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AMD Phenom II X3 720 or AMD Phenom II X4 955

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July 9, 2009 11:13:01 AM

Seriously I am perplexed as to which CPU I should purchase. I have seen what they can do, but honestly I am on a tight budget and want to get other stuff too. Is the extra 50 quid justifiable or should I just stick to a 720- but I dont want it to become a thing of the past as soon as I get. I'd just like a CPU which will last a minimum of 1 1/2 yrs without upgrading. I mostly game and regularly use winrar and photoshop. I dont heavily multi-task or do anything that will bring my pc to its knees. All I want is good gameplay performance whilst having firefox open and a few other programs eg Photoshop. Thanks :sweat: 
July 9, 2009 11:18:17 AM

955 easily because of your requirements.
July 9, 2009 11:20:29 AM

Helloworld_98 said:
955 easily because of your requirements.



So the 720 wouldnt be able to live up to what i usually do on my pc?
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July 9, 2009 11:25:59 AM

well winrar and photoshop prefer more cores, and probably about 70-80% that come out at currently either have quad core support natively or will have within the first couple of major patches.
July 9, 2009 8:48:50 PM

oh yeah, i forgot to mention- i do quite a bit of over-night downloading. So i dont want a cpu that will be an electricity hog, thats why i considered the 720- its cheap, its multi-core, overclockable and it doesnt use as much electricity as the 955 would
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July 9, 2009 9:00:50 PM

The 720 and 955 are essentially the same part .

In the 720 one core is disabled and its clocked 400 MHz lower . You can easily make up the clock speed difference with a very mild overclock .
The extra core doesnt add any where near 25% extra performance .. more like 6-7 % in real world situations .
Ignore the brigade who always insist people have the latest and greatest and decide whether its worth paying that much extra for marginal performance gains

In most budget gaming situations you'd be better off with a 720 and a stronger gfx card because that will give you better fps
July 9, 2009 9:17:17 PM

well at the moment i own a ati 4850- which is being bottlenecked by my e4400 :(  so im really itching for a quick upgrade, and i agree as to what you say 'outlander' thats why I was confused wether i should spend an extra 50 quid (80 dollars) on a 955, i dont do a massive number of multi-tasks, i mainly game, download and do a few multi-core worthy tasks every now and then. Im leaning towards the 720, but if i decide to purchase a 720 and along with my current 4850 and a gaming res of 1280x1024, how long would it be before my system starts to lag on games or cry for an extra core? end of this year? next yr? etc
a c 86 à CPUs
a b À AMD
July 9, 2009 9:26:38 PM

Since the limit is going to be hit by the gfx card b4 a 720 be I dont think you will add future proofing by buying the 955 .

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/phenom2_955/8.h...
this is all with a single gtx 260 na dthe 955 does have the edge but not by a huge ammount . OCing the 720 is likely to bring it to that level any way .

The application benchmarks show where the 955 is stronger , but I dont sit watching my pc encode . I go make a coffee , so being able to compress files faster isnt something I would pay for

What I do suggest you do is build a system with a 720 , an AM3 mb with amd's 790/750 series chipsets , and then add 4 gig of 1333MHz DDR3 . That will give you a platform for upgrading for at least few years
July 9, 2009 9:47:10 PM

itchy112233 said:
Seriously I am perplexed as to which CPU I should purchase. I have seen what they can do, but honestly I am on a tight budget and want to get other stuff too. Is the extra 50 quid justifiable or should I just stick to a 720- but I dont want it to become a thing of the past as soon as I get. I'd just like a CPU which will last a minimum of 1 1/2 yrs without upgrading. I mostly game and regularly use winrar and photoshop. I dont heavily multi-task or do anything that will bring my pc to its knees. All I want is good gameplay performance whilst having firefox open and a few other programs eg Photoshop. Thanks :sweat: 


If you plan to upgrade your CPU in a year and half, save the money and get the 720. It's really a nice chip and the only game really showing a weakness, in comparaison with the 955, is GTA4. The rest it's about 2 or 3 fps more or less.

I do the same thing as you and you don't need the 955. Between... I love my computer...

720 BE Phenom II
OCZ Vendetta 2
OCZ platinum 1600 memory 4GB
OCZ modxstream 700 W (For my computer I got around 85% efficiency... wonderful for my setup)
Asus m4A78T-E
Asus 4850 TOP (2 in crossfire)
Coolermaster Cosmos S
BDUX Sony BluRay player
DVD burner
HT Omega Striker Sound Card
July 9, 2009 9:56:12 PM

Thats what i was thinking, 4gig ddr3, 790gx board and the 720-cheap, effective, efficient. In my opinion i believe that the 955 is for people who can afford it and like the fact that they have an extra core for a day when apps or games can actually make use of ALL cores. Even if the 720 somehow becomes obselete ill still have a am3 board so it is upgradeable. Im sure the 4850 still has a bit of life in it.
July 9, 2009 10:00:02 PM

Why don't you just buy a P2 X2 550, unlock the 2 disabled cores and save yourself over $100 its the same thing as the 955.
July 9, 2009 10:00:10 PM

Thank you everyone for all your replies :D  im certain to get the 720 now
July 9, 2009 10:02:01 PM

yeh, but what if i dont manage to unlock the cores, besides id rather play it safe and have a original multicore cpu at hand rather than an unlocked one
July 9, 2009 10:10:03 PM

The price of the 720 BE is really affordable. At 130$, it competes with chip at twice it's price. You cannot go wrong with it :p 
July 9, 2009 10:26:59 PM

As someone already pointed out, the 720 is your best bet, esp if you want to upgrade it again in a year to a year and a half.

Though i want to point out (sorry if someone did and i skipped it), you said you were worried about power consumption since you leave the PC on to overnight DL... if you OC your 720 or whatever, it's going to eat more power, even on idle to low. Would the amount of power of an OC'd 720 = the power of a non-OC 955? i don't know.

something to think about~~

I would go with the 720BE though ; )
July 10, 2009 1:28:00 AM

Ya the fps difference in pretty much all games will be negligable with a bit of a overclock.Photoshop & Winrar will show a bit more of a gap.
July 10, 2009 4:56:36 AM

720 is heavy on electricity.

Keep in mind to get a good motherboard that actually works with a 955, go for Gigabyte models or MSI G65 / G70.
Check on newegg.com the model you like and search the reviews for 955 and if that model is compatible.

Otherwise you buy a 720 now + motherboard and in 1 year when you upgrade to 955 you have to get a new motherboard that actually works with the 955.

I just waisted 3 weeks on 8x Phenom II ready motherboards that does not work with the 955, no dual power plane.

Gigabyte most of their mboards works with 955, 4+1 phase or 8+2 phase + a bios update.

790g motherboards has lower power usage than 790 with no inbuilt video.

940 OC'd or 955 OC'd = same 955 has VT 940 does not. $50 diffs only if you need VT otherwise it is a waist.

Send my 955 + Bio*-Hazard Mboard back for q9550 + Gigabyte.
July 10, 2009 11:57:49 AM

the 720 isnt as heavy on electricity as the 955-although if i decide to overclock it then im assuming its another story..? :S I probably wont overclock it unless i feel the need for a bit of extra 'omph'. I agree that my best bet will probably be to buy the 720 over the 955- add 4 gig of ddr3 1600 and a 790gx board along with my 4850-meh budget system but at least it will last a minimum of a year

any thoughts on the Sapphire PURE CrossFireX AMD 790GX AM3 board?
!