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April 23, 2010 12:00:26 AM

Hi I'm looking at upgrading my cpu from an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+. I'm buying a new mobo and want to keep using a dual core, would a AMD Athlon II X2 255 be a good CPU. I game quite a bit and don't do more than a couple things at a time. The most I want it to do is play NFS Shift while using Rapid Downloader in the background, have AVG in the background, and have iTunes playing. I just want to know if I should get that CPU or get a triple core like a AMD Athlon II X3 440.

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April 23, 2010 12:54:09 AM

I would say go for the X3 440. The 555 would perform slightly better in games (only about 2-8 fps differance) but with all the multitasking you're doing, you would benefit more from having the extra cores. Heres a comparison.

http://anandtech.com/bench/Product/120?vs=119
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April 23, 2010 1:52:10 AM

Thank You. So should I just go with the 440 or look for maybe a quad?

Edit: I have found a Black Edition AMD Phenom II X4 940 3.0 GHz. I was wondering if it is a good CPU.
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April 23, 2010 11:39:14 AM

The 940 is a great CPU, but its only AM2+ so you would have to use slower DDR2 memory. I would recommend getting the Phenom II X4 945, which is AM3 socket and uses DDR3 memory, and is similarly priced.
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April 23, 2010 11:32:17 PM

if you use DDR3, your advantage will be 1%-3% compared to a much slower (and cheaper) DDR2 module.. I'd like to say that it isn't a big mistake to buy a processor which isn't compatible with DDR3. If you want to buy a PC with really good price/performance ratio, DDR2 memory, a CPU with unlocked multiplier and a good graphics card is the best choice.
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April 24, 2010 1:44:22 AM

If you are considering a 440, you might want to consider a 630 for $15 more. I ended up going with that chip and am loving the extra core.

Not sure if there's much of a price difference between ddr2 and ddr3 anymore, but I agree with L's comments above that you really won't notice much of a performance difference either way.

Either would be a great value given the general direction that you are going.
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April 24, 2010 2:06:09 AM

mfernicola said:
If you are considering a 440, you might want to consider a 630 for $15 more. I ended up going with that chip and am loving the extra core.

Not sure if there's much of a price difference between ddr2 and ddr3 anymore, but I agree with L's comments above that you really won't notice much of a performance difference either way.

Either would be a great value given the general direction that you are going.


out of curiosity, why are you loving the extra core as opposed to 3 core CPU?

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April 24, 2010 2:21:56 AM

For the best gaming performance the Phenom II 955BE is one of the best it OC's great and games beautifully to save some dough you might want to look into an Phenom II x3 720 it has a fairly good chance of being unlocked into a quad core but even if it dont unlock it will give the best overall gaming experience or you could get the Athlon II x3 which is about 10% slower but also cost about $50 less its really about what fits into your budget the best.

You haven't mentioned a GPU what are you using now for your graphics card? Your best bet would be to spend a little less on the CPU and get the most powerful card you can afford. Most games are very GPU dependent.
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April 24, 2010 2:30:34 AM

RailGun88 said:
Hi I'm looking at upgrading my cpu from an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+. I'm buying a new mobo and want to keep using a dual core, would a AMD Athlon II X2 255 be a good CPU. I game quite a bit and don't do more than a couple things at a time. The most I want it to do is play NFS Shift while using Rapid Downloader in the background, have AVG in the background, and have iTunes playing. I just want to know if I should get that CPU or get a triple core like a AMD Athlon II X3 440.

AMD motherboards are likely to support AM3 processors with BIOS upgrade. Before deciding on buying a new one, did you look at your motherboard manufacturer's website if it can support AM3 CPU's? If it does, you have possibility to save on your motheboard and DDR2 RAM, a saving you can use to get the best CPU that will fit your motherboard or upgrade your gfx card.
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April 24, 2010 3:45:45 AM

My point of view is that the best choice is an AthlonII X2, which has some extra cores that can be unlocked.. So you can get an AthlonII X4 :) 

I mean, it is the cheapest way to solve your problem, but remember, there is no guarantee that you can unlock the extra cores (cause' you can't foretell why the cores are locked - because of fabrication error OR because it should be a cheaper CPU).

Anyway, the decision is yours. You said thay you don't play a lot.. The CPU isn't as important in games, as a GPU, so my advices are the following:

a) Athlon II X2 (which can be unlocked.. read reviews) + AM3 mobo + DDR3 + Radeon 4xxx

OR

b) Phenom II X2 (which can be unlocked.. read reviews) + AM3 mobo + DDR3 + Radeon 4xxx

OR

c) Phenom II X3 (which can be unlocked.. read reviews) + AM3 mobo + DDR3 + Radeon 4xxx

and finally Phenom II with 4 cores, but I think that the Phenom II X3 might be the best choice - because it has 3 cores, a good price, and it can be unlocked, if you have some luck.

