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Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition 3.1GHz vs Athlon II X4 2.6GHz quad

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December 6, 2009 10:40:54 PM

Quick question. will be getting my new comp soon, and just cant decide between these. will be doing some major gaming, but also will be doing some decent multitasking. can the dual core handle that? can the quad handle fallout 3 on max settings? thanks in advance.

Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 7, 2009 5:39:50 AM

You'll have to make the call based on what the system will be used for. The 550 will be faster in the majority of games thanks to the higher clock speed and L3 cache. The 620 will give you decent framerates for gaming, but its real value is in multitasking. In that respect it's more future-proof than the 550.
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December 7, 2009 5:50:17 AM

you can overclock the 620 for decent games performance , and more and more games will take advantage of 4 cores in the future . 100 dollars for 4 cores is really a bargain in that sense .
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December 7, 2009 6:39:26 AM

i have the 550. its gaming performance is brilliant.

ive used a 620. its gaming performance is not.

id recomned the 550 every time. the 620 is just not desgined for gaming, and the lack of l3 cache really sets it back.

if you have a compatible mobo, you can actualy unlokc the 550 to a quad core. i recently did this, and have a fully functioning quad core 550 be. brilliant.
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December 7, 2009 9:04:26 AM

you might as well just toss a coin , cos there really isnt much difference
personally though I would go for the 550
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December 7, 2009 12:17:52 PM

If you are doing "major" gaming, I would not get either one of these processors.
There are a lot better choices.
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December 7, 2009 2:07:44 PM

Quote:
The Athlon II X4 no doubtably.

Some people have a narrow view, the 550 BE/720 BE might be faster in games but not by a massive amount. The 720 BE is like 10% faster in games at maximum, does it pay to have a CPU that achieves a mere 10% when its slower at almost every other non-gaming task? Secondly When that Crysis 2 comes out, or that Alan Wake comes out then you will be wishing you had quad.




Considering that only a few frames per second seperate the 550 and 620 in non multithreaded titles by your own logic the 550 isnt designed for games either?

Secondly its a gamble unlocking processors, you have a 50/50 chance. Even if they unlock you have a 50/50 chance that one of those two unlocked cores will be unstable. If you have to spend extra on a motherboard you may as well put the money on the Phenom II 955.



That is more like it, for a couple hundred bucks, and if I was going to be doing serious gaming, and multitasking, a Phenom II 955 would be exactly what I would be looking at in the AMD camp. No doubt about it. I would beg, borrow, scrape, scrounge, wait and save, whatever I had to do to come up with the few extra bucks to go with this processor.
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December 7, 2009 4:14:23 PM

^ , yes , and dont go with an x3 , for 20 more , either get 620 or phenom x4 955 direct .its 165 shipped .
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December 7, 2009 4:18:20 PM

and at 165 , it really has lowest price/performance in spite of being high performance and has great overclocking headroom .
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December 7, 2009 6:00:23 PM

nice link , warmon , i too wanted to post this but was lazy :D 
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December 7, 2009 6:44:57 PM

jitpublisher said:
If you are doing "major" gaming, I would not get either one of these processors.
There are a lot better choices.

honestly i went from a core i7 920 to a PII 550, and really can't tell a difference interms of gaming. i can run every game i play on max everything and pull 98 frames on averrage, of cousre my hd 4870x2 helps out alot.
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December 7, 2009 9:23:57 PM

thanks for the feedback guys. warm i read those reviews, and with everyone's input im leaning towards the quad core. now which quad core... i dont really know. maybe i could whip out the money for the 955.. which would be great. i DO want this computer that im making to last a couple years, so future gaming=what i will be doing. however, i dont really want or need to be running crysis at 100 fps.. but i dont want to be lagging when next gen games come out.
here is my mobo that i have picked out: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
am i good with overclockin fully with this?
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December 7, 2009 10:01:32 PM

antsy self bump. btw: i am ordering today.
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December 7, 2009 10:29:34 PM

radeon HD 5770, and yes, 4 gb of ram.
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December 9, 2009 12:11:59 AM

a bit late but- @bddazza.

i dont know where the few frames comes in, but ive used a system with a 620 prcoessor which also had a gtx 275, and i dont know how much the video card/processor combo makes a difference, but the system with the 620 performed pretty sub par on most games.
it was much worse performance than my machine. liek i said, this could be due to any number of things, but the processor was definetly a big factor.

and unlocking a core is actually much better than a 50/50 chance. judging by the numbers on oc.net, it seems the success rate is 80 percent plus.
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December 9, 2009 12:59:43 PM

welshmousepk said:
a bit late but- @bddazza.

and unlocking a core is actually much better than a 50/50 chance. judging by the numbers on oc.net, it seems the success rate is 80 percent plus.


