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Radeon HD 7870 with Phenom or FX?

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July 24, 2013 6:30:05 AM

I have a Radeon HD 6570 as GPU, but gaming performance is very bad.
Already bought a system with a AMD Phenom II X4 965, OCed it to 3,6 Ghz and running smoothly. Problem? Is a old CPU.
I would want to know about my chances to get a bottleneck if I get a Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB GDDR5. Seems to be a unbalanced ratio CPU/GPU.
What about getting a AMD FX Series FX-4350? Really recently and really nice clock (4,20 GHz). But then I have to spend extra 117 €. So If the CPU is not going to bottleneck the GPU, I would not have any reason to upgrade it, because runs very well for me.

My budget range is around 300 € with everything but the F-4350, 400 € max with the processor upgrade.
For some more information: My motherboard is a ASRock 960GM-GS3 FX, PSU is a generic 500w, but I have a better one (750w) that I will install too probably.
I have no plans to overclock, depends of my output here, Im willing to overclock the Phenom, but not the FX. (Enought core clock for me).

SLI or Crossfire: No.
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, I could drop to 1280x720, preferably not.
Additional Comments: I have compared the two CPUs in CpuBoss and they are very very close. The only thing as I said, is a old processor (2009) vs 2013 processor, with more instructions at all. The reason to upgrade is as you can see, my current HD 6570 only runs very well anything below Source engine.

More about : radeon 7870 phenom

July 24, 2013 6:38:17 AM

i would get the fx 6300 over the 4300. the 6300 will be slightly faster than the 965
July 24, 2013 6:44:24 AM

firstly the phenom won't bottleneck the 7870Ghz edition much. maybe in some CPU intensive games but won't be a problem in other one's.

secondly just because the FX-4350 has a 4.2Ghz clock doesn't mean it will outperform other CPU's in a big way. it will outperform the 4300 as it has almost pretty much the same specs apart from the clock speed so it will outperform the 4300 slightly but will still but will still get beaten by the FX 6300. but either way you should stick to phenom. but if you do want to upgrade go with FX 6300 like 06yfz450ridr said.
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July 24, 2013 6:56:28 AM

Go with the FX-6300. Just got a 7870 Tahiti, and the performance with the FX6300 (running at stock speed) compared to my old Phenom 2 X4 965 is still about 10-15fps better with the new CPU.
July 24, 2013 6:57:11 AM

The Phenom is still an awesome series, what I would do is leave it and wait for the new AMD FX series to come out and upgrade then.

The 7870 won't bottleneck that processor, it still pretty bad-a$$ for being over 3 years old. Get the new GPU and put the rest of the money to something useful like an SSD.

July 24, 2013 7:06:40 AM

I can still get the AMD FX Series FX-6350 3.9 Ghz, but, since games use only 1 core, or in the best of the scenarios, 4... Is worth to have a 6 core for gaming?
July 24, 2013 7:12:52 AM

PandaBear270 said:
I can still get the AMD FX Series FX-6350 3.9 Ghz, but, since games use only 1 core, or in the best of the scenarios, 4... Is worth to have a 6 core for gaming?


Well, most only use two or less, with exceptions. The FX 6300 is an awesome mid range CPU for gaming, but about 99% of the time, the GPU will make or break the system.

Upgrade the GPU for now and get an SSD. If you still see some lag, you can always upgrade to an FX 83XX or an FX 63XX.


a b À AMD
July 24, 2013 7:37:02 AM

First, make sure you have an AM3+ board with a 970 chipset or better before you upgrade to an FX series CPU.

Second, the 6300 and 6350 have the same OC potential, just different base clocks. If the 6300 costs a few dollars less, just get that and a decent cooler. A Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO or better will do the job well.

