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Best CPU for gaming

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December 19, 2009 10:53:24 PM

Ok so my friends rig jus died and he is looking to get a new cpu my question is which of these 3 cpus is best for gaming? they will all be running on stock fan and be slightly overclocked nothing major tho

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


They are all right around the $100 mark give or take 20 bucks. Which one would be the best for gaming? If you have a different suggestion other then these 3 cpus at around the same price let me know. No preference in AMD or intel just price and most performance in game. Thanks

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December 19, 2009 11:28:46 PM

its a tough choice, but personally id go for the 550.

id stay way from the athlon, since the lack of l3 cahce puts it at a disadvantage at gaming. and the extra cores wont help out that much since most games are only dual threaded anyway.

its a tough choice betwen the 550 and 7320 though. i went for the 550 and never regretted it. performance was brilliant, overclocking headroom massive, and i was eventually able to unlock it to a quad. so i now have a quad core processor for the cost of a dual.
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December 19, 2009 11:37:55 PM

see the thing about getting a dual core is that he is really cheap and doesnt want to keep upgrading. So would the dual core be the most future proof of all three? or any of the other 2?
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December 20, 2009 12:08:36 AM

The Athlon X4 620 has no L3 cache and takes quite a hit from that so you can rule it out for the purposes of gaming. I would probably go for the Phenom II X3 720 over the Phenom II X2 550 but I would have to look at benchmarks for specific games and applications that they want to use.
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December 20, 2009 12:17:34 AM

i mean for 20 bucks more u get another core so thats not that bad it is 300mhz slower but i could make up for that overclocking a little bit i guess i will jus ask him which one he prefers then
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December 20, 2009 1:39:50 AM

remember though that the 550 can potentially be unlocked to a quad. it isnt guaranteed, but the success rate is very high.

personally, i think clock speed is much more important than extra cores. that why i went with the 550. most games only use two, so you want those two running as fast as possible.
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December 20, 2009 1:52:03 AM

Unless the game been has the ability to use the l3 cache, most of the time higher GHz dual core cpu will be will be better for games.

Although for a long term cpu, i would get the Phenom II x3 720 for the balance of power and speed.
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December 20, 2009 2:08:45 AM

welshmousepk said:
remember though that the 550 can potentially be unlocked to a quad. it isnt guaranteed, but the success rate is very high.


There is a very good reason that those cores are disabled. As it costs them exactly the same to make as a Quad, AMD would sell it as a Quad unless those disabled cores are infact defective.
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December 20, 2009 2:21:11 AM

djcoolmasterx said:
There is a very good reason that those cores are disabled. As it costs them exactly the same to make as a Quad, AMD would sell it as a Quad unless those disabled cores are infact defective.


you are right about that.

Although there is, as welshmousepk said, can unlock a third and maybe a forth core. AMD standerds are sometime set too high that some people can get stable cpus.

Now the chances are about 50% or less to unlock core(s) and about 50% chance of those cores being stable. (just because you can unlock it doesn't mean it will be stable!)
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December 20, 2009 2:22:18 AM

I'd say go for the 720 for sure. As others have mentioned, the L3 adds a lot to gaming performance. I put one in my brothers new rig and the stock cooler performed surprisingly good. At idle it would get around 32C and at full load it would never go above 50c so im sure you could easily get it up to 3.0-3.2 without much trouble, and since its a black edition its as simple as upping the multiplier. I was also able to unlock the extra core, but as others said its not guaranteed.

I dont really see a reason to go for the 550 right now. Even though it is a decent cpu, more and more games are going to be optimized for quads and the extra core on the 720 would for sure help out with the performance. Heres a comparison between the 550 and 720:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=97&p2=83

As you can see that extra core really adds a decent amount to alot of the benchmarks. Upping the 720 to 3.2 or so would widen the gap even further.
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December 20, 2009 2:33:30 AM

i dont know where people get these facts from...

the demand for dual core cpus was vey high. so much so that AMD started selling perfectly good wuad cores as duals, to satisfy demand. yes, some are faulty, but the 80 percent or more success rate proves that its not a case of all of them being faulty.

i myself have a 550 unlokced to a quad, and know 2 others in RL who have done the same. online, i know dozens of people who have sucessfuly unlokced, and only a couple that have been unable to.

