Wondering how much of an upgrade this would be...

I currently a AMD Anthlon II X3 445 processor 3.10 GHz, and am looking to upgrade it for a little more power out of my rig. I am looking at the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb and also the 975 version because they are both relatively cheap (109.99 and 129.99$) and have good reviews. But, before I jump into anything, I was wondering if:

1. This processor would actually be that much of an upgrade? I am building this computer to be a decent gaming machine, but to also be able to handle video editing, etc. A friend said I should upgrade my graphics card first (I'm currently running a AMD 6700 series) but have yet to have any real problems with it maxing out most games. The benchmarks I have seen on sites like cpubenchmark.net indicate about double the performance, but their benchmarking system is unknown to be and I am not sure how trustworthy those results are for my needs.

2. Would this processor be compatible with my current motherboard and power supply? I have a Gigabyte M68MT-S2 motherboard and a OCZ Modx Steampro 600 powersupply. They are both AM3 sockets, so should it not work?

3. What should I get in the way of a heatsink? I am on a budget, but really want quality stuff. I've never bought a heatsink before (one came with my computer kit I got) so I have no idea what to really look for. I'm interested in overclocking it, so I would want one that could handle that.

If you have any suggestions or comments about something else I may not be considering, please let me know. I like to do a lot of research about almost everything I buy, so would love to know everything I need to.

Thank you!
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More about wondering upgrade
  1. The only reason the phenom 2 processor would fail is if your motherboard was in need of a bios update to handle it. Which is unlikely.

    You would need to spend at least $200 on a graphics card to get a significant increase in gaming power over a 6770 or 6790.

    If you want a major gaming power increase you could upgrade to the i3-2100 or 2120 and a matching motherboard. This would cost between $170 and $190 and provide a much more significant all-around benefit than a graphics upgrade.

    A phenom 2 965 or 975 would only be as big an upgrade if you successfully overclocked the processor to over 4 ghz, which would certainly require an aftermarket cooling solution and cost almost as much.
  2. Looks like your board has the notorious 95 watt tdp limit and does not support 125watt Phenom II http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=3645
  3. He's right, if you want to upgrade your cpu you might as well jump to the i3-2120 and a cheap h61 motherboard.


    what graphics card exactly do you have?
  4. Interesting. Thank you for the insight. I failed to look at the wattage requirements of the Phenom II.

    If I wanted to squeak out a little bit more power would it be worth it to go for an i5? Something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115076.

    Would I see a substantial boost in gaming performance with the i5 over i3? Also, is there anyway to quantify the performance increase the i3 will have over my current system? I'm not very familiar with the performance levels of the different processors.

    Could you suggest a motherbaord that would handle the i5?

    Also, my graphics card is this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125396. It runs well, and I don't have many problems with it.

    Edit: Found this, which has better bench marks, for $10 more: http://cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-2400+%40+3.10GHz
  5. I5 will give you a boost, can not comment on the GPU links do not work because of period at the end of them.
  6. Sorry, the card is deactivated on Newegg, but this is it: GIGABYTE GV-R677D5-1GD Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card.

    How big is the connection between CPU and graphics performance?
  7. Your current CPU could handle a stronger card so just changing over to I5 is going to be limited increase gaming wise because of the HD6770 so gaming boost is not going to be noticeable. Over all though the I5 is a much stronger CPU.
  8. Where will I see it the most?
  9. The I5 is going to handle multitasking better and be faster running programs but to get gaming improvement a GPU upgrade would do better. If both upgrades then you would really see a difference.
  10. So, for example, I would see better performance if I was playing a game like Diablo and looking thing up on the net at the same time? Would it also help with certain programs freezing for some time when doing heavy work?
  11. It will do heavy work faster, but freezing (stuttering) under heavy workload could be lag because of lack of memory. Your X3 is capable to play D3 and browse the net at the same time!
  12. Interesting. I have 8 gigs of RAM, so I'm not seeing much of that on my computer, but do get random freezings in certain situations.

    So I've looked and found this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116505&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Processors%20-%20Desktops-_-Intel-_-19116505&AID=10440897&PID=3962334&SID= that looks like a fairly good deal...

    This one, too. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

    What would be a good motherboard to pair it with?
  13. Getting to be a little bit more than I can spend at the moment. Would there be one closer to $90-100 that would work?
  14. This looks to be a nice budget board but will not overclock so 2500K might as well be regular 2500 or the 3550. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157314
    This would go with the 2500K and is cheap after rebate http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138344
  15. The second one would be nice if it is 100% compatible with the cpu. Never heard of the brand, though. What is their reputation?

    Also, what exactly are you gaining by purchasing a more expensive motherboard??
  16. Biostar have been on the market for a long time as a budget brand, there are people on this forum that praise them and others the opposite. Often you pay extra for brand name like ASUS and Gigabyte because they know they will sell but most of the time there is higher quality components and more features/connectors.
  17. I'm assuming you'd suggest Ivy over Sandy for the same price, correct? I haven't seen anything with the same power at that price, so would that be the biggest bang for my buck?
  18. Ivy if you are not overclocking! If you want to overclock I would take the 2500K over the 3570K
  19. I'm not really that interested in overclocking. I can't think of any time I'd need more than the turboboosted i5. Can you?? (gaming, small video editing projects, etc.)
  20. No not really it is still fast at stock.
  21. Also, why the sandy over ivy for overclocking?

    Also, thank you very much for the help. You've been very informative and have given me a lot fo really great insight. One last question, though: is there anything else I need to worry about when switching platforms like this? Hard drives, power supplies, etc etc? Will anything NOT be compatible? This is the case I have (different psu) http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7328068&SRCCODE=WEBLET03SHIP&cm_mmc=Email-_-WebletMain-_-WEBLET03SHIP-_-03ship

    I'm also assuming I need a new heatsink for it, or is the stock one it comes with good enough to start with?
  22. Test have shown that SB has superior overclocking compared to IB. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-overclocking-core-i7-3770k,3198.html
    Which easily exceeds the 5% per clock performance advantage that IB has.
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