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Which processor for gaming?

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March 3, 2013 1:04:10 AM

Hey everyone, I'm just curious right now as to what processor I could get that's fairly cheap and is also a tank. I don't exactly know which one to get though, because I want a really good one, but I also don't think I want to buy a new motherboard just for it to be compatible with my PC. So anyways I was wondering what processor I could get that's around 150$ (I might be able to go a little higher) for gaming that could play games like GTA IV, ARMA 2/ Day Z, and PlanetSide 2 flawlessly like a charm and work with the parts I have right now. My current setup doesn't play these games that well and most of the time these play at 25 fps and under and that is very that playable to me. So yeah, what is the best processor around this price and how much of a boost would I get compared to what I have now?

Here are my Specs:

AMD Athlon II X2 260 3.2 ghz

Power Color Radeon 7850

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W

4 gb Ram

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit OS

465 gb Hard Drive

ASUS M4N68T-M V2



Thanks for reading!

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March 3, 2013 2:11:17 AM

+1^
The Phenom II X4 965BE is still available: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(You just missed a sale on it for $85)
The Phenom II X4 965BE is about the best that's available right now at retail. You can still find a few used Phenom II X4 970s, 980s, and some 6 cores on ebay occasionally.
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March 3, 2013 3:37:26 AM

Alright thanks guys! But how much more performance would I expect out of the 970s, 980s, and six cores you mentioned compared to the 965 gaming wise?
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March 3, 2013 5:12:34 AM

gaming wise close to nothing /since few of the games can use more than 2 cores/ :) 
but productivity wise you get a noticeable boost /should you rip some audio/video, etc.../.
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March 3, 2013 6:40:03 AM

random stalker said:
gaming wise close to nothing /since few of the games can use more than 2 cores/ :) 
but productivity wise you get a noticeable boost /should you rip some audio/video, etc.../.

have you tried to play bf3 with a dual core??
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March 3, 2013 11:54:08 AM

cartman28279 said:
Alright thanks guys! But how much more performance would I expect out of the 970s, 980s, and six cores you mentioned compared to the 965 gaming wise?


while you won't see a significant difference between the phenom II x4 & 6 (especially if OC) you will see a significant difference in games that use more then two cores. some benchmarks for you
athlon II x2 vs phenom II x4 965
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/190?vs=102

in the charts below the athlon II x2 would offer similar performance to the A4 (its replacement)


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-processor-fr...


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
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March 3, 2013 12:01:15 PM

In other words expect more than a 50% FPS increase.
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March 3, 2013 12:38:27 PM

i would not go that far as as those tests were run with a card more powerful then the OP's AMD 7850 but i would say expect a real world increase
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March 4, 2013 1:38:16 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone! I know I said I didn't want to change my motherboard, but if I really did decide to, do you think I should lean towards getting something like a 2500k? Because I always see great things about the I5 2500k and I really just want something that will give me amazing game performance right now.

Or do you think I should go ahead and get something like a Phenom x6 1090t or Phenom x6 1100t?
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March 4, 2013 1:51:48 AM

While the i5-2500K is an improvement over the PH II X4 965BE, the HD 7850 you have will be the main determinant for fast framerates at 1920x1080 and below. I doubt you'd be able to tell the difference between which of the 2 processors you had with that card in the heat of gaming. It all depends on your budget. And there's no sense going for the cheapest MB with the 2500K.
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March 4, 2013 1:55:58 AM

I meant to edit my post a minute ago before anyone posted anything, lol. But I edited it a couple minutes ago and I put at the end.

"Or do you think I should go ahead and get something like a Phenom x6 1090t or Phenom x6 1100t?"
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March 4, 2013 2:02:01 AM

cartman28279 said:
I meant to edit my post a minute ago before anyone posted anything, lol. But I edited it a couple minutes ago and I put at the end.

"Or do you think I should go ahead and get something like a Phenom x6 1090t or Phenom x6 1100t?"

