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New GPU, should I upgrade CPU to 965BE or go 2500k

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June 16, 2012 8:46:38 PM

Alright fellas. You all helped me out greatly in this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/336118-28-athlon-bott...

I purchased and installed the components listed there. In Summary a 2gb 6950, 750w PSU, and 8gb of ram. I'm still running on an athlon ii x4 630 and some whack mobo. The performance has been good. I can play high at about 40 FPS, but it does dip down to 30 in large map areas.

So I have a few questions:

1) I was looking to upgrade the CPU with a 980be, but they seemed to be discontinued. Looking at a 965, I don't know how much of an upgrade I'd really see, and then I've spent another $140 which will lead to a dead end. Does this make sense or if I find a 980 will it get me a huge improvement that will hold me over for a couple of years? Please remember, I will not be able to OC since I have a prebuilt HP system.

2) If not, then I'm thinking going over to a i5-2500k, which would require a new mobo, new case, and windows 7 retail. I then plan on using all my new stuff, plus my old HDD(1tb) and dvd/cdrom whatever.

Microcenter has a crazy deal on a 2500k right now with a mobo.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... - i5-2500k - $169.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... - windows 7 - $99.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... - asrock extreme 4 zz7 - $89.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... - antec three hundred two - $54.99 w/ rebate

If I did all this would I be looking at a huge upgrade in performance?
If I did this, what else would i have to do besides install all these components together? I know I'll have to install windows 7, but do I have to wipe out my HDD as well and start over? I've never done a build before, so give me any advice you can.

Thanks again guys!
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June 16, 2012 8:54:42 PM

The 980BE and the 2500k would both be HUGE upgrades over the Athlon II. I had the same Athlon back in the day, and am now running a 980, and the difference is night and day. I'd say try the 980 first, unless you're deadset on the 2500k. Sure the 2500k will beat a 980, but then again you'll have to essentially build an entirely new computer to support it.
June 16, 2012 9:03:14 PM

Keanu Reeves said:
The 980BE and the 2500k would both be HUGE upgrades over the Athlon II. I had the same Athlon back in the day, and am now running a 980, and the difference is night and day. I'd say try the 980 first, unless you're deadset on the 2500k. Sure the 2500k will beat a 980, but then again you'll have to essentially build an entirely new computer to support it.


Thanks Neo. Have you played bf3 with your rig? If so, what settings? Buying a 980 would save me about $300 now, I just want to make sure it's worth spending $130 on something I know is a dead end.
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June 21, 2012 2:47:36 PM

Sorry to bump, but I was hoping to get a couple more opinions. Thanks guys.
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June 21, 2012 4:06:12 PM

ocada said:
Thanks Neo. Have you played bf3 with your rig? If so, what settings? Buying a 980 would save me about $300 now, I just want to make sure it's worth spending $130 on something I know is a dead end.


No problem, take the blue pill. Anyways, yeah I play BF3 all the time on my rig (see my sig to see other specs), and at high settings at 1080p it runs smooth as butter. I can even get it up to ultra settings, but in big firefights (jets, helis, tanks, infantry battles and other awesomeness) it chugs a tiny bit. Your card also has a bit better performance than mine does, so you'll be fine.
June 23, 2012 3:52:58 AM

Honestly IMHO, you probably would see a decent jump in frame rates going to an i5-2500k, but not 400 dollars worth just yet. Keanu seems pretty confident in his answer, but it just doesn't seem like the move to a dead end CPU would be worth it. I own a phenom ii x4 955 and it OCs admirably, but at the end of the day, i would have a hard time believing you would achieve a noticible increase in frame rates over an Athlon ii x4 at stock. Just my opinion though.
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June 23, 2012 4:54:50 AM

Augray37 said:
Honestly IMHO, you probably would see a decent jump in frame rates going to an i5-2500k, but not 400 dollars worth just yet. Keanu seems pretty confident in his answer, but it just doesn't seem like the move to a dead end CPU would be worth it. I own a phenom ii x4 955 and it OCs admirably, but at the end of the day, i would have a hard time believing you would achieve a noticible increase in frame rates over an Athlon ii x4 at stock. Just my opinion though.


Upgrading my CPU from an Athlon II to the 980BE made a huge performance difference in every way. That being said, getting a 2500k will future proof him a bit more if he wanted to go that route. My frames easily jumped about 10fps or so in most games, and when 10fps is the difference between a stuttering 20fps and a solid 30fps, the upgrade is invaluable.
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June 23, 2012 1:55:53 PM

Buy the cheaper 965BE and just increase the multiplier to get 980BE speeds they are the same Chip. Or look at newegg they had some cheap 970 (OEM version no fan) there recentley..... and yes the Phenom will make a difference over the Athlon.
June 24, 2012 3:34:18 AM

I suppose I should concede to Keanu as I have not owned an Athlon II X4 AND a Phenom II X4 and therefore haven't actually seen the differences between the two firsthand. All I'll say is if it were me, looking at the benchmarks and keeping in mind that most games are limited by the GPU rather than the CPU, I would have a hard time making a 120 dollar jump to a CPU that will only provide a 10 fps max increase in relatively few games. I previously owned an Athlon II x2 Regor 250, and in that case a 120 dollar jump to a Phenom seemed a reasonable last hurrah for my AM3 system, but if you already have an Athlon II x4, I just don't see it. I'd rather put the money toward another 6950. That's just what I think though. I know there are arguments for both sides.
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