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Phenom II x2 550 BE vs i5 750

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March 30, 2010 8:27:40 PM

Hello there,
I'm having a really hard time picking between an Intel i5 750 cpu and a phenom II x2 550 BE.
I would like to mention that the phenom is almost half the price of the i5, and i could get the desired stepping(that might help the unlocking chances).
I will use the PC mostly for games.
I desperately need an advice.
Thanks in advance.

More about : phenom 550 750

a b à CPUs
March 30, 2010 9:41:48 PM

First off, don't buy the Phenom II X2 purely to unlock it and get a X3 or X4 on the cheap. If you want a tri- or quad-core then BUY a tri- or quad-core - there's a REASON the cores are disabled and you may find your chip just doesn't unlock.

As far as the question itself goes, it really does depend on a number of factors:

what graphics card(s) are you running?
what resolution are you gaming at?
what ELSE will you use the computer for?

Personally unless you're going to run a monster GPU setup at crazy resolutions I'd get a Phenom II X4 955 BE, strap a good cooler to it (Coolermaster Hyper 212+ is cheap but great) and give it a solid overclock to 3.6GHz. That's a good foundation for any single GPU, and probably all but the very top-end GPUs in Crossfire/SLI.

Just make sure you get a quality power supply to match.
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March 31, 2010 11:45:15 AM

Thanks for the reply.
Listen, the reason i would go for the phenom x2 550 is because it's cheap,and not that many games require 4 cores yet. Also, AM3 might last more than 1156.
I would get a quad only after they get cheaper. I certainly won't pay for a quad amd which costs almost as much as the i5 750.
I might unlock it for gta 4.

I ll use a 1gb 5770 most probably.
My resolution will probably be 1200x1000 since my screen is a 17. I might change it tho.
I might edit movies,photos and such,but not that much.
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a b à CPUs
March 31, 2010 6:07:58 PM

true that games were not utilizing more than 2 cores... but not anymore... future games are programmed to utilize more cores... i'd suggest a i5 750 or the phenom x4 955... both are good... unless and until you can't stretch your budget i'd suggest a phenom x2 555... infact i'd get the athlon 620 over the phenom x2... which performs better in non-gaming tasks... that utilize multiple cores..
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a b à CPUs
March 31, 2010 7:06:12 PM

Yeah if you are looking to just use a 5770 the Athlon II x4 might be golden for ya. If not the Phenom II x2 should still work fine.

I5 would definitely be overkill for a single 5770.
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a c 131 à CPUs
March 31, 2010 9:16:48 PM

I currently have an Athlon IIx4 620 overclocked to 3.25GHz on stock voltage with a stock cooler and hit 55C max load. My system has a 3870 and 2GB of ram. It will be a while before I considering upgrading the CPU. I'm looking into getting a 4850 right now and an additional 2GB of memory.
My friend has an E6300 at 3.2GHz with a 3870 and 4GB of memory. We generally perform the same. He can play a touch better in Crysis because of the memory and I can play better in games like Dragon Age and theoretically GTA4.

I actually recently did a test out of curiosity using K10 stat to change clockspeeds, and task manager to ensure only certain cores will be used by the program. I didn't write down the results but this is what I remember. I used MW2 to test, tabbing in and out:
-with 4 cores enabled, I could play MW2 without a framerate hit as low as at 0.8GHz, possibly 1.6, I can't remember
-two cores I could not lower as much. I think 2GHz
-single core was fail unless I was at least at 2.6GHz
-I also noticed that with 2 cores at 3.2GHz vs 4 cores at 3.2GHz, total CPU usage was lower. This was taking into account the unused cores also.
-I didn't try three cores... probably should do a proper test like this at some point...
All tests were done at max settings with AA either off or at 2x. I tested using the pit level of special ops. at the beginning of the course, 45FPS was my frames with my card and CPU on four cores at 2.6GHz. So I based any "decrease" in performance by comparing it to that. Not exactly an ideal test, but was still interesting.

If I do another test I'll take a proper benchmark and post the results somewhere as an interest thread.

Anyway, before I got my Athlon IIx4 I did a lot of research and don't regret it. If I had to do it again though.

Another note though, the Athlon IIx3 is another really good option. the 440 is less than the 620 but is stock 3GHz tri-core vs 2.6GHz quad core.
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March 31, 2010 9:20:23 PM

The athlon doesn't have l3 cache at all. Doesn't that matter in games?
I know that some steppings could unlock l3,but that was an isolated case,only the first ones if i remember correctly.
I'm really confused. I wouldn't like to risk, but it's so tempting.
I don't know exactly what video card i should get,but the cpus are what bother me the most.
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a c 131 à CPUs
March 31, 2010 11:24:39 PM

daibadrumu said:
The athlon doesn't have l3 cache at all. Doesn't that matter in games?
I know that some steppings could unlock l3,but that was an isolated case,only the first ones if i remember correctly.
I'm really confused. I wouldn't like to risk, but it's so tempting.
I don't know exactly what video card i should get,but the cpus are what bother me the most.

Cache can make a difference. Maybe 10%. But I find it doesn't seem to be worth it price/performance wise and you would benefit more from a third or fourth core more. Tom's did an article on the effects of cache with a specific system somewhere one here.
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April 11, 2010 9:00:48 AM

Best answer selected by daibadrumu.
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August 8, 2010 8:06:41 AM

hi guys could really use some help.
im building a pc for gaming its going to have 6gb ram a 5770 but the problem is should i choose the phenom ii x2 555 or the intel i5 750 turbo boost
help much appreciated

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