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socket AM3 Phenom II x4 965, what to upgrade to?

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Tech Tweaker

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
So, I was recently asked by a relative whether it would be worthwhile to upgrade their CPU or CPU+motherboard, as their system was built about 6 years ago. They have a tendency to keep their PC for quite a while, last PC was used for around 7-8 years before upgrading in 2010 to the current system.

They don't do any gaming, and aren't a power-user, so no real heavy usage. Mainly internet surfing, sending and receiving emails, and some light video editing now and then (but are looking at getting more into that this year probably). The main reason they asked is they were uncertain whether their current CPU would be sufficient for their video editing. They're somewhat of a die-hard AMD fan, so Intel isn't really an option.

They're skeptical about overclocking, or afraid of killing their system by doing it, so that's not really an option. Plus their case airflow is terrible, so overheating would be pretty likely. And overclocking with a stock heat sink isn't a great idea to begin with, as Phenom II's put out quite a bit of heat when overclocked.

Current system:
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 965 (stock 3.4GHz with stock cooler)
Motherboard: Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3.0
RAM: 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600MHz
PSU: Ultra X4 750W
Case: Some POS XION AXP600 case with abysmal airflow
HDD: WD 320GB Caviar Blue

I'm uncertain whether upgrading to something like a Phenom II x6 1055T, 1075T, 1090T, or 1100T would increase the longevity of the system or increase performance. Or if I should try to source a higher speed Phenom II x4, like a 975 or 980. Or if upgrading to AM3+ with something like an FX-6300, FX-6350, or FX-8350 would be a better idea.

Or would waiting for Zen to drop be a better idea? I hear the current rumor is that it's slated to release somewhere around October-ish, of course that's just a rumor though, so it might be as late as next Spring.
 
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Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
A six or eight core FX would definitely aid them in video editing with the extra cores and updated instruction set. From what you describe there isn't much else they do that'll work the system. They've got a decent board, so really all they'd need is a good cooler. Even a CM212 would get them a mild OC on a 6300. ZEN should be out before the new year but is a whole new system worth it for their requirements?
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
The existing motherboard is socket AM3 and will not run the FX CPUs. A 1090T or 1100T would give a considerable kick in the pants performance increase for video editing since you would be adding two processing cores. But those CPUs are no longer being produced and the used ones go for a pretty penny.
 
OP
Tech Tweaker

Tech Tweaker

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
The existing motherboard is socket AM3 and will not run the FX CPUs. A 1090T or 1100T would give a considerable kick in the pants performance increase for video editing since you would be adding two processing cores. But those CPUs are no longer being produced and the used ones go for a pretty penny.

Yes, understood. That's the same thing I told them when they asked me (that their current board was an AM3 socket and would not support current AM3+ processors).

I saw a 1090T that sold for $105 this morning, but was uncertain whether it would be a worthwhile investment at that price or if the price was good or bad.

From my research thus far it seems that in the AM3 socket type in the hexa-core variant a 1055T would likely be the slowest or lowest-end one worth considering (frequency-wise).

I was unsure on the FX-6300 and FX-6350 though, as some benchmark and review sites show it beating the Phenom II x4 965 BE handily in multiple areas. Some other sites on the other hand show the Phenom II x4 965 being neck-and-neck with the FX 6-cores (triple cores with two threads per core really), and sometimes beating the newer FX 6XXX CPU's in some benchmarks.
 
OP
Tech Tweaker

Tech Tweaker

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
That board does have "official" support for bulldozer https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/M4A89GTD_PROUSB3/HelpDesk_CPU/
So I would assume that Piledriver would work as well. Some areas such as video depending on the software will do better with FX because of newer instruction sets.

Hmm, I wouldn't have thought that any FX CPU's would have been supported by the board, even original Bulldozer chips. The board wasn't exactly the newest tech for AM3 when I chose it for the build and built the PC it is in. Not that I chose it for future CPU support though, I just picked it for the build because it seemed like a solid board with a good VRM section, plus it had onboard graphics so a dedicated graphics card wouldn't be necessary for the build and the owner could save some money on the build costs.

It says the FX Bulldozer CPU's only have beta support though. So that's a little concerning that they may not have full support or full utilization on an AM3 board.
 

Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Yeah, I saw someone running FX in a 760 IIRC. It might not have some settings like HPC or APM but it's the microcode that's important whether or not it'll run/boot
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
That board does have "official" support for bulldozer https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/M4A89GTD_PROUSB3/HelpDesk_CPU/
So I would assume that Piledriver would work as well. Some areas such as video depending on the software will do better with FX because of newer instruction sets.

Huh! Either I glossed over that or I was looking in a different place that did not show any FX CPUs as compatible. But then that raises the question as I read Mr. Scott's comments, are the FX CPUs on that list fully supported? Maybe they will boot and run but will you have full performance?

Man, Asus' website is slower than the seven year itch lately!
 
OP
Tech Tweaker

Tech Tweaker

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Huh! Either I glossed over that or I was looking in a different place that did not show any FX CPUs as compatible. But then that raises the question as I read Mr. Scott's comments, are the FX CPUs on that list fully supported? Maybe they will boot and run but will you have full performance?

Man, Asus' website is slower than the seven year itch lately!

You weren't the only one.

I had to check their list three times to find any AM3+ FX CPU's on it.
 

Bluefalcon13

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Honestly, if they invest in a desktop long term, the might as well wait for Zen. Get them a boot SSD and maybe some extra ram to hold them over until Zen. Then, even if Zen is a total flop, FX prices on current stuff should plummet.