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Although considerably outperformed by the Intel Core i5 and i7 series, or AMD's latest "Bulldozer" offering, the AMD Phenom II 965 is a high quality processor worthy of consideration for those looking to add performance to their computer without incurring high costs.
Benefitting from AMD's Cool 'n' Quiet technology, the Phenom II 965 remains well within safe temperature levels, even on high loads and with the stock supplied cooling fan and heatsink, while also producing very little noise to annoy both the user and household members in the vicinity. The quad-core chipset is ideal for those who want to carry out most data intensive tasks or play data intensive games (such as the acclaimed Football Manager series) but will fall short for those requiring something powerful enough for professional and complex levels of video editing or graphics design. However, for home users this particular offering from AMD is more than up to day to day tasks.
Those of a more technical mind will be happy to know that the CPU allows for simple overclocking and even with stock cooling can cope with being pushed to a small amount. With better and more capable cooling, either with an aftermarket CPU cooler, or through a watercooling setup, higher speeds are within reach, with some users reporting the CPU running stable at 5.5Ghz. Of course, it is always worth considering that the potential to shorten the lifespan of the CPU is always there when overclocking and this should only be attempted by those who are expert enough in the practice.
Running on a Windows 7 PC, equipped with 4Gb of RAM and a Radeon 5850 graphics card, this CPU performs admirably. Operating the Windows OS is smooth, with very little lag, even when being launched from a hibernated state and the processor is more than capable of handling the largest of Microsoft Office Access database files. In terms of gaming, while the graphics card provides the bulk of the capabilities, the CPU performs up to task, handling everything thrown at it with ease and only professional power-users would likely run into any difficulties caused by the limitation of the CPU.
If you're a home user who wants a fast computing experience at a reasonable price than you cannot go far wrong with the AMD Phenom II 965. In use for over two years on one of my machines, I have encountered absolutely no issues with the CPU running everything thrown at it and remaining, as its name suggests, "Cool n Quiet" throughout.
It is, of course, worth bearing in mind that a CPU can be bottlenecked by a poor quality motherboard or poor quality/too little memory but providing that both these components are adequate then a Phenom II 965 could be the perfect "bang for buck" CPU for you. The architecture the Phenom II 965 is built upon is now outdated with the Bulldozer FX line replacing it as AMD's flagship offering with increased performance but priced slightly higher.
The only downside I've experienced with this CPU is that the stock cooler and heatsink is exceptionally and possibly unnecessarily fiddly to attach and lock firmly into place. If you're fitting it yourself, make sure it is secure before you put your case back together.
I built my computer a little over a year ago and I put this processor in it and believe me you will never look back to what you've upgraded from. This processor runs at a clock of 3.4GHz with 2MB L2 and 6MB L3 cache and this black edition comes with the multipliers unlocked making overclocking easy for even the novice. This gives plenty of grunt to runs lots of programs concurrently or large, CPU draining applications. More importantly though, it has a high clock speed meaning games and process which are resticted to a single-core still run faster than on most other processors.
The only fault with this processor is that standard heatsink and fan, which is very poor and I would recommend that when upgrading to this processor that you invest in a better heatsink and fan because the standard is very loud and over 6-12 months the supplied thermal paste will degrade meaning the fan will have to run faster making it even louder as time goes on. It's not enough however to reduce the rating of this processor as it is one of the best value for money quad-cores and offers mid to high range performance without some of the huge price tags attached to the intel equivalents.
AMD 965 3.4Ghz CPU
I bought this processor the other month while building my own PC.
It is compatible with AM3 motherboards and from what I've read should also work with AM2+ motherboards also.
It's vital stats are:
* Core Speed 3.4Ghz
* L2 Cache: 3Mb
* L3 Cache: 6Mb
I was looking for a CPU that would be cheap but at the same time provide enough juice. I was looking for something that would be similar or better than the Intel quad Q6600 CPU as that is what I had in my previous machine.
I like to have several applications open while I am working for example web browser, email, word processor etc.
This CPU fitted the bill exactly. Applications load very fast and my PC is very responsive. This isn't as powerful as some of the newer Intel core I5 and core I7 processors but pricewise it beats them hands down. The equivalent Intel processors are usually more than double the price of this.
This is the black edition which means you can easily over clock this if you want to. It is not something I have tried but I've read on other websites of people getting this upto 3.8 to 4gHz.
I have used a tempreature monitoring application (Specsy) along with a program that stresses the CPU to the max (Prime95) so you can test how reliable it is under full load. I wanted to see what temperature my CPU would get up to and whether the CPU would crash. It seems to get extremely hot while it is performing a task that is CPU intensive. The temperature reached close to 68 degrees when under stress but cooled down to about 40 degrees when idle. I have had no problems with it though. It depends on what kind of case and cooling you are using really.
I can recommend this for anyone on a budget looking for a powerful CPU.