If it was 80%+ chance of unlocking the 4th core in a tri core cpu, AMD wouldn't be making tri cores cpus. ;)  Just judging 1 source is not enough, you need to judge a lot of different web sites. Which what i find, brings that back down to 50% chance.
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December 9, 2009 10:58:29 PM

@bddazza. for some reason toms doesnt tell me when there are new replies, so i must check my emails to find them. sometimes im a bit late.

my point is just that my system, in my sig (550BE) performs CONSIDERBLY better than a friends system, who has a 620 and a gtx 275.

as in, i am able to max out crysis and he isnt. and MW@ gets 80ish FPS on my system, but less than 60 on his.
like i said though, im not making statements as a fact. just saying that in my experience the 620 is no where near the performance of a 550. (again, i knwo his system also uses an entirely different video card, but im just going on my expereince)

and @warmon. yeah, i knwo i havnt exactly done the research. but the point is, AMD started binning perfectly good quad cores because the demand was so high for dual cores. and the fact that of everyone on OC.net who has attempted unlocking, only 1 or 2 in ten fail to do so, well. to bme that simply says 50/50 is a bit too conservative.

i dont mean to sound like im talking crap, im not trying to say any of this is correct. jsut my opinions based off of my opinions.
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December 10, 2009 11:34:15 AM

If you want a "better" gaming system, you need a processor running at 2.8 ghz or higher. At around 3~3.2ghz you are going to be sure you getting the most out of a higher end video card. And right now, today, if you buying you might as well go quad core. The price difference is not that big, really. I know some people do have tight budgets, but come on, you will spend more buying a couple of games so if you want to game, do not skimp on the processor or video card. And if you must cut back, drop back to a tri/dual core, but at least keep the speed 3ghz very minimum. Believe me you will be a lot happier if you do.
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December 11, 2009 8:01:22 AM

welshmousepk said:
@bddazza. for some reason toms doesnt tell me when there are new replies, so i must check my emails to find them. sometimes im a bit late.

my point is just that my system, in my sig (550BE) performs CONSIDERBLY better than a friends system, who has a 620 and a gtx 275.

as in, i am able to max out crysis and he isnt. and MW@ gets 80ish FPS on my system, but less than 60 on his.
like i said though, im not making statements as a fact. just saying that in my experience the 620 is no where near the performance of a 550. (again, i knwo his system also uses an entirely different video card, but im just going on my expereince)

and @warmon. yeah, i knwo i havnt exactly done the research. but the point is, AMD started binning perfectly good quad cores because the demand was so high for dual cores. and the fact that of everyone on OC.net who has attempted unlocking, only 1 or 2 in ten fail to do so, well. to bme that simply says 50/50 is a bit too conservative.

i dont mean to sound like im talking crap, im not trying to say any of this is correct. jsut my opinions based off of my opinions.


You were right, the 550 will outperform the 620 at Crysis with stock settings.

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December 11, 2009 9:01:22 AM

Quote:
I'm not doubting the 550s performance, but I definitely think that your 620 was suspect. I do not have MW, but I do have COD:WAW on a less beefier video card (ATI 4850) and I get 90 FPS constant. Crysis plays on a mixture of high and very high without issues.

MothMusic, remember that Crysis is only one game from 3years ago and its is hardly a good representation performance accross a wide range of titles or an indication of performance expected from upcoming multi threaded games. Although I would agree Phenom II X2 550s performance does favour Crysis I would say "outperform" is a strong word for 3.9 FPS extra. Even earlier when welshmousepk said that the Athlon II X4 620 "is not a gaming CPU". If 3.9 FPS separates the performance one can argue the 550 isn’t a gaming CPU either?

