Question Thinking of upgrading my CPU, Not sure what to do.


Feb 4, 2018
Hello! Before i get into my title, I wanted to say that i'm a student and with no job (yet) and want to upgrade my CPU on the cheaper side without having to switch out my motherboard or ram.
Right now i have a "Phenom II X4 840T " Its unlocked from 4 cores to 6 cores with 3.24ghz overclocked, its a nice CPU and next year will be onto its 10th birthday :) But after upgrading my graphics card from a rx 560 to a rx 590 i have noticed my cpu being the massive bottleneck, Now i know without a huge upgrade to something like ryzen, I wont be able to remove that bottleneck. But i wanna see if i can upgrade to something better to just hold me off until i get a job and am able to save up the 500$ to get a upgrade to ryzen, (CPU, Ram, Motherboard).

I was looking up the List of Phenom II x4 chips, And i see this list on Wikipedia of all the Phenom II x4 chips. My cpu is on the list listed as a "OEM" part, This makes sense. Anyways. I see the next cpu down is the "Phenom II X4 960T " and "Phenom II X4 960T Black Edition" I looked up both chips and tried to see a difference between my cpu and either of the cpus, And it does seem to be quite better! Multi core and single core is overall better. But i don't know if this is the best CPU for me.

I found ebay listings for both the 960t and they both seem quite fairly priced. About 50-60$ (cad) for either.

So i guess my question is, What would be a good cpu upgrade? I like the 960t because it has 2 cores disabled, Which means i can unlock those cores and have a 6 core cpu, (Like what i have now), My Motherboard is a MSI gaming 970 am3/am3+ motherboard, With 12gb of ddr3 ram running at 1333 mhz. The cooler is a decent little thing, That can run the 95w tdp 840t, So i dont think it will have a issue with the 125w tdp 960t!

Thanks for all the help! I'm hoping that i gave enough information.


Jul 3, 2015
While it would be a small upgrade, you're still throwing money at a dead platform. In game performance is unlikely to be that much different. And the chances of core unlocking working are somewhat low, at least from what I've read. But those were all older articles, things may have changed.,2627.html

So if you feel like wasting $50-60, go for it, but I'd think that be money better saved for a future core upgrade.

Also just because your current cooler can cool a 95w chip does not mean it'll cool a 125w chip. That 30w can equal a big difference in heat output, so factor on the cost of a cooler. Is the 125w number the four core tdp? Then expect once unlocked that number goes even higher.

Imo, not worth upgrading. Just put that money away until your ready for a full platform change.