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Looking for AMD Quad Core Reccomendation

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May 11, 2011 11:48:05 PM

Hello, I'm not too familiar with all the different Processor models out there, and I'm
looking for a place to start my search for a Quad Core Processor for a Gaming Computer.
Ive heard some nice things about AMD Phenom II, but I'm not sure which model I should
be looking for. x_x

So I was hoping someone who knows more about the pros and cons of the different models
could point me in the right direction to purchase one. I would truly appreciate it.
a b à CPUs
May 12, 2011 12:11:40 AM

If you insist on AMD and primarily game. The Phenom II 955 is the preferred choice. It is pretty much AMD's top gaming CPU. While you may see 965,970,980s they are all the same CPU only with a higher stock clock speed. Since all the black addition CPUs have an unlocked multiplier you do not need to pay the premium price for the higher models. Simply bump your multiplier and you will have the same chip.
May 12, 2011 12:21:51 AM

First of all you will need a compatible am3 mobo, i would recomend an asus that supports ddr3 1600mhz, 2 video cards, sata, etc so one of these should fit your budget and performance needs. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Now the brains, cpu, proccesor, well you get it. As a begginer i would HIGHLY!!!!! recomend a phenom II x4. Specificaly a 955be which is a great cpu. Dont fall for the 965 or 970 or 975 as it is just a slap on extra of 40 bucks and a simple overclock of .2 to .4 ghz overclock so go for one of these as its the best value and deal
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
Another recomendation is to upgrade to an intel sandy bridge in a year or 2 after youve got the ropes of computer parts/what to buy/ tech specs/ etc as amd has a great value deal for beggining gamers but intels solutions have finaly dropped to reasonable prices and have the extra peformance boost for more experienced gamers so yeah the 955be is the way to go at the time, goodluck and have fun!
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May 12, 2011 12:30:34 AM

also dont foget that the graphics card is another very important aspect of a gaming pc so if you have any questions about which card, nvidia or amd, what brand, etc just ask because that is another area i would have a lot of info on
May 12, 2011 1:00:54 AM

Wow thanks for all the great information! And yes I am also currently looking into purchasing a graphics card.
Any advice on that as well as on any other types of processors would be quite welcome.


I'm not really sure about which brand of of graphics card though.
a b à CPUs
May 12, 2011 1:12:40 AM

Best bang for the buck: AMD 955x4
May 12, 2011 1:51:33 AM

I also suggest the 955. If you can find it OEM (no CPU cooler) so much the better. If you do, actually, let me know where you got it, please. Since you asked about other processors, you COULD roll the dice and go for a Phenom II x2 555 BE and HOPE it unlocks to an x4. It seems you have a 70-80-ish% chance of this happening. If it does, you will have what is essentially a x4 955. This is somewhat motherboard specific and you only stand to save $30 or so. So 955. (Actually, definitely 955).

Although there are brands you should maybe watch out for, the brand (as in EVGA vs ASUS vs MSI vs Gigabyte) is less important than ATI vs Nvidia (maybe this is what you mean by brand?) and the card specs. So keep that in mind. Happy shopping.
May 12, 2011 1:51:50 AM

Well i would assume you have a gfx budget of about upper 200's or so but if not dont worry i will add some other options.
Now my #1 graphics recomedation is a amd radeon hd 6950-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
this specificly becuase it has a bios switch which mean syou can unlock the shaders so its a 90 dollar upgrade free and brings it to the level of a 6970 but at the time its hard to come across the unlockable reference model so if by the time you buy your parts and this isnt restocked go for a gtx 560ti from nvidia preferably on of these brands http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... and if youve got a tighter budget this would be recomended
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
and if your a rich little white boy (hahahahah) smack one of these on your motherboard (just make sure your case adn motherboard would have the space for these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

so those are the basic cards but if you can give me more info on what games you want to play, at what settings, what monitor resolution, budget, and what kind of case and motherboard if you have any idea as these all make huge differences, if you give me your budget for your parts and your total budget i could really help you out in not getting screwed by bestbuy who sells $#!t computers for ridicoulous prices so give me a budget and in 15 minutes i can wrack out a great rig
May 12, 2011 4:52:10 AM

Again, thanks for the information everyone. And its very kind of you sofyanator to help me out beyond what I initially asked about. I'm currently trying to replace my current computer. Which is a laptop with integraded graphics I got years ago. x_x

I mostly play MMOs like WoW and FFXII, and I'm finding I can't really play some of the newer ones with my current
machine, which was decent gaming a few years ago. I don't really need a computer that will let me play high
end games at max settings or anything. Just one that I can play modern games with decent framerates, (not that
high framerates and great graphics wouldnt be welcome xD). My monitor resolution is 1280x1024 and my budget is about $1k, and I haven't purchased anything yet. So I'm open
to any potential options.

