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Is it worth upgrading an AMD Athlon 2 X 3.3GHz Processor?

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April 25, 2012 7:50:52 AM

Hi Guys and Girls,

I have a pretty recent but budget built PC and now I have a bit more cash spare would like to see a few more FPS from modern games.

Ideally 60FPS...

At the moment I have a ATI 6750 GPU which I fear will not quite make the mark of the releases of the next line up of new games such as Guild Wars 2.

I think I will update this card now (although what to I have no idea :S). My question is this: "Is it worth upgrading an AMD Athlon 2 X 3.3GHz Processor? And if so, what to? A motherboard change is also an option so consider Intel advice appreciated :) .

I will be over-clocking the new CPU should your advice point me in the direction of getting a new one, so please consider that.

Now that Ivy bridge is on the way, I think that some high end processors will likely drop in price.

Budget is strictly less or equal to £300.

Thanks :) 
April 25, 2012 7:53:56 AM

Sorry, I can't edit this post :/ 

That's an Athlon II X3 3.3Ghz processor...

I tried unlocking the additional core with no success.
April 25, 2012 7:59:38 AM

Id go for a better graphics card first, you could also upgrade to a phenom II x4 (using the same board, check first though!)

If you change to intel you will probably need new CPU, Board & RAM. You would not be able to have all that and a new video card for £300.
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April 25, 2012 8:14:37 AM

Thanks :) 

I would see a fair bit of difference with the phenom then? Nay idea of how much of a difference this would make?

The £300 is just for the processor. I have enough money left to get a nice build to suit whatever processor. The real question for me is really: Is it worth it?

Thanks again.
a c 103 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 8:21:11 AM

Grab a higher level PII, 965be http://www.amazon.co.uk/AMD-HDZ965FBGMBOX-Phenom-II-965...
at that price I may even treat the Gf to an upgrade :p 
tried finding 975's but no joy sorry
they will hit 4GHz easily on a decent cooler, (Ivy isn't all that according to first reports btw)
and throw the savings onto a rocking card :) 
Moto
April 25, 2012 8:45:56 AM

I'd spend £150 on a decent GPU first and see if you get enough performance. You have a good gaming CPU, until very recently it was the best entry level gaming CPU, and should still power games fine though a mid range GPU.

You must check your PSU though in any upgrade.
a c 103 à CPUs
April 25, 2012 8:51:56 AM

joeythellama said:
I'd spend £150 on a decent GPU first and see if you get enough performance. You have a good gaming CPU, until very recently it was the best entry level gaming CPU, and should still power games fine though a mid range GPU.

YOu must check your PSU though in any upgrade as even a £



For the price of the 965 I linked he can throw £220 at a card, and thats still in his £300 budget, more than enough for a balanced rig,
I would agree on the Psu comment though, especiually clocking and with a new card
Moto
April 25, 2012 12:12:27 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
For the price of the 965 I linked he can throw £220 at a card, and thats still in his £300 budget, more than enough for a balanced rig,
I would agree on the Psu comment though, especiually clocking and with a new card
Moto


He means £300 just for the processor, he must have money to burn :) 
a b à CPUs
April 25, 2012 12:24:29 PM

haha I misread that ok £300 is alot for just the CPU if i was going to spend that much on just that 1 part i would expect to have enough to balance the rest of the rig so a total budget of around £1500. If your total is less than that I think you are dedicating to much to the CPU.

Still though thats excessive for a CPU the most expensive you need for gaming would be a i5 2500k (or IB equivalent), i7 2600k is more bragging rights than usefulness (again or IB equivalent) though both are under £300 the 2500k is under £200.

I would worry more about GPU or put this way if you want a £300 CPU but then dont plan to buy a GTX680 your priorities are wrong you would end up with an unbalanced rig or at least one with teeth that it cant use to bite.

Best thing you can ask us is what we would build with whatever your total budget is and to tell us if you have any preferences to certain makers/brands etc
April 26, 2012 8:03:24 AM

Okies, that is truly great advice. Thanks people :) 

I would be a bit broke if I spent £1500 + on a pc :p 

I was thinking of more like £500 - £750 for the whole upgrade.

I plan on putting in an SSD, A nice new GPU and a new CPU. I guess I will also need a big fan or some water-cooling gear if I want to OC the thing.

If I need a new motherboard to fit all this new stuff, then that is also an option.

I have a 550W PSU and two 500GB HDD's @ 7200RPM.

Thanks ;) 
a b à CPUs
April 26, 2012 8:13:02 AM

Your board still has mileage in it. I would stick with motos phenom II link, then the CPU cooler i listed under it and instead of the GPU I listed get a GTX 570

http://www.cclonline.com/product/64334/GV-N570OC-13I/Gr...

GTX 570

http://www.cclonline.com/product/76740/RR-212E-16PK-R1/...
CM 212+ EVO CPU cooler

http://www.amazon.co.uk/AMD-HDZ965FBGMBOX-Phenom-II-965...
CPU (Moto's link you may want to snag this before the seller realises they are £10 cheaper than anyone else)

http://www.cclonline.com/product/58355/AGT3-25SAT3-120G...
SSD

That totals at around £440.

That would be a much faster, snappier system. Like we mentioned before you can hit on or near 4GHZ with the CPU and that GPU will eat up near anything you throw at it.

It may be my tired morning eyes but i dont think you lsted your mobo just to check it is AM3? As long as it is all that will work.

Left over money well if you really want to spend it you could swap the 570 for a 680 or you could spend £120-ish on a nice full tower case.



a b à CPUs
April 26, 2012 8:28:21 AM

The GTX 570 isn't really worth recommending over a HD 7850 though.
a b à CPUs
April 26, 2012 8:37:06 AM

Depends what side the fence you sit on with GPU's

I suppose best with the GPU is wait 2 weeks when we should see more kepler (600 series) release odds are the 570 and 560 may be rendered obsolete then.
a c 103 à CPUs
April 26, 2012 11:37:39 AM

Stick with aircooling for now if the budget is limited, you can add water later and We'll be glad to help out on that over in the W/c section of overclocking

for now concentrate on getting the best you can for your initial build
Moto
April 26, 2012 7:57:42 PM

Thank you all, this is great so far.

One quick question though. I have an "ASUS M5A78L/USB3 - motherboard - ATX - Socket AM3+ - AMD 760G - Socket AM3+ http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?hl=en&q=ASUS+A...

So I think I can have either a bulldozer or a Pheonom II. As they are priced so similarly (AMD Bulldozer FX-4 Quad Core 4100 Black Edition 3.60Ghz = £88ish), I was just wondering why you are directing me towards the Pheonom? Honestly, I'm not doubtful that you are leading em in the right direction, but i'm curious about these new bulldozer chips.

Are they not all that good? Does the Pheonom OC better?

Thanks again in advance :lol: 
a c 103 à CPUs
April 27, 2012 7:35:21 AM

Because the 4100 is technically a dualcore with hyperthreading, the Phenom is a true quadcore chip,
and four real cores is better, if you go BD, get an 8xxx series model.
Moto
a b à CPUs
April 27, 2012 8:09:15 AM

The 4100 and the 6100 are not as good gaming as the Phenom II though their clocks are higher. My PIIX6 in my sig below used to outbench my 4100 when both were OC'd... I got rid of the 4100 and wish I had never bought it. Like moto said to get anything decent from an FX you need to get the 8xxx series but that then costs as much or more than a i5 2500k which outperforms it.
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