AMD Phenom II X2 555 vs X3 740 Black Editions

Can't decide between these two processors. They are the same price on newegg but the 740 needs a heatsink, but I've read that I would need to upgrade the cooling unit on the 555, especially if I do any overclocking.

The most pressure I will put on my processor will be playing Starcraft 2 (which only utilizes 2 cores) I might have IE running and maybe a media player running, thats about the extent of my multitasking.

The 555 is 3.2GHz where the 740 is 3.0GHz, should I go with the faster one or the one with 3 cores?

All the reading that I've done about multi cores is that most programs and user don't need more than 2 cores, except for high end video encoding and editing.

Trying to build a budget computer to run SC2, for under $800. So far I just have the case. I haven't built a computer in 10 years so I really have no idea what to choose.
24 answers Last reply
More about phenom black editions
  1. A extra core helps. Some modern games are there which run crappy on dual cores. Like i wasn't able to play Arma II on my E8400. And E8400 is still a top line dual core.
  2. If you weren't considering overclocking the easy answer would have been X2 255. SC2 will benefit from overclocking the CPU. There should be very little difference in final OC'd speed between the X2 255 and X4 740.

    Leaving aside the option to possibly get an extra core or two from unlocking.
    Since the CPUs are the same price and the cost of the aftermarket CPU cooler will be the same - you're essentially getting a 3rd core for free.

    SC2 won't mind if you have that 3rd core there.
  3. I've always been interested in overclocking, and the black edition processors are very easy to overclock right? I've read that the 555 overclocks pretty nicely but cannot find much information at all about the 740.

    Will I definitely need to upgrade the cooler if I buy the 555?

    Should I just go ahead and buy a quad core? Newegg has an Athlon x4 640 for $95
  4. Don't forget the X3 740 is a Black Edition as well, with a possibility of unlocking a fourth core.
    Here is an older article on X3 720 BE Overclocking.
  5. NeoMishMoo said:
    Will I definitely need to upgrade the cooler if I buy the 555?
    No you would not.
    You could even manage some overclocking on the stock CPU cooler - but it does become quite loud as it starts working harder.
    CPU cooling would be your limiting factor in trying to reach higher overclocked speeds.
  6. Since the 740 is stock at 3 cores would it be more likely to be stable running 4 cores since only 1 core is unlocked? the 555 can have 2 cores unlocked but would it be less likely to be stable with 4 cores?

    Again maybe I should just buy a quad core even though I'm not sure I will need it now I'll probably need it in the future?
  7. I know you didn't ask for builds but Starcraft does not need a really high end machine to run at max. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.492361

    This bundle should do the job and you could just add a video card of your choice.
    I also just made this quick build

    From what i have seen in multiple reviews the 4870 always comes on top of the 5770 in benchmarks and with combo you get the card for less then $100. I think its a better deal then the 5770. Unless you really need DX11.
  8. go to the m4a89gtspro/usb3 offers core unlocker sata 6.0 GBs and USB 3 on the 890 chipset.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131631&cm_re=m4a89gtdpro-_-13-131-631-_-Product

    I have that board it is awesome.
  9. cedrac18 said:
    I know you didn't ask for builds but Starcraft does not need a really high end machine to run at max. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.492361

    This bundle should do the job and you could just add a video card of your choice.
    I also just made this quick build
    http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b89/cedrac18/build-1.jpg
    From what i have seen in multiple reviews the 4870 always comes on top of the 5770 in benchmarks and with combo you get the card for less then $100. I think its a better deal then the 5770. Unless you really need DX11.



    go to the m4a89gtspro/usb3 offers core unlocker sata 6.0 GBs and USB 3 on the 890 chipset.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131631&cm_re=m4a89gtdpro-_-13-131-631-_-Product
  10. cedrac18 said:



    I like this combo better

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.487553

    if it was me I would forget the combo and get a

    5870 or a 5770 and a corsair PSU

    ocz is a mid range PSU.
  11. Oh wow I forgot to check this thread. Lots of great suggestions

    Ok so I bought this case: Thermaltake Armor A90, only $69 after rebates.
    Good thing I bought it when I did because now its $50 more expensive:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133176

