Frequency vs cache

Looking for a CPU for my motherboard that supports AM2 and AM2+ processors. I can't decide if I should put my money into processor frequency/speed or the cache size. For example...

Athlon 64 X2 5400+ --- 2.8Ghz Dual core with an L2 cache of 512KB
Athlon 64 X2 5000+ --- 2.2Ghz Dual core with an L2 of 1MB (512 x 2)

or stepping into the quad core territory I can afford

Phenom X4 9150E --- 1.8GHz Quad core with L2 of 4 x 512KB and L3 of 2MB

I am going to be using the following applications... very little multitasking... no gaming.

Photoshop CS3
Illustrator CS3
EagleCAD (an electronics cad program... 2d... very simple and weak program)
PSPICE (circuit simulator)
Xvid to DVD converter
Torrent downloads
6 answers Last reply
More about frequency cache
  1. Go with the X2 5400+. Or if you can get a Phenom II Quad. The original Phenoms did not OC well. Also consider overclocking in either case.
  2. You should cross torrent downloads off the list as any cpu made within the last nearly 15 years would handle that with ease.

    For your uses you specified the 5000+ would probably be more than enough but it's your money.
  3. take a look at the athlon or phenom X3 series. Very affordable performance imo.
  4. I wouldn't suggest the original Phenom X4 CPUs. And the Athlon 64 5000+ and 5400+ are pretty old.

    If you can afford it, find a newer CPU generation. The Phenom X3 720 for example. Or at least one of the newer Athlon X2 chipsets that use newer architectures.

    For Example:

    Athlon X2 245 2.9GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W ($62 + Free Shipping)

    Athlon X2 250 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W ($67.99 + Free Shipping)

    Is the AMD Athlon™ II X2 250 an AM3 package processor? Is it backwards compatible?

    In addition to AMD’s family of 45nm AMD Phenom™ II processors, this brand new series of AMD Athlon II X2 processors continue to deliver what consumers want by being the industry’s only backwards compatible processors that support both the existing AM2+ infrastructure as well as AM3 platforms featuring DDR3 memory. For those looking to upgrade their platform, AMD can help consumers avoid spending a substantial amount of money when compared to competing desktop platforms that force the additional costs of new memory and motherboard with their processor. AMD allows consumers to customize an upgrade path that’s right for their budget and overall experience they desire.

    You may need to update your motherboard BIOS to the latest version PRIOR to replacing your CPU, to make sure it is fully supporting the newer generation processors.
  5. a second going for a newer architecture. for what you want, an athlon II 620 would go down a treat.

    or for a tighter budget, and athlon II 250.

    since oyu aren't gaming, you dont need L3 cache, so a phenom II would proabble be a waste of cash.
    extra cores would do you very well, especially for the encoding. but if you cant afford that, a dual core 250 would also do very well.
  6. +1 for going AM3 as well. PROVIDING, OP has the money and his board can support AM3 CPUs.
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