Phenom II X2 550 BE or Phenom II X3 720 BE?

I'm building a budget gaming rig for MMO gaming mostly. I really only play games like EQ2, WoW, and plan to play that new Star wars the old republic mmo when it releases. I plan to upgrade to a quad core in a year anyway but want to know what will give me a pretty good bang for my buck right now. All I really run is the game and vent, with maybe a browser open occasionally.

I can't decide between the Phenom II X2 550 BE or Phenom II X3 720 BE for a CPU. The X2 is cheaper and is 3.1 ghz(higher with OC and better chance of unlocking extra cores). The X3 has the third core but is 2.8 ghz(and less chance of successfully unlocking an extra core).
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  1. Just get the 550 it will serve you well for the applictions you state. There is the possibility of quad core unlock for both processors so check around do some searching here on toms and I bet you will find all the info you could ever want..... All this without ever hving to ask a question.
  2. The 550 should serve you nicely, but I wouldnt count on the core unlock being stable, if even possible.
  3. You would like that, wouldnt you? AND I did SAY possibilty!
  4. People should never buy something, thinking they are getting more than the actual product. The other two cores are disabled for a reason.
  5. I'd go for the X3. You can overclock 300Mhz (and they'll probably both top out within 10% of each other), but you can't make an extra core.
  6. Some have! Some havent!
  7. Why bother right now with the Phenom II X2 550 or the Phenom II X3 720.
    Right over at newegg you can get the Phenom II X4 955 with a AM3 motherboard for about the same money because they are having a sale.
    Go for the 790GX motherboard if you plan to use 1 graphics card or go for the 790FX motherboard if you plan to use 2 ATI graphics cards in crossfire.
    For you on a budget you will probably want the 790GX.
    So you won't have to wait a year to get a quad core CPU.
    If you subtract the savings on the combo deals with those motherboards (since you will need one anyways) the Phenom II X4 955 will be about the same price as the Phenom X3 720.

    Here is another good deal on a Phenom II X4 (the 940) although it's AM2+, however the memory is cheaper though.This system would be even much less in cost and would perform well.
    The only problem about this is being stuck with an End Of Line AM2+ motherboard however that's not bad considering how powerful the Phenom II X4 940 is.Since it's way cheaper than choosing the Phenom II X4 955/AM3 motherboard route the money saved can also purchase the DDR2 memory so this with the mail in rebate would get you the CPU,Motherboard and 4 gigabytes of DDR2 memory for around $225.
  8. Yeah, the second combo w/the 940 and the biostar mobo is really a screamin' deal, under 200 bucks for very nice gear. Why wait a year for quad core goodness at these prices!
  9. Also
    the AM3 cpu's will work in AM2+ MOBOS.

    Phenom II's have a dual memory controller. either ddr2 or dd3 ram.

    but - you cannot use an AM2+ CPU in a Socket AM3 - those soks are am3 only. but the cpu's are backward compatible.
  10. the 550 or 720 will oclock about the same.

    if you think you need the extra core - get it. It doesn't really sound like you need it from your description.
  11. IHMO...go with the X2 550BE.


    a) you said you're building a budget gaming rig. last time I saw newegg, it was $20 cheaper. $20 is $20, right?
    b) 3.1GHz vs I heard the 550 OCs pretty isn't it a lower watt CPU?
    c) playing WoW or EQ2 if they're not written to take advantage of multicore CPUs, the x2 will do as well as the x3

    take the $20 and get a slightly bigger or better performing hard drive.

    and everyone is right...don't count on unlocked cores working. i got lucky with my 720BE OCing 3.4GHz on 4 cores. YMMV if you try it.

    Good luck :)
  12. You should get the Phenom II quad core with the deal thats out there right now. Most mmorpgs are more cpu intensive than standard games and WoW definitely does better on a quad core than dual core or tri-core.
  13. just a thought , I have a 7750 , it runs a little hot but it overclocks nicely and is cheap as .. ... other than that gofor the 720 x3 ... or a 940 .. they are cheaper now
  14. It's too bad that the specific deal on the Phenom II 940 and the Motherboard is not offered anymore.They must have had a huge response so it sold out really quick.
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