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December 20, 2009 2:45:37 AM

+1 to welshmousepk ...those post above are completely inaccurate and show a lack of understanding of why AMD sells the dual and triple core processors. Over 75% of the x2 and x3 Phenom IIs on the market have NOTHING wrong with them, and are being sold with locked cores strictly to fill a market segment. I have yet to encounter one that was not perfect quad core in several builds, so my personal success rate is 100%. I don't sell a lot of AMD builds, but the 550BE is the one I recommend and sell the most to people looking for extreme budget builds.
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December 20, 2009 11:32:40 AM

If that is the case then AMD has a ridiculous business plan when they could be selling Quad cores at the same price as these Duals and making a tonne of money by offering much better performance per dollar then intel.
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December 20, 2009 11:44:20 AM

welshmousepk said:
i dont know where people get these facts from...

the demand for dual core cpus was vey high. so much so that AMD started selling perfectly good wuad cores as duals, to satisfy demand. yes, some are faulty, but the 80 percent or more success rate proves that its not a case of all of them being faulty.

i myself have a 550 unlokced to a quad, and know 2 others in RL who have done the same. online, i know dozens of people who have sucessfuly unlokced, and only a couple that have been unable to.


belial2k said:
+1 to welshmousepk ...those post above are completely inaccurate and show a lack of understanding of why AMD sells the dual and triple core processors. Over 75% of the x2 and x3 Phenom IIs on the market have NOTHING wrong with them, and are being sold with locked cores strictly to fill a market segment. I have yet to encounter one that was not perfect quad core in several builds, so my personal success rate is 100%. I don't sell a lot of AMD builds, but the 550BE is the one I recommend and sell the most to people looking for extreme budget builds.


:pfff: 

You guys may want to provide facts that there is a 75%+ chance of getting a cpu unlocked and those cores stable...

From what i have seen, it only been a 50/50 chance of getting stable unlock cores and that chance has been droping lately. Why you ask, more and more people have been complaining on here and else where on the web that AMD newer cpus is getting harder to find with stable cores. As i have said in the past "If there was that high of a chance of getting a cpu to unlock, they wouldn't be selling them with good cores"

As most people that recommend cpus say on here. if you want a tri or quad core cpu, get a that cpu. Dont expect to buy a dual core cpu and it to be a quad core.


As for why AMD sell cpus with stable cores. the reason why people were getting quad core cpu out of dual cores is because AMD has set there standards High enough that even though there test say it's a bad core, it's good enough quality that it can run a computer. if they were to lower there standards just a little, i bet there would be very little chance of getting a dual core cpu into a quad.

It has nothing to do with demand for dual/tri core cpus.
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December 20, 2009 11:54:37 AM

belial2k said:
+1 to welshmousepk ...those post above are completely inaccurate and show a lack of understanding of why AMD sells the dual and triple core processors. Over 75% of the x2 and x3 Phenom IIs on the market have NOTHING wrong with them, and are being sold with locked cores strictly to fill a market segment. I have yet to encounter one that was not perfect quad core in several builds, so my personal success rate is 100%. I don't sell a lot of AMD builds, but the 550BE is the one I recommend and sell the most to people looking for extreme budget builds.



I disagree 100 percent. Something is "wrong" with EVERY last one of the x2 and x3s. They do not meet the bin requirement for a x4 for whatever reason. It could be anything from a core not being stable at a certain clockspeed to they are all stable but they draw to much power. It is all a result of cpu binning.
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December 20, 2009 4:04:06 PM

Okay, please show me the evidence to support this...other than "it doesn't make sense". Once again, you are showing a lack of understanding of marketing factors and manufacturing process. First, to prove my point, I did a quick google search and this was the first article that popped up.
http://www.fudzilla.com/content/view/15828/35/
Follow the link and translate the webpage. This was done shortly after the launch, with the team collecting 120 random chips and attempting to unlock them. They had a 73% success rate of fully unlocked and 100% stable chips (ie chips with NOTHING wrong with the locked cores). It should be noted since this test was done the success rate has gone up because AMD had a backlog of chips that did have bad cores at the beginning that is now gone.
They are filling a market segment. AMD has NO shortage of quad core processors. They cannot sell all they produce as it is. So what should they do...cut manufacturing? That makes no sense because of the fixed cost of manufacturing.
So they sell the excess chips as X2 and X3 models to attract a different market segment. True, they don't make as much on these as the quads, but they do make some money on them. Something is better than nothing. It is a simple and effective marketing strategy to maximize the yield from manufacturing. Fewer wasted chips means more profit overall, even if some of those chips have to be sold off at a $25 - $50 discount to their quad core counterparts.
Here are some more links that show there is a large success rate getting a 100% stable quad core from a x2 or x3
http://www.mymobile88.com/success-unlock-amd-phenom-ii-...
please notice the last paragraph
"AMD reported record increment in sales of AMD Phenom II processors, no doubt, in part due to fourth core unlocking. Many believe that the increasing rates of successful unlocks is due to AMD purposedly binning perfectly working X4s as X3s to fulfill market demands. This mean your chances of getting an unlockable AMD Phenom II 50BE / 720BE chip just got better. "
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=22...
Keep in mind many of these fail because of motherboards not fully supporting unlocking, not always because of the cpu itself.
I could go on listing links all day, but you can do the searching yourself. The polls show between 70 -90% success rate. Almost every hardware site has successfully unlocked the cores and ran test showing them as fully functioning 100% stable quads. You can believe what you want based on "it doesn't make sense", but the facts support what I stated in my previous post
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December 20, 2009 5:12:51 PM

