Question Upgrading my old Computer from AM3 to AM3+

Jul 11, 2019
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Hi all,

So I am planning to upgrade my old Computer and give it to my GF for a present, the problem is that its currently running a Phenom II X4 965 CPU with a AM3 MB which is really struggling. 😪
I have found a good deal on a used MSI 970 am3+ Motherboard for $45 AUD ($31 USD), also I have got two leads on used CPU's but cant decide what I should pick?

FX 8350 BLACK EDITION $50 AUD ($34 USD) or FX 8370E $45 AUD (31USD)

FYI (They have both never been overclocked)

Thanks,

Grove :)
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
WHICH MSI 970 motherboard model are we talking about?

As far as the CPU goes, while I have trouble with my conscience in recommending ANYTHING for that platform, because I think it's a waste of money given it's poor performance and age, I think I'd probably go with the 8370e since it has a higher stock boost speed and uses less power, but mostly since it's a few bucks cheaper.
 
Reactions: Grove4Life
Jul 11, 2019
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WHICH MSI 970 motherboard model are we talking about?

As far as the CPU goes, while I have trouble with my conscience in recommending ANYTHING for that platform, because I think it's a waste of money given it's poor performance and age, I think I'd probably go with the 8370e since it has a higher stock boost speed and uses less power, but mostly since it's a few bucks cheaper.
I do agree, If I had the money I would get an AM4 board and a ryzen chip. If I can get the prices down even more it would be worth it since there wont be any upgrade path.
This is the Board:
https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/970-gaming.html

Thankyou Darkbreeze
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
970 Gaming is arguably one of the two best boards ever made for the 970 AM3+ chipset. You could do much worse. I wouldn't have any problem running an 8350 or 8370 AND overclocking, on that board, so long as there was sufficient CPU and case cooling to support the overclock thermally. For stock operations, that is the very best budget oriented option you could find.

Given the prices you listed, it would be very hard to find anything similarly capable at that price. Again, we know the platform is old, but we also know that prices on hardware in Australia are ridiculously outrageous.
 
Jul 11, 2019
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970 Gaming is arguably one of the two best boards ever made for the 970 AM3+ chipset. You could do much worse. I wouldn't have any problem running an 8350 or 8370 AND overclocking, on that board, so long as there was sufficient CPU and case cooling to support the overclock thermally. For stock operations, that is the very best budget oriented option you could find.

Given the prices you listed, it would be very hard to find anything similarly capable at that price. Again, we know the platform is old, but we also know that prices on hardware in Australia are ridiculously outrageous.
I've got a Coolermaster ML240L to cool the cpu and plenty of case fans. Yeh prices here are ridiculous :( Thanks Again Darkbreeze, helped me out a lot.
 

ConanLock

Commendable
May 22, 2019
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Hey ConanLock my MB is ga770t-usb3, I don't think it supports FX maybe just a few like the 4130?
Ah ok, you are right it won't support them. It was worth checking though... The FX8350 will game better than the 8370e, and so if this is what you intend to do with it, then the 8350 is worth the $5 price increase. However, it also consumes more power, so it is worth checking that your PSU will be adequate - what are its manufacturer, model and wattage?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator

ConanLock

Commendable
May 22, 2019
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Actually, it won't. And it will use more power while NOT gaming better. Rather than spend a lot of time explaining why, I'll just point you to this, which is pretty much on point as far as that comparison is concerned.

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/amd-fx-8350-vs-amd-fx-8370-and-e.2298856/post-16350806
Whose post should I be looking at? The most detailed one there is comparing the 8350 to the 8370, not e. The e version is underclocked, and seeming as games will utilise higher clock speeds, would make it seem true that the 8350 performs better. Plus, the 8350 has better single core benchmark performance.
 
What will this pc be used for?
How much do you value that GF?
What is your budget?

For normal basic functions, install a ssd which will make everything quicker.

I can't see spending good money after bad to change to fx.
 
