I recently ordered a computer with an AMD Athlon 64 3300+ processor. This CPU runs at the same clock speed as a 3400+, but it's L2 cache is 256KB, as opposed to 512KB of the 3400+.

My question is whether it was a mistake to order this processor, when I could have gotten a 3200+ with twice the L2 cache and for $30 cheaper. I know that the 3200+ has a slower clock speed, but I don't know how important L2 cache is at affecting the total performance of a computer.

I'm pretty worried that I just wasted a good bit of money on a lackluster CPU, so if someone with more knowledge than myself could clear all this up for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.


The L2 cache effect will really all depend on what you are doing with the processor. If you are playing a game that has continual refreshing, new graphics, then your utilization of the cache memory is probably not so good (thus no benefit). If you are doing something in photoshop, where you have a continual algorithms executed over time, using the same code, then the larger cache will assist your experience.

It really boils down to the OS, how it handles the code, and how the program was compiled to operate.


Thanks Christian. Maybe I should have mentioned that my main intent for the computer is to play newer but less demanding games like World of Warcraft and the like.

I suppose I'm just wondering whether I just bought a completely piece of junk processor that won't be able to handle games decently...

I suppose I'm just wondering whether I just bought a completely piece of junk processor that won't be able to handle games decently...

Oh my, heavens no. CPUs have been stuck in a bit of a rut lately, with the only major development recently being dual core models (which don't help all that much yet unless you're doing some serious multi-tasking). Your CPU is quite capable and I wouldn't worry about it. The most important component in this case is the video card.

That takes a lot off my mind. Muchos gracias coconut monkey!

hey guys first post, anyways i am buying an alienware laptop and was wonderin which of the 2 processors to buy and which is a better balance of l2 cache and clock speed... i want a decent gaming desktop replacer, less so for photoshop stuff,

this is the one i was planning on buying and it is $200 cheaper than the one below, but only 512 l2 cache...AMD Turion™ 64 Mobile ML42 2.4GHz 800MHz FSB 512KB L2 Cache

is 512kb enough for my needs for the next 2 years or so or should i fork out 200 bones and get:
AMD Turion™ 64 Mobile ML44 2.4GHz 800MHz FSB 1MB L2 Cache

i hope this thread is not dead cause this has really been on my mind

Dont Bump Threads !!!!!

Its bad manners. Do not buy anything with less than 1mb cache under any circumstances if you want to play games.

Thats why celerons and sempersons are cheaper than pentiums and athlons, because they have less cache