[SOLVED] Advice for upgrading CPU+Cooler and Motherboard

LordMikeus

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Sep 23, 2016
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Hey. I currently have a bottleneck for my CPU and I'm very aware of it. I'm hoping to upgrade very soon (Today if I had a clue) and I've noticed the 10 series for intel processors. I also know I need a motherboard that can hold whatever new CPU I get. I'm hoping to get to a point where I can comfortable do most games at 100+ frames (Is that right to hope for?) and without any problems. I'm fond of my VR games too and noticed some problems with Half Life Alyx. I'm really hoping to do Cyberpunk 2077 with Ray Tracing if it's good at the time of release. I don't know if these goals are realistic or not.

I was looking at the MSI Z390-A PRO as a new motherboard and for my CPU I was originally looking at the i7 9700k. I then noticed the 10 series seemed to be cheaper and an improvement. I just don't know if it will fit in the MSI motherboard or my machine in general, what sort of cooler I should get for it (was looking at cryorig-h5) or if it is actually better than the i9700k. What should I be considering here? Are there better choices I could make? Would an i7-10700k be the best choice? I know my current goal for processor, motherboard and cooler came close to £500. If I can make that cheaper and still reach all my goals then great. Maybe I could even run solid Minecraft shaders...


My specs:

Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64-bit
CPU
Intel Core i5 7500 @ 3.40GHz 46 °C Kaby Lake 14nm Technology
RAM
16.0GB Dual-Channel Unknown @ 1066MHz (15-15-15-36)
Motherboard
Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd. Z270-Gaming K3 (U3E1) 36 °C
Graphics
Dell S2716DG (2560x1440@144Hz) ------ Main Gaming Monitor
2769M (1920x1080@60Hz) ------ I use this monitor for browsing / discord etc on the side
4095MB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Gigabyte) 53 °C
Storage
232GB Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB (SATA (SSD)) 42 °C
931GB Seagate ST1000DM010-2DM162 (SATA ) 37 °C
465GB Western Digital WDC WDS500G2B0A-00SM50 (SATA (SSD)) 35 °C🃏
 
At 1440p the difference will be less noticeable. You're also coming from a 7500 both will be a huge upgrade! Since you don't have a 9700k currently, the few missed fps will absolutely go unnoticed. But the money saved sure won't!

Only reason the swap may be problematic is if you don't do a clean install of windows. Which really is a requirement with either setup you choose. No other worries reliability wise.

If you go R5 the nhd15 is overkill and you can easily cut the cpu cooler budget in half. Heck, the cooler master 212 is still good for an r5. I'd still go better, but you don't have to. Also r5 includes a cooler, so you can buy one later if unhappy with temps or noise.

For ryzen ram speed is important. Ryzen loves fast ram. 3rd gen needs 3200-3600mhz. Intel will benefit from ram speed, but isn't near as dependent on it as ryzen. With slow ram and ryzen, you could be losing 20+ fps.

If you're not considering overclocking you don't have to worry to much about vrm and such. I only mentioned it because the board you have for the 9700k doesn't have a heatsinks over them.

For ryzen, my go to recommendation, as well as many others too, is:
MSI tomahawk MAX b450
R5 3600
2x8gb 3200-3600mhz ram.

While you would likely be fine with the Asus board you mentioned, it may or may not come with a 3rd gen ready bios out of the box. Same goes for any other b450 that doesn't specifically say 3rd gen ready. Note that ready and compatible are 2 different things. All b450 boards will support the 3rd gen, but not all will do it out of the box. Some have bios flash abilities without a cpu, and some will require a 2nd gen cpu to update.

Overall all both will do what you want, but one will do it significantly cheaper than the other. I can tell you I'm in the same predicament! Been on intel for a long time, but amd is making great cpus right now. If cost was equal, I'd go intel again. But to lose a few fps to save a 100+ dollars, it's a tough decision!!
 
100fps at 1440p, certainly not wrong to hope for, and close to attainable. IF you're ok lowering some settings and not jacking everything up to ultra.

My i7 7700/2080 combo will do most new AAA titles at 80-90 on ultra. Some over 100 and some(rdr2) just over 70. So again, if you dont have to run ultra you'll be fine and probably hit your goal. As far as vr, that I couldn't tell ya.