Finally, the 965 is still pretty good for gaming. I have to agree with the other posters suggesting you upgrade your video card first. As an option to the 7970, consider a good 7950 and overclock it a bit. You can get 7970 performance out of them for about 30-40% less cost. HIS has a model with the ICEQ 2 cooler that is voltage unlocked, quiet, has good temps, and OC's to around 1200/1550 like a beast. Gigabyte's version with WindForce 3 cooler is also fast, cool and quiet, but voltage locked a bit below max. You'll still get 1100/1500 out of it, and some consider that safer if you plan to keep it long-term.
a b À AMD
July 24, 2013 7:41:31 AM


The PhII 965BE with an HD7870 is an excellent combination.

There is not a lot to be gained from upgrading your CPU to an FX-6300 (though, I'm sure AMD would appreciate the business).

There ain't no 10-15fps difference, that's fer sure :) 



July 24, 2013 7:57:58 AM

maddogfargo said:
First, make sure you have an AM3+ board with a 970 chipset or better before you upgrade to an FX series CPU.


Manufacturer ASRock
Model 960GM-GS3 FX (CPUSocket)
Version To Be Filled By O.E.M.
Chipset Vendor AMD
Chipset Model 780G
Chipset Revision 00
Southbridge Vendor AMD
Southbridge Model SB700
Southbridge Revision 00
a b À AMD
July 24, 2013 8:06:26 AM


The money you save from the CPU would be better spent replacing that motherboard.

a b À AMD
July 24, 2013 8:23:59 AM

PandaBear270 said:
Wisecracker said:

The money you save from the CPU would be better spent replacing that motherboard.



Thanks, this is my habitual dealer: http://www.pccomponentes.com/placas_base_amd_socket_am3...
What one would you reccomend to me? The idea is being able to upgrade to newer FX cpus later.


The list price for the FX-6300 is 102€.

The Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ or Asus M5A97 EVO R2.0 would save you some money.

The Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 so happens to be 102€, and would make an excellent CrossFire motherboard (if you were so inclined).

Any of these motherboards would work well (actually, much better) with your PhII 965BE. That 960GM-GS3 was designed before the 'old original' Phenoms came out, much less, the PhIIs or the FX-series.

I was wondering why your CPU was running 3.6GHz :)  You should be able to run your PhII 965BE 3.8GHz on stock volts and cooler with any of the above motherboards ... certainly higher with good aftermarket cooling.





a b À AMD
July 24, 2013 8:29:09 AM

+1 for Wisecracker's board recommendations. :) 

I've used both of those Gigabyte boards in builds and have been very pleased with the results.

They are perfectly happy with either a Phenom II AM3 chip or an FX series AM3+ chip. And I have a pair of 7950's crossfired in the 990FXA version of these boards right now and the card spacing for cooling/airflow is perfect.

The 990FXA is driven by a Phenom II x6 1090T @ 4.0GHz, which was very easy to OC on these boards thanks to the great chipset options/support and superior VRUs and copper layers. I can see you getting 3.8GHz out fo your 965 pretty easily. I think you'll be happy with them. :D 
July 24, 2013 8:37:19 AM

maddogfargo said:
+1 for Wisecracker's board recommendations. :) 

I've used both of those Gigabyte boards in builds and have been very pleased with the results.

They are perfectly happy with either a Phenom II AM3 chip or an FX series AM3+ chip. And I have a pair of 7950's crossfired in the 990 board right now and the card spacing for cooling/airflow is perfect. It is driven by a Phenom II x6 1090T @ 4.0GHz, which was very easy to OC on these boards thanks to the great chipset options/support and superior VRUs and copper layers. You'll be happy with them. :D 


Thanks Wisecracker for your MB tipts, unfortunatelly, these are ATX, and I have MicroATX case. I can still buy an inexpensive ATX tower, but then, more money wasted :D 
a b À AMD
July 24, 2013 8:46:41 AM

Not much experience here with Micro ATX boards for me. :/  But that is an AM3+ board, so it should still work.

And it does seem to have OC options. I would look for reviews to see what other people have been able to do.