Again, thanks for helping.
a b à CPUs
May 12, 2011 6:24:34 AM

You might consider waiting since rumors are that next month AMD will be releasing their new Bulldozer line CPU's.
See here
http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/3289950/Re...

and at the top of the page here at Tom's Hardware.
No specific benchmarks as of yet but we will probably see them next month.
Prices on the Phenom II line will still probably be dropping as this CPU is phased out over time.
a b à CPUs
May 12, 2011 6:40:36 AM

One of the big plusses with the AMD X4 955BE is that with a pretty standard cooler you can easily overclock with just a simple multiplier adjustment.
Mine for instance is set to 19 (from stock 16) and is running brilliantly at 3,8Ghz without any big heat issue's.
My cooler is a CM Hyper 212 with only one (in box) fan, fully stressed with prime95 x64 the cores never exceed 60c.
Together with my hd6850 (midrange card) i have no issue whatsoever playing any game at high and / or ultra settings.
May 12, 2011 1:49:29 PM

Okay this is build should last on your average setting games for atleast 2+ years then you could do a little upgrading to a beefier gpu and cpu later on.

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103808
CoolMaster HAF 922 99.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119197
Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V 89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139006
NZXT Sentry-2 5.25" Touch Screen fan 25.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131655
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136769
SAMSUNG Black Combo 18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827151192
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

Now for the graphics
i would personaly recomend 560ti or 6950, both great cards but for you a 560ti might be more preferable.
if you go with this card GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N560SO-1GI-950 GeForce GTX 560 Ti - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
get this mobo- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
if this card- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
buy it, and then youtube(how to unlock 6950 shaders) great deal
but if you do this mobo for good deal- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and this for OVERCLOCKING AND PEFORMANCE- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
so either way you go youl have great peformance and this will last you 2+years before it gets even close to outdated also im pretty sure this is about 800 dollars but let me duble check
May 12, 2011 1:59:04 PM

oh my bad only 738$ if you want this to last you 3.5+ years then slip in another one of your prefferd cards in sli or crossfire mode as the mobos i picked are ready for either way, so is the power supply, and it can give upto a 99% peformance increase in games, the cpu wont bottleneck it if you overclock to about 3.6ghz or higher, and it would still be in your budget at 998. or you can buy 250 dollars worth of nice gaming mouse, keyboard, and headset, or wat ever you wont for extra accesory so again, good luck.
May 12, 2011 5:31:39 PM

sofyanator said:
oh my bad only 738$ if you want this to last you 3.5+ years then slip in another one of your prefferd cards in sli or crossfire mode as the mobos i picked are ready for either way, so is the power supply, and it can give upto a 99% peformance increase in games


If you are planning on running SLI, you should go with a motherboard that supports x16 in dual mode. If you SLI the suggested motherboard, it's going slow both cards down to x8 which will reduce the benefits that you get from running SLI in the first place. It will still be (in most cases) an improvement over a single card but your scaling won't be as good - you won't be as likely to see that 99% increase without dual 16x mode. I use the following board:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you don't want to mess with two video cards then sofy's original motherboard suggestion makes more sense since it's less expensive. It all depends on your future upgrade strategy. :)  You could buy a dual x16 motherboard now along with one video card (follow sofy's guide but use a different board). Then, years from now when you decide your card can't keep up, buy second identical one and run them in SLI.

May 13, 2011 1:52:49 AM

That statement is partialy true, x8 vs x16 is a very controversial topic. Overall on many forums and reviews it has been repeatedly proven that the peformance of x16 to x8 is miniscule, as in 4-0 fps increase, dont believe me read this-
http://hardocp.com/article/2010/08/23/gtx_480_sli_pcie_... thats is at 5760x1200 resolution so dont say that "oh well x16 makes a difference at higher resolutions"
yes x16 makes a difference if your sli ing a fing 590 or 3 580s so if you would spend 40$s more for 4 to 0 fp increase thats unwise. Let it be clear i also considered recomending this board but i simply found the color scheme to.. uh... displeasing
no offense its just not verry apealing for 40$s more and a decrease in cosmetics yet a wopping 4 fps increase! but wat ever floats you rig i guess !
May 13, 2011 3:15:47 AM

I would take a lot more than you not appreciating my motherboard to offend me, man. :)  Similarly, I meant no offense in recommending a different card. I didn't assume you or Nor were up on the fun/compatibility-headache/advantage/theorycrafting/case-congestion that is SLI.

