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AMD Phenom II X4 vs. Ivy Bridge 3570k

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May 3, 2012 1:32:48 PM

My, kind of geeky, friend tells me I really need to upgrade from my AMD Phenom II X4.

I'm not really a high tech guy, and thought, why not some more opinions, so I ask you, is it REALLY worth it?
He told me I should go for the new "Ivy Bridge" processors, but what about the last generation Sandy Bridge???

- It's minded for gaming ONLY.


Thank you!! :D 
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May 3, 2012 1:34:14 PM

For gaming only - you might benefit more from a GPU upgrade than a IVB or SB CPU upgrade.
May 3, 2012 1:35:19 PM

What would that be like?
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a c 78 à CPUs
May 3, 2012 1:38:14 PM

Your geeky friend is what we call a "fanboy", hes someone who has an opinion about a product but with very limited actual knowledge of computer performance. Strictly for gaming, WR2 is correct, a video card upgrade is going to net your better gaming performance than a CPU upgrade. Do please tell your friend to not advise you to spend money on things you dont actually need.

Take Battlefield 3 for example, as you can see with a GTX 580, which is a very powerful video card, all of these CPUs are perfectly competent to provide excellent performance:
http://www.techspot.com/review/458-battlefield-3-perfor...
a c 78 à CPUs
May 3, 2012 1:43:35 PM

I'd also ask you the specs of the system you currently own. Particularly what model Phenom II what overclock setting (if any), motherboard, and how much RAM and what video card? This would give me a better idea of what kinds of performance gains you can expect from what upgrades.

On your member configuation page I see that you have a 5870, I would be looking to upgrade that and overclock your 965 if thats the system you have.
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May 3, 2012 1:46:10 PM

What games do you play where you're not satisfied with their performance?

And you might as well toss in how much you're willing to spend upgrading.
May 3, 2012 1:49:01 PM

My system is using:

Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair III motherboard
Power Supply: VX550 Watt Corsair Power Supply
Graphics Card: ATI 5870 with Accelero Xtreme cooler
RAM: 4 installed GB of DDR3 Corsair Dominator 1600mhz (8GB)*
Processor: Phenom II X4 965 running 3,8 GHZ with H70 Corsair cooler.

*My motherboard does not like having the last 4 GB in, or it goes bluescreen, weird.


Am I missing anything?
May 3, 2012 1:51:14 PM

I usually play Battlefield 3, Skyrim, World of Warcraft, TERA and other random indie games :p 
a c 78 à CPUs
May 3, 2012 1:52:32 PM

Why doesn't your motherboard like having the other 4gig stick in? Have you tried running memtest86 on the RAM? I would do that.. The other RAM stick might be defective. In which case your RAM has a lifetime warranty.

And theres nothing wrong with that configuration aside from the potential defective RAM stick, which can and should be addressed.

Once you have the RAM issue resolved, I would go into your BIOS and turn the multiplier of up to 18.5x, this would give your 965 3.7GHZ, a very slight overclock that can be done without a new CPU heatsink fan assembly, and look into upgrading your video card if you're looking for better gaming performance.
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May 3, 2012 1:52:33 PM

Have an upgrade budget/limit in mind?
May 3, 2012 1:55:35 PM

I have like 750$ to spend max.

I edited the above message.


- Also, about the RAM, theres nothing wrong with the RAM, they worked very good in my friends computer. I have 4 sticks total, but only using the 2. 2GB each.
a c 203 à CPUs
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May 3, 2012 1:58:00 PM

It's not easy finding head-to-head results with HD 5870 and more recent GPUs.
a c 78 à CPUs
May 3, 2012 1:58:16 PM

Hmm thats odd.

Well... Honestly, my opinion is theres no need to go buying a whole new system, if you have 750 bucks to spend, I think you'd be very happy with just dropping 500-600 on a GTX 680, thats the current big dog in gaming video cards, and you'd have enough left over to buy yourself a nice CPU cooler for overclocking, like a 212 Hyper evo for 35 bucks.
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May 3, 2012 1:59:07 PM

tore1992 said:
- Also, about the RAM, theres nothing wrong with the RAM, they worked very good in my friends computer. I have 4 sticks total, but only using the 2. 2GB each.
you might need to add a bit of extra voltage to get the RAM up and running.
May 3, 2012 2:00:38 PM

Can the 680 run on the 550 watt?
a c 78 à CPUs
May 3, 2012 2:02:34 PM

It should be able to yes.
May 3, 2012 2:02:45 PM

WR2 said:
you might need to add a bit of extra voltage to get the RAM up and running.


