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Athlon X3 v. Phenom X3

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January 3, 2010 4:59:01 PM

What is the difference between these two processors? They look like the same thing other than that the Athlon is WAY cheaper.

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail

The only difference I can see is that the Athlon has no L3 Cache. Would that make a big difference? Even if it did, it's still $120 against $80.

EDIT: The Phenom also is a black edition, but I heard that the Athlon OC's quite well anyway.

And now that I think about it, I might just go with this:

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

More about : athlon phenom

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January 3, 2010 5:04:53 PM

The main difference is no L3 cache, but the Phenom II X3 720 also has an unlocked multiplier. Performance wise there isn't much difference, it's already proven that clock for clock the Athlon II X4 is on average under 10% slower than Phenom II X4.
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January 3, 2010 5:10:24 PM

A big L3 cache is really important for games and video encoding.

But is 6mb of L3 cache $35? It depends on your budget and what processes are you running:

If you want to play games,but you are on a tight budget pick athlon X3 and get a better GPU.If you already have/planning to buy a decent gpu(ex. 4850 or GTS 250) get the phenom.

If you want the PC for video rendering,encoding etc dont blink twice: Phenom is your best bet.

Last but not least,if you're looking a PC for browsing/Word and maybe some very light gaming go for Athlon X3.

Hope i helped.
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January 3, 2010 5:14:06 PM

Godhatesusall said:
A big L3 cache is really important for games and video encoding.

Last but not least,if you're looking a PC for browsing/Word and maybe some very light gaming go for Athlon X3.


You hit the nail right on the head.

So I take it that the Athlon X4 wouldn't be worth it either correct?

Any other suggestion as to what would be my best AM3 bet for <$100? I'm also considering the Phenom II X2 550.
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January 3, 2010 5:21:44 PM

Godhatesusall said:
A big L3 cache is really important for games and video encoding.

But is 6mb of L3 cache $35? It depends on your budget and what processes are you running:

If you want to play games,but you are on a tight budget pick athlon X3 and get a better GPU.If you already have/planning to buy a decent gpu(ex. 4850 or GTS 250) get the phenom.

If you want the PC for video rendering,encoding etc dont blink twice: Phenom is your best bet.

Last but not least,if you're looking a PC for browsing/Word and maybe some very light gaming go for Athlon X3.

Hope i helped.


Actually, unless the program is told to use the l3 cache, there no other difference between the athlon and phenom except for the speed. Typically a larger l2 cache will benefit you more than l3 cache.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-l3-cache,241...
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January 3, 2010 5:24:16 PM

All the PC will do is Google Chrome, MS Office 07, and a few games all older than 2002.

My idea of a secondary PC.

However I'd like to donate some power to Folding@home and since I have an onboard GPU, a more powerful CPU will help. However, I'm not going from $87 to $125 just for that.
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January 3, 2010 5:41:25 PM

raybob95 said:
I think I've settled on the Athlon II X3 435.

Is it possible to unlock the 4th core on an Athlon like a Phenom with this motherboard?

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Last question; How well would I be able to overclock with their stock cooler, and what is the max safe temp for that CPU?


Well unless AMD changed something, you should have a decent chance of unlocking the 4th core.

As for Overclocking on stock, i have no idea how far you'll be able to go but im guessing maybe 3.4 GHz. Maybe 3.8 if cooler can handle it. (with 3 cores. 4 cores it will be less.)
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