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Phenom II 960T, worth it?

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November 21, 2011 7:32:46 PM

Well, I was going to get a quad-core 965, but my dad urges me to get a 6-core processor for more futureproof when more programs will use more cores, and for processing power applications. Thing is, the x6 processors cost a lot, and to get a good one would cost at least $150, (I don't buy OEM stuff due to the very short warranties)


So, I saw that the 960T has the chance of unlocking to six-core, is it worth it? Here are my main concerns:

Does it have the same overclocking abilities as, let's say, a 955?
Would I be able to reach 4GHz on Quad-core or Six-core with a H212+?
Is it worth it?
Differences between the normal Deneb x4s?
I hear something about limited overclocking, is this true?
Does this have an unlocked multiplier?

Don't need to answer all these questions at once, it'd be great if you guys could just answer one of them.

More about : phenom 960t worth

November 21, 2011 7:42:32 PM

It's a black edition so the multiplier is unlocked. People have reached 4GHz on this CPU with the 212+, but you may look into getting the newer Hyper Evo. I am thinking about getting the Evo for my 1055T.

Also to consider if it doesn't unlock you would have gotten a better deal at $125 for a X4 965.
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November 21, 2011 8:20:16 PM

Thanks man, anyone else have some input?
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November 21, 2011 8:54:50 PM

I got a 1090T off e-bay for 142 shipped and it is running 3.6 with the stock cooler till my water cooler shows up. I would really say get the 6 core if your going to go AMD. But if this is a gaming computer go Intel it will destroy even the 6 core amd's....

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November 21, 2011 9:08:38 PM

^yes, uses?
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November 21, 2011 9:16:44 PM

Sure Intel 2500k will beat the Thubans but do you really need 90fps over 75? Amd quad is fine for gaming. Until consoles upgrade to more than 4 cores there wont be many games that will use 6 or more.
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November 21, 2011 9:18:20 PM

^Depends on the game and, more so, on the GPU. AMD (minus FX) is fine up until about the 570 level. After that, you'll just need Intel. In games like Skyrim, you'll need Intel earlier.
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November 21, 2011 10:44:46 PM

was looking for some benchmarks on this chip with it fully overclocked. cpu freq and imc maxed, the benchmarks i saw on toms were all stock speeds. was interesting on that benchmark to see the 1090t beat the i7 975 extreme in the handbreak benchmark.
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November 21, 2011 10:54:59 PM

Main use is gaming, haha :p . But a lot of other tasks though from time to time. I'll be using 6870, any noticeable bottlenecks?
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November 21, 2011 11:08:08 PM

Nah, that'll work. 4gb RAM or more? 8 would be nice, but 4 would be fine.
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November 22, 2011 12:23:25 AM

I have seen this in quite a few threads and I don't understand it:

"the 960T has the chance of unlocking to six-core"

If it is a quad-core how can you have six??

P.S. sorry for interrupting
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November 22, 2011 12:27:46 AM

8GB DDR3 1333mhz

The only thing I'm worried about is that people say games are more CPU intensive at lower resolutions, I'm running at 1440x900 :/ .
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November 22, 2011 12:34:13 AM

kajabla said:
^Depends on the game and, more so, on the GPU. AMD (minus FX) is fine up until about the 570 level. After that, you'll just need Intel. In games like Skyrim, you'll need Intel earlier.



I have dual EVGA GTX580 Hydro's in SLI clocked @ 850/2100 running on a AM3+ Phenom II X4 980 @4.2 and have yet to see anything under 60fps. Monitor is a Acer 1920X1080x120. Very few games these days will actually use more then 2~3 cores of any platform and I don't really see that changing much in the next two years or so.

Only game I've run into that was CPU limited was SC2 and that's entirely due to it's design. Single player with 7 AI's means tens of thousands of AI and unit calculations per second, and its only using two cores for that. On top of that it's using the Havok physics engine, meaning all physics calculations are being done in the CPU rather then using the vastly superior vector processors inside GPUs. "FPS" is a poor performance metric for a RTS, they really should create a new one, maybe "AI Calculations per second" or something.

