Any point upgrading a AM3 Phenom X4 955

By DKRON
Jun 17, 2014
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  1. Is anyone using one of these with a newer graphics card? like for say if I put a 270X would it just bottleneck even with a mid range card?
  2. fimbles

    fimbles TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,230   +119

    With a bit of an overclock (3.6/3.8ghz) it will run games fine.

    Your not going to win any benchmarks at higher framerates, but you can expect a solid 45-60 fps in most games.

    I run Battlefield 4 on ultra spec 64 player maps at around 45 to 60 fps.

    Phenom x4 965 and a gtx 670.

    Using MSI afterburner to monitor cpu core and gpu useage, My graphics card hits 100% utilisation while my cpu is around 80% evenly across all cores.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Posts: 856   +75

    The 955's and 965's are starting to show their age, but they have plenty of life left in them. This next generation of games might be a little hard on it, but it should run fine.
  4. PC nerd

    PC nerd TechSpot Booster Posts: 320   +36

    I've got a 955BE at 4GHz with a 7850 and I'm having no trouble playing stuff. Only Metro Last Light, but I think the GPU is limiting that.
  5. DKRON

    DKRON TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 546   +8

    Just worried because its been running so hot and crashing because it hits 62 easy it would have damaged the chip?
  6. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Posts: 856   +75

    it has been my experience that you don't really start to do damage to a chip until you get past 80c. However, I would open up your case and clean any dust out of the heatsink. while that temp isn't dangerous, it certainly isn't good and may cause long term damage. If it was my computer I'd upgrade at this point. You potentially have damage to your CPU while it's coming to the end of its life cycle.

    I will share a general rule of thumb I have as an overclocker, it's up to you if you choose to follow it or not.

    "if it's stable it's not too hot"
  7. fimbles

    fimbles TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,230   +119

    +1 to what yraz posted above, But I kind of disagree about the temperature part sorry :)

    80c is too hot for a phenom.

    The Max temp threshold is 61c. I would recommend an aftermarket cooler or drop your Vcore voltage as low as you can get it while stable.

    Stay below 55c in prime 95 blend test.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  8. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Posts: 856   +75

    I agree, I bring up 80c+ because that is the temp that I have insta killed chips while overclocking. I have also killed chips from running them long term at temps above 60c. They normally don't last more than 18 months when you start to get past that point. When running a 24/7 oc I try to get my temps to max out at 55 under load. However, I have a zalman 9700 so that isn't much of a problem.
  9. DKRON

    DKRON TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 546   +8

  10. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Posts: 856   +75

    your first step is to clean your CPU heat sink.

    if you find it isn't dirty and your temps don't go down, lower the vcore. I will point out that if you are at the point of needing to underclock your CPU it is probably damaged and needs to be replaced.

    if underclocking your CPU does not stop the crashing then it IS damaged and you NEED to replace it.
  11. DKRON

    DKRON TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 546   +8

    Its using a crappy standard AMD cooler which is just clogged with dust and who know what else so my first step will be putting in a Noctua NH-L9a Low Profile AMD CPU Cooler
    Would love to find a Zalman cooler but they are hard to find in australia
     
  12. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Posts: 856   +75

    [youquote="DKRON, post: 1412639, member: 262897"]Its using a crappy standard AMD cooler which is just clogged with dust and who know what else so my first step will be putting in a Noctua NH-L9a Low Profile AMD CPU Cooler
    Would love to find a Zalman cooler but they are hard to find in australia[/quote]

    if you are having cooling problems I cannot stress this enough.

    DO NOT BUY A LOW PROFILE COOLER!

    Buy the best one you can. In most cases they are universal for both AMD and Intel. This is even more important if you thing you are having over heating problems.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  13. DKRON

    DKRON TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 546   +8

    Even if I do a transplant into a new case which I most likely will do, there wont be much headroom for large heat sync's, what one would you recommend?
  14. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Posts: 856   +75

    I don't know what is available to you in your country, but I'm would hazard a guess that coolermaster's products are available. The majority of their products have 120mm fans attached and are no taller than 160mm, which will fit in any mid sized ATX case. They are not the best of their class, but should be available everywhere. They do get the job done and will always be better than a stock heatsink.

    As a slight disclaimer, I found the zalman 9700 and have used them with every one of my builds since 2007. I keep up with many aspects of technology, cooling is not one of them. Simply replacing your stock heatsink with a similar model may solve all of your overheating problems. From what I can gather you do not ask very much of your CPU, it's just having some cooling problems due to dust build up.

    What I can say is get something that is all copper. Even copper plated would do a better job. Just do not go with an aluminium heatsink.

    I wish I could give you a solid recommendation, but it simply isn't an area that I'm knowledgeable in. I have experience with the 9700 and stock AMD and Intel heatsinks. There are many people on here with more knowledge than I have in this subject. I found a product that worked for me and wouldn't feel comfortable recommending anything that I don't have personal experience with.

    The most advice I can solidly offer you is make another thread asking about cooling for AMD systems. If I was in your shoes, I would upgrade at this point. Between the overheating issues and your hardware starting to show it's age, it'd be better to upgrade than to try to make something work. However, I'm also understanding of the fact that not all of us have the funds to upgrade when we need to.

    1)try cleaning your heatsink to the best of your ability
    2)try underclocking and undervolting your CPU

    if either of those don't work, then you really have no choice but to replace your current hardware. If after cleaning your heatsink you want to try underclocking and undervolting your CPU, I'd be more than happy to walk you through the process step by step.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  15. DKRON

    DKRON TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 546   +8

  16. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Posts: 856   +75


    All of those seem a bit difficult to install. The best performing one appears to be the cooler master, but the silverstone seems like easiest to install. I would go with the cooler master simply because it seems like the best performing model and relatively easy to install. Not to mention the price difference the phanteks and noctua. I wouldn't go with the phanteks and noctua on price alone. However, if you want low profile and quality heat control, I would go with the phanteks.

    The order that I recommend these in is
    Cooler Master
    Phanteks
    Silverstone
    Noctua

    EDIT:
    and, yes, they all seem like they are compatible with AMD.
  17. DKRON

    DKRON TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 546   +8

    Thanks I shall go with the coolermaster then
  18. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Posts: 856   +75

    Like I said previously, they all seem to be a bit difficult to install. If you have any problems installing which ever you choose, please post here and I will walk you through it.

    I hope this solves the overheating problem for you. Your AMD still has a good bit of life in it left performance wise and all of those should be compatible with your next build.
     
  19. DKRON

    DKRON TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 546   +8

    Cant be any harder then my coolermaster V10 cooler which needed a team of people to install
  20. Eddo22

    Eddo22 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 146

    I upgraded from a Phenom 2 965 with DDR3 1600 to an AMD FX 9370 (4.4ghz/4.7turbo) same ram and I honestly didn't see much if any difference in fps. However, overall system speed was greatly improved. I would consider it a worthwhile upgrade if your going to a 6 or 8 core. I'd also recommend an 8 core for longevity reasons.


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