I'm in the process of upgrading my gaming machine (mostly for Skyrim). I'm trying to choose between 2 AM3 CPU's, the Phenom II X4 965 BE and the Athlon II X4 640. As I'm trying to stay on-budget, I'll have to wait to upgrade beyond my 4GB RAM, but I'll also be upgrading to a GTX 560 Ti 1GB.
Would the Phenom II X4 965 offer a considerable performance increase over the Athlon II X4 640? This machine would be used primarily for games. I know the difference between the two is L3 cache, but I'm not really sure if the Phenom would offer a noticeable increase in performance over the Athlon.
Also, I've never bothered with overclocking, but might if there's enough benefit. I'm nearing the end of my pre-Christmas upgrade budget and I'm trying to make every dollar count.
may i ask what you're motherboards name is and would u consider intel?
and if i were you i would look at my motherboards box if it's by asus it probably has "unlock cores" which is sooo easy all you do is restart you're computer and on the start up screen there should be a motherboard name all you do is click the button that ups the cores so if you do that get a 2 core processor and unlocking it to 4 cores making it almost equally as good or even as good as a normal 4 core processor, and then o.c. to what you want if you have TurboV.
@lolzxdrofl - I would consider Intel, yes, but I'm just partial to AMD (every machine I've built since the early-mid 90's has been AMD-based). Unfortunately my motherboard doesn't have unlock capability (it's a GigaByte), and I was budgeting for at least a quad-core CPU anyway. I'll make the move to an 8-core FX eventually, but for now it just isn't in the cards.
@dirtyferret - Thank you for the reply, it was very helpful. I think I'll go with the Phenom II X4 955 now (I was just reading the CPU buyer's guide 2.0 and saw the bit about the 955). As always, I'll be trying to squeeze every last bit of life out of this machine before I upgrade again, and maybe overclocking will help while I begin looking for a better video card.