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AMD A8-3850 vs Phenom II x4 965 BE

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June 16, 2012 4:51:32 PM

I just ordered the 3850 from Newegg lets just say a little hasty before doing full on research. My dilemma is going to be if newegg accepts a return for refund for the 3850 cpu. Their site says no refund for cpu's only replacement. I would like to buy a more powerful cpu,motherboard,ram and heatsink. If anything Newegg is making out here because I will be returning those parts and getting more expensive ones (i.e phenom 965). On top of that they will charge me the 15% restock fee, I'm sure, for all returned items. Then there is the time it will take to get the new ones and return the cpu,motherboard that's on the way currently. I obviously will not be opening anything that I am returning so in my opinion they should except the return and refund and make out an extra 100 bucks total, only thing on them is shipping new stuff.

With allll that said. Is it even worth going through all the hassle detailed above to jump from the 3850 to 965? I will be using a sapphire 9650 so the on board gfx and crossfire is no use to me. That is my main consideration for possibly making the move. Having a more powerful, overclocked cpu with a high end video card seems to be overall better from my research. But is it THAT much better performance to go through the returns, reorders, refunds?

I will still be getting an aftermarket heat sink and doubling my memory. I see a lot of mixed results overclocking the 3850 but it seems its pretty stable to oc is at least a minor bit to over 3ghz, by increasing clock speed and lowering the multiplier. Anyone touch on that topic also, especially experience? If I could oc the 3850 that would make the difference in processors that much less to me, I will be using this for gaming. Thanks for any help or information in advance.

More about : amd 3850 phenom 965

a c 79 à CPUs
June 16, 2012 5:07:51 PM

Llanos are basically Athlon IIs with an onboard video processor. An Athlon II is basically a Phenom II without an L3 cache. Long and short is, really depends on what you're doing with the computer. The lacking cache can make a difference of anywhere from 5-20 percent in performance depending on what you're doing with it.

That being said, the most appropriate use of a Llano APU is for a low budget computer without a discrete graphics card. For gaming, yes you would be better off going with a Phenom II and a better graphics card.
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a b à CPUs
June 16, 2012 5:15:28 PM

As nekulturny says the Phenom is better gaming however in your case the Llano APU's onboard graphics may well be better than that old card (9650 hasn't been considered powerful for a very very long time)
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June 16, 2012 6:00:34 PM

The video card is a sapphire 6950 oc, my mistake. Would that make it any more reason to keep the 3850? Sounds to me like that better performance is going to be with the phenom. OC the 3850 make it a reason to just keep it and not return for upgrade?
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a c 79 à CPUs
June 16, 2012 6:08:12 PM

I figured you meant a 6950. Yes, I would suggest sending the llano back if this is primarily a gaming rig. Just take it as a lesson learned. The 6950 is a good card, I'd stick with it.
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a c 487 à CPUs
June 16, 2012 7:36:37 PM

You should be able to return the A8-3850 APU. You'll just be charged a 15% restocking fee.

If you have been ordering from Newegg for a while, then when you speak to customer ask them if they can waive the restocking fee if you order the Phenom II 965 instead.

I've been ordering from Newegg since they first went online back in 1998 or so and in 2002 or 2003 I ordered a motherboard which ended up not having a feature I was look for which was to undervolt the CPU. I could overvolt the CPU to overclock, but I couldn't undervolt. I spoke with customer service for a RMA to return the mobo and I ask her to place an order for a mobo (which they had in stock) that had the feature I was looking for. In the end I only had to pay return shipping.
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June 17, 2012 2:57:46 AM

Ok so I got into contact with newegg via their chat and they said they would take it unopened for refund, even said no restock fee. I am now double checking everything to make sure I get everything the best for my price range.

Do people think the 965 is the best option? I know I could get say a 955 and OC it to the same as the 965 but I also thought that the 965 and 975 handled voltage for oc better. If that is a real and the only difference I will stick with the 965be and oc that.

I am now looking for a reliable motherboard. I feel like when i read reviews most people have issues with almost every brand, but certain boards. Which is the best tested and reliable wise for the 965be.
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a c 79 à CPUs
June 17, 2012 3:06:53 AM

I think the 965 is the best Phenom II to consider, yes the 955 is fine too, but I think the 965 gives you a better base clock speed to start from when overclocking.

As far as a reliable motherboard and finding issues with almost every brand. This is typical of anything that is mass produced, theres always going to be a bad egg that slips through quality checks, true some products have a higher chance of failing than others, this is why we have warranties.

