Phenom II X3 v Core 2 Duo

Safe2009

Standard Member
Hi All

I'm thinking of building a new system and, not wanting to splash out on a Core i7 I was thinking of going for an AM3 socket based system with the Phenom II X3 720 BE and overclocking it

The obvious contender is the E8200/E8400 I think.

I will mostly be gaming (not a heavy gamer, but fancy playing a few titles Bioschock, World in Conflict, GTAIV etc.), but also burning CDs, general internet and work and watching movies/listening to music etc.

Is the AMD a good choice?

I'm leaning towards it, because the Core2Duos are going to be phased out methinks after i5 is introduced. The AM3 socket seems here to stay (for a bit) and hopefully is a good base for a relatively futureproof system.

Would love to have your collective thoughts on this

Cheers
 

AnthonyG

Distinguished Member
a triple has 1 WHOLE extra core which means its infinitely better than a dual core! :)

Not necessarily correct, Intel CPU's are faster clock for clock than AMD's.

AMD released the Tri-core just to match up with the performance of Intels Dual cores.

@OP: For decisions like this you should always look at benchmarks.

Here is anandtechs gaming benchmarks comparing AMD and Intel CPU's

AnandTech: The Phenom II X4 810 & X3 720: AMD Gets DDR3 But Doesn't Need It

In Fallout 3:
E8400: 87.4 FPS
E8200: 83.9 FPS
720BE: 83 FPS

L4D:
E8400: 117 FPS
720BE: 111.8 FPS
E8200: 108.1 FPS

Not posting the above to say get the Intel as I also would agree the AMD's CPU has a much better future than the C2D. And I would also say, if this concerns you, look at the power consumption between the AMD and C2D before making your choice.

But that is just my personal opinion.
 

anothadave

Active Member
depends what youre doing with it, games are more down to the graphics card anyway. if youre using an application that only uses one core then most likely the core2duo would be better. also intels seem a bit better at video encoding. but at anything which uses more than one core then the triple core phenom would win - its got a whole extra core after all! i had an E6600 and my mate got a phenom X3 and there where quite a few things that he could do much much faster.... and theres some games the X3 are better at, crysis, farcry 2, total commander..


i wouldnt worry about the chips having a "future" once you bought it thats it. doesnt matter if intel/AMD stop making them, ur mobo and chip wont suddenly stop working lol. and i wouldnt worry about the upgrading potential, usually after 18months or so whatever youve got is out of date anyway. go for the one you want now. then worry about it again in a couple years when you decide to upgrade. the next gen of chips will be out by then so the current lot will be a lot cheaper..

someone else asked a similar question here,

Phenom II X3 720 vs C2D E8400


the E8400 is a really good overclocker, some get it upto 4ghz, i dont think the X3 can get that high. but if its true you can unlock the fourth core on some X3s then i think that might be worth a gamble.i think youve picked two evenly matched cpus, neither are a clear winner on performance so might be worth just pricing up the two systems and picking the cheapest. i dont think you will be dissappointed with either.
 

mrbobc

Well-known Member
Not necessarily correct, Intel CPU's are faster clock for clock than AMD's.

AMD released the Tri-core just to match up with the performance of Intels Dual cores.

@OP: For decisions like this you should always look at benchmarks.

Here is anandtechs gaming benchmarks comparing AMD and Intel CPU's

AnandTech: The Phenom II X4 810 & X3 720: AMD Gets DDR3 But Doesn't Need It

In Fallout 3:
E8400: 87.4 FPS
E8200: 83.9 FPS
720BE: 83 FPS

L4D:
E8400: 117 FPS
720BE: 111.8 FPS
E8200: 108.1 FPS

Not posting the above to say get the Intel as I also would agree the AMD's CPU has a much better future than the C2D. And I would also say, if this concerns you, look at the power consumption between the AMD and C2D before making your choice.

But that is just my personal opinion.

OK, my statement was kinda sweeping but i still stand by it! i was aware that the 8400 was faster clock for clock (i almost bought 1) but as the op was asking for a cpu regardless what for, it will be the component most utilised in his system and when buying multicore cpus (c2d included) then every benchmark out there will point you towards using more cores. obviously! every multicore app used would yield better results the more cores you have and by some margin.

the 8400 would have to wipe the floor with the tri-core to make sense as a purchase and it doesnt.

as for gaming benchmarks. it doesnt really matter, at them frames you wouldnt tell the difference between 87 and 83 fps. if it did matter then the i7 wouldnt be worth purchasing as the 720be beats it in most gaming benchmarks, would it? :)
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
as for gaming benchmarks. it doesnt really matter, at them frames you wouldnt tell the difference between 87 and 83 fps. if it did matter then the i7 wouldnt be worth purchasing as the 720be beats it in most gaming benchmarks, would it? :)

Gaming-wise the results now are only an indication of the results in future when you've replaced your graphics card with a 2012 model. When your CPU will be the limiting factor the extra speed of the Core 2 Duo may be worth having (assuming multicore support isn't better by then).
 

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