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Subject: Recommend CPU for first build: PC mag's $500 gaming PC

I'm planning to build my first computer and to follow the step by step instructions in PC mag's article "Build a Gaming PC for $500" (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2394156,00.asp)

The processor they list (AMD Athlon II X4 640) is out of stock everywhere I've checked. All the other parts I've either got already or they are on their way.

So I need a processor that will work with the Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 motherboard.

Should I keep trying to find the AMD Athlon II X4 640 processor? Or should I substitute something else and if so what?

My son and I are building this together as a father/son project. The main goals of this project are (1) to teach my son (and me!) about the components and how they fit together, and (2) to get the satisfaction of actually building a computer that works. This is why I wanted to use the exact components listed in the article.
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  1. Best answer
    I would get the PhenomII X4 960T http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103995
    It is a little more powerful and fully compatible.
  2. +1 960T

    You may get lucky and unlock to 6 cores too. Put a decent cooler on it and you can easily OC it as well.
  3. All Athlon II and PhenomII is on discontinue Pharse... Replace will be APU and FX Series..

    but if you already have GA-970A-D3 you better use FX Chip

    for you price range is FX-4100 $109 or FX-6100 $149

    Benchmark reference FX-4100 VS FX-6100 VS 960T => 4024 VS 5582 VS 3764

    CPU Support for your board
    http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=3908
  4. sonexpc said:
    All Athlon II and PhenomII is on discontinue Pharse... Replace will be APU and FX Series..

    but if you already have GA-970A-D3 you better use FX Chip

    for you price range is FX-4100 $109 or FX-6100 $149

    Benchmark reference FX-4100 VS FX-6100 VS 960T => 4024 VS 5582 VS 3764

    CPU Support for your board
    http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=3908


    DONT get a 4100 they are truly bad I have one on my HTPC. My Gaming Rig I'm on now outperforms it in everyway and the only real difference is this uses an unlocked 960T (6 cores @ 3.8GHZ) and the other uses the FX4100 (Snoozedozer), Heck the 960T at stock outperformed the Dozer build. Buying the 4100 was the biggest mistake i have made lately i should have gone with another 960T or done the Intel route. (Luckily the wife is the main user and she is impressed with games set to LOW :D )

    For your Board and around the budget of the old Athlon, the 960T is best thing about thats still readily available
  5. ^Lol at 5.1 ghz the fx 4100 isn't a bad chip for 100 dollars. Can run BF3 on ultra @ 1366 x 768 using a 560 ti. But I got rid of my FX chip, not because it was bad though.

    On topic, the 960t is good as well as the Phenom 2 965 black edition, all Phenom 2's are generally good though.
  6. Just a word of warning the board might not support FX CPU's out of the box unless the BIOS is version F6 or newer http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3908#bios
    Therefore the 960T is the best bet on top of gaming performance is better than a FX4100 or FX6100.
  7. Gigabyte paste a sticker on the box saying if its ready for snoozedozer out the factory
  8. Okay, I'm going to get the Phenom II X4 960T from newegg. Many thanks to all who responded!
  9. Best answer selected by rbelshoff.
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