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AMD A8 or AMD Phenom II x4

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January 3, 2012 12:57:12 AM

Hi,

I am going to buy this CPU for my build this month. I am having a hard time deciding between the the new AMD A8-3870K @3.0Ghz and the older (but a more powerful) AMD Phenom II x4 955 @3.2Ghz.

Even though the Phenom II has more power CPU wise, I am getting an AMD Radeon HD 6870 GPU which can be paired with the 6550D on the A8 for more powerful graphics. Will the the A8-3870k paired with the 6870 (In dual graphics mode) have better gaming performance than the Phenom II x4 955 with the same GPU?

More about : amd amd phenom

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January 3, 2012 4:55:37 AM

The APU's do not pair well with bigger dedicated GPU's. AMD hasn't quite worked it out yet.

If your getting a dedicated GPU then go with the Phenom II x4 955, get the BE and OC it to 3.5~3.6, might get higher depending.

APU's are best for lightweight low-power work units or notebooks, not gaming rigs.
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January 3, 2012 7:11:29 AM

I believe the fastest AMD card that can be used for Hybrid Crossfire is the HD 6670. Anything faster (or if you install a nVidia card) and the integrated core will be disabled.

Get the Phenom II X4 before there aren't any left.
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January 3, 2012 7:47:26 AM

jaguarskx said:
I believe the fastest AMD card that can be used for Hybrid Crossfire is the HD 6670. Anything faster (or if you install a nVidia card) and the integrated core will be disabled.

Get the Phenom II X4 before there aren't any left.


^

The highest combo is A8 +6670. The result is about the level of a 6770. You will get better graphics from the 6870 + normal CPU.

January 3, 2012 2:25:51 PM

The 955BE with a possible AM3+ board, 990FX chipset, it'd be great if you can afford it.

Though you can get an i5 2500k with a p67 chipset if you want more, which infact will be better, not much in gaming though.

Get a 955BE with a nice cpu cooler and you won't regret it!
January 3, 2012 2:51:57 PM

I suggest the 960t as it has a chance of unlocking to 6 cores. As a quad it's larger die dissipates heat better then the older quads. I have got my 960t stable on stock cooling at 4GHz. It costs the same and unlike the discontinued 955 can easily be found as a retail part. Unlike the older quad the 960t also has the tbt feature.
January 3, 2012 5:09:38 PM

Okay, thanks for all your answers. I have been considering the 960t. What is the likelihood that I will be able to unlock 1 or 2 cores and keep the CPU stable? Also, is it possible to get a motherboard in the $60-$75 that can unlock the extra cores?
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January 3, 2012 5:25:11 PM

search in asrock website, they have many cheap board that support unlocking
January 3, 2012 5:27:34 PM

Okay, what about Biostar? Do the make good motherboards?
January 3, 2012 5:55:59 PM

Also, what is the is the statistical likelihood that I will be able to unlock a 960t to 5 or 6 cores?
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January 3, 2012 6:22:09 PM

iirc
2/3

if you need performance in games then 955 is better than 960t
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January 3, 2012 6:32:32 PM

kinggraves said:
^

The highest combo is A8 +6670. The result is about the level of a 6770.


I believe the actual result is something a little less powerful than a HD 6750.
January 3, 2012 6:41:21 PM

truegenius said:
iirc
2/3

if you need performance in games then 955 is better than 960t


I do need performance in games, but it will be easier to OC the 960 because it is a black edition. Also, since it has a better architecture (thuban) the performance difference is minimal(I think).
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January 3, 2012 6:51:08 PM

and since you are going for a new board then atleast a i3-2120 or i5-2500k with a board having z68 chipset is be better choice
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January 3, 2012 6:57:02 PM

955 is also availacle in black edition
955 performs better in terms of overclocking than 960t
daneb have more performance per clock in comparision to thuban
January 3, 2012 7:00:06 PM

I can't afford a CPU over $140. Although the Core i-3s do bench about the same as the 955, the 955s do better in some regards. I would love an i5, but I can't find one for less than $200. Still wondering about Biostar motherboards.
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January 3, 2012 7:19:47 PM

that model of 955 is not black edition

amd launches some cpu as locked and some as be

www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/processors/phenom-ii/Pa...

you can see (above) which are present in black edition model too (* mean black edition)

when shopping locally, you have to ask the dealer for BE

and are available online
January 3, 2012 7:23:20 PM

Okay, I don't have any local vendors that will sell a 955BE for a reasonable price, and online I have the same problem. If AMD had kept manufacturing them...


Also, Does anyone know weather Biostar makes good motherboards?
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January 3, 2012 8:27:48 PM

do you want to crossfire?
How many pci-e x16 lane you want?
Is usb 2.0 is enough for ya?
Whats your budget?
January 3, 2012 8:48:35 PM

truegenius said:
do you want to crossfire?
How many pci-e x16 lane you want?
Is usb 2.0 is enough for ya?
Whats your budget?


I do not plan to crossfire.
USB 2 is enough for me.
1 pci-e x16 is good.
My budget is between $50-$70
I also would like a hidden core unlocker.

