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Stick with unlocked OC'd x2 555 or go with x4 960 OC

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October 23, 2012 11:14:20 PM

Hello Tom's,

I have been running my x2 555 unlocked to x4 and OC'd to 3.6 (VCore is not much over stock. It's way up right now because I was trying for 3.8, but I got to 3.6 and unlocked much lower) on an (OLLLLLD) ASRock M4A770DE for about a year now. I have had various instability issues. I haven't run Prime 95 for 24 hours yet (I know, I know) but I have had it up or an hour or so before I get impatient and want to use my machine again. I have a Xigmatek Aegir cooler, with an additional fan I stole from my wife's CoolerMaster GeminiI S HSF on the back which does a fantastic job of keeping the whole shebang cool.

I have 8GB of Kingston HyperX Blu 1600 and an MSI Hawk 7870 OC'd to 1225/1325

I primarily use my machine for gaming, but I have caught the hardware and OC bug.

My question is, would it be worth it to get a real x4 and try and OC that?

I can't seem to break 3.8 stable on my current CPU and I really really don't like not being able to monitor the temps on the individual cores. Speedfan reports the CPU on die temp and it's usually about 7 degrees above the core temps when I don't unlock the additional cores but it doesn't scale evenly at 7 degrees above core temp, so when I unlock, I have no idea what my core temps actually are. I have a great cooler, and the on die temp reported by Speedfan never goes above 60 degrees, but again, that's not a reliable measurement of how hot the cores are getting so I don't like that.

So I ask all of you, what should I do? I don't want to spend the money (and the effort, now that it's more difficult) to get a Phenom II x6, and I don't really think the returns would be worth it for the price.

I will say: ultimately, I would like to upgrade to Ivy Bridge. (Obviously I would need a new motherboard as well; hopefully not such a crappy one this time) so that is a future upgrade, but I want to know if I should just save my pennies and wait for the time when I have enough for a new motherboard and an i5-3570K or if it would be worth it to upgrade to the x4.

The 'Egg is running a $10 off sale right this second, until 10/26, on this cpu, bringing the price down to $90

To reiterate, does anyone think I will see a difference, feel a difference, between what I have now and what I am curious about? Do you suppose I will be able to OC higher than I am now? (I would hope so, the 960 base clock is 3.4)

Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope to hear from you all soon.

Rig:
AMD Phenom II x2 555 unlocked to x4, OC'd to 3.6
Xigmatek Aegir (Push Pull)
ASRock M4A770DE AM3
MSI Radeon 7870 Hawk 1225/1325
Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
WD Raptor 74 GB
WD Black 640GB
Seasonic X750 Gold
CoolerMaster Elite 430

More about : stick unlocked 555 960

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a c 109 à CPUs
October 24, 2012 12:10:35 AM

Generally speaking, if you are getting performance you're happy with, I wouldn't upgrade at all. You wouldn't feel a very big performance boost (depending on the title) going from your current Phenom II to an Ivy Bridge CPU, it may be best to wait until next year for Haswell.

Also, I will add - I did NOT notice too much benefit going from 3.2Ghz to 3.8Ghz for day-to-day usage AND gaming on my Phenom II X4 955. I got a few % performance increase in certain titles, but it wasn't anything I would notice without a Fraps benchmark run. Going from this information, I would highly recommend NOT purchasing a Phenom II X4 965, it's a waste of money IMO, especially since you've successfully unlocked your X2 and have a very modest OC.

If you're anal like me and want to monitor temperatures of every piece of hardware you have, then this is an exception, however :lol:  But from a performance standpoint, it's not worth it.
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a c 109 à CPUs
October 24, 2012 12:17:28 AM

Considering OP will have to purchase a new motherboard anyway, I would just skip AMD CPU's unless OP is on a very tight budget. PD was a nice performance boost, however, AMD still can't touch Intel's i5's IMO.
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October 24, 2012 2:06:55 AM

This post was definitely the product of an ongoing thought process, spurred on by the 'Egg's dropping the price on the 965, combined with reading the results of today's article on the FX-8350. It listed performance numbers for the Phenom II x4 980 that were very encouraging, especially given that the 965 can be easily brought up to the same level of performance as the 980.

I am toying with the idea of upgrading my motherboard to AM3+, then perhaps the FX-4`70 (But now that I see the numbers on the 8350 and can guess at the 8320...) but it seems to make no sense to me to upgrade a motherboard to support a platform that looks to me to have a very uncertain future. (I always WANT to root for AMD, and I can kind of understand their stance on "good-enough" x86 processing power....but darn it....I want higher numbers!)

I really like the numbers Sandy and Ivy Bridge are putting up. I can't get there with my crap AM3 board, and, given that I would need to upgrade my motherboard one way or the other, I see no reason to go from AM3 to AM3+ if my intended goal is LGA 1155.

By the time Haswell comes out, I'm guessing Intel is going to pat it on the head and then remind AMD they are children playing in an adult world. Sigh.

One of the posters was correct that I am indeed on a tight budget.

