New AMD/AM3/Win7-64bit / Build

Discussion in 'System Building & Upgrades' started by donnied44, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. donnied44

    donnied44

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    I would like your suggestions. I am putting together a new build for myself. Mostly used for Web browsing, Pictures, Movies, Graphic intensive applicatons from work. I do not game much but would like to in the future if I care to. (nothing intensive of course ). Here is my big question. I'm not sure whether to go the Athlon II X2, X3, or X4 route or Phenon II, dual or quad. I understand that phenom has a third L3 cache. I can get a faster CPU with the standard Athlon X2 dual for the same money as a slower quad. So do I sacrifice speed for a quad core or do I put all my money in a super fast X2 Duo ? I have been reading the reviews and all the benchmark testing that's been done, but still seems to be a hard decision.

    Thanks.
     
    donnied44, Dec 5, 2009
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  2. donnied44

    Core in pounce mode Moderator

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    If it were me, I'd definitely go for the quad phenom over athlon II duo...or quad for that matter. But it runs pretty hot from what I hear and requires a lot of juice so you would not want to skimp on the psu and ought to get an aftermarket cpu cooler.

    However, for the kind of usage you're describing, the athlon II x2 would do just fine.
     
    Core, Dec 6, 2009
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  3. donnied44

    donnied44

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    Quad Core Phenom or Athlon II X4

    However, for the kind of usage you're describing, the athlon II x2 would do just fine.[/quote]

    Thanks for the reply. I'm narrowing it down I believe. I am trying to stay in that $100 range. In so, trying to get the most bang for the buck. I seem to have it narrowed down to:

    AMD PHENOM II X3 720 2.8 GHZ
    AMD ATHLON II X3 435 RANA 2.9 GHZ
    AMD ATHLON II X4 620 Propus 2.6 GHZ AMD ATHLON II X4 630 Propus 2.8 GHZ


    But still haven't ruled out :

    AMD PHENOM II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1 GHZ

    (Ghz speed has my eye at same price range)

    I seem to have this psychological thing about being close to or at 3.0 GHZ. I really want a Quad IV, but do I really want to trade speed for cores? One other thing is the Phenoms have that 3rd L3 Cache. whereas the Athlon X4 does not. Am I going to miss not having a L3 ?

    Thanks again for your thoughts !
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
    donnied44, Dec 6, 2009
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  4. donnied44

    Core in pounce mode Moderator

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    L3 and more cores > less cores or no L3 and slightly higher clock.

    And don't forget proper cooling if you go Phenom II X4...see attachment for suggestion.
     

    Attached Files:

    Core, Dec 7, 2009
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  5. donnied44

    Zeus Moderator

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    Nice attachment. I would have used zip ties.
     
    Zeus, Dec 7, 2009
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  6. donnied44

    donnied44

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    Is there anyone willing to help anymore?

    So are you saying here that more cores with less speed is better than speed with 2 cores or was that just an opportunity to post a joke?
     
    donnied44, Dec 8, 2009
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  7. donnied44

    clifford VIP Member

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    That was not a joke donnied44

    You probably already know all this though

    CPU's with L3 cache is better than CPU's with only L2 cache
    Each core operates at the clock frequency specified
    • Duo - 2core @ 2GHz = comparable to 4GHz Total
    • Duo - 2core @ 3GHz = comparable to 6GHz Total
    • Tri - 3core @ 2GHz = comparable to 6GHz Total
    • Quad - 4core @ 2GHz = comparable to 8GHz Total
    • Tri - 3core @ 3GHz = comparable to 9GHz Total
    • Quad - 4core @ 3GHz = comparable to 12GHz Total
    Even greater speeds when overclocked but that a whole new thread
     
    clifford, Dec 8, 2009
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  8. donnied44

    Core in pounce mode Moderator

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    I'm sorry. Now that I read more carefully, you're not really asking which is faster; you specifically said you wanted to say in the $100 range, which obviously excludes the quad Phenom II.

    Nevertheless, yes, if price wasn't an issue I would take a Phenom II X4 @ 2.8 over an Athlon II X2 @ 3.1. Even with a quad Athlon II, the L3 would make up for 200 or 300 MHz clock speed difference, although they'd be close to being nose-to-nose.

    Is it noticeable enough to make a difference? Maybe, maybe not. Are you going to notice a difference opening Firefox between a Phenom II X4 and an Athlon II X2? No. But throw something processor-intensive that supports multithreading at them and the Phenom quad will wipe the floor with the Athlon duo.

    To be honest with you, I'm not the kind of person who has to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the hardware, and paying an extra $60 so I can open Excel half a second faster isn't really a high priority with me. However, while applications and games that support multithreading aren't commonplace yet, they are getting there. The reason I recommend a quad is that you'll likely get more mileage out of it, performance-wise, down the road. My perspective on it is that investing in a dual-core at this point is kind of like buying a 32-bit system... It will work great for now, but you (supposedly) won't run Windows 8 on it.

    My vote's for the 630 Propus.
     
    Core, Dec 8, 2009
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  9. donnied44

    donnied44

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    Ok, Thanks for the replies here. So your saying each core effectivly doubles the speed. I did not know that. What about that L3 cache? I see in the Phenoms there is a large 2mb to 6mb cache and the Athlon II's have 512 x 3. with no L3. So what will the Phenom in theory be able to perform that the Athlon II's won't because they lack that extra cache?
     
    donnied44, Dec 9, 2009
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  10. donnied44

    donnied44

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    I also have a question about DDR-3 memory regarding speed. Should I go with 1066, 1333, 1600, higher? I also have no clue on latency. Should I just go with a good brand. ( just to let you know, I am purchasing a AM3 socket motherboard) Any ideas regarding voltages? 1.5V or 1.65V . If I get 1.65 can it be run at 1.5v then turned up if needed???
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
    donnied44, Dec 9, 2009
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  11. donnied44

    medbor THQ Noob

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    Buy the cheapest RAM possible i.e. buy 2x2GB (less is not worth it today)
    for the other questions cache helps in some applications and doesn't in some (it does help in games, but mostly not for rendering)

    this is howerver not true:

    • Duo - 2core @ 2GHz = comparable to 4GHz Total
    • Duo - 2core @ 3GHz = comparable to 6GHz Total
    • Tri - 3core @ 2GHz = comparable to 6GHz Total
    • Quad - 4core @ 2GHz = comparable to 8GHz Total
    • Tri - 3core @ 3GHz = comparable to 9GHz Total
    • Quad - 4core @ 3GHz = comparable to 12GHz Total
    theoretically sure, but most programmes use only one core (some even 2) but mostly not more than one, the big differnce with more cores than 2 is multitasking (i.e running a lot of programmes simultaneously) and the speed is as you suggested still a crucial factor. in some tests a x2 athlon outperforms a x4 since the speed is better, and sometimes its the other way around since it uses all cores. i personally for your needs would choose a x3 athlon or, if you want it to last longer, a x3/4 phenom and someone to help you overclock them in a few years to increase the life length (not per say, but the usable life length) or upgrade some parts (if you can get the help then).
    Generally i would say that one extra core (over 2) feels like 0-500MHZ, and cache about 100-300MHZ.

    I myself has a quadcore which i usually clock down to 1500MHz during every day use (to save power) and this is by far enough for every day use (not extreme gaming but for everything else i do). if i want to game i usually leave it at 2200-3050MHZ depending on game. the defaul clock is 2400MHZ but i dont care ;) I do however not believe that 1500MHZ without L3 cache would work, then i would need some more speed.
     
    medbor, Apr 5, 2010
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