    Also went ahead and bought this powersupply from amazon, only $70 after rebates discounts and $40 off for signing up for their credit card.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139010

    Pretty set on the 890gx MOBO, only $35 more than the 870 and a lil better:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131631

    Pretty set on the RAM: Corsair DDR3 1600 XMS3 4gb
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145260

    Is the 4870 better than the 5770? or better than the 5830? I had my eye on this Video Card. ASUS RADEON 5830
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121367

    Looking to get the PHENOM II X4 965 CPU. It is twice the price of the X2 555 but I think it will keep my computer from getting outdated so quickly

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727

    I mean is this way too much machine? Its coming close to being $900 dollars. I'm hoping to try and get the most out of it though, by getting some video editing software. I've got a mountain of old VHS family videos to digitize.
  12. Not sure why you would suggest more expensive RAM from a less reputable brand.

    The 870 chipset is not true crossfire. The speed of each port is cut in half when running crossfire. (Single at x16 or dual at x8/x8 mode) The 890gx has x16/x16.

    You think the 5850 would be better? I've been reading that the 5830 is a bit underpowered especially when it comes to shaders but I'm not sure the 5850 is worth the extra $100. I'd like to go either asus, H.I.S., or Sapphire with the video card. Much rather buy a "lower" speed video card by a better manufacturer, than to buy a GPU from a less reputable company.
  13. The 5830 isn't a very good card in what regards price/performance or power consumption, the 5850 is much better. Id rather buy a GTX 460 than the 5830.

    G-Skill is more reputable nowadays and it has better timings.

    x8 x8 is fine for any cards but two HD 5970 or two GTX 480. For the rest you don't need x16 x16.

    If you buy a HD 5850 you can get a cheaper non-crossfire mobo, by the time you'll need more power in gaming it will be already obsolete so you'll have to change it anyway. So crossfire/SLI might be useful only if you buy a cheaper less powerful video card.
  14. What about a MOBO with HDMI? I don't have anything HDMI at the moment but it might be nice to have that kind of flexibility

    Jeez if we're talking timings then what about this ram?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144425

    All of the GEIL ram seems to have way lower timings. I don't understand why such high end RAM has such high timings?

    Not sure if GEIL is any good though

    EDIT: I don't understand RAM at all especially timings, lower numbers are better right but what makes this GEIL ram $65 bucks more than the above link?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144438
  15. Well, that last link is DDR3 2000, while the first is DDR3 1333. Timings and speed are the two major factors in ram price, followed by the voltage necessary to run at those speeds.
  16. Wow sorry didn't even notice the ddr3 2000. That was an obvious question. Now I'm reading that some RAM doesn't perform at advertised timings. I think GEIL might be guilty of this, all of their RAM has way lower timings for lower price than other, more mainstream brands.

    I hear that low timings are good but also "tight" timings? Does that mean that all three numbers are close to the same value? Because the last number is usually way high so should I go for a lower average between the 4 numbers?
  17. There's little difference between different RAM so don't buy expensive RAM.

    HDMI is for video, you have it on the video card not on the mobo (unless it has onboard video - that you don't need).
  18. DDR3 1333 with CAS7 timings and 1.5V or lower is my preference. Why have more speed or heat then you can use/need?
  19. I just wanted to point out that x2 555 is a c3 revision chip. x3 740 is not.
  20. Completely off topic (sorry) but a little related, did anyone notice that on the Newegg pictures for the X3 740, they blurred out the "Made in Malaysia"? If AMD is so embarrassed by assembling it there, why do it? Glad to see marketing is hard at work at least.
  21. pretty set on the x4 965 chip. The 740 is nice but after spending the money on a good cooler It would be almost the same price as the 965. So I'll just get the 965 and keep the stock cooler on it for awhile. It should be enough even with a little bit of overclocking.

    Oh yeah on the F3-12800CL7D Ripjaws ram. The timing on newegg says 7-8-7-24 but on the ASUS MOBO QVL it says 7-7-7-24. Not sure which to trust, not that it really makes that much of a difference
  22. Newegg is probably the official spec, however since it probably has no issue at 7-7-7 Asus just validated it at the more standard one. I wouldn't worry, either timing is great.
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