So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

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So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:52 am

Ok,
More than a year ago I built my own machine, but it wound up having mysterious random hard locks requiring a reset to recover from. After all of this time and a lot of tests, I still have no idea what is causing the locks. I am suspecting a peripheral such as a USB hub or even the CPU itself. Memory tests and stress tests over long periods all work, but under normal light use such as browsing and photo-editing the PC will just hard-lock. I have replaced quite a few peripherals with small incremental improvements in lock frequency, but not a compete cure.

I have finally had it. But after spending a literal **** of money on a large pond, my budget it pretty low.

Currently I have a Phenom X2 Black edition that wont let me unlock the two spare cores even though the motherboard has the ability. *sigh* Overclocking features I have tried, but this CPU is a dud as I can barely overclock. I wanted to try overclocking and running the stress tests to see if the problem became more frequent, but that didn't help narrow it down as I couldn't move it much.

So... I am debating if I should just try the shotgun approach of about $400 to upgrade to an i5 or maybe an i7 which would require a new motherboard, CPU and RAM, or get a Phenom X4 for a nice $120 upgrade. Obviously I like the cheaper route as I wont have to deal with farting around with the OS install with a completely different backbone. I would need new RAM as the RAM voltage on my sticks is higher than the Intel supports.

Any recommendations?

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viewtopic.php?f=29&t=73246
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:08 pm

I'd guess that your motherboard is more likely to cause a problem than your processor.

If you really are looking for a new Socket-AM3 CPU, how about the Phenom II X4 960T? It's an unlocked chopped-down Thuban.

The LGA1155 route might be more satisfying.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:24 pm

Go 1156. You will thank yourself afterwards.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:40 pm

StuG wrote:Go 1156. You will thank yourself afterwards.
LGA 1156 (Lynnfield) is obsolete. LGA 1155 (Sandy Bridge) is a much better choice.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:46 pm

2500k 1155 sandybridge cpu and a generation 3/pci-e 3 supported Z68 MB.That leaves best upgrade chance to ivybridge possible
I have noticed people say microcenter has the best price lately, like 180$ for the 2500k cpu and 80$ off a Z68 MB.If you have one near you,you can walk in and hook up:).I do not know if they have the the same sale online?
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:46 pm

Sorry meant 1155 >.<
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:48 am

YEah, I was thinking of trying out a newer MSI motherboard leaving all else the same. I was also thinking it is likely a peripheral on the MB causing me issues. If I choose an AM3+ is give me an upgrade path, not like I am going to buy a bulldozer any time soon though. At least I would get USB3.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:09 pm

I'd steer you toward something like the M5A88-M, M5A97 or GA-990FXA-UD3 rather than an MSI motherboard if you had your heart set on socket-AM3+.

For LGA1155, consider something like the GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3, Maximus IV Gene-Z or P8Z68-V/Gen3.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:40 pm

A Phenom will be less powerful, but also less expensive. If you do go the AMD route, consider an X6, too.

I'd get a Gigabyte motherboard either way.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:36 pm

You have not said what all you do with your computer. As wonderful as the Sandy Bridge CPUs are, sometimes they really are more than necessary. I have a Sandy Bridge at work and I could actually use something faster at single threads there. I have a Phenom II x4 955 at home and it is really quite a bit more CPU than I need.

If a Phenom II X4 is fast enough for what you do with your computer, get that and save much money. If it's not fast enough then you may as well go for i5 2500K.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:56 pm

I have gone back and re-read a lot of the bulldozer reviews and started to warm up to them a little more now that my sandy bridge killer expectation is gone. IF you look at those reviews with a more open mind and also see what WIndows 8 may do for it's performance the 8150 may not be a Bad choice as long as you can still keep the same mobo/ram etc etc. Win 8 is supposed to be more efficient at threading. From what I see, the bulldozers should be considered more so like a hyperthreaded cpu than a true 8, 6 or 4 core cpu.

BUT....., I was in a similar predicimant as you and opted for a Sandy 2500k and even though my primary concern is Gaming (I use an HD69502gb) I have seen my minimum frame rates rise by 15 to 20 FPS in Deus Ex and other newer games.. Avg frame rates may not go up much (gpu bottleneck) but from what I have seen since this upgrade my games are running a little smoother.

I don't think you can go wrong either way you choose, as long as you dump the dually!
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:58 am

I am of the thinking of staying away from ASUS on this one, as the first motherboard I built this box blew up and shorted out the main power supply and itself. This one was a replacement. Both exhibited this issue, and I think whatever chipset they are using for whatever is causing a problem may be best eliminated by going to a competitor. Still mulling it over.

FYI image processing and some light gaming. Mostly circuit CAD these days, so I don't need gobs of power. I mostly want to keep things running stable and cool.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:08 am

This Gigabyte board lacks UEFI and the fan controls aren't as good as Asus' Q-Fan, but I've been pleased with other products from this manufacturer. If you like MSI, how about the Z68A-GD55 (G3) or Z68MA-ED55 (B3)?

My last MSI motherboard was a headache. I might blame NVidia instead of MSI for the buggy chipset, but the lousy cooling design was definitely MSI's fault.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:59 pm

Ok, lets get things straight. Bulldozer was...less than ideal and I wouldn't suggets it at all. I like the term "Under-cooked" to describe Bulldozer. Piledriver is the one to wait for now, by that time they should have fixed/improved single threaded performance.

