This way I can get a solid dual core, people seem to be able to OC this up to around 4.0GHz, and the possibility of getting a trip or quad core if it unlocks. Is there any cheaper combo out there that would allow me these features as well as USB 3.0/SATA 6.0gbps? Or any other recommendations? This seems like a pretty killer deal.
1) dual core is only Guaranteed as a dual core. 555s have something liek a 50% unlock rate, and 90% of those that do, only get 1 extra core.
2) In recent tests by Tom's Hardware in 20 popular games, the average core count is 2.75. It shows a strong trend toward using 3 or more cores with most games. while at the start of 2010, a dual core was fine, going into 2011, a triple core is going to be a minimum
better to go ahead and have 3 or 4 cores. a quad core athlon II will outperform the dual core phenom ii.
Ok, very understandable. I am going to go w/ the 74.99 one because I would like to futureproof myself w/ usb3.0/sata3.
The issue I'm having is that Newegg does not have any solid x3's on their site right now. And the Phenom ii x4 is RIGHT at the peak of my price range, while I was looking to try to fit a PSU in there if I had room. I right now work @ a computer shop, and I took an old gateway tower w/ a 350w PSU in it, and I don't know if it will be big enough...
350 would be fine if you don't plan on much graphics power. Anything needing a PCie cable would be out.
also Gateway, HP, Dell, and other major brands tend to skimp on their PSUs, so they end up with poor quality units.
something that might work for you:
the AS Rock 770 Extreme 3: $75
Athlon II X3 445: $75
Xigmatek PC-402 400W 80+ Bronze PSU: $40
add the cheap G.Skill or Mushkin DDR3 1333 RAM for $66
The 770s have one weakness: No built in video. No worry if you plan to include your own video card, but that's an added expense. a GTS 450 or HD5750 runs about $130 right now.
this would make a solid core system for $400.
Understandable! And thank you VERY much for the input. To clarify a little bit more, I DO have a few components already, albeit entry level components. I have a MASSIVE old gateway tower, (I hope it will work for my setup, it was proprietary at the time but i think it will) The PSU it had inside, I believe it is 300/350W. I have a gt220 for a vid card and 2x2gb of generic 1066 RAM. I would rather NOT go with the athlon series, primarily because this is something I'm hoping not to upgrade for a while.
Thank you for your input by the way, I scrounged up and went for the AMD 955, w/ that ASRock board you showed me. The CPU had a fairly nice combo deal w/ an aftermarket cpu cooler so I went with that as well.
What should be the next upgrade? PSU? Video card to a 5770 or so? 1600 RAM?
The 6850 is a little weaker than the 460 1GB, but better than the 5830, which it actually replaces, and better still than the 5770.
lots to look at in PSUs. I recommend going with a reliable brand (top choices: Antec, Corsair, Sea Sonic, Xigmatek, Silverstone, Coolermaster), then looking for 80+ efficiency (going 80+, then Bronze, Silver, Gold) then modular if possible.
RAM at 1066 will be a little slower than 1333 or 1600, but the difference in speeds is less than 2% (1 FPS slower if 1600 gives 50FPS in other words). NOT a serious concern.
upgrading to 1333 or 1600 RAM from DDR3 1066 should be the last upgrade you make
As for Athlon vs Phenom, the differences at the same speeds are 0-3% for the L3 Cache between an Athlon II X3/x4 and a Phenom II X4. Mostly it's a clock speed difference (an X3 445 is at 3.1 GHz, while a 955 is at 3.2 GHz)
True, and the 955 is a BE w/ the unlocked mulitplier, so OC'ing on air shouldn't be too hard.
I believe this is the final question... I have an OLD gateway tower, probably 6 years old. Its large, grey, and seems like it would fit an ATX board. Would I run into any problems in your opinion with this setup until a new case is feasible.