Bargain Basement or Triprocessor To Avoid?
AMD's Athlon II X3
435 processor is a natural successor to the Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition that
launched nearly a year ago. While the 720BE has an extra 6MB of L3 cache and an
unlocked multiplier, in PCSTATS' benchmark testing the Athlon II X3 435 manages
to outperform in almost every test by about 5-10%.
The Athlon II X3 435 also has the additional advantage
of being a fair tick less expensive than the $130 720BE. You can find the Athlon
II X3 435 for just $90 CDN ($87 USD, £60 GBP), and since
this processor draws less power than the 720BE (although they both share a 95W
TDP), you'll save some electricity in the long run as well. You do want to save
the Penguins don't you?
Better performance at a lower price really should make
the Athlon II X3 435 CPU an easy recommendation then, but I'm still a little
conflicted over this chip's overall purpose:
Performance wise, AMD's Athlon II X3 435 is sandwiched
right in between the $90 AMD Athlon II X2 250 processor, and the $110 Athlon II X4 620 processor. The dual core Athlon II X2
250 tends to give better performance in single-threaded applications, while the
Athlon II X4 620 always comes out ahead in multi-threaded applications. The
Athlon II X3 435 is a compromise between these two processors, but with only a
$20 gap between the dual and quad-core processors, is this compromise really
necessary? The Athlon II X4 620 is already a little slow as a quad-core,
watering it down to three cores makes for some less-than-stellar multi-threaded
Overclocking was unfortunately not a saving grace for
the Athlon II X3 435.
PCSTATS was able to take the Athlon II X3 435 up only
600MHz without resorting to voltage adjustments, while the Athlon II X4 620
(built on the same architecture) reached an easy 1GHz. As always though your
personal mileage and methodologies may vary when overclocking your processor.
AMD is pushing the Athlon II CPU as a Windows 7
solution, and PCSTATS is confident that this processor will be enough to handle
anything Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system will throw at it. The minimum
system requirements for Microsoft Windows 7 are a 1GHz processor, 1GB of
memory, and a DirectX 9 videocard.
The Athlon II X3 435 is a socket AM3 processor, so it's
compatible with AMD's most recent Socket AM3 motherboards and socket AM2+
motherboards as well. If you already own an AMD-based PC and want to make a
quick and painless upgrade to multi-core processing, this is an affordable
In this scenario I think the Athlon II X3 435 makes the
most sense. If you're on a budget and looking to retire an aging Athlon
processor and move up to a more multi-threading friendly socket AM3 processor,
this is an affordable route. Provided you have a compatible motherboard
(AM2+/AM3 for certain but check the manufacturer's website before you purchase
for AM2!) you'll find that the Athlon II X3 435 is a cost-effective upgrade.
Just keep in mind that the Athlon II X2 250 and Athlon II X4 620 are around the
same price, and could give you better performance in single or multi-threaded
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Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as
- AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6 GHz Socket AM3 Quad-Core Processor
- AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4 GHz Socket AM3
- AMD Athlon II X2 250 3.0 GHz Socket AM3 Processor
- Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz 1333MHz FSB Processor
- Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz 1333MHz FSB Processor
- AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2 GHz Socket AM3
- Intel 32nm Westmere Processor Roadmap - Integrated Graphics
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