Anyhow, on topic. I'd go for the 965 BE at a minimum. It should hit 3.8~3.9Ghz on air. No current need for six cores, and within two ~ three years you should be looking to replace your platform. And since your asking about a specific CPU I'm assuming you already have the rest of the system running and are looking for an upgrade part.
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November 22, 2011 12:45:39 AM

songorocosongo said:
I have seen this in quite a few threads and I don't understand it:

"the 960T has the chance of unlocking to six-core"

If it is a quad-core how can you have six??

P.S. sorry for interrupting



Zosma is the codename for the core design of the 960T, it is based on the Thuban design (AMD's 6-core technology) and because of this design it has the chance of unlocking its 6 functional cores. AMD is selling these processors with 2 cores locked for reasons like expected manufacturing defects etc. Each processor is guaranteed to have 4 functional cores, and there is a chance that 2 more can be unlocked, but it isn't guaranteed.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-x4-960t-z...
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November 22, 2011 12:52:04 AM

palladin9479 said:
I have dual EVGA GTX580 Hydro's in SLI clocked @ 850/2100 running on a AM3+ Phenom II X4 980 @4.2 and have yet to see anything under 60fps. Monitor is a Acer 1920X1080x120. Very few games these days will actually use more then 2~3 cores of any platform and I don't really see that changing much in the next two years or so.

Only game I've run into that was CPU limited was SC2 and that's entirely due to it's design. Single player with 7 AI's means tens of thousands of AI and unit calculations per second, and its only using two cores for that. On top of that it's using the Havok physics engine, meaning all physics calculations are being done in the CPU rather then using the vastly superior vector processors inside GPUs. "FPS" is a poor performance metric for a RTS, they really should create a new one, maybe "AI Calculations per second" or something.

Anyhow, on topic. I'd go for the 965 BE at a minimum. It should hit 3.8~3.9Ghz on air. No current need for six cores, and within two ~ three years you should be looking to replace your platform. And since your asking about a specific CPU I'm assuming you already have the rest of the system running and are looking for an upgrade part.


agreed 100%, I run the 980 as well and even at stock clocks I can crank SC2 to Ultra with no issues. Unless you have the processor, talking about its limitations in certain situations is foolish.

Yes, Deneb is aging, a 2-3 year upgrade schedule right now is optimal if you are purchasing one, but with an AM3+ motherboard for a reasonable price you can go to PD or its successor which will most likely be on the AM3+ platform. I always buy AMD, partially because I upgrade relatively frequently.
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November 22, 2011 12:53:49 AM

songorocosongo said:
I have seen this in quite a few threads and I don't understand it:

"the 960T has the chance of unlocking to six-core"

If it is a quad-core how can you have six??

P.S. sorry for interrupting


It can have 6 because the Phenom II X4 960T is manufactured as a Phenom II X6 "Thuban die" and has 2 cores disabled. AMD does things like this to make use of chips that have faulty cores so they can still sell it for less rather than throw it away, but to meet demand for a particular product they disable cores on functional X6 processors. So when you buy a Phenom 960T, you may have one with a faulty core or 2, or you could have one with 6 working cores. Most AMD motherboards have options in the BIOS for core unlocking, it's just a gamble. AMD has a large number of processors with locked cores.
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November 22, 2011 1:03:03 AM

This is only good for motherboards that only support 95w models.

Also chances of unlocking are not high, so you might be setting yourself up for disapointment

Get a x6 on sale instead if you can.
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November 22, 2011 1:32:04 AM

the phenom II x6 are pointless. the phenom II x4 run faster and have better gaming performance. by the time software actually needs six cores, the phenom II x6 will be as slow as phenom I CPUs are to today's quad cores.

i would just get the phenom II x4 955 and OC it
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November 22, 2011 1:53:19 AM

palladin9479 said:
I have dual EVGA GTX580 Hydro's in SLI clocked @ 850/2100 running on a AM3+ Phenom II X4 980 @4.2 and have yet to see anything under 60fps. Monitor is a Acer 1920X1080x120. Very few games these days will actually use more then 2~3 cores of any platform and I don't really see that changing much in the next two years or so.

Only game I've run into that was CPU limited was SC2 and that's entirely due to it's design. Single player with 7 AI's means tens of thousands of AI and unit calculations per second, and its only using two cores for that. On top of that it's using the Havok physics engine, meaning all physics calculations are being done in the CPU rather then using the vastly superior vector processors inside GPUs. "FPS" is a poor performance metric for a RTS, they really should create a new one, maybe "AI Calculations per second" or something.

