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Windows 7: Which processor should I get?

06 May 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Which processor should I get?

I plan on using my new buld for gaming and I'm wanting a faster computer than my TouchSmart with a Turion X2 64.

I also don't want to spend more than $100 on it, and thus far I have compiled a list of processors that I'm good with having. But I want to know what would be the best deal, with the price and performance ratio.

Athlon II X3 @ 2.9 GHz

Athlon II X2 @ 3.1 GHz


Athlon II X4 @ 2.6 GHz

Phenom II X2 @ 3.1 GHz

Athlon II X4 @ 2.8 GHz

Phenom II X2 Black Edition @ 3.2 GHz

Athlon II X2 @ 2.8 GHz

I plan on staying away from Intel, simply because I've had bad experiences with them. If there are even better ones then that, I need one that is compatible with Socket AM3, and uses no more than 140W.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2010   #2

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

Personally, I'd recommend a Phenom II X4 if you really want quad core. You'll get a million different suggestions here, some say that you can overclock the crappier (Athlon) processors, others say you should just get a dual core.

If you want the power of quad core, you might as well get one with a decent cache size. Granted, you can overclock the slower processors, but I think you'll have much better luck if you buy a Phenom II X4 at a little lower speed than an Athlon II X4 and overclock the Phenom. The Phenom will have a larger cache size which will help with everything you do.

Here's an open box X4 940 (3.0G / 6M) for $100 Newegg.com - Open Box: AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Processor
Or a brand new X4 925 (2.8G / 6M) for $130 Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor

If you're looking for power and processing capabilities, you're going to be much better off getting a processor with a larger cache. It'll serve you much better than the equivalent Athlon II X4 w/ a 2M L2.

EDIT: Just noticed you said you were gaming. You should know that beyond the processor speed, you also need to really think about your graphics card. Graphics cards are the most important part of a gaming system. Don't skimp on whatever you buy. Personally, if you want to play all of the newer games at decent settings and frame rates you'll need a GTX 260 or it's equivalent from ATI. You might be able to get away with a 9800 GTX but Id recommend the 260 due to the fact that the memory bandwidth is so much higher.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2010   #3

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

The Phenom would be the best bang for your buck. Larger cache = better performance. Stay away from the Black Edition unless you plan to OC the chip and have very good cooling, or it's on sale cheap. The price/performance ratio for the BE isn't as good as the locked model, and you pay a premium for the unlocked multi. Overclocking just by the multi alone also won't give you much of a real world boost compared to a system wide OC. You'll get some pretty numbers in synthetic benchmarks, but the difference with real use might not be as dramatic as you might think.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 May 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by notsograymatter View Post
EDIT: Just noticed you said you were gaming. You should know that beyond the processor speed, you also need to really think about your graphics card. Graphics cards are the most important part of a gaming system. Don't skimp on whatever you buy. Personally, if you want to play all of the newer games at decent settings and frame rates you'll need a GTX 260 or it's equivalent from ATI. You might be able to get away with a 9800 GTX but Id recommend the 260 due to the fact that the memory bandwidth is so much higher.
Oh I've already done that, I'm going with a GT 240, even though its a bit lower end, it's enough for what I want to use it for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2010   #5

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by notsograymatter View Post
Personally, I'd recommend a Phenom II X4 if you really want quad core. You'll get a million different suggestions here, some say that you can overclock the crappier (Athlon) processors, others say you should just get a dual core.

If you want the power of quad core, you might as well get one with a decent cache size. Granted, you can overclock the slower processors, but I think you'll have much better luck if you buy a Phenom II X4 at a little lower speed than an Athlon II X4 and overclock the Phenom. The Phenom will have a larger cache size which will help with everything you do.

Here's an open box X4 940 (3.0G / 6M) for $100 Newegg.com - Open Box: AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Processor
Or a brand new X4 925 (2.8G / 6M) for $130 Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor

If you're looking for power and processing capabilities, you're going to be much better off getting a processor with a larger cache. It'll serve you much better than the equivalent Athlon II X4 w/ a 2M L2.

EDIT: Just noticed you said you were gaming. You should know that beyond the processor speed, you also need to really think about your graphics card. Graphics cards are the most important part of a gaming system. Don't skimp on whatever you buy. Personally, if you want to play all of the newer games at decent settings and frame rates you'll need a GTX 260 or it's equivalent from ATI. You might be able to get away with a 9800 GTX but Id recommend the 260 due to the fact that the memory bandwidth is so much higher.
I agree. I have a Phenom II X4 3.0GHz 945. Stay away from the X2 and X3. You'll read that you can "unlock the extra cores" on those processors to turn them into quad-cores. AMD locks them because they're really X4's with defective cores, which you're not supposed to have access to.

Anyways, the Phenom II X4 is the top of the line AMD and I can vouch for it. It's an amazing processor with loads of options, and it does not slow down one bit. I was able to run 4 VMs (Windows XP, Ubuntu, Windows 7, Windows Vista) at the same time, WHILE playing Modern Warfare (just for kicks), and it only used about 11% of the processor. Any owner of this processor can tell you how great it is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2010   #6

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Product FRED View Post
Stay away from the X2 and X3. You'll read that you can "unlock the extra cores" on those processors to turn them into quad-cores. AMD locks them because they're really X4's with defective cores, which you're not supposed to have access to.
Huh? Care to explain?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Product FRED View Post
Anyways, the Phenom II X4 is the top of the line AMD and I can vouch for it.
What about the new 6 core CPU?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MadMaxData View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Product FRED View Post
Stay away from the X2 and X3. You'll read that you can "unlock the extra cores" on those processors to turn them into quad-cores. AMD locks them because they're really X4's with defective cores, which you're not supposed to have access to.
Huh? Care to explain?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Product FRED View Post
Anyways, the Phenom II X4 is the top of the line AMD and I can vouch for it.
What about the new 6 core CPU?
In regard to your first query, read this. It explains everything: AMD Phenom II Core Unlocking Guide for X2 550BE / X3 710 & 720BE - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net

Quote:
Like all manufacturing processes, chip fabrication is no different. There are always parts which don’t make the quality cut. In the case of the Phenom II Quad cores, these parts may have defective cores or cache. Rather than throwing these defective Quad cores out, AMD decided to repackage these chips as Dual cores or Tri core processors. It was a win-win scenario for AMD. They would sell these processors at a cheaper price to recover costs and also minimize wasted parts.
And I wasn't aware the x6's were released. At this point, you won't need one since you won't have a use for the extra two cores. Besides, I'm working with the processors he told us to choose from.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2010   #8

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

I wouldn't put a lot of stock in unlocking ANY core.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2010   #9

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit
 
 

Just grab a Phenom II X4 945 or better and you'll be set. Don't bother with Athlons, X2s, or X3s.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2010   #10

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Product FRED View Post
And I wasn't aware the x6's were released. At this point, you won't need one since you won't have a use for the extra two cores. Besides, I'm working with the processors he told us to choose from.
I won't need anything other than what I'm currently running for awhile [socket 939 AMD Athlon X2]. It goes just as fast as I can click. But when I eventually upgrade to a socket AM3 board, I'll probably get a 6 core AMD. Should be nice and cheap by then.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mellon Head View Post
I wouldn't put a lot of stock in unlocking ANY core.
My dual core came unlocked from the factory. What's wrong with an unlocked multiplier? I don't overclock to begin with, but it's nice to have that ability in the event I change my mind.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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