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Upgrading from Athlon II x2 250 to Phenom 965 BE

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March 2, 2013 7:35:00 AM

Hi there!

Im a total novice when it comes to processors (and most hardware) but Im concidering upgrading my CPU. The reason being that I upgraded my GFX+RAM last week, but noticed that instead of graphicslag my processor were bottlenecking my gaming experience. So here I am with a few questions.

First off, here's my specs:

MB: GF615M-P33 (MS 7597)

GFX: EVGA GTX650Ti

RAM: 8GB Kingston @ 1333

CPU: AMD Athlon II x2 250

PSU: 500W

OS: Win 7 Pro 64

Keyboard: An old crappy one with a cord so short it gets in the way of my mousemovements and a spacebar so unsensitive I have to bash it to work. Not relevant at all, just whining a bit...

I use the computer for gaming (mostly, if not only, Diablo 3 atm), watching streams, listening to music and watching movies, often many of these at the same time.

Now to my questions. If I were to upgrade to a AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition will I notice a big difference? The only coparison review I found on the web involving Diablo 3 were: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/diablo-iii-performa.... Now Im running at lowest settings both ingame and in Nvidia control panel and get a whooping 60fps MAX (while idle in town etc) but ~30 fps in combat. The review set the Phenom at an avarege of 112 fps, which must mean that it will be a GREAT upgrade, but please confirm.

As long as Im talking about comparisons, I also found this: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1037/1/. For a ignorant prick like myself it all looks like greek to me. What Im curious about is this:

The Phenom is running .4GHz faster. Is that much in the world of processors?

It has twice the cores. Is that relevant in my case (as in what I usually use the comp for)? I have NO idea of how the system/games/applications uses multicore processors, but when I searched for it all I could find was that it was great when rendering videos or something, but the general concensus were that for "normal" use it was overkill. Please clarify.

It has 2+6MB L2/L3 cache compared to my current 2MB. Again, no clue of what that means...



Im on a tight budget atm so I can only afford a CPU-upgrade for now, so while recommendations of possible upgrades for new state-of-the-art MB+CPU is appretiated it's not possible. For now I'd settle for enlightenment regarding my questions and confusion

All the best

//Zen
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2013 7:41:07 AM

GHz doesn't really mean a whole lot with different processors. I.E, comparing a 3GHz athlon II to a 3.4GHz Phenom II, and ONLY taking consideration of the speed, is useless.
However, comparing a 3.0GHz Phenom II to a 3.4GHz Phenom II...There we go! That's when GHz matters.

Yeah, the 965 BE is a good processor. Costs £70 over here.
Just as an FYI; the i5 2500k is around 20% (give or take a bit) 'better' than the 965 BE. However, it costs more than 220% of the price.

tl;dr: The 965 be will bring a rather solid performance boost.
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2013 7:44:22 AM

Seeing as how I can't edit my posts for some reason...


The way multi-core CPUs work, is that if you have a single-threaded game (I.E, it only uses 1 core), you can designate a single core to that game (Task Manager, Prifinnity, etc.), and do other stuff on the other cores without any negative impact (on the processing side) to the game.
Also, the more cores allow the OS' processes to be spread across the multiple cores, freeing up more CPU usage to be used by a more intensive process.
Related resources
March 2, 2013 9:27:03 AM

Oh...
I only read that it supported Phenom II x4 and assumed that it was all well and good. Besides, I doublechecked with http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-MSI/GF615M-P33.html and "my" Phenom 965 BE is on that list (HDZ965FBGMBOX). I have no idea of how reliable that side is though and the manufacturers info should be more accurate, right?
If so it means I'll have to go for a MB+CPU upgrade after all... Now where did I put my piggybank?

Thanks for the info. Gonna scour the web for upgrades now!
//Zen
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2013 9:56:52 AM

zen78 said:
Oh...
I only read that it supported Phenom II x4 and assumed that it was all well and good. Besides, I doublechecked with http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-MSI/GF615M-P33.html and "my" Phenom 965 BE is on that list (HDZ965FBGMBOX). I have no idea of how reliable that side is though and the manufacturers info should be more accurate, right?
If so it means I'll have to go for a MB+CPU upgrade after all... Now where did I put my piggybank?

Thanks for the info. Gonna scour the web for upgrades now!
//Zen


There is a version 2 of than board that supports the 125 W 965. That might explain the confusion on the other site. Is yours a V2? You could always contact MSI. I'd trust their list first and since there's nothing over 95W for that board I doubt it, but can't hurt to ask.
March 2, 2013 11:16:07 AM

Nope, only v 1.2.

&%&!!

I was so happy as everything was going so smooth for me and would get a cheap upgrade. But no... Well, I guess I have to fork out some extra money for a new MB.

%&%&/!!!
a c 119 à CPUs
March 2, 2013 12:05:59 PM

the 965 is not supported on that motherboard. pick a 960 or 960t and that info is direct from msi's site...
of course you can always try it as some cpu's are identical to others in all but clock speed so i would say because the 960 is supported its likely the 965 will work. but you may not be able to overclock it or you may find some other limitation.
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2013 12:36:00 PM

Could also be that he would need to downclock the 965 BE.
a c 79 à CPUs
March 2, 2013 1:27:39 PM

^ It will almost certainly downclock all by itself and not just by the right amount but all the way to the lowest multi...something like 800MHz. And OP do remember, that even the 965 has two versions. C2 stepping is 140 W and the C3 is 125. Be careful about choosing between them as well.
March 2, 2013 3:08:45 PM

The thing is that when I bought the gfx and ram I was granted credit by the netstore's affiliate bank which I havent used up, not even half of it. So I wrote the store a letter asking if I could just fill up the credit without more hassle to add the Phenom. A bit more to pay off but still within my budget. And at the same store I found this: http://www.asus.com/Motherboard/M5A78LMUSB3/. Another 120 buck to my credit but I've already set my mind to upgrade so Im at the point of no return already (yolo!).
That MB supports up to 140W aswell.
a c 79 à CPUs
March 2, 2013 4:17:39 PM

^ 780 IS a decent chipset and that is a vey good mobo tho without SLI/CFX support but then meh to that. The 965 will serve you well and will be able to push that 650 ti to the limits (a little OC may be required so be prepared to buy a cooler later....though chances of that happening are'nt that strong).

