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AMD Phenom x2 555BE or Athlon x3 450?

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Last response: in CPUs
April 25, 2011 10:37:10 PM

I'm down to the last few components for my budget gaming build. All I have left are my case, mobo, and cpu and I have $160 left to work with. I am really torn between the Phenom x2 555 and the Athlon x3 450. I put the athlon 450 in my fiances build and it runs great, but I can get the phenom 555 cheaper than the 450 with this deal: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

There aren't really any combo deals with the Athlon and cheap mobos. With the phenom I'd be left with $30 left for a case, rather than a pretty harsh $25. My budget is really tight so these two are pretty much what I have to work with.

I'm going to be gaming on WoW, Battlefield: BC2, possibly RIFT, and some other games. What are the advantages/disadvantages of these cards? I will most likely be looking to overclock, but not too hardcore because this is my second build and I'm not very experienced.

I have a 500w psu, 4 gigs of kingston hyper blu 1600 ram, HD 5770 if any of that is important.

Any help would be great!
Thanks

More about : amd phenom 555be athlon 450

a c 249 à CPUs
April 26, 2011 12:06:58 AM

If you don't have a cooler to overclock or you don't plan on overclocking you could go cheaper with a non BE.
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a c 249 à CPUs
April 26, 2011 1:36:04 AM

Weird even the athlon x2 255 beats the x3 450 in wow.
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April 26, 2011 2:51:18 AM

Hmm...I'm still not sure. I found a deal on superbiiz.com that takes 15% off this mobo which is better than the biostar one: http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-880GMLE&tit....

That would make it about the same price to get that mobo and the athlon x3 from newegg. Now it just comes down to performance, and it looks like the Phenom has a slight edge (a huge edge IF unlocked to x4). I won't be getting a new cooler for the processor for a while though...how much will that effect my ability to oc the phenom?
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April 26, 2011 6:19:18 AM

Just read a bunch of reviews on the phenom 555 and it looks like it's pretty common to unlock the 4 cores, or at least 3. If I don't unlock them, it will still be a huge upgrade over my 2.2ghz single core processor xD

I guess I'm goin to gamble and get the 555 as it is just about as good (better in some situations) and much better unlocked to even a x3.

Thanks for all the suggestions
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a b à CPUs
April 26, 2011 4:49:06 PM

For a gaming build you would be much better off going with a i3-2100/H61.

It'll blow the doors off ANY amd cpu in gaming, has a better upgrade path and is only 65w.
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a c 107 à CPUs
April 26, 2011 8:57:52 PM

^ & its not in the same price bracket at all
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a b à CPUs
April 26, 2011 9:30:34 PM

If you live near microcenter, you can get a i3-2100 and mobo for $99.

Either way, $175 for i3-2100 and mobo and Newegg. A X3 and the cheapest mobo you can find is going to cost you at least $140.

That's $35 more for something with an upgrade path and WAY faster for gaming from the start, with power savings to boot.
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a c 107 à CPUs
April 26, 2011 9:35:33 PM

If you can get an i3 and board for $99 don't even look at AMD. I live in the UK so prices are a bit off but on Newegg US you can get an Athlon X3 $80 and a board for $40 but I see your point even $55 extra is worth it.
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April 26, 2011 10:24:40 PM

go for the AMD phenom II x2 555 it is better than the athlon as it has higher frequency required for gaming and also the L3 cache which athlons dont have. if you can get a cheap athlon get it and overclock it over 3GHz and you'll be fine, and a stock cooler will do fine for overclocking, I have the Athlon #II x4 620 @ 3.23GHz and it is great for gaming and all the other tasks i use it for and i use the stock cooling fan by AMD.
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April 27, 2011 3:44:10 AM

My budget for a mobo and processor is about $130 so I can have $30 left over for a cheap case. I know this isn't much, but it's my budget. The i3 cpu you suggested is as much as I can spend on a cpu AND mobo. What's the huge advantage intel boards have over amd? I'm new to the computer building scene and would really like to know.

