I'm looking to upgrade my CPU that is now about 2-3 years old. My motherboard supports the new FX CPUs too, but I read that it was worst then the phenoms for gaming. Will I see much difference going from my old phenom ii x3 720 to phenom ii x4 960T for mostly gaming?
You will not see much of a difference since most games only utilize up to 3 cores. Difference in clock speed will give a little bump and the 960T would be a little future proving. Both CPU's should though overclock well and your X3 possibly unlock a core if you have not already tried.
The easy answer is no, overclock the cpu as far as possible and as rolli mentioned try to unlock the last core. What motherboard do you have ?
I can't unlock the last core as the system would not boot, but I have my CPU overclocked to 3.4ghz right now. My motherboard is the Asus Sabertooth 990FX. I got this motherboard because I was originally planning on getting the 6 or 8 core bulldozer CPUS, but read a lot of comments about how phenom II is much better than them.
My GPU is the 5850 1gb. I plan on waiting for AMD 7000 or nvidia 600 series cards for a few months before upgrading this part.
I'm a beginner overclocker, but when I tried to unlock it I had it on default clock speeds and I believe I did increase the voltage a little bit. It wouldn't boot up and I had to remove the battery on the motherboard to reset it back to default settings.
I went from a 740be to the 960t and it is definitely noticeable. Much easier to overclock than the 740. about a 20% improvement on benchmarks. It runs cold and doesnt use a lot of voltage. I was able to unlock 5/6, normally just running 4 cores at 3.6g with no problems. With a small voltage increase, [to 1.35] and just raising the multiplier, it runs at 4.0g stable. Good chip. Try disabling single cores, my 6th wouldnt allow it to boot, but Core #4 [#'s 0-5] was good enabling 5 cores. Steal at the price.
I made the switch from an X3 to the X6 1100T recently, and I don't really see all that big of a change in gaming on Source engine, although to be fair, Source tends to be a single-thread, CPU limited engine. I have yet to test the core out for video rendering, but I think it'll be a lot, lot faster.