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Best AMD CPU for gaming For $100?

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August 1, 2010 4:06:31 AM

Right now i am looking to upgrade my aging system, i currently have a Phenom 9850 Black Edition. I was thinking either the Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition or the Athlon II X4 635, I have a motherboard that supports Core unlocking that is why im leaning toward the Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition.

What would you do? The most i want to spend is $105.

Thanks for your help!

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August 1, 2010 4:26:26 AM

If you have a nice board, get a nice cooler and OC that 9850 to 3GHZ, then save up for a GPU/Bulldozer.

Id take the 555 out of the 2 though.
August 1, 2010 4:47:27 AM

if I unlock the 3rd and/or 4th core do i also get the L2 Cache that comes with it?
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August 1, 2010 5:28:50 AM

Yes you get the L1 and L2 cache attached to the locked cores if you unlock them, but I wouldn't advise purchasing a Phenom II x2, if the cores fail to unlock you'll loose performance in some of the new games that take advantage of additional cores. Even the Athlon II X4 won't be much of an improvement, it's slower than a 3.0Ghz Phenom, I'm not sure if you overclock or not.
August 1, 2010 5:51:48 AM

I wish i could just stick with my Phenom 9850 but it doesnt get along too well with the current motherboard i have, i need to upgrade to something a little newer. not necessarily way more powerful, just a little newer.
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August 1, 2010 6:59:29 AM

Ok so i don't even think those two CPUs mentioned are bad. but i think they are not worth it. The Athlon II X3 440 is a great cpu, its only 76$ and it is a greatly recommended budget CPU. Tom's did a review on its 3.1ghz counterpart (the 440 is 3.0ghz) and it did fantastic, they also recommended it in there conclusion. IT also can be easily OC'd to surpass or be almost at par with the 635. L3 really is not that important it may be a little helpful but overall it really is not needed in gaming.

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

Review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-processor-co...

L3 cache needed?: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-l3-cache,241...

Another GREAT chip for the price is the Phenom II X3 720 -OEM- (sadly yes it is OEM since they don't have it as the Phenom II X3 720 C3 :(  ) Anywho it's only 104$ on Newegg and you have the multi-threaded app thing down in case you don't unlock it. YES! That's right, for the price of a 555 you can get a tri-core phenom that can unlock. The only difference is that the 720 doesn't have C3 although, you don't really need to OC like crazy as a 3.5ghz or 3.6 is enough and i hear it's easy to hit on the 720. Also Like i said you have the l3 and its a tri-core so you don't sacrifice if you can't unlock.

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

:D  Good luck to you.
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August 1, 2010 10:29:26 AM

Yep i have to agree the X3 Rana 440 or 445 are the best in that price range.
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August 1, 2010 1:22:02 PM

If you live near a Microcenter and catch their combo sale you can buy a Athlon II 630 and a motherboard for around 100 bucks, sell the new motherboard on ebay for 30-40 bucks and you have a sweet cpu for 60-70 bucks and you don't have to worry about a buggy unlocked core.

I have 3 of these and they perform very well. I oc'd the 1st try to 3.5ghz and probably could go further if I tried. I will be running these until I see what the new bulldozer cpus have to offer. The X3 is another good option I would consider as mentioned the previous 2 posts. You won't be disappointed either way.

You never listed your mobo. Did you check your BIOS rev to see if there's a newer update that may patch your problem?...
August 1, 2010 4:42:09 PM

Thanks for your help aznshinobi!!

englandr753> I did update my bios to the newest revision, but no matter what i do i cant get my temps down. Ive never ever had this problem before, and ive built my share of PCs. I then came across this link>

http://www.slashgear.com/amd-blames-motherboards-for-ov...

Which suggests thats its my chipset that is incompatible with my processor. I have the Asrock A785GXH/128M Mobo.



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August 1, 2010 8:33:37 PM

No problem and did that answer your question? Or are you in the room for more options/opinions?

IF it did, choose the best answer to close the topic, that way it won't be revived if some one dumb just browsed through it one day.

Also, if you are also thinking about mobo upgrades. Asrock still made a good budget mobo, the Asrock 870 Extreme3, although it is only 8x/8x, 8x/8x vs 16x/16x,
8x Crossfire is relatively 98% vs the 100% 16x crossfire. so its an awesome budget mobo. plus its future-proof with the USB3 Sata 6 :D 

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

Sadly they sold out, but when there in stock the MSRP is 109.99, but newegg sells em at like 89.99
August 2, 2010 12:29:46 AM


Im still debating on what to do, i need some more opinions.
August 2, 2010 12:46:15 AM

For just over the $100 mark the oem 720 is good. Use your old cooler...