Last edited:
Jul 28, 2019
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I do agree, If I had the money I would get an AM4 board and a ryzen chip. If I can get the prices down even more it would be worth it since there wont be any upgrade path.
This is the Board:
https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/970-gaming.html

Thankyou Darkbreeze


Well, you could find a cheap b450 mobo and upgrade to am4 because if you upgrade to am3+ it leaves you with no upgrade path where if you were to purchase a b450 or a b340 you could start with a 1st gen Ryzen 5 1400 and upgrade later on to a 2nd gen ryzen 5 2600 or 2600x which is a 6 core
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Upgrading from one horrible CPU to another slightly less horrible CPU for a "great" price isn't a particularly good idea IMO either. For $250-300, you can get a B450 motherboard, Ryzen 1600 if using discrete graphics or 2400G otherwise for basic desktop use and 16GB of DDR4-3000 memory which are going to run circles around the best stuff you can possibly put on an AM3+ platform in most cases.

Well, you could find a cheap b450 mobo and upgrade to am4 because if you upgrade to am3+ it leaves you with no upgrade path
The "upgrade path" is grossly over-valued IMO. Upgrading from AM3 to AM3+ makes very little sense simply on the basis that the best of AM3+ struggles against modern entry-level builds in most cases, which rules it out as a serious upgrade option altogether. I'd only bother with it if I got parts for free or just lying around.
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
The problem here, is that he actually CAN'T do what you are all suggesting, not realistically, and not for the price you are suggesting, because he's in Australia.

This is about the least expensive build using Ryzen, in his region, that would make any sense AT ALL, and it's grossly beyond what he could get into that older platform for. I totally agree that there is no comparison, but 400 bucks is a far cry from less than 100.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.2 GHz 6-Core Processor ($183.60 @ Newegg Australia)
Motherboard: ASRock B450M PRO4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($120.95 @ Amazon Australia)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($99.98 @ Amazon Australia)
Total: $404.53
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-29 13:02 AEST+1000
 

Gam3r01

Titan
Moderator
Having used a 965 for years, it held its own fairly well.
What will this post-upgrade system be used for? If its not strictly gaming, and you dont already have an SSD, I would go that route.
The overall IPC gains from a 965 to 8xxx series is very small, so unless you have use for those extra cores, its more of a sidegrade.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Whose post should I be looking at? The most detailed one there is comparing the 8350 to the 8370, not e. The e version is underclocked, and seeming as games will utilise higher clock speeds, would make it seem true that the 8350 performs better. Plus, the 8350 has better single core benchmark performance.

Actually, they are the EXACT SAME processor, except that the 8370 and 8370e are actually higher binned chips, exactly like in the thread and very specific post I linked you to. I linked you to an exact post, not a thread.

Regardless, they are both the same cores, same architecture, same generation, same EVERYTHING except that the 8370 models are newer and binned higher, which means they can hit the same clocks as the 8350 but with generally less voltage, or slightly higher clocks at the same voltage and possibly overall higher clocks period regardless of voltage.

In any benchmark with an 8350 and an 8370 or 8370e using the same clock speed (Assuming a configuration that is stable) using the same motherboard and memory, they will both put up the exact same numbers. Same number of cores. Same exact core architecture. The differences are only the higher quality of the silicon binning on the newer models. And I say newer very loosely and with a great amount of generosity, because both are many years old and overall are probably not far apart in age. The 8370e is a maximum of 2 years newer, and that's if that specific 8350 was bought in 2012, which is doubtful. Truthfully, it makes almost zero difference which of them you pick when it comes to performance, so long as you are clocking them at the same speed. For the stock profile, with no manual configuration at all, the 8370e has a higher all core boost and using the exact same cores at a higher clock speed means it will outperform it's older sibling.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Having used a 965 for years, it held its own fairly well.
What will this post-upgrade system be used for? If its not strictly gaming, and you dont already have an SSD, I would go that route.
The overall IPC gains from a 965 to 8xxx series is very small, so unless you have use for those extra cores, its more of a sidegrade.
I agree that the inclusion of an SSD is probably the single thing that could most make the system feel snappier under many circumstances. But as you alluded to, if it's for gaming, or even if it's mostly for browsing, that SSD is probably not going to make a heck of a lot of difference in those "feels". However, the change of CPU probably isn't either.
 

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