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View Full Version : Phenom II 945 vs 955BE


Ignorant_Toast
04-12-2011, 11:06 AM
Hey,

I'm building a new desktop and I'm trying to decide which of these two CPUs to buy.

AMD Phenom II 945 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103809&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL041211&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL041211-_-EMC-041211-Index-_-ProcessorsDesktops-_-19103809-L02A) 3.0 Ghz $125 w promo code ($10 off)

AMD Phenom II 955BE (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808) 3.2 Ghz $140

I was planning on getting the 955BE because it was only $5 more and it's .2 Ghz faster at stock. Now the 945 went on sale for $10 off so I'm reconsidering.

It's my understanding that the BE signifies it has an unlocked CPU multiplier. I've never overclocked, but if I got the 955BE I would most likely try overclocking it a little and possibly get an aftermarket heatsink. Is it still possible to overclock the 945 even though it doesn't have an unlocked CPU multiplier?

If someone could help explain to me exactly what is lost by not having that CPU multiplier unlocked, I'd really appreciate it. Also, does the mobo make a big difference on OC'ing ability?


Rest of my desktop I plan on ordering:
Antec BP550 Plus 550W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-371-016&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=5&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Keywords=%28keywords%29&Page=1#scrollFullInfo)
GTX460 1gb (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814187115)
HEC Blitz Black Steel Edition ATX Mid Tower (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121096)
BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138179)
2x2Gb DDR3 RAM
1TB HD

virusfarm
04-12-2011, 11:13 AM
Get the 955BE, Far more value for the price

angrytigerp
04-12-2011, 11:22 AM
Black Edition/the multiplier being unlocked means it can be OCed. If the multiplier is locked, it can't be.

SoulStealer
04-12-2011, 11:29 AM
You can still overclock a 945 its just easier to use the multiplier to do so with the 955. To overclock the 945 involves upping the fsb in your bios and changing ram timings/frequency and cpu volts. Its just alot easier to use the multiplier. Max I ever got the 955be on stock air without adding volts to it was 3.6ghz to obtain 3.8 I had to add some volts to the cpu. And it was rock solid stable at both frequencys.

I also used to have a athlon x4 640 @3ghz overclocked using the fsb bump to 3.75ghz on stock air with a small bump on volts. which gave better 3dmark06 marks over the stock 3.2ghz 955be by about 600 marks.

Ignorant_Toast
04-12-2011, 01:07 PM
Would I be able to see much of a performance increase in games and applications if I OC'ed from 3.2Ghz to say 3.6 Ghz? Never overclocked before so just curious what kind of gains I could expect to see.

Ignorant_Toast
04-12-2011, 03:11 PM
Also, do more expensive motherboards give any significant benefits besides new features like USB3.0, faster RAM, SLI support, etc? I plan on getting a $55 no thrills mobo for my budget build and want to make sure I'm not skimping on something really important.

cotabucky
04-12-2011, 03:26 PM
Also, do more expensive motherboards give any significant benefits besides new features like USB3.0, faster RAM, SLI support, etc? I plan on getting a $55 no thrills mobo for my budget build and want to make sure I'm not skimping on something really important.

Yes they do when it comes to overclocking and SLI/Crossfire performance.

Look at benchmarks with premium motherboards and CPU's and GPU's.
You will notice AMD processors do much better when they benchmark against Intel CPU's when the AMD is on an FX board's.

I don't know all the facts but I find a lot of the time(in benchmarks)the cheaper Motherboards make AMD's seem much slower than Intel processors but when you use a premium FX board with the AMD CPU's they seem to be much closer in the benchmarks.

I may be wrong and I am running an Intel I7 950 overclocked to 4ghz on my asus Rampage 3 extreme so I am no AMD fanboy or whatever.I'm just commenting on the research I have done so far and my buddies experience over the years.

I think the preium boards at least make all the difference for any serious overclocking. JMO

cotabucky
04-12-2011, 03:29 PM
For just a single card probably not.Maybe you wouldn't see one bit of difference.Not realy sure but you need at least one expressx16 slot for a graphics cards.I would just do as much research as possible on the budget board and make sure the reviews are up to date and I would get the best one in the price range I could.

cotabucky
04-12-2011, 03:33 PM
Would I be able to see much of a performance increase in games and applications if I OC'ed from 3.2Ghz to say 3.6 Ghz? Never overclocked before so just curious what kind of gains I could expect to see.

Probably not but I notice a difference when overclocking my video card.I went from 3.0ghz to 4ghz on my I7 and didn't see a world of difference in game. Maybe benchmarks would be different.