belial2k said:
Okay, please show me the evidence to support this...other than "it doesn't make sense". Once again, you are showing a lack of understanding of marketing factors and manufacturing process. First, to prove my point, I did a quick google search and this was the first article that popped up.
http://www.fudzilla.com/content/view/15828/35/
Follow the link and translate the webpage. This was done shortly after the launch, with the team collecting 120 random chips and attempting to unlock them. They had a 73% success rate of fully unlocked and 100% stable chips (ie chips with NOTHING wrong with the locked cores). It should be noted since this test was done the success rate has gone up because AMD had a backlog of chips that did have bad cores at the beginning that is now gone.
They are filling a market segment. AMD has NO shortage of quad core processors. They cannot sell all they produce as it is. So what should they do...cut manufacturing? That makes no sense because of the fixed cost of manufacturing.
So they sell the excess chips as X2 and X3 models to attract a different market segment. True, they don't make as much on these as the quads, but they do make some money on them. Something is better than nothing. It is a simple and effective marketing strategy to maximize the yield from manufacturing. Fewer wasted chips means more profit overall, even if some of those chips have to be sold off at a $25 - $50 discount to their quad core counterparts.
Here are some more links that show there is a large success rate getting a 100% stable quad core from a x2 or x3
http://www.mymobile88.com/success-unlock-amd-phenom-ii-...
please notice the last paragraph
"AMD reported record increment in sales of AMD Phenom II processors, no doubt, in part due to fourth core unlocking. Many believe that the increasing rates of successful unlocks is due to AMD purposedly binning perfectly working X4s as X3s to fulfill market demands. This mean your chances of getting an unlockable AMD Phenom II 50BE / 720BE chip just got better. "
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=22...
Keep in mind many of these fail because of motherboards not fully supporting unlocking, not always because of the cpu itself.
I could go on listing links all day, but you can do the searching yourself. The polls show between 70 -90% success rate. Almost every hardware site has successfully unlocked the cores and ran test showing them as fully functioning 100% stable quads. You can believe what you want based on "it doesn't make sense", but the facts support what I stated in my previous post


You actually use FUD?!?!? Most people here keep away from that website. We trust sites toms and anadtech. Maybe these threads will explain why....

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/243596-33-anyone-obje...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270343-33-gt300-wins-...

Know i wont prove or denine there results but take Future Fud articles with a pinch of salt.



For mymobile88, can you realy trust it? looks like to me some 10 year old threw stuff together.

Quote:
Many believe that the increasing rates of successful unlocks is due to AMD purposedly binning perfectly working X4s as X3s to fulfill market demands.


Just mean it speculated. nothing is confirmed.


http://www.xtremesystems.org/forum [...] p?t=227004

This round of testing the most convincing for your argument. Although you said many failed due to motherboards when you cant prove that when there different users with different cpu/motherboards.


I suggest reading this article.
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-phenom-athlon-cpu,...



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December 20, 2009 5:34:35 PM

"You actually use FUD?!?!? Most people here keep away from that website. We trust sites toms and anadtech. Maybe these threads will explain why...."

The fud article simply linked to the actual study which was very well conducted. It had nothing to do with Fud itself.

"Just mean it speculated. nothing is confirmed. "

But it speculation based on empirical evidence...unlike the speculation that you propose that EVERY X2 and x3 has something wrong with it

"Although you said many failed due to motherboards when you cant prove that when there different users with different cpu/motherboards."

Most of the failed attempts here are with MBs that do not fully support unlocking of the cores. Now most of the AM3 boards specifically support this and have optimized bios tweaks just for this function.
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December 20, 2009 5:48:16 PM

Who ever said that EVERY X2 and X3 has something wrong with it? Anyway, I dont see why there is even an argument about this. Alot of the X2's and X3's unlock, yes, but its not a sure thing. I have heard of plenty accounts of people not being able to unlock it, along with many who have been able to unlock it.

