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Phenom II X2 550 BE or Phenom II X3 720 BE

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September 3, 2009 8:26:59 PM

Hi there, I will buy a processor on the next week or two week later. But I'm a bit confused because of these processors are confuse me.

For motherboard I choice Gigabyte-MA790X-UD3P it has SB750 south bridge and it is supports ACC which we need for unlock the extra cores. Also it supports crossfire.

For memory I choice OCZ Reaper 1066 MHz DDR2 CL5. It's a good choice I think or I can take it back to Blade series or Platinium series. But I sticky in Reaper.

I have a HD 4770 graphic card and Western Digital Caviar Black.

Anyway that is not my point. I can decide which processor I should buy. I use my computer for gaming and internet. X2 550 has two cores and extra locked two cores. If I so lucky I can unlock them but X3 720 has three cores and extra locked one core. In there X3 550 is 30 $ cheaper than X3 720. But I'm really confused which one I have to choice...

More about : phenom 550 phenom 720

September 3, 2009 8:38:45 PM

well i'd get the x2 550. since you will mostly be gaming, you won't see an improvement if you unlock extra cores. so might as well pay less money.
September 3, 2009 8:46:53 PM

godless said:
well i'd get the x2 550. since you will mostly be gaming, you won't see an improvement if you unlock extra cores. so might as well pay less money.


Did you right? In GTA IV two cores gives some users warning like '' they are not enough ''. The Stock Triple Cores or the stocked Double Cores ? In Charts I looked 720 gives 70-75 fps but X2 550 gives 50-55 fps. What is different :S ?
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September 3, 2009 9:06:03 PM

GTA 4 is the only games really badly implemented with the PC architecture. If you don't have a 1gb card, it will not let you adjust the graphics to maximum settings. I got 2 4850 OC in crossfire which are about 7% slower than 2 4870 and I run the game really bad.

I would go with the 550 mostly because it's easier to unlock the cores. Also check if the motherboard you choose offer a stable ACC option... my Asus board is totally unstable with ACC on even if my CPU is extremely stable on 4 cores.
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September 3, 2009 10:15:52 PM

720BE for sure. Don't count on being able to unlock those extra cores as it's really a hit or miss. Anyway while it's possible to unlock the other two cores on a 550 BE, remember that chips that get turned into the 550BE are chips that weren't good enough to be 720 BEs. 550BEs usually aren't too stable either when overclocked with unlocked cores so it will just depend on the luck of the draw how far you will be able to get. With the 550 BE you have to worry about unlocking two cores to get a quad and trying to keep it stable. With the 720 you only have to worry about one.
September 3, 2009 11:53:30 PM

hey man, i just bought a 720be after having this battle with myself, i finally decided to go with 720 over 550, and i am so glad that i chose the 720, i have it overclocked to 3.8Ghz from the stock 2.8. i had to up the cpu voltage to 1.4 but just by using the unlocked multiplier i gained the extra speed, i use my pc for video editing and gaming, but mainly gaming, ive pretty much just heard success stories regarding unlocking the extra cores on both chips, but as megamanx00 said unlocking the extra cores does could make the processor unstable.
September 4, 2009 12:56:32 AM

I'd recommend the x3 720BE. I could unlock the 4th core, but it wasn't stable. Still, I overclocked it to 3.7GHz with 1.525 Vcore (will differ for everybody). 45C idle with 61C max. Should read this article: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-cores-performance,2373-12.html.

If you get the 550, you may not be able to unlock the cores (including overclocking with the cores unlocked), and if you can unlock them, it might not be as stable as you might think. 3 cores are all that you need for gaming.
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September 4, 2009 3:02:06 AM

El_Capitan said:
I'd recommend the x3 720BE. I could unlock the 4th core, but it wasn't stable. Still, I overclocked it to 3.7GHz with 1.525 Vcore (will differ for everybody). 45C idle with 61C max. Should read this article: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-cores-performance,2373-12.html.

If you get the 550, you may not be able to unlock the cores (including overclocking with the cores unlocked), and if you can unlock them, it might not be as stable as you might think. 3 cores are all that you need for gaming.