Yeah, I was over-simplifying it but I think I did acknowledge that the advantage is not universally observed. I really just wanted to make him aware of the (theoretical?) limitations of a running SLI on at 8x vs 16x and that he was aware of the whole 4x/8x/16x thing. :)  It's all kind of a moot point anyway. Looking back, it seems like 560s or 590s in SLI will be colossal overkill for the games he wants to run.
May 13, 2011 3:38:30 AM

hahahah lol, yeah well i remember a couple months ago when i was just like him, new to the beasts of a desktop. "What brand, what card, how much ram, wait ram has frequencies, what are those, 7200rpm hard drive?, wtf is a sdd, sli?, crossfire?...sounds dumb, and probaly the funniest newbie thing a did was at bestbuy " i cant find the pci express x16 slot on this laptop?, wait is 8x half the size of 16x?" those were the days, but yeah it was hard figuring out that a 16x,4x board was a piece of crap and back those days i realy appreciated that help i got from reviews and forums, i dont consider myself pro now or anything close to, i just think that these forums gave me so much help and i just want to give back.
May 13, 2011 4:29:03 PM

Thanks again, everyone who replied, you've given me a lot to think about.
I'm not really sure whether I will use sli or not. Its certainly an option to consider.
Id like to make it clear that up until recently I was a near total newb about computer hardware
beyond the basics. I just recently found out about sli, and I'm not really sure of the benefits or
requirements. And every time one of you post something I am enlightened a little more.
Sli sounds great, but at minimum all I need is to be able to make modern games playable
with decent settings with a stable framerate of at least 30-40. Perhaps higher if I can afford it.

Thanks for all of your help, I've been able to pick most of my components so far.
I'm still stuck on the graphics card though. Honestly I'm not sure what to look for in a graphics card.
No idea which features make certain cards better than others. Hopefully with more research and advice,
I'll be able to make a wise choice.

Oh by the way Sofyanator, most of your links don't seem to work.
a c 113 à CPUs
a b À AMD
May 13, 2011 9:16:12 PM

MSI 890FXA-GD65 AM3 AMD 890FX: $150 before $20 rebate
(Lookee Here)

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz: $120 before $10 gift card

Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333: $41

OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD: $105 before $15 rebate

Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB HDD: $65

Corsair 750TX 750w PSU: $110 before $10 rebate


That's $580 before $55 in in rebates or $525 . You're welcome :lol: 


Not sure what you are looking for in a case -- the CM Storm Scout is $90 before $10 rebate.

With $100 for your OS and $20 for your optical that's $890 minus $65 or $825.

I think you should consider the HIS AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB for $170 before $15 rebate -- don't really need much more than that for your monitor resolution -- and it has the juice to take you to 1920x1080 when you are ready.

I suspect by the end of the year things might get interesting, and you may start to drool over your upgrade future. You could CrossFire the HD6850 on the cheap (easily $120-$130 by then) or gaze lovingly at the new AMD Radeon 28nm 7xxx series graphic cards.

Your future looks bright :sol: 
May 15, 2011 2:21:01 AM

wierd ill try updating those links
May 15, 2011 3:10:32 AM

and again i reccomend a 560ti 47% and a his 6950 53%for the moment and all the components i reccomended (mobos for future sli or crossfire so pick amd or nvidia and for your games, you dont need a ssd, my design is for optimal peformance and durability to last you for a while if you want cheeper and temporarily >2 years then get a 550ti 0r a 6850 with a 1 pcie 16x slot mobo

ps i hope you dont mind google because my computers links are wierd sorry i tried to fix.
May 28, 2011 3:28:39 AM

just following up, so what did you end up picking and what card are you going withz/
June 2, 2011 8:48:40 PM

agreed, then you have the ceiling space for upgrading to bulldozer zambezi chips and future space for other am3+ chips, am3+ supports am3 fyi
!