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Upgrading and looking for advice


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#1 NexDeus

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:34 PM

Ok, I REALLY want to get some components in my system upgraded. I think its well past time.

Ill start by saying Im horribly indecisive right now. Ive been looking at cpu marks for the past week beating myself upside the head on what proc to get...Im down to either the I5 2500 or the FX-8120. I'm a long lover of AMD and Ive come very close to going intel simply due to how well received their new cpus have been. BUT I did discover that the FX-8120 DOES beat the I5 in marks and it costs roughly the same. *Pulling out hair* Ok...next step

This is my current rig:

Amd Phenom IIx4 940 BE (DDR2)
4GB DDR2 800 Gskill memory
EVGA GTX-260 Graphics card
Sigma Shark 535W PSU

I only want to upgrade the main platform at this time, so board ram and chip. I have a current build made replacing those all for about $332 with ASrock 970 Extreme3 mobo, FX-8120 Proc and Gskill Value Series (2x4gb) (For the record I do need to cut costs where I can and I figured ram was the place to do it, still I trust Gskill to work whether it has a heatsink on it or not, and I have an Azza Solano case which stays quite cool by itself)

So, can someone beat the price while keeping in the range of the I5 vs AMD FX? Any and all suggestions will be MORE than appreciated! Im running out of hair to rip out!! =P

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:05 PM

As for the CPU thing, if you're gaming, almost any quad core or better CPU over 2.8 GHz. will work fine. I can save you a bit, keep the CPU and motherboard, but get the AMD Entertainment Edition 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 memory.

Don't worry about the CPU thing, if you're gaming, the GPU is more of a factor in most games. In fact, I would go so far as to say you can get a lesser CPU and still get good performance. Note, however, that if you replace your motherboard, you will need to repurchase a copy of Windows 7 due to licensing issues. Also, given how the scheduler works in Windows 7 even with the "Bulldozer patch," you may get better performance with Windows 8. I wonder if the Windows 8 Consumer Preview will have the new scheduler built in. Anyway, the design of the Bulldozer CPU's is not that of eight independent cores. Each Bulldozer module contains two tightly bound cores, creating, in a sense, 1.5 cores per module. The 8120 has four modules. The end result is similar to Intel's HyperThreading, which required an OS update to fully use. AMD's method uses actual cores, whereas Intel's duplicates only certain areas of the CPU. AMD calls their CPU's eight core mostly for marketing. Below are other processors you can consider.

From most powerful to least...

AMD FX-6100 Zambezi 3.3GHz
AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition Deneb 3.6GHz
AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz

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#3 NexDeus

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:28 PM

Wait, so you're saying that 8 core (or however many cores it really is) amd wouldnt work right in windows 7? I haven't kept up on technology lately.

Edited by NexDeus, 14 February 2012 - 07:34 PM.


#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:50 PM

Bulldozer will work normally, but it isn't working at its full potential in Windows 7. Windows 7 doesn't take into account Bulldozer's module design. Let's say, each core, not module, is numbered, from 0 to 7. Windows 7 will assign threads to cores 0 and 1, instead of an optimal module based assaignment, core 0 and 2. This work of assigning threads is done by the scheduler. Alternatively, it could assign threads to two cores, park the remaining cores, and then use Turbo on those two active cores. A recent patch to Windows 7 updated the scheduler to be more efficient with Bulldozer, but it is a highly integrated part of the OS and difficult to replace in a patch, hence the Windows 8 comment which should have a fully optimized scheduler in place already.

I have a Bulldozer CPU and it works well in games, but part of the (Loud) whining err... complaints about Bulldozer after release is that it performs as well as the i5 2500/2600 with an eight core design. Many less informed websites, or people only reading short summaries, or fanbois, would not realize that the "core" in eight core is a misnomer. This, paired with over hype and an unaware Windows 7 scheduler, led to often negative reviews.

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#5 NexDeus

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:28 PM

So perhaps I should go ahead with the I5 idea? I want to get the best that I can and not find myself needing an upgrade in a short amount of time. If the FX is currently viable I may go with it but I honestly have been blown away by how happy people are with the I5's and honestly even the passmark ratings of them, (Hell, the FX is only SLIGHTLY above the I5-2500k in passmark ratings.) But I dont only game I do modding for skyrim as well as some 3d design so I need those things kept in account when I decide my upgrades.

#6 killerx525

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:29 AM

I wouldn't rely on too much on those Passmark scores as they are synthetic benchmarks. The AMD ram will not work since it is DDR3 and the motherboard only supports DDR2.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:05 PM

In the first post, the OP said, "I have a current build made replacing those all for about $332 with ASrock 970 Extreme3 mobo." That RAM suggestion is for that motherboard.

Synthetic benchmarks are mostly useless as they don't account for actual performance in real-life situations. FX looks like it will be around for several more years, at least with socket AM3+. The current 8150 CPU's are part of the Bulldozer platform and have the code name Zambezi. The upcoming AMD FX CPU's are part of the "Piledriver" platform and are code named "Vishera." The one after that is "Steamroller" being on the "Indus" platform. All of these use Piledriver-based cores, thus allowing for AM3+ to continue to be used at least through 2013. By then, AMD is probably going to be in the process of switching to APU-based CPU's called "Excavator." Keep in mind that Intel does like to go through sockets rather frequently, so several years of potential upgrades isn't as likely as with AMD.

In all honesty, most people don't need four cores as most games are not written to use more than two. Content developers, renderers, and other scientific applications, however, may make use of the additional cores. Depending on how the application is coded, having two physical cores bound together may lead to better performance gains. I think that most people who have those 2500/2600 CPU's, would be just as happy if you replaced them with a 8120/8150 and didn't tell them about it. Not all, however. Games are more dependent on the GPU, with the CPU having less of an effect on game performance. It's still important, but not as critical as you might think. Look at CPU reviews that use actual gaming resolutions of 1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1200 to see what I mean. There are differences, of course, as every game is coded differently.

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