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For gaming the Athlon II is probably better, especially if you're not planning to unlock/overclock.

If you buy one that you know unlocks the 555 is better.
 

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lol no.

No game out there is going to require more power than a 555 @ 4.0GHz.

You lose L3 and gain two extra cores at far lower speeds than the 555.

Go with the 555 if your focus is gaming. Go with actual numbers (ie not me) on Athlon II 4 cores vs 555 for encoding if that is your focus.

From my point of view, I gained almost nothing going from a 555 to a 965 both at 4.1GHz in StarCraft II, a game that does use all four cores, it just doesn't max them. And it didn't need more power than my 555 was able to provide. The 965 just has a bit more headroom over the 555.
 

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Phenom II has l3 which is good for gaming, but athlon got 2 more cores.

If you'll be overclocking go for the phenom II, if you planning to keep it at stock get athlon. There is a chance you can unlock 555 and get 2 more cores, but there is a chance they might not be stable.

I would go for solid 4 cores of 640
or get 630 which is a bit cheaper.

go for 555 if you can get it cheaper than 630
 

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(Looks at own sig rig)....

Get the x4. The extra cores will come in more handy with current games (GTA IV, BFBC2, Cryotasis, Metro2033, and I'm sure there's more). In purely gaming only, you won't notice hardly any difference between the Athlon and Phenom's.
 

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2 extra cores>L3 Cache over the long run.

The Athlon II X4 will stomp the Phenom II X4 in Dragon Age: Origins for instance [*~50% better FPS than the Phenom X2]. That the Phenom II X2 is better in games that are less optimized really doesn't matter. 1] The Athlon will still give perfectly fine FPS numbers in those games and 2] as more games use quads the way DA:O uses quads, you'll get similar results.

DA:O Bench [Compare the X4 635 as it is the closest available]
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by thegreatsquare View Post
2 extra cores>L3 Cache over the long run.

The Athlon II X4 will stomp the Phenom II X4 in Dragon Age: Origins for instance [*~50% better FPS than the Phenom X2]. That the Phenom II X2 is better in games that are less optimized really doesn't matter. 1] The Athlon will still give perfectly fine FPS numbers in those games and 2] as more games use quads the way DA:O uses quads, you'll get similar results.

DA:O Bench [Compare the X4 635 as it is the closest available]
One thing to make note of on that benchmark link.....

Those results are comparing STOCK speeds (at least from what I saw).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pioneerisloud View Post
One thing to make note of on that benchmark link.....

Those results are comparing STOCK speeds (at least from what I saw).
1-You're not going to make up that big of a difference OCing the Phenom.
2-The Athlon is capable of some sort of OC too.
3-Even comparing a 4GHz PII X2 vs a stock AII X4, I would still pick the X4 because by the time the X4 starts showing up as an average game's minimum requirement, the X2 days as a minimum requirement CPU will have ended many years prior.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by thegreatsquare View Post
1-You're not going to make up that big of a difference OCing the Phenom.
2-The Athlon is capable of some sort of OC too.
3-Even comparing a 4GHz PII X2 vs a stock AII X4, I would still pick the X4 because by the time the X4 starts showing up as an average game's minimum requirement, the X2 days as a minimum requirement CPU will have ended many years prior.
I was talking more about the Athlon II x4 vs. the Phenom II x4. 4 cores to 4 cores. However there is a considerable difference in clock speed on that review. I saw the 965 vs. the 635 (3.4GHz vs. 2.9GHz). Of course there's a difference there
.

EDIT:
Actually, if you want to see a FAIR comparison between the two, look at the Athlon II x4 630 vs. the Phenom II x4 920. They're both clocked at 2.8GHz, so the ONLY difference is the L3 cache. You can obviously then look for a Phenom II x2 to compare with too. They are VERY NEAR the same performance, that between the x2 with L3 cache, and the x4 without...I'd go the x4.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pioneerisloud View Post
I was talking more about the Athlon II x4 vs. the Phenom II x4. 4 cores to 4 cores. However there is a considerable difference in clock speed on that review. I saw the 965 vs. the 635 (3.4GHz vs. 2.9GHz). Of course there's a difference there
.

EDIT:
Actually, if you want to see a FAIR comparison between the two, look at the Athlon II x4 630 vs. the Phenom II x4 920. They're both clocked at 2.8GHz, so the ONLY difference is the L3 cache. You can obviously then look for a Phenom II x2 to compare with too. They are VERY NEAR the same performance, that between the x2 with L3 cache, and the x4 without...I'd go the x4.
Well, if the TC can swing an PII X4, by all means he should go for it. For now his question was PII X2 vs. AII X4 and in that case AII X4 is the answer.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by thegreatsquare View Post
Well, if the TC can swing an PII X4, by all means he should go for it. For now his question was PII X2 vs. AII X4 and in that case AII X4 is the answer.
I agree 100%. I was just saying to look at those 2 for comparison for the L3 cache differences.

Phenom II x2 or Athlon II x4, the Athlon II every time, definitely. I'd rather have four guaranteed cores rather than 2 cores, even if they clock higher. Games are using more than 2 cores now. Just look at GTA IV, BFBC2, Metro 2033, Crysis.....the list goes on.
 

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Agree that many games now benefit from 2 extra cores. Even if you unlock phenom to x4 it is not a fact it will be stable. I'd go for guaranteed athlon x4


And speaking about overclock of those two, there is not a big difference. Phenom give you higher clocks while athlons give better percentage ( about 38-40% for athlons and 30-35% for phenoms). 5-10 per cent difference in clocks wont affect your performance by much


Athlons struggle to get to 4ghz, phenoms struggle to get past 4Ghz
 

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Back on topic here guys! (Also I have edited one of my posts out to AVOID flame fests such as these, sorry for that).

The Athlon II x4 will be better overall because of the extra cores over the Phenom II x2. The L3 cache DOES help a little bit, but the extra cores will help more.
 

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The Athlon II X4 630-640 is a better choice then a Phenom II X2.

Athlon II X2< Phenom II X2< Athlon II X4 < Phenom II X4 < Phenom II X6

Code is Code! Whether or not software (programs) are optimized to benefit from additional processing power is irrelevant!

Software development where four or more threads are being utilized is becoming mainstream.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Izdaari View Post
From what I've read (on this forum and others), my X4 640 is likely to OC to 3.8 GHz on air, vs. an X2 555 likely to OC to 4.0. Balance that against 100% chance of 4 cores vs. maybe 50% chance of 4 cores. Odds are the X4 640 will perform better. Do you feel lucky?
Depends athlon cores are iffy. Some struggle to get to 3.6 let alone 3.8
 

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Personally I'd go for the 555, clock it to 4.1/2 GHz and enjoy the fastest Core 2 AMD has ever put out on the market.

Upgrade to a next gen next year, AMD's performance level is pretty low no matter how many cores you have when you compare it to Intels offering anyways.

AMD is a novelty low price chip no matter what version you get atm.
 
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