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Upgrade from Athlon II X2 250?

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December 13, 2011 4:07:01 PM

Hi, guys! I am working on my first build; currently:

Motherboard: ASRock N68C-S UCC
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250
RAM: Corsair 4GB DDR3 (1600MHz)
PSU: Antec TP-550 (550W)
Graphics: XFX Radeon HD 5670 (1GB GDDR5)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit (SP1)

This is my motherboard's CPU compatibility list: http://asrock.com/mb/cpu.asp?Model=N68C-S%20UCC.

I mainly use the PC for working in Photoshop and gaming (Guild Wars mostly; I want to be able to run SWTOR and GW2 smoothly) and am considering buying a new processor in mid January 2012.

I have been unable to find an AMD Phenom II X4 955 (95W), which seems to come highly recommended around these parts, so was considering this 960T. I *think* it's compatible with my motherboard (the item model number given on Amazon UK differs slightly from that on ASRock's site).

Is the 960T compatible? If so, is it a good choice or are there better alternatives? Would I even see an appreciable increase in performance?

Many thanks!

More about : upgrade athlon 250

December 13, 2011 4:39:11 PM

Hi and thanks for your input. :) 

Unfortunately I live in the UK so can't buy from that site.

According to this page, HD96ZTWFK4DGR "is an OEM/tray microprocessor" and HD96ZTWFGRBOX "is a boxed microprocessor". The code on Amazon UK is HD96ZTWFK4DGR(BE) which is almost identical to the second no.; I assume the (BE) stands for Black Edition and was just omitted on Amazon. Or am I way off? XD
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December 13, 2011 5:02:15 PM

Yes the chip will work on your motherboard.
960t is 95 watts
The motherboard supports the 95 watt 6 core chips
there is no reason this will not work except an old version of the bios.
the 955 BE is a 125 watt chip so it is no good for you.

The two chips will also work for you.

AII x4 645 3.1 GHz 45nm SOI 2MB socket AM3 95W
AII x4 640 3.0 GHz 45nm SOI 2MB socket AM3 95W
December 13, 2011 5:20:18 PM

Thank you for the confirmation and advice! Between the 960T and the X4 chips you've suggested, spentshells, which would you consider the best in terms of performance and reliability?

Also, are the Phenom II X6s that are compatible with my board worth considering? I have read that there is little difference in terms of performance between the X4s and X6s.
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December 13, 2011 5:27:01 PM

The performance will be higher with the 960T.
960T will cost a bit more or a lot more depending on pricing in your country.

If this is a gaming machine a lower clocked 6 core (only 1 at 95W) would not help gaming as most games use no more than 2 or 3 cores and the lower clock speed will hurt performance.

I believe all AMD chips are very reliable but not all motherboards. There really isn't much reason to be concerned.
December 13, 2011 5:30:15 PM

Thank you very much. :)  In that case, I think I'll go with the 960T!
!