Hello! So my current (old gaming desktop) has a CPU thread count of 6, do I have to stay with a CPU that only had a thread count of 6 or can I go up to an 8 or 12 thread count?
Depends on your Motherboard's CPU SUPPORT LIST which shows all the Processors it supports and which BIOS version it needs to be recognized by the motherboard.
It is almost a 10 year old chip on a AM3+ board, you are not getting any luck upgrading it IMO. The best CPU for that would be an FX8370 and even that won't take you far. Sure you can still game on it today, but don't expect much of it and it will bottleneck modern GPU's.
Save the money for a complete overhaul. Even a low quad core 3300X will bully that chip and its not expensive on the used market. At least where I live.
@johnnyenglish Actually, FX-8370 is a really bad choice, as well as FX-8320 and FX-8350 (and don't get me started on FX-9590 or FX-9570 - those were some crazy abominations from the fever dreams of AMD's engineers). Basically, those models are just factory overclocked FX-8300s with a higher power consumption - a useless waste of more money than necessary (even at the moment of their release), if you ask me.
@Mr_Kinkade You can upgrade your CPU only to the other ones in the discontinued FX-series family. There are no 12-cores there, unfortunately. Your best option, technically (see previous paragraph), would be an FX-8300. It can still be bought through some second-hand markets (like AliExpress, for instance) for a relatively cheap price. In addition, if your motherboard is good enough (there are charts online, where you can check if it's worth/safe to be OC'ing on your MoBo), you can even reliably overclock this CPU... Although, there's not really much to gain from it. You won't notice any significant magical performance boosts, especially in games - believe me, because I've "upgraded" to it from FX-4300 not so long ago. Some multi-threaded applications may behave a bit better, but that's about it. Moreover, you have an FX-6300, which is a middle-of-the-road kind of CPU, so upgrading it would be nearly pointless performance-wise... In my case, at least, I had an inferior FX-4300.
By the way, FX-series CPUs don't actually have the amount of cores they boast to contain (FX-6300 actually has only 3 "cores, for instance) - they're a rather weird combination of cores, because they perform like Siamese twins - instead of having individual modules for each "core" AMD has basically decided to force each core to share its bed with another one, making it all function in a not very optimal way, to put it mildly. They even got sued and had to pay for their misleading marketing. Windows 10 and AMD's own software nowadays detect FX-series CPUs as having half the amount of core, but double the amount of threads (FX-6300 is a 3-core CPU with 6 threads).
I'd really suggest you save money for a completely new system - even the cheapest model of a Ryzen 5 would obliterate any FX-series CPUs, and beefy Ryzen 3 models reliably fly above the performance of most of FX-series too. You don't actually need much - you can buy a relatively cheap B450-type motherboard, one cheap 1600MHz 8Gb stick of DDR4 RAM or two cheap 4Gb ones of the same model+manufacturer [for dual-channel benefit] (because the one(s) you have right now are DDR3 and won't fit the new slots), and you're practically good to go, if your GPU is good enough (even if it's not, it's still going feel better on a newer system). It's going to cost you around 2.15-2.25 times the cost of a used FX-8300 CPU, but it'll be worth it.
Just to be clear, I wrote:
(...) the best CPU for that would be an FX8370 and even that won't take you far (...)
Which sounds much like a not so good option.
(...) Save the money for a complete overhaul. Even a low quad core 3300X will bully that chip (...)
And that is my recommendation.
Just to be clear, I wrote and elaborated on the fact that FX-8370 is the worst option, while FX-8300 is a somewhat "better" one - however, upgrading from FX-6300 to any "superior" FX processors is a bad overall choice here, anyway.
(...) I'd really suggest you save money for a completely new system - even the cheapest model of a Ryzen 5 would obliterate any FX-series CPUs, and beefy Ryzen 3 models reliably fly above the performance of most of FX-series too (...)
And that was MY recommendation.
I don't see why you had to specifically reply here with that "clarification" again, as if I'd said something contradicting your points. We both agree on the "upgrading the entire system to Ryzen" suggestion, for instance, and I'd say - the more opinions, the better. I simply provided additional information about the FX-series processors to help better understand the futility of that upgrade for the TS.
Because you replied with my name tagged, and it looked pretty much like you haven't read my whole post and wanted to make a correction out of mine.
That's why I mentioned, "just to be clear". You could've not.. well.. understood my post. It happens.
Keep in mind that you tagged me in your post, so its normal that you should expect a reply from me, but IMO you didn't had the need to tag me. My interpretation (and still is) is that you also don't like the fact I mentioned an FX CPU that you don't approve. And no, the FX8300 is not any better than a 8370. Check the most basic of performance charts to see it, and BTW, I still have a 8370 in stock (as well as plenty other AMD CPU with me) and you inspired me to do a youtube vid comparing them.
Although, you have some vids online right now, sure there they are apart by very few Fps and sometimes even equal, but nevertheless, what I said still stands, the 8370 is slightly the better option if the user had no chance whatsoever or any money to upgrade the whole system. C'mon, I can buy a FX8370 for as low as 20-40 bucks on used market here where I live today.
FX8300 vs FX8370
FX6300 vs FX8370
If you still have doubts regarding why I did the clarification, let me know.
Cyberpunk with on a 8350, that's respectable! I had mine 8370 on 4,5Ghz having peaks of 160fps on Doom 2016 (With RX480) Nier Automata a badly ported game always on 55-60fps, I could game on Doom Eternal as well or mankind divided.
One more from Hardware unboxed
So, it still is a "somewhat" a very last resource useful piece of hardware.