I think this argument is ridiculous. I stick with my recommendation of the X3 I made earlier because even if you cant unlock it you still have a third core instead of a dual. I dont see any reason why you would go for a dual core when you could get a tri core, the X2's have no more chance of unlocking than the X3's do.
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December 20, 2009 5:52:09 PM

someguy7 said:
I disagree 100 percent. Something is "wrong" with EVERY last one of the x2 and x3s. They do not meet the bin requirement for a x4 for whatever reason. It could be anything from a core not being stable at a certain clockspeed to they are all stable but they draw to much power. It is all a result of cpu binning.


He said it.
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December 20, 2009 5:58:08 PM

I prefer the 550 because of its higher clock speed and its lower price. But the X3 is a viable option, too. As I said before, I only recommend them on budget builds where you are doing everything to squeeze the most performance out of the lowest cost. It cost about $100 less than an i5, which is significant to some people....so with all its potential it is my favorite "budget" processor. Nothing wrong with other options, this whole thing started because I felt some inaccurate statements were being made about unlocking X2 and x3 cores.
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December 20, 2009 5:58:40 PM

Yeah I wasnt questioning you I was questioning someguy. I dont know where he gets his info from but that is a completely false statement. AMD DOES bin perfectly good X4 cpus, or how else would people be unlocking X2's and X3's all over the place without any trouble.
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December 21, 2009 2:04:26 AM

wow, the flames are appearing...

um, well, for starters... AMD cannot simpl;y sell them as wuad cores to make more money, if no one wants them. they can only sell what the market demands, so when theyve filled their quota for quad cores, but people still want dual cores, they start 'binning' wauds to sell as duals. hence why the unlock rate has been so high (especaiiyl early on).

the idea that AMDs maufacturing process could allow for thousands of defective cores is comical. a singel silcone disk costs over a million dolars to produce, so if they were getting that many faulty cores, there would be a much bigger issue at hand.

no i never said that they were all perfect. AMD will obviously choose to bin the ones with the least overclocking potential or highest heat output, simply to keep both sides of the marlet happy. but the fact is, most people who have tried unlocking a 550, have managed to do so, as well as being able to overclock to at least 3.4 (i myself can get to 3.57)

i dont have facts, and im not stating any of this as fact. but its a well-informed and well reasearched knowledge. i spent alot of time gatehring this info before making my purchase, which im sure is more than most of you put into it.

now i dont mean to sound hostile, but like i said. i put alot of effort into getting this info. so when someone comes along telling me i am wrong, when all they have to go by is a few threads on toms, it gets me a little annoyed.
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December 21, 2009 1:32:37 PM

As all these Duals start off as Quads. It is not at all cost effetive to make Quads then disable half of it. If they are not defective they could sell them as Quads for exactly the same price, completly undermining intel's dual core range. They don't do this however as these chips do not meet AMDs own quality standards. Meaning that during testing these cores were found to fail under certain conditions. You may never be able to reproduce these failures in real life applications but it can be indicative of the quality of the chip.

By all means try it if you have a 550 X2 but don't ever buy one expecting it to unlock into a fully functional Quad core. And if you do unlock remember to test it thoroughly so that you are sure it is completely stable otherwise you will probably run into problems like the OP's.

welshmousepk said:

the idea that AMDs maufacturing process could allow for thousands of defective cores is comical. a singel silcone disk costs over a million dolars to produce, so if they were getting that many faulty cores, there would be a much bigger issue at hand.


You better check your "facts" or I think we have worked out why AMD has been doing so badly. They can fit less then 200 x4 dies per wafer. So even they had a 100% yield and got 200 dies from a single wafer. And it cost exactly $1,000,000(and you say its over that) per wafer then these chips cost $5000 each to make.

Also if the market demands duals why would AMD bother making X4 wafers when they could be making X2 wafers and double their yield. The reason they do it is to use up these chips that would otherwise be thrown away.

Quote:
i dont have facts, and im not stating any of this as fact. but its a well-informed and well reasearched knowledge. i spent alot of time gatehring this info before making my purchase, which im sure is more than most of you put into it.


Gather harder.


