Originally Posted by btupsx
Originally Posted by Zantrill
I dont believe the mb would be compatible with a 6 core. I'm trying to keep the case and mobo Dell as a chalenge.
If you can't run a X6, such as the 1055T mentioned earlier, then you should definitely opt for the 965, no question. Even if you can't overclock it whatsoever on the Dell board, you would want to get the best that you can for that platform, for use in conjunction with the GTX 960.
Hopefully you could get a mild FSB OC out of it, CPU multi on that board is probably locked. Otherwise you always have K10Stat.
Nope, a stock 965 is definitely going to bottleneck. I have/had an Inspiron 546 with that same Athlon, I tried the same thing you did too except I bought the GPU first (770). That bottlenecked pretty bad which caused a lot of stuttering and very low minimums. I figured if I downgraded the GPU I could actually get a smoother experience, so I tried a 270X. BIG mistake, this bottlenecked SO BAD it was actually impressive. The cores were nearly constantly pegged at 95-99%. I got a new motherboard to overclock it and clocked it to 3.6GHz. CORES STILL AT 95-99%. Yes there was a massive improvement, but it still stuttered horribly. AMD drivers have massive CPU overhead, so don't bother using an AMD CPU and GPU at the same time since they work against each other.
I finally decided to get a Phenom II X6 1090t and try that out, which is essentially the same as the Phenom II X4 series but with two more cores. I switched back to my 770 as well. At stock, the 1090t was hitting 90-95%. Not much improvement. BUT, after I OC'd to 4.1GHz I was able to get my GPU hitting 99% most of the time! There are still many times where it bottlenecks, and some simulator games are just completely unplayable. Arma 3 gets less than 20fps on low settings. But I don't play Arma 3, and most of the simulator games I do play like Kerbal Space Program are OK for the most part, only choking bad during explosions etc.
So the answer to your question is YES a 965 will do the job, BUT ONLY IF you can overclock it to 4+GHz. Otherwise, your only option is to part it out and build a Pentium anniversary edition with the profits that performs insanely better.
Here's a 965 for $62 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Free-Shipping-AMD-Phenom-II-X4-965-CPU-Black-Edition-HDZ965FBK4DGM-AM3-Unlocked-/181892669080?hash=item2a59a5de98
Here's a 960T for $62 as well. Although it is a "lower model" it is actually newer so it may be a little more efficient. www.ebay.com/itm/AMD-Phenom-II-X4-960T-HD96ZTWFK4DGR-3GHz-Quad-Core-CPU-Processor-Socket-AM3-/271985704260?hash=item3f539c7d44
I recommend checking reddit.com/r/hardwareswap
and OCN Marketplace first. You could check Amazon as well to see what used ones are listed. A 955 and up should be fine.
As for a motherboard, Gigabyte is the best bang for the buck when it comes to AM2+ AM3.
Now you must make a choice. Stay on DDR2? Or switch to DDR3?
8GB of 800MHz DDR2 can be had for as little as $14!!!!! on ebay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-8GB-KIT-2x4GB-PC2-6400-DDR2-800MHZ-240pin-DIMM-Memory-AMD-CPU-Motherboard-/281696842460?hash=item419670b2dc
Unfortunately, that's CAS 6, which for DDR2 is garbage. Most Chinese DDR2 800 can run 4-4-4-12 no problem. But, If you want to do this as cheap as possible, then get the $14 RAM. If you only want 4GB then get two of these 2GB 1066MHz 5-5-5-18 1.8v and put then at 4-4-4-12 2.0v. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Free-Shipping-Corsair-2GB-DDR2-800MHz-Desktop-Memory-RAM-CM2X2048-6400C5-1-8V-/171853392979?hash=item280342ac53
That would run you $39 though which is really not worth it considering you can get 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 8-9-9-24 for the same price.
I'd deciding for you. You're getting DDR3.
I'll work on finding a good AM3 DDR3 motherboard for you that can overclock but isn't expensive. I should be able to find something excellent around $40...
EDIT: Forgot links...Edited by cookieboyeli - 10/6/15 at 10:54pm