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CPU upgrade Athlon II X3 435 --> Phenom II X6 1055T - Any issues I should be aware of?

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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I have an old computer that has an Athlon II X3 435 running Windows 10 with the latest updates. I mainly just use it for office apps and surfing so it's fine, but it does feel a bit sluggish at times in terms of the interface. Also, what I notice is that if I play 1080p Netflix in the background, when I activate a menu, the video stutters a bit for a few seconds, and then it's fine. Interestingly, I can multitask with web browsers no problem but if I click to bring up the Netflix playback progress bar, it lags.

So, overall, not a big deal, but enough to be a minor annoyance. Would upgrading to a Phenom II X6 1055T be really noticeable? It's got a lower clock but more L2 cache plus L3, and twice the number of cores.

The machine is an Acer X3400, and shipped with a bunch of different chips. Mine is Athlon II, but these are the Phenom II chips it originally shipped with:

https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/351129/acer-aspire-x3400-cpu-upgrade

CPU.PHEN II.900e/2.4G/2M/65W/C2
CPU.PHEN II.1035T/2.6G/6x512/95W/C3
CPU.PHEN II.1045T/2.7G/6x512/95W/C3
CPU.PHEN2.545/3.0G/1M/80W/C2
CPU.PHEN II.810/2.6G/2M/95W/C2
CPU.PHEN II.820/2.8G/2M/95W/C2
CPU.PHEN II.830/2.9G/4M/95W/C3
CPU.PHEN II.1055T/2.8G/6x512/95W/C3
CPU.PHEN II.1065T/2.9G/6x512/95W/E0
CPU.PHEN II.945/3.0G/95W/C2

I was thinking the 1055T instead of the 1065T simply because it's only US$60 from a reputable eBay seller in Korea with 99.9% positive feedback. The 1065T chips available on eBay are $85-100 but from China from sellers with not as perfect feedback.

Anything I need to worry about? The motherboard is AM3. Both my current Athlon and the Phenom I'm looking at are 95 Watt TDP.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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I am assuming the CPU upgrade won't affect Windows 10 activation.

---

I guess the cache really helps, as there seems to be a 20%-25% improvement in single-thread performance despite the lower clockspeed, and for multi-thread performance, it's doubled, at least according to Geekbench 4:

Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8 GHz
Single-core: 2037 (+23%)
Multi-core: 7589 (+104%)

Athlon II X3 435 2.9 GHz
Single-core: 1652
Multi-core: 3715

I guess that shouldn't come as a big surprise. I just hope the 1055T will work fine in this machine. I have zero experience with building this era of machines.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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if you want to be safe with the activation there is an option to tie the activation with your microsoft account, so you can restore it if something goes wrong, but normally the things that can affect the activation are the motherboard and hard drive.

any sort of multitasking like you describe (with the netflix video) should benefit quite a bit from this upgrade.

the only thing I would be a little worried is cooling I guess, even if they both have the same TDP.
 
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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Phenom II X6 1055T ordered, 95 Watt version. Yay!

Hopefully it is compatible with my motherboard. As mentioned, the BIOS apparently already supports 6-core, and my current CPU is already 95 Watts so I'm good there. I suspect the system will refuse to boot any 125 Watt version.

I did find an eBay seller with 100% positive feedback selling a 95 Watt 1065T but I couldn't justify spending over 50% more on the chip just to get 3% more performance, esp. for a machine this old. If I was going to spend significantly more money, I'd be better off just buying a bare bones Core i3 Kaby Lake SFF system instead or something like that.

Interestingly, the 1035T, 1045T, and 1055T are all around the same price. Then when you go to the 1065T 95 Watt, the price jumps 50%.
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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I wanted one of those 95W 1055Ts so badly back in the day. Godly overclockers, or so I assumed.

But man those chips are still commanding a high price. They shouldn't sell for that much in 2018. Supply & demand, bleh.

Also watch your VRM temps.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Apparently my BIOS version P01-B1 already supports 6-core CPUs.
I already updated to P01-B2, just because that is the latest one, and came out after the 1055T came out. P01-B1 supposedly supports 6-core CPUs, but pre-dates the official launch of Phenom II X6.

