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Need Help Upgrading Processor

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January 20, 2013 3:34:46 AM

I'm looking into the prospect of upgrading my current processor, the AMD Phenom II 955 Black Edition, which I have overclocked to 4 GHZ. I've listed my system specifications in my signature.

This rig is primarily used for gaming. From what I have read about recent AMD processors using the AM3+ socket, there may not be significant performance gains as they relate to gaming, especially considering the success of my overclock. I've done several benchmarks, and they somewhat confirm this when compared to similar systems with newer AMD processors (for example, benchmarks of my current system are on par or exceed most FX based processors with similar system specs). To put it bluntly, I'd like to purchase a processor that is more capable at STOCK than my current processor is overclocked. Again, the focus is gaming. If I cannot achieve that, I see no reason to upgrade my processor.

A couple of caveats: I'm well aware that Intel is currently the best bang for the buck in terms of performance (I imagine it's not even close, to be honest). Hence, I am also open to the idea of purchasing an Intel motherboard / CPU if A) the price is similar to simply purchasing the best AMD CPU or B) the performance gains in gaming are far greater.

I know this post is somewhat broad, but I'm really looking for the best bang for the buck. Perhaps a price range of $200-250 will help respondents. I'm just somewhat irritated that I built an AMD computer (being the AMD faithful that I am), and yet AMD hasn't been bringing it in terms of their processing power lately. I guess the bottom line question is this:

Do I upgrade to a current gen AMD processor using the AM3+ socket, do I wait for something better from AMD, or do I scrap AMD and go Intel?

Thank you in advance.

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January 20, 2013 3:56:30 AM

Well within your budget and since you already have AM3+ board then the FX8350 is the only upgrade. Either that or stay as is, changing to Intel I5 would require a motherboard change on top of the CPU price.
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January 20, 2013 4:03:20 AM

I think what you have @4GHz is sweet enough for gaming. For $250 you can "upgrade" to an i3 and an Intel mobo, but i wonder how much of an upgrade that really is given that more and more games are coming out mutli-core optimized. (And if the 8-core AMD x86 chip in the PS4 rumour is true, it makes all the more sense to stick with your current rig).

What I strongly suggest is that you stay on hold for another 6 months or so, then sell off your mobo+cpu and get a haswell i5 + LGA 1150 mobo. That would make more sense.
Or if your into AMD, wait for a year to see if AMD holds true on its 20-30% better single core performance promise with SteamRoller. A 6core steamroller chip priced a bit higher than that haswell i3's should be a steal of a deal for gamers, especially with its unlocked multi :) 
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January 20, 2013 8:20:21 AM

Given your graphics cards, upgrading to a better CPU will not give any noticible performance gains.Maybe 5-10% more FPS if you upgrade to Core i5, but that's outside of your budget and really isn't worth it.
"Upgrading" to a Core i3 would actually be a downgrade so there's no point in doing that.You get a less powerfull CPU based on a dead platform.
If you want better gaming performance, upgrade your graphics cards.


And by the way the voltage drops you mentioned in your signature are normal.There is nothing wrong about them really. Just disable Cool & Quiet and enable LLC and you should be fine.
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January 20, 2013 10:08:51 AM

Kamen_BG said:
Given your graphics cards, upgrading to a better CPU will not give any noticible performance gains.Maybe 5-10% more FPS if you upgrade to Core i5, but that's outside of your budget and really isn't worth it.
"Upgrading" to a Core i3 would actually be a downgrade so there's no point in doing that.You get a less powerfull CPU based on a dead platform.
If you want better gaming performance, upgrade your graphics cards.


And by the way the voltage drops you mentioned in your signature are normal.There is nothing wrong about them really. Just disable Cool & Quiet and enable LLC and you should be fine.


Perhaps there are greater frames per second to be gained from a video card upgrade. I'll do my research on this front and, if I have any questions, perhaps you can offer me some suggestions on this front.

Thank you.
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January 20, 2013 10:11:17 AM

$hawn said:
I think what you have @4GHz is sweet enough for gaming. For $250 you can "upgrade" to an i3 and an Intel mobo, but i wonder how much of an upgrade that really is given that more and more games are coming out mutli-core optimized. (And if the 8-core AMD x86 chip in the PS4 rumour is true, it makes all the more sense to stick with your current rig).

What I strongly suggest is that you stay on hold for another 6 months or so, then sell off your mobo+cpu and get a haswell i5 + LGA 1150 mobo. That would make more sense.
Or if your into AMD, wait for a year to see if AMD holds true on its 20-30% better single core performance promise with SteamRoller. A 6core steamroller chip priced a bit higher than that haswell i3's should be a steal of a deal for gamers, especially with its unlocked multi :) 


Was unaware of Steamroller. It shows that it will be AM3+ socket based, although I am curious as to whether or not my motherboard will be compatible.

Interesting.
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January 20, 2013 10:13:11 AM

Thank you to all who replied. Based upon the answers given, I think I will stick with my current processor setup and, perhaps, invest my money into a graphics card instead. Or, perhaps, I will just hold off altogether and wait a few months to see what Steamroller chips have to offer.
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January 20, 2013 10:17:00 AM

2x GTX550Ti is not a very strong GPU solution and your current CPU will keep up with far stronger GPU solution.
Have not found this on the US market yet but promising in its price range. http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/VTX3D/Radeon_HD_7870...
Basically a slightly crippled HD7950
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