I was looking forward to upgrade my existing configuration to something more capable and future-proof. Main use is gaming (Already have a 5770)and a little bit overclocking.and I dont plan on upgrading for the next 3 years. My budget for the CPU is 70-900$ .
I was eying the AMD Phenom II x2 555BE and the AMD Athlon II x4 635. Which one of these would be better for gaming? I mean, are the games in future going to be multi-core optimized? Right now, we don't have many titles which fully utilize 4 cores, right?
Also, the prospect of unlocking the 2 extra cores on the 555 is very attractive. What's the approximate probability of successfully unlocking the 2 cores?
Also I'd be needing a motherboard. I want the cheapest one which can unlock the extra cores and allows for some overclocking. I'll be needing 4 Ram slots (DDR2). I don't want to spend much on the motherboard.
There i no guarantee that the dormant cores will unlock and therefore its pointless to keep hoping that they will unlock.In gaming, the few games that use quad cores, the Athlon will be delivering higher performance.In most games the higher clocked Phenom II will be giving you slightly better performance.But I think that you should be getting the Athlon as the quad cores will always improve general performance.
If you plan on keeping it for 3 years, then I'd go with the quad-core, since more and more games will take advantage of more cores as time goes by.
I also have to second Tamz's statement about the core unlocking. Those cores are usually disabled for a reason, and sometimes will not unlock, or if they do, will make your system unstable. Some people have luck, some don't, and it's not worth the gamble.