[SOLVED] Build or wait based on compatibility?

Feb 11, 2020
5
0
10
0
Looking to build a new workstation/gaming pc some time this year. My last build was a quiet media server/workstation about 5 years ago that I would like to use solely for media server duties while getting back into PC gaming with a new rig (and graphics/video/3d modeling). Are there any new tech advancements coming out this year that are worth waiting for? I know there is always something better right around the bend and you could fall into the trap of waiting forever and never building anything. I am not worried about slight bumps in performance or lowered prices. I am more worried about new formats or interfaces that may cause compatibility issues years later when I want to upgrade parts. I would like to avoid what happened to me before.

Years ago, I bought a high end Alienware PC without doing the proper homework. A few months later, PCI Express debuted and I had bought a very expensive PC with an already out of date AGP graphics card slot. A few years later, when I wanted to upgrade the graphics card, I was screwed because all the cards were now PCI Express. I ended up having to replace all the guts with a new motherboard, CPU, RAM & Graphics Card.

Are there any changes like that on the near horizon (announced or rumored)? What should I look out for in a motherboard for the best future proofing as far as compatibility goes? (Not worrying about budget at the moment.) Or is there anything worth waiting for that maybe isn't a compatibility issue, but will actually deliver a big leap in performance vs a small bump?

Thanks
 
Years ago, I bought a high end Alienware PC without doing the proper homework. A few months later, PCI Express debuted and I had bought a very expensive PC with an already out of date AGP graphics card slot. A few years later, when I wanted to upgrade the graphics card, I was screwed because all the cards were now PCI Express. I ended up having to replace all the guts with a new motherboard, CPU, RAM & Graphics Card.

Are there any changes like that on the near horizon (announced or rumored)? What should I look out for in a motherboard for the best future proofing as far as compatibility goes? (Not worrying about budget at the moment.) Or is there anything worth waiting for that maybe isn't a compatibility issue, but will actually deliver a big leap in performance vs a small bump?
I built a system around the same time, when PCI Express was just coming out. Several years later, you could still find some AGP cards in the mid-range, but the selection was very limited, and prices were higher than PCIe versions of the same card. There were some PCIe motherboards released that were compatible with that processor though, so I just picked up a used board for under $60, which was a bit newer and better than the model I originally had, and was able to re-use the same processor and RAM.

As for now though, PCI Express generally maintains pretty good backward and forward compatibility, so it's probably less of a concern. I suspect that high-end graphics cards coming out several years from now will still likely work fine on PCIe 3.0 motherboards without having their performance limited much, though it's hard to say for sure.

The only similar thing might be for CPU sockets, as those tend to change more frequently. Intel's CPUs break compatibility with prior motherboards about every two years or so, and while AMD tends to maintain motherboard compatibility longer, the AM4 socket is nearing 3-years old at this point, and might only be supported for one more generation of CPUs (though it's not known for sure yet). After that, I suspect processors launching in 2021 may be utilizing a new socket and DDR5 RAM. Of course, top-end CPU performance hasn't exactly been substantially increasing from one year to the next for quite some time, at least on a per-core basis, so I suspect any of of the current upper-mid-range or higher CPUs will continue to be relevant for years to come, and there are already higher core count models available for AMD's existing boards. For now, you could probably even get away with an 8-core, 16-thread processor like a Ryzen 3700X or 3800X and have it stay relevant for many years to come, if you wanted to shave another $150 or so off the cost of the build, unless you already use software that can utilize those extra cores.

One other thing that could change may be a shift toward games relying more on raytracing hardware for their lighting effects. With the next generation of consoles set to support raytracing in some capacity, I suspect those effects may become standard for "ultra" settings relatively soon. Current graphics cards either don't have hardware support for raytracing (The Radeon RX 5000 and GeForce 16-series) or only offer limited raytracing performance that's only particularly good for resolutions around 1920x1080 (The GeForce 20-series). There are currently no graphics cards capable of offering solid 60fps performance with raytraced lighting effects enabled at 3840x1200 resolution. That could potentially change with the graphics cards coming later this year, though that's still only speculation at this point.
 
Feature-wise: Nothing earth shattering from what I've heard.
  • PCIe4.0 is available on AMD X570 motherboards (6 months ago). PCIe5.0 is...2021/2022 I believe.
  • PCIe4.0 SSDs are few and far between, and still expensive.
  • DDR5 is likely 2021 still.
Architecture-wise:
  • Nvidia will launch their RTX3000 series on 7nm process node with purported advancements in RTX performance at GDC in March.
  • AMD will introduce hardware ray tracing in their GPUs later this year.
  • AMD will release Ryzen 4000 CPUs later this year.
  • Intel 10th Gen Ice Lake CPUs coming ~ August.
 
Nov 20, 2019
60
4
35
0
I would imagine PCIe4.0 is backward compatible, and so on.
I.e. you buy a fandangled new mobo with PCIe4.0 but have a PCIe3.0 graphics card, it shall still work (at 3.0 speeds)? Or could you buy a new PCIe4.0 GPU but have a PCIe3.0 mobo (at 3.0 speeds)?
 