I think my friend tried that. He looked at some RAM list from the ASUS homepage. He also did some overclocking and underclocking. I think it's the motherboard, meh.

a c 203 à CPUs
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May 3, 2012 2:03:56 PM

The nice thing about about a GPU upgrade is you can keep the rest of your hardware and run your games and see if you get the performance if you want.
Then you'll have a better idea if you need a CPU upgrade too. If yes, the card moves to the new CPU/MB, which ever you pick.
a c 78 à CPUs
May 3, 2012 2:04:10 PM

It may very well be the motherboard, well 6GB is enough. So I wouldn't fret too greatly about it. If the motherboard is still under warranty, I might try to contact Asus and get an RMA on it.
May 3, 2012 2:06:58 PM

RMA is too late. :-((
a c 78 à CPUs
May 3, 2012 2:08:29 PM

Meh, dont worry about it.

But whatever you decide to do, the golden rule when you have a tight budget for a gaming system, if you have to pick between a more expensive CPU and a video card, the video card is the way to go within reason of course.

If you want to upgrade to say a 2500k, you're looking at about 300-350 for it paired with a decent motherboard, and I just don't think its necessary, especially since it will cut into your video card budget.
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May 3, 2012 2:28:58 PM

Update your graphics card, I would look at a AMD Radeon HD 7950 OC card from Sapphire, probably the best Graphics card in terms of bang for buck out.
a c 78 à CPUs
May 3, 2012 2:41:02 PM

7950 wouldnt be a bad choice, either, they're a little cheaper than the 680 and almost as good and if you still insist, it would probably give you enough left over to get an Intel i5 and motherboard.
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May 3, 2012 4:04:59 PM

In agreement with nekulturny, The best bangs for the bucks is the video card upgrade.
Also currently agree about i5-2500K and a Z68 MB. For two reasons, A) The IB MBs are too new, as Ive learned the hardway you should always wait and let others DEBug the MBs B) on a clock-clock performance IB just hits the point of being able to tell the diff, and OC head room is lower. Instead of looking at the IB vs SB CPU, look at MB features to determine the best buy based on Cost differencial.

I would agree that if you do upgrade CPU/MB, Intel is a better choice, and it is NOT because of the CPU as Both will perform about equally as well in gaming.
My rational is I prefer the Intel Chipset:
.. Intel seems to come out with Update drivers quicker than AMD and generaly better. Probably because of R&D budget and Manpower. AMD has been hurt in both these areas ( Look at stock evaluations for info on this aspect ).
.. For Hardware and software 3rd party developers look at the Bottom line which is based on market shares. Ideally a 3rd party harware or software should (and in many cases does) perform equally as well on both plateforms. But we live in the non-ideal real world. The developer will most often design their product based on intel performance and let the chips fall where they may.

The two points I bring out are NOT any Fanboy - just cold hard facts.
Either system is going to be about the same if gaming is the only consideration.

But if you do upgrade - PAY close attention to the MB specs with an eye on the Future (upto 3rs).
.. Number of sata II/III slots. Sata III is NOT important for HDD, but is for Newer SSDs.
.. Number of USB 3 ports, And the MB has the 20 Pin header to connect front panel USB ports - There have been a nuber of individual that have been bitten by this.
.. pci-e slots. If you even remotely think that you will end up buying a 2nd GPU for xfire/SLI you want x8/x8 NOT x16/x4!!
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May 3, 2012 4:23:36 PM

Upgrade your video card, your 5806 can make it 1 more week, thats when the GTX 670 will be here and you can save some money if you need to get a new CPU. a Phenom 980 to be exact :) 
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May 3, 2012 4:26:26 PM

don't see why your friend would say you need an upgrade but anyway.
do you actually need an upgrade?

* If yes then as well as the GPU, think about an SSD boot drive or something as they'll speed things up nicely like launching programs and booting, also loading game levels if the game is installed on the SSD.

* Spend some on a cooler to OC if your mobo supports OCing and you feel the CPU is holding you back.
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May 3, 2012 4:29:54 PM

Rockdpm said:
Upgrade your video card, your 5806 can make it 1 more week, thats when the GTX 670 will be here and you can save some money if you need to get a new CPU. a Phenom 980 to be exact :) 



Want a 980, set the multiplier to 18.5x.. viola!, You got yourself a 980.. No CPU purchase necessary. They're identical chips. The 965 has a default multiplier of 17 (200x17=3.4GHZ), the 975 has a multiplier of 18 which equals 3.6GHZ and the 980 is 18.5=3.7GHZ.
!