Those motherboards are all I have found so far... If you have something better in mind please tell me.
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January 3, 2012 9:12:10 PM

i like this
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681315717...
it have 2 pcie x16 slot
1 is for your's 6870
and 2nd for nvidia gtx as phyx or a pcie ssd
and it is cheap.
Support acc (core unlocking).
Tdp upto 140w,
good for overclocking
ram upto 16gb 1600mhz

and which cpu you have choosed

note ya can use ati and nvidia card together, even a cheap 8800 can increase fps (with 6870)
January 3, 2012 9:37:34 PM

That board looks Okay, although a couple reviews say not to use it for gaming which worries me, I will look into it a bit more though. Also, one review says it does not have a core unlocker which (if I get the 960t) I would like. So, do you think this board is going to be good enough for gaming?

I thought that it was impossible to use a nividia and AMD card together. I read that those drivers were discontinued.(I assume you are suggesting a dedicated PhysX card.) Am I wrong there?
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January 3, 2012 11:37:12 PM

www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=M3A770DE

it supports acc which means you can unlock cores

it support cpu upto 140w that means it can easily handle a unlocked cpu with increased wattage

its basics are good and looks great value for money, but since you too have researched so grab some inputs from forum's members.

Yes, i am suggesting a dedicated phyx card, nvidia have discontnued those drivers but their are some places from where you can find a patch to modify current drivers (even version 286) to combine power of ati with nvidia's phyx, and you need a low profile nvidia's phyx supported card for that, and it noticably increases performance of phyx enabled games and image edting softwares.

To use them both you need nvidia's drivers and a mod and some reading (research), no cables required (no need of crossfire or sli bridge)
January 3, 2012 11:49:27 PM

Okay, I will look into that board some, and maybe into the dedicated PhysX card. Thanks for your help!
January 4, 2012 3:44:15 PM

spaceman1701 said:
Okay, I will look into that board some, and maybe into the dedicated PhysX card. Thanks for your help!

Get the 960t as its as fast clock for clock as the other quads. Its primarily the same cores just with the added tbt feature. Many get the impression the thuban cores are slow due to the 6 cored 1100t stock is only 3.3GHz. The 960t is only 3GHz and the 955 is 3.2GHz. All you have to do is set the 960t to 16x in bios and it will match the 955 but the 955 cant match is overclock max as it would require higher bins like only the 970~980. The larger die size allow the 960t to dissipate heat better.

The likely hood of unlock is about 40% but increases over time as the process is refined. The unlocked cores isn't guaranteed but on average the overclock will far out perform the 955's in any case.

Also the ASRock motherboard has a low CPU watt max. This will limit your chances at unlock and overclock. I suggest the Gigabyte ga 970. It has SATA3 where the 770 has only SATA2, USB3.0 where the other only has USB2.0, 32GB's RAM support where the other is only 16GB's, and it can support AM3+ CPU's.

If you want a micro ATX with graphics the Gigabyte GA-880 is very good.
January 4, 2012 5:14:29 PM

elbert said:
Get the 960t as its as fast clock for clock as the other quads. Its primarily the same cores just with the added tbt feature. Many get the impression the thuban cores are slow due to the 6 cored 1100t stock is only 3.3GHz. The 960t is only 3GHz and the 955 is 3.2GHz. All you have to do is set the 960t to 16x in bios and it will match the 955 but the 955 cant match is overclock max as it would require higher bins like only the 970~980. The larger die size allow the 960t to dissipate heat better.

The likely hood of unlock is about 40% but increases over time as the process is refined. The unlocked cores isn't guaranteed but on average the overclock will far out perform the 955's in any case.

Also the ASRock motherboard has a low CPU watt max. This will limit your chances at unlock and overclock. I suggest the Gigabyte ga 970. It has SATA3 where the 770 has only SATA2, USB3.0 where the other only has USB2.0, 32GB's RAM support where the other is only 16GB's, and it can support AM3+ CPU's.

If you want a micro ATX with graphics the Gigabyte GA-880 is very good.

Both those Motherboards are above my budget. I was thinking bout this one though. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The only problem is I don't know if it supports a hidden core unlocker.

I don't know what I will do for a CPU yet... will the 960t OC to 3.2 GHzs even with the stock cooler?
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January 4, 2012 5:23:39 PM

3.2!
It can get 3.5 witi stock cooler
if you like 960t, then you can have it, its not a that bad cpu though and if luck is yours, but it have less performance corwise compared to 955
January 4, 2012 5:25:07 PM

truegenius said:
3.2!
It can get 3.5 witi stock cooler
if you like 960t, then you can have it, its not a that bad cpu though and if luck is yours, but it have less performance corwise compared to 955

Okay, well I am considering both CPU's still, it is just that the 960t is $20 cheaper and I am on a very tight budget.
January 4, 2012 5:42:21 PM

truegenius said:
^
what about this
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=185
955 is close to 1075t in many multithreaded tasks too

Do realize the 1090t is the same 3.2GHz and in games does better. It simple is the same core with just the tbt feature. The small advantage is in many cases the 5th core taking some windows back ground tasks off the 4th core. In the render losses its multithreading hits due to less RAM per thread. IE with 50% more RAM even these would be even.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=146
January 4, 2012 6:03:46 PM

spaceman1701 said:
Both those Motherboards are above my budget. I was thinking bout this one though. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The only problem is I don't know if it supports a hidden core unlocker.