The VRU looks like a standard, solid caps, but no heatsink so don't get too crazy with your OC. Probably a good idea that you stayed in the 3.6GHz range. ;) 

Some useful info here:

http://www.overclock.net/t/946407/amd-motherboards-vrm-...
July 24, 2013 9:03:46 AM

maddogfargo said:
Not much experience here with Micro ATX boards for me. :/  But that is an AM3+ board, so it should still work.

And it does seem to have OC options. I would look for reviews to see what other people have been able to do.

The VRU looks like a standard, solid caps, but no heatsink so don't get too crazy with your OC. Probably a good idea that you stayed in the 3.6GHz range. ;) 

Some useful info here:

http://www.overclock.net/t/946407/amd-motherboards-vrm-...


I had no problems overclocking my Phenom with my actual motherboard... Menu was simple as increasing multiplier and choosing voltage... there were other several great options such NB clock, bus speed, width... never seen these features on higher end motherboards.

Are you sure I need to upgrade my MB? :pt1cable: 
a b À AMD
July 24, 2013 9:18:07 AM

Need...no...but it is going to be a risk factor.

It looks like the TDP limit on this board is 125w. The VRU is standard. That means you cannot use a CPU with a stock TDP over 125w. It also means yout 965BE, which starts at 125w, is probably pulling 130w OCd. This is very risky. You could blow your VRU if it overheats.

The good news is, if you upgrade to a FX 6300, that is a 95w CPU. You CAN OC it and still stay below the 125w limit. But you need to be careful. Know what the TDP of a given OC setting is before you push it on that board.

For example, an FX 6300 @ 4.5 GHz may be 125w. But the additional voltage to do 4.6-5.0GHz may push you into 140w+ territory. After a few weeks or months of that you may smell smoke, hear a pop, and end up with a dead PC.

This is why the 970 and 990 boards are better. Not just the BIOS settings but the more robust VRUs.
July 24, 2013 9:21:39 AM

Technically no, but it would be the smartest choice. Your current MB can only handle 95W CPU's meaning, the FX83xx series is out of the question.

Newer boards also have USB 3.0, PCIe 3.0, and are subject to SLI and Crossfire. Overall, doing that would be better in the long run.
July 24, 2013 9:29:44 AM

I have heard that FX processor series have "fake" cores, per example, the FX 6300 would have 3 cores and 6 threads. If this is true, Im going to stick to the Phenom, which haves 4 real confirmed cores, and look about a motherboard. Please confirm me this as will be my solution probably.
a b À AMD
July 24, 2013 9:46:13 AM

Newer motherboards have split power planes and more functional VRM.

If you look through your manual, note there is no adjustment for your NB volts. Note:

Quote:
NB Frequency Multiplier
For safety and system stability, it is not recommended to adjust the value of
this item


Quote:
HT Bus Speed
This feature allows you selecting Hyper-Transport bus speed. Configuration
options: [Auto], [x1 200MHz] to [x8 1600MHz]


Your NB is limited to 10x, or 2000MHz. Your HT link speed is limited to 8x, or 1600MHz. The NB/HT link is the connection from your integrated memory controller to your RAMs.

Because of these limitations, your issues are memory bandwidth and latency. This really helps boost the performance on AMD processors and seriously improves your game play. The stock NB speed on the FX-series is 2200MHz, and 2000MHz on the PhIIs.

Your memory speed cannot 'technically' exceed that of your HT link speed, so that realistically limits you to 1600MHz DDR3.

I posted a question regarding availability of mATX AM3+ motherboards for you over at the Giga-Byte Q&A Thread

edit:
PandaBear270 said:
I have heard that FX processor series have "fake" cores, per example, the FX 6300 would have 3 cores and 6 threads. If this is true, Im going to stick to the Phenom, which haves 4 real confirmed cores, and look about a motherboard. Please confirm me this as will be my solution probably.