Thanks
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Best solution

April 27, 2011 4:19:24 AM

The new Sandy Bridge architecture means the way the CPU is put together makes the result greater than the sum of the parts.
Basically in performance a two core I3 2100 HT @ $125 is, depending on specific functions and benchmarks, able to match or exceed what older Intel chips beyond its price range and even the BETTER AMD Phenom II 955/965 four core $160 and lesser chips a bad time. At $200 its no contest.
Which processor (AMD) would work best for you depends how the game is coded. That means which ones you play.
Since the motherboard plays a part the best combo is fine.
For cases keep money in hand and check sales and shell shocker daily/
I got my Rosewill Challenger for $35 shipped (rare now), but I got the NZXT Asgard II for $ 30 shipped, and the Hec/Compucase Blitz goes on sale (regular price $ 40 +$10 shipping).
Several other cases are good is not perfect. I beleve an NZXT Gamma was on sale. Rosewill DESTROYER.
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a b à CPUs
April 27, 2011 1:57:27 PM

Hughes11 said:
My budget for a mobo and processor is about $130 so I can have $30 left over for a cheap case. I know this isn't much, but it's my budget. The i3 cpu you suggested is as much as I can spend on a cpu AND mobo. What's the huge advantage intel boards have over amd? I'm new to the computer building scene and would really like to know.

Thanks


Because AM3 is dead. New socket out in a few weeks.

s1155 has an advantage because it takes the super fast i5/i7 and would give you that upgrade path down the road.
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April 27, 2011 2:02:50 PM

^1155 is great as far as i know, but OP's budget is too tight for i5/i7 and socket AM3 will be cheaper, but also worse in performance
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a b à CPUs
April 27, 2011 2:47:06 PM

shrkbay said:
^1155 is great as far as i know, but OP's budget is too tight for i5/i7 and socket AM3 will be cheaper, but also worse in performance


I recommended an i3-2100, please pay attention.
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April 27, 2011 3:07:21 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions, they've really made me think about what I'm going to get. I found this combo on newegg for an athlon x4 and mobo for only $3 more than I would spend on an x3 and and the same mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Then I'd just pair it with this case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., and I think I'm good to go. In the future, I'll definitely look into getting intel (when I'm out of college), but right now AMD provides the best bang for my buck. If I could get the combo you're talking about I definitely would, but I live in Oregon so no microcenters.
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April 27, 2011 4:08:04 PM

GO FOR IT, GREAT COMBO AND NICE CASE
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a b à CPUs
April 27, 2011 5:40:06 PM

Good luck upgrading that sucker in a year or two. You'll save a few bucks now, but your gonna kick yourself in the ass later.
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April 27, 2011 5:50:05 PM

no he is not it is a great cpu i have similar one and is great, could easily last another 3 years. although the motherboard would need a upgrade in a few years time.
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a b à CPUs
April 27, 2011 6:16:59 PM

Athlon II performs no better than Phenom I at the same clock speed.

Good luck with that keeping up with a fast video card 3 years from now.

Look at these benches and tell me you still want a Athlon II for gaming to save a few dollars.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

Even with a GTX580, the i3 takes down the Phenom II X4 975BE!

And again, I have to mention, upgradeability. With the AM3 board, you won't ever be able to get anything faster than a 975BE.

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a b à CPUs
April 27, 2011 6:27:40 PM

if this continues the Mods would lock this thread.Please stick to the question.
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a b à CPUs
April 27, 2011 6:30:20 PM

Quote:
really? from what i can see the athlon II beats even the FASTEST phenom I quad core:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/188?vs=21

and anyway he can always overclock the athlon 640 to 3.8ghz on the stock cooler.


I said at the same clock speed. Please pay attention. :sarcastic: 

Athlon II overclocked to 3.8 is still slower than 975BE, which is slower than the i3....... Hello?

Not to mention a Athlon II at 3.8 is gonna pull about 120w. i3 65w.
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a b à CPUs
April 27, 2011 6:31:18 PM

ghnader hsmithot said:
if this continues the Mods would lock this thread.Please stick to the question.


If what continues? This is a debate about what's better for a budget build.
Spend a little more now, or regret it later.

I made my point. You can argue with the benches all you want. I'll leave the thread. Sorry HuGHES, was just trying to help ya out!
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April 27, 2011 7:05:34 PM

look the guy is on a budget, he cannot afford i3 athlon II will do just fine, some AM3 motherboards will be getting bios updates to AM3+ which will support bulldozer, anyways no matter what he gets i3 athlon or phenom they will all work really well and they will all be replaced sometime in the future. you might recommend the i3 as you have it but i have the athlon II and this is what i recommend, it is good for gaming, office software (MS office) and all the daily uses, so he made a good choice i have a slower version of it and it works well.
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April 28, 2011 2:47:37 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I don't expect this to be a super computer or anything, and I'll most likely sell it in a few years to upgrade to something better. For right now, it will do anything I want it to with above average performance. If I could have gotten the i3 for $99 I probably would have gone for it, but $40 over budget is 2 weeks of gas money to school and back. This isn't for futureproof gaming, although I believe it will run games in the near future pretty well. Keep in mind, this is a gaming build for under $300, if it runs the majority of today's games well, I'm happy.