Ignorant_Toast
04-12-2011, 05:07 PM
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll dish out the extra $15 for the unlocked 955BE and stick with the $55 mobo. I don't plan on doing SLI and the other features aren't worth the extra $50 to me.

cotabucky
04-12-2011, 07:28 PM
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll dish out the extra $15 for the unlocked 955BE and stick with the $55 mobo. I don't plan on doing SLI and the other features aren't worth the extra $50 to me.
Hey your only out $55 bucks. You can't lose and you can take the CPU and drop it in anything :) .Check out more benchmarks but look at them closely as to what hardware there doing the benchmarks on(MB).There may be another AMD CPU you like better and maybe not(not to up on AMD).

I'm sure it will be plenty powerfull and anything you can save money on to get the best GPU you can is realy good IMO.I would shoot for at least a 6870 or gtx570 or as powerfull as possible.Thats were you will see the big difference in game depending on what you expect or require that is. Good luck
I loved building my PC.
One more bit of advice and its just my experience. If you do go nuts and plan on overclocking the CPU. GO LIQUID! I purcheased a thermaltake SPINQ Air cooler and barely got a difference from my stock Air cooler and that was in a well ventilated case. I switched to my Corsair H50 and WOW what a difference. I am at 4ghz and idling at 28*C - 30*C and never going over 65* C(usualy nowere near) normal use and not much more for prime95 tests for quite an extended amount of time(I7 950).
IMO if you want to be serious about getting results with overclocking go liquid. Thats just my experience.

SoulStealer
04-13-2011, 04:44 AM
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll dish out the extra $15 for the unlocked 955BE and stick with the $55 mobo. I don't plan on doing SLI and the other features aren't worth the extra $50 to me.

Honestly I wouldn't go to cheap on the board. I love gigabyte boards for their stability, long life capacitors, dual bios,2 oz copper core. I recently bought a cheap 50 dollar board and I regreted it bad after i bought it. Terriable overclock capabilities this is it http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128454.

So I went and bought this 80 dollar motherboard from gigabyte http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128439 and believe me when I say it there is a difference. Now I can overclock much better and more stable. The other board wouldn't let me overclock more than .1ghz which was no good to me.

Ignorant_Toast
04-13-2011, 07:42 AM
Honestly I wouldn't go to cheap on the board. I love gigabyte boards for their stability, long life capacitors, dual bios,2 oz copper core. I recently bought a cheap 50 dollar board and I regreted it bad after i bought it. Terriable overclock capabilities this is it http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128454.

So I went and bought this 80 dollar motherboard from gigabyte http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128439 and believe me when I say it there is a difference. Now I can overclock much better and more stable. The other board wouldn't let me overclock more than .1ghz which was no good to me.

Is there a big difference between microATX and ATX? I know they're different sizes but what else?

SoulStealer
04-13-2011, 09:36 AM
No not really its mostly just size difference for full atx cases or micro atx cases. If your case is a micro atx case than a full atx board won't fit. Some atx boards don't come with shared video memory but its usually not a factor since most custom boards have the option in the bios to disable the onboard video thus saving the memory usage. Atx usually has a couple more pci ports and usually 1 more pci-e for sli/crossfire video cards.

If your not planning on using more than one video card and you have a normal micro atx case than micro atx would be your best bet. Also when choosing a board that best fits the phenom processors you should get one with FSB
2600MHz Hyper Transport (5200 MT/s) hope this helps.

I have always had micro atx boards since I don't sli or crossfire video cards.

Ignorant_Toast
04-13-2011, 12:02 PM
No not really its mostly just size difference for full atx cases or micro atx cases. If your case is a micro atx case than a full atx board won't fit. Some atx boards don't come with shared video memory but its usually not a factor since most custom boards have the option in the bios to disable the onboard video thus saving the memory usage. Atx usually has a couple more pci ports and usually 1 more pci-e for sli/crossfire video cards.

If your not planning on using more than one video card and you have a normal micro atx case than micro atx would be your best bet. Also when choosing a board that best fits the phenom processors you should get one with FSB
2600MHz Hyper Transport (5200 MT/s) hope this helps.

I have always had micro atx boards since I don't sli or crossfire video cards.

Do micro ATX boards overheat easier? I thought I remember somebody saying that but I'm not sure.

Also, would it make sense to get a mobo with an integrated chip so that if my vid card goes kaput I'll still have the integrated card? I don't have any old vid cards laying around.