Both the 9700k combo and 10700k combo are going to really stretch that 500 budget. Not sure what the price for the 10700k is where you are, but list in the states is $410. With the lower end/cheaper z490 boards running $190+(no z390 compatibility). Add some good 3000mhz+ ram for $75ish, and a capable cooler for $100(or more). And you're looking at close to $800usd. Remember the 10700k will be harder to cool than a 9700k, as it's basically a 9900k. So think high end air, like noctua d15, or 360mm aio. The 9700k would be cheaper overall. Less expensive board and cooler required, but I think will still stretch your budget.

Either will get you great performance. There's also ryzen to consider. Great bang for your buck, and a 3700x build should cost about 100ish less than a comparable 9700k build.
 

LordMikeus

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Sep 23, 2016
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Thanks for the great help, clarified a fair bit for me. It does seem like the 10 series would be more expensive than the 9700k and like the 9700 would be plenty suitable. Not sure where I got the totally wrong price from for the 10. Since the 9700k is also compatible with the Z390 I looked at. I never considered the improvement RAM would bring but stepping up to 3000mhz seems like a good shout, recommendations on that would be great. Unsure if the cooler is suitable but all in all, these are the 3 items I was looking at:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-BX80684I79700K-CORE-I7-9700K-RETAIL/dp/B07JJ8CSNZ/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=BX80684I79700K-CORE-I7-9700K&qid=1589953438&s=computers&sr=1-1

https://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi-z390-a-pro-intel-z390-s-1151-ddr4-sata3-m2-2-way-crossfire-intel-gbe-usb-31-gen2-aplusc-atx?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlMrPw97B6QIVyO3tCh3AUg33EAkYASABEgK90_D_BwE

https://www.overclockers.co.uk/cryorig-h5-ultimate-single-tower-heatsink-with-140mm-fan-black-frame-hs-007-cy.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIse3zw6TF6AIVRYXVCh2OPQp2EAkYASABEgLM__D_BwE

Would these be bad choices? Is the cooler and it's stock paste not good enough to handle the CPU or anything? This would probably still exceed my aim for around £500, closer to £600 likely with RAM but I'd go from there and purchase as and when I can.
I can't say I've ever really considered Ryzen, could just be the comfort I've had with Intel all this time and the lack of ever having a problem. Is it worth me heading down that route? I have no idea what is good or bad when looking that way, or compatibility so advice is appreciated if it's my better choice.
 
I'd go for a better cooler, just for a little more thermal headroom. The h7 is better I believe. And there's always the noctua nhd15.

Board looks ok. See what some reviewers have to say, as far as overclocking and vrm temps, etc.

If you like intel, stay with intel. But I'd recommend you at least look at ryzen. It's worth a look. Solid performance and great value. It may very well be worth going down that road.
 
I'd take note of prices on two separate combos, depending on your budget..

B450 and R3-3300X (these two, at about $120 each, will be about $240 total, likely less than even an i7-7700 could be obtained for)
B450 and R5-3600 ($about $320 total)

The 10600K (6c/12t) and 10700K (8c/16t) could feasibly be thrown into the mix if you wished...but, it appears their mainboards will be $150-$160, minimum.
 

LordMikeus

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Thanks both of you! Got a few more things to ask :D

I have no knowledge of overclocking, every time I look I stop pretty quick. Also not aware of things like vrm temps.
The R5-3600 seems to be lacking a bit compared to the i7-9700K based on what I can see here:
https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-9700K-vs-AMD-Ryzen-5-3600/4030vs4040
Will this difference be noticeable? Would I be okay doing things like Cyberpunk with Ray Tracing? I imagine both this and the i7-9700k can handle all my general gaming and VR needs though.

It also seems theres a fair few B450 boards, is there either of you would recommend or would I be fine with nearly anything in that range such as the Asus Prime b450?
Does seem like a good price drop and I'd be happy with that if it met everything I wanted. Otherwise I'll just do the push for the i7-9700k and the board I mentioned.
Would the Noctua nhd15 be fine with this R5 or similar processors if I went down the Ryzen route?
And final questions, how important is it for me to improve the Ram? Is there a standard I should meet?

Edit: I've noticed comments on how the swap from Intel to Ryzen can be a problem and that Ryzen has reliability issues? Are these fair worries/problems?
 
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At 1440p the difference will be less noticeable. You're also coming from a 7500 both will be a huge upgrade! Since you don't have a 9700k currently, the few missed fps will absolutely go unnoticed. But the money saved sure won't!

Only reason the swap may be problematic is if you don't do a clean install of windows. Which really is a requirement with either setup you choose. No other worries reliability wise.

If you go R5 the nhd15 is overkill and you can easily cut the cpu cooler budget in half. Heck, the cooler master 212 is still good for an r5. I'd still go better, but you don't have to. Also r5 includes a cooler, so you can buy one later if unhappy with temps or noise.