In this thread http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-272138_10_0.ht...
you state:
"i can get my 550 up to 3.92GHz"

and in this one you say:
"but the fact is, most people who have tried unlocking a 550, have managed to do so, as well as being able to overclock to at least 3.4 (i myself can get to 3.57)"

So your overclock is limited by roughly 400mhz because the additional unlocked cores cannot handle the same clockspeed as the two cores which are unlocked by default. These cores are not equal in quality.
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December 21, 2009 9:56:41 PM

"As all these Duals start off as Quads. It is not at all cost effetive to make Quads then disable half of it. If they are not defective they could sell them as Quads for exactly the same price, completly undermining intel's dual core range. They don't do this however as these chips do not meet AMDs own quality standards. Meaning that during testing these cores were found to fail under certain conditions. You may never be able to reproduce these failures in real life applications but it can be indicative of the quality of the chip."

This would only be true if demand was greater than supply/yield. You need to take some economics classes since you can't seem to understand unsold units make you NOTHING.
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December 21, 2009 10:46:51 PM

But as they are selling them at a dual core price point and they cost quad core prices to produce, and when according to welshmousepk most are not defective, AMD could sell them as Quad cores at the same price they are charging now. The demand for duals in desktops only exists because of price difference. If you sold Quads at the price of these Duals then you wouldn't have to worry about unsold stock because they would sell like hotcakes.

The reason AMD doesn't do this is that not all of these cores meet the standards set by AMD. If a single core of a 4 core chip doesn't come up to scratch then Intel for example would throw it away, however AMD have come up with a very good and economical solution in which defective cores can be disabled and the chip sold as an X3 or X2.
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December 21, 2009 10:59:37 PM

but because a single core outputs a few more degrees of heat, or looses a hundred Mhz overclocking headroom (and those are the kinds of things they look for when cutting cores) you cant call it 'defective'.

yes, if you unlock you will likely loose some OC headroom or gain some heat, but that doesnt mean you shoudl avoid trying it. you make it sound like unlocking will ruin a persons CPU.

and the million dollar figure is one i got from toms, that includes R&D and all costs for creating the wafers. the point is, if half 25 percent of the chips AMD make (and i belive that a fair proportion of dual/tri to quads sold) are faulty, then there would be a much biggger issue at hand. they simple choose the ones with the least OC potential, or highest heat outputs, sicne cutting a core or two can solve those problems and allow them to fill a gap in the market. the cores are not 'defective', they are simply the lower performers IF unlocked to quads.
but id rather have a waud at 3.5ghz than a duo at 3.8. so unlocking is worth a try.

i do however agree that you shouldnt buy a 550 expecting a quad. its not a guarantee, but it should be factored into your purchase. since if you get lucky, you can get a great deal.
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December 21, 2009 11:39:56 PM

I agree with you entirely that you shouldn't buy a 550 expecting a Quad and that you can get excellent value. My real point is that people need to be wary of these disabled cores that for whatever reason were not within AMD's required threshold to allow the entire chip to be sold as a Quad.

As it costs AMD exactly the same amount to make a Dual as a Quad, if these chips were completely fine AMD could totally dominate the OEM market by selling them at the same price as the Duals. They would love to stick "Quad Core" on the side of the box, its a nice selling point. The market trends towards the best you can get for your money. The reality is that they can't because they cannot fully assure the long term reliablity of these CPUs and thus sell them as X2s or X3s, which is a brilliant solution as they don't go to waste.
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December 22, 2009 1:27:12 AM

AMD wouldnt do that though, for fear of encroaching on their own market.
i see what you're saying, and you're absolutley right that your very unliekly to get a 965 processor for the price of a 550, but anyone who actually does some research before buying wil figure that out.
the point im making, is that the chances of unlocking to a quad are very high. but of course, your overclocking headroom is liekly to be reduced (in my case, i lost almost 400Mhz) and heat output/power consumption will go up. but that doesnt mean you cant get a very useable, and much better performing quad core out of.

but yeah, i get what you're saying. people need to know that you arent ismply going to get a free 2 cores at no cost. AMD DO choose the lowest performings (and of course, any non-performing) cores top cut, so you need to be careful. and dont expect success.

its like those cereal packets that sometimes have free toys, you want coco pops, but the cornfalkes might win you a BMX. so screw it, if you get the cornflakes you might win a BMX. if you dont, it doesnt matter. cornflakes are still awesome.

horrible analogy but still...
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December 22, 2009 11:14:18 AM

This links in with what I said earlier that there is a reason these cores are locked. Relative to the best performing cores the two which are disabled are defective in that they don't match the better cores ability to hold higher clock speeds with stability. I originally said this as a warning not to expect to have no problems. Issues may not be visable or may never come up at all, I'm just urging caution. There is no way of telling why they have been disabled.

As for the cheap Quad core, they ofcourse have the Athlon II X4 620 filling that market position.
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