Looking to upgrade from a Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition for a gaming rig

I am looking to spend around 200$. I understand that CPU's usually do not bring huge performance boosts like GPUs, but at this point my processor model is nearly 7 years old. Here are the rest of my specs.

ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

I am worried my motherboard will limit my options for CPUs. Should I consider upgrading that too?
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrade phenom 965 black edition gaming rig
  1. I'd say go for the FX 6350. It's a beast CPU with six overclockable cores, and it's not expensive. It should also work with your board.
  2. Best answer
    The FX 6300 can be overclocked as hard as the FX 6350 in most cases, so if you going with 6 core system then I would recommend saving even more coin and getting the FX 6300. Your motherboard can support up to FX 8370 without problem. I wouldn't even look at the FX 9xxx series. If you are at all worried you can always do an FX 8370E as they are only 95W, but you motherboard should be able to handle the FX 8370 125W without issue. If you do more than just game and also video edit or run a lot of multimedia applications at the same time the FX 8370 would be my suggestion. I know with your motherboard overclocking would be limited but with my FX 8370 I was able to hit 5.5Ghz totally stable. They are the best binned chips that AMD has and have better power optimization and performance (slightly but still better) than the FX 8350. If you are really worried about your motherboard you can opt for the FX 8370E. At 95W you would have a lot of "cushion" so to speak on your motherboard.
  3. I would also look into getting an aftermarket CPU cooler if you don't already have one. The Hyper 212 EVO is an excellent budget minded cooler that gives excellent results.
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