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Upgrade from old Athlon 3800+ to Phenom X4 970 Black

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October 27, 2011 2:16:51 PM

Just last night got the new Gigabyte mb, Phenom x4 970 and 8gb of dual channel ddr3 ram installed. Also upgraded the PSU to handle the new gear. I did a full reinstalled of Win 7 Ultimate, and I gotta say, I don't really notice a huge improvement over my old Athlon x2 64 3800+. Looking at the comparison benchmarks it looks like worlds of difference. Am I missing something? I have a 7200 Seagate, 250gb, for my OS drive, and 500gb Seagate for my storage drive. Maybe solid state would've been the better upgrade? I did load all of the chipset drivers off the Gigabyte cd rom. Not sure what else I could be missing.
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October 27, 2011 2:20:11 PM

What performance gains were you looking at getting? Such as, what games do you play that you dont see a difference, or what applications do you use that you dont see a huge difference? Those chips have night and day performance marks.

What PSU did you buy? Model, watts, rails.
October 27, 2011 2:25:36 PM

I'm not a big gamer (don't really play much at all), but do a good bit of video transcoding, dvd transcoding, video editing, etc. Just in general opening applications, moving about throughout the OS, I didn't see much off a difference. Kind of thought things would open faster, save faster, etc, but I guess a lot of that is reliant upon the hdd(s). The PSU I got is an Antec, 550w (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...).
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October 27, 2011 2:30:22 PM

Your psu is enough, and a decent make. Did you consult anyone before buying the Phenom IIx4? I would have went with at least the 1090T 6-core, as application purposes recquire more cores. i7 2600k would have been your best bet for an upgrade. Although much more expensive, this chip has hyper-threading, which is ideal for multi-threaded applications, or just heavy application use.
October 27, 2011 2:35:18 PM

Yeah, unfortunately I wasn't looking at spending $400-$500 for an upgrade. With $300 for the i7 alone, that threw it out pretty quickly. I was looking at ~$250 upgrade (needed mb, cpu & ram), which is why I went with the Phenom.
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October 27, 2011 3:03:20 PM

Sorry about that. Have you OC'd your cpu yet? that might give you a little boost in performance.
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October 27, 2011 3:19:24 PM

There should be a big improvement in the video transcoding etc but application load times are nearly 100% based on the drive speed.
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October 27, 2011 3:30:55 PM

So an SSD would be his best move for increased performance? If so, the Crucial M4 is the best model out there, and is remarkably affordable for what you get. either a 64Gb or the 128Gb ( i prefer this model), is where you want to be.
November 15, 2011 4:33:14 PM

So I've RMA'd the 970 and went with the i5 2500k based on the comparisons where I saw a huge difference between the two. I guess both the i5 2500k and the Phenom 970 BE came out about the same time, and roughly the same price. The i5 just killed it all over the map, in every discipline. Now the 970 is ~140 and the i5 is ~210. AMD I guess had to drop their pants due to the drastic difference in performance.

Also, although it's not quite in the budget at the moment, I think an SSD is in the near future. Quite a few options out there, and hopefully the prices continue to drop. Would like to get a decent performing 128gb in the ~$100 range. Not quite there yet.
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November 15, 2011 4:48:04 PM

I would say that you made the right decision since video editing and encoding seems to be a high priority. You can always upgrade to a SSD later on to improve load times and overall responsiveness.

Can't really recommend a SSD since I don't use one myself but you can always post a question in the Storage / Hard Drive sub-forum.
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