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Question Build advice w/ re-purposed parts

vot4pedro

Reputable
Mar 20, 2017
23
0
4,510
0
Hi all

My son and I refreshed our home pc (original build 2007) about 1 year ago by replacing the cpu, boot drive, air cooler, and psu but we're now interested in a major upgrade. I now it would be preferred to simply replace the whole machine but I would like to teach my son how best to re-purpose some components like air cooler, psu, and graphics card as I think these are still very capable and relatively new. That said, if main purpose of the machine is online gaming at 1440p IPS 165Hz (fortnite, apex legends etc) and 3D CAD Creo, what's a solid "value" build using the re-purposed components that isn't over the top expensive. We are open to either Intel or AMD cpu architecture.

Thanks in advance

OS: Windows 10 Pro 64bit, Motherboard: ASUS P6T DELUXE (LGA1366)
CPU: Intel Xeon X5680@ 4.20GHz (OCd)--- upgraded from i7 920
CPU fan: Noctua D15--- upgraded from stock fan
RAM: G.SKILL 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7T (2GB X4)
Graphics: EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti GAMING 08G-P4-5670-KR 8GB GDDR5- upgraded from Sapphire Radeon HD4870 512MB
SSD (boot drive): SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND 500GB Internal SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5"/7mm - SDSSDH3-500G-G25--- upgrade from HDD
HDD: WDC WD10EADS-00L5B1 (1TB SATA II)--- NEW
PSU: Corsair RM750xW--- NEW
Tower: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
That is absolutely great!

But my immediate question is how old and how mature is your son for his age?

The general lesson to be learned is how to look at all the current components and all of the desired/required components.

Being able to understand the specs, the compatibilities, performance requirements, budget/costs.?

My thought is that your son needs to be able to or learn to compare any given game's OS and hardware specs to the system being put together or upgraded.

Most software (my sense is that he is a gamer) provides three levels of hardware: Minimal, Recommended, and Best. You do not want minimal and you do want as much best as you/he can afford. (Hint: "he can afford" is intentional. Micro economics lesson implied.)

Have him go online and read product reviews from respected reviewer's (E.g. Tom's Hardware and Tom's Guide).

He should learn how to go manufacturer's websites to read User Guides/Manuals, FAQs, and Forums (if available). Learn to look for what is said versus what is not said. Footnotes, fine print: details matter. Good lesson applicable to anything.

Good time to teach him about planning and thinking ahead. Trade-offs performance vs budget.

Just some suggestions for you the "Dad" to consider. Adapt and present to your son as you deem applicable.

Key is to not overwhelm him but be positive in encouragement. Let him make or discover a few mistakes.

Socratic Method tailored to/for both you and your son.

Just that you are doing this/that is very encouraging.

If all happens to go haywire, laugh, try again.
 
Your current setup is quite capable.
I suspect you are correct that a stronger processor is in order.
Still, X5860 is a relatively strong processor. It has 6 threads and a passmark rating of 6524. That is when all 12 threads are fully loaded.
The single thread rating is 1455.
What kinds of games are played?
If fast action games are important, a stronger graphics card might be a good first step.
Try this test:

Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

12 threads is plenty for any game. Few can effectively use more than 6 threads.
As a test, take away a few threads and see if it impacts you.
You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option.
You will need to reboot for the change to take effect. Set the number of threads to less than you have.
This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many threads.
If you see little difference, your game does not need all the threads you have.

The main type of games that can use many threads are multiplayer with many participants.
Do not be misled if you see activity in task manager on all 12 threads. That is simply windows spreading activity among all the available threads.

The most likely limitation is single thread core speed.
For example, you could use a i7-9700K with 8 cores and a rating of
14763 but more importantly a single core performance of 2910
You would want a Z390 based motherboard to allow the K processors to run at a likely 5.0 on all cores.
Current gen intel and ryzen needs DDR4 ram and operates in dual channel. You would want a 2 x 8gb kit.
Ram speed is not important to intel, but you would want faster ram with ryzen.

Ryzen is popular, and a good value if you need many threads.
But, the maximum all core clock rates are not as good with ryzen compared to Intel.

With the imminent release of the 10th gen processors, I would wait and look at perhaps the i7-10700K
You would need a Z490 based motherboard.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/15758/intels-10th-gen-comet-lake-desktop
 
This is actually a great exercise since you have something decently capable. It would be good to compare the current system to newer mb/cpu/ram setups and weigh the pros and cons, also to other older era platforms (as there are quite a few you can pick from) and see which would make more sense in terms of value. If your son can learn how to spot value, this will be lesson that will pay huge dividends later in life buying must larger ticket items like cars and houses.
 

vot4pedro

Reputable
Mar 20, 2017
23
0
4,510
0
Hi Ralston

Thanks for feedback.