Personally I would sacrifice a mere 3.9 FPS in today games knowing that in upcoming games would give be a more substantial performance boost and knowing that currently non-gaming applications favour the quad.


I know that 3.9 fps is not significant. I simply wanted to show evidence that what he said was true, thats all.

Saying that the 620 is not a gaming cpu is nonsense. It can play modern multi threaded games very well, much better than dual cores.

It really depends on the software your using with the cpu. Games like WoW and L4D2, do much better with higher clock speed and extra L3 cache. On the other hand, games like GTAIV and Resident Evil 5 do better with multiple cores. In the future, games will all go multi-core, so getting a 620 to play modern and future games is a good idea. But if you like playing older games, or online games like WoW, L4D2, Counter Strike source and others, than the dual core would be more appropriate. Personally, all I play are games from 2006 and back so the 550 really shines there.

So essentially if you want to play modern titles, than go with the 620.

If you want to play older/online games, go with the 550.

Neither cpu is really "better" than the other at stock speeds. They simply specialize and do different things better that the other one could in the same applications. So rather than asking which cpu is better, maybe we should be asking which cpu does what you want it to do the best instead. Not arguing how you could overclock a 620 or unlock a 550.
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December 11, 2009 9:08:35 AM

bradboarder5 said:
Quick question. will be getting my new comp soon, and just cant decide between these. will be doing some major gaming, but also will be doing some decent multitasking. can the dual core handle that? can the quad handle fallout 3 on max settings? thanks in advance.

Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




"Will $99 get you a potent gaming processor? Compared to anything similarly priced, yes, yes it will. If you're building a gaming box you're still better suited for todays games with a faster dual-core processor but if you care about multithreaded performance elsewhere, the X4 won't disappoint."

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...

I kinda think we all forgot the OP's original question was what cpu is best for Fallout 3, not which cpu is better than the other one...
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December 11, 2009 9:23:01 AM

bradboarder5 said:
Quick question. will be getting my new comp soon, and just cant decide between these. will be doing some major gaming, but also will be doing some decent multitasking. can the dual core handle that? can the quad handle fallout 3 on max settings? thanks in advance.

Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




"Gaming performance clearly goes to the Athlon II X2 and the Phenom II X2. Because of its high clock speed and very high core-to-cache ratio, the Phenom II X2 550 is actually faster than the Phenom II X4 940 in this test. Note that Fallout 3 isn't particularly heavily threaded so the X4's additional cores don't do much good here."

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...

I think this is the cpu info you were looking for. No one really answered the TS's question with any citeable facts or sorces that directly related to how well a 550 or a 620 ran Fallout 3. Clearly, if you want to run Fallout 3 with the best performance possiable between a 550 and 620, then the 550 is the way to go. The Gamebryo game engine that powers fallout 3 comes from Oblivion, and that engine is optimized for dual cores, and is very sensitive towards clockspeed and L3 cache.
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December 11, 2009 9:36:33 AM

warmon6 said:
i say just get the 620:

great price/performance ratio compared to other quad core cpus
a quad core which mean you wouldn't have to upgrade to a new cpu so soon
the save money can be put to better graphic cards.

As for the l3 cache and gaming.....
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-l3-cache,241...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-propus,24...
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...


Your wrong. Clockspeed and L3 cache do make a big impact on games. It just depends on whether the software is coded for it or not.









http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=357...





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December 11, 2009 1:43:57 PM



Did i say clock speed didn't make a big impact on games? i was only refering to the l3 cache. As the artical shows when you underclock the phenom II's x4's to the athlon ii X4 620 speeds... To the human eye and most of the bench marks on there, you wont notice a difference. The largest difference shown in thats article was left 4 dead,


Yes there just 20 fps gain from this but scene there above the 60fps you wouldn't notice it. Yes this is much lower resolution than what the OP probably has but at resolution below 1280 x 1024, the cpu doing all the work while the gpu is twiddling its thumbs. So this will stress the cpu much more than at resolution's 1280 x 1024+.

When you do include the GPU, the difference gets less as most games are gpu dependent than cpu. As for most programs of today, L3 cache is just not all the big for now.


