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Help with choosing an AMD Phenom II CPU

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August 6, 2009 6:03:08 PM

I'm in the process of researching components for my first time build. I've narrowed the choice of CPU down to some AMD Phenom II models - the X3 720 BE, X4 955 BE. Gaming will be the most intensive application that I require from the CPU.

What would the performance difference be between the X3 720 BE and X4 955 BE? I intend to overclock, though not extreme. I want to run stable. I was thinking 20-25%. I thought about including the X4 940 BE in the mix, but decided against it because it's an AM2+ CPU. I intend on keeping the computer for several years and would like to be able to upgrade.

a b à CPUs
August 6, 2009 9:56:31 PM

They'll both perform the same in gaming. If you like running an antivirus scan in the background, the X4 955 would perform better.
a b à CPUs
August 6, 2009 10:46:47 PM

x3, go for 720 BE. if u want quad, go for x4 940 BE. 955 is not worht the extra ~50 eur for only 200 Mhz better clock.
Related resources
August 6, 2009 11:06:40 PM

Two recent articles "The Best CPU's for the money" and "How many cores do you need" have great benchmarks for deciding what to get based on what you're going to use them for.
a b à CPUs
August 6, 2009 11:28:54 PM

It also depends on how many quad core optimized games you will be playing (so far there are not too many).For the most part the X3 720 BE will be one of the best bangs per buck.Some people get the X2 550 and unlock the extra 2 cores making it nearly a X4 955 BE at stock speeds.However I recently got a X4 955 BE for almost the same price as a X3 720 BE in a CPU and Motherboard combo deal at newegg.
August 6, 2009 11:40:31 PM

jimishtar said:
x3, go for 720 BE. if u want quad, go for x4 940 BE. 955 is not worht the extra ~50 eur for only 200 Mhz better clock.


If I decided on the X4 940 BE would I run into problems if I wanted to upgrade 3-4 years down the line? Specifically, when DDR3 becomes the standard? I've been reading a lot throughout the forums and many suggest the AM3 over the AM2+ for future compatibility.

Thanks for the replies so far. I'm definitely behind the curve information wise. :p 
August 7, 2009 1:11:18 AM

VinnyChase said:
If I decided on the X4 940 BE would I run into problems if I wanted to upgrade 3-4 years down the line? Specifically, when DDR3 becomes the standard? I've been reading a lot throughout the forums and many suggest the AM3 over the AM2+ for future compatibility.

Thanks for the replies so far. I'm definitely behind the curve information wise. :p 


the 940 is the best bang for the buck among quads but runs on an am2+ socket so future proofing is out of the question and you cannot use the ddr 3 memory. If thats the case stick to the 720 BE or the 955 BE, the 720 games well and has enough cores to multi task like a champ plus it has an unlocked multiplier for easy over clocking the 955 BE is better for multi tasking and running stuff in the back ground since it has an extra core otherwise you will be fine with the 720 BE and u will be able to use it with ddr 3
!