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Windows 7: Upgrade an AMD Phenom II 965 - Radeon 6870 HD

03 Apr 2015   #1
SaNdMaN82

Windows 7 Profesional x64
 
 
Upgrade an AMD Phenom II 965 - Radeon 6870 HD

Hello.
My current PC has the CPU and GPU described in the title, with 8gb of ram and a 600w power supply.

It's been a while since I put this machine together, so the idea of upgrading it a bit has crossed my mind...

I can play new games at 1080p, but of course not at ultra detail...
Most recent one, Cites Skylines, actually is a really heavy one, and once you progress in the game, computer starts to struggle...

So I was thinking in getting the fx-8350, and 270x...
What would you think ?

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
03 Apr 2015   #2
Solarstarshines

Windows 10 Home Premium 64bit sp1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SaNdMaN82 View Post
Hello.
My current PC has the CPU and GPU described in the title, with 8gb of ram and a 600w power supply.

It's been a while since I put this machine together, so the idea of upgrading it a bit has crossed my mind...

I can play new games at 1080p, but of course not at ultra detail...
Most recent one, Cites Skylines, actually is a really heavy one, and once you progress in the game, computer starts to struggle...

So I was thinking in getting the fx-8350, and 270x...
What would you think ?

Thanks.
You would be alright with that CPU but the bottleneck is the PCI-E also i would place at least a 280x to be atleast somewhere with in normal range of fps a 270x is not a good enough card in my opinion
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2015   #3
SaNdMaN82

Windows 7 Profesional x64
 
 

Hello, thanks for your feedback.
I'll look into that model further...
From what I've seen, they are not that far away...
According to benchmarks, they are pretty close.
The difference in price isn't that much either...

My gamming experience with my current setup has been more than satisfactory.
But I'm not sure if the games and applications overall have evolved in order to actually use 8 threads...
When I bought the 965 (4 cores), there where already some 6 core CPUs...
Nonetheless, that didn't actually mean better performance...

So I ended up with the 965...

Now, usually my bottleneck is on the GPU... When the GPU is at 95-100%, the CPU can hover around 85%...

Thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 Apr 2015   #4
stormy13
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Would help to know the make and model of the motherboard. Depending on what it is, you may be looking at an almost total rebuild and not an upgrade.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2015   #5
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SaNdMaN82 View Post
Hello, thanks for your feedback.
I'll look into that model further...
From what I've seen, they are not that far away...
According to benchmarks, they are pretty close.
The difference in price isn't that much either...

My gamming experience with my current setup has been more than satisfactory.
But I'm not sure if the games and applications overall have evolved in order to actually use 8 threads...
When I bought the 965 (4 cores), there where already some 6 core CPUs...
Nonetheless, that didn't actually mean better performance...

So I ended up with the 965...

Now, usually my bottleneck is on the GPU... When the GPU is at 95-100%, the CPU can hover around 85%...

Thank you
Most applications will not use 8 threads. The advantage to owning an 8 core CPU is that you can run many applications at the same time with no slowdown. Most apps struggle to use four cores and the only one I can think of which uses 8 is Handbrake for video encoding.

An FX-8350 is nice, I own one myself, but you may have to change your motherboard to be able to use one, depending on the board that you have. If you have to change the motherboard, you may want to consider going Intel and picking up an I7 4790K and appropriate motherboard. It performs better than the FX-8350. Changing a motherboard also means fussing with your Windows license. If you have an OEM version, you can't move it to a new motherboard.

If you're going to get a R9 280X, you may have to consider getting a new power supply. Most of the 280X's that I was shopping for recently required a 750 Watt PSU. The 280X is a good card. I have a 280 and so far it's taken everything I've thrown at it and played it at ultra settings.

There is nothing wrong with the 965BE that you have. You might just do well upgrading the GPU and power supply, rather than getting a new CPU and motherboard (if needed). A good graphics card will improve the quality of your games much more than a new FX-8350 will. I know from experience.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2015   #6
Solarstarshines

Windows 10 Home Premium 64bit sp1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mellon Head View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SaNdMaN82 View Post
Hello, thanks for your feedback.
I'll look into that model further...
From what I've seen, they are not that far away...
According to benchmarks, they are pretty close.
The difference in price isn't that much either...

My gamming experience with my current setup has been more than satisfactory.
But I'm not sure if the games and applications overall have evolved in order to actually use 8 threads...
When I bought the 965 (4 cores), there where already some 6 core CPUs...
Nonetheless, that didn't actually mean better performance...

So I ended up with the 965...

Now, usually my bottleneck is on the GPU... When the GPU is at 95-100%, the CPU can hover around 85%...

