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Upgrading CPU. Is it worth the upgrade?

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April 6, 2013 8:05:18 AM

I'm looking to upgrade the CPU in my desktop.
My desktop currently has an AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE quad-core (stock 3.4GHz) CPU installed.
I'm looking to buy an AMD FX-8320 eight-core 3.5GHz CPU to replace my X4 965 BE. The FX-8320 will cost me $110.
Is it worth the $110 to upgrade from an X4 965 BE to an FX-8320 in terms of raw gaming performance?
My current graphics card is an ASUS Radeon HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 card, if that helps.

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April 6, 2013 8:14:22 AM

yes it is worthwile upgrade for sure.but you will not get huge differnce due to your gpu - 6770
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April 6, 2013 8:15:26 AM

Overall you likely won't even notice a difference. Marketing indicates you'll be gaining 4 more cores. But it's a 4 module shared resource system. It's not a true 8 core system, like say... an Intel LGA 2011 Xeon workstation CPU.

Tom's CPU Hierarchy Chart, you're only one tier group from the top(not considering Intel CPU's). Plus you only have an entry level GPU, this is where you need an upgrade.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...
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April 6, 2013 8:15:34 AM

It would be more worth it to upgrade the graphics card. I have an 8320, and it would improve your performance with some games, others there will be no difference.
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April 6, 2013 8:23:22 AM

Money would be better spent on a better graphics card. If you feel the need for more CPU power after that, get a quality cpu cooler and overclock your 965 a bit. 965 owners, I believe, should wait for steamroller for their gaming rigs.
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April 6, 2013 8:25:05 AM

I understand that I won't gain huge performance from this kind of CPU upgrade, but for $110 is it still worth the upgrade? I paid $120+ for my X4 965 BE.
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April 6, 2013 8:29:58 AM

I would do it because it's a good CPU especially when overclocked and it goes for $175 normally.
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April 6, 2013 8:35:41 AM

Depends on what $110 is worth to you. You might make that well before lunch on a Monday... Personally I won't buy anything below a new i7. I remember my old Q6600; decent mid-level CPU back in "the day". Release price was $850, lol.

PC's have certainly hit the floor in component costs! $110 for a 8320, I didn't even know it was that inexpensive!
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edit, for some work hyperthreading is of benefit to me
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April 6, 2013 8:40:19 AM

Yes for $110 buy the thing. Simple as that.
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April 6, 2013 8:40:48 AM

firinmylazerman said:
I understand that I won't gain huge performance from this kind of CPU upgrade, but for $110 is it still worth the upgrade? I paid $120+ for my X4 965 BE.


It isn't a bad deal on CPU, but you would get more gaming performance spending that $110 on this.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 6, 2013 8:43:55 AM

if you game at 1200 resolution or below don't change anything. if you game above that buy a new graphics card.
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April 6, 2013 8:48:57 AM

I want to be able to say that I have an eight-core gaming machine, and I was originally going to get the FX-8350 which's about $220, for $110 less I can get an FX-8320 (which is basically an FX-8350 with a lower clock speed) and still be able to say that I have an eight-core machine :p 
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April 6, 2013 8:49:57 AM

so the size of your swagger is more important than real performance...
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April 6, 2013 8:53:03 AM

No, but I'd much rather pay $110 for a CPU than pay $220 for basically the same CPU. You guys have made it clear that there will be a performance gain, which is definitely good, and I was planning on upgrading to an FX-8000 series CPU anyway, so...
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April 6, 2013 9:00:04 AM

ask them this. will it give more performance in the things you specifically use the pc for? or will having that near useless video hold you back more than replacing the cpu?
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April 6, 2013 9:03:11 AM

I probably should've mentioned this earlier, but I actually have two HD 3870X2 1GB dual-GPU graphics cards, and an HD 4870X2 2GB dual-GPU graphics card that I use part-time.
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April 6, 2013 9:10:05 AM

the 6770 is faster.
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April 6, 2013 9:16:16 AM

So I guess the real issue here is, what will the extra cores net you in gaming performance over the 4 cores you have now? Absolutely none. Zip. Ziltch. Zero. Nada. $110 is indeed a great price. But if you realize no performance advantage over what you have now, then it is $110 tossed into the garbage can, right? You would indeed notice a bigger improvement with a better GPU than what you have now.
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April 6, 2013 9:23:00 AM

Okay, so what's the cheapest graphics card upgrade that will give me noticeably better performance over my HD 6770?
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April 6, 2013 9:24:10 AM

got $200?
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April 6, 2013 9:53:58 AM

be patient. save another 20-40 dollars. you'll be glad you did.
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April 6, 2013 10:01:32 AM

The fx 8320 will make your computer start up faster, it will make your games load faster and you may see some minor improvements in frame rates on some games that are CPU hungry, like I know the COD black ops games are CPU hungry. If you can get it for $110 as a one time deal, I would do it and sell your Phenom II on craigslist, ebay, amazon, or facebook then save money for a better GPU.
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April 6, 2013 10:21:40 AM

firinmylazerman said:
I want to be able to say that I have an eight-core gaming machine, and I was originally going to get the FX-8350 which's about $220, for $110 less I can get an FX-8320 (which is basically an FX-8350 with a lower clock speed) and still be able to say that I have an eight-core machine :p 


Get a GTX Titan too, then go around telling everyone you have 2696 cores and lizzard people control the world.


