Upgrade: any ideas?

So I hold no preference for AMD or Intel parts, nor for AMD versus Nvidia parts. My current build just isn't quite cutting it even with everyday tasks, much less with gaming. You can check out my profile for the full list of parts. But I have been considering a complete overhaul of my system and I was considering going AM3/AM3+ on this one, as I want Intel Socket 775 on the last one (that was out of necessity for the price, and because I thought I was going to get a Core2 Quad, which didn't happen. Those dirty scoundrels.) And I've been fairly dissappointed in the lack of options on my motherboard and processor choice. The only problem that I see, is that the current Socket AM3+ processor options just aren't worth the added cost. So I was thinking of going with this build:


And overclocking it by raising the bus rate up to the maximum supported on the MB to get the processor to around 3.3 GHz.

The point behind that one is that I would rather have several actual cores than just threads, since I do want to get back into rendering and 3D modeling and I already run out of threads when I've got a huge download going and I'm trying to run Mathematica.

And opinions and alternatives would be greatly appreciated, and I enjoy reading the comments.

*Edit: I suppose that I should have mentioned what kinds of games I will be playing. I'll mainly be playing Borderlands 2, DMC and maybe trying my hand at some Crysis 3 at medium settings. So I don't expect the Phenom II to return the absolute best gaming performance, but that isn't what I really want it for, because I don't always have the urge to game for 12 hours straight. This is a primary computer, so I want it to do primary computer things as well.

Honestly, I'd just for an FX-6300, if not an FX-8320. I mean, why would you go all out for cooling and get a locked CPU?  The FX-6300 is only $30 more, and can OC so much better.

Here is a comparison of the FX-8320 vs the 1100T; I use the 1100T because it has a 3.3GHz clock speed. Even at stock, the FX-8320 beats the 1100T, which means the 1045t, even overclocked, doesn't stand too much of a chance against a stock 8320. Forget about the oodles of OC headroom the 8320 has.


If the 8320 is a little much, the 8120 could be a good value at $160, especially if you plan to use all 8 cores, and OC.

And the PSU, don't skimp.


First of all, I don't mean to sound like I'm just being petulant and defending my position because I can. In my opinion, the FX 8350 is not quite a big enough leap from the Phenom II X6 series processors when it has two extra cores and also happens to be clocked higher. When I can save a hundred bucks on the processor and overclock it using the disparity between the bus speeds between the AM3 processor and what the AM3+ motherboard is capable of, I don't see why I wouldn't want to do that. The point I'm tryint to make is that I would much rather save my money now and spend it when AMD releases the next big improvement in their processor technology. Seeing as how it is AMD, they've already said that they will stick with AM3+ for a few more processor generations.

Also, with the PSU, I'm not skimping, I've seen nothing but good reviews for that one, and it's a 700W with 80+ Bronze rating. So I don't really see what the problem is. I mean, obviously the quality is lower than that of the Corsair, but it still has to match what it claims the compliance is.

In terms of value for the money, I would definitely not recommend any of the first generation of FX processors, as they were rubbish.

And why would I want to over-cool the Phenom? Because they like operating below 53 degrees celsius and also because when AMD releases the next big thing, I want to be able to get the unlocked version of that and get some really nice overclocks.

well, it's your money, and your performance hit. If you plan on using threaded tasks, which you did state, even Bulldozer will trump the old Phenom II's. Just realize that Piledriver is only about 7-10% faster, so you really can't Bulldozer rubbish without insulting Piledriver as well.

Looking at the SysMark 2012 3D modeling benchmark alone, the Phenom 1100T (assuming 1045T's price tag) nets you 1.27 points/dollar. the FX-8320 at stock nets you 1.3 points per dollar. Again, even overclocked to 3.3Ghz, the 1045T does NOT match the performance or value of the FX-8320 WITHOUT overclocking, and the FX will overclock a heck of a lot higher than a locked Phenom II. Even a 8150, for $160, will at least match the value of the Phenom II 1045T, if not beat it.

The other part of this equation is memory speed; the Phenom II only natively supports 1333, while the FX supports 1866, and I'd imagine that memory bandwidth will play an important role in 3D modeling.

Right now, the FX 8150 is only $160, and using that same benchmark, it nets you 1.25 points per dollar, nipping the heels of an OC'd 1045T, at stock speeds. Again, loads of untapped value in both Piledriver and Bulldozer in the form of unlocked OCing. No matter how you slice it, the Phenom II x6 1045T is the least bang for the buck. of the 3 options. Again, your money.

I plan on getting the same cooler, tell me how it performs pl0x. Also I would have to agree with Jerm, but I'd stick with the Phenom II based on it's price. You could go with the 8350/20 but that's an extra $80 usually and that would boost tasks like editing a little. 

He did an overkill on motherboard and cooling, he can get FX 8320 for 180$... FX 6300 is better than Phenom II 1045T and has same TDP if I am right. FX 8320 will just slam it...

FX 6300 costs 140$ while FX 8320 is 180$, you actually don't need to OC... Just get a Hyper 212 Evo or some other aftermarket cooler and a bit less expensive motherboard, you don't need to overclock for your needs. FX 6300 will fit nicely and FX 8320 is a sweetspot ;)

Also did you put tax rate on your partpicker build, is it 8% in USA for hardware?

