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AMD CPU upgrade question


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#1 TNF

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 02:40 PM

Hi, I am currently using a Phenom II 965 BE processor.

 

I was planning to upgrade my motherboard (to an AM3+) and use my CPU until I finally needed to upgrade to a better one.

 

But... with the FM2+ style processors that have been released since I started using the 965, that means a different motherboard, correct?

 

I originally posted a Motherboard question here and got lots of great advice, but for various reaons never went through with the upgrade.

And now that info is almost 2 years old.  My fault.

 

 

I game some (BF4, Far Cry 3, etc) , and I Photoshop.

 

So, my question is this... 

Since I use dedicated GPUs (currently Radeon HD 7750), I don't need the onboard GPU from AMD.

Is the processing speed of the new processors worth upgrading to?

Should I stick with the AM3+ family for a while?

 

I know how to research the individual processors for performance and price, but it's more the "family" of processors I have questions about.

If that makes sense.

 

I have built a few gaming rigs, but my knowledge of all the technical differences between CPUs and even Motherboards, is lacking.

 

Basically, I either upgrade my motherboard and use my current CPU for a while, then upgrade that, but that's not future-proofing very well.

Or... I upgrade both the motherboard AND CPU.... which is of course twice the price of the first option.

 

Any thoughts or advice?

Thank you!

 

 

 



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#2 hamluis

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 04:20 PM

Well...I usually determine what CPU I want first, then consider finding a board.

 

AM3+ boards are compatible with FX CPUs.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_FX_microprocessors

 

Since you have a discrete graphics card, I see no sense in considering any of the APU series.

 

But the real members of this forum will weigh in shortly on this...I don't know very much but I do have both FX 8120 and 8320 CPUs and have used each with an AM3+ board.

 

Louis



#3 jonuk76

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 05:23 PM

You can loosely think of the AM3+ CPU's as AMD's "performance range" - FX CPU's with up to 8 cores and in the case of the FX9xxx series power consumption of well over 200 watts.

 

The FM2/FM2+ CPU's are more of a mainstream offering.  They are not compatible with AM3 motherboards.  The motherboards are cheaper, and the CPU's have up to 4 cores, and the majority of them have an integrated GPU (integrated GPU models are branded as an Accelerated Processing Unit or APU by AMD).

 

The AM3+ range hasn't really been updated in two years.  The FM2+ range seems to be where AMD is most actively developing at the moment.

 

BTW what is the reason for changing the motherboard only?  Is your current one damaged?

 

In terms of CPU power, the top of the line FM2+ APU's (like the A10-7850K) are a modest upgrade from your Phenom II.  But so modest, you probably would barely notice IMO.  And if you won't be using the integrated GPU then probably it's a waste of money buying one of these APU's.  The AM3+ FX CPU's could provide a more useful upgrade path.


Edited by jonuk76, 01 October 2014 - 05:24 PM.

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#4 TNF

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 06:46 AM

Well...I usually determine what CPU I want first, then consider finding a board.

 

AM3+ boards are compatible with FX CPUs.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_FX_microprocessors

 

Since you have a discrete graphics card, I see no sense in considering any of the APU series.

 

But the real members of this forum will weigh in shortly on this...I don't know very much but I do have both FX 8120 and 8320 CPUs and have used each with an AM3+ board.

 

Louis

 

I agree with you.  When I first started my motherboard search, I was planning on carrying my processor forward and would later buy an AM3+ compatible processor.

But with a newer family released (the FM2+, etc)... I now know I need to decide on a CPU before a new motherboard.

 

With that said.... it looks like it's still a good idea to stay in the AM3+ socket family, sinc I can use the FX processors.

I mistakenly assumed AM3+ was on it's way out with the newer APU family's arrival.

 

And holy cow @ that link.. thank you. I have a lot to learn.

 

You also just taught me that I should be using the term "APU" instead of "FM2"....correct?

The APU series are the A6-, A8-, A10-, with the on board graphics as I understand it.

 

Regarding the FX processor, thank you, and I will address that further in my response to Jonuk76.

 

Thank you Louis.