As an aside, using the free version of 3DMark 11 (limited to 720p) I achieved a combined score of 6497 3DMarks
Gfx: 7453
Physics: 4762 (I managed to get this run off while clocked to 3.8, so 3.6 should be a little lower)
Combined: 4592

If anyone is interested in posting their scores with an x4 at 3.8, I would be ever so appreciative and it may even go some ways towards knocking my head of out the clouds and stop me drooling over expensive hardware and just be happy with what I have.

Thank you all for your continued input.

Did you ever feel like your rig was a solution in search of a problem?
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October 24, 2012 2:12:25 AM

mocchan said:
Generally speaking, if you are getting performance you're happy with, I wouldn't upgrade at all. You wouldn't feel a very big performance boost (depending on the title) going from your current Phenom II to an Ivy Bridge CPU, it may be best to wait until next year for Haswell.

Also, I will add - I did NOT notice too much benefit going from 3.2Ghz to 3.8Ghz for day-to-day usage AND gaming on my Phenom II X4 955. I got a few % performance increase in certain titles, but it wasn't anything I would notice without a Fraps benchmark run. Going from this information, I would highly recommend NOT purchasing a Phenom II X4 965, it's a waste of money IMO, especially since you've successfully unlocked your X2 and have a very modest OC.

If you're anal like me and want to monitor temperatures of every piece of hardware you have, then this is an exception, however :lol:  But from a performance standpoint, it's not worth it.


I lay the blame squarely at your feet and the feet of those like you with your drool-worthy sig rigs, that've caused this obsession. Damn you sir. :cry:  :D 
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a c 109 à CPUs
October 24, 2012 2:59:22 AM

Just remember that regardless of how much improvement the FX-8350 has shown, it is still getting pummeled by the Intel Core i5 3570k. Suffice to say, even an Intel Core i5 2500k will be able to out-perform the FX-8350 given the overclocking capabilities of the chip.

Considering the FX-83XX chips are right around the $200 mark, it's right in the i5's turf! I don't see why NOT to get an i5! :lol:  You could get a quality Z77 motherboard for around $130; that's almost the same amount of $$$ as a decent 990FX motherboard.

Also keep in mind of the upgrade paths of both Intel and AMD. AMD is most likely at the end of the line with the AM3+ socket (I just can't see Steamroller happening for some reason, if it does, then it'll be a miracle). If you go the Intel route and pick up an i5, you'll get OUTSTANDING performance while maintaining a great upgrade path. If you would like to get a faster CPU in the future, you always have the option of picking up an i7. If you pick up an FX-8350/8320, that's it. No more upgrades. Nada. You've got the best of the best and it won't perform as well as Intel's mid-range consumer CPU.

Anyway, I'll go dig out my Phenom II X4 955 and OC it to 3.8Ghz for you :)  I'll be sure to come back with the results ASAP (The post will most likely happen tomorrow, however, as my mother stole my X4 955... :lol:  )

Goose_Nipples said:
I lay the blame squarely at your feet and the feet of those like you with your drool-worthy sig rigs, that've caused this obsession. Damn you sir. :cry:  :D 


:lol:  I apologise. However, I feel your pain fully!
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October 24, 2012 12:37:57 PM

mocchan said:
Just remember that regardless of how much improvement the FX-8350 has shown, it is still getting pummeled by the Intel Core i5 3570k. Suffice to say, even an Intel Core i5 2500k will be able to out-perform the FX-8350 given the overclocking capabilities of the chip.

Considering the FX-83XX chips are right around the $200 mark, it's right in the i5's turf! I don't see why NOT to get an i5! :lol:  You could get a quality Z77 motherboard for around $130; that's almost the same amount of $$$ as a decent 990FX motherboard.

Also keep in mind of the upgrade paths of both Intel and AMD. AMD is most likely at the end of the line with the AM3+ socket (I just can't see Steamroller happening for some reason, if it does, then it'll be a miracle). If you go the Intel route and pick up an i5, you'll get OUTSTANDING performance while maintaining a great upgrade path. If you would like to get a faster CPU in the future, you always have the option of picking up an i7. If you pick up an FX-8350/8320, that's it. No more upgrades. Nada. You've got the best of the best and it won't perform as well as Intel's mid-range consumer CPU.

Anyway, I'll go dig out my Phenom II X4 955 and OC it to 3.8Ghz for you :)  I'll be sure to come back with the results ASAP (The post will most likely happen tomorrow, however, as my mother stole my X4 955... :lol:  )

:lol:  I apologise. However, I feel your pain fully!


All of the above: My thinking exactly. :p  Discounting the 83xx series due to similar price of the upgrade path as compared to the Core i5 (and certainly the i7) series, but nowhere near the performance. Also AM3+ is most definitely at EOL IMHO and I'm not willing to spend money on their last gasp.

So it looks like the internet has spoken. If I trip over a hundred dollar bill, it would be better utilized being saved towards an i5 and a new motherboard (It just hurts so bad dropping close to $400 all at once) rather than on an x4 965.

