Mar 24, 2009
well since my last post, i decided to go with a AMD system and i'm having trouble with deciding to go with Phenom II X3, II X4 940 BE, or II X4 810.

i was looking to go with II X3 cause it's cheaper. but both the 940 and 810 are Quad and looking to get the best CPU for gaming. i'm also unsure what to go with for a motherboard. I'm looking to get a HD Monitor so i'm not sure if that will effect anything.

at this point i know I'm getting a Cooler Master RC - 1100 Comos S Full Tower. I've heard AMD's runs hot so i figure, instead of going with a mid tower, I'd go with a full tower for more space and air flow. plus, enough room for the video card. i'm looking to get a Cooler Master 850 power supply.

speaking of video card; I'm looking to go with a Geforce 9800 GT but i was told that a Radeon would be better for AMD systems. unfortunately, i don't know anything about Radeons and what's consider the best one to get outside the fact that the 4000 series is the newer models.

I'm looking to get a WD RE3 320GB Hard Drive. not sure if that's good enough. I've had 2 systems now and have always had Western Digital. however I've heard Seagate is good.

i was looking to go with Vista and move away from XP on this system, but Windows 7 is on the way. so i'm unsure if i should just go with XP for right now and go with Windows 7. but i read some where that Microsoft isn't going to supporting XP after this month.
The higher clock speed and cache mean the 940 and 720 are better gaming chips than the 810 .

If you go 940 you have to buy a DDR2 mobo and RAM

The 720 would be my pick now because you can get an AM3 mobo and DDR3 RAM at reasonable prices . This gives you a better upgrade path for the future when you can swap in a faster AM3 quad and memory to suit , and since most games still dont use more than 1 core you lose very little if anything against the 940 right now


Mar 30, 2009
I'm going with the 720 myself. It seems like the best bang for the buck and can overclock nicely too. Get a motherboard with the 790 northbridge and SB750 southbridge. Biostar, ASrock and Gigabyte MBs should have a bios option to allow you to POSSIBLY unlock a 4th core on it. It might not work well enough, so don't buy the processor expecting to unlock a 4th core. Even without it, it's a good deal if you ask me.


Dec 24, 2008
Where are you located, US?

Go with the 720. For the price it is a very good deal. Don't try to unlock the 4th core though if you think you want to OC (which you should do if this is a gaming rig). The 4th core was disabled for a reason, if that core was viable then AMD would be selling it as a PII 920 instead. Processors that come with disabled cores have them disabled because they proved to be unstable when tested at the factory.

When the time comes that the tri-core isn't cutting it, you can upgrade to a nice fast AM3 Quad.

I would go with Vista so you get DX10 and all your ram.

If you are in the US, take advantage of these:

Vista 64bit $20 off promo code:EMCLRLN28

HD 4830 would be a good alternative to the 9800GT
or if you can spend a bit more:


Nov 21, 2008
Go with Outlander's advice, he's the Zen Master Guru here :)

In regards to your vid card question, a Radeon 4000 series is a great combo to go with the X3. If you want a card that's at least as good as a 9800GT, thekid's recommended 4830's are very very good alternatives, especially for overclocking. Both the Powercooler and the Sapphire 4830's overclock extremely well. While the Powercooler will overclock a little higher, the Sapphire's much cheaper so I'd go with the Sapphire (or 2 :p)

Don't be afraid to jump ships from Geforce's to Radeons. I was a Geforcer all the way back from the Geforce 2 series but the new Radeon 4000's have turned me into a Radeon believer.


May 21, 2008

Make sure you get a 64bit version or you are still going to have the 4gig ram limit!
Last 2 cents here, about "AMD running hot".
If you are talking about the older X2's and Phenoms, yes.
If you are talking the new 45nm Phenom II's, no....they run nice and cool.
If you are only doing mild/average overclocks, the stock heatsink is fine.

Forget about enabling the 4rth core on an X3. I hear people suggesting this can be done, but it makes no sense. If the 4th core worked without errors, it would be sold as Quad core.

Check my specs, I get 15,000 in 3dmark 06 with my 920 and 8800GTS 512 OC (not that it really means ANYTHING, but it is a number to give you a ballpark idea)
I can tell you that playing Crysis, COD4 Modern Warfare, and Oblivian, at my max res of 1280x1024, I can crank up everything, and run smooth and fast.

COD 4, everything maxed to highest setting, played the entire game through beginning to end a couple of weeks back without a single solitary hiccup, stutter, pause, anything. And nothing overclocked(beyond the factory OC setting on my 8800GTS)