#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 07:04 AM

AMD would love to have the FM2+ socket be their performance line, but I don't believe they can get the FM2+ to work similarly enough to the AM3+ socket for the more performance-oriented CPU's to be brought over.  This may be why AMD keeps putting out new CPU's for AM3+.


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#6 TNF

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 07:28 AM

You can loosely think of the AM3+ CPU's as AMD's "performance range" - FX CPU's with up to 8 cores and in the case of the FX9xxx series power consumption of well over 200 watts.

 

The FM2/FM2+ CPU's are more of a mainstream offering.  They are not compatible with AM3 motherboards.  The motherboards are cheaper, and the CPU's have up to 4 cores, and the majority of them have an integrated GPU (integrated GPU models are branded as an Accelerated Processing Unit or APU by AMD).

 

The AM3+ range hasn't really been updated in two years.  The FM2+ range seems to be where AMD is most actively developing at the moment.

 

BTW what is the reason for changing the motherboard only?  Is your current one damaged?

 

In terms of CPU power, the top of the line FM2+ APU's (like the A10-7850K) are a modest upgrade from your Phenom II.  But so modest, you probably would barely notice IMO.  And if you won't be using the integrated GPU then probably it's a waste of money buying one of these APU's.  The AM3+ FX CPU's could provide a more useful upgrade path.

 

Hi,  thank you for this excellent explanation. 

 

I didn't realize that the FX were the performance range.   Mostly because I didn't educate myself enough before asking these questions, lol.

 

So if I stay with an AM3+ socket MB, I can carry my Phenom II 965 forward, then later get a faster "FX" processor and that will work just fine?

And FX are the latest "performance" CPU's ?

And as far as you know the FX family is continuing ?

 

Just want to make sure I understand correctly.

 

You ask why I want to upgrade motherboard... well, the main reason is that it's old, and USB 2.0. 

It's a  Biostar TA785GE 128M.  Doesn't really give me problems, I just want to use my USB 3.0 devices at 3.0 speeds.

 

Thank you for your help, Jonuk.

I really appreciate it.



#7 TNF

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 07:30 AM

AMD would love to have the FM2+ socket be their performance line, but I don't believe they can get the FM2+ to work similarly enough to the AM3+ socket for the more performance-oriented CPU's to be brought over.  This may be why AMD keeps putting out new CPU's for AM3+.

 

Ok.  Thanks for that, DJB.  You've always been very helpful.

 

As I stated previously, I assumed the AM3+ must be on it's way out with the APU series now their big focus.

I didn't realize the FX series was remaining.... and growing.

 

I realize I could have done a bit more research before coming here, so I appreciate everypne's patience.


Edited by TNF, 02 October 2014 - 07:38 AM.


#8 jonuk76

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 08:22 AM

Whether the FX range is continuing is a matter for debate.  As I mentioned, current designs are Piledriver based and around two years old. There seems to be no plans to release an FX range of CPU's using the Steamroller architecture, at least as far as I can tell.  Link discussing AMD road map.  Steamroller is the CPU architecture used in the latest 7xxx series APU's.

 

Steamroller offers a performance improvement in terms of instructions per cycle and power efficiency over the previous Piledriver based units, but it's an incremental improvement rather than a huge leap.  It is still behind what Intel are achieving, and that is before they've released Broadwell based CPU's which are imminent.


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#9 jonuk76

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 08:54 AM

A USB 3 expansion card might cover that short term need if you don't want to invest in a large upgrade at the moment, and they are quite cheap.  Example at Newegg.


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#10 TNF

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 11:56 AM

A USB 3 expansion card might cover that short term need if you don't want to invest in a large upgrade at the moment, and they are quite cheap.  Example at Newegg.

 

Ha.  Thanks for that, I appreciate it.... but get ready to laugh.

As I said, it's an old MB.  (1) PCI-e slot... being used by my video card.

 

Also, thanks for the correction above, about the FX not necessarily being continued.

 

I think my plan is to get an AM3+ motherboard, use the Phenom II 965 for a while, then get the high end FX later when I feel I really need to.

 

Side question....