For ryzen ram speed is important. Ryzen loves fast ram. 3rd gen needs 3200-3600mhz. Intel will benefit from ram speed, but isn't near as dependent on it as ryzen. With slow ram and ryzen, you could be losing 20+ fps.

If you're not considering overclocking you don't have to worry to much about vrm and such. I only mentioned it because the board you have for the 9700k doesn't have a heatsinks over them.

For ryzen, my go to recommendation, as well as many others too, is:
MSI tomahawk MAX b450
R5 3600
2x8gb 3200-3600mhz ram.

While you would likely be fine with the Asus board you mentioned, it may or may not come with a 3rd gen ready bios out of the box. Same goes for any other b450 that doesn't specifically say 3rd gen ready. Note that ready and compatible are 2 different things. All b450 boards will support the 3rd gen, but not all will do it out of the box. Some have bios flash abilities without a cpu, and some will require a 2nd gen cpu to update.

Overall all both will do what you want, but one will do it significantly cheaper than the other. I can tell you I'm in the same predicament! Been on intel for a long time, but amd is making great cpus right now. If cost was equal, I'd go intel again. But to lose a few fps to save a 100+ dollars, it's a tough decision!!
 

geofelt

Titan
You have options.

It is not clear to me if your processor needs more threads or if you need better single thread performance.
Your i5-7500 has 4 threads and a passmark rating of 6228. That is when all 4 threads are fully loaded.
Since you have a side monitor, put task manager/cpu performance up on it while you game.
Be careful how you interpret task manager cpu utilisations.
Windows will spread the activity of a single thread over all available threads.
So, if you had a game that was single threaded and cpu bound, it would show up on a quad core processor as 25%
utilization across all 4 threads.
leading you to think your bottleneck was elsewhere.
It turns our that few games can USEFULLY use more than 2-3 threads.
The single thread rating is 2281.
You can use the passmark ratings to evaluate other options.
The strongest processor your motherboard supports is the i7-7700K.
It has 8 threads with a rating of 9796/2771.
Since it is still a strong processor, it still commands a good price on ebay. Perhaps
£250.

Your Z270 motherboard permits overclocking so you can do more.

A i5-9600K has 6 threads and a rating of 11091/2830.
A I7-9700K has 8 threads and a rating of 14763/2910
Either will require a 300 series motherboard and I would spend a bit more for a Z390 based motherboard.
It allows overclocking and unlocks some 20% more capability.
With any high performance processor you will need a decent cooler.
I would say the cryorig h5 would be fine with a 7700K or the 9600K
For the 9700K I would go stronger like a noctua NH-D15s.

The new 10th gen processors do look interesting.
I might think that even the i5-10600K would be a good upgrade.
It looks to be closer to the 9700K than the 9600K.
I might take that option.

ryzen is popular. Mainly for the large number of cheap threads.
If you play multiplayer games with many participants then ryzen could be a good option.
Otherwise, sims, strategy and mmo games seem to like fast single thread performance. Intel still shines there.
 

LordMikeus

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Sep 23, 2016
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Thanks both of you, great answers there. I most often play multiplayer games, shooters and the likes. I do enjoy WoW and play that regularly tho. I've noticed my CPU hitting 100% on nearly anything I do and apps like Discord lagging out my voice for others if it's not in focus while I game. I don't think it used to be quite so bad but seems as time goes on my processor handles it worse and worse. I tried some benchmarking tools and both said my CPU was throttling and had terrible fps. Seems it doesn't even reach the upper standards for other users with my current processor. I do want to upgrade anyway since we've got some good games on the way. I can't really read into it more than that, I'm not too technical, just enjoy my games a lot.
With the price to performance of the Ryzen setup that Gmoney mentioned above, that does seem to be a solid route to take compared to my initial plans of a 7700k. It should handle everything I want it seems (Hope I'm not wrong in saying that).
The i5-10600K does seem to handle well and have more threads, seems to be not quite as good for core speed as the 9700k from what I can see but it's all gibberish to me anyway.
I'm not confident with overclocking so don't think I can consider that side of things too much.

It does seem that the cheaper option here is what Gmoney said. I don't mind spending more if it'll guarantee my Cyberpunk 2077 experience and VR games working fine. Playing normal games on Ultra without lag would be good too. I do also like the look of that 10600K but I don't really know what sort of boards or cooling it would need so can't say I know the price range it would bring me to.
I would prefer to spend less of course, and that Ryzen route saves a lot of money for what I'm seeing as not much noticeable difference to my original planned setup. Is there anything I lose out on or risks I take in just getting that Ryzen setup? Will it last a few years with the rest of my setup? If looking longer term and at things like the new Engines and games coming out, would it make more sense to do the push for an upper intel or better Ryzen route?

