Thoughts/Advice on the Phenom

Hey I have just ordered my build and am ready to step into the world of PC gaming.  My build consists of a 7850 and a Phenom IIx4 965 BE.  I was wondering wat people think about this CPU and does anyone hav any advice for me about this chip?  Also will the CPU bottleneck the GPU (alot or not tht much).  THX!

The cpu will not bottleneck gpu, cpu can be easily OC-ed to 4ghz with a proper mb and air cooling

That chip is a great one. If you got a good board you can get to 3.9 Ghz stable on very basic air cooling(I was stable on stock cooler). If you can get a high End Air Cooler or even Good Liquid you can push 4.2-4.5 without much issue as long as your board doesnt suck. I do reommend getting an additional cooler for your VRM or get a ridiculously high Airflow case.

can you give me your settings cause i have the stock fan and i dont know how to overclock.

Well, you need a decent mobo and CPU cooler to overclock, what motherboard do you have?

The Phenom ii X4 955 at stock speed has a 3DMark score well above the FX4170 and well above 11000 points, it will not bottleneck a 7850 anytime soon. A 965 is 0.2 GHz faster at stock speed, and 4 GHz on a high performance CPU cooler is a realistic overclock, plus it will use a lot less electrical power at gaming load than an FX4170, even though it's not very power efficient at idle load (business use), which makes it an ideal gaming CPU for modern games and a perfect companion of a modern midrange gaming performance card like the 7850. I hope you took the 7850 2GB version, then you have the perfect gaming setup for the next 3-5 years of high end 1080p gaming. Crytek has stated that the FX4150 is the minimum CPU for highest spec Crysis3, and that CPU has a 3Dmark of about 9000 points, well under the spec of the Phenom II X4 955/965. The Phenom II X4/X6 and FX6300 is the best of AMD for the moment in terms of safe practical gaming performance. Only the 8350 performs better in the AMD product portfolio, but then it's a huge power hog when overclocked to the performance level that actually makes it faster for gaming, to the point of it maybe not being very practical in the long run (we have yet to see if such a power delivery doesn't cause problems for motherboards without special VRM MOS-FET cooling measures, because augmenting the core voltage on the FX8350 reduces the amps the VRM needs to deliver, but at the same time reduces the lifetime of the CPU considerably, while keeping the core voltage as low as possible when overclocking, which is very well possible with the very tolerant AMD CPUs, means that the VRMs need to cough up extra ampères, more than any other CPU at this point...). It would be nice to see AMD coming up with a Phenom III in the future, I'm afraid the FX is to AMD what the Pentium D was to Intel in a certain way.

What was the pentium D to intel? I'm not familiar with that CPU. A phenom 3 would be sweet.


"Netburst" architecture, it was a patchup design with 31 pipelines, but instead of augmenting the performance of the Pentium 4 significantly, it lead to congestion and iffy performance.

AMD took the lead in performance CPU's at that point, and it made them forget who they are, which in the end lead to the situation AMD is in now, where they have to compete on price alone, thus losing money on almost every item they sell, whether CPU or GPU.

For the first Intel Core that quickly replaced the Pentium D, Intel went back to 14 pipelines, which allowed the cores to rebound faster after a failed queued-up prediction, and they refocused on clock speed and on software optimisations to better work with their CPUs. Basically, the present Intel chips are still based upon the Pentium 4, they've just optimised the way the processor handles it's workload as opposed to changing the physical architecture.

AMD started out as a kind of subcontractor for Intel 8086 and 80286 CPU's, but Intel didn't like the idea of AMD making 80386 CPU's in the late 80's, so AMD rented an electron microscope and photographed layer per layer of the 80386 to reverse engineer it, whereas they would get the plans of the CPU's from Intel before the 80386. There was a court case and AMD won the right to manufacture the 80386 clones, and later the 80486 clones. They sold their CPU's at a much lower price than Intel, and thus started the PC revolution. Without AMD, the prices of PC's would have stayed high. AMD was also an overclocking master, with clock speeds much higher than Intel, fo instance the Intel486 was clocked at maximum 33 MHz but the Amd486 was clocked at 40-50 MHz. Intel then switched to the Pentium CPU designs, which used a number of new technologies to boost performance, and the first generation Pentium clockspeeds were 60-66 MHz, whereas AMD, lacking the Pentium technology, had to focus on boosting the clockspeed of it's 486 CPU, and brought out 486 chips clocked at a whopping 133 MHz, which actually made the much cheaper Amd486-133 perform better than the much more expensive Intel Pentium-66.

As you see, nothing ever changes, AMD started the PC revolution, but they were always lacking several years of technology evolution compared to Intel, which they compensated for by having a really low price and by cranking the clock speed up, until Intel made a mistake with the Pentium D, and AMD was able to take the lead, but they rested on their laurels, and payed a heavy price.

Now, the situation is pretty much again like in the nineties, AMD has older technology but higher clock speeds and overclockability, thus compensating for most of the Intel newer technology benefit, and AMD competes on price, thus always having it's profit margins under pressure. The difference with the 90's is that AMD doesn't have any foundries of its own anymore, so they have lost absolute control over the products they use to compete with Intel.

Imagine AMD giving up the ridiculous Zambesi-Bulldozer-Piledriver design and returning to full cores like the Deneb design, but then with better power efficiency and higher clock speed, a real Phenom III, at a fair price, just like they did with the Amd80386 and Amd80486

Imagine AMD giving up the ridiculous Zambesi-Bulldozer-Piledriver design and returning to full cores like the Deneb design, but then with better power efficiency and higher clock speed, a real Phenom III, at a fair price, just like they did with the Amd80386 and Amd80486


Amd had to change architecture cause he Phenom II generation wasnt supporting important instructions

that Intels Nechalem and Sandy Bridge was.

Flaw in the Buldozer architecture is low IPC, but it is improving, Piledriver is faster than Buldozer, Steamroller will be faster (about 15% they say) than Piledriver, and so on...

That does not make it any less frustrating that zambezi was actually slower then deneb, and vishera is only a marginal improvement. I suppose progress does not come without risking fiascos like bulldozer though.