Decision on CPU

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The RitS
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I play games such as WoW, Fallout 3 and NV, F.E.A.R, Battlefield, and all the CoD games.

I am building a new computer with a limited budget, and need help deciding on 1 of 2 CPUs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103886

and

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103702

I am not sure which to choose, 3 core higher speeds or 4 with lower speed, and would appreciate help in deciding.

My dual core just wont cut it any more.

Also with a good GPU and RAM, would it be possible to record at high resolutions with FRAPS on either of those CPUs?

hnkftalnot
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Both lack L3 cache, I don't know what CPU you have now but those two are really budget. They are a nice choice for a budget gaming rig for sure, but as far as I know there are no AMD dualcore CPUs with no L3 cache, so I don't think you'll be seeing a real improvement going with either of the ones you linked. The Phenom II line of CPUs would be a better choice since it does have L3 cache.

L3 cache has proven to be effective in games, like the Phenom X3 720 was quite popular for gaming (tricore, but with the same amount of L3 cache as the quadcore Phenoms, and the difference when gaming was really really small).

My point being; If you want to see an improvement, don't step down in terms of cache.

As for recording with FRAPS, I thought it was CPU dependent since it records from the directX stream, and an extra CPU core to take care of that would be beneficial.

The RitS
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Thanks a ton.

I'm guessing they are significantly more expensive?

hnkftalnot
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Hmm well I see that the X3s are not sold anymore, so I have to revise my statement a bit.

I would suggest the Phenom II X4 955 or the 965, $145 and $160 respectively on newegg. Since sixcores don't do much for gaming, one of those quadcores are the best at the moment. They are also black editions which makes overclocking very easy.

If that's too expensive, your best bet would still be an Athlon x4. At least you get another two cores, and they overclock very well too (albeit with some more effort since they aren't black editions so they don't have an unlocked multiplier). Get a cheap 2.8GHz and overclock it to 3.6, that would give you great performance for less money.

If overclocking isn't an option for you, just get the highest clocked X4 you can afford.

The RitS
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Well I guess I can save what little of my paychecks I have for a few months lol.

The black editions come with software for overclocking I believe?

If not I'll have a terrible time with that, and won't risk killing the CPU.

Also I am looking into a cheaper micro ATX build with a cheaper MOBO, maybe you can try talking me out of it lol.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131669R

I do believe that is compatible with the CPUs you pointed out, but will probably be a horrid choice eh?

I am pretty much building a new system and I have 2 Micro and 2 ATX cases, 3 PSUs and, an XFX 9800gt.

hnkftalnot
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There's some free software available for overclocking but I don't think it's supplied with the CPU. And the right way to overclock isn't with software but directly in the BIOS. But don't worry if you don't want to overclock, maybe read something about it and try it later on if you want.

There's nothing wrong with that board if you're not expecting too much from it. It's from last generation and doesn't have 6Gb/s SATA and USB3.0, but that's why it's so cheap ;). It's just a bit older but will work fine for a single GPU setup. And yes it's compatible with the CPUs above since it's AM3.

Maybe someone else can convince you why it's a bad choice, I don't see any reason. At $38 it's a steal!

Flaviz
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If you have to choose one of them, go with the quad-core 635. 3.2ghz over 2.9ghz just does not make up for that other core. However, if you can get a quad-core Phenom instead of an Athlon you will also see a nice jump in performance.

The RitS
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Thanks a lot, I think I know what I am going to do now.

The RitS
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Thanks a lot, I think I know what I am going to do now.

undeadkingpr
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Best option for you is to get a phenom II dual core 555 for $100 then proceed to unlock the two locked cores (very easy) and you will have a $160 955 at your disposal.
For a MB, your best bet is to go to microcenter (if you live near one) and they will give you one for free or $10 with the CPU. Otherwise, get a cheap ASUS/Fox/Giga but try to avoid MSI and other low-quality brands.

@University rig-Haf 922-i7 920- ASUS GENE MB- 6gb OCZ ddr3 1600-GTS 250- Acer 23'-ocz 700w psu-Altec expressionist bass speakers-LG dvd multi drive-Rosewill media reader

hnkftalnot
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Not all phenom dual cores unlock.. if you are going for that it's just a bet and chances are you'll end up with just a dualcore.

undeadkingpr
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hnkftalnot wrote:Not all phenom dual cores unlock.. if you are going for that it's just a bet and chances are you'll end up with just a dualcore.
untrue
AMD no longer fabs Phenom II 555's they are low-yield 955's.
95% of them unlock- a gamble well worth taking. I personally have unlocked 5 and all of them unlocked flawlessly

Flaviz
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You also need a motherboard that is capable of unlocking the other cores....

undeadkingpr
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just about any 785 will do it

hnkftalnot
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As far as I know AMD never fabricated dual core phenoms and even the very first chips, the Kuma, was actually a quadcore.

low-yield means that those two cores are locked for a reason, you'd still have to be lucky to get reasonable performance out of them without too many errors. You were either very lucky to get 5 unlockables in a row, or they are unstable when stressed or overclocked.

But yeah I have heard theories that AMD locks perfectly good quadcores to sell as dualcores when they have small stocks.. It's really nice to play around with, but you should mention the hassle that comes with it when someone just wants a quadcore, especially since this thread-starter doesn't even feel comfortable going into the BIOS at all.

undeadkingpr
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Ya there are various theories about the fab. but you are most likely correct.

"low-yield" in computer language means less than 2% less performance than the "average" chip. Now-a-days with modern manufacturing, the standard of deviation for chip quality is almost non existent. Thus, just about every "low-yield" chip should work almost identically to a regular chip. Also, he most likely is not a bench-marker trying to get a maximum overclock so a mild one is just fine.

The hassle to unlock the cores is non-existent
An example from my last MSI motherboard
Press Del to enter Bios
Right arrow key to advanced
Down arrow key to Core unlocker
Hit enter while core unlocker is highlighted
Hit enter again to confirm
Press f10 and quit
BAM! 4 cores for $100, not $150
Worst case scenario, you paid $100 for a fast dual core with L3 cache that plays games about as good as a quad core without L3.