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Can't Decide Which CPU to Get

I can't decide which of these processors are better. I am going to get a motherboard that supports unlocking, so if I get a good one that will be a bonus, but if not 3 cores is fine.
First one: AMD Phenom II X3 740 Black Edition This is the one I have been leaning towards, but I don't know if it is the best for me.

Second: AMD Athlon II X3 445 This one comes with a HSF which would save me some money, but I don't know if it is better or worse than the previous one.

Third: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition This one is would be my last choice. It just seems like an expensive dual core, but that would be okay if it had better performance.

Remember, I would like to unlock cores, so I would also like to know which one I am most likely to be successful with.
My most demanding use will be graphic design and light gaming. I am going to purchase as soon as i can make up my mind, later today or tomorrow.
Any feedback is appreciated!
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. my 555 unlocked to a quad with mostly minimal effort, but theres NO guarantee.

    id say the PII X3 740 would be a safer bet. you lose 200mhz over the 555, but thats hardly going to be noticable, and the extra core would more than make up any difference in multithreaded apps. better yet, that PII X3 is also potentially unlockable and of course overclockable

    the stock HSF on the PII's is alright i guess, but for $30 you can find something considerably better on newegg.

    the Athlon II has no L3 cache like the PII's, although some AII's are L3 cache-unlockable, i dont think ive heard of anyone unlocking an AII's L3 cache PLUS a fourth core.
  2. To me the one that sells the most is likely to have the best chance of being a working x4 binned down to an x3 to meet demand. Bot the 740 and the 445 sell about the same but since you probably need the extra horsepower the phenom has over the athlon I would go with that. ie x3 740
  3. Best answer
    I also agree with the X3 740 BE (I have one in one of my systems).
    However your newegg links shows that it is sold out (out of stock) and is currently not available.
    I got mine on sale there for about $68 and they sold out quickly at that price.
    You could consider the AMD Phenom II X3 715 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz instead as a substitute
    Also the faster Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz lists as only $2 more than the 445 there at newegg for $79.
  4. jj463rd said:
    I also agree with the X3 740 BE (I have one in one of my systems).
    However your newegg links shows that it is sold out (out of stock) and is currently not available.
    I got mine on sale there for about $68 and they sold out quickly at that price.

    Sold out about an hour ago. I can wait though, I have been watching it since Black Friday.
  5. Okay, I am gonna go with the PII X3, Thanks everyone!

    The moment it is available it's mine.
  6. Best answer selected by Firestar.
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