Phenom II X4 965 good for my needs?

Hello everyone,

This is going to be my first PC build and I know how to do it. But I've got some questions.

At first I wanted to go with the i3570K Ivy Bridge + Arsrock Extreme4 Z77 mobo, but that's coming to approximately around $360 from where I wanna buy it.

However a Phenom II X4 965 is roughly $100 and an ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ AMD 970 is also $100. So all in all, it's coming to $200 cpu+mobo whereas on the above it's $229 processor only.

A little about me, I watch a lot of HD 1080p movies and I guess this is CPU intensive. I intend to play all latest games on atleast medium/high if not ultra at 1080p with playable FPS in the range 30-60 running smoothly with no lagging... I'm NOT a hardcore gamer looking for 3 monitor setup with 100fps on bf3 at ultra. Just some sort of a console gamer with 1 monitor :P

Games I will want to play on this setup are Skyrim, BF3, MW3, GTA 4, Max Payne 3, FIfa 13 to name a few.

As for the graphic card, I could spare about $200-250 for it to get an HD7850 with 2GB Vram or an nVidia gtx 560 or something similar.

Would I be bottlenecking the GPU with the phenom?

Should i go for the FX8120?

Also I read somewhere that having 8GB of Ram at 1600Mhz(which i will buy) is like overclocking this processor(phenom)? As I'm just starting, I will not be overclocking this soon. Maybe in the future but not for now. So what to do?
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  1. Hi, watching movies is NOT CPU intensive at all. Even 1080p movies.

    As far as the games you specifically mentioned. Yes, an Phenom II 965 will handle them fairly well. Mw3, Max Payne 3, both of them will pretty much not care at all what CPU you use. Skyrim is a little CPU intensive, but it will be fine. BF3 single player doesn't care what CPU you use, but Multiplayer likes more cores. GTA4 a lot of people say is "CPU intensive", but its also a 4 year old game. What was CPU intensive 4 years ago, isn't so much in 2012. I don't think you will have any trouble getting the FPS rates you're looking for at those settings.

    Running 1600mhz RAM is not overclocking the processor. I have 1600mhz rated RAM as well. By default it will run at 1333mhz. The speed associated with RAM is not what speed it will run, rather it is the maximum speed the manufacturer guarantees it will run stable at.. Now if you overclock the CPU at the reference clock it will overclock the RAM from that 1333mhz speed. For example, with my overclock I'm running at 1485mhz.
  2. But if you use the multplier overclocking method it won't affect the ram, check out the black edition guide in overclocking, it really isn't anything to be scared of :)
    a good aftermarket cooler and a couple of hours familiarising yourself with things and you will be able to overclock easily should you ever wish to
  3. Thank you very much for the info guys. So I could play skyrim on high without any lag or stuttering?

    I don't wanna repeat mistake I've done in the past, like cheap out on something, then in the end regret not getting what I wanted.

    For the mobo, I would either go for this one:

    or this one:

    Btw, I will defo use After market heatsink as they run cooler and are much better than stock ones. i heard amd's stock cooler is really noisy. I intend to use the budget oriented Cooler master hyper 212 evo.

    I'll use arctic silver thermal paste, and is it applied the same way like on an intel cpu?

    Another thing is that, the phenom is 125W vs 77w on the ivy 3570k, will this be an electricity consumption issue? I will keep the pc on 24/7/365 on for downloading purposes..etc, so will my electricity bill fluctuate noticeably?

    For the PSU, i intend to use an antec earthwatts 650w, will this suffice?

    I do intend to encode a bit with the processor, for e.g, 1080p bluray iso into 720p rips.

    As for overclocking, if it's easy i may do it, but it will be air cooling for now, not water cooling. Will there be significant increase in temp of my room? Which will be hotter, an i5 3570k oced or the phenom?

    I've heard the phenem 965 outperforms the fx4xxx series and by far maybe amd's best quad core processor, that's why I'm going for it, or else it would have been intel only.

    P.S All the games and FPS i.e my requirements mentioned, I intend to do them at stock speeds of the cpu and not oced, so it will be ok?

    Just wanna be able to gameplay at true 1080p butter smooth, like on my PS3, but at true 1080p, not 720p with 1080p upscaling like on consoles.
  4. Best answer
    You're welcome. Uh, I play Skyrim on my system, I played at Ultra settings 1280x1024 resolution. At Ultra settings, Skyrim depending on what you're doing can have an FPS dip, although I'm certain its my weak 550 TI causing the problem, as I've monitored my CPU usage while playing. If I drop the detail setting to High it runs perfectly smooth, and doesn't really seem any worse.

    On or about Oct 1st I'll be ordering a 1080p monitor w/ a 7870 GHZ edition video card. That should resolve the issue. I haven't moved into the 1080p world yet. You should know however, that Skyrim is a console port, meaning, the PC version is basically just re-written to work on PC. It does look nice, but don't expect it to be a huge step up from console. You can tell they didn't do much to Skryim to make it a PC version, they didnt even bother to change the menu interfaces, they definitely are made for a console controller, not a mouse + keyboard.

    As far as aftermarket coolers, I'd look at CM 212+, occasionally you seen them cheaper than the 212 evos (something like $20 vs $30) depending on if the merchant has a sale or a rebate, they perform almost identically even though the evo is the better model. The difference is something like 2 to 3c under heavy overclocks.