I bought a network adapter for that same PCI-e slot before I realized I only had the one.  Rookie mistake, but only like a $12 Rosewill or something.

 

Is it true that running the ethernet through an adapter will give you faster performance (gaming) than just running through the default MB connection?

Or... does that depend on the MB itself?  (maybe newer ones are as fast, or faster?)

 

Thanks everyone.



#11 jonuk76

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 12:28 PM

Hmm that sucks a bit that they gave you two PCI slots, and one PCIe.  Standard 32bit PCI isn't a fast enough interface for USB 3.0 so there would be no point in a PCI card.

 

I don't think there is anything inherently faster about using a plug in network card.  It really depends on the hardware in question.  If you have an onboard 100 Mbit Ethernet adapter and you get a 1 Gbit PCIe plug in card, then yes it would be capable of faster speeds. The PCIe bus covers both expansion slots and on board hardware.  So a plug in video card or network card is on the PCIe bus, but so are the SATA controllers, on board Ethernet, on board audio, on board USB and so on.

 

On board network hardware does vary, so a very cheap motherboard may come with the most basic 100 Mbit controller, while high end boards tend to use better quality Gigabit ethernet and sometimes have dual or more adapters.


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#12 TNF

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 01:14 PM

Hmm that sucks a bit that they gave you two PCI slots, and one PCIe.  Standard 32bit PCI isn't a fast enough interface for USB 3.0 so there would be no point in a PCI card.

 

I don't think there is anything inherently faster about using a plug in network card.  It really depends on the hardware in question.  If you have an onboard 100 Mbit Ethernet adapter and you get a 1 Gbit PCIe plug in card, then yes it would be capable of faster speeds. The PCIe bus covers both expansion slots and on board hardware.  So a plug in video card or network card is on the PCIe bus, but so are the SATA controllers, on board Ethernet, on board audio, on board USB and so on.

 

On board network hardware does vary, so a very cheap motherboard may come with the most basic 100 Mbit controller, while high end boards tend to use better quality Gigabit ethernet and sometimes have dual or more adapters.

 

Hmmm.... so that brings up some questions.    I know it's straying from the CPU topic but I hope it's ok...

 

The card is a Rosewill 10/100/1000.... so that is a Gigabit card (at least that's how I read the 1000Mbps)... (please correct me if I'm wrong).

 

I understand if the MB is also capable of gigabit speeds then there is no advantage with the card.

 

But, you said a couple things that have me perplexed.... could you please expand on these two items?

 

  • "The PCIe bus covers both expansion slots and on board hardware.  So a plug in video card or network card is on the PCIe bus, but so are the SATA controllers, on board Ethernet, on board audio, on board USB and so on."

 

Could you please dumb that down a little for me, lol ?

 

Also..

 

  • "....sometimes have dual or more adapters."

 

 

Do you just mean they may have more than one ethernet input ?

If so... Is there an advantage to that to a home gamer?



#13 jonuk76

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 02:41 PM

The card is a Rosewill 10/100/1000.... so that is a Gigabit card (at least that's how I read the 1000Mbps)... (please correct me if I'm wrong).

 

Yep, a 1000 Mbps card is a Gigabit card.  The 10/100 part means it's backward compatible with older Ethernet standards (all of them are).  To make a Gigabit connection, the device you connect to (e.g. router) also has to be Gigabit capable, and you use a Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable.

 

I understand if the MB is also capable of gigabit speeds then there is no advantage with the card.

 

But, you said a couple things that have me perplexed.... could you please expand on these two items?

 

  • "The PCIe bus covers both expansion slots and on board hardware.  So a plug in video card or network card is on the PCIe bus, but so are the SATA controllers, on board Ethernet, on board audio, on board USB and so on."

 

Could you please dumb that down a little for me, lol ?

 

I'll try :)  PCI Express is not just a type of expansion card.  It also serves as an interconnect between motherboard components and the motherboard chipset and CPU.

 

From Wikipedia

 

PCI Express operates in consumer, server, and industrial applications, as a motherboard-level interconnect (to link motherboard-mounted peripherals), a passive backplane interconnect and as an expansion card interface for add-in boards.