I think the 550 is better than the 720, unless you absolutely need the 720 for heavy threaded apps....It runs cooler and overclocks farther than the 720. As far as gaming goes, yes you will see a slight improvement in games like GTA and Crysis using a 720. In games like CoD, WoW, L4D, CS the 550 pwns the 720 @ 3.8Ghz or higher specially if unlocked to a B50.

Screenshot at 3.6Ghz (Temp 38c load on Air) :



4Ghz (Temp 36c idle and 45c load) :



So basically it depends as far as what you do daily and what you will do in the future. The 720 is slightly more future-proof than the 550 (Locked) .

But then you have this :

http://hwbot.org/listResults.do?cpuModelId=1895&applica...
September 4, 2009 4:13:47 AM

Apples and Oranges, really. I don't think you'll be disappointed with either one. For gaming, choosing your video card might be a tougher decision.
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September 4, 2009 4:43:19 AM

But in the end both chips deliver for an amazing price.... You really can't go wrong with neither like EL_Capitan said..... As far as bang for buck it does not get any better than this....
September 4, 2009 1:48:52 PM

Thanks for your post and help guys. I definetly not sure about buying which one but I give you something may help you. I don't go with overclock. Because of I don't have experience of overlclock. So I run my processor in stock.

I look their specs, 550 BE is 3.0 Ghz in stock but 720 BE is 2.8 Ghz. But 550 has double cores but 720 has triple cores. How does it do like this? 3.0 GHz and 2.8 Ghz in stock Double Cores vs Triple Cores. ?
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September 4, 2009 2:28:28 PM

Well both chips were initially quad cores to begin with, the reason that the 550 has 2 cores is due to the fact that they did not pass QC and/or they had faulty cores, so AMD decided to sell them as dual cores instead of throwing them out. Same as for the 720, but this time they disabled one core instead of two. The reason Why the 550 runs at 3.1Ghz and not 2.8 is due to be derived from a much newer chip (x4). The 720 has been in the market for much longer than the 550. The 550 has more headroom and runs alot cooler than the 720, well at least from what I have seen. But then again the 720 has an extra core if you really need it. It is a hard choice since both deliver, so you really can't go wrong with neither.....

You say now that you won't overclock, but once you see your chip falling behind in the future, the only way to get more speed out of it is by overclocking. Both chips have an unlocked multiplier so in all it is VERY easy to bumb up the speed. I have mines @ 3.856Ghz right now and it runs faster than many stock chips that cost much more. Once you decide on the CPU, let me know if you need any help or advice so you can get the most out of your new investment.
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September 4, 2009 3:22:37 PM

Is it possible to get the Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 ??
September 5, 2009 1:23:46 PM

GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 is too expensive for me right now.

@ OvrClkr, I'm very happy you are interesting with problem. I said this my first target is gaming. I like to play online games like WoW, GW and Warhammer Online. I'm a casual gamer. And other things is internet. I want to surf enough.

550 BE has a two locked cores I know this why 3.0 Ghz and 2.8 status right now. But isn't that a lucky thing? Unlock the cores? 720 is 30 dolars expensive that 550. But I want to know that 30 dolars.. is this value really worth between these double cores and triple cores conclusion...?
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September 5, 2009 8:45:35 PM

Im my opinion, if you do not play Crysis, GTA4, FSX etc.... you do not need a triple core, but another thing is that you should not buy the 550 JUST to see if you can unlock.... If you really need a tri/quad then go ahead and spend the extra cash... I do not use a quad on this PC due to I only play CoD4 and L4D, the 550 is more than enough for my needs specially at 3.8Ghz....

It would be wise to spend the extra cash and get the 720 or 945 just so you don't have to upgrade in the near future.. If you think that you can get by with a dual and you want to take your chances unlocking then go ahead and get the 550, either way you get a superb CPU......
September 6, 2009 11:38:52 AM

@OvrClkr, I will play most games you said Crysis, GTA 4 ect. So I will go with Phenom II X3 720. Thanks for your help.I have to select a case right now, thanks guys.
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