Thank you
Most applications will not use 8 threads. The advantage to owning an 8 core CPU is that you can run many applications at the same time with no slowdown. Most apps struggle to use four cores and the only one I can think of which uses 8 is Handbrake for video encoding.

An FX-8350 is nice, I own one myself, but you may have to change your motherboard to be able to use one, depending on the board that you have. If you have to change the motherboard, you may want to consider going Intel and picking up an I7 4790K and appropriate motherboard. It performs better than the FX-8350. Changing a motherboard also means fussing with your Windows license. If you have an OEM version, you can't move it to a new motherboard.

If you're going to get a R9 280X, you may have to consider getting a new power supply. Most of the 280X's that I was shopping for recently required a 750 Watt PSU. The 280X is a good card. I have a 280 and so far it's taken everything I've thrown at it and played it at ultra settings.

There is nothing wrong with the 965BE that you have. You might just do well upgrading the GPU and power supply, rather than getting a new CPU and motherboard (if needed). A good graphics card will improve the quality of your games much more than a new FX-8350 will. I know from experience.
You can always move a OEM license to another Build as long as you contact Microsoft and tell them the other system is deactivated

You will not need a new OS also FYI if you are using the hardrive from the other system and it is all AMD it will actually boot into your old settings with the new chip AMD is cool like that
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2015   #7
SaNdMaN82

Windows 7 Profesional x64
 
 

Hello.
Thanks again.

I agree, only a handful of applications will actually take advantage of having a lot of cores...

I've played for a few moments, and these are the results:

BF3 - Online (1080p low graph settings)



Cities Skylines (1080p, high detail)


For BF3, the bottleneck is at the GPU side...
BF3 is pretty GPU intensive, and even at multiplayer the CPU has no issues.

On the other hand, Cities Skylines is a simulation game so you can see CPU really struggling there...
GPU does not max out, normally...

That's why I first though of upgarding both components, since they were bought at the same time many years ago...

Motherboard is an Asus M5A87.
From what I understand, the 8350 is compatible with this motherboard.
So from a card point of view, I can upgrade both CPU and GPU without touching the motherboard.
I'm not a heavy gammer, so OC is not required...

About the PSU, yes, maybe I will need to change that... But I'm not determined yet to purchase these items...

What I need to find out first, is if I'll really notice an improvent that's worth the kind of money I'd spend...
I live in Argentina, and let's just say that tech stuff is not cheap, for sure...

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2015   #8
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

The load when playing Cities Skylines is likely not going to change much if you go to an 8350.

You might notice a difference in playing both games, as the 8350 is 600 MHz faster. 800 MHz faster in Turbo mode.

Where you will really notice a difference is in upgrading the GPU. The 280X has around double the processing power of your current card, and more memory, plus a wider data bus. For the money, it's the best upgrade that you can do.

Your motherboard will take an 8350, if you want to do it, but I think you'll get a better, more cost effective upgrade by just doing the graphics card and PSU.

Just my opinion. YMMV.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2015   #9
Solarstarshines

Windows 10 Home Premium 64bit sp1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mellon Head View Post
The load when playing Cities Skylines is likely not going to change much if you go to an 8350.

You might notice a difference in playing both games, as the 8350 is 600 MHz faster. 800 MHz faster in Turbo mode.

Where you will really notice a difference is in upgrading the GPU. The 280X has around double the processing power of your current card, and more memory, plus a wider data bus. For the money, it's the best upgrade that you can do.

Your motherboard will take an 8350, if you want to do it, but I think you'll get a better, more cost effective upgrade by just doing the graphics card and PSU.

Just my opinion. YMMV.

Since we are on the Upgrade Subject i would go as far as to find one of the old PhenomII Hexcores and get a 280x or even a GTX 970 reason why i run a 8320E cost me $99 flat but the thing of it is i had to clock it to 4.8Ghz to even compete with a I5 and the frames could be much better but the GPU is bottlenecked because the PCI-E lane is 2.0 NOT 3.0 none the less still offers robust performance
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2015   #10
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Solarstarshines View Post
Since we are on the Upgrade Subject i would go as far as to find one of the old PhenomII Hexcores and get a 280x or even a GTX 970 reason why i run a 8320E cost me $99 flat but the thing of it is i had to clock it to 4.8Ghz to even compete with a I5 and the frames could be much better but the GPU is bottlenecked because the PCI-E lane is 2.0 NOT 3.0 none the less still offers robust performance
Good point about the PCIe lanes being a bottleneck, but I think a better card would still be a significant improvement. As you say "robust performance".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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