E5200 or X3 720BE?


Nov 21, 2008
Last week, Fry's had a great deal for an AMD Phenom II X3 720BE + Biostar 760g mobo for $159.99. As I usually do, I just went over to the store and printed out myself a quote/raincheck and waited till this weeks deals came out to compare before making the final purchase. There's one deal for an E5200 + MSI G31 mobo for $79.99.

Now I know the 720BE will blow the e5200 out of the water but I'm thinking for an extra $80, if it's worth it. Would I be better served to just get the e5200 combo and spend that extra $80 on a better graphics card? This build is for my brother's gaming needs btw (Simcity/sims games, COD4, L4D, Diablo 3/SC2?)

He currently has an ATI 3870 that he is decently happy with but I think he'd be better off if he upgraded his card to something like a 4770/4830.

I know the 720be is a bit more future proof, and he can probably just upgrade his video card when he feels it's not powerful enough (like when d3 comes out) but an e5200/g31 combo for $80 seems like a real steal and it's hard to pass up on. Thoughts people?
That's a good price on the combo. If you put a cpu cooler and OC that cpu, your brother could get a higher end graphics card like the 4850 or 4870.

I wouldn't put much stock in that board being able to OC very high though.

If it were me, I'd go for the phenom. If that board won't OC, that e5200 will bottleneck any good video card.