If this is mainly for gaming, you won't see any improvement from the 965BE with either of those 6-cores. But if the price isn't prohibitive, there is nothing wrong with gaming with either of those. It's just that you won't notice the difference. What is your gaming resolution?
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March 4, 2013 2:14:49 AM

I play on a 32 inch LCD TV that goes up to 1920x1080 but I usually just stay on 1600x900. And are you sure I wouldn't notice a difference? Because I just want to make sure I get something that will last for awhile and play more games in the future, because I'd be willing to pay extra for one of the 6 cores if so.

Thanks for the help so far!
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March 4, 2013 2:26:54 AM

I just sold two similar builds recently with AMD processors. One a 965BE , the other a 1090T. Both were heavily tested with modern games and benchmarks before they went out the door. The 6 core was no faster than the 4-core in any of my games or benches. Game engines have yet to exceed threading for more than 4 cores, most less than that. Some say that BF3 can access as many cores as you have, but from my limited testing with that game, I couldn't tell the difference in frame rate.

Btw, are you able to get 1600x900 to display on your HDTV without black bars? Every time I try 1600x900 on my 1080p HDTV, I get black bars top and bottom along with a stretched out display.
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March 4, 2013 2:38:25 AM

Alright, but out of the other phenoms, would you say the 965 would be the best choice for gaming then? And actually no, I don't think I have ever gotten black bars before. I don't know why that would be happening. It works fine with me.
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March 4, 2013 11:19:07 PM

I feel the best processor for gaming for your MB available new today is the Phenom II X4 965BE.

If you could come across a 975BE or a 980BE, you could gain a tiny bit in frame rate over the 965BE. But it seems like the only place to find one of those is used on ebay. The 1090T or 1100T 6-cores would be a good match as well if you have other apps that make use of the extra cores. But you will pay a premium for one of them today.
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March 5, 2013 1:24:18 AM

Yea that would be the one. :) 
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March 5, 2013 1:44:13 AM

clutchc said:
While the i5-2500K is an improvement over the PH II X4 965BE, the HD 7850 you have will be the main determinant for fast framerates at 1920x1080 and below. I doubt you'd be able to tell the difference between which of the 2 processors you had with that card in the heat of gaming. It all depends on your budget. And there's no sense going for the cheapest MB with the 2500K.


I have a 965BE as my kids machine and a 3570k for my machine. You most definitely notice a huge difference. (1920x1200 on a 7850 with the 3570k, vs 1600x900 on a 6870 for the kids.) . . . My GF plays some MMO's with me and even standing in the same areas with that machine on lower settings I'm usually 25%-50% faster.



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March 5, 2013 1:54:37 AM

Thanks for the help everyone! I'm going to order it tomorrow! :D 
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March 5, 2013 2:34:54 AM

Traciatim said:
I have a 965BE as my kids machine and a 3570k for my machine. You most definitely notice a huge difference. (1920x1200 on a 7850 with the 3570k, vs 1600x900 on a 6870 for the kids.) . . . My GF plays some MMO's with me and even standing in the same areas with that machine on lower settings I'm usually 25%-50% faster.

But keep in mind you are comparing a lesser card (HD 6870) with a slightly faster card (HD 7850). And a 3570K with the discussed 2500K. But point taken.
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March 5, 2013 2:36:32 AM

cartman28279 said:
Alright, thanks for replying again! And this might sound stupid but I came this far and I don't want to mess anything up. This is the right 965 to buy right? lol like this is the only one?

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

Yep. That's the only 965BE available today new; the 125W version. The 140W version is somewhat obsolete now.
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March 5, 2013 10:08:46 AM

i have the 2500k at stock in one PC and the phenom II x4 955 @ 3.8ghz in another. the difference in gaming is not that significant. Using an Nvidia GTX560ti, the 2500k would stay at an even 60FPS through most games while the Phenom II x4 may dip to 50FPS ever now and then. Also ive played countless MMOs, there is not one the pehnom II x4 can not play at very good performance assuming your video card is up to par (the AMD HD 7850 is)
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March 5, 2013 2:22:35 PM

clutchc said:
But keep in mind you are comparing a lesser card (HD 6870) with a slightly faster card (HD 7850). And a 3570K with the discussed 2500K. But point taken.