I think an Asrock 970 would be the best low-budget option for you.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Its cheap, but Asrock is a competent manufacturer. The only tradeoff is its only a 1 year warranty. Whats your max budget you're prepared to spend on a mobo?
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June 17, 2012 3:22:37 AM

The budget depends on the cpu price but under 100 preferably. On a side note, what do you know about the fx series. I heard bad things about performance but everyone who actually has it and has done reviews loves it. I am looking at the FX 6100 3.3 ghz six-core. As far as gaming performance would that offer me a better experience then the 965be? It is priced 10 dollars more then the 965 is why I ask. I also thought that amd is moving forward with am3+ so this would have future value if I got a am3+ mobo and amd stuck with that socket for future cpu's.
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a c 79 à CPUs
June 17, 2012 3:38:42 AM

My opinion on the FX series is a torn one. On one hand, from a gaming standpoint, MOST games only use 2 cores of the CPU, and are more limited by the video card than the CPU.

That being said, the "anti-FX" sentiment is to some degree a mixture of exaggeration and misinformation. But on the other hand is justified to an extent as well. The most valid concern raised was that they initially were priced far too high for the performance they offered. AMD has since dropped the price on them, some will say "well of course, because their trash". This argument is largely silly. It doesnt matter why they dropped the price of them, the fact is, they are now cheaper which puts them more on-par with their performance.

One thing you need to understand about them is they are not what they seem to be. For example the FX-6100 is marketed as a 6 core CPU. In a true sense it is not a 6 core CPU. FX series "pretend" to have twice the cores they actually do have. Sort of like Intel with their HyperThreading, granted Intel's HT is much more efficient then AMDs bulldozer cores. So for instance, for all intents and purposes, the FX-6100 is a tri-core CPU. Meanwhile the Phenom IIs are true quads.

Also, Bulldozers have a very Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde nature to them, they perform very well under heavily threaded applications, like CAD design, video editing, media encoding, etc. Unfortunately, games are not heavily threaded, pretty much the only exception to this rule currently is Battlefield 3 in multiplayer. The theory AMD has is to run the CPUs at higher clock speeds to compensate for the lacking individual core performance, which they can do. But the problem is they tend to draw a lot of power when you overclock them heavily.

The TL:D R of all this is, if you want any FX CPU, my advice is to go for the FX-8120 and overclock it, as it would give you "true" quad cores. The fact is, under overclocking conditions, it can perform just as well in gaming as the now more expensive i5-2500K

http://www.overclock.net/t/1210060/fx8120-vs-2500k-benc...
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June 17, 2012 3:44:46 AM

Yea I'm gonna stick with the 965be. I will now be moving on to the mobo, first looking at your recommendation. Then I will have to choose which 8gb of ram I want, then the computer case that's gonna fit all this and not cost too much. I can never force myself to spend too much on a case lol, but the one I just got an am returning, total p.o.s for $40.

Since you seem very knowledgeable, I have a 550w matx power supply. I got the mATX size because thats what the old mobo and case was that I am returning. Should I return the power supply and get a ATX sized one or do you think it will be fine and fit in a ATX case.
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a c 79 à CPUs
June 17, 2012 3:53:28 AM

Its hard to really go wrong with RAM, most of the reputable brands have lifetime warranties on em, but my personal recommendation would be Corsair Vengeance or Gskill Ripjawz.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As far as a case, the good thing about investing in a nice one is that you can use it forever. I personally, have an NZXT Phantom Black w/ green trim. Yes they're expensive but very well built. For a little cheaper you could consider something like a CoolerMaster Elite430 or a HAF 912, both are very decent cases under 60 dollars.

As far as my knowledge, well, I just finished my first year majoring in IT. I know enough to get myself in trouble lol. I still have a lot to learn, but I appreciate the vote of confidence. :) 

As far as the PSU, I'd be more concerned about what brand and model you went with moreso than the size of it. I honestly don't know about it fitting in the case, I have no experience to offer, so I'll refrain from comment.
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June 17, 2012 4:04:04 AM

Yea for the most part I chose a lower latency crucial ballistic 8gig ram for 60. The other brands same amounts, speed etc were about 12 dollars cheaper.

If the mobo you showed me doesn't bottleneck or whatever than I think I will go with it considering it has 4 dimm slots. I plan on overclocking is it a good mobo for that?

Here is the PSU:: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It seems decent enough. I am returning 70% of my order as it is so if someone thinks this is a "terrible" psu than I will exchange but if there is nothing bad to say about it I will keep it.
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a c 79 à CPUs
June 17, 2012 4:11:10 AM

I would send that PSU back if you can.. Its a brand I've never heard of and it has only 6 reviews form newegg. Aside from that, its insanely expensive for a 550 watt psu.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This one is on sale 50 bucks with a mail in rebate, its actually a great deal. Corsair has a much better brand reputation.

As far as the mobo, it should be fine. Asrock makes decent motherboards, my only reservation about them is how stingy they are with their warranties. I did find this one, it has a better warranty and its not much more, but either will be fine honestly:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 17, 2012 5:42:43 AM

I honestly spent way more than I wanted to but the little bits in price for each little bit more in performance before getting too serious was too tempting. If I was to spend more money on a cpu than $120 everything else around it would need to be that much better and expensive in my opinion.