BTW, I had forgotten about this, but I can update the BIOS at will. Going back and forth between P01-B1 and P01-B2 is easy as pie. I seem to remember some boards or updaters not allowing installing earlier BIOS.


I wanted one of those 95W 1055Ts so badly back in the day. Godly overclockers, or so I assumed.

But man those chips are still commanding a high price. They shouldn't sell for that much in 2018. Supply & demand, bleh.

Also watch your VRM temps.
I'm assuming I won't have to worry too much about the VRM, since I won't be overclocking at all. In fact, I can't even adjust the bus speeds on this mobo. It's a low end system, but one that is still working fine after all this time. I don't even have a discrete GPU in this machine.

The only thing that would be a bonus for my office type usage besides the updated CPU is a USB 3 / USB-C card, and it arrives tomorrow. Hopefully, it is compatible with this machine. And if it works fine in this machine, it will preclude me from putting in a discrete GPU. It's a PCIe x4 card, and I only have a single PCIe x1 and a single PCIe x 16 slot in this machine. One annoyance I had though with my upgrades was the mobo dropping the memory clock from 667 to 533 MHz when I went from 4 GB (2x2) to 8 GB (4x4). I've read this is by design for many AM3 boards from back then.

Anyhow, if this Phenom X6 works, this will be the second best in-place CPU upgrade I've done in my lifetime.

#1 was my Asus P2B, going from a Celeron 366 to a Celeron 800 and eventually to a Celeron 1.4 GHz Tualatin using an Upgradeware Slot-T adapter.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,489
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I'm assuming I won't have to worry too much about the VRM, since I won't be overclocking at all.
Probably. There were some MSI boards back in the day that would burn out with an x6 without much/any OC, but then those were DiY retail boards, not boards in OEM machines. OEM boards have to "just work"; anything less would be a consumer debacle. So if they actually sold those systems with 1055Ts pre-installed, you can bet they'll hold up at stock settings.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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CPU upgrade won't affect Windows activation. Only motherboard and hard drive.
Excellent. I guess I got lucky with my SSD install too.

Probably. There were some MSI boards back in the day that would burn out with an x6 without much/any OC, but then those were DiY retail boards, not boards in OEM machines. OEM boards have to "just work"; anything less would be a consumer debacle. So if they actually sold those systems with 1055Ts pre-installed, you can bet they'll hold up at stock settings.
Besides the list above I got from the Acer forums, I also have seen specs of the X3400 in the wild with various Phenom II X6 chips.

The only thing I'm taking a chance on is the fact that there apparently have been two different motherboards for this model desktop. We'll see.

Thanks guys.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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You can probably tell which mobo you have in there with something like HWiNFO64 or CPU-Z. Or just crack it open and look at serial numbers.
 
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Jan 15, 2018
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It's better to upgrade to at least FX 6xxx series. Phenom II x6 is way older processor and may slow down on new games.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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You can probably tell which mobo you have in there with something like HWiNFO64 or CPU-Z. Or just crack it open and look at serial numbers.
It's an Acer OEM board. There were apparently two motherboards made for this X3400 line, which are the MB.SE201.001 and the MB.SE201.002. I don't know which this one is, because the label I see etched on the board is DA061/078L-AM3. In any case, it's an nForce 720a A2 board.

This is a Geekbench 4 test with X3400 / nForce 720a A2 and Phenom II X6 1055T.

http://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/4205401

The only difference is that it runs BIOS P01-B3, which isn't listed on Acer's website for this particular model. My model tops out at P01-B2 (but P01-B1 already is supposed to support 6-core).

The Geekbench listing also says his CPU is running at 3.3 GHz. So either somehow s/he's overclocked the machine (using hidden BIOS options or something) or else it's showing a Turbo Core boosted speed which would indeed be 3.3 GHz for this chip.

BTW, it scores 2107/7771. For reference, my Athlon II X3 435 scores 1740/4093.

http://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/6430719

Also, my RAM is only running 533 MHz. I have unmatched pairs, both 667 MHz capable, but when put together, the machine drops to 533 MHz. I've read this is a feature, not a bug, for these consumer oriented AMD nForce boards, and even happens with matched RAM, to maintain memory stability.
 
