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Athlon II X3 vs Phenom II X2

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April 21, 2011 6:02:44 PM

Hey guys been a while since I posted but I for a question that needs the advice of the wise ones of Tom's hardware..

This lady at my college is interested in buying a new computer and I recommended she let me build one as it would more than likely be cheaper and more powerful than one she would get retail at the same price, especially since she has the previous monitor to work with.

My question is should I go with the Phenom II X2 or get an Athlon II X3?. I know the phenom is the stronger architecture but I want to know if the extra core of the Athlon will make a difference.

I don't want to go with an Athlon II X2 cause some of the computers here at school use them and they are constantly showing down and not even decoding YouTube well, which is sad cause they have HD 4550s in em.

Price is a concern since they have made it clear they wont be doing more than Microsoft office, web surfing and the like. I dont want to go with the cheapest cpu (sempron) because I don't want them having something crappy.

NO gaming will be done. So let me know which is the better deal so I can show her what I plan on getting. Thanks

Option 1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Option 2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : athlon phenom

April 21, 2011 6:10:45 PM

hey,athalon ii x3 will be the way to go if you are not into gaming,it is cheaper and multitask well from the other cpu you have listed
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April 21, 2011 6:24:22 PM

Quote:
what about this quad core athlon 630 for the same price as the phenom you listed?:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That's what i'm trying to find out. I want to know if an Athlon with any number of core can compete with a dual core or higher phenom.

If the athlon X3 is on par or out performs the phenom i'm going to go with that since its the cheaper option. These people wont be doing much of anything that is cpu demanding, I just don't want them to have a bad experience in the few tasks they are going to do since I got the wrong cpu.

I've never built with amd so I dont have a lot of experience in seeing them in action.
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April 21, 2011 6:29:57 PM

The athlons are slower, mostly in gaming, because of the lack of L3 cache.

Since AM3 is pretty dead, why not consider H67/H61 and a i3-2100. It's faster than Phenom II X4 in gaming and anything else that only uses 2 cores. It also has hyperthreading which makes it act as a quad core in certain applications. Plus it can be upgraded to a i7 at a later date.

It's only 65w. 32nm. $120. I got my mobo for $59. If you live near microcenter, I have seen i3-2100 for $99.

X3 435 vs. i3-2100

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/112?vs=289
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April 21, 2011 6:41:01 PM

tical2399 said:


Price is a concern since they have made it clear they wont be doing more than Microsoft office, web surfing and the like.

NO gaming will be done.


The Athlon II X3 is plenty for handling the above mentioned stuff (even when done simultaneously).. Just add adequate amount of ram..
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April 21, 2011 6:41:40 PM

geekapproved said:
The athlons are slower, mostly in gaming, because of the lack of L3 cache.

Since AM3 is pretty dead, why not consider H67/H61 and a i3-2100. It's faster than Phenom II X4 in gaming and anything else that only uses 2 cores. It also has hyperthreading which makes it act as a quad core in certain applications. Plus it can be upgraded to a i7 at a later date.

It's only 65w. 32nm. $120. I got my mobo for $59.

X3 vs. i3

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/112?vs=289



Guessing you didn't read my posts. This is not for me and NO gaming is involved. I also said that price is an issue. Intel chips always cost more than competing AMD chips. I myself have an I7 920 since I play games but the core I series costs too much for just basic home use for an older person (email etc)

This is for an old lady who's going to use it for Microsoft office, email and web searching etc. The only reason I cautious of the Athlon 2 because they have some in the labs at school and they struggle doing simple things. So I'm wondering if a X3 or X4 would perform better or should I go with the stronger architecture phenom X2
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April 21, 2011 6:44:07 PM

tical2399 said:
Guessing you didn't read my posts. This is not for me and NO gaming is involved. I also said that price is an issue. Intel chips always cost more than competing AMD chips. I myself have an I7 920 since I play games but the core I series costs too much for just basic home use for an older person (email etc)

This is for an old lady who's going to use it for Microsoft office, email and web searching etc. The only reason I cautious of the Athlon 2 because they have some in the labs at school and they struggle doing simple things. So I'm wondering if a X3 or X4 would perform better or should I go with the stronger architecture phenom X2



I read your post perfectly clearly. I never said anything about it being for gaming......I simply stated a fact as to when the Athlon II performs slower than Phenom II.

I'm suggesting you go with the i3-2100, cost is going to be about the same with mobo/cpu combo and performance is WAAAY better for the tasks you listed AND it's upgradeable to something other than crap AND uses less wattage.