 

In virtually all modern (as of 2012) PCs, from consumer laptops and desktops to enterprise data servers, the PCIe bus serves as the primary motherboard-level interconnect, connecting the host system-processor with both integrated-peripherals (surface-mounted ICs) and add-on peripherals (expansion cards). In most of these systems, the PCIe bus co-exists with one or more legacy PCI buses, for backward compatibility with the large body of legacy PCI peripherals.

 


Also..

 

  • "....sometimes have dual or more adapters."

 

Do you just mean they may have more than one ethernet input ?

If so... Is there an advantage to that to a home gamer?

 

Yes they have more that one Ethernet port. I've had motherboards with this feature, and I only ever used one of them...  So for me, no advantage.  For a typical gamer who plays online from home, no advantage.  It's only useful if you want to connect to more than one network simultaneously.  If you don't know if you need to do this, then you probably don't need it ;)


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#14 TNF

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 06:19 AM

 

The card is a Rosewill 10/100/1000.... so that is a Gigabit card (at least that's how I read the 1000Mbps)... (please correct me if I'm wrong).

 

Yep, a 1000 Mbps card is a Gigabit card.  The 10/100 part means it's backward compatible with older Ethernet standards (all of them are).  To make a Gigabit connection, the device you connect to (e.g. router) also has to be Gigabit capable, and you use a Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable.

 

Ok, thanks.... question here...

Right now I am using a Netgear Dual Band "ac" router... there is a cat 5e cable running to a different part of the house to another router, then from there splits to 3 different computers. 

I realize all of this must be capable of gigabit performance, but is there a bottleneck or any issue there that you can think of by running wired from main router, to a second router, then to the gaming PCs ?

 

Things seem to run fine, but if I am keeping them from running at their best, I'd like to fix that.

 

 

 

I understand if the MB is also capable of gigabit speeds then there is no advantage with the card.

 

But, you said a couple things that have me perplexed.... could you please expand on these two items?

 

  • "The PCIe bus covers both expansion slots and on board hardware.  So a plug in video card or network card is on the PCIe bus, but so are the SATA controllers, on board Ethernet, on board audio, on board USB and so on."

 

Could you please dumb that down a little for me, lol ?

 

I'll try :)  PCI Express is not just a type of expansion card.  It also serves as an interconnect between motherboard components and the motherboard chipset and CPU.

 

From Wikipedia

 

PCI Express operates in consumer, server, and industrial applications, as a motherboard-level interconnect (to link motherboard-mounted peripherals), a passive backplane interconnect and as an expansion card interface for add-in boards.

 

In virtually all modern (as of 2012) PCs, from consumer laptops and desktops to enterprise data servers, the PCIe bus serves as the primary motherboard-level interconnect, connecting the host system-processor with both integrated-peripherals (surface-mounted ICs) and add-on peripherals (expansion cards). In most of these systems, the PCIe bus co-exists with one or more legacy PCI buses, for backward compatibility with the large body of legacy PCI peripherals.

 

Ah.... thank you.  This is more knowledge I want, but didn't know enough to ask.

 


Also..

 

  • "....sometimes have dual or more adapters."

 

Do you just mean they may have more than one ethernet input ?

If so... Is there an advantage to that to a home gamer?

 

Yes they have more that one Ethernet port. I've had motherboards with this feature, and I only ever used one of them...  So for me, no advantage.  For a typical gamer who plays online from home, no advantage.  It's only useful if you want to connect to more than one network simultaneously.  If you don't know if you need to do this, then you probably don't need it ;)

 

 

That is how I understood the multiple ethernet ports, but I figured since it was brought up I would ask if there was an advantage I wasn't aware of, thanks.

 

 

Well.... I think I have my plan in place. 

I see boards with different types of PCIe slots (2.1 x16... x1...etc) so I have more learning to do, and will try to educate myself on what I need there.

Looks like DDR4, according to prices, is something I can do without.... and just stick with DDR3.

 

Thank you Januk.... and everyone else.

Always a great place to come for help.

 

If anyone has any further thoughts on any of this, I will definitely be checking back. 

 






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