My primary concern to upgrade was photo editing. I have a Canon Rebel XSI (450D), which takes 12MP photos. Unfortunately, I’m not yet a very good photographer, probably just need more practice. Anyway, editing photos became a frequent task. For some reason Phenom 9500 is pretty slow on those large ones. And it used to take me around 2-3 seconds to perform simple transformations. Having heard enough about the benefits of Phenom II, I decided to push forward and buy Phenom 955. Believe it or not, it does make a difference!
Other parts do not affect performance, but increase stability of the system. I also have a Scythe Orochi fanless CPU cooler, Antec 300 case with 4 fans installed (3x120mm - back and front - and 4x140mm - top) and Corsair TX750W power supply.
I will list marks from 4 different suites to help understand where real changes are. I will also include my personal thoughts because synthetics are not 100% reliable when it comes to real-world tasks.
Here upgrade is best seen on Memory Latency and CPU Photoworks test suites:
|Test Suite||Marks - Phenom 9500||Marks - Phenom 955||Performance Boost|
Unfortunately I don’t have a screenshot for Phenom 9500 + 8800 GTS 512, so believe me it was about 9K marks. When I upgraded to Phenom 955, my marks instantly went up to almost 14K. Have a look:
Now I have a simple rule for myself: never ever try to combine cheap and expensive parts together. Performance will be limited by its weakest link, Phenom 9500 in this case.
Not a significant boost here. At least I know new games will play roughly the same. Or probably I shouldn’t trust this test. :)
Well, it is definitely faster. The whole operating system is faster to boot and single applications take less time to start. Can’t say for sure, but the boost seems to be close to 2x on average. There is something, however, that it handles much easier than Phenom 9500 used to. Two things: heavily loaded browser pages with lots of flash media, zoomed in; and picture editing, which is what I originally aimed at. The price could be better though, but I’m overall satisfied and will hardly ever upgrade the CPU now. Unless they make something really special, like a 3D operating system, hanging on the edge between reality and virtual world. And even at that moment video cards might be so advanced that we’ll never find a use for a processor. Anyway, back on earth, if you are still looking for a cheap upgrade, this one does the trick!