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Did I make the right choice? Athlon X3 over Phenom X2

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September 1, 2010 10:35:39 AM

I hope you will tell me I made a good choice...

Instead of buying my brother a CPU I decided to upgrade mine and give him my X2 250. I'm not sure if I will be able to notice an improvement over my x2 250, but I couldn't resist the retail box for $67.49 (it would have cost me $50 with a heatsink fan for a decent cpu for him, so I spent $20 more bucks). I could have bought a Phenom II X2 550 (Non-BE) for $10 more than the X3 440.

I did this because I have a BIOSTAR TA785 A2+ on the way and it's supposed to be able to unlock cores. I figured with my luck It's better to have 3 cores instead of 2 in case I can't unlock anything. From my research I was led to believe this was smart, and also saw the 440 out perform the 550 in almost every benchmark (when stock), What do you think?

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September 1, 2010 10:59:18 AM

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/119?vs=97

Just look for general things you do. Here are the advantages of both:

550:

L3 cache
Deneb, and can unlock into an x3 720 or x4 955
More likely to unlock
Higher overclocking


440:

1 more core
Athlon II, can unlock into x4 635, and VERY RARELY get L3 cache unlocked
Cheaper

All in all, you make the choice, as it depends on what ya do.
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September 1, 2010 11:53:26 AM

It's an okay choice if you're not unlocking. Tom's did an article before on testing the importance of the L3 cache (Athlon's don't have it, Phenom's do), and they did find that it was worth a bit of performance.

The Athlon X3 is an okay choice, it performs well enough for most tasks. Even unlocking is a gamble as you may or may not be able to unlock 1 or 2 cores.
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September 1, 2010 9:30:59 PM

Damn, if I would of known about the l3 cache I might of just ordered the processor for my brother, the x2 7550 (with l3 cache) for $40 and kept me x2 250. Do you think I'm even going to notice an improvement between the x3 440 and the x2 250?
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September 1, 2010 9:39:53 PM

Well, it is a 50% increase in cores. What are your PC uses?
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September 1, 2010 9:43:11 PM

I tend to have like 50 internet windows open at once. I do 3d modeling, mapping, game design, web design, and play games like crysis, bfbc2, etc.
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September 1, 2010 9:51:40 PM

You dunn good !!! Give yourself a pat on the back...B T W ,, you should see a noticeable improvement here and there....:) 
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September 1, 2010 9:57:55 PM

yamahaalex37 said:
I tend to have like 50 internet windows open at once. I do 3d modeling, mapping, game design, web design, and play games like crysis, bfbc2, etc.


Most of the things you say there benefit from more cores.
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September 1, 2010 10:00:05 PM

:D  thanks dokk, and everyone else! I can't wait to get the motherboard and processor in the mail, i will definitely post any benchmark differences, as well let u know my luck with the unlocking. Now I need to start researching unlocking, because I know absolutely squat about it!
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September 1, 2010 10:18:44 PM

Its actually quite easy depending on the motherboard. If you have any questions about it, just ask us.
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September 1, 2010 10:41:49 PM

Thanks ares, my BIOSTAR TA785 A2+ has a bios on Biostar's website that says "Enable f6 UnlocKING", so I'm guessing I just flash to that bios, then enable all cores in ACC?
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September 2, 2010 5:44:01 PM

Yup. I believe you can chose between enabling the core and the L3. My GF's x3 had stable L3 but an unstable 4th core.

Don't expect your L3 to be working/present however, probably better luck with the core.

I would run a short Prime 95 first to test your temps to make sure CPU is seated properly, then run aother long prime95 after enabling ACC for stability.

I say this because (in my experience) the temp sensors stopped working after enabling ACC (in XP).

And you may need to increase your voltage a couple small increments to get ACC stable
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September 3, 2010 7:13:16 AM

Raidur said:
I say this because (in my experience) the temp sensors stopped working after enabling ACC (in XP).


This is known and accepted side-effect of unlocking cores.
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September 10, 2010 3:34:42 AM

Best answer selected by yamahaalex37.
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