My son is 14 yrs old with above average maturity for his age. I’m very pleased he finds computer systems interesting and given that we are dealing with an old system, I don’t mind him making mistakes with component compatibility and/or attempting performance enhancements via overclocking.
When we first looked at upgrading the 2007 machine, it was he who discovered the compatibility between Xeon X5680 and the original X58 P6T MB for an extremely cheap cost ($35 Ebay). He struggled somewhat with overclocking the X5680 but through trial/error and several YouTube tutorials, he got a stable 4.2Ghz.

The current upgraded machine still works great but I often see him scanning pc part picker and watching pc build videos etc so in an effort to keep him engaged and busy given school “closure”, I offered him financial support for a system which includes the stated re-purposed comps. He has a budget of $500 BUT must justify the upgrade over current system in terms of either gaming or productivity performance.

Quantifying the performance increase is open so looking forward to hearing his thought process and justification. That said, I’m no pc guru so based on current system specs, re-purposed comps and $500 budget, what system upgrades could justify the pc redo?

Thanks
 

vot4pedro

Reputable
Mar 20, 2017
23
0
4,510
0
Your current setup is quite capable.
I suspect you are correct that a stronger processor is in order.
Still, X5860 is a relatively strong processor. It has 6 threads and a passmark rating of 6524. That is when all 12 threads are fully loaded.
The single thread rating is 1455.
What kinds of games are played?
If fast action games are important, a stronger graphics card might be a good first step.
Try this test:

Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

12 threads is plenty for any game. Few can effectively use more than 6 threads.
As a test, take away a few threads and see if it impacts you.
You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option.
You will need to reboot for the change to take effect. Set the number of threads to less than you have.
This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many threads.
If you see little difference, your game does not need all the threads you have.

The main type of games that can use many threads are multiplayer with many participants.
Do not be misled if you see activity in task manager on all 12 threads. That is simply windows spreading activity among all the available threads.

The most likely limitation is single thread core speed.
For example, you could use a i7-9700K with 8 cores and a rating of
14763 but more importantly a single core performance of 2910
You would want a Z390 based motherboard to allow the K processors to run at a likely 5.0 on all cores.
Current gen intel and ryzen needs DDR4 ram and operates in dual channel. You would want a 2 x 8gb kit.
Ram speed is not important to intel, but you would want faster ram with ryzen.

Ryzen is popular, and a good value if you need many threads.
But, the maximum all core clock rates are not as good with ryzen compared to Intel.

With the imminent release of the 10th gen processors, I would wait and look at perhaps the i7-10700K
You would need a Z490 based motherboard.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/15758/intels-10th-gen-comet-lake-desktop
Hi geofelt

Thanks for feedback.

His go to games are Fortnite and Apex Legends. Given most settings on epic, FPS bounces between 90-140 mostly on both games. Great idea decreasing resolution to gage cpu or gpu bottle neck so will give it a try. As per above $500 budget (new cpu, mb, ram, case), can a system upgrade over current X5860 be justified for game application? In other words, will there be a quantifiable increase in performance with current AMD/Intel chips, assuming mid-tier OC chips?

Note: Current monitor is a Dell S2719DGF 1440p, 144-155Hz Freesync

Thanks
 

vot4pedro

Reputable
Mar 20, 2017
23
0
4,510
0
This is actually a great exercise since you have something decently capable. It would be good to compare the current system to newer mb/cpu/ram setups and weigh the pros and cons, also to other older era platforms (as there are quite a few you can pick from) and see which would make more sense in terms of value. If your son can learn how to spot value, this will be lesson that will pay huge dividends later in life buying must larger ticket items like cars and houses.
Hi SamirD

Agree. My goal is for him to thread the middle between value/ performance and explore pros/cons of old tech vs new tech . It would be easy to simply buy a prebuild machine but there are no lessons to be learned from that. Looking forward to what he comes up with.

Thanks
 
Hi SamirD

Agree. My goal is for him to thread the middle between value/ performance and explore pros/cons of old tech vs new tech . It would be easy to simply buy a prebuild machine but there are no lessons to be learned from that. Looking forward to what he comes up with.

Thanks
Indeed. If he isn't already familiar with certain sites like cpubenchmark and cpuworld, those would be very helpful for evaluating the differences between cpus. Also the techpowerup gpu database is excellent for going through various gpu specs and comparing them.

Then he can present 3 different upgrade scenarios and the pros and cons of each and you guys can discuss and debate them together. :)

I'm sure some others can also point out other resources he can learn to use too. Learning deep research like this will help him write research papers later on in his studies too.
 

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