Intel Fanboy BS :pfff: 

July 24, 2013 9:49:51 AM

What about Asus M5A78L-M? Its MicroATX and looks good. 65 €

Best solution

July 24, 2013 10:01:19 AM
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PandaBear270 said:
I have heard that FX processor series have "fake" cores, per example, the FX 6300 would have 3 cores and 6 threads. If this is true, Im going to stick to the Phenom, which haves 4 real confirmed cores, and look about a motherboard. Please confirm me this as will be my solution probably.


Quote:
Intel Fanboy BS :pfff: 


Actually, it's not that far from the truth.

Not really "fake" but somewhere close to that. Basically, it has 3 cores, with 2 MODULES in each core, leading to about 3 REAL cores and 6 Modules. I believe a module is about 0.75 an actual core or something, but I can be mistaken.

That was the case with Zambezi (FX 41XX, 61XX, 81XX), but the architecure has gotten better with Vishera (43XX, 63XX, 83XX) and they're worth the money. I know it still uses modules, but I'm positive that they're faster per clock and core.

And the Asus board you named is pretty good. I'm using it for my FX 6300 Build and it supports the 8350. Though, I wouldn't consider it an upgrade.

Get the graphics card now and save the rest. If you need to upgrade your CPU later, you have cash for a new motherboard to go with it.
a b À AMD
July 24, 2013 12:45:42 PM

nsahawks7 said:
PandaBear270 said:
I have heard that FX processor series have "fake" cores, per example, the FX 6300 would have 3 cores and 6 threads. If this is true, Im going to stick to the Phenom, which haves 4 real confirmed cores, and look about a motherboard. Please confirm me this as will be my solution probably.


Quote:
Intel Fanboy BS :pfff: 


Actually, it's not that far from the truth.

Not really "fake" but somewhere close to that. Basically, it has 3 cores, with 2 MODULES in each core, leading to about 3 REAL cores and 6 Modules. I believe a module is about 0.75 an actual core or something, but I can be mistaken.

That was the case with Zambezi (FX 41XX, 61XX, 81XX), but the architecure has gotten better with Vishera (43XX, 63XX, 83XX) and they're worth the money. I know it still uses modules, but I'm positive that they're faster per clock and core.

And the Asus board you named is pretty good. I'm using it for my FX 6300 Build and it supports the 8350. Though, I wouldn't consider it an upgrade.

Get the graphics card now and save the rest. If you need to upgrade your CPU later, you have cash for a new motherboard to go with it.


Not even close. This dead horse has been beat enough. You can't even get the description correct.

There are two integer cores per module ...



July 24, 2013 1:28:40 PM

Wisecracker said:
nsahawks7 said:
PandaBear270 said:
I have heard that FX processor series have "fake" cores, per example, the FX 6300 would have 3 cores and 6 threads. If this is true, Im going to stick to the Phenom, which haves 4 real confirmed cores, and look about a motherboard. Please confirm me this as will be my solution probably.


Quote:
Intel Fanboy BS :pfff: 


Actually, it's not that far from the truth.

Not really "fake" but somewhere close to that. Basically, it has 3 cores, with 2 MODULES in each core, leading to about 3 REAL cores and 6 Modules. I believe a module is about 0.75 an actual core or something, but I can be mistaken.

That was the case with Zambezi (FX 41XX, 61XX, 81XX), but the architecure has gotten better with Vishera (43XX, 63XX, 83XX) and they're worth the money. I know it still uses modules, but I'm positive that they're faster per clock and core.

And the Asus board you named is pretty good. I'm using it for my FX 6300 Build and it supports the 8350. Though, I wouldn't consider it an upgrade.

Get the graphics card now and save the rest. If you need to upgrade your CPU later, you have cash for a new motherboard to go with it.


Not even close. This dead horse has been beat enough. You can't even get the description correct.

There are two integer cores per module ...





I knew something was off.
Yeah, my fault. I knew I had something mixed up - sorry guys.
!