I don't know what I will do for a CPU yet... will the 960t OC to 3.2 GHzs even with the stock cooler?

That motherboard does have ACC so yes it supports unlocking. The motherboard maker doesn't list the 1100t and states a 125W limit so I wouldn't expect it overclock well. This again could keep you from unlock a working 6 core but still you would get a good overclock as a 960t quad.

My 960t can do 4GHz on stock cooling but I back it down to 3.7GHz at 1.35volts. Using 4GHz at 1.4volts its right on the thermal limit of 61c using prime95.
January 4, 2012 9:05:29 PM

elbert said:
That motherboard does have ACC so yes it supports unlocking. The motherboard maker doesn't list the 1100t and states a 125W limit so I wouldn't expect it overclock well. This again could keep you from unlock a working 6 core but still you would get a good overclock as a 960t quad.

My 960t can do 4GHz on stock cooling but I back it down to 3.7GHz at 1.35volts. Using 4GHz at 1.4volts its right on the thermal limit of 61c using prime95.


Most of AMD's 6 core CPUs are 125w. The 960t is only 95w to begin with, so if I was lucky and unlocked 2 stable cores, it would be around 125w. Would I still have thermal headroom after that to OC though?

Also, do have a better suggestion for a motherboard? There was the ASrock one suggested earlier in this thread. Is that one my best bet?

So AMD Over Drive will allow me to unlock hidden cores?
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January 5, 2012 6:42:09 AM

its not worth the extra money
January 5, 2012 1:44:41 PM

spaceman1701 said:
Most of AMD's 6 core CPUs are 125w. The 960t is only 95w to begin with, so if I was lucky and unlocked 2 stable cores, it would be around 125w. Would I still have thermal headroom after that to OC though?

Also, do have a better suggestion for a motherboard? There was the ASrock one suggested earlier in this thread. Is that one my best bet?

So AMD Over Drive will allow me to unlock hidden cores?

Yes but the 1035t, 1055t, and 1065t are all 95watt. The 125watts are all 3GHz or higher so yes the unlocked would be 125watt unless you lowered the multiplier. The 960t is unlocked multiplier so its a pretty good deal.

Now unlocked to 6 cores I can overclock with my stock heatsink to 3.3GHz. Its right at its thermal limit with voltage set at 1.25 so I would stay on 3GHz. At 3GHz and voltage set to 1.2 mine is stable and doesn't go past 50c on stock cooling.

I can't say for sure AMD's over drive utility will work with this motherboard. I can tell you the motherboard does have to bios option ACC to allow unlocking. Now the open boxed motherboard is deactivate so its no longer a choice.

There are 2 things you shouldn't skimp on the power supply and motherboard.
January 5, 2012 2:12:21 PM

spaceman1701 said:
Oh, yeah, I was also considering this MSI motherboard. With the rebate it is $65. The only problem is I heard that AM3 MSI motherboards were defective in some way. Is this true?


EDIT: Wow, it helps to include the link! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-130-...

No but you must judge each motherboard separately. ASUS and Gigabyte are the top 2 quality motherboard makers and they often have junk motherboards.

The MSI has all the latest features but does seem to have a defect rate in the 20% range. Make sure you case supports an ATX as all your other were micro ATX but this one.
January 5, 2012 3:19:02 PM

I really can't affored to pay more than $70 for a motherboard, and I am not skimping on a PSU. My case does support ATX, I was lookin at Micro-ATX becuase of the lower prices.
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January 5, 2012 3:27:43 PM

what about that asrock board
January 5, 2012 4:04:13 PM

truegenius said:
what about that asrock board

Right now that seems like my best bet. I am just researching it more to make sure it is going to last and work.
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January 5, 2012 4:27:24 PM

it have a tdp of 125, so not good for unlocking and overclocking
January 5, 2012 5:09:11 PM

If I buy the box 960t, will I need to buy thermal grease? Or will the stuff on the stock fan be fine?
January 5, 2012 5:11:26 PM

truegenius said:
it have a tdp of 125, so not good for unlocking and overclocking

Okay, I if I just OC (or just unlock), will I have enough thermal headroom? If I get the 955 I most likely will not OC because it is not a BE, while the 960t is a BE.
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January 5, 2012 5:17:17 PM

you can overclock that 955 and
you can unlock that 960t
with that biostar board too
January 5, 2012 5:23:19 PM

truegenius said:
you can overclock that 955 and
you can unlock that 960t
with that biostar board too

Okay, thanks. Will I have to use thermal grease on a box CPU (assuming I will keep it at stock conditions), or will I have to buy aftermarket thermal grease?
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January 5, 2012 5:27:28 PM

stock heat sink comes with paste on them, so their seems no need to apply any paste
!