Enjoy your new build :) 

good luck
-satyam
March 2, 2013 6:16:25 PM

Oh good! I was afraid to get shot down, like "hey idiot, if you buy that mobo you're not only retarded but ugly too!". Though I didnt spend much thought on it. It was their cheapest MB that could handle the Phenom, so I just grabbed it (lucky fluke! :) )

Thanks all for your help, tips and general kindness :)  This must seem like childs play to you, but for me it's rocket surgery! Or brain science. Whatever...

All the best //Zen
a c 79 à CPUs
March 2, 2013 6:25:54 PM

:D  your are welcome Zen and no one here ever gets branded that^way. All questions are as important.

I have that mobo rocking a 8120 and a GTX 650 and it has not given a single problem till date.

Good luck
-satyam
March 2, 2013 7:01:11 PM

Oh I must add one thing. After my old graphic card burned I've been rocking a HD4670 512MB (which I found deep inside a closet) for months. Now do you understand why Im so desperate for an upgrade? :p 

I also forgot to give credit where credit is due. I got kinda shell shocked when unksol dropped the news about that my MB woundlt be able to handle the Phenom (tnx though Unk, it saved me alot of grief if/when I would install it), but MajinCry, thank you for enlighten me in how multicores work. I still dont understand why you cant compare an Athlons 3.0GHz to Phenoms 3.4, but can compare a Phenom to Phenom, but I'll just take your word for it :) . And thank you Satyam for giving me peace of mind when I finally, though accidentally, got a good combo together.
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2013 7:11:18 PM

zen78 said:
Oh I must add one thing. After my old graphic card burned I've been rocking a HD4670 512MB (which I found deep inside a closet) for months. Now do you understand why Im so desperate for an upgrade? :p 

I also forgot to give credit where credit is due. I got kinda shell shocked when unksol dropped the news about that my MB woundlt be able to handle the Phenom (tnx though Unk, it saved me alot of grief if/when I would install it), but MajinCry, thank you for enlighten me in how multicores work. I still dont understand why you cant compare an Athlons 3.0GHz to Phenoms 3.4, but can compare a Phenom to Phenom, but I'll just take your word for it :) . And thank you Satyam for giving me peace of mind when I finally, though accidentally, got a good combo together.


You can compare Athlon II's and Phenoms II's both are based on the K10.5 architecture, the Athlon II is just missing the L3 cache.

Comparison: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/121?vs=186 (only 100MHz faster than the chips mentioned here).
March 2, 2013 7:32:46 PM

Wow, now that I got a visual of it Im really excited to get the Phenom! In lots of tests it performed ~50% better! Tnx for that link!

However, that wasnt what I was confused about. My question was if .4GHz was alot in the world of processors and MajinCry answered, and I quote:
"GHz doesn't really mean a whole lot with different processors. I.E, comparing a 3GHz athlon II to a 3.4GHz Phenom II, and ONLY taking consideration of the speed, is useless.
However, comparing a 3.0GHz Phenom II to a 3.4GHz Phenom II...There we go! That's when GHz matters. " I just cant wrap my head around that statement, but maybe it's "tech talk". For a layman like myself GHz is GHz, no matter what.
But anyway, Im getting slightly drunk which really dont improve my ability to think, so I'll just revisit this thread tomorrow ;) 
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2013 7:49:30 PM

zen78 said:
Wow, now that I got a visual of it Im really excited to get the Phenom! In lots of tests it performed ~50% better! Tnx for that link!

However, that wasnt what I was confused about. My question was if .4GHz was alot in the world of processors and MajinCry answered, and I quote:
"GHz doesn't really mean a whole lot with different processors. I.E, comparing a 3GHz athlon II to a 3.4GHz Phenom II, and ONLY taking consideration of the speed, is useless.
However, comparing a 3.0GHz Phenom II to a 3.4GHz Phenom II...There we go! That's when GHz matters. " I just cant wrap my head around that statement, but maybe it's "tech talk". For a layman like myself GHz is GHz, no matter what.
But anyway, Im getting slightly drunk which really dont improve my ability to think, so I'll just revisit this thread tomorrow ;) 


Well actually GHz do matter what I think he meant is that CPUs with different architecture can't be compared directly with clock speed. For example you CAN compare an Athlon II X2 250 with a Phenom II X2 as far as clock speed goes because they both use the K10.5 architecture just note that the Phenom II is going to be a little bit faster per clock because of it's L3 cache.
March 2, 2013 8:05:53 PM

Got a popup that there had been a new message here right befor I was off to bed so I had to check it :)  But that makes ... kinda sense. I will google what K10.5 architecture and L3 (and L2 for that matter, as I have no clue what either is) cache is tomorrow.
What I DO get however is what you're saying about it's comparible as far as the architecture goes, or I think I do atleast. But I will research more about it tomorrow.
I am learning a great deal here! Thank you for bearing with me in my ignorance but I do find all this extremely interesting. Who knew, you CAN teach old dogs! :) 

//Zen
!