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April 6, 2013 6:33:31 PM

Yes get a 8320 for $110 and then save up $150 for a new gpu. Or wait a little and save up to 150 and get a new gpu and then get the cpu. If it is a limited time deal (cause usually 8320's are around $180) get the cpu now while it is cheap and by the time you get more money for the gpu you will be able to get more for your money (like a 7850 2gb or a 650ti boost). Just my 2 cents..
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April 9, 2013 5:25:34 PM

How much of a performance gain would upgrading my Radeon HD 6770 to the new Radeon HD 7790 give me?
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April 9, 2013 6:45:54 PM

firinmylazerman said:
How much of a performance gain would upgrading my Radeon HD 6770 to the new Radeon HD 7790 give me?

The 7790 is somewhere around 35% faster than the 6770.
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April 10, 2013 8:34:29 AM

The FX8320 is a MASSIVE upgrade from your Phenom II...I don't know what these people are talking about...

What games are you talking about wanting to play?

Crysis 3? Bioshock Infinite? BF3 Multiplayer? Planetside 2? Metro 2033? Tomb Raider? The upcoming GTA5? Far Cry 3?

If you answered yes to more than half of those, here's a revelation...

Those games will all use as many cores as you can throw at them. BF3 Multiplayer will use 6-7 cores on my FX8350! Crysis 3 will use just as many, and I will see it start into the 8th core at some points! Metro 2033 is a core eating monster too. I don't have Planetside 2, but from what I've read, it's as bad as Crysis 3!

You would be served well by upgrading your CPU, and if you can save $60-70 off the price of the FX8320 right now...JUMP ON IT! You won't see it that cheap very often. I saw the FX8350 drop to $169 from $199 and bought it without second thought! It's now selling for $189-199 again...you can buy a new GPU later...but you can't get the FX8320 for $110 just all the time. Buy it, you won't regret it!
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April 10, 2013 10:01:54 AM

8350rocks is right it is a big upgrade. According to benchmark scores the 8320 is twice as fast as the phenom II 965. Although it may not increase your frames rates a lot, it will keep them from dropping which will improve your gaming experience. I went from an fx 6100 to an 8320 and it improved my KDR a lot on first person shooters, the controls were more responsive and it improved image quality.
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April 10, 2013 10:04:32 AM

what good is even the 965 if the video card stays the same?
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April 10, 2013 10:22:43 AM

swifty_morgan said:
what good is even the 965 if the video card stays the same?

That's why we both mentioned to upgrade that later. $110 for an 8320 is a steal
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April 10, 2013 10:24:54 AM

swifty_morgan said:
what good is even the 965 if the video card stays the same?


He has a 6770 now...he would have to go to something like a HD 7850 to see any improvement worth talking about...those cards start at $170+...
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April 10, 2013 10:37:53 AM

hence save your money. the 965 is still enough vs having a slug for a video card. that's my opinion. how many more years is it going to take the OP to save for that? better to save for a while and get a better card.
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April 10, 2013 10:43:02 AM

swifty_morgan said:
hence save your money. the 965 is still enough vs having a slug for a video card. that's my opinion. how many more years is it going to take the OP to save for that? better to save for a while and get a better card.


Not if his CPU bottlenecks his "beast of a new GPU"...then what? Now he waits how many years to buy a newer even more expensive CPU that won't be discounted $60-70 and on sale for $110?

GPU only helps gaming...CPU helps everything...he will see more benefit from the CPU first.
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April 10, 2013 12:07:29 PM

this must really be one of those situations where you have to bite your tongue that I read about in the book of wisdom............
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April 10, 2013 1:13:16 PM

swifty_morgan said:
this must really be one of those situations where you have to bite your tongue that I read about in the book of wisdom............


HD 6770 ~ HD 7770

His GPU is not that terrible as it is...could it use an upgrade? Sure. Is it required? No. But if he goes much more than that with his CPU right now, he will bottleneck his new GPU anyway, so what's the point in that?
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April 10, 2013 6:17:00 PM

8350rocks said:
swifty_morgan said:
this must really be one of those situations where you have to bite your tongue that I read about in the book of wisdom............


HD 6770 ~ HD 7770

His GPU is not that terrible as it is...could it use an upgrade? Sure. Is it required? No. But if he goes much more than that with his CPU right now, he will bottleneck his new GPU anyway, so what's the point in that?


Ding, I think we have gotten to the bottom of the issue. It is better to not be bottle-necked by cpu then by gpu especially when you can get the upgraded cpu for $70 dollars off normal online prices at the moment.
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April 10, 2013 7:16:02 PM

DING, DING, DING! We have a winner! Yes, a new GPU would bottleneck, a new CPU would not bottleneck. Therefore a new GPU would offer no increase in performance, but a new CPU would offer a slight upgrade in performance until he could get a GPU that would really shine.
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April 10, 2013 8:19:42 PM

I also have the same problem i have phenom II x4 965 running at stock and my gpu is 670 GTX DCII.