For the gaming side, i was showing todays games can run on the Athlon II x4 620. Not saying that speed wasn't importain. Although with a 400-500 MHz overclock, the Athlon II x4 can match the fps and maybe exceed the Phenom II x2 550.
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December 11, 2009 7:17:05 PM

warmon6 said:
Did i say clock speed didn't make a big impact on games? i was only refering to the l3 cache. As the artical shows when you underclock the phenom II's x4's to the athlon ii X4 620 speeds... To the human eye and most of the bench marks on there, you wont notice a difference. The largest difference shown in thats article was left 4 dead,
http://media.bestofmicro.com/H/C/223536/original/019_left_4_dead.png

Yes there just 20 fps gain from this but scene there above the 60fps you wouldn't notice it. Yes this is much lower resolution than what the OP probably has but at resolution below 1280 x 1024, the cpu doing all the work while the gpu is twiddling its thumbs. So this will stress the cpu much more than at resolution's 1280 x 1024+.

When you do include the GPU, the difference gets less as most games are gpu dependent than cpu. As for most programs of today, L3 cache is just not all the big for now.


For the gaming side, i was showing todays games can run on the Athlon II x4 620. Not saying that speed wasn't importain. Although with a 400-500 MHz overclock, the Athlon II x4 can match the fps and maybe exceed the Phenom II x2 550.


Sorry, your were only referring to L3 cache. But remember, not everyone feels comfortable over clocking, or even knows how.
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December 11, 2009 7:20:17 PM

warmon6 said:
Did i say clock speed didn't make a big impact on games? i was only refering to the l3 cache. As the artical shows when you underclock the phenom II's x4's to the athlon ii X4 620 speeds... To the human eye and most of the bench marks on there, you wont notice a difference. The largest difference shown in thats article was left 4 dead,
http://media.bestofmicro.com/H/C/223536/original/019_left_4_dead.png

Yes there just 20 fps gain from this but scene there above the 60fps you wouldn't notice it. Yes this is much lower resolution than what the OP probably has but at resolution below 1280 x 1024, the cpu doing all the work while the gpu is twiddling its thumbs. So this will stress the cpu much more than at resolution's 1280 x 1024+.

When you do include the GPU, the difference gets less as most games are gpu dependent than cpu. As for most programs of today, L3 cache is just not all the big for now.


For the gaming side, i was showing todays games can run on the Athlon II x4 620. Not saying that speed wasn't importain. Although with a 400-500 MHz overclock, the Athlon II x4 can match the fps and maybe exceed the Phenom II x2 550.


And thats justs Left 4 Dead. The TS wants know about Fallout 3. This was exactly what I was talking about, no one was directly answering the TS's question. He doesn't care about L3 cache, or overclocking (at least it was never mentioned in his question). He just wanted to know what cpu played Fallout 3 the best.
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December 11, 2009 9:19:54 PM

this is getting a little out of hand, and my hangover is discouraging me from reading all the replies...

to clarify though, what i meant when i said the athlons are not gaming CPUs is simply that they arent AIMED at or designed for gamers.

AMD specifically target gamers with the phenom range, while the athlons are desgined specifically for non-gaming tasks.

im not saying an athlon 620 cant game, but in my experience its notably less of a performer.
i can see from the benchies youve posted though that my experience with them is certainly not the norm. so my assumption was out.

i think the point still stands though, L3 cache is very helpful for gaming. more so than two extra cores on most cases. and IMO, the phenom 550 should be a gamers first choice everytime.
especially since theres a possibility you can unlock to a quad.
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December 11, 2009 9:34:01 PM

welshmousepk said:
this is getting a little out of hand, and my hangover is discouraging me from reading all the replies...

to clarify though, what i meant when i said the athlons are not gaming CPUs is simply that they arent AIMED at or designed for gamers.

AMD specifically target gamers with the phenom range, while the athlons are desgined specifically for non-gaming tasks.

im not saying an athlon 620 cant game, but in my experience its notably less of a performer.
i can see from the benchies youve posted though that my experience with them is certainly not the norm. so my assumption was out.

i think the point still stands though, L3 cache is very helpful for gaming. more so than two extra cores on most cases. and IMO, the phenom 550 should be a gamers first choice everytime.
especially since theres a possibility you can unlock to a quad.