I think the X3 440/5 are great deals.

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August 2, 2010 1:26:12 AM
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Personally I'd take the Phenom II X2 and go for the unlocked cores.

Most games are coded for 2 or 1 cores. Maybe you could look at the games you play and see if 4 cores will benefit you.
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August 2, 2010 1:58:27 AM

But if he ever wanted to do things like multi-tasking (IE Playing games while Antivirus scanning) It doesn't exactly give him much head room. Two cores is actually sufficent, for running one app at a time. But say your scanning your computer and converting a video into mp4 format, it wouldn't be able to handle it. I've had a 550 i know, also i failed to unlock so it is like a 50/50 chance you'll unlock.
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August 2, 2010 2:30:43 AM

toker509 said:
Thanks for your help aznshinobi!!

englandr753> I did update my bios to the newest revision, but no matter what i do i cant get my temps down. Ive never ever had this problem before, and ive built my share of PCs. I then came across this link>

http://www.slashgear.com/amd-blames-motherboards-for-ov...

Which suggests thats its my chipset that is incompatible with my processor. I have the Asrock A785GXH/128M Mobo.


Dude, I have two of those boards and they are sweet. You don't need to buy another motherboard. Get the 630 and be done with it. I got one off ebay for 70.00 and free shipping and the other at Microcenter with the mobo combo deal I told you about. I bought both of my asrock mobos from newegg and I hit 3.5ghz easy.


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August 2, 2010 3:25:43 AM

But Ebay is full of lies... If i ever trusted ebay with computer parts, i would never forgive myself. Ebay may have that trusted buyer/seller thing but it still doesn't compare to the BBB A+ rating that Newegg has for that matter for Ebay its hit or miss, sure you can meet sellers who honor their deal, but if anything is wrong with the CPU its your problem, also you have no clue if it is an open box. IMO. You can follow his recommendation and get the 630 though, i don't think its the best of deals as a small oc'd 445 would equal the 640's performance, so the same probably can be said about the 440 vs the 630 :p 

Source about 445 vs 640: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-processor-co...
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August 2, 2010 3:28:39 AM

aznshinobi said:
But Ebay is full of lies... If i ever trusted ebay with computer parts, i would never forgive myself. Ebay may have that trusted buyer/seller thing but it still doesn't compare to the BBB A+ rating that Newegg has for that matter for Ebay its hit or miss, sure you can meet sellers who honor their deal, but if anything is wrong with the CPU its your problem, also you have no clue if it is an open box. IMO. You can follow his recommendation and get the 630 though, i don't think its the best of deals as a small oc'd 445 would equal the 640's performance, so the same probably can be said about the 440 vs the 630 :p 

Source about 445 vs 640: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-processor-co...

Ebays been wonderful to me, just stick it with paypal when you have a problem.
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August 2, 2010 4:53:57 AM

Timop said:
Ebays been wonderful to me, just stick it with paypal when you have a problem.




Same here. I have only been stuck once and paypal made it right. It was for a game, not pc parts. You do have to be careful but if you buy from a seller with great stats its much less likely you will get taken advantage of.

You can buy new, sell your older amd cpu for 49 bucks and you have 50 bucks in a newer much cooler cpu. And the 630 is a perfect match up with your current motherboard. If you know what to look for you might get lucky with buying a propus cpu with disabled l3. There were early models with this done to meet production demands. = D

Problem solved...
August 2, 2010 4:07:46 PM

+1 for Phenom II X3 720 BE

$104 @ the Egg. Beats any other CPU at or below that price level. 3.3-3.5 GHz is easily attainable with stock voltages. Fourth core usually unlocks if you feel the need.
August 2, 2010 9:14:33 PM

I recently was posed with a similar question. I decided to go with the Phenom II X2 555 with the hopes I might unlock a core or two and the fact that I got it new for $85 shipped, did not hurt either. I already have a Athlon II X3 425, so I plan on comparing the two once I get my new motherboard. My current Foxconn is driving me crazy so it has to go.
August 12, 2010 12:37:23 AM

Best answer selected by toker509.
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