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AMD Phenom II X3 720 or Phenom II X2 550 ?

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  • Phenom
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January 19, 2010 3:05:58 PM

Would Somebody who has actually used these 2 processors, tell me which of the 2 would be a better preformer ? I have been dragging my feet on finishing off a new Rig I've been wanting to assemble because I can't decide between either the triple core 2.8 720 or the dual core 3.1 550..
I'm putting one of the 2 of them on a Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX Motherboard with the 128mb of side port memory. I also have already bought 4GB of Patriot DDR3 1600 RAM, a Logisys 650 WATT Dual Rail power supply and a Black NZXT Nemesis Elite Case to put it all in. ( I'm also migrating over a WD 500GB SATA 32mb HDD with Windoze 7 and a Sony Double Layer/Dual Layer/DVD-RW plus an AOpen CD-RW from my current Rig when I make a choice of processors).

I'm pretty sure this mobo will unlock the other cores on either one of them, but if it doesn't its no biggie ( yeah I know not all the disabled cores can be reenabled) but I'm not worrying about that as much as how far I can overclock them for more preformance. I've read of people getting the X3 720 up to 3.5mhz with good cooling, but the same time I know someone that currently has the X2 550 up to 3.9mhz with good cooling. I've got a Water Cooling setup just waiting to be put on.

My uses: Ok I do some gaming with my current system and a lot of music/movie downloading/burning. I would do more gaming as I have several of the latest games out, but my current processor is kinda slow, (i.e. AMD Athlon 3500 2.2 socket 939 oc'd to 2.875 on a Foxconn 6100 mobo with water cooling and RAM cooling plus intake/exhaust/PCI port fans) been stable for 10 months, but I've pushed this little system as far as its going to go, so its time to move up. That and I ran into a little extra cash.

I'd appreciate some advice and some numbers showing me some facts. I've been planning on getting the 550 Callisto ( $89 to $99 ) but I've recently seen the 720 Heka for $119. I see that the 720 is at 2.8 where the 550 is at 3.1. but since they are both Black Editions I figure I could push them both pretty high.

And I've thought about going with a X4 like the 955 or 965 but it adds at least another 50 or 60 bucks to my build and lordy I'm getting pricey enuf as it is and since I'm not entering into any gaming competion I think the X2 or X3 will be fine for a year or two.

Any advice is appreciated.

Brian
Charlotte, NC

It is Only Thru Communication that Knowledge is Gained

More about : amd phenom 720 phenom 550

a c 131 à CPUs
January 19, 2010 3:37:28 PM

get the x3. more and more games are becoming better threaded so it will be better in the long run. also, those integrated graphics will play games like cod6 on minimum or low settings but if you want better get at least a radeon 4670 for $70.
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January 19, 2010 3:51:44 PM

enzo matrix said:
get the x3. more and more games are becoming better threaded so it will be better in the long run. also, those integrated graphics will play games like cod6 on minimum or low settings but if you want better get at least a radeon 4670 for $70.


Hey Enzo thanks for the reply, I've started leaning towards the X3 more and more with the more I read. Its just that I've heard about how fast the 550 is when oc'd.

Hey another question, Do you know anything about the Side Port memory ? I've read about what its suppose to do but I've never talked to anybody that has actually used a motherboard that had it on it. I understand that if you have a very good GPU the Side Port Memory is autodisabled anyway. I have a ATI Radeon 2600 Pro with 512MB, and I was wondering if it would benefit from the sideport memory...? any idea about that.
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a c 131 à CPUs
January 19, 2010 4:45:25 PM

The sideport memory is just ram dedicated to the integrated graphics. Nothing else will benefit from it so if you put in your 2600 pro, it can't use it. Even if it could, it would not be a good idea to give the card slow ram from the motherboard. It would just perform worse.