At this moment in time, i5 2500K offers the best price/performance hands down in the high performance category of CPUs. I'm not sure where "flip-mode" gets off thinking that anything AMD has can beat sandy bridge CPUs at a given price range in single threaded performance. The Phenom X4 is old news compared to Sandy Bridge on the performance front, but its still going to have some shelf life since Bulldozer more or less failed. If you do go Intel, i would recommend a board offering PCI 3.0 as they have the best chances of being compatable with Ivy Bridge CPU's from intel when they come out (I know, crazy to think that a new intel CPU would fit into a motherboard from the previous generation of cpus). However, depending on how cash-strapped you are, a simple CPU upgrade may be in your best interests. (you'll have to decide that for yourself) If thats the case, TR's nice little value charts are easy to start with. If you're up for a little more than $120 as stated in your original post, Phenom X6 1075T is a good value at $160.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/21813/19

Looks like its time for someone to plug ASRock motherboards. They offer very good performance and overclockability at a low price. Their UEFI is also decent. Don't overlook the little guy lurking in the shadows of the big 3, ASRock is quickly making a name for themselves. Their "Gen3" mobos have PCI 3.0 for Intel Ivy Bridge CPU's
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:30 pm

DPete27 wrote:I'm not sure where "flip-mode" gets off thinking that anything AMD has can beat sandy bridge CPUs at a given price range in single threaded performance.

You misunderstand his argument. He was just saying "Buy all the CPU you need." In some cases, Phenom 2 is enough. In others, i7-2XXX is enough.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:40 pm

Its important to realize that technology, just like cars, homes, or whatever, isn't about the biggest, baddest, or fastest. You buy to suit your needs. flip-mode is definately on-point.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:59 am

I'm running a Phenon X4 quad and it works fine for games so far--and it was like 120 bucks. I mean, if I had the budget for it and was building now I'd go with an i5 but, for gaming, decent phenoms are certainly adequate. And if it's that vs a good GPU (or for that matter, saving some cash if you're a bit tight) I know which I'd pick...I mean yeah the i5 2500k is nice but it's like 200 bucks, plus the motherboards seem to cost a few bucks more, so you're talking 100 dollar increase in system cost.
but yeah, bulldozer blows for desktop at it's current price point :( At what BD charges you should certainly just get an i5, and if you want to go lower cost, look at Phenom X4s (or maybe i3s? Not sure how their performance stacks up).
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:00 am

There are SB CPUs cheaper than the 2500k- it's strength isn't price/performance, but in overclocking potential. Another GHz is a given, and they easily run into the 4.6-4.8GHz region without fuss. At those speeds, there isn't an AMD CPU that can touch them for the price.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:23 am

Though if he's doing drop in replacement, a similarly priced processor could be near but not at that performance, but $100 less.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:37 am

I looked at a Micro Center add last night and saw that they are selling the Phenom II X4 840 for $59.99 and my face went :o

http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0371961

In store only :wink:
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:00 am

Drat, that would be perfect! Long drive to Yonkers from here.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:36 am

If you can hold off for a few weeks I'll be unloading my ASRock board for cheap (nothing wrong with it, just won't need it anymore). I don't mind hooking up a fellow gerbil.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:36 am

DPete27 wrote:I'm not sure where "flip-mode" gets off thinking that anything AMD has can beat sandy bridge CPUs at a given price range in single threaded performance.

Yeah, as I.S.T. said, you misunderstood me - I said that at work I have the i5 2500 and I could use even more single threaded performance than it can offer but at home I have the X4 955 and it's more than I need. In other words - in one scenario I can't seem to get enough performance and in the other, even the good old K10 CPUs gives me plenty. So just buy based on what you need and if you don't need the fastest then don't buy the fastest. If I put an i5 2500 in my home machine it would be nothing short of criminally wasteful.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:51 am

flip-mode wrote:I have a Sandy Bridge at work and I could actually use something faster at single threads there.


DPete27 wrote:I'm not sure where "flip-mode" gets off thinking that anything AMD has can beat sandy bridge CPUs at a given price range in single threaded performance.


Thank you, re-reading flipmode's post, I did misread, however in my defense it could have been worded clearer. I am also a big supporter of "buy whats enough for your needs" idea. I also realize that budget gets put on the back burner in threads like this which is why I also supported the idea of the OP just upgrading to a Phenom x4 or x6 which would save money on a new mobo and ram. If you get a decent enough CPU, the OP's system could very well last for a couple (2-3 even) more years if need be, which is why I suggested something like the Phenom 1075T to give a little headroom. Theres a fine line to be walked when getting something good enough for your needs without limiting the longevity of the system. I personally like skipping at least 1 generation of CPU's between upgrades if possible so I'll splurge for a little extra when I do a build so my CPU/MOBO/RAM lasts me at least 2 years.

The OP is the one that is going to have to decide whether their budget is in line for essentially a new computer or if theres only enough for a new processor. The problems the OP is having with their current system is basically persisting with what sounds like only the original CPU, mobo, and ram left since the problems started. An i5 system will be a vast improvement over the phenom x2 and would replace all the components left that could potentially be causing problems, but it also costs more. Since the OP's current system is only a year old, this may be hard to stomach, bringing you back to a cpu upgrade only. Again, a cpu upgrade (x4 or x6) is still a very worthwhile upgrade that can deliver a noticeable performance increase to the OP's current system. Ultimately, I would recommend the CPU only upgrade as far as how much performance youre getting for the price of the upgrade. You're going to spend twice as much getting an i5 system and definetly wont get twice the performance as opposed to a 1075T. The i5 system is only recommended if you think the motherboard or ram are to blame for your "lock up" problems.
Last edited by DPete27 on Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So, thinking of Phenom x4 or Intel i5

Postposted on Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:58 am

I'm in a similar boat. Had Sabertooth board fitted couple of months ago and unlocked by X2-550 to quad but only does 3.4Ghz with all 4 enabled.

Without buying a new Board+Chip combo, the X6's are hard to beat and have enough grunt to play anything really and are great value.
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