Recently I decided to finally upgrade from my AMD Athlon X2 6000+ to a shiny new AMD Phenom II X6 965. Being AMD, that meant I didn’t have to change my motherboard, nor did I have to change my memory. Their Phenom II range is designed for AM3 but works in AM2+ motherboards; that means it will work with DD2 and DDR3 memory and also shares the same socket design – thank you AMD!
The new processor cost me £144 in total, with free next day shipping (incidentally, eBuyer are incredible sometimes, I ordered it at 22:10 and it arrived at 09:00 the next day, no shipping charges at all!)
So, the Phenom II 965 is designated a 3.4GHz processor, quad core. But the “Black Edition” part of the name means it is multiplier unlocked – i.e. it’s really really easy to overclock the CPU. I do love overclocking, it just feels like you’re getting a little bit more for a cheaper price. After hopping into my BIOS and changing the CPU multiplier to 19, I restarted, got into Windows, loaded up CPUz64 and was welcomed by the image to the right, yes, 3.8GHz. That’s 400MHz extra and all I did was change one value from Auto to 19.0: I didn’t have to increase the voltage or muck around with multiplier x bus-speed mathematics: and it’s completely stable!
In summary, if you’re looking for an upgrade in the near future that will really do well, consider the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition, it’s always over £100 less than an Intel equivalent and will perform superbly for the price.
Now if only I could find a game I enjoyed enough that would really take advantage of this, 8GB ram and a GTX 265!