Wakirimas Forum Brothers,
Given some of the pricining I'm finding online I believe the time has come to upgrade my venerable system. Like many of you I need to spend every penny wisely. I am also interested in efficiency and economy of components. Having said that I do realize that to a large extent performance is relative to power. Currently my choice for best bang for the buck processor is:
AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core .....$54.00
I have read many reviews and this cpu is very well liked. Additionally the possibility exists of unlocking a fourth core (that may or may not be stable). I have seen commentary that states with 4 cores this is a Phenom by another name. I have also seen rather spirited commentary that even with 4 cores this is NOT a Phenom at all. Additionally some have said that unlocking the fourth core will access an L3 cache which doesn't exist on the stock 3 core offering. Any clarification on the above is welcomed.
Another interesting contender is:
AMD Athlon II X2 270 Regor 3.4GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual Core.....$55.00
Though a dual core, this a contender because:
a.) 3.4 Ghz
b.) 2 x 1MB L2 Cache
Faster stock clock, more L2 Cache, and lower power consumption seem to put the 270 Regor ahead but it seems to good to be true. Also some have commented that some of the Athlon Dual Cores can unlock a 3rd and 4th core. I do not know if the 270 is one of those.
None of these has L3 cache (stock anyway). I have heard that for gaming performance L3 cache size is everthing and that it's even preferable to the best RAM on the market today. Is lack of L3 cache that much of a handicap?
My strategy is to invest more money in a better AM3 mobo and vid card and then I can upgrade the cpus above in the future. I would like to keep my current psu which is another advantage to keep lower TDP for the cpu and spend it on the vid card and other items.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Old School Ninja