    As far as thermal paste, for AMD, I just put a BB size dot in the center of the CPU and use the weight of the heatsink to spread it out, the thermal compound need not cover the entire surface area of the CPU. The thermal paste that comes with CoolerMaster coolers is as good as Arctic Silver 5. So unless you already have a tube laying around, I'd save the 5 bucks.

    The Phenom IIs do indeed use more electricity than i5s. However the difference is not particularly substantial unless you overclock, then both CPUs can really ramp up the electricity, albiet the i5-3570K ends up using less power and does perform better than the Phenom II could ever dream of. Downloading does not use much system power, in fact almost no CPU usage at all, so really its a question of idle electricity usage. Under the absolute worst circumstance at least in my area where the going rate is about 10cents per killowatt hour, maybe another $20-25 bucks a year. Most likely not that high however.

    650 watts is more than enough power than you need for a single 7850 Phenom II or i5. You could get away with a good 500 watt PSU like a Corsair CX500v2 if its cheaper.

    Encoding videos will definitely favor an i5 over the Phenom II. Perhaps you might consider getting a cheaper, non-overclockable i5? You don't really need to overclock. You could look at something like an i5-3450. They have a new feature called QuickSync, for media encoding it allows the Ivy Bridge CPUs to encode media about 30% faster than Intel's prior generation Sandy Bridge, so while I don't have a bench to reference to, I'm fairly certain media encoding will effortlessly smoke Phenom II.

    Yes, the Phenom II is a better rounded CPU than FX-4xxx series. The problem with the FX series is some things they do very well in, and other things they fall flat on their face in. Phenom IIs just offer better consistency.

    Yes computers can affect the room temperature they are in, but neither will really impact it more greatly than the other.

    As far as motherboards, this one is better than both of them, although, I might be looking at a non-K i5 if you can swing it.
  5. If encoding to 720p mkv, if it takes twice/thrice the time of that of an i5 3570k, then it's alright given the price a bit more than twice on the latter. But I just wanna know it's doable quite good. Encoding is really CPU intensive, so let's say I'm encoding on the i5, will I be able to use it for browsing the net or watch a movie maybe? Or will it lag? Same for the phenom?

    Btw what you mean by media encoding will smoke the phenom ii? like use it at 100%? Will the phenom ii strive or something?

    So an HD 7850 will outperform a GTX 560?

    I wanted to do it either Intel CPU + AMD video card or AMD Processor and nvidia v card, but if it's better to go amd + amd, then np on that :P

    Only reason I'm moving from console to pc gaming is due to true 1080p possibility unlike on ps3 which upscales to 1080p
  6. nidish7 said:

    I wanted to do it either Intel CPU + AMD video card or AMD Processor and nvidia v card, but if it's better to go amd + amd, then np on that :P

    It absolutely doesn't matter if you pair NVIDIA or ATI with AMD or Intel. Not at all.

    As for which GPU, check the front page, check the benchmarks on this site, check the "GPU for the money" guide ... just reading this site, only would answer your questions.

    nidish7 said:
    Coz I will not get the same performance at pci 2.0

    Wrong. No current card can really utilize 3.0. 2.0 Is more than enough, atm.
  7. Using a PHII-X4-840 in my HTPC, way over kill, even 1080 BR rips can't don't push it hard.
  8. Normally the GPU is supposed to handle video decoding.
  9. Quote:
    . But I just wanna know it's doable quite good. Encoding is really CPU intensive, so let's say I'm encoding on the i5, will I be able to use it for browsing the net or watch a movie maybe? Or will it lag? Same for the phenom?

    No, it won't lag. I've done media encoding myself while doing other things. If necessary, the CPU will slow down the encoding process to allow it to handle whatever other task you're doing. Although, I wouldn't game while encoding media on either one. Assuming you did, yea the i5 will handle it better, but who encodes media while gaming? Its just a shot in the foot to your performance you're better off without if you're doing a first person shooter in multiplayer or something.


    Btw what you mean by media encoding will smoke the phenom ii? like use it at 100%? Will the phenom ii strive or something?

    No, it will just take longer to do on the Phenom II, I'm not sure exactly how much longer without benches.

    So an HD 7850 will outperform a GTX 560?


    The PCI 3.0 vs 2.0 thing was covered pretty well by others.
  10. Yeah lol, the HD 7850 beats the 560 handsomely XD. I will either go for the Powercolor or HIS version of the HD7850 coz the hit the sweet $200 spot. Or add some 30 bucks and get a GTX 660 2GB. Btw the non ti version seams really more affordable. What does the Ti refer to?
  11. After thinking a bit more, I don't think I'll go for more than $200-205 on the video card. So, I don't know of any HD 7870 that's hitting this price atm. Hence the 7850 is the way to go, unless someone sheds some light. I've been able to narrow it to these.

    P.s I'm tending to go with the powercolor one due to it being a bit more compact but if the HIS is better, then let me know. The HIS in the second link has a design for kids imo :P, so i'm not liking the design.

    I intend to use a HAF 912 as chassis and do not want to remove one hdd cage for additional space.
  12. Best answer selected by nidish7.
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