E5200 vs Athlon II X2 240/250

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Anakhoresis Posted: Mon, Jan 18 2010 12:58 AM

Intel E5200

Athlon II X2 240

Athlon II X2 250

So virtualization pros and cons aside, which of these do you think would be a better buy if overclocking was anticipated? I know all of them have achieved some fairly high overclocks with decent air cooling, and they're all pretty low price. I'm not sure whether having multiple cores is completely worth it yet, except for 3D rendering/video encoding, but as I'm used to and fairly comfortable using an AMD Athlon X2 7750 for this, I imagine anything would be an upgrade.

Any ideas on which is a better value with overclocking in mind?

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There's an article that might help:

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2009/06/30/amd-athlon-ii-x2-250-cpu-review/1

"At their out of the box frequencies, the AMD Athlon II X2 250 is faster than the Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200, and often by quite a margin. The faster core clock and oodles more memory bandwidth play a key role in making this an excellent product for very little money."

 

In terms of OCing, it's pretty much even between the two from what I've read. But remember you'd be stuck with the old 775 motherboard with the E5200. What's your budget, maybe we can suggest an alternative.

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Interesting, not sure how I managed to miss that article, thanks!

So what is it that the memory bandwidth really does? While the Athlon II 250 runs higher at stock speeds, even with more memory bandwidth, the E5200 tends to come out on top when they're both overclocked.

And unfortunately, no budget currently. Just something I'm researching for a hopeful future upgrade.

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Soupstyle replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 1:24 PM

Don't forget that you also get DDR3, HyperTransport and x64 Support with the Athlon II X2 250. But that only matters if you need them or are doing memory intensive work. I have a feeling that the results would be more in favor of the Athlon if more programs were made with the 64bit instruction sets.

You may want to wait and see what Intel comes out with to replace the E5200, if they bring the chip down into the 40nm mode there should be less power consumption and heat production, plus I'm sure they'd upgrade to support DDR3 memory and put it on a more modern slot configuration (for newer/better mobo options).

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It's how quickly the processor can access information in the memory (as far as I know).

Here's a graph with the memory bandwidth of some of the processors:

 

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Drago replied on Thu, Jan 21 2010 11:30 AM

Anakhoresis, you keep stating that the E5200 beats out the Athlon II when overclocked, where is your proof.  Also, realize that overclocking is not guaranteed at all. Yeah the intel chip will likely clock higher, but only if you have some really nice memory and a motherboard that can handle super high fsb and RAM speeds.  The Athlon II might not clock as high, but it has more performance per clock than the intel chip.

What i am surprised of is that no one mentioned that the E5200 is on a dead platform with no possible upgrade path, outdated motherboards and ddr2 only.  The Athlon II can go into any AM2+ or AM3 board, gives you a path to upgrade if you go with AM3, and has a much higher multiplier making overclocking easier since your HTT and RAM speed dont need to be near as high.

If you go with the cheap intel system, you are stuck with the only upgrade you can make is to a C2Q which will likely still be as expensive as they are now a few years down the road, if you can even buy them then.  If you go AMD and you need more processing power, you just need to pop in a new shiny cpu.  Upgrade paths are worth having, as you never know when you may end up needing more processing power.  Having an upgrade path lets you spend  a little in a few years to keep your rig going rather than having to buy a whole new one.

 

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I said it tends to beat out the Athlon II when overclocked, and said that only once. Just look at the bit-tech review of the 250 that was linked by gibbersome. And actually, as for memory/motherboard, you don't need them to be that good. I know someone on a fairly cheap motherboard, with the low-end 'gamer' memory by G-Skill, who has an Intel overclocked to 4.02 Ghz on air.

I didn't mention anything about upgrade paths as this would be a fairly cheap upgrade for the moment, and then I'd be looking at a new motherboard/memory anyway. I know what you mean about upgrade path, but it would be either a cheap upgrade soon, or nothing at all for quite a while as I would go all the way for a good system.

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Soupstyle replied on Thu, Jan 21 2010 9:35 PM

Soupstyle:

You may want to wait and see what Intel comes out with to replace the E5200, if they bring the chip down into the 40nm mode there should be less power consumption and heat production, plus I'm sure they'd upgrade to support DDR3 memory and put it on a more modern slot configuration (for newer/better mobo options).

I think that I pointed out that the E5200 is on an old slot and memory platform.

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Drago replied on Tue, Jan 26 2010 5:31 PM

Anakhoresis, look at it this way then. 

Athlon II X2 250: $70
AM3 785G chipset mobo: <$99
2gigs DDR3 RAM: $60

Total cost: $229

Down the road, you save up some money and wish to upgrade your stuff say to a new shiny 890FX board that is around $150-200.  Guess what, your RAM and Chip still work in it to so you can save up for a new chip and RAM and likely in a 3 month span of saving be able to have a whole new rig, provided the other parts of your build are not complete crap ie low amp low watt PSU that cant handle a future upgrade, a case that cant fit your new components, or a cpu cooler that cant handle a hotter chip.

If you went the intel rout to begin with, you would be stuck on the 775 socket with a 775 socket cpu and DDR2.  You literally would have to upgrade your entire rig at once instead of having the luxury of being able to stagger in an upgrade.  Staggering in an upgrade is really nice as you dont end up having parts lying around the house not being used, and if some unexpected expense comes up and that puts your pc upgrade on hold, you might have a shiny new mobo sitting in its box for months before you can save up enough to be able to upgrade.

If you want to go intel, then if you do anything not on the 1156 or 1366 socket IMO you are wasting your money on old tech and pigeon-holing yourself to no upgrade path, which is not a good thing if you want to try to extend the life of your rig without having to do a complete upgrade.

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