I want to upgrade my cpu but i am stuck with amd 8320 vs intel i5 3570k cpu.

I game at 1080p resolution and not planning to upgrade my monitor i am happy with single 1080p gaming.

And I use my pc only and only for gaming just love to game with all ultra settings and smooth fps.

So which side should i go for only gaming AMD or INTEL?.
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April 10, 2013 8:34:51 PM

gamer1291 said:
I also have the same problem i have phenom II x4 965 running at stock and my gpu is 670 GTX DCII.

I want to upgrade my cpu but i am stuck with amd 8320 vs intel i5 3570k cpu.

I game at 1080p resolution and not planning to upgrade my monitor i am happy with single 1080p gaming.

And I use my pc only and only for gaming just love to game with all ultra settings and smooth fps.

So which side should i go for only gaming AMD or INTEL?.


FX 8350...it's more cost effective for you, and the performance difference between the 2 is marginal at best...except in heavy threaded applications and games like Crysis 3, etc. where the AMD shines.
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April 10, 2013 9:21:42 PM

gamer1291 said:
I also have the same problem i have phenom II x4 965 running at stock and my gpu is 670 GTX DCII.

I want to upgrade my cpu but i am stuck with amd 8320 vs intel i5 3570k cpu.

I game at 1080p resolution and not planning to upgrade my monitor i am happy with single 1080p gaming.

And I use my pc only and only for gaming just love to game with all ultra settings and smooth fps.

So which side should i go for only gaming AMD or INTEL?.

I'm sticking with AMD since the new consoles are going to be all AMD chips, it's very likely that future titles will run well on the piledriver architecture. In these benchmarks the 8320 wins and overclocking to 4.2ghz adds another 1200 points.
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+FX-8320+Eig...
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-3...
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April 11, 2013 7:28:55 AM

What is with all this bottleneck talk? A 965 is good up to at least a 7850 which is far better than a 6670. With an overclock, it can probably handle even more. The OP said raw gaming performance. A better GPU with his 965 will be better than any FX chip with a 6670 in games. I like the FX 63xx and 83xx chip, but seriously, they are not this magical chip some try to make them be.
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April 11, 2013 7:42:19 AM

logainofhades said:
What is with all this bottleneck talk? A 965 is good up to at least a 7850 which is far better than a 6670. With an overclock, it can probably handle even more. The OP said raw gaming performance. A better GPU with his 965 will be better than any FX chip with a 6670 in games. I like the FX 63xx and 83xx chip, but seriously, they are not this magical chip some try to make them be.


He has a 6770, not a 6670...that is on par with the HD 7770 basically...so while he could go to a HD 7850, it won't be near the upgrade the CPU would.
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April 11, 2013 8:00:53 AM

logainofhades said:
7850 is still a substantial upgrade over a 7770.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=549


Not disputing that...

But he could buy the FX8320 for $110 now, or wait to save $50 to get the HD 7850 later.

If you could get the FX8320 for $110 right now wouldn't you do that instead?
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April 11, 2013 8:02:18 AM

8350rocks said:
logainofhades said:
7850 is still a substantial upgrade over a 7770.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=549


Not disputing that...

But he could buy the FX8320 for $110 now, or wait to save $50 to get the HD 7850 later.

If you could get the FX8320 for $110 right now wouldn't you do that instead?


Yea, now that I realize I am half blind and thought he had a 6670, it is a good idea.
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April 11, 2013 8:05:07 AM

logainofhades said:
8350rocks said:
logainofhades said:
7850 is still a substantial upgrade over a 7770.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=549


Not disputing that...

But he could buy the FX8320 for $110 now, or wait to save $50 to get the HD 7850 later.

If you could get the FX8320 for $110 right now wouldn't you do that instead?


Yea, now that I realize I am half blind and thought he had a 6670, it is a good idea.


:)  That's an incredible price on that CPU...lol...too good to pass up...
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April 11, 2013 8:13:10 AM

8350rocks said:
logainofhades said:
8350rocks said:
logainofhades said:
7850 is still a substantial upgrade over a 7770.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=549


Not disputing that...

But he could buy the FX8320 for $110 now, or wait to save $50 to get the HD 7850 later.

If you could get the FX8320 for $110 right now wouldn't you do that instead?


Yea, now that I realize I am half blind and thought he had a 6670, it is a good idea.


:)  That's an incredible price on that CPU...lol...too good to pass up...


I saw an FX 6300 on CL for $80. It if wouldn't take me 1.5hrs to get there, I would have grabbed it since another guy was selling a compatible motherboard for $40.
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April 11, 2013 8:16:44 AM

logainofhades said:


I saw an FX 6300 on CL for $80. It if wouldn't take me 1.5hrs to get there, I would have grabbed it since another guy was selling a compatible motherboard for $40.


WOW! I kinda feel shafted now that I only saved $30 on my FX8350...lol
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