Of course the GTX 260 coupled with the i7 blew away the Phenom II X3 720 in every gaming test. The X3 720 showed a distinct bottleneck holding back the GTX 260 from its full FPS potential. But again, keep in mind that the i7 system easily costs twice as much as the Phenom II X3 system. The i7 920 CPU alone costs about $60 more than the X3 and test motherboard combined.
And looking at the Phenom II X3 720 by itself.the FPS scores were nothing to be embarrassed about, they were higher than at least 75% of all the 30 or more CPU/motherboard/video card combinations I have tested with the three benchmarks. Sure, the GTX 260 would get better scores with a more powerful processor, but currently priced around $175, it would be a great compliment to the Phenom II X3 720 in a budget-minded gaming system, and may be the best video card buy out there right now.
The AMD Phenom II X3 720 should definitely be a consideration for that budget rig. Performance isn’t far behind the Phenom X4 940, which currently costs $165. The X3 720 overclocked easily, which brought performance even that much closer to the X4, and beating it in several tests.
The AMD Phenom II X3 720 currently sells for $119 at my favorite online retailer. Definitely a bargain which should be a consideration for anyone looking at building a budget rig. Coupled with a budget priced board such as the test board and a powerful video card like the GTX 260, you could build a decent gaming rig for around $650. ThinkComputers.org gives the AMD Phenom II X3 720 a 10 out of 10 score.
- AM3 gives capability of using DDR3 memory
- Performance not far behind the much more expensive X4 940
- Easily attained a 25% overclock
- Only $119!
- None really