I think this will perform decently in most games and I got a lot of new parts so I am much more up to date and upgrade friendly now, adding value.


1 x ($119.99) AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
$119.99

1 x ($84.99) ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$84.99

1 x ($69.99) CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
$69.99

1 x ($59.99) Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLT2KIT4G3D1608DT1TX0
$59.99

1 x ($49.99) Antec Gaming Series One Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$49.99

1 x ($29.99) COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7

1 x ($199.99) SAPPHIRE 11188-22-20G Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (OC Edition)

I also spent about $97 on windows 7 because XP doesn't support anything over dx9. Had to get a sata dvd rom $17, to be able to install windows lol. Luckily I already have a small 75gig raptor hdd for os install and a 250gig for secondary.Got a g400 $30 mouse cause my mx518 finally broke :( .

So like 750 ish and I wanted to be under 500 for sure, fml.
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a c 79 à CPUs
June 17, 2012 5:55:10 AM

Yea, that would be a very good gaming build. Should have no problem playing anything with it.

You definitely want Windows7 anyway, XP is yesterday's news. It was great while it lasted, but definitely time to go away.

I recently bought a Logitech G500 mouse myself. I've had so many wireless mice, and they keep breaking on me, I'm tired of it, ironic now you have to pay more to get a wired mouse. Such is the price we pay for technology.
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a b à CPUs
June 17, 2012 9:29:44 AM

500-750... welcome to Toms hardware where we Stretch the budget :)  ... looks like a good build though you should get a good OC off it too.

@nekulturny..... those FX benches are way way off mate they have taken games to bench and whacked the settings high so the GPU has become the limiting factor it skews the result to look favourable to FX (or less bad) they should have benched either more CPU dependent games or the games at lower graphical settings (to put more demand at the CPU).
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a c 79 à CPUs
June 17, 2012 5:18:21 PM

Wr6133,

Video cards are almost always the limiting factor in a game anyway. Metro 2033 is a very CPU dependent game, and it was included in those benches.

Startcraft II wasn't in there, nor was skyrim but I think there was a enough benches included in there to give enough viable information. Yes I have seen benches that Skyrim in particular even overclocked the FX series have a noticible difference in framerates, HOWEVER they're still more than sufficient that only the most anal videophile would notice.


Lets keep in mind that its comparing a $170 CPU (FX) to a $220 one (2500K). I think the $170 performs quite fine.
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a c 79 à CPUs
June 17, 2012 5:56:37 PM

I'd also add to my train of thought (assuming you haven't already cashed your ticket in at the station, lol), a lot of folks at tom's use this article to justify why the Bulldozers shouldn't be bought:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

But there really are problems with it, at least in my opinion.

-First and foremost, the price points are outdated, so the conclusion page really has to be taken with a large grain of salt. Its also assuming you're strictly buying a computer for games.

-I understand what they were trying to do in concept by using the most powerful video card on the market (at the time) in order to not introduce a bottleneck. But I don't consider it a real world scenario, because, come on.. Who is really going to buy a 7970, a 500+ dollar video card and pair it with most of the CPUs tested? It would be a grossly unbalanced system.

And then we come to this, this time using a GTX 580 as their test setup:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8150-zambezi-bul...

How many games should they really bench to get an a general idea? Yes, I understand more CPU intensive games gives a better view of how well the CPU can hold up, but the problem is, there are thousands of games out there, and most of them simply are not greatly CPU dependent. And generally speaking, if you can hit 60FPS in any game, chances are not only are you exceeding the frame rate of your computer monitor, but the limits of your own eye's ability to notice a difference as well.
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a b à CPUs
June 17, 2012 6:47:36 PM

Personally I think the 8120 would need to be £110 max (its now £135) as the 2500k is £160-ish the price gaps needs to be bigger than £30 to justify it especially when a gamer can buy a 965BE or a 960T for under £90
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a c 79 à CPUs
June 17, 2012 6:58:15 PM

I don't necessarily disagree with you, although I'm not really sure the US to Euro conversion on the prices. Here the 2500K is priced at $220 from Newegg, and the 8120 is priced at $170. For my personal opinion the FX-8120 is the better buy strictly between those two. Although, I'm not ignorant to the fact that most people on these forums will prefer the 2500K, so I generally stick to recommending that if budget allows.

Although I always recommend a Phenom II x4 over an i3.
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a b à CPUs
June 18, 2012 7:34:01 PM

£ pounds not euro monopoly money :)  the price difference is more or less the same for either of us (though the actual price is more here). I totally agree on the PII X4 and i3 thing though I have largely given up arguing it here. The 8120 and 2500k though I can't unless the 8120 dropped about £25 ($40-ish) I think thats the pricepoint it needs to become attractive.
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