Some final questions I had:
Is there any RAM that you guys recommend or will any 2x8GB 3600mhz DDR4 RAM be fine?
Would I need to reinstall windows and clear all my SSD's / HDD's when doing the change or will it just be the drive holding windows and I can tell it not to wipe all drives? Just so I can prep in advance anything I don't wanna lose.

Thanks again for all the help guys. Taught me a lot here and made me feel much safer about deciding this!

Edit: My Power supply is 650W GQ, will this handle any choice I make, even if I did end up on the 10 series route?
 
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geofelt

Titan
To answer your questions:
The ram you get will depend on the motherboard you pick.
Ryzen is picky about ram and depends on fast ram for performance.
If you pick ryzen, go the motherboard web site and access their ram QVL list.
It represents ram that has been tested OK on that particular motherboard.
Pick one of the supported kits. 3600 speed is good if supported and if the price is reasonable.

Intel is very tolerant of ram and does not depends on fast speeds for performance.
Most any kit will work, but I advise checking the QVL list.
Or, if you have a favored vendor, go to that web site and access their ram compatibility app.
You will not see much difference in fps or app performance with intel between 3000 speed and 3600 speed.

If you have many apps that would be difficult to reinstall, you can try booting with the old windows C drive.
If it boots, good, you only need to install the drivers that come with your new motherboard.
A purist would say do a clean install regardless.
Your choice.

If you do a clean install, have only the install device connected or windows will put a hidden recovery partition on a second drive making it difficult to ever remove that drive.

A quality 650w psu will handle most anything.
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm
I have no problem overprovisioning a PSU a bit. Say 20%.
It will allow for a stronger future graphics card upgrade.
It will run cooler, quieter, and more efficiently in the middle third of it's range.
A PSU will only use the wattage demanded of it, regardless of it's max capability.
 

LordMikeus

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Sep 23, 2016
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Great, I won't worry about power and RAM for now. I don't know what the best way to do a clean install is while changing motherboard but I'm sure I can google something like that. Thanks geofelt

Now I guess I just need to decide between that Ryzen setup that Gmoney posted, or an intel setup. Seems like Ryzen is my best shout though so far. All I do is gaming and sounds like Ryzen performs well in most cases and for a lot cheaper.
Is there anything final I should note or things to consider when choosing? I don't understand the cores and thread part of things very well so hard to decide on anything just looking at those. Just on price to performance it seems I'll go Ryzen, doesn't seem to have much of a gap on the 9700K I was eyeing up and looks like the 10 series will be complicated and has little reviews so far. Guess that's why I'm asking for help on this forum :D

Edit:
I noticed the b550 boards seem to be coming next month? Is that something I need to consider in any way or can I just forget about that and stick with the Tomahawk if going down the Ryzen route?
As probably a final question on all this, I was recommended the 3600x originally by Gmoney? Is that what I want or the 3600? Will both work with the MSI tomahawk MAX b450 I was recommended and the stock cooler that comes with the CPU?
 
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Worry about upgrading ram only if you choose the ryzen build. Your current ram will affect the performance on that. For ryzen you're going to want 3200 or better.

B550 will guarantee out of the box compatibility as well as a future upgrade path to 4000 series.

Swapping to ryzen I would definitely recommend a clean install,just to avoid any possible driver/chipset issues. Easier to just do it now than have to redo it later. Just leave all other drives except the os drive disconnected until its complete.

3600 vs 3600x is up to you. Watch some reviews of both. Then decide if the added cost of the 3600x is worth it to you or not. It's only very slightly faster and costs 20ish more. It does have a better cooler, but that's a moot point if you'll be upgrading the cooler anyways. Yes both will work on the b450 MAX board.

The 10 series has few reviews because it just launched. more will roll in as both reviewers and consumers get them. Early reviews are promising, but it is added cost. Boards are pricey, the chips are semi pricey and you'll need a good cooler for them.
 

LordMikeus

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Sep 23, 2016
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I seem to have got the Ryzen build to around £400 and the intel 9700k far higher at about £650. Perhaps that's issue my end with my shopping but I think I've got the ideas of build for both sides sorted. Now I'll just need to decide over the weekend. Thanks guys, you've been a great help! Learned a lot on this thread.
 

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