Whatever you choose, it's a good choice, but remember: there is NO guarantee that you can unlock the extra cores of the CPU :p 
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April 24, 2010 3:52:33 AM

** Athlon II X2 --> not the best, but a fairly good CPU ... otherwise, PhenomII X3 or PhenomII X4.. it is so simple :)  :p 
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April 24, 2010 9:35:17 AM

saaiello said:
For the best gaming performance the Phenom II 955BE is one of the best it OC's great and games beautifully to save some dough you might want to look into an Phenom II x3 720 it has a fairly good chance of being unlocked into a quad core but even if it dont unlock it will give the best overall gaming experience or you could get the Athlon II x3 which is about 10% slower but also cost about $50 less its really about what fits into your budget the best.

You haven't mentioned a GPU what are you using now for your graphics card? Your best bet would be to spend a little less on the CPU and get the most powerful card you can afford. Most games are very GPU dependent.


I'm using a XFX ATI Radeon 4770.
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April 24, 2010 9:44:15 AM

An X3 435 should be more than enough for that. However if you plan on upgrading it or getting a 2nd HD4770 for crossfire, then a Phenom II X3 will be better.

A few questions to fine tune our advice:
1. What is your motherboard?
2. What is your monitor resolution?
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April 24, 2010 2:02:27 PM

ct1615 said:
out of curiosity, why are you loving the extra core as opposed to 3 core CPU?



I have the following setup:

Asus M4A79 Deluxe
4gb 1066 @ 5-5-5-15
2 x 4850 in x-fire

I originally had a 550 running stable at 3.7 and 1.35v (only two cores -- unable to unlock). I was happy with the chip and was able to drive my x-fired cards at around 80-90% cpu utilization.

I was looking to build an HTPC and came across a great deal on a CPU/mobo combo which got me a 635 (ok, so not a 630 but close enough). Out of curiosity, I replaced the 550 with the 635 to see what it could do. At its stock speed of 2.9 it was able to drive my cards with less CPU utilization than the 550. I was able to find a sweet spot for this chip at 3.47 and 1.4v. At these settings it drives my cards at roughly 50% cpu utilization. Lots of unused capacity to run whatever else you want in the background. Needless to say the 550 is now sitting in my HTPC.

If you are only running one app at a time there would be no difference, but if you are a multitasker (like the OP appears to be) the more cores the better. In answer to your question I have not specifically tested a three core chip but I still feel that multitaskers would be wise to spend the extra $15 for the 630 based on what I have seen.

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April 24, 2010 2:04:44 PM

L3Wy said:
My point of view is that the best choice is an AthlonII X2, which has some extra cores that can be unlocked.. So you can get an AthlonII X4


I was not aware that a Regor core could be unlocked -- can you reply with a link to that review?
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April 24, 2010 2:16:44 PM

mfernicola said:
I was not aware that a Regor core could be unlocked -- can you reply with a link to that review?


any of the x3 can unlock the 4th core, the question is if the core is stable or just bad. You do it in the ACC menu in your mobo's BIOS
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April 24, 2010 2:25:58 PM

mfernicola said:
I was not aware that a Regor core could be unlocked -- can you reply with a link to that review?

Regor cores can not be unlocked The Athlon II x2 Regor is a true Dual cores die so that is not a possibility. The only ones that can be unlocked are the Athlon II x3 which is a Propus core dies with 1 core disabled or the Phenom II x2, Phenom II x3 which is a Deneb die with 1 or 2 core disabled. The original Athlon II x3 and x4's used to be Deneb dies with the L3 disabled and 1 core disabled for the Athlon II x3 but AMD found it more cost effective to use a new die for the Athlon II x4 which is Propus.
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April 25, 2010 5:35:12 PM

mfernicola said:
I was not aware that a Regor core could be unlocked -- can you reply with a link to that review?


Sure, there are Athlon II X2 models which core can be unlocked - I read this on a Hungarian review site, but it was some months ago and I haven't put the link in my bookmarks :(  sorry

but I found another site, which refers to this CPU:

http://www.techpowerup.com/92330/Athlon_X2_7750_BE_Unlocked_to_Quad-Core.html

Good luck! If you decide to buy this model, and you can unlock succesfully all its cores, please share with us :) 
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April 25, 2010 5:41:31 PM

Sorry, I haven't mentioned that this is not Athlon II.. But I'm sure that it is Athlon II which has 4 cores, with 2 cores locked..
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April 25, 2010 11:47:57 PM

I have not seen a single review that shows an Athlon II x2 Regor unlocking to more than 2 cores, nor have I heard from anyone who has accomplished this. Also, all of the info. in this forum that I have seen suggests that the Regor only has 2 cores on its die and that AMD is not 'down-binning' deneb cores.

If you can find that post please include the link for us.





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April 26, 2010 1:51:23 PM

L3Wy said:
Sorry, I haven't mentioned that this is not Athlon II.. But I'm sure that it is Athlon II which has 4 cores, with 2 cores locked..

Athlon II's are not 4 cores. Many have said before and it is true. :) 
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May 3, 2010 3:38:53 PM

Okay.. Then look after a Phenom II X2 or X3 :) 
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May 3, 2010 3:59:21 PM

Hi Railgun88,
Did you find the answer you were looking for?
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May 24, 2010 2:00:41 AM

Sry haven't looked in a while, yes I did and I think I'll go with the 720.
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May 24, 2010 2:01:45 AM

Best answer selected by RailGun88.
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