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Thread: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    No idea about all these AMD cpus and have someone trying to build an extremely budged ESX setup.....I have been looking at unlocking cores on the AMD chips as a way to help him squeeze a little more out of his budget.

    So, whats the best bang/buck on the AM3 platform (he seems intent on not going AM2+)?

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    Headless Chicken Terbinator's Avatar
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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    I used a Sempron 140 and it unlocked to a X2 4400e however i didn't get it stable before i bricked the board (MSI 785 E51). The most bang for the buck may come from unlocking one fo the Athlon X2 5000's into a Phenom X4.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    Probably, *if* it unlocks, it's the Phenom II X2 550 BE. That will go from a dual core to a quad core, but it has the advantage of being a decent processor even if it doesn't unlock

    If you can find an X3 720 anywhere they're a decent bet too, but there don't seem to be many around anymore.

    Of course, (as well all know), the biggest possible bang for buck is AM2+ and the 45nm Athlon X2 5000+ (2.2GHz), which can unlock to a fully fledged Phenom II X4. But that's AM2+ only, so you'd have some persuasion checks to make... - that's also the riskiest strategy because if it doesn't unlock you're left with a slow dual core...

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    A thing to note that the stock cooler on the phenomIIs that come with a dual/tri will not be able to cope with a quad. Overclock.net has a lot of people wondering why their unlocked chips are unstable; when asked about temps they are usually too high.

    The new 550 (c3) do not apparently have an unlocked multiplyer (not sure this is only when they are unlocked).

    The 5000+ is the best value but the newer batchs apparently have less chance of unlocking.

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    I don't know the best but I have just yesterday built a new system AM2+ though,
    with a Athlon X2 5000 dual core using a Gigabyte GA-MA785M-US2H mATX board

    I could only unlock one extra core to make 3 but it also unlocked the L3 cache to 6MB
    which has got to be good. I'm not going to stress it a lot its just for a HTPC so even as a 2 core would be ok.

    I have clocked it up to 2.8 Ghz with 2Gb ddr2 800 RAM seemed stable so far.

    will not overclock in the long run to save power, still happy with it at the price, would be fantastic if it had unlocked to a quad.

    Its not AM3 so may not be what you are looking for, but if you could use AM2+ it has the chance of being a bargain I think.

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    My Phenom II 555 BE unlocked to 4 cores

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    The X2 550BE or possibly the X2 555BE!!

    This thread is very useful to read:

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=227004

    You are not guaranteed an unlock but 94 processors out of 125 unclocked to a quad core and another 2 unlocked to a triple core is not too bad!!

    Here are some threads which will also be of use:

    http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...ilable-uk.html

    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...php?t=18106573


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    Only just unlocked my AMD Athlon II X3 425 an hour or so ago so still testing. But I'll add it to the list as I'm currently in Windows running Prime95 with CPU-Z showing a Phenom II X4 B25.

    Temps at 49C for the CPU and 37C for the motherboard. Seems the sensors for each core doesn't show when you Unlock.

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    Getting my Athlon X2 5000+ 45nm stable as a quad was a real pain. Got there in the end though and overclocked to 3.3 GHz.

    Phenom FX-5000 has got to be the coolest name out of any of the unlocked chips though .

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    Seeing as I've owned a Sempron 140 and Phenom II X2 550 as well as a Phenom II X4 955, I'll try to give my opinion.

    Both the first 2 managed to unlock fine, Sempron managed to get to 3.6ghz max on 1.45V as a dual core and the Phenom II X2 550 managed to get to 3.6ghz max on 1.50V. They were both stable. Moving from a unlocked quad core Phenom II X4 B50 (Phenom II X2 550 unlocked) to a Phenom II 955 seemed like a total waste of money to me, it seems they are exactly the same. I could manage to overclock this CPU to 3.8ghz and even boot at 4.2Ghz but at anything over 3.8ghz it's too hot (I'm on aircooling with a Noctua NH-U12P). To be honest though, I've been experimenting a bit with CPUs this year. I first moved from a E5300 3.6ghz to a E8200 at 3.8Ghz. The only performance I saw was faster encoding and slightly better gaming performance and ultra fast superpi runs haha. Benchmarking was also better obviously. I then moved to a Phenom II X2 550 and it was pretty much the same as the E8200, unlocking it only showed better performance in benchmarking for me. And now as I said, moving to a Phenom II X4 955 shows pretty much no difference, even in benchmarking the difference is only a few points which translate into nothing in the real world. For some reason encoding is kinda slow too, I haven't timed it but I can say that moving from a E8200 to this didn't improve encoding times by that much. Perhaps I'll have to go to a i5 750 to really see a difference in encoding.

    I can say that the Sempron 140 once unlocked and overclocked was about the same as my E5300 though so I'd say go with that just because it's such a budget CPU and offers pretty much enough performance.

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    If I were you, I'd get a decent dual or tri core that would give you a nice upgrade if it doesn't unlock. There's always a possiblility your CPU won't unlock and you don't want to be left disappointed if that happens.

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    What program was you using to encode?
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    What program was you using to encode?
    If you meant me that I use SUPER to encode anime/drama onto my phone.

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    Not wanting to post hi-jack but what memory/motherboard have been used for these systems?

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    I'm using a Jetway HA08 Combo with bog standard Crucial DDR2 800 CL6 (2x4GB).

    For the highest chance to unlock I'd say go with an Asus or Gigabyte board with a Hybrid BIOS (it lets you choose whether ACC unlocks or not and which cores to unlock - mine is all or nothing when it comes to unlocking)

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    Re: Cheapest/best AM3 CPU to unlock

    Quote Originally Posted by Uriel View Post
    I'm using a Jetway HA08 Combo with bog standard Crucial DDR2 800 CL6 (2x4GB).

    For the highest chance to unlock I'd say go with an Asus or Gigabyte board with a Hybrid BIOS (it lets you choose whether ACC unlocks or not and which cores to unlock - mine is all or nothing when it comes to unlocking)
    Agreed on that.

    My Asus M4A78-E unlocked an X2 5000 into triple core Phenom II easily.
    My new Asus M3A78-T whilst a bargain at 51 quid (nice one Scan) failed to unlock in the brief try I gave it.
    I just hope a future bios update gets the M3A board up to the same ACC feature level.

    There was a core restrict feature on the M3A to turn off a number cores, but nothing to activate specific cores on unlock. I didn't try restricting to 2 cores and unlocking to see if the 6MB cache would pop up at least, and for other reasons the board is now back in its box so I can't try that for a while.

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