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I3-540 or Phenom II X4 955

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April 14, 2010 5:27:20 PM

I just bought a radeon 5770 and it's time to upgrade my CPU to make sure I get everything out of it. I can't decide whether I should get an i3-540 or a Phenom II 955. I currently have an e6600, so I figured since I need a new mobo either way, I should make sure I'm getting the best CPU for me. I will primarily be using it for gaming with the general office documenting, web browsing, photo shopping, and video streaming sprinkled in. The CPU article prices them at the best for 140 and 160, respectively. Which one should I get?

More about : 540 phenom 955

a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 6:09:24 PM

Get the Phenom, it's a quad and it's very good. And a nice USB3 mobo.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 6:21:31 PM

If i had to choose between those two then i'll certainly get a Phenom II 955.
Since it is a quad core and newer games benefit more with quads.

For Purely gaming purpose, both CPU are enough.You won't see a difference with those two.

Read this article:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i3-gaming,2588...


Also Consider a Athlon II x3 435 which is an excellent gaming CPU and that too for only 80$

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There will be very less difference in gaming performance with any of these CPUs.

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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 6:22:49 PM

You can also OC your E6600. It should be enough for your 5770.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 6:28:50 PM

Get a q9400 or better, you dont need a motherboard, and depends on the route you might need DDR3, you would for sure with the i3.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 6:36:56 PM

the PhenomII 955 is better than the i3 hand down. i3 is a dual core, phenomII is a quad. I will probably never suggest an i3 or i5 other than the i5-750 since they are dual cores, and much more expensive than similar performing AMD quads. Heck- you can get a true quad core from AMD for less than $100. You could OC your current CPU pretty easily as well to a point that it won't bottleneck your 5770.
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April 14, 2010 6:41:33 PM

I guess I hadn't thought of getting a cheaper quad or triple core. I will prolly need to upgrade the mobo anyway because my current one doesn't support DDR3. If I'm mainly just gonna be gaming, would I be better off just getting an AMD 435 or 440 instead of an i3? I guess the benefit there is I could upgrade to a phenom or something in a year or two and not have to change MBs.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 6:44:37 PM

Yes- that is a very nice step. Either one of those CPU's will perform just fine for you in games, and will be nicely upgradable even to a Thuban in the future, and will be much cheaper now than an i3.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 6:45:56 PM

The PII 955 is the way to go. With an AM3 board you would have to upgrade your ram but it’s not that expensive. I would suggest against the q9400 because there is not point dropping $200 on a dead socket. For $200 you could get a PII 955 and a cheap AM2+ board.
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April 14, 2010 9:29:24 PM

Pro Llama said:
The PII 955 is the way to go. With an AM3 board you would have to upgrade your ram but it’s not that expensive. I would suggest against the q9400 because there is not point dropping $200 on a dead socket. For $200 you could get a PII 955 and a cheap AM2+ board.


Is it worth spending (nearly) double the money for a 955 over a 435 or 440? Will I notice the difference? Since they both take the same socket, I figured I could just buy the 435/440 with a new mobo and upgrade in a year or so if I feel like I need to when the 955's price drops.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 9:42:37 PM

Thats what I would do- 435-440 now, and upgrade later when you feel the need (955 price drops, or Thuban/whatever comes after it come and you want it).
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 10:23:59 PM

Benchmarks Between I3 540 in red 4.2GHz and some real quad cores.

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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 10:30:06 PM

Stock quads compared to an i3 at 4.2GHz. Not really a good comparison. Drop that clock to stock speeds and then show me that same comparison (note the 955 is almost equal in whetstone, even at stock speeds compared to the OCed i3)
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a b à CPUs
April 15, 2010 3:46:29 AM

The 955 is not going to drop in price. You're living in fantasy land. DO get a processor with large amounts of L# cache on it.... it DOES make a difference..... a quote from a link I'll post but rings true whatever processor you're going to be using... "The large 12MB L3 cache has a bigger effect on gaming applications"....

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/intel-core...

......... Look under the gaming section for that quote.......... but if you care to look on the net you will be able to find lots on what matters as far as L3cache and what you're using your machine for.....
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a b à CPUs
April 15, 2010 4:08:02 AM

For gaming a tri core will suffice. Just read the article whose link I gave in the above post.

Either way (435/955) AMD is the way to go ;) 
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a b à CPUs
April 15, 2010 3:40:32 PM

L3 cache is great, but isn't always worth the price increase. Depends on what its being used for and how important the increase in speed for that particular application is.
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April 21, 2010 11:57:13 PM

Best answer selected by thebignasty.
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