A reliable processor compare chart

so im basically being cheap and trying to find a cpu on ebay. i been mainly looking at amd phenom 2’s but i was wondering if there is a relible chart online someone has of performance cpu’s, i used one before but i got told that the site more then likely had favourites.

if ya cud link me a nice site it would be really cool as then i can ebay to my hearts content :smiley:

I wouldn’t really rely on any one site, for the reason you suggest and that you have no way of knowing if their test suite or hardware (motherboard chipset etc.) favours some CPU’s… I would check out a few, and look for a general trend.

As can be seen from nearly all the CPU performance comparison sites.

a) recently the new intel CPU’s (i7 etc.) are the overall speed kings.
b) AMD CPU’s are a generally cheaper than the intel equivalents at the same performance point.

generally making AMD CPU’s the “bang for the buck” kings.

Now I’m not saying that applies to the second hand market… I’ve never really checked which hold their price better.

And it certainly doesn’t always apply to older CPU’s… ie. AMD Athlon64 (single core) CPU’s tended to be quicker than anything intel had to offer at the time.

You’ll also need to be aware that some CPU’s are better at certain “tasks” than others, so it’s not as easy as just saying one CPU is faster than another… one may perform better at say archiving, yet the other be better at say audio encoding or encryption etc.

Like I said check a few, like:


and look for general trends rather than rely on any specific figures which may be reliant on other factors, such as hardware/software used in the test(s).

As there may be more to consider than just performance, like reliability, temperatures, mobo chipsets etc. it may be a good idea to post some CPU’s you are considering and ask for peoples opinions… preferably with any other hardware you are planning on using for the build.

hmm you make good points to my seemingly obscure questions lol.

im looking for a cpu capable of playing the latest games and able to handle audio workstations.

at the moment i have a few amd phenom ii x2-x4-x6 and a intel i3 on my watch lists i3 and x2 are around the same price i5 and i7 are expensive and not many 2nd hand while amd while not flooded arent rare on the market. x6 i would think is gonna cost a pretty buck. and from my easily led brain ive been looking closly at x2-x3-x4 black edition amd cpu’s because of the overclocking features. while i know abit about these newer cpu i have no idea of the equivelent in older models which is where im probably gonna get for the bargain price i want to pay. hence the idea of looking at the charts and looking for a cpu tht looks out of place from the newer named models im familiar with.

OK, for a new CPU that is both cheap and performs well, how about this?

AMD Athlon II X3 Triple-Core (450) 3.2GHz Processor L2 Cache (3x512KB) Socket AM3 (Boxed) - £65.47 (including postage)

according to these:

it out performs CPU’s such as the Intel Core2 Quad Q6600, Intel Core2 Quad Q9000, and AMD Phenom II X4 973, which are all higher priced.

Performance is similar to an Intel i3 550, which will cost around the £100 mark

Not to mention there’s at least a 50% chance that you’ll be able to unlock the inactive 4th core.

Short review:

With the fourth core unlocked and the chip clocked up to 3.6GHz, this processor is ludicrously quick for a sub-£60 CPU. It's truly stunning value for money when you compare it to Intel's pricey dual-core processors.

If you get unlucky and the fourth core doesn’t fly, performance is still decent in the context of such an affordable processor. OK, it can only encode video at half the speed of AMD’s fastest six-core Phenom II X6 processor. But then it does cost less than one third the price.

Check Google and you’ll see most people/reviews reckon it’s a pretty good gamer, and shouldn’t be a bottleneck unless you have a pretty high end graphics card.

Even cheaper here:
5 - 7 days delivery = £59.44
2 -3 days = £61.24
Next day = £63.63

Or here on Amazon for £58.35 (free delivery), I’ve had problems with buying off Amazon.co.uk before… it wasn’t this particular retailer though, and I did eventually get my money back.

Or you could wait till the summer, and the launch of the new AMD Bulldozer CPU’s and see how they stand up in the “bang for the buck” arena.


Also, with the release of Bulldozer other AMD CPU prices may fall, as AMD will attempt to keep the new high end Bulldozer competitively priced.

Personally I’ve always preferred to go with AMD, but that’s just as much about Intels (M$ style) business practices as the processors themselves.

hmm i think i an narrowing down my choices now. seems that the difference between an athlon II and a phenom II is only l3 cache which makes no sense to me and that phenoms all come with 4 cores physically so theres a rare chance a x2 can become a x3 or x4. but as you say this bulldozer thing is coming out so i think maybe the cheaper the better. 60 quid brand new is a decent price aswel i will see if i can find a second hand one to be even cheaper lol. then on to motherboards.

there is another cpu tht seems interestign too, older but on the benchmark site seems better. amd phneom 9850 (also lower ones) would you see any problems if i got an older cpu like this?

how can i store my processor safely until i gather up more components? and isit worth getting some anti static wrist band all these people rave about?

Nope… earlier Phenoms would be OK, but as they are AM2(+) CPU’s you will be limited to AM2 motherboards and DDR2 RAM… which may limit your future upgrade path.

Storage… just leave it in the box or anti-static bag in comes in.

Anti-static wrist band… Unless you are going to work with static sensitive components on a regular basis, I wouldn’t bother… but if it makes you feel better, just ground (discharge) yourself before handling (eg. touch a radiator, or any plumbing) and don’t rub your feet on a woollen carpet :wink:

Level 3 cache… read this and make your own mind up as to whether you think it will be necessary:

I won’t buy anything other than a Phenom for anything at the moment - price performance means nothing else makes sense.

If you want a fast workstation, get an ASUS motherboard that will over-clock well for about £75, then add a Phenom II X2 @ 3.2G for around £50.

The ASUS core unlocker will give you 4 cores, and it’ll overclock to around 3.7xG … I have one under my desk in the office in a “scout” case … it screams!

