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Should I go dual or quad core for AMD processor?

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March 27, 2010 8:42:16 AM

I need to purchase my computer parts early next week.

My budget for a CPU is around $100.00 USD.

I've narrowed it down to this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Phenom II x2 3.2ghz

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Athlon II x3 3.0ghz


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Athlon II x4 2.8ghz



Are the extra 2 cores and more cache important for gaming? I play all the new games and have a GTX 260.
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March 27, 2010 9:07:14 AM

I'd get the AMD Athlon II X3 440 3.0GHz for gaming, I don't think the L3 cache matters too much in gaming. Three cores is the sweet spot - Also, if you get a motherboard with the AMD SB710 chipset, you have the chance of unlocking it into a Athlon II X4 as well, and when overclocked the 440 does really well - check out Tom's review on it, specifically this page:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x3,2452-1...
Apparently the Athlon II X4s don't overclock as well as the X3s, and dual cores will eventually lose out when games start to use three to four cores. Right now though, X3 is the best imo.

EDIT: If you're willing to take the risk, and have a motherboard with the SB710 chipset, the Phenom II X2 555 can be unlocked to a Phenom II X4 955.
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March 27, 2010 3:43:45 PM

Pay the extra $10 and get a guaranteed quad.
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a b à CPUs
March 27, 2010 3:50:45 PM

Sound advice above. If you're on a budget but can afford the quad, I'd go for that. The 200Mhz difference in clock speed will be barely noticeable particularly when you're getting an extra core anyway. As Lmeow said, more and more games are starting to fully utilise multi-core processors so getting a dual core would probably mean you would have to upgrade your processor again in the next year or two if you want to keep playing new games.

Go for the X4 if you can afford it, if not the X3 is a very good trade-off.
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a c 133 à CPUs
March 27, 2010 3:56:46 PM

If you can afford a few over $100 I would go with the Phenom II x3 720 BE it performs better in games and has a better overclock ability with the unlocked multiplier also It has a real strong chance of unlocking this into an x4.

This is an OEM chip so you will need a fan too but you can get away with a cheap $15 fan till you can get better.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you really cant stretch the budget then go with the Athlon II x4 620
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March 27, 2010 4:26:50 PM

x4 630
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March 27, 2010 5:14:22 PM

Fyi L3 does help quite a bit in games, I forget the percentage but it is significant.

If it was me i'd go for a x3 Phenom II (like saaiello said) and shoot for the unlocked 4th core. If that doesn't work out its still plenty for a 260, especially with a little OC.

Athlon II series is still good though.
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a c 172 à CPUs
March 27, 2010 11:07:30 PM

Dual or quad? If you can afford it, there's no doubt that quad's the way to go for anything other than a minimalist build.
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March 27, 2010 11:08:20 PM

tuesday0180 said:
How about this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I might just spend a little more if the L3 is really worth it. Is this chip a bad chip or what? It's still 3.0ghz x4 and its way cheaper than all the other phenoms.


The AMD Phenom II X4 940 is an old AM2+ chip, which was the first revision of the Phenom II. It doesn't overclock as well as the AM3 socket Phenom IIs, and this is OEM, so it won't come with a box/manual/HSF or case badge, and you'll need to buy your own CPU cooler. L3 cache only seems to matter in some games, others it doesn't matter as much.

If you're willing to spend $10 more on top of the 940, for $139.99, you might as well get the Phenom II X4 925 - 200MHz slower, which really isn't noticeable, and it comes with a heatsink/fan, and you can easily overclock on the stock cooler to 3.0GHz. If you want to do overclock a bit more however, do as SAAIELLO suggested, buy the Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Black Edition OEM from Newegg for $104.99, and get a good cooler (It's OEM, no box etc.). There is also the the chance of unlocking it into a Phenom II X4, if you have the SB710 chipset on your motherboard, or Core Unlocker on ASUS's 890GX motherboards.

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March 28, 2010 1:24:42 AM

Its good if you want to be sure about a quad Phenom II. But for that you need to get an AM2+ board. -- [Edit: ooops.. Lmeow beat me to it...]
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March 28, 2010 3:44:34 AM

Okay guys I think I have it narrowed down to this combination deal

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

It's a Phenom II x3 720 black edition with a Gigabyte motherboard.

I understand I would need the 720B motherboards to unlock a fourth core. I'm not big on overclocking or anything of that though. I might do it in the future when this chip gets old, but at the moment I just want to run it stock.

Do you guys think this a good bargain?
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March 28, 2010 4:20:43 AM

I wouldn't know how much of a bargain it is, I'm not very good with Newegg, although seeing other Phenom II X3 combos, it's about average. You do know that motherboard cannot unlock cores right? AMD removed the ACC feature on the SB850 chipset which that Gigabyte motherboard has.
If you don't mind not unlocking cores, then I suppose it is a good deal, but if you do want to, I suggest you get a combo which has a 790X/GX/FX NB and SB710/750.
Another question is, do you intend/need to use intergrated graphics, or a graphic card? If so, are you going to use two or more/buy one now add another one later?
If you don't need a graphics card, just get a motherboard with 785G or 790GX NB chipset (with SB710/750 if you want to unlock.) If you want to CrossFireX two + ATi cards (nVidia SLI isn't supported on AMD chipsets), then get a 790X/GX/FX with SB 710/750 etc.

Above is a good combo, a 770 + SB710 chipset, with USB 3.0 and SATA III too. This doesn't support CFX though, so this would be good if you're only going to use one graphic card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

This is a good ASUS 790X motherboard can unlock cores, without USB 3.0/SATA III, but supports CFX 8x/8x.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Want both SATA III/USB 3.0 AND CrossFireX? This combo is probably what you're looking for:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Seems like the board has several SATA III problems. Then again, they're just Newegg reviews... :D 

If you're not going to use any graphic card but want USB 3.0/SATA III - just get either a 785G or 790GX motherboard. Don't care about unlocking cores and you don't need a graphic card? Get this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

SATA III and USB 3.0 as well, also has intergrated ATi Radeon HD 4290 graphics.




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a b à CPUs
March 28, 2010 4:21:48 AM

@tuesday,
The X3 720BE is great and I have it myself. Its more than enough for all my applications ( specially since unlocked and at 3.6GHz OC ). Its a good motherboard too as it already features 890 chipset but it does not have ACC so you have no chance of unlocking it in the future when you feel like it...

Here is another option:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
It its a true quad but athlon so it does not have the L3. But that is more than made up by higher clock and extra core. It is also cheaper by $40.
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March 28, 2010 6:32:18 AM

Hey guys so I decided on the Athlon II x4 2.8ghz. Should I still get a SB710 motherboard even though I don't need to unlock cores?

Also is firewire necesarry? I don't do video editing or anything. I mainly just need a lot of sata slots for my multiple hard drives and some usb 3.0 would be nice too.
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March 28, 2010 6:53:39 AM

Cool. SB 710 has some other features too, but it's most mainly known to have ACC. You don't need to get a motherboard with SB710 if the only purpose originally was to unlock the cores.

As for firewire, AFAIK it's mainly used for transferring video from video cameras, but, seeing as you don't do any video editing, I don't think that would be necessary. Most motherboards come with six SATA slots, and if you want SATA III and or USB 3.0, here are two boards that support it:

GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 - $94.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want to use multiple graphics cards too, then I suggest one of the newer 890GX boards.

ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



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