Feb 11, 2020
5
0
10
0
If you keep waiting for the next big thing, you will never build. With Ryzen 3000, there has never been a better time to buy. Price/performance, and the amount of cores and threads, for the money is great, right now. It really just depends on your budget.
Yeah, I get that. I dealt with the waiting game last time around. I have no problem pulling the trigger if it is just a matter of price/performance. I am more worried about potential compatibility issues. If there is nothing coming out that may cause compatibility issues (like the AGP to PCIe example I gave) then great; I'll start spec'ing out my build. Just wanted to make sure before I did. Is there a good recommendation for a Ryzen 3000 compatible motherboard with PCIe 4.0?
 
Feb 11, 2020
5
0
10
0
Probably looking at $2000 to $2500 total budget all in, but flexible. Do need an OS. Don't need monitor/keyboard/mouse. Currently using a Samsung CJ890 43" Ultrawide (3840 x 1200). Orlando, FL, USA.

Will mainly be used for photo editing (with some video editing), graphic design, some 3D modeling (3ds MAX, Unreal Engine & Revit), as well as gaming when I can. Currently game with PS4 pro, XBox One X, & Switch, but would like to get back into PC gaming. Haven't really gamed on PC since the Skyrim days. Would also like to get into PC VR gaming more. I currently have an Oculus Quest and PSVR.
 

GarrettL

Prominent
Dec 4, 2019
635
111
590
23
To give you an idea, can change things as needed but she's a beast.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($469.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.95 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA ATX AM4 Motherboard ($290.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 1 TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 1 TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB Turbo EVO Video Card ($719.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case ($98.99 @ Walmart)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Platinum 750 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($134.99 @ B&H)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit ($139.99 @ Other World Computing)
Total: $2324.86
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-11 12:36 EST-0500
 
Feb 11, 2020
5
0
10
0
To give you an idea, can change things as needed but she's a beast.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($469.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.95 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA ATX AM4 Motherboard ($290.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 1 TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 1 TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB Turbo EVO Video Card ($719.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case ($98.99 @ Walmart)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Platinum 750 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($134.99 @ B&H)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit ($139.99 @ Other World Computing)
Total: $2324.86
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-11 12:36 EST-0500
If noise level was an issue, would you make any changes to that list? The PC will be located right behind a couch where people will be watching TV, talking, etc... For my last build I tried to go as silent as possible (Fractal Design Define R5, platinum fanless PSU, etc...) as it sits at the same desk behind the couch the new PC will be at.
 
Heres another version, there wont be any noise issues with either build...

PCPartPicker Part List

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
CPU | AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor | $469.99 @ Amazon
CPU Cooler | Noctua NH-D15 CHROMAX.BLACK 82.52 CFM CPU Cooler | $99.95 @ Amazon
Motherboard | Gigabyte X570 AORUS PRO WIFI ATX AM4 Motherboard | $234.99 @ B&H
Memory | G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory | $159.99 @ Newegg
Storage | HP EX950 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive | $139.99 @ Amazon
Storage | Crucial MX500 2 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive | $213.48 @ B&H
Video Card | EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB XC GAMING Video Card | $689.99 @ Newegg
Case | Corsair 275R Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case | $74.98 @ Newegg
Power Supply | SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply | $114.99 @ B&H
Operating System | Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit | $99.99 @ B&H
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total (before mail-in rebates) | $2338.34
| Mail-in rebates | -$40.00
| Total | $2298.34
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-11 13:05 EST-0500 |
 
Years ago, I bought a high end Alienware PC without doing the proper homework. A few months later, PCI Express debuted and I had bought a very expensive PC with an already out of date AGP graphics card slot. A few years later, when I wanted to upgrade the graphics card, I was screwed because all the cards were now PCI Express. I ended up having to replace all the guts with a new motherboard, CPU, RAM & Graphics Card.

Are there any changes like that on the near horizon (announced or rumored)? What should I look out for in a motherboard for the best future proofing as far as compatibility goes? (Not worrying about budget at the moment.) Or is there anything worth waiting for that maybe isn't a compatibility issue, but will actually deliver a big leap in performance vs a small bump?
I built a system around the same time, when PCI Express was just coming out. Several years later, you could still find some AGP cards in the mid-range, but the selection was very limited, and prices were higher than PCIe versions of the same card. There were some PCIe motherboards released that were compatible with that processor though, so I just picked up a used board for under $60, which was a bit newer and better than the model I originally had, and was able to re-use the same processor and RAM.

As for now though, PCI Express generally maintains pretty good backward and forward compatibility, so it's probably less of a concern. I suspect that high-end graphics cards coming out several years from now will still likely work fine on PCIe 3.0 motherboards without having their performance limited much, though it's hard to say for sure.

The only similar thing might be for CPU sockets, as those tend to change more frequently. Intel's CPUs break compatibility with prior motherboards about every two years or so, and while AMD tends to maintain motherboard compatibility longer, the AM4 socket is nearing 3-years old at this point, and might only be supported for one more generation of CPUs (though it's not known for sure yet). After that, I suspect processors launching in 2021 may be utilizing a new socket and DDR5 RAM. Of course, top-end CPU performance hasn't exactly been substantially increasing from one year to the next for quite some time, at least on a per-core basis, so I suspect any of of the current upper-mid-range or higher CPUs will continue to be relevant for years to come, and there are already higher core count models available for AMD's existing boards. For now, you could probably even get away with an 8-core, 16-thread processor like a Ryzen 3700X or 3800X and have it stay relevant for many years to come, if you wanted to shave another $150 or so off the cost of the build, unless you already use software that can utilize those extra cores.