Apparently YOUR reading comprehension is lacking.
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April 21, 2011 6:55:34 PM

If he spends $80 on cpu and $100 on AM3 mobo, it's the same price.

If it's at a school and it's on all the time, the 30w power savings alone would pay for it in a year.

Go with a crappy X3 then. She won't know the difference.
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April 21, 2011 7:00:19 PM

geekapproved said:
I read your post perfectly clearly. I never said anything about it being for gaming......I simply stated a fact as to when the Athlon II performs slower than Phenom II.

I'm suggesting you go with the i3-2100, cost is going to be about the same with mobo/cpu combo and performance is WAAAY better for the tasks you listed AND it's upgradeable to something other than crap AND uses less wattage.

Apparently YOUR reading comprehension is lacking.



Look, not going to argue with you, but I will say that since you read my post there was no reason to make any mention of gaming.

Also the core I3 are way more expensive than AMD chips, with the cheapest 1st gen I3 going for $119 and the cheapest sandy bridge going for $124 versus the cheapest Athlon II X4 going for $99 and the cheapest phenom II going for $89.

These people are NOT interested in performance above what is reasonable for daily use (no slowing down when having a few word documents and web pages open).

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April 21, 2011 7:01:23 PM

Best answer selected by tical2399.
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April 21, 2011 7:02:47 PM

Emperus said:
The Athlon II X3 is plenty for handling the above mentioned stuff (even when done simultaneously).. Just add adequate amount of ram..



Thanks. i'll look into the X3 for them. I think i'll recommended the standard 4 gigs of DDR3 ram. More than likely gonna go with some g skill ram since I know it works well
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April 21, 2011 7:09:29 PM

For the price of the i3 2100, OP can get the X3 and 4 GB of ram.. Besides, the intended usage does not needs the architectural efficiency of the i3.. As for the motherboard, there are good AM3 motherboards available for around 80$..
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April 21, 2011 7:17:50 PM

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im pretty sure hell be going for one of the cheaper am3 mobos, $45 or if you really want to skimp it am2+ ;)  for only $40.


That would require DDR2, which is more expensive than DDR3, unless they already have DDR2.
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April 21, 2011 7:19:25 PM

Emperus said:
For the price of the i3 2100, OP can get the X3 and 4 GB of ram.. Besides, the intended usage does not needs the architectural efficiency of the i3.. As for the motherboard, there are good AM3 motherboards available for around 80$..


Calculate the cost of running a 30w lightbulb 12hrs a day for just one year. He's not saving her anything by going with a cheaper, more power hungry cpu with power hungry onboard graphics chip. After 1 year the extra cost is nill, and in the long run (3yrs?) it will cost her much more money.

The i3 has the graphics built right into the 65w cpu.


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April 21, 2011 9:03:26 PM

geekapproved said:
Calculate the cost of running a 30w lightbulb 12hrs a day for just one year. He's not saving her anything by going with a cheaper, more power hungry cpu with power hungry onboard graphics chip. After 1 year the extra cost is nill, and in the long run (3yrs?) it will cost her much more money.

The i3 has the graphics built right into the 65w cpu.


An onlooker following this thread would think someone like you with that big giant lunker-intel-fanboy head of yours had heard of the idle--->sleep function that reduces power draw to 3-4w when the system is not in use (I prefer after 5 minutes but to each their own). Simply pressing the space bar wakes the rig in seconds.

With the system on 'sleep' 24/7/365: 8736 (hrs/yr) X 3.5 (watts) X $.12 kw/h = $3.70/year

"D'oh!"

And wrap your big giant lunker-intel-fanboy head around this ....



From: Anand

Considering the proposed use(s) as noted by the OP which would seldom place the system under any load with C&Q enabled, your theory turns to crapola, now, doesn't it?

Double "D'oh!"
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April 21, 2011 9:33:36 PM

seems you made your choice nut you might waant to consider a athlon II with more ram. I had an athlon II with plenty of ram and I really cant see it ever slowing down on youtube or office. Wile if you only had 2GB of ram then the system could bog due to win & taking close to the full ram anyhow. just pointing it out :) .
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April 22, 2011 12:09:59 AM

I happen to have both, A pc for my grandkids to play on that I recently added a 5760 GPU to and it games decently, and an Athlonx3 430 thats in my win7 HTPC and handles media center and HD video just fine on integrated graphics. I cant see office or web browsing being an issue as long as theres enough ram. (I recommend 3 gb min) Unless they are opening huge spreadsheets or databases.
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