Thanks again for all the help, I'll try to come back on here and let you guys know how it all works out :D 
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a c 107 à CPUs
April 28, 2011 12:38:48 PM

Good choice for future proofing its not the end of the world if you have to throw away a $45 motherboard in 1-3 years and with a 5770 the gain in getting the i3 now would be around zero.
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April 28, 2011 8:14:04 PM

Been a while since i posted on Toms, but i had the same dilemma mate and plumped for the x2 555 BE (£67) over the x3 450 (£53). Yup...more expensive but what you are paying for is a massive L3 Cache, compared to a max of L2 on the 450 and also more overclocking headroom.
Additionally if you are rocking a SB750 you can unlock the extra 2 cores. This is super easy on an Asus board, and not so bad on anything else. Should be considered a bonus and an unlocked, overclocked 555 BE will never be 100% stable (but will be as close to as damn near doesnt matter).

Ill let you convert the pounds..im out of touch with funny money :p 
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a c 107 à CPUs
April 28, 2011 9:09:33 PM

Fair point I did the same around a year ago, got a 550BE and unlocked the extra 2 cores and now have a Phenom x4 running at 3.7GHz and it is 100% stable at least according to Prime 95. I took thew gamble because at the time games didn't use more than 2 cores hardly at all. Now if the gamble does pay off and you get stuck with only 2 cores the Athlon x3 or 4 is much better even without the L3 cache.
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April 29, 2011 2:16:24 PM

Just for the record, 975BE is faster than all i3s, i5s except for 2500/k and early i7s
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a c 107 à CPUs
April 29, 2011 2:39:53 PM

Just for the record its not, its better than 1st gen. i3s and some 1st gen i5s and no 1st gen i7s when in comes to 2nd gen i series its similar in performance to the i3s and blown away by any I5
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a c 107 à CPUs
April 29, 2011 3:39:19 PM

Quote:
meh the 970 beats the i3 2100 in most benchmarks, im pretty sure the 975 would beat it in even more:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/186?vs=289
early i5s: (beats in most)
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/186?vs=144
early i7s (on par):
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/186?vs=108

In your own comparison the 970 wins 25 of 37 benchmarks against the lowest i5 ever made for desktops, wins 2 of 25 benchmarks vs i7 860 hardly on par but yes it does bet the i3 2100 in most but thats because they are mainly encoding tests which favour a true quad, it the gaming tests the 970 wins none.
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April 30, 2011 7:06:31 AM

@simon12, http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-965,2389-...

Phenom II x4 965 runs very close to i7 920 in most of the comparisions, sometimes it wins, sometimes loses, and i7 920 is faster than all i5s except for 2500/k and i3s, while Phenom II x4 975 would be even better. Also considering the price vs performance you can get quite similar performance in comparision between PII 975 and i7 920 for much less.
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a b à CPUs
April 30, 2011 7:27:56 AM

shrkbay said:
@simon12, http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-965,2389-...

Phenom II x4 965 runs very close to i7 920 in most of the comparisions, sometimes it wins, sometimes loses, and i7 920 is faster than all i5s except for 2500/k and i3s, while Phenom II x4 975 would be even better. Also considering the price vs performance you can get quite similar performance in comparision between PII 975 and i7 920 for much less.

Please dont buy i7 920 if you dont even plan to OC.
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April 30, 2011 9:09:46 AM

how does someone on a budget buy a half decent intel CPU, that doesn't have a AMD cpu of the same price outperform it
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May 6, 2011 7:25:39 AM

Hey guys, got my computer built and thought I'd come back on here to let you all know how it turned out. I ended up going with the Athlon II x4 and I couldn't be happier with the performance. I've tried Crysis 2, Portal 2, Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, LOTRO, and BF:BC2 and they all run on highest settings without any problems. Thanks for all the suggestions you guys provided as they helped me achieve a pc that I'm completely satisfied with. I've come on Toms hardware a few times with questions and have always left with answers.
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May 7, 2011 3:04:52 AM

Congratulations!! Despite the sqabbling Triumph.

There is great satisfaction in accomplishing your goals. Great chips, easy build, fine performance.
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May 7, 2011 4:33:04 AM

Best answer selected by Hughes11.
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a b à CPUs
May 7, 2011 8:47:24 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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