One other thing that could change may be a shift toward games relying more on raytracing hardware for their lighting effects. With the next generation of consoles set to support raytracing in some capacity, I suspect those effects may become standard for "ultra" settings relatively soon. Current graphics cards either don't have hardware support for raytracing (The Radeon RX 5000 and GeForce 16-series) or only offer limited raytracing performance that's only particularly good for resolutions around 1920x1080 (The GeForce 20-series). There are currently no graphics cards capable of offering solid 60fps performance with raytraced lighting effects enabled at 3840x1200 resolution. That could potentially change with the graphics cards coming later this year, though that's still only speculation at this point.
 

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
Put more money, than I normally would, for graphics, for quietness. I tend to stick to the lower priced models, for a series. Triple slot and triple fan should help keep the temps, and in turn the noise, down. The larger 200mm fans should be quieter, due to lower RPM, while still moving plenty of air.


PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($469.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.90 @ B&H)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS PRO WIFI ATX AM4 Motherboard ($234.99 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($189.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Intel 660p Series 1.02 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($114.00 @ B&H)
Storage: Intel 660p Series 2.048 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($234.95 @ Adorama)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB FTW3 ULTRA GAMING Video Card ($779.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh ATX Mid Tower Case ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($114.99 @ B&H)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($99.99 @ B&H)
Total: $2488.78
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-11 15:59 EST-0500
 
Feb 11, 2020
5
0
10
0
I built a system around the same time, when PCI Express was just coming out. Several years later, you could still find some AGP cards in the mid-range, but the selection was very limited, and prices were higher than PCIe versions of the same card. There were some PCIe motherboards released that were compatible with that processor though, so I just picked up a used board for under $60, which was a bit newer and better than the model I originally had, and was able to re-use the same processor and RAM.

As for now though, PCI Express generally maintains pretty good backward and forward compatibility, so it's probably less of a concern. I suspect that high-end graphics cards coming out several years from now will still likely work fine on PCIe 3.0 motherboards without having their performance limited much, though it's hard to say for sure.

The only similar thing might be for CPU sockets, as those tend to change more frequently. Intel's CPUs break compatibility with prior motherboards about every two years or so, and while AMD tends to maintain motherboard compatibility longer, the AM4 socket is nearing 3-years old at this point, and might only be supported for one more generation of CPUs (though it's not known for sure yet). After that, I suspect processors launching in 2021 may be utilizing a new socket and DDR5 RAM. Of course, top-end CPU performance hasn't exactly been substantially increasing from one year to the next for quite some time, at least on a per-core basis, so I suspect any of of the current upper-mid-range or higher CPUs will continue to be relevant for years to come, and there are already higher core count models available for AMD's existing boards. For now, you could probably even get away with an 8-core, 16-thread processor like a Ryzen 3700X or 3800X and have it stay relevant for many years to come, if you wanted to shave another $150 or so off the cost of the build, unless you already use software that can utilize those extra cores.

One other thing that could change may be a shift toward games relying more on raytracing hardware for their lighting effects. With the next generation of consoles set to support raytracing in some capacity, I suspect those effects may become standard for "ultra" settings relatively soon. Current graphics cards either don't have hardware support for raytracing (The Radeon RX 5000 and GeForce 16-series) or only offer limited raytracing performance that's only particularly good for resolutions around 1920x1080 (The GeForce 20-series). There are currently no graphics cards capable of offering solid 60fps performance with raytraced lighting effects enabled at 3840x1200 resolution. That could potentially change with the graphics cards coming later this year, though that's still only speculation at this point.
Yeah, I am definitely leaning towards getting RTX and playing around with ray tracing. Even if not many games support it yet, I will make use of it in unreal engine for architectural visualization. I am just starting to explore it at work where I am a bit spoiled with the PC they provided about a year ago (BOXX Core i9-7940X 14c/28t, 64GB RAM, dual 2080Ti's). As for cores, some of the software I use does better with single faster cores and other software does better with more cores. Some software only uses one core for parts of the workflow and multiple cores for other parts. So, a balance of individual core speed and number of cores is what I would be looking for. But I obviously can't get something like my work PC which I think cost around $8-10k. I won't be doing work at home that is anywhere near as complicated as I am at work. But I would like to dabble for my own side projects.

Side note, it is extremely frustrating to have such a beast of a machine at work and not be allowed to install games on it.
 

GarrettL

Prominent
Dec 4, 2019
635
111
590
23
I bet that is frustrating!


The 3900x is a good choice for its performance but it will generate more heat than the 3800x that has 2 less cores. The 3900 might need a fairly large radiator to remain near “silent”. You may have to increase or change your budget.

The 3800 cooling options for low noise levels are less expensive.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY