Why isn't my new CPU working as well as my old one?


May 29, 2012
Hi, my computer build is: (Problem is said after parts are listed)

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Mobo: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT

GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4870; 512 MB GDDR5


The CPU I want to replace is my:
AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX250OCGMBOX

With my new:
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX


However, when I did this; I didn't notice all that much difference on basic computer functions (bootup, opening programs, etc.) [I did notice on streams in TwitchTV they loaded faster after seeking though]...
Encoding a video seemed to be a bit faster (24~minutes to reencode a 24minute video, down to 20~ minutes), so I thought it was working correctly...

When I tried out some games however, I didn't notice a big difference.
On a Demo of PSO2's (Phantasy Star Online 2) character creation, the benchmark said my Athlon was doing 50% better than my Phenom.

While playing TERA, I get better FPS, with higher Resolution and Graphics with my Athlon than my Phenom.

I'm pretty sure I should be doing better with the Phenom... so I borrowed my brother's videocard (See the following link) to see if my CPU was being bottlenecked or something. But all it did was increase my PSO2 Benchmark, and TERA FPS by 30~40%, just as it should since the card is better then mine.
However, it increased both the Athlon and Phenom equally, so I don't think that the video card was limiting me in this aspect.
PowerColor AX6790 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 6790 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card


So, I thought there was something wrong with this CPU, and RMAd it back to newegg.

They sent me a replacement, and I put it in just now... and it has the same problem as the last one...

Because of this, I am asking for help on this forum.

- Is another part of my computer bottlenecking me?
- Or is there a special procedure I have to do so it accepts the new CPU correctly? (Clearing CMOS? Doing something in the BIOs? Reformatting the computer?)



i have no facts either way but how would reinstalling windows affect this. windows is tied to the motherboard not the cpu... does changing the cpu have some affect on windows or something?
Loading Windows and launching programs are more limited by the hard drive speed than the CPU unless you really have a slow CPU. So it is no surprise you did not see any improvement.

Most games are limited by the graphic card rather than the CPU... so if you install a faster CPU, you will not notice much of an increase in performance unless the game is limited by the CPU. Also, the vast majority of games do not use more than two cores.

Generally speaking, you should see better gaming performance with the PII X4 965 BE based on the following benchmarks.


Try downloading MSI Afterburner which allows you to see the FPS in games. It's a utility you can use to overclock the video card, but the HD 4000 series runs pretty hot so I don't recommend any overclocking for you. Just use it to compare FPS in games between both CPUs.



Oct 18, 2011
To be honest, the CPU doesn't play that bigger part in gaming.

With that video card I wouldn't expect that even your old cpu was a bottleneck... I'm not too surprised that you don't see any difference.


May 29, 2012

I had not reinstalled windows... Will this probably fix the problem?
I thought it wouldn't effect this as cbrunnem thought. So I didn't quite do this.
But if I must, I will reinstall windows ASAP.

x_x; I didn't do anything of the sort.
Are there any good instructions I could get to do this?

I don't seem to see anything talking about updating CPU codes...

The BIOs does say under CPU Configuration that it sees the AMD Phenom II x4 965; so I thought it was reading it correctly without me having to do anything.

I keep reading that TERA specifically is more CPU intensive then normal, and lots of people seem to be bottlenecked by the CPU.

Also, even if it doesn't use all 4 cores in the game. That would mean that if I was running my game windowed, and I had a movie playing in the background... 4 cores would run that better than 2 cores right? If so, I don't notice a difference between the two processors with this either.

As I've said, the FPS decreased with the Phenom. Meaning, I was using a program to record the FPS. Fraps specifically.

Also, I said that I tried out my brother's video card as well.
He has Phenom x4 970; and 4Gigs DDR3 1333 of Ram. (Compared to my x965 BE, and 8 Gigs DDR3 1333)
His performance is VASTLY superior to mine. So I'm thinking its the processor. (Unless its for some reason the motherboard that is bottlenecking my performance)
So I'm not really asking if my GPU is outdated. I know it is, and I plan to upgrade that eventually.


Reguardless of CPU usage in games though, I'm not complaining that my performance didn't go up 5000%. I'm complaining that upgrading makes me perform worse then my old Athlon.

So far with the answers I'm getting so far... I'm looking at reinstalling windows, or updating my bio's CPU codes?

If anyone could tell me how to update CPU Codes for my A880G+; or offer up new suggestions on how to fix this... I'd appreciate it!

Otherwise, I'm starting to backup things now, so I can reinstall windows if the CPU Code thing fails.


May 29, 2012

Okay, I'm updating the bios now.

By correct model do you just mean "AMD Phenom(tm) II x4 965 Proccessor?"
If so, yes this shows up in Device Manager, ControlPanel->System, and System Information.
As well as outside programs like Core Temp.

Edit: Updated Bios, no difference.


Feb 24, 2012
as others have said, upgrading your bios may help as this will contain any new CPU codes

that said, increasing the number of cores doesn't always do anything unless the applications/games are multi threaded, and even then not alot of apps/games take much advantage of more than 2 threads (cores). With Athlons, the HyperTransport may be running at a slower clock for your newer cpu, as it has a limit of 2.6GHZ for your MB, although most AM3 cpus operate somewhere between 1.6GHZ and 2.0 GHZ. You'd need to look up the specific details of the MB in combination with the CPU's to figure that out.

There is also the possibility that the extra cores are causing some kind of slowdown due to synchronisation of cache/memory access, but this is less likely than other options.

You've already established that your video card is a limiting factor in your tested games. Even of Terra is CPU bottlenecked, it is only going to show that up if your video card is not bottlenecking first. In other words, if your video card is old and slow, then it will make no difference to a shiney new CPU vs one which is suitable to supply data fast enough to the video card.

and if your CPU is not the current bottleneck and is suitably fast enough, then you may not notice any difference between the two when performing video playing in one window and a game in another. When running in windowed mode, you may not be running in the same graphcs mode in the game, as it is no longer exclusive, so certain features cannot be used.

Its not likely that windows has something causing the system to be slow, as those kinds of problems are generally related to the MB drivers, but if you really want to test it, then it is easier to boot to safe mode, uninstall any processor driver, and then reboot again.

most of the time you only notice major improvements when changing CPU if the GHZ changes significantly. 400MHZ is not a large change and kind of a sidegrade than an upgrade, so you will not likely notice it unless the app/game can use the extra couple of cores, and even then it has to use them efficiently, which relies on the programmer doing a damn good job, and most of the time they don't, which is why most apps and games tend on only use one or two active threads.

You also tend to upgrade motherboards too, as new chipsets help immensely with processor upgrades (which is why the other perps are suggesting a bios update) and I also suggest you check for any new driver updates for your MB.