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Running a fairly old MB and can't afford to build a new PC but need a CPU upgrade. Advice?

Motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P (rev 1.1) and I'm currently running an AMD Phenom II X4 970 @ 2.4GHz. Basically, a lot of games now want 3.5 GHz and I can't afford to build a new rig from the ground up so I was wondering which CPU would be the best upgrade for my machine. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  1. Gigabyte doesn't list any FX cpus as compatible, so you should probably stick with AM3 CPU's. You could pickup a Phenom x6 1090T or 1100T on Ebay for ~$150. That would be a solid upgrade. Those Phenoms are still comparable to the newer AMD CPUs.
    On the other hand, you will get the best value by saving your money and buying a new system when you can afford it. Maybe in the mean time you could overclock your 970 to bump performance just enough to get by.
  2. Best answer
    The Phenom II 970 should, at stock, be running at 3.5ghz. If it is not running at that speed, I would check to see what is up to cause it to throttle/downclock. (When is the last time you cleaned out the case?)

    That said, that motherboard is pretty decent, and the 970 is no slouch. The best bang for your buck would be to try to overclock it - whatever aftermarket cooler you purchase these days will carry over to a new socket.
  3. Calculatron said:
    The Phenom II 970 should, at stock, be running at 3.5ghz. If it is not running at that speed, I would check to see what is up to cause it to throttle/downclock. (When is the last time you cleaned out the case?)

    That said, that motherboard is pretty decent, and the 970 is no slouch. The best bang for your buck would be to try to overclock it - whatever aftermarket cooler you purchase these days will carry over to a new socket.


    Thanks for this. Yeah, I've noticed that everything I'm reading about my CPU says it should be running way higher, but I'm not sure why it's sitting at 2.4GHz. The case is pretty clean and I have a cpu fan and two case fans. Knowing that, what would you think is wrong with my setup? I'm up for overclocking if need be and I'll get a better cooler (not interested in liquid, although I'm sure I wouldn't need it) Coould you point me to a good OC guide for this CPU/MOBO combo?

    Thanks a lot for your help!
  4. Wozgod666 said:
    Calculatron said:
    The Phenom II 970 should, at stock, be running at 3.5ghz. If it is not running at that speed, I would check to see what is up to cause it to throttle/downclock. (When is the last time you cleaned out the case?)

    That said, that motherboard is pretty decent, and the 970 is no slouch. The best bang for your buck would be to try to overclock it - whatever aftermarket cooler you purchase these days will carry over to a new socket.


    Thanks for this. Yeah, I've noticed that everything I'm reading about my CPU says it should be running way higher, but I'm not sure why it's sitting at 2.4GHz. The case is pretty clean and I have a cpu fan and two case fans. Knowing that, what would you think is wrong with my setup? I'm up for overclocking if need be and I'll get a better cooler (not interested in liquid, although I'm sure I wouldn't need it) Coould you point me to a good OC guide for this CPU/MOBO combo?

    Thanks a lot for your help!


    I'm curious where you are getting the 2.4 GHz number from. CPU's will lower their clocks when they are not being used. If you use CPU-Z, it will tell you what clocks and multipliers are being used. You can watch it while you stress test and see where it is actually running. Comparing these numbers to stock specs could give you an idea what is wrong if anything.
  5. Yes, the 970 should still be ok. Go into your bios, and make sure you disable the power saving settings. I can't remember what they are all called, but I disable the turbo core, and the core control that allows it to downclock the cpu so that it is forced into running full speeds all the time. If your board still only runs it at 2.4ghz, you may have to "overclock" it back to it's stock speed of 3.5. Check into it, but that should at least let you play for a little while.

    If you have a little cash and a microcenter near you, the one here is doing a deal, get an fx 6300 and gigabyte entry level board for 90 bucks. You could probably ebay your board and cpu for almost that.


    But it's possible your bios on your board does not actually know what your cpu is, and is underclocking it. Find the specs for the stock multiplier, voltage etc, and maybe set those values in the bios to the stock settings for your cpu and see if it will allow it to run the actual stock speed of your cpu.

    Someone metioned aftermarket cooler, if you need one on a budget, I like the cooler master hyper 212 evo.
  6. 1st of all download and install these tools-
    1. Cpu-z
    2. HwMonitor
    3. Prime95

    then open cpu-z and make sure that u really hv an amd phenom II x4 970 cpu. If its not then sorry. But if it is then move to next step.
    Now, open cpu-z and check for "multiplier" while running prime95, it'l stress test cpu and cpu-z will tell u the highest speed ur cpu is runnin at. The multiplier on that cpu should be set at 17.5x by default.
    Here, for ur cpu, when u multiply the multiplier 17.5 with the bus frequency of 200MHz u'l get the 3.5GHz speed.

    Then in cpu-z check for bus frequency. Generally for amd cpus the bus frequency is set at 200MHz ( /- 5 to 8 MHz) by default.

    If the multiplier of cpu while stress testing dont reach upto 17.5x or the bus frequency is lower than 200MHz, then u need to adjust them from the motherboard bios little by little until u reach the default 3.5GHz of ur cpu.
    Make sure when u adjust these numbers, never change them agressively. Change them by a couple of notches each time n boot the windows to monitor the temperature of the cpu or if u do it agressively, ur cpu may turn into burner of the gas. Use the HwMonitor to check the cpu temps while running the.
    Until u reach the default 3.5ghz u CAN change multiplier or bus aggressively, but after that when u go beyond 3.5ghz, then change the multiplier a couple of notches or bus frequency by 5-10mhz each time and then again boot up to windows check for cpu temps while running prime95.
    Keep the prime95 running for at least 1 hour. If even after 1 hour its showing "all 4 cores" are running at good temperatures in hwmonitor, then congo u hv a good and stable overclock.
    Good luck.
    Dnt 4get to select the best answer.
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