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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,848
380
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Perfect. This post confirms Phenom II X6 (95 W) running on the X3400 with my (now) P01-B2 firmware. (Several third party sites list the P01-B3, but it's not there on Acer's site itself, and now we have confirmation that it's not necessary anyway.)

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,2433.0.html

Code:
System:    Host: Jupiter Kernel: 4.4.0-36-generic x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: N/A Distro: Peppermint Seven
Machine:   Mobo: Acer model: Aspire X3400 Bios: AMI v: P01-B2 date: 06/01/2010
CPU:       Hexa core AMD Phenom II X6 1035T (-MCP-) cache: 3072 KB
           clock speeds: max: 2600 MHz 1: 1400 MHz 2: 2000 MHz 3: 800 MHz 4: 800 MHz 5: 1400 MHz 6: 800 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Turks PRO [Radeon HD 6570/7570/8550]
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.3 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on AMD TURKS (DRM 2.43.0, LLVM 3.8.0) GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 11.2.0
Audio:     Card-1 NVIDIA MCP72XE/MCP72P/MCP78U/MCP78S High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel
           Card-2 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Turks/Whistler HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 6000 Series]
           driver: snd_hda_intel
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.4.0-36-generic
Network:   Card: NVIDIA MCP77 Ethernet driver: forcedeth
           IF: enp0s10 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: f8:0f:41:13:7d:74
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 120.0GB (32.4% used) ID-1: /dev/sdc model: Samsung_SSD_840 size: 120.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 70G used: 33G (50%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdc5
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 4.29GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sdc6
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 32.4C mobo: N/A gpu: 58.0
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 220 Uptime: 30 min Memory: 721.3/3951.4MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.35
According to the tracking, my 1055T is at the airport, and is supposed to be dispatched from Korea today.

It's better to upgrade to at least FX 6xxx series. Phenom II x6 is way older processor and may slow down on new games.
Thanks, but I'm not playing any games on this. It's just that I notice some slowdowns with stuff like menu activation during video playback, and lately I've noticed some slowness with surfing on some bloated websites.

Plus, I don't think FX will work on this mobo anyway.
 
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Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
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It's better to upgrade to at least FX 6xxx series. Phenom II x6 is way older processor and may slow down on new games.
That makes no sense at all. He'd have to change motherboards, and at that rate just get something modern and definitely not an FX chip.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Easy drop in replacement. :) Interestingly, for some reason, my machine would only run at 533 MHz for the memory with the old CPU. Now with the new CPU, with the same BIOS settings and the memory configuration untouched, the memory runs at 667 MHz (which is what it is supposed to run at).

Old CPU:



New CPU:



Note the 6 MB L3 cache.

Pretty much all the interface lag I noticed is gone and the machine just seems peppier. Even though it's just a business use type machine with occasional video playback, it's actually a significant improvement.

BTW, I have disabled Cool 'n' Quiet, but the chip still skips from 800 MHz to 2800 MHz and occasionally 3300 MHz at will, and I don't get the lagginess that Cool 'n' Quiet introduced for some things.



I like the low core voltages.

I'm not sure why it's reading as a max TDP of 106 W named 1050T. It's a 95 W part, and is named 1055T. Whatever the TDP, importantly, the machine remains quiet.

My Cinebench score went from a paltry 193 to respectable 427.

 
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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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I guess the cache really helps, as there seems to be a 20%-25% improvement in single-thread performance despite the lower clockspeed, and for multi-thread performance, it's doubled, at least according to Geekbench 4:

Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8 GHz
Single-core: 2037 (+23%)
Multi-core: 7589 (+104%)

Athlon II X3 435 2.9 GHz
Single-core: 1652
Multi-core: 3715

I guess that shouldn't come as a big surprise. I just hope the 1055T will work fine in this machine. I have zero experience with building this era of machines.
Here are my Geekbench 4 scores:

Phenom:




Athlon:



The Phenom X6 not only feels considerably faster than the Athlon X3, it also feels considerably faster than my Core 2 Duo machines (which makes sense). It's interesting though that my iMac Core i5-7600 doesn't feel noticeably faster for regular daily usage, despite having a considerably faster CPU. The Phenom II X6 1055T on Win 10 vs the Core i5-7600 on 10.13 feel about the same speed. (Same goes for my Core i7 870 iMac, that is if you ignore the disk dependent activities, since that iMac has a hard drive).

