How much of an improvement would this be? (A6 3600 - A8 3850)

Here are my PC specs:

A6 - 3600 2.1 Ghz
7750 HD
6 gigs RAM

It was a stock computer that I slapped a 7750 HD on. I feel like the A6 is really weak, I lag a decent amount on Diablo 3 whereas people with my same GPU but a more powerful CPU are running it on high-max with no issues.

So here is my dilemma, I am stuck with this lousy FM1 slot unless I upgrade my mobo. The best CPU I can put on here is an A8 - 3850 (possibly 3870), how much of an improvement would it be over my current CPU? It would only cost around ~160$ because I'd have to get a new PSU. Would it be worth the money? Or should I go with an AMD Phenom II x4 965 + new Mobo? (That would be around 215$).

edit: I'm on a tight budget, anything Intel is out of the question for me unless you guys think an i3 would be better.
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about improvement 3600 3850
  1. No one? :(
  2. Best answer
    The A8-3850 is clocked at 2.8GHz, that is a 33% increase in clock speed over the A6-3600. However, even in a CPU dependent game you will not see a 1:1 ratio increase in performance. You will likely see around 20% - 25% at best performance increase.

    A Phenom II X4 965 BE will probably give you another 10% increase (at most) over a Llano A8-3850.

    If you live in the US then you can buy a...

    Llano A8-3850 for $110,

    Or, if you already have a good heatsink, then there's the OEM A8-3850 for $90

    Llano A8-3870K for $120

    Phenom II X4 965 BE for $110 (note: there is a $10 off coupon code)

    Of course if you shop around at other e-tailers you might find better prices. If you are going to have to buy a new PSU going with a Llano A8-3850, then that would also mean you need to buy a new PSU for the X4 965 BE since it uses more power.

    Naturally, the best option will be to go with the Phenom II X4 965 BE.
    + Good overclocking abilities.
    + Better CPU processing performance than Llano.
    + Ability to upgrade to PileDriver assuming the performance increase is worth it.

    - Most expensive option since you need to buy a new motherboard (along with a PSU). If those three things are included in the $215 total then that's good as long as the motherboard has good overclocking abilities and the PSU is not a piece of crap.

    Going with a Llano A8-3870K is good because
    + Relatively inexpensive upgrade
    + Overclockable as long as the motherboard supports that feature.

    - Socket FM1 is dead. There is no upgrade path after this.
    - CPU performance is a bit weak compare to Phenom II series. Assuming same clockspeed, Llano CPUs are around 6% - 10% slower.
    - You will not be taking advantage of the integrated graphic core.
  3. Best answer selected by Sladeakakevin.
  4. I would just give the a8 3870k a chance and if this is a oem comp you might still be able to overclock it with K10Sat since the K versions have unlocked multiplier. I got a Llano laptop (A8 3530mx) and if I can overclock a laptop a unlocked desktop apu should be a breeze. As for amd in general you are still stuck with a at times a sub par cpu but then again we are all faced with bloatware that makes high end i7 rigs slow to a crawl.
  5. Thank you :)

    I will most likely be going with the AM3+ mobo and Phenom II x4 965 BE. Best to be prepared for future upgrades, as you said the FM1 slot is dead.

    Thank you again :)
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