If you want to spend a bit more, an X6 will set you back about £150, same again with motherboard etc gives you six cores at 3.8G.

I had two of them over the weekend running 9 Windows Server instances and serving up around 12 million web pages (over 3 days) …

[so, rock solid … :slight_smile: … even when over clocked and running from SSD root fs’s … :wink: ]

hmm this core unlocking an x2 to an x4 is about what chance of success? 50%? is that from new cpu’s or older models? i figured im gonna need 3 or 4 cores to start with but if its cheaper to buy an x2 and spend alittle more on a motherboard or just buy and x4 and a suitable motherboard?
also how do i figure out what psu to buy? the case im getting dont come with one. i add up all the components and go 50w higher then the total?

There is no guarantee that cores will unlock, but most people reckon (at least on AMD CPU’s) they do more often than they dont.

From what I read, they sometimes don’t overclock as well with the extra core(s) unlocked, which suggests a heat/reliability issue on the locked core(s).

So it would seem there are 3 possibilities

a) the extra core(s) are dead (I would think unlikely, CPU fabrication is supposed to be pretty reliable these days).

b) the extra core(s) are marginally less able to deal with the heat, or are not within the “safety margins” for them to be guaranteed to work reliably… but are fine unless overworked (eg. overclocked)… so you’d have to ask yourself is the extra core(s) worth not being able to overclock - Answer, 99% of the time YES… you can either overclock say 2 or 3 cores by say 400mhz each, or enable an extra core(s) at say 3.2Ghz each… work it out :slight_smile: but obviously this depends on what apps you are going to run and whether they are multi-thread aware.

c) there’s nothing wrong with the extra core(s) and they have just been disabled to make up the numbers (eg. they are short of dual core CPU’s, but have an excess of quad cores).

So I wouldn’t totally rely on the fact that you’ll be able to unlock the extra core… try to get yourself in a position where it would be a bonus if they unlock and work reliably.

how do i figure out what psu to buy? the case im getting dont come with one.
GOOD, unless it's an expensive case, the power supply's are usually rubbish.
add up all the components and go 50w higher then the total?
Sounds like a strategy to me :)

For a rough idea, there are online PSU calculators… like this one:

yea i just read the exact same stuff online and from a post in september i did. things dont stay in my head like they used too lol. either way phenom x2 (be) is defintly good enough for what im gonna use it for at the moment. amazon have a 550 for 65 quid free shipping which seems to be the best ive seen for a new one. and i got a cool nzxt gamma or beta evo case for around 45 quid. which will be the 1st 2 things i can get for now. i may opt for a 2nd hand cpu if i can get one for less then 65% of new value. there is a couple on ebay and the owners have already stated that 4 cores work or do not which is a bonus. but alot of the 2nd hand ones are around 50-60 quid which is way overpriced.
thanks for the help ill be back in a few weeks to ask about other components no doubt :smiley:

Erm, I’d be careful of second hand PSU’s… there is normally a reason they are on the market… IMHO people tend to hang on to decent ones, as they can be used in the next build.

They are less likely to be being replaced as an “upgrade”.

Unlike CPU’s, Graphics cards, RAM, etc. which tend to either work or not, and may be being replaced as a system upgrade… PSU output quality can vary a LOT.

For some reason people always seem to skimp on the PSU… in my opinion, a BAD idea.

Ignore that, I thought you said you were thinking about a second hand PSU, I’ve re-read, and you said CPU :-[

Thinking about it, I’d probably be wary of second hand Black Editions too (unless I could get some background info)… they were probably bought with overclocking in mind…
I’d have to ask myself why it’s for sale… damaged by overclocking?, doesn’t overclock as well as thought?, cores don’t unlock as expected? etc.
An overclocker would know if the extra cores work, and would say so.

I would say you are MUCH less likely to get a second hand CPU that the extra cores work properly on… you will usually be buying from someone who is upgrading their system… system builders are likely to have already tried, and would be eager to point out the extra working cores (or even sell it as a quad).

Just food for thought, but your call.

might aswel edit the whole post. after reading alot of reviews on motherboards im getting to understand abit more. but any good info on how motherboards are named would be good.

hm ok i got a list of motherboards that i presume are ok to use. someone that knows about motehrboards could comment would be nice, i dont wana buy something that isnt compatible.
so i am gonna use phenom 2 x2 and some ddr3 memory or would like compatibilty for it atleast. and to be able to use the core unlockability for the cpu. i will be using the computer for gaming and basic audio recording. these are the ones i came across so far. i dont need inbuilt graphics as i will be buying a graphics card. and i dont really wana spend more then £80 the ones listed are less then £50 which is what i would like to spend but ofc if i need certain things covered its better i buy something i can upgrade into.

asrock n68c ucc - cheap as chips but i fear i may of overlooked something

gigabyte ga-ma790fxt-ud5p


ASUS M4A79T Deluxe

gigabyte GA-M52LT-D3

Foxconn Cinema II (not sure what the deal wiht this one is)

You could check list of motherboards that people say they have successfully used for core unlocking here:

Also includes a “How To”.

Also worth a look (the original thread):

MP used the ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 in his Beast

That has an easy “Core Unlocker” (Hybrid Switch) feature built in:
though may be slightly out of your price range… about £80
on Amazon
or the
MicroATX version on ebuyer

Update :: the Beast Mark II’s use Asus M4A89GTD PRO AMD 890GX AM3 boards.


£80 + VAT.

Tested to destruction. Zero problems under extreme load.

Physical core unlocker switch and CPU overclocking switch.
BIOS auto-tuning to get the best [safely] from your CPU and memory without making it unstable … I’m running at a fraction under 3.8G/core.