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Looking to update/upgrade

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Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
My current setup, that I put together years ago and haven't touched since, consists of the following (basics, let me know if there's more info needed):

965be at 4.2ghz running under a XSPC water kit (360mm radiator)
HD 7950 at 1100/1500mhz
MSI 790fx-gd70 mobo
27" Catleap 1440p running at 110hz.

The computer is used roughly 1/3 for gaming, 1/3 for photo editing, 1/3 for video editing. Gaming seems decent as long as I don't turn everything up to Max. Photo editing is okay, a little laggy here and there but not terrible. Video editing is okay at best, usually big lags after a few transitions. Too many fancy cuts and transitions will usually crash something.

I'm wondering if an upgrade to a FX-8350 is a worthwhile upgrade? Will it even work with my current board? Is there a better option? Should I be looking at a different upgrade besides my cpu? My big concern of switching to Intel or waiting on Zen, is that it will require a new mobo, which will make me want to upgrade other stuff, and ultimately lead to me spending way more than I'd like.
 
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trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
You left out some key pieces of info.

1. How much RAM do you have? The symptoms you are describing could easily be caused by insufficient RAM.
2. What photo editing software are you using and does it have the ability to utilize the video card GPU for rendering?
3. What kind of storage are you employing? Are you using a traditional "spinner" hard drive? If so, moving to an SSD might be the biggest bang for the buck.

No, you can't upgrade to an FX-8350 without investing also in a new motherboard and a decent higher end one at that. Takes a different socket than the 965be. The FX CPUs need an AM3+ socket motherboard.

A 965be running at 4.2 ghz is a very capable CPU and I think your bottleneck is somewhere else. I wold look at more RAM or an SSD. Try these first as they could be deployed in a major upgrade later if they don't do the trick now.

And if you are going to do a major upgrade anytime soon you definitely will want to go with Intel. We know Intel delivers NOW! We don't know that Zen will live up to the hype.
 
OP
Jeff G

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
You left out some key pieces of info.

1. How much RAM do you have? The symptoms you are describing could easily be caused by insufficient RAM.

8gb.

2. What photo editing software are you using and does it have the ability to utilize the video card GPU for rendering?

Haven't settled on one yet. I've tried a few and so far Pinnacle is the one that works best. I'm open to other options, nothing seems to give me great quality output.


3. What kind of storage are you employing? Are you using a traditional "spinner" hard drive? If so, moving to an SSD might be the biggest bang for the buck.

SSD already.

No, you can't upgrade to an FX-8350 without investing also in a new motherboard and a decent higher end one at that. Takes a different socket than the 965be. The FX CPUs need an AM3+ socket motherboard.

So the 790fx-GD70 is NOT an AM3+?
I've seen lots of contradictory info on this, so I'm not sure.

Is the i5-6600k a better option? Will I see a noticeable difference over my 965 in real-world applications?
If I take the plunge on an i5-6600k, will my 7950 still be a good match or will that be my systems bottleneck at that point?
 

Tech Tweaker

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
So the 790fx-GD70 is NOT an AM3+?
I've seen lots of contradictory info on this, so I'm not sure.

Is the i5-6600k a better option? Will I see a noticeable difference over my 965 in real-world applications?
If I take the plunge on an i5-6600k, will my 7950 still be a good match or will that be my systems bottleneck at that point?

Yes, your board is an AM3 board, and not an AM3+ compatible one. The 790 chipset (790X, 790FX, 790GX, etc) was only used in AM2+ and AM3 socket-ed boards (though there were also 880 and 890 chipset boards in the AM3 socket). AM3+'s lowest end chipset was the 970 if I remember correctly. Some AM3 boards were compatible with AM3+ CPU's, but that mainly only the first Bulldozer CPU's (FX-41XX, FX61XX, FX-81XX for instance) actually had compatibility.

Well, both the AMD FX-83XX and Intel Core i5 6600K would be reasonable upgrades from your current AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. If you go with the AMD FX option you would need to buy a new CPU and Motherboard, and could likely reuse most of your other components. If you go with the Intel LGA1151 option though you would need to buy a new CPU, Motherboard, and RAM at a minimum though (as the LGA1151 platform with the i5 6600K uses DDR4 memory and not DDR3).

What SSD are you using (make/model)?

What Power Supply (brand/model/wattage)?

What model of memory?

If you built this system several years ago (I'm guessing 4-7 years), it would be a good idea to buy a new power supply if you're looking into doing a substantial upgrade or new system build if your power supply is from the same time as when you built it. Power supplies degrade with age and over time become unable to output their rated wattage and voltage on the rails (3.3V, 5V, 12V).
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Your current motherboard is socket AM3, not AM3+. Some of the AM3 bioses were retrofitted to work with the AM3+ CPUs but it was never a satisfactory solution. You can see for yourself that the FX CPUs are not on the compatibility list: https://us.msi.com/Motherboard/support/790FXGD70.html#support-cpu

Yes, I think the i5-6600k would be a better way to go than the FX-8350 without a doubt and will blow the doors off of your overclocked 960be. The i5 is more expensive but requires a less expensive motherboard to run on, than the FX-8350, especially if you have intentions of overclocking. The i-5 will give you considerably better per core performance and will therefore give you better performance as a whole across a wide range of applications, especially gaming. The only exception might be with applications that are heavily multi-threaded and can take advantage of the extra cores of the FX-8350. But even then, not by as much as you think. In some ways the FX-8350 is not a true 8 core CPU. It's more like a 4+ core CPU since the cores share cache resources in such a way to handicap it. Poor architecture. Intel's architecture is far superior.

If you only have 8gb of RAM you really need to move up to 16gb as it sounds like your photo editing is fairly intense.

Yes, the 7950 will be a bottleneck in gaming with the newer games. Lacks processing power and doesn't have enough vram.
 
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OP
Jeff G

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
SSD is a Kingston Hyper X.
PSU is a Corsair 750w 80+.
Memory is G.Skill Ripjaw.
Build is about 4 years old.

If I went with a new am3+ board, fx-8350, and 16gb of ddr3 I'm figuring around $350.

If I go with a new 1151 board, i5-6600k, and 16gb or ddr4 I'm figuring around $450.

I'm just wondering if A) either is worth the upgrade, and B) which is the better route.

And as far as the hd 7950 goes, is it going to hinder either of these new setups substantially? And if I save the money on the 8350 setup (combined with selling my old setup), I could add in a gtx 970. But would the 8350 be a bottleneck again?
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
You could always build on the Intel 1150 platform and go with a i5 4690k. This would allow you to use your ddr3 ram again.

Just doing a quick search on Amazon says you can get a decent motherboard and the 4690k for about $330. If you bargain hunt a little or live near a micro center I am sure you could do better on that price.

As for the 7950 yes it is going to be the bottleneck when it comes to gaming. Off you don't mind used parts I would watch the market for a gtx 9 series card in the next few months as I have a feeling there is going to be a lot up for sale as people begin to upgrade.
 

Tech Tweaker

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
SSD is a Kingston Hyper X.
PSU is a Corsair 750w 80+.
Memory is G.Skill Ripjaw.
Build is about 4 years old.

If I went with a new am3+ board, fx-8350, and 16gb of ddr3 I'm figuring around $350.

If I go with a new 1151 board, i5-6600k, and 16gb of ddr4 I'm figuring around $450.

I'm just wondering if A) either is worth the upgrade, and B) which is the better route.

And as far as the hd 7950 goes, is it going to hinder either of these new setups substantially? And if I save the money on the 8350 setup (combined with selling my old setup), I could add in a gtx 970. But would the 8350 be a bottleneck again?

I'm guessing either Corsair TX750 (non-modular) or HX750 (modular) then.

Well, age is not too bad then. You must have built it near the tail-end of AM3's existence, shortly after AM3+ came out.

What speed of memory are you running (1066MHz, 1333MHz, 1600MHz)?

16GB kits of DDR3 aren't too bad price-wise on the used market. Just saw a 2x8GB 1600MHz set sell for $40 the other day. Would have bought it myself if I had a use for it.

That is a good PSU, I'm still rocking a 8 year old HX 620 from corsair.
Man, and I thought my HX620 and HX520 were old at around 6 years each. You've got me beat there. Do have to say they built them well, no bad caps or other obvious bad components in either of mine.

You could always build on the Intel 1150 platform and go with a i5 4690k. This would allow you to use your ddr3 ram again.

Just doing a quick search on Amazon says you can get a decent motherboard and the 4690k for about $330. If you bargain hunt a little or live near a micro center I am sure you could do better on that price.

As for the 7950 yes it is going to be the bottleneck when it comes to gaming. Off you don't mind used parts I would watch the market for a gtx 9 series card in the next few months as I have a feeling there is going to be a lot up for sale as people begin to upgrade.

Yes, the LGA1150 platform is a reasonable option as well. I built mine on LGA1150 6-7 months ago, and I can't really say I'm missing any performance at the moment that I think LGA1151 would have delivered on better. An i5 4690K is a good performer of a chip.

The Micro Center sales price is kind of a wash when you account for sales taxes, or at least it was for me. Ended up being cheaper for me to buy my parts through Newegg, even with shipping costs. Though I did buy when they were having their Black Friday/Black November/Cyber Monday sales last year, so overall build cost was probably around 150-200 less than regular prices.
 
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trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
You could always build on the Intel 1150 platform and go with a i5 4690k. This would allow you to use your ddr3 ram again.

Just doing a quick search on Amazon says you can get a decent motherboard and the 4690k for about $330. If you bargain hunt a little or live near a micro center I am sure you could do better on that price.

As for the 7950 yes it is going to be the bottleneck when it comes to gaming. Off you don't mind used parts I would watch the market for a gtx 9 series card in the next few months as I have a feeling there is going to be a lot up for sale as people begin to upgrade.

This is a very good option IMO.
 
OP
Jeff G

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
So between these two options, which would be better:

1. FX-8350, ASUS M5A99FX Pro, 16gb ddr3, gtx970

2. i5-6600k, ASUS Z170 Pro, 16gb ddr4, hd 7950
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
I assume you have arrived at these two choices because of budget considerations and the costs of the two being similar.

I like #2 from the standpoint of it being current technology from a socket/CPU/chipset/RAM standpoint but retaining the HD 7950 will prevent you from seeing much improvement in gaming over your current build.

#1 will give you better performance in gaming but it may be a wash in photo editing compared to #2. Plus, AMD is moving away from socket AM3+. The new Zen CPU will use socket AM4. From an upgradeability standpoint #1 would be a dead end.

So what you might look at is going with option #2 but looking to upgrade the GPU in the near future. Nvidia is coming out with a new generation of cards soon and the prices of the GTX 970s and 980s will fall.
 
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trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Unfortunately, the gaming benchmarks don't show scores for the FX-8350. The closest is the FX-8370. But probalby not a lot different. The FX-8370 looks to be not far behind the Intels in gaming according to that chart. Not much spread using the same video card.

As you would expect, the FX-8350 beats the 6600k in most well-multi threaded tasks like Handbrake and Cinebench 15.

So the most important variable in my mind would be the video card for gaming. So if you want more bang NOW with no future upagadeability of the CPU and RAM, Jeff, go with your option #1.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Oops! You are correct. Got my blue and brown colors mixed up in my early morning fog brain. Looks like the FX only bests the Intel in file compression/decompression kinds of tasks. Not something most of us spend a lot of time on.

But the video card is still going to be a major issue in gaming.
 
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OP
Jeff G

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
I think option 3 is still a good option for you, personally.

Option 3: Core i5 4690K (if you're interested in overclocking it at some point) (Core i5 4590 if you're not), ASRock Z97 Extreme6, 16GB DDR3, your choice of HD7950 or GTX 970 or something else

4690K $427.68 before rebates: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/X6x2GX

4590 $393.86 before rebates: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xf6kMp

Even if a i5-6600k build is cheaper than both of those?

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/XhnXsJ
 
OP
Jeff G

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
My gaming isn't suffering that bad with the overclocked 7950. For a test, I just loaded up Ashes of the Singularity and with settings maxed it ran it okay. Drop down a notch on everything and it runs great.
I've tried Corel, Magix, and Pinnacle video editing programs. Magix maxes out my cpu and crashes after a few minutes, Corel felt so outdated I stopped using it, and Pinnacle runs good but still lags at time. So a CPU upgrade is needed first and foremost. (Also open to better software opinions)
If the i5-6600k is a better choice for the video editing then it seems like the obvious choice, plus it seems like it's a better match than the 8350 for newer cards (looking at the gtx970).
Maybe I'll start with the new cpu/mobo combo, and hold off until the new cards drop and snap a 970 discounted.