It can't be used with anything but the integrated graphics chip on the motherboard.
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a b à CPUs
January 19, 2010 5:51:22 PM

They are both pretty close in performance. The 720 wins a few more than the 550 because it has that extra core. I have used a 550 in a build and it was very fast. I also played a little bit with overclocking in that build and it felt like it had no limits, but I didn’t really push it that hard. If I were to choose I would go with the 550 and hope that the extra cores unlock.
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January 19, 2010 6:25:15 PM

I've OC'd my 720 to 3.6 with just a 92 mm Zalman fan. The highest temp while stress testing so far is 45 c. For the price, it's an amazing CPU.
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January 19, 2010 6:33:57 PM

Ok I want to say thanks to Pro Llama and Enzo both for your help.
I just got thru reading some more states (Benchmarks) and while the 720 does win out in a lot of everyday task it seems the 550 is faster at Gaming, when both are OC'd. The 550 also will OC more. Unless I find a really cheap deal on a Quad core, I'm going with the Calisto.
Now about the Side-Port memory, I guess its a mute point because I will be putting a PCI express card in and that will eliminate that so called added feature. I'm looking at just keeping the 2600 in my old Rig and selling it with it, and picking up a new card for this new build. I've been looking at the GT 250....how are they ? any other reasonably priced GPU that'll run good in this Gigabyte mobo ?
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January 19, 2010 6:37:05 PM

So Punisher 281 you got the 720 up to 3.6 on Air ?
With your Sapphire 5770 how responsive are games like WOW, COD 2, etc. ?
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a c 131 à CPUs
January 19, 2010 9:12:24 PM

Anything from a $50 4650 to a $400 5870. What's your price?

Cod2? That game is very old. A 4670 could max it out no problem. For wow, from what I have read, you might be looking at a 4850/5750 or equal.
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Best solution

January 19, 2010 9:54:40 PM

brainpup said:
So Punisher 281 you got the 720 up to 3.6 on Air ?
With your Sapphire 5770 how responsive are games like WOW, COD 2, etc. ?


Yep, all on air. I could go higher, but never had the desire to. I haven't played COD2 or WOW on this machine, but it plays Crysis on very high at 1280x800 (I know that's the right width, but I can't remember the correct height) with very good frame rates. I think it could run those games maxed with no issues.
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January 19, 2010 11:14:10 PM

Hey guys thanks alot for the advice, I think I am going to go with the 720.
Plus I'm going to try and get a combo deal from Directron, Newegg or Mwave, so I can pick up a new GPU along with the CPU.
As soon as I get it all installed and put it thru its paces, I'll come back here and update my results.

Now, how can I say, "Best Answer" to both of you ?
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January 19, 2010 11:16:41 PM

I also have the 720 black edition. Did 3.6 easily on air. Got it to run 3.8 prime95 stable on air with a lot of voltage. I just run it at 3.6.

I unlocked the 4th core but it was stable only to 2.5 with that core so I disabled it. All the phenom 2s are good cpus.
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January 19, 2010 11:21:24 PM

Hi, suddenstop, thanks for the input. so you got it stable at 3.6 ? that should be plenty of speed for what I plan to do. what kind of GPU are you using ?
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January 20, 2010 12:33:27 AM

brainpup said:
Hi, suddenstop, thanks for the input. so you got it stable at 3.6 ? that should be plenty of speed for what I plan to do. what kind of GPU are you using ?


Hello i just recently bought a 720 BE, and i have to say i love it. Mine is a deneb though not a heka and i unlocked the 4th core ( perfectly stable with 30+ hours of prime95 ) then OC'ed it to 3.4 ghz and ran prime95 for another 16 hours, again perfectly stable. but im using an aftermarket HSF. I could probably go higher but i have no wish too, i dont decode/burn movies very often i mostly game.
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January 20, 2010 12:40:27 AM

Hi Truhls, I have a Thermaltake Big Water that I plan to cool the CPU down with, so hopefully I will be able to get the same results you and some of the other folks have been able to get.
I do some gaming but I do a lot of music/movie downloading and burning. With my single core that I have now, when I'm burning a movie, I can hardly do anything else. Like last week when I burned Avatar to a DVD, it took 2 hours and my computer was about useless for the whole time.
I'm hoping with this new mobo/CPU/RAM combination I will be able to multitask much better.
What kind of Graphic card you running ?
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January 20, 2010 12:43:17 AM

Best answer selected by brainpup.
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January 20, 2010 5:01:41 AM

I am running my x3 720 at 3.4GHz on the stock cooler hitting 57C on Prime95. It doesn't top 50C during gaming/other apps.
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