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Athlon II X4 620 or Phenom II 550BE

Last response: in CPUs
November 13, 2009 9:03:28 AM


I am planning to build a real budget pc for my home in this week. It will be mainly used for the following purpose.

1. Gaming
2. Browsing
3. Desktop Processing
5. Downloading, 24x7 operation
6. Photoshop
7. VMware
8. Graphics rendering (learning only)
9. Video editing

To meet all my requirements I have shortlisted the following config. I seek your valuable opinion on this and suggest me a good config under Rs. 35000 INR ($700).

Athlon II X4 620 or Phenom II 550 BE
Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H
2 GB Transcend DDR3
Iball gamer cabinet
Gigabyte Superb 460w PSU
Microsoft Keyboard/mouse kit
Altec Lansing VS4121
Graphics Card - ATI HD 4xxx series (will purchase later)

Parts already bought :
LG 22" Monitor TV with HDMI
Seagate 320 GB SATA
Sony DVD writer
Pixel view TV Tuner - USB

I am in dilemma that whether I buy the phenom II 550 BE and then unlock the hidden cores to quad core and over clock to 3.7GHz to get the 6mb L3 cache for better gaming performance or grab the Athlon II x4 620 2.6ghz without L3 cache for its quad core feature.

My questions are :

If I go for phenom II with unlocking the cores will that be equal to quad core proccy and whether the motherboard I mentioned above will be suitable for unlocking the cores. If not please suggest me a good mobo (except ASUS) with ATI HD 4200 IGP and HDMI port. What is the disadvantage of unlocking the cores and over clocking ? And what PSU and how many watts are required to meet those criteria ?

If I go for Athlon II X4 620 will that provide better gaming performance and meet my other requirements especially HTPC ?

I am really confused on selecting between these two cpu.What should I go for . Please help me.

Thanks in advance.

a b à CPUs
November 13, 2009 9:27:56 AM

Unlocking the cores is NOT guaranteed to work. Some people get lucky, most probably do not. I would recommend you go for the Athlon X4. Judging from the benchmarks, the absence of L3 cache is only a disadvantage when gaming. Since you plan to run a wide range of applications, a quad core CPU will be more suited to your needs.
November 13, 2009 9:43:26 AM

thanks herr_koos ...

what do you rate my config ? any changes u see ?
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a b à CPUs
November 13, 2009 9:51:09 AM

I will suggest you to buy Athlon X4.
Since two more cores will benefit more than 6MB L3 cache.
Even newer games like to have more cores.

With Phenom II other cores are not guaranteed to unlock and there are stability issues with unlocked cores.

Everything else looks good but that PSU is minimum recommended.
I m not saying it is bad but not suitable for very good cards like HD 4870.
You can consider a corsair VX450 or the one that matches your GPU.

And you'll need more RAM.With windows 7 even crysis takes 2.6GB RAM.
So better get 4GB.

You can go with DDR2 if budget becomes a problem.
a b à CPUs
November 13, 2009 9:56:51 AM

^That much OC can be done with stock cooler too...
November 13, 2009 10:55:59 AM

I would recommend spending the extra $10 and get the 710 trip core
a b à CPUs
November 13, 2009 12:25:06 PM

actually the athlon is a better choice....there's no much significant change that u can notice in the absence of a L3 cache for normal use.... So go for the athlon... i would like to suggest changing the ram though... i know that transcend is the personal favorite of many indians... but since the prices have shot up u can afford a gskill or ocz with very little difference in prices... and rest i guess is alrite...
November 13, 2009 7:06:47 PM

thanks for pouring suggestions guys :-)

Atlast I have decided to go for Athlon x4. I will check in the market for gskill and ocz ram and if price difference is not much i would go for them. For PSU I have no other choice since corsair vx450 costs Rs.4200 and Gigabyte superb 460w costs Rs.2200 i will have to go for Gigabyte due to my tight budget.

will that psu cause any issue in future when I OC my cpu and adding the gpu ?

please clarify this ....
November 13, 2009 7:36:03 PM

I would opt for the AthlonII X4 for your usage.
a b à CPUs
November 14, 2009 8:08:00 AM

That PSU will be enough.
But with a decent card you'll be pushing it to its limits.

Can tell if it will be enough or not cuz you haven't specified which GPU you'll use.
a b à CPUs
November 14, 2009 6:19:13 PM

I still can't tell too much of a difference between my Q9550 (quad core) @ 3.6 and my E8400 (dual core) @ 4.0. And in most games I saw a slight decrease in performance believe it or not. The 550 not only clocks higher but is faster clock for clock as well! They are both the same price for a reason. The choice is yours!