Yes, but at lower settings and a lower resolution. In most cases where we can compare directly are in times when the low frames are caused by CPU anyway, which you can verify by doing things like cranking up the anti-aliasing and you frame rates don't change in any perceptible way. Cases like this are for instance in Rift during the Volan event where the 965BE is usually 8-10FPS and I'm sporting 15-18 or so.

You can also verify this if you take a looks at: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=288&i=60....

Just so that you don't have to take only my word for it. If you notice in that chart any games that are pretty CPU heavy or demanding the 2500K simply destroys the 965BE, peaking at 61.1% faster. That's not doubtful that you'd tell the difference, that's a huge improvement and is very easy to see the difference.

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March 10, 2013 3:49:13 PM

Hey everyone, I just received my Phenom II X4 965 about two days ago! I got installed without any problems and it's working fine. I can see a difference in some games, but there's still a few that play pretty slow. For instance, on ARMA 2 it can go dip to around 14 fps at times but it can be around 38 to 40 fps at other times. And I ran the second benchmark that ARMA 2 has in the game, and my average fps was only 16. But I got my friend to try the benchmark too and his average was 40 fps and he has an I5 3330 and a GT 640 running on his PC. Is there anything I get do with my quad core double my fps or just get a lot more fps in general? Because I feel like it can get a lot more than 16 fps on that and I was expecting a to have a lot more than I had before but I really didn't. But I can't complain about a game like GTA IV, because in one of the starting areas with my old CPU I got around 35 fps max, and now I get around 95 to a hundred fps in the same place but it doesn't always stay around 95, it can go down to 40 sometimes but that's still pretty great for me.

But anyways, what could I do though? Because ARMA 2 is one of my favorite games to play on my computer. :( 


Thanks for reading.
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March 10, 2013 10:31:27 PM

cartman28279 said:
Hey everyone, I just received my Phenom II X4 965 about two days ago! I got installed without any problems and it's working fine. I can see a difference in some games, but there's still a few that play pretty slow. For instance, on ARMA 2 it can go dip to around 14 fps at times but it can be around 38 to 40 fps at other times. And I ran the second benchmark that ARMA 2 has in the game, and my average fps was only 16. But I got my friend to try the benchmark too and his average was 40 fps and he has an I5 3330 and a GT 640 running on his PC. Is there anything I get do with my quad core double my fps or just get a lot more fps in general? Because I feel like it can get a lot more than 16 fps on that and I was expecting a to have a lot more than I had before but I really didn't. But I can't complain about a game like GTA IV, because in one of the starting areas with my old CPU I got around 35 fps max, and now I get around 95 to a hundred fps in the same place but it doesn't always stay around 95, it can go down to 40 sometimes but that's still pretty great for me.

But anyways, what could I do though? Because ARMA 2 is one of my favorite games to play on my computer. :( 


Thanks for reading.


What video card and resolution are you running? My kids machine is a 965BE and I have been incredibly disappointed by it's performance compared to the 3570k that I run, even at stock speeds vs running the 965be overclocked mine simply crushes it.
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March 11, 2013 3:51:15 AM

Traciatim said:
What video card and resolution are you running? My kids machine is a 965BE and I have been incredibly disappointed by it's performance compared to the 3570k that I run, even at stock speeds vs running the 965be overclocked mine simply crushes it.




I thought I posted it before, but if you didn't see, it's a PowerColor Radeon 7850 2gb. But I just felt that I should be getting way more than 19 fps on the benchmark if my friend got 40 fps average with his setup. Because I know his CPU is better but I don't think his graphics card is that great compared to my 7850. I pretty much just want to get my rig running that fast if it is even possible because I'm really getting disappointed right now. :??: 
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March 11, 2013 12:17:37 PM

cartman28279 said:
I thought I posted it before, but if you didn't see, it's a PowerColor Radeon 7850 2gb. But I just felt that I should be getting way more than 19 fps on the benchmark if my friend got 40 fps average with his setup. Because I know his CPU is better but I don't think his graphics card is that great compared to my 7850. I pretty much just want to get my rig running that fast if it is even possible because I'm really getting disappointed right now. :??: 


Disappointment. That really should be AMD's slogan these days.