Similarly, my MacBook Core m3-7Y32 (Geekbench 4: 7050) feels pretty good too, but OTOH, the MacBook Core M-5Y31 (Geekbench 4: 4600) does feel noticeably slower, even just for OS navigation and surfing.

So, using Geekbench 4 as a gauge, it would seem that probably anything above 7000 is pretty decent for this type of usage. Sure slower machines are still very usable for business use, but at 7000+, it feels downright speedy, with diminishing returns going above that unless you have specific needs for the increased speed like gaming.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
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Looking at CPU world, the 106.3W tdp report for the 95W version is common, as is 130W for the 125W version.
 
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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Looking at CPU world, the 106.3W tdp report for the 95W version is common, as is 130W for the 125W version.
Yes, I see that. I tried HWInfo64 and it tells me the TDP is 108.7 W. I wonder what these programs are reading. Whatever the case, it's not a big deal though, since the machine works and is quiet. I suspect if I tried a 125 W / 130 W Phenom, it wouldn't work, as I believe this product line never shipped with a 125 W CPU.

HWInfo64 correctly lists the processor as a 1055T though. I tried Speccy, and like CPU-Z, in one spot it calls it the 1050T, which doesn't exist. So again, I wonder what these applications are reading.

BTW, these CPU core temps in Speccy are pretty impressive if accurate. It's at idle, but that still seems way low:



Running Cinebench R15, the temps get into the low 40s, with the fan speed increasing a bit to around 16xx rpm (up from 1100 rpm), but still staying pretty quiet. I am using the stock heatsink/fan in this machine from the old Athlon, and from what I gather, it's less robust than the retail Phenom X6 heatsink/fan. All I did was put a bit of Arctic Silver on and then installed the heatsink. Nothing fancy. BTW, the tube of Arctic Silver I have is now probably around 10 years old.

Contrast that to my i7-7700K which would jump to 100C and put the fan into vacuum cleaner mode pretty quickly.
 
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LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
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I guess 45nm is somewhat easier to keep cool.

Model number might have something to do with the fact that there are two different versions of the chip?
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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I wanted one of those 95W 1055Ts so badly back in the day. Godly overclockers, or so I assumed.
I guess those temps and voltages explain why the 1055T overclocked so well. And I have checked online and indeed, they do generally overclock extremely well, if you’re OK with the locked multiplier.

However, as mentioned I have zero overclocking settings on my low end OEM mobo. I’m just happy to now have a machine that is actually faster than many similar low end machines you can buy today. I only paid CAD$399 for this machine 8 years ago, and that included a monitor. I think that was about US$300 around that time. The CPU upgrade was US$59 shipped.

Try buying a low end non-refurbed pre-built machine now around that price and you’ll get some slow A8 or A10 APU or something like that.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,489
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Ah the good old days of HTT/bclk overclocking. I sort of miss those.

edit: took a brief look at eBay, and it looks like there are some i5 machines out there you can get pre-built (without monitor) for around $300. So they aren't all Atoms and BD-derived chips.
 

Replay

Golden Member
Aug 5, 2001
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Typing this on the X6 rig (Microcenter combo deal from 2011).

=============================================
Jan-2-2012 AMD Phenom II X6 1055T installed. MSI 880G-E45
=============================================
Jan-5-2012 PhenomMSR again, 1.2750 VCore. CnQ on. Using Turbo 16.5x 1.4375 VCore, P1 P2 P3 1.2750V, P4 1.0000V.
FSB 250 14x 3510.3 MHz OS loads. 4125 MHz Turbo. HT & NB 8x, Dram 1:3.33. CPUz under load 1.344 1.336.

*North Bridge Overclocking. VCore 1.2750, 1.4375 Turbo 4125 MHz. CnQ on. CPUz load 1.336 1.328 1.344.
*250 14x 3510.3 OS loads. HT & NB 10x, NB volts up 1 step at 1.1625, HT 2505.0, Dram 1:3.33 835 MHz. SuperPi 1M best yet.
Prime ok 1hr+. 50c fan target: fan at 100% at 55c 44c-die. Peak temps 59c 48c, VRM 59c large FFT & 64 small FFT.
*** Using these settings, and loading PhenomMSR at Boot ***
 
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