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Should I Upgrade to AM3+?

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Last response: in CPUs
a c 109 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 2, 2012 4:22:18 PM

Does anyone know enough about piledriver yet to say if it would be worth it? I Heard Piledriver will work on AM3+. I'd like to upgrade my motherboard to AM3+ so I can have good upgrade options. Right now I have an AM3 board and I'm using an AM3 CPU. It's a cheap board. Can't overclock more than 200mhz, no sli or crossfire options either... But I have a very nice case and power supply. I want good upgrade and overclocking options. I want the ability to use sli and crossfire too. Any advice?

More about : upgrade am3

a b à CPUs
August 2, 2012 4:32:38 PM

Simple - wait for it to come out and see what the board makers release then.

Q
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a c 257 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 2, 2012 5:53:27 PM

I would wait for Piledriver benchmarks before deciding, otherwise you risk an expensive mistake. If you're going to buy a new board anyway, I'd just go Intel. I've got a very nice 990FX mobo myself, but if my current CPU were insufficient for my uses, I'd be looking for an Intel replacement. If we're lucky, Piledriver might generally equal SB (but that's not how I'd bet); I can't imagine it will equal IB.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 6:58:20 PM

Quote:
it's not going to match Sandy Bridge either... :pfff: 

Individual core performance? no, of course not. FX-8350 up against an i5 Sandy 8 threads vs 4. Not impossible.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/a10-5800k-a8-5600k-trinit...

No HyperThreading with the i5s as you know. If PileDriver in the Trinity can hold its own with an i3 2 Core+2 HyperThreads... Well I'll wait for the benches, before I act as confident as you are.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 7:02:11 PM

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we can bet on it.....
not happening.

It already has in that Trinity bench. LOL, they're on par. Paypal me the money.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 7:06:10 PM

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not taking APU's... :p 

Deres PileDriver in dem Aye Pee Yous! :lol: 
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 7:09:36 PM

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side note:
AMD guy, read 'chromes' posting and then read mine.
and I'm the bad guy.. :/ 

I read it, I already want to smack him. I've seem him in more threads than you have I think. He comes into threads and bullies everybody while bragging about his quad Sli 680 and whatever the hell the big LGA2011 i7 is (Too lazy to look it up). It reminds me of the high school kids whos mommy bought them a Camaro and they act like they're better than those who drive around in a rusty Geo Tracker that they work for and paid for ourselves. If it sounds like I'm speaking from experience.. Well I am... :p 
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a c 109 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 2, 2012 8:18:27 PM

The main reason I want a new board is because AMD let me RMA a CPU that had broken pins. I hadn't thought to try RMA'ing until recently. After I get the CPU in I'll have all the parts I need to build a second desktop except for a motherboard. I figured I might as well upgrade to AM3+ and put my current AM3 board in the secondary desktop I'm wanting to build. It's an Athlon II X2 240 that I'll be getting. This desktop will replace a Pentium 4 3.2GHz machine.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 2, 2012 8:30:49 PM

Well, most motherboards that are still AM3 are mostly gone, the ones left are pretty much bargain bin mobos that are left from the major vendors. So yes, looking at AM3+ boards are the good option. Even with Bulldozers unimpressive performance in certain things, it would still be an upgrade from an Athlon II x2, which means if AMD delivers on their promise for 10% improvement with PileDriver (which based on Tom's benches, its looking more like 15%) then it would be worthwhile to look at an AM3+ board with decent quality.

I would suggest this one, for the price its a pretty solid board with decent overclocking capabilities, should you ever decide to take advantage of it:

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

Although with a mail in rebate currently, this one is priced the same and slighly better:

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

Even now Phenom II 965s are $110 on newegg, you might consider snatching one of those up as I don't expect them to be around in the next few months. Thats more a of a "sure bet" than gambling on PileDriver at least its known what their capabilities are.
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a c 109 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 2, 2012 9:00:12 PM

Well what I was trying to say is that in early 2011 I broke 2 pins off of my Athlon II X2 240 CPU. I didn't think I could RMA it so I bought a new CPU. I got an Athlon II X4 645. I just thought to try and RMA my old Athlon II X2 240 this month and AMD let me. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to buy an AM3+ motherboard for my current cpu and build a cheap secondary PC with spare parts. I thought that sense I'll still be able to use my current CPU plus have viable upgrade options it might be worth it to do that.
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a c 257 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 2, 2012 10:03:33 PM

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it's not going to match Sandy Bridge either... :pfff: 

That's not how I'd bet either; like I said, I'm not holding my breath.

