I am building a computer for a friend of mine and I am wondering which is better for gaming purposes? One game he plays is Red Orchestra, and the other is Aces High II (which I know for sure only uses 2 cores at this point in time).
I'll most likely be using a MSI 770-G45 mobo, so the possibility of the fourth core on the X3 is there. I'm all for newer technology...but is the 4th core going to matter if I can't unlock it?
Edit: I also should say I will be pairing this with a 5770, and no real heavy gaming will be done I don't think...nothing like Crysis or FSX.
Yeah, I wouldn't worry about a 4th core. Currently very few games make use of 4 (or more) cores. On the other hand the windows 7 OS DOES make use of multiple cores. (How many depends on what you are doing though).
I say get the Phenom II x3 also for gaming the L3 cache definitely shows some performance gains. Its not huge gain but sometimes any bit of extra performance matters. And if by chance you do get the 4th core unlocked its just added bonus.
L3 isn't the only thing you're buying with a Phenom II.
OP: Like has been said, with only a 5770 the difference won't be too dramatic, but it will be there. Not to mention the other additions to choosing Phenom II; unlocked multiplier (in turn making OCing easier, especially on budget components such as mobo/RAM, and usually allowing a higher 'max' OC), possibly better binning/revisions, higher stock clocks.
My 2 cents- If OP doesnt plan to upgrade in less than a yea, an X4 will be better. Also, quite a lot of games run on 4 cores. Names? GTA IV/ELFC, Dirt 2, HAWX, (Insert name of favorite game running Unreal Engine 3. Mass Effect 1 & 2, Gears of War and Rainbow Six Vegas/V2 are but a few, once you get GPU limitations out of the way. Vegas and Vegas 2 both suck ~40-50 % of each of my cores) Not only this, his multi tasking ability will be far greater. . Run Crysis, install Assassin's Creed and encode audio at the same time? A cinch for a quad. Same operation will leave a triple at 90+% usage, L3 or no L3. Also, a quad will add a moderate level of future proofing. Games are already using as much as 3 GB of RAM (Just Cause , GTA), and its only a matter of another year or so before most games are quad optimized. And a x4 will always be better in multi GPU situations in case TS decides to dump another 5770.....
My suggestion: Spend a little less, get an Athlon II X4 620, spend cash saved on getting a CFire mobo, bolt on a second 5770 a few months down the line.
ATII X4 + 2x 5770> PHII X3 + 1x 5770.
Level of power, I think they are about the same 2.8tri with cache+ x4 without,
I wouldn't go beneath that, imho , and you will get a better o/c with the unlocked multi.
You probably can get 3.7 with the phenom. Or higher.
The 720 is a working man's 955