That just depends on the game your playing. There are many modern games that don't really care about L3 cache at all, and having an extra two cores does make a difference.

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December 12, 2009 3:07:57 AM

welshmousepk said:
this is getting a little out of hand, and my hangover is discouraging me from reading all the replies...

to clarify though, what i meant when i said the athlons are not gaming CPUs is simply that they arent AIMED at or designed for gamers.

AMD specifically target gamers with the phenom range, while the athlons are desgined specifically for non-gaming tasks.

im not saying an athlon 620 cant game, but in my experience its notably less of a performer.
i can see from the benchies youve posted though that my experience with them is certainly not the norm. so my assumption was out.

i think the point still stands though, L3 cache is very helpful for gaming. more so than two extra cores on most cases. and IMO, the phenom 550 should be a gamers first choice everytime.
especially since theres a possibility you can unlock to a quad.


Did your friend have his 620 overclocked?
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December 12, 2009 4:15:27 AM

@moth, yeah i know GTAIV is one of the worst games in histroy for requiring 4 cores. its performance can be terrible on dual core systems (my phenom for instance)

and yes, my friend had his athlon overcloked. i dont remember exactly but i think he was at 3.2-3.4. whereas i was at 3.6. so i guess that also would have explained it.
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December 12, 2009 4:54:43 AM

welshmousepk said:
@moth, yeah i know GTAIV is one of the worst games in histroy for requiring 4 cores. its performance can be terrible on dual core systems (my phenom for instance)

and yes, my friend had his athlon overcloked. i dont remember exactly but i think he was at 3.2-3.4. whereas i was at 3.6. so i guess that also would have explained it.


EDIT: I noticed you had your 550 overclocked, nvm

Just one question, where you using the stock cooler?
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December 12, 2009 5:03:32 AM

welshmousepk said:
@moth, yeah i know GTAIV is one of the worst games in histroy for requiring 4 cores. its performance can be terrible on dual core systems (my phenom for instance)

and yes, my friend had his athlon overcloked. i dont remember exactly but i think he was at 3.2-3.4. whereas i was at 3.6. so i guess that also would have explained it.


Hmm... Thats odd, I heard alot of people saying on the forums here that the 620, once overclocked, would be almost as strong or stronger than a Phenom II x4. In fact that was one of the whole points of getting a 620, was to over clock it. But if you can overclock a 550 and get better performance than an overclocked 620, then whats the poing of a 620 oc for games? If thats true that the 620 is mediocre at games even when overclocked, then alot of the $600 rigs that were recommanded to people in the homebuilt forum may be wrong. :sweat:  If you knew that, how come you never recommended the 550 in those threads for $600 rigs?

What other games does your friend play, that your 550 can do better? (For some comparison besides Crysis)
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December 12, 2009 4:34:21 PM

Quote:
According to this review by TPU at highest resolution a Athlon II X4 @ 3.63 GHz performs just as well as a Phenom II X4 964 @ 3.4 GHz

http://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/Athlon_II_X4_620/images/residentoc_evil_5_1920.gif

http://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/Athlon_II_X4_620/images/hawxoc_1920.gif


Notice how in Cenebench the Athlon II performs the same as the Phenom II
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/Athlon_II_X4_620/images/cinebench_oc.gif

In Handbrake the Athlon II is superior.
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/Athlon_II_X4_620/images/handbrake_oc.gif

If you are capable of overclocking for $99 you can not go wrong, you are essentially getting a premium CPU after a few tweaks.


Did they use the stock heat sink, or a different one? And how warm did the overclocked 620 get? And can you provide a link to the article please?

And do you know of any articles that show what a overclocked 550 can do?

The problem with OC, is that not everyone knows how, or feels comfortable going into the bios and playing around with the settings there. So I agree that a OC 620 can do just as well as a Phenom II x4, but if you need a $40 heatsink + shipping it may break the budget... (assuming the TS has one for buying the cpu)

So I think a 550 at stock setting would be fine if the TS doesnt mind going into the bios. But if he doesnt mind playing with the bios, and buying a heat sink (not sure if you need one to OC a 620 to 3.6Ghz) then get a 620.


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December 24, 2009 12:35:29 AM

pretty cool to see that this is still going, haha.
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