Generally I see about a 40-50% increase, depending on the game and scene from my 965BE to the 3570k, obviously fluctuating higher and lower on different data. That should put your 19FPS somewhere close to 30FPS on the competing machine as a target, or his 40FPS to your 27 or so. Have you tried running the benchmark with antialiasing off and then on again? If so, does it give you min, max, and average numbers? Does you max drop a pile and the min stay about the same (you can use fraps if it doesn't give you the details)? If it does, the next step is to ensure your CPU is running at the correct speed, or possibly even overclock some to get more performance.
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March 15, 2013 4:03:01 PM

Traciatim said:
cartman28279 said:
I thought I posted it before, but if you didn't see, it's a PowerColor Radeon 7850 2gb. But I just felt that I should be getting way more than 19 fps on the benchmark if my friend got 40 fps average with his setup. Because I know his CPU is better but I don't think his graphics card is that great compared to my 7850. I pretty much just want to get my rig running that fast if it is even possible because I'm really getting disappointed right now. :??: 


Disappointment. That really should be AMD's slogan these days.

Generally I see about a 40-50% increase, depending on the game and scene from my 965BE to the 3570k, obviously fluctuating higher and lower on different data. That should put your 19FPS somewhere close to 30FPS on the competing machine as a target, or his 40FPS to your 27 or so. Have you tried running the benchmark with antialiasing off and then on again? If so, does it give you min, max, and average numbers? Does you max drop a pile and the min stay about the same (you can use fraps if it doesn't give you the details)? If it does, the next step is to ensure your CPU is running at the correct speed, or possibly even overclock some to get more performance.


cartman28279 said:
Traciatim said:
cartman28279 said:
I thought I posted it before, but if you didn't see, it's a PowerColor Radeon 7850 2gb. But I just felt that I should be getting way more than 19 fps on the benchmark if my friend got 40 fps average with his setup. Because I know his CPU is better but I don't think his graphics card is that great compared to my 7850. I pretty much just want to get my rig running that fast if it is even possible because I'm really getting disappointed right now. :??: 


Disappointment. That really should be AMD's slogan these days.

Generally I see about a 40-50% increase, depending on the game and scene from my 965BE to the 3570k, obviously fluctuating higher and lower on different data. That should put your 19FPS somewhere close to 30FPS on the competing machine as a target, or his 40FPS to your 27 or so. Have you tried running the benchmark with antialiasing off and then on again? If so, does it give you min, max, and average numbers? Does you max drop a pile and the min stay about the same (you can use fraps if it doesn't give you the details)? If it does, the next step is to ensure your CPU is running at the correct speed, or possibly even overclock some to get more performance.





Hey I'm sorry for the late reply, lmao, but I lost about 2 or 3 fps with AA on, on the average fps number. And I'm actually thinking about sending the CPU back to get a better one because I was expecting a lot more performance. I really did see a noticeable boost on most games I tested compared to before, like I said previously on GTA IV, my fps went up my about 60 with the CPU. I also tested Planetside 2 yesterday and it shot up to around 80-100 fps sometimes, but usually dropped to around 35-45 in battle.

But yeah, I think I want to get something different. So I'm thinking about getting a 3570k with a new motherboard, or a 2500k with a new motherboard. I just want to find one with a mobo that's affordable. Preferably below 300$ for both together.



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March 15, 2013 4:19:43 PM

clutchc said:
I just sold two similar builds recently with AMD processors. One a 965BE , the other a 1090T. Both were heavily tested with modern games and benchmarks before they went out the door. The 6 core was no faster than the 4-core in any of my games or benches. Game engines have yet to exceed threading for more than 4 cores, most less than that. Some say that BF3 can access as many cores as you have, but from my limited testing with that game, I couldn't tell the difference in frame rate.

Btw, are you able to get 1600x900 to display on your HDTV without black bars? Every time I try 1600x900 on my 1080p HDTV, I get black bars top and bottom along with a stretched out display.


That's Usually because of the Aspect Ratio.
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