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990 chipset = FTW..

Yeah, if you're going to stick with AMD, may as well do as well as you can.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 3, 2012 2:55:50 AM

Quote:
990 chipset = FTW..

Try as I might, I cant see the advantage of buying the 990 chipset over the 970. Maybe if you're running high end video cards in Crossfire/Sli. eh. Single video card setup, 970 chipset all day for the price. Plus I have no love for Gigabyte motherboards.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 3, 2012 3:22:54 AM

wr6133 said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

990 chipset for only a little more than the 970's


Make me happy and go for Asus. Gigabyte is forever on my *** list. I orginally had the UD5 variant of that Gigabyte board instead of the Sabertooth. It died on me 3 weeks later, called Gigabytes tech support, they were rude and stupid. To be fair, Asus probably isn't any different, but the advantage is I havent had to deal with them lol

This is cheaper anyway with mail in rebate $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And even better, you can have a Sabertooth open box for $130, yes Asus honors the warranty (which is 5 years for this particular one vs 3 for Asus' regular boards and Gigabyte:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 3, 2012 6:38:52 AM

I had read the PCFormat UK version and the opinion is that Trinity/Piledriver is 20% slower per core, I am hessitent to declare that number accurate as bulldozer is 10-15% slower and Trinity design is faster than bulldozer, its all up in air as to how good it will or will not be but let me break it down nice and easy.....If you are wanting to game it will play all games maxed out without much fuss and all the rhetoric will be a vain attempt at passing superiority complexes.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 3, 2012 6:43:46 AM

sarinaide said:
I had read the PCFormat UK version and the opinion is that Trinity/Piledriver is 20% slower per core, I am hessitent to declare that number accurate as bulldozer is 10-15% slower and Trinity design is faster than bulldozer, its all up in air as to how good it will or will not be but let me break it down nice and easy.....If you are wanting to game it will play all games maxed out without much fuss and all the rhetoric will be a vain attempt at passing superiority complexes.

Well, the one thing to take into consideration here, Trinitys like Llanos don't have an L3 cache. So thats a handicap in the i3-2100 vs Trinity Quad that PileDriver won't have. But again, yes this is all in theory until the actual PileDriver's start coming out. Its a promising preview, at least to me. Maybe I'm just engaging in wishful thinking?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a10-5800k-a8-5600k-...

Quote:
Our per-clock cycle testing suggests that the revised design, as it’s implemented on Trinity, is as much as 15% faster than Bulldozer. A quad-core Trinity-based chip will still trail a quad-core Llano APU if you hit it with a floating-point-heavy workload—but that’s to be expected, given that each of two Piledriver modules shares a floating-point unit. Fortunately for AMD, most of what we use to test taxes the architecture’s four integer cores.
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a c 640 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 3, 2012 6:47:26 AM

theonerm2 said:
Does anyone know enough about piledriver yet to say if it would be worth it? I Heard Piledriver will work on AM3+. I'd like to upgrade my motherboard to AM3+ so I can have good upgrade options.


Piledriver will use socket AM3+. However, that CPU is only estimated to be about 10% faster than the Phenom II and FX series both of which do not compete against Intel's Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs in most cases based on benchmark comparisons. AMD's CPU more or less competes with Intel's older Core 2 Duo / Quad CPUs. In some specific benchmarks the FX CPUs can compete against Intel's Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs but are basically limited to 3D rendering, video encoding and file compression / decompression.

The current Ivy Bridge Core i5/i7 CPUs are on average roughly 30% more powerful than the Core 2 Quad CPUs. Somewhat recently AMD announced each new CPU design will be 5% - 15% more powerful than the prior generation CPU so a 10% increase in performance is considered reasonable. Unfortunately, that means PileDriver will be roughly 20% slower than Intel's current offerings. That performance gap will grow in 2014 when Intel releases Hawewll in 2015.
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a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 3, 2012 6:52:19 AM

I have bounced off the wall many a times with the Intel vs AMD rhetoric to the point its become like peanut butter and jelly to me, quaint old novalty that doesn't hold much interest anymore. I don't expect AMD's contemporary Piledriver design to beat its competitors but I do expect it is going to be a lot better than the one it is replacing which would be a good proporsition for me to upgrade.