Anyhow, on topic. I'd go for the 965 BE at a minimum. It should hit 3.8~3.9Ghz on air. No current need for six cores, and within two ~ three years you should be looking to replace your platform. And since your asking about a specific CPU I'm assuming you already have the rest of the system running and are looking for an upgrade part.

Yes, that will work, but your 580s are severely wasted. With a nicer CPU, you'd hit 60fps on, say, Crysis 2 on Ultra with full AA, or a multi-monitor setup.
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November 22, 2011 2:03:28 AM

kajabla said:
^Depends on the game and, more so, on the GPU. AMD (minus FX) is fine up until about the 570 level. After that, you'll just need Intel. In games like Skyrim, you'll need Intel earlier.


Depends on what resolution he wants to play at. I can play skyrim on my Llano integrated graphics ~40 FPS... Albeit the settings are low, only 2x AA and 12 xAF. But just saying... lol

I would say go with the 960T since I think it is priced the same as the 955, has a lower TDP, and has the chance of unlocking. It will overclock just as nice as the 955 from what I have read.
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November 22, 2011 2:18:57 AM

kajabla said:
Yes, that will work, but your 580s are severely wasted. With a nicer CPU, you'd hit 60fps on, say, Crysis 2 on Ultra with full AA, or a multi-monitor setup.

't see anything under 60FPs with his setup. Plus, if you're already getting 60FPS, why would it matter on getting like 10FPS more with that kind of FPS? 30FPS is enough for me, but 60FPS is amazing to me.
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November 22, 2011 2:53:03 AM

kajabla said:
Yes, that will work, but your 580s are severely wasted. With a nicer CPU, you'd hit 60fps on, say, Crysis 2 on Ultra with full AA, or a multi-monitor setup.


I already do that. That's my whole point, the CPU isn't bottle necking anything, I know because on a secondary monitor I have CPU utilization and temps running. I already run at 4x AA (8X AA provides absolutely no noticeable quality difference).

Did you miss the part about a 120hz monitor? I frequently game in 3D, something that the CPU has almost zero effect on.

Bottle necking is an either/or situation, either your CPU is bottle-necking or it's not, no in between. I have yet to have my CPU bottleneck anything I do.
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November 22, 2011 11:07:04 PM

kajabla said:
^Depends on the game and, more so, on the GPU. AMD (minus FX) is fine up until about the 570 level. After that, you'll just need Intel. In games like Skyrim, you'll need Intel earlier.


? Skyrim runs excellent on my stock speed 1055T only using about 30% across all 6 cores. Imagine if I overclocked it... I dont really think cranking AA and such to max, if its not already there, would use up the 70% cpu remaining.
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November 22, 2011 11:27:04 PM

popatim said:
? Skyrim runs excellent on my stock speed 1055T only using about 30% across all 6 cores. Imagine if I overclocked it... I dont really think cranking AA and such to max, if its not already there, would use up the 70% cpu remaining.


skyrim runs fine on an AMD phenom II once you OC (FX as usual is a bust) but Intel offers a clear advantage




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November 22, 2011 11:28:37 PM

^more so 1920x1280, no doubt.
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February 12, 2012 6:43:09 PM

songorocosongo said:
I have seen this in quite a few threads and I don't understand it:

"the 960T has the chance of unlocking to six-core"

If it is a quad-core how can you have six??

P.S. sorry for interrupting

from what i have heard around the internet, is the 960T was actually the very first 6 core cpu, but it didnt own up to AMD's requirements, so they just locked 2 cores, and sold it as a x4 core.

so basically its a 6 core with 2 cores locked.
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February 16, 2012 4:58:57 PM

for $124 on newegg. buy it
i bought mine 2-14-12 and installed it in my el-cheapo AsRock nvidia 7025 with UCC enabled and instantly recognized 6 cores.
i was sweating it buying this over the 1035t on tigerdirect (sub $150 all i could afford on a cpu atm) and im glad i purchased this.
i paired it with a hyper 212 cooler and a gtx460 192bit and kept my 4gb ddr3 1333mhz and so far been playing bf3 on high settings at 1080 getting 30+fps in gun fights and was playing last night for roughly 2 hours on above mentioned settings and checked the temps. with this cooler and unlocked cores at 3ghz the cpu was sitting at 43 degrees.

i only have 1 120mm exhaust fan :) 
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