Ok one last thing, does anyone think it would be a good idea to consider upgrading my motherboard? The one I have, frankly I'm surprised I have done as well with it as I have, but it's limitations are really starting to show. Before I got my 7870, I had a 5830 (Yes, I KNOW) and I bought one for my wife too, and just before I sold them, I tried out Crossfire, which, given that my POS mobo only supported software x4 on the second PCIE slot, really surprised me with how impressive the performance gain was. I definitely noticed microstutter, which isn't surprising with the cards and board I was using, but I digress. Anyways, I mention that, because I got a 7870, and with the funds from the sale of the 5830's I got my wife a 7850. So the other day, for giggles, I threw her 7850 on my board and Crossfire'd them together. Flipped the switch in the Fusion Control Centre and...nothing. It looked like it came on, but then the button grayed back out. I looked it up and the AMD 770 Southbridge is too old to support the 7000 series in CrossfireX :(  Everyone and their brother said that my CPU was going to bottleneck any performance gains I would see with Crossfire anyways in a previous post of mine, so I'm not terribly heartbroken, but one does have to wonder if I could push my OC higher with a better board and at least SEE what CrossfireX on two 7000 series GPUs looks like. (Before I put it back in her case because she will kill me if I don't.) On the one hand, I'm probably not going to upgrade my CPU past the one I have (still toying with the idea of the x4, but I probably won't) so a better board would be a waste, but on the other, I still dream of breaking 4.0GHz with this little monster, even if only for the bragging rights. :D 
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a b à CPUs
October 24, 2012 1:22:32 PM

AM3+ will be around well after 1155 don't even kid yourself.
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October 24, 2012 1:23:43 PM

AMD has already said Steamroller will be on AM3+ but Haswell will be on a new socket
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a c 109 à CPUs
October 24, 2012 6:18:17 PM

Goose_Nipples said:
All of the above: My thinking exactly. :p  Discounting the 83xx series due to similar price of the upgrade path as compared to the Core i5 (and certainly the i7) series, but nowhere near the performance. Also AM3+ is most definitely at EOL IMHO and I'm not willing to spend money on their last gasp.

So it looks like the internet has spoken. If I trip over a hundred dollar bill, it would be better utilized being saved towards an i5 and a new motherboard (It just hurts so bad dropping close to $400 all at once) rather than on an x4 965.

Ok one last thing, does anyone think it would be a good idea to consider upgrading my motherboard? The one I have, frankly I'm surprised I have done as well with it as I have, but it's limitations are really starting to show. Before I got my 7870, I had a 5830 (Yes, I KNOW) and I bought one for my wife too, and just before I sold them, I tried out Crossfire, which, given that my POS mobo only supported software x4 on the second PCIE slot, really surprised me with how impressive the performance gain was. I definitely noticed microstutter, which isn't surprising with the cards and board I was using, but I digress. Anyways, I mention that, because I got a 7870, and with the funds from the sale of the 5830's I got my wife a 7850. So the other day, for giggles, I threw her 7850 on my board and Crossfire'd them together. Flipped the switch in the Fusion Control Centre and...nothing. It looked like it came on, but then the button grayed back out. I looked it up and the AMD 770 Southbridge is too old to support the 7000 series in CrossfireX :(  Everyone and their brother said that my CPU was going to bottleneck any performance gains I would see with Crossfire anyways in a previous post of mine, so I'm not terribly heartbroken, but one does have to wonder if I could push my OC higher with a better board and at least SEE what CrossfireX on two 7000 series GPUs looks like. (Before I put it back in her case because she will kill me if I don't.) On the one hand, I'm probably not going to upgrade my CPU past the one I have (still toying with the idea of the x4, but I probably won't) so a better board would be a waste, but on the other, I still dream of breaking 4.0GHz with this little monster, even if only for the bragging rights. :D 



Upgrading to a CrossfireX capable motherboard will most likely cost you around $100+. If you're willing to shell out that much cash and if you're willing to deal with living with Piledriver/Steamroller for awhile, then I would fully advise going this route. You will have a new motherboard that will work with your current CPU and will work with a few new CPU's coming out in the next years.

I am fully aware of the Steamroller rumors coming out on AM3+, however, I don't really think the performance is something to be waiting on your toes for.

Anyway, I would say give your motherboard upgrade a little more time to think :)  You may end up either regretting your purchase (for lack of performance) or you may end up being even more power hungry :lol: 
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October 24, 2012 11:08:26 PM

I apologize for this being a bit off topic, but if it helps anyone out there then I think it's worth it:

If you have a 7000 series GPU in your system, go download the new 12.11 beta drivers from AMD. Do it right now.

Ho. Ly. CRAP

New 3D Mark Scores: (Just ran them)
(BTW 12.10 DROPPED my score to around 3000. Avoid like the plague)
Overall: 6885
Graphics: 8712
Physics: 4383
Combined: 4014
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a c 109 à CPUs
October 25, 2012 12:21:40 AM

:lol: 

Anyway, I won't be able to test the Phenom II X4 @ 3.8Ghz for you tonight :(  Few things came up so I'll be busy.
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October 25, 2012 12:14:42 PM

Best answer selected by Goose_Nipples.
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