeds, would crash p95 within seconds. No adjustment in the bios could stabilize anything over 2 cores. Just a reality check, the 555be is not a free quad, and should never be expected to be more than a dual. We did get it clocked to 4.0ghz on air as a dual, though, with a 212+ HSF.
April 15, 2010 10:59:30 AM

That's fine with me. At those speeds its good enough for any game. Also, i don't really think i do a lot with my pc except gaming, so multitasking is not really something to consider.
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April 15, 2010 2:50:46 PM

JofaMang said:
Do not bet on the unlock. I just built a PC with a friend this past weekend (555 + 785g + 5770) and while the cores unlocked, even at stock speeds, would crash p95 within seconds. No adjustment in the bios could stabilize anything over 2 cores. Just a reality check, the 555be is not a free quad, and should never be expected to be more than a dual. We did get it clocked to 4.0ghz on air as a dual, though, with a 212+ HSF.


Did you lock up the last core and run the CPU as an x3?? It might be the 4th core that is causing the issue..


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April 15, 2010 11:23:05 PM

Yup, wouldn't go, locking out the 3rd core didn't work, locking out the 4th didn't work. I even went and reread the entire unlocking thread to see if there was something I was missing, and no luck. Like I said, they would unlock, but there was no semblance of stability. I even tried putting a crapload of volts into it, and even at stock clocks and 1.525v it was crashing as soon as P95 opened. It didn't show any issues in general use, had it running for about 2 hours total time crash free as a quad, but p95 would end those runs within seconds (passed memory testing fine as a dual).
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April 16, 2010 1:36:42 AM

Do anyone think the same as me that X3 425, X3 435 and X3 440 are just the same chips that are binned differently since AMD want to take advantage of more expensive X3 to sell for non overclockers who prefer higher clocks? And this goes for the X2 550 and X2 555?
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April 16, 2010 2:55:28 AM

randomkid said:
Do anyone think the same as me that X3 425, X3 435 and X3 440 are just the same chips that are binned differently since AMD want to take advantage of more expensive X3 to sell for non overclockers who prefer higher clocks? And this goes for the X2 550 and X2 555?

Yup, I was under the impession that this is how things are done.

The production of these chips have innate variations, that at the incredible small scale they are being produced at, deny the possibility of perfect, or at least near perfection until the process matures and all the wrinkles are ironed out. Instead of having multiple dies for each of the core counts (x1, x2, x3, x4) they run a single quadcore die for the phenoms, and 2 dies for the athlons, a x2 and a x4. Single core semprons can be unlocked to dual core athlons. X3 Athlon IIs can be unlocked to x4 athlon IIs. X2 and X3 phenom IIs can be unlocked to quadcores Whether to save costs, or to bostler their reputation amongst the enthusiast crowd, AMD does not physically destroy the cores that are disabled.

Here is another interesting development as well in the AMD Unlocking universe:

The reality, is that there cannot possibly be a perfectly matched ratio of sold units of x2 x3 and x4 core chips to consumer demand. The longer the chip is in production, the better they get at producing them, and there are less bad cores to be found. That they unlock successfully, so often, is not a surprise.

As for the difference between the 550 and the 555, the 550 is C2 stepping same as the 140w 965. The 555 is the c3 stepping, same as the 125w 965.
July 28, 2011 4:11:25 PM

Sorry for the necropost, but I didn't feel it was justified to start up an entirely separate thread when my question falls in line with what's been established here already.

I just recently acquired the Athlon II X3 440, and I learned that it has the AADAC code written on it, meaning it's a Propus. Sources: http://www.insidehw.com/Reviews/CPU/Athlon-II-X3-440-A-... & http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2356... . That means I can potentially unlock the 4th core, but there is physically no L3 cache available. Let's say I did have an x3 440 with the AACYC code instead, would that mean that my CPU would show up in a program like CPU-Z as a Deneb? If so, would it actually read as a Phenom II X4 with the L3 cache and everything instead of an Athlon II X3 (is that how it works)?
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July 28, 2011 8:16:30 PM

the 555 BE is the better choice for unlocking...It has a much higher probability of being a stable X4 or X3 with the L3 cache...Where as the Athlon X3 is a working thriple core...The 555 BE will kick its butt in gaming and OCing say you get the 555 BE and it doesn't unlock oh well I am betting that the 555 as an X2 will get to 4.0 GHz stable np..which would eliminate some of the bottlenecking that slower clock speeds cause on higher end vid cards.......
August 3, 2011 1:16:46 AM

No L3 cache with the Athlons x3. A few years back there were some but not anymore.
best shot now day for the price is the Phenom x3 720 BE. Overclocklable, possible 4th core and really cheap-60 bucks at the egg this week. I just got one to replace my Athlon 450 with an unstable 4th core and I was able to unlock a stable 4th core on the 720.
!