The point behind the cooler is to support overclocking on any chip I happen to upgrade to in the future, the same thing with the motherboard. I don't want to spend extra money that I don't have to to get a decent mothreboard later on top of getting a different processor. I've already got one build that I'm going to be replacing every single part from, so I don't really want to have another that does the same. And my point about the Phenom II X6 is this: I'm not one of those people that will look at a benchmark and see a ten percent increase as a reason to spend $60-80 more on a part. Especially when I look at the benchmarks and see that compared against the FX 6300, the 2.8 GHz Phenom II X6 1055T still manages to stay within 10-15% of a performance difference. That is a difference of 800 MHz and a huge difference in stock RAM speeds, which you can change really easily on the Phenom II since the memory controller is seperate from the rest of the processor for overclocking. Which is also the reason for the complete overkill on the RAM. So I think that I can get equivalent or better performance out of a cheaper Thuban generation processor, while I wait for AMD to release somthing that is actually worth paying the upgrade premium for. And it will still severely outperform my current build.

Bulldozer/Piledriver/Steamroller(Q4 2013)/Excavator(Q4 2014/Q1 2015) have a very different arhitecture compared to Phenom 2, currently most programs/games does not utilize real potential of its arhitecture and that is slowly changing.

More and more programs are multi-threaded since single-threading probavly by now hit the limit and its potential. Also on newegg it costs 140$ so its equal to FX 6300... -_-"

Well, aside from the CPU and PSU, which I've already expressed, the rest of the build looks solid.

I should probably mention, you're never going use 700w short of CrossFire. Again, I'd urge a higher quality PSU. The review sample is very small, and 80 plus cert doesn't guarantee quality. I also can't find the CoolMax ZX series on the UL database.

Here is what Joel Hruska from ExtremeTech had to say:

If you’re upgrading from a cheap piece of junk (anything with words like Sparkle, Max, Tech, Sun, Bright, or Beam in the name is virtually guaranteed to be garbage), the premium is easier to justify.

...I'm never going to recommend someone buy a generic supply. Past tests and various articles have repeatedly demonstrated that they're inferior to other models. Some of them claim 80 Plus testing without actually being certified for such.

It's just a bad situation. Best case -- and I mean, best case scenario -- your PSU is capable of what it says it is. But mostly, they aren't.

First, here’s an overview of 80 Plus PSU pricing at various wattages. We created this data from NewEgg results, but only picked units from well-known vendors. Generic products from companies like CoolMax aren’t a part of these results.


I pulled those quotes from both comments and article. The article is fairly recent too.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4904561 $180 no need to overclock and you can alway buy that cooler later when you need more performance. http://cpuboss.com/cpus/AMD-Phenom-II-X6-1045T-vs-AMD-FX-8350 . why risk your build to a company that is know to make crap psu. Dont buy a coolmax for 50 bucks there are plenty of psu out there for that price that are great. 

He can get from tigerdirect AMD FX 8320 for 170$, get a less expensive cooler and motherboard and then you can afford an FX 8350 or FX 8320. Both great...

I love how you guys totally didn't read my explanation for why the Phenom II is still relavant, and also, if you guys noticed PCpart picker.com has a source of Phenom II X6 1045T for $99. So... I may still check out the FX 6300, but I just don't see the point in paying that much more for a processor that doesn't perform that much better than something two generations older than it. About the power supply, I'll probably wind up going with the Corsair CX series 600W semi-modular model. Because they just got that one on PCpartpicker and it's usually within a few dollars of the other 600W one. 


I think that looks a little bit better, and the price for the improvement on that front was only about $5. Now if someone wants to send me $30, I'd be more than happy to make the temporary upgrade to the FX 6300.

Don't get that cooler psu or mobo. For either 60 or 70 you can grab a corsair cx750 builder. You won't need that much but it's cheap and enough and 80 plus certified so why not;

I love how you totally didn't look at the benchmarks.

I never said the Phenom II isn't relevant, it's a pretty good budget CPU, especially for just under $100, but if you have money to spare, there are both faster, and better value CPU's. As I've pointed out, even overclocked, the 1045T can't match the value of an FX-8350 at stock clocks, and FX-8150 is nipping at the heels of an OC'd 1045T, again, at stock clocks. You obviously have money to spare if you're springing for liquid cooling and $160 mobo. The FX isn't as slow as you think, or the Phenom II x6 isn't as fast as you think, though it might be a combination of both. Even upon release, Bulldozer has been praised for its multithreaded performance and overclocking ability over the Phenom II x6 even in the most critical of reviews; the massive, and unfair criticisms stem from single-threaded performance and power consumption/heat. To be fair, applications at the time weren't optimized for 8-cores. The thing with AMD CPU's is they tend to get better with age as software adapts.

You can afford the FX-8150 ($160), if you get a Gigabyte 970A-UD3 (PCPartPicker link), which is still a good overclocking board, for a lot less money. That should free up $60 for the CPU budget. Since you are overclocking, you don't even need the 8150; you can even settle for an 8120 for $140 (at NCIX)!

I'll say this one last time: The Phenom II x6 1045T has the least price/performance ratio for your workload out of all the 8-core FX series, and overclocking makes the value gap even larger since the FX OC's significantly more. Your money is best spent in the FX series, even if it's just a place holder for the next gen. Think of this way: the faster the CPU is now, the longer you can wait for the next gen to drop from what will likely be an inflated price (like how Bulldozer was when it released).