I cannot decide whether to buy an FX-8350 that is $200 plus an air cooler or an FX-9590 that is $370 plus a water cooler. Is the performance of the 9590 worth paying more for? Any help is appreciated.
They are the same CPU. The 9590 is just binned higher and factory overclocked. Grab an FX-8350, a good cooler and overclock it. They don't overclock as well as they used to because they started to market the good OCing 8350s as the 9370 and 9590. That being said if you get lucky you can get an 8350 to 4.6-5.0 Ghz.
I have an earlier 8350 OCed to 4.8.
Sweet, thanks, do you think that I should watercool my 8350 though?
That really depends. I like watercooling personally. I don't think that it is that big of a hassel because I don't change out my components. Plus I get better temps. You can get pretty close to water cooling on air, but it will be louder. Plus not all cases have room for a gigantic heatsink, but then again not all cases have space for a radiator.
If you are going for a high overclock then I would grab a liquid cooler. I have a Kraken X60 on mine. A bit expensive but it works great and keeps it cool even at 100% load on a 4.8Ghz overclock.