Opening the upgrade path from Phenom II X4

I currently have Phenom II X4 965 OCed to 3,8 GHz with 2,4 GHz NB clock paired with 8 GB DDR3 1600 memory. It's running fine for now, but the road to any major upgrades in CPU department is closed as I have mainstream AM3 mobo (GA-870A-UD3).

As I'm on a budget I consider either buying the AM3+ mobo (990X of some kind) and staying with current CPU for now or changing platform to i3 2120 on LGA1155 with Z77 mobo. Then I may upgrade either to Piledriver (or whatever comes next) or to IB i5 or even i7 of some kind, buy new GPU etc.

I would like to change mobo because I need front panel USB (and in AM3+ case maybe CPU will clock better?).

My questions are:

Will i3 2120 perform at least equal to my current Phenom? Which upgrade path seems more sensible (AM3+ one is nicer budget-wise)?

I use my rig mainly for gaming, I play in 1680x1050 and I have GTX 460 1 GB OCed to 880/4200. I like pretty high details in games as well, but I'm not a progamer who needs 120 fps in online shooter. I plan playing GW2 though.
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  1. Hello elkatarro;

    With the Phenom II X4 965 OC'd @ 3.8Ghz I think you want to hang on to it for the next few months.
    I don't think the i3-2120 is enough of an upgrade to make the jump just now.
  2. From the THG article: Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: April 2012
    Gaming CPU Hierarchy Chart
    THG suggests that a 3 tier move up is about right for CPU upgrading.
    Going from Phenom II X4 965 to Core i3-2120 is just a 2 tier move.

    CPU benchmark comparisons:
    AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE - 3.4GHz vs Core i3 2100 - 3.1GHz i3-2120 3.3Ghz not yet in database
  3. elkatarro said:
    I currently have Phenom II X4 965 OCed to 3,8 GHz with 2,4 GHz NB clock paired with 8 GB DDR3 1600 memory. It's running fine for now, but the road to any major upgrades in CPU department is closed as I have mainstream AM3 mobo (GA-870A-UD3).

    As I'm on a budget I consider either buying the AM3+ mobo (990X of some kind) and staying with current CPU for now or changing platform to i3 2120 on LGA1155 with Z77 mobo. Then I may upgrade either to Piledriver (or whatever comes next) or to IB i5 or even i7 of some kind, buy new GPU etc.

    I would like to change mobo because I need front panel USB (and in AM3+ case maybe CPU will clock better?).

    My questions are:

    Will i3 2120 perform at least equal to my current Phenom? Which upgrade path seems more sensible (AM3+ one is nicer budget-wise)?

    I use my rig mainly for gaming, I play in 1680x1050 and I have GTX 460 1 GB OCed to 880/4200. I like pretty high details in games as well, but I'm not a progamer who needs 120 fps in online shooter. I plan playing GW2 though.


    I don't recommend you to buy an AM3+ mobo to open path for a future upgrade. Basically: You will spend money and won't have any gains.
    Just do the change if you will actually change CPU. Also, considering that bulldozer isn't that good for gaming, and there's a recent rumor that piledriver will use a new socket (FM2). Going AM3+ is waste money.

    Basically:
    Stick with your rig. Then, and only then you need more speed, change your whole plataform either to LGA1155 (Ivybridge), LGA 1150 (Haswell, the next in line intel cpu upgrade) or Piledriver/Piledriver upgrade in FM2
  4. Though I wouldnt buy a new mobo until i need a new CPU its actually reasonable to assume there will be piledriver AM3+. Piledriver on FM2 is to replace Llano APU its called trinity.

    If you look at the roadmap linked here
    http://ir.amd.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=74093&p=irol-2012analystday

    There is "vishera" labeled as a CPU not APU now it doesn't say the socket but if you scroll down to the Delhi chip which is the PD CPU for servers that is shown as AM3+ so it would be a pretty safe bet to assume vishera will also use AM3+
  5. Thanks for your advice, guys.

    I think I will indeed stay for a while longer with Phenom and even the current mobo.

    What do you think about upgrading the GPU to Radeon 7870 class of power? Will it be seriously limited by my Phenom or everything will be fine untill Haswell?
  6. just hang on to what you have till you can afford an i5 2500k, there is nothing else out there that would be a worth while upgrade from what you have. None of what amd has to offer in their FX series is better than the 965 for gaming, and the i3 2120 would be on par for the most part, better for some games, worse for others. as others have said, a GPU upgrade would be more of an advantage.
  7. elkatarro said:
    What do you think about upgrading the GPU to Radeon 7870 class of power? Will it be seriously limited by my Phenom or everything will be fine untill Haswell?
    No problems upgrading to a 7870. It's probably more than you need for 1680x1050 resolution in most games.
    The Phenom II X4 965 is a good match in CPU performance for a HD 7870 class GPU.
  8. AM3+ will give you the upgrade path to Bulldozer and Piledriver, though you should only buy that if you know you are going to go with the new Piledriver CPU when it is released, until then keep your existing rig. Rather upgrade your GPU if you must upgrade something.
  9. Thank you lot once again. Awesome community here - you helped me decide more than you can imagine! :)

    I gonna stick to my rig as it is quite ok for now, save up some cash and see how the situation looks in a few months.
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