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CPU Roundup April 2010

CPU Roundup April 2010

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Final Words and Conclusion

The AMD Athlon II X2 255 and X3 440 provide the consumer with a decent amount of power at a very reasonable price. We can’t help feeling that the X3 440 is the better choice of the two as £7 is a small price to pay for an extra core. Unfortunately we have to pay a further £30 on top of the X4 635’s fourth core, but this still demonstrates quite reasonable value for money when compared to quad core Phenom models.

The Phenom II X2 555 processer is certainly better featured than the Athlons on test and offers much more flexibility when it comes to overclocking. It does however cost about 30% more than the comparable Athlon II X2 255 so won’t be the best choice for those who don’t plan to overclock.

This is our first look at the new Intel i3 platform and the i3-530 processor has certainly impressed us. It has flown through our tests, showing performance gains over both the dual core and tri core AMDs in many areas.

The MSI H55M-E33 Motherboard is a good choice for anyone looking for an i3 microATX motherboard. We were a little disheartened by the limited selection of ports so users who require eSATA, Firewire or optical audio connections should look elsewhere. Other than this, though, we cannot fault this board on any account and the Easy OC functionality is sure to be welcomed by many, especially on such a budget conscious product.

The ECS A785GM-AD3 motherboard is good overall but does have a few flaws which are likely to put off some customers. Like the MSI H55M-E33, the A785GM-AD3 also lacks when it comes to connectivity, although it does feature an optical audio output. The five SATA ports should be enough for most users but some extra thought would have been appreciated on their placement as some graphics cards will cover two drive connectors. We would recommend the A785GM-AD3 to those who aren’t going to be installing a large graphics card that takes up a lot of space, or those who plan to take advantage of the onboard GPUs excellent media related features. We do recognise, however, that this motherboard is very budget-friendly at a mere $65 and, at this price, it is a steal.

AMD Athlon II X2 255

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Available from eBuyer – £59.88
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Available from NewEgg – $74.99

AMD Athlon II X3 440

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Available from eBuyer – £67.14
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Available from NewEgg – $84.99

AMD Athlon II X4 635

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Available from eBuyer – £96.68
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Available from NewEgg – $119.99

AMD Phenom II X2 555

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Available from eBuyer – £79.71
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Available from NewEgg – $99.00

Intel Core i3-530

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Available from eBuyer – £96.01
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Available from NewEgg – $119.99

MSI H55M-E33

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Available from eBuyer – £77.16
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Available from NewEgg – $99.99

ECS Elitegroup A785GM-AD3

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TBC
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Available from NewEgg – $79.99

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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