Having done my dues with Intel and AMD at the end of the day the glaring realisation is that a chip is just a chip. Synthetics will tell people x cannot do A but honestly who is not playing contemporary gaming titles maxed out on as old as Phenom II x 4's, even old Athlons are capable on certain setups of maxing out BF3 at just playable rates.

For production numbers I have found that the FX-8XXX actually excel in that environment so its a bit of a double edged sword. If I can game smoothly then I don't care if its team blue or team red.
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a c 640 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 3, 2012 7:01:48 AM

sarinaide said:
If I can game smoothly then I don't care if its team blue or team red.


Yes, my Core 2 Quad Q9450 still performs well in games. Well enough that I didn't feel the need to upgrade the CPU in the past 4 years. Next year will likely be a different matter.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 3, 2012 7:07:27 AM

jaguarskx said:
. Well enough that I didn't feel the need to upgrade the CPU in the past 4 years. Next year will likely be a different matter.


I doubt Haswell will be a huge bump (10% at best?), From what I understand Intel is looking to slash power consumption more than anything. But yes it will increase the performance gap between Intel and AMD. Even so, it has to be kept in mind that games themselves won't change much if at all. Graphics performance increases, the pictures get prettier and prettier, but the CPU side of things is still pretty stone-age in comparison.
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a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 3, 2012 7:19:18 AM

I have read that the future of games is that they will be console ports with very few exclusive PC titles, meaning that demands will be lower spec wise. Take that last night I ran BF3 64man server maxed out setting on a x6 with 6970/570 and hit 70+ FPS average, like I need more because?
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a c 640 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 3, 2012 7:31:02 AM

nekulturny said:
I doubt Haswell will be a huge bump (10% at best?), From what I understand Intel is looking to slash power consumption more than anything. But yes it will increase the performance gap between Intel and AMD. Even so, it has to be kept in mind that games themselves won't change much if at all. Graphics performance increases, the pictures get prettier and prettier, but the CPU side of things is still pretty stone-age in comparison.


As stated in other posts (but not in this thread), I will likely upgrade either next year for Haswell or in 2014 for Broadwell.

Gaming performance is not my concern. It's more about video encoding performance. I watch movies / video on the go from time to time with my Cowon S9 player which only supports Divx, XviD and WMV codecs. About 3 weeks ago I encoded a 104 minute video using VirtualDub and the XviD codec (single threaded codec) on both my laptop and desktop. The Lenovo has an i5-2410m CPU @ 2.9GHz (w/ Turbo Boost), my Q9450 is OC'ed to 3.0GHz. Using the 2 pass method of encoding for better video quality, the i5-2410m was able to encode the video in 39 minutes, the Q9450 took a bit longer at 55 minutes.

I have not directly benchmarked encoding MKV videos using Handbrake and the x.264 codec, but I do know that the i5-2410m can encode faster than my Q9450.
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a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 3, 2012 7:36:29 AM

Again different users have different purposes, the irony here is that a FX chip production wise delivers exceptional performance in that field. The OP asked whether he should upgrade to a AM3+ and yes there are benefits to that without the need of bios flashing, but also a alternative was given.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 3, 2012 7:44:25 AM

jaguarskx said:
As stated in other posts (but not in this thread), I will likely upgrade either next year for Haswell or in 2014 for Broadwell.

Gaming performance is not my concern. It's more about video encoding performance. I watch movies / video on the go from time to time with my Cowon S9 player which only supports Divx, XviD and WMV codecs. About 3 weeks ago I encoded a 104 minute video using VirtualDub and the XviD codec (single threaded codec) on both my laptop and desktop. The Lenovo has an i5-2410m CPU @ 2.9GHz (w/ Turbo Boost), my Q9450 is OC'ed to 3.0GHz. Using the 2 pass method of encoding for better video quality, the i5-2410m was able to encode the video in 39 minutes, the Q9450 took a bit longer at 55 minutes.

I have not directly benchmarked encoding MKV videos using Handbrake and the x.264 codec, but I do know that the i5-2410m can encode faster than my Q9450.

Ah I see.. Well, me I'm mainly a "casual gamer", I get into some first person shooters and strategy games every now and then. But I'm usually multitasking on my computer more than anything. Watching videos, working on school work (running office with multiple browser tabs open, etc), posting on Tom's Hardware lol, chatting, maybe playing a game while watching a video, maybe I'll archive some files once in awhile with 7zip, stuff like that. I might take a look at PileDriver after the price drop.

For now, theres nothing I can't do with my Phenom II I don't even need to overclock it. I'd consider upping to a PileDriver 8320/8350 if it shows a gainful improvement over Phenom II, but like my overclock it would merely be "Because I can" rather than a necessity. I'd like to have a stronger graphics card than my 550 TI, but I'm still running dual VGA LCD monitors, thats going to have to be addressed before a stronger graphics card is really justifiable. Plus the significant other is probably going to want a better card than his GTX 460 at some point. And since hes more a gamer than I am, it makes more sense to get him a vid card upgrade than me.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 3, 2012 10:54:13 AM

sarinaide said:
I have read that the future of games is that they will be console ports with very few exclusive PC titles, meaning that demands will be lower spec wise. Take that last night I ran BF3 64man server maxed out setting on a x6 with 6970/570 and hit 70+ FPS average, like I need more because?

Well, I really wish consoles would go the hell away. PC's have so much more potential than a console could ever have, and yet these kids with their XBox's are like leeches.

As far as console ports go though, not all of them are good news for AMD. Take Skyrim for example. Thats a console port. But, Bulldozer really takes a pretty hard hit in performance vs Sandy Bridge. Xbox360 uses a Tri-core Xenon, I assume that the tri-core coding is used in the PC version as well. I base this not only on assumption, but also because from Tom's Benches, the i5-2400 and i3-2100 (same Architecture, same clock rate) have a sizable difference in performance.
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a c 81 à CPUs
August 3, 2012 11:02:35 AM

Quote:
970 chipset only has one motherboard that runs x8/x8 in dual
990 chipset all of them do run x8/x8

the 990 chippy has more bandwidth and latency through the PCI lanes.
if running crappy CF-X when it allows for a weak x4/ connection then fine get the 970 and be happy.
it's crap though and you at least want a 990 chippy for real GPU usage.

Well, we have a different philosophy in terms of upgrade paths, as already demonstrated in other threads. I tend to look at it as, more often than not if you find your current video card is no longer up to snuff, the better option is going to be to replace it with a single better card rather than add a 2nd one. Sometimes it might be more economical to get a 2nd card, but I'm still of the opinion one should wait until they can afford the card they want to begin with so it doesn't go out of date as fast.

BTW, I'm surprised you haven't brought it up yet since I've been mulling over upgrading parts in my system thats not even a year old yet. Just to head you off at the pass, I have a use in mind for Phenom II and/or 550 TI should I upgrade either one. They wouldn't be paperweights around the house. :lol:  My dear mother is still dumbfounded why her 8 year old Dell XPS 200 desktop isn't considered "a gaming computer" in 2012. I do a build for her, she'll be happy as ***. That thing has a Smithfield Pentium D, not one of Intel's better ideas. :sarcastic: 
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a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
August 3, 2012 12:32:02 PM

nekulturny said:
Well, I really wish consoles would go the hell away. PC's have so much more potential than a console could ever have, and yet these kids with their XBox's are like leeches.

As far as console ports go though, not all of them are good news for AMD. Take Skyrim for example. Thats a console port. But, Bulldozer really takes a pretty hard hit in performance vs Sandy Bridge. Xbox360 uses a Tri-core Xenon, I assume that the tri-core coding is used in the PC version as well. I base this not only on assumption, but also because from Tom's Benches, the i5-2400 and i3-2100 (same Architecture, same clock rate) have a sizable difference in performance.



AMD will always take a hit where Intel succeeds, simply put Intels single core performance is stronger and Skyrim barely uses 2 cores. Load and overload intels cores and they suffer in comparison to the big bulldozers, but thats where the distinction is, BD was designed to be a beast of burden and not a sports car, whether by intent or bad engineering which is a pity because AMD's core design is a fantastic idea, hopefully PD will correct that and then we can look forward to Steamroller which is the one everyone wants.
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