Question CPU upgrade in 2021 - AMD vs Intel

A_Salad

Commendable
Feb 17, 2019
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Hey everyone, a bit of context before I begin: my cpu is a ryzen 5 2600x, which isn't bad at all, it's just a bit weak for what I do (gaming, coding, unity/unreal engine, blender) so I wanted to upgrade; keep in mind that I'll be able to upgrade in June, so the CPU situation might be a bit different but it doesn't hurt to plan out in advance.

I was considering either the Ryzen 7 3700x or the i7 10700k/9700k.
The problems I encountered were:
  • The ryzen 7's performance was worse than the i7's
  • Intel Z390/Z490 motherboards are super expensive
  • I was planning to not get an aftermarket CPU cooler, but I have to with the Intels, so i'd end up spending more than with a ryzen
There are a few things to consider, since B550s are also pretty damn expensive and I'd end up paying just a smidge less with Ryzen than with Intel.

Can anyone give me some advice? Maybe even some knowledge from people that have had / have one of these CPUs and can debunk or recommend some things? Anything would be greatly appreciated!

PC specs:
R5 2600x w/ stock cooler (I don't do hefty overclocks)
RTX 2060 Super
Asus Prime B450M-A
16GB of Crucial DDR4 OC'd @3000MHz
Thermaltake 500w (about to be upgraded to either a Corsair RM750 or a Gigabyte 750w 80+ gold)
Corsair 275r (case)
 
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IMO, a ryzen 5 5600X would be better.
Should cost the same as the 3700X. it has 2 less cores, but these cores are so much faster, it makes up the ground, even in multicore tests.

Tho, if you did go with the 3700X, you would even need to swap motherboards.
The 5600X would also go into the B450-M board, but a future bios (to be released this month or next month) would be needed

Actually im not sure if they are released yet or not
anyway, you can also put a 5600X into that motherboard with a bios update.
 
Although your current motherboard is known for VRM’s that run hot you won’t have any issues with a 3700x and should run fine with a 5800x but I’d wait for reviews. Why do you want to upgrade the motherboard to a B550 when you can drop an upgrade into your current motherboard?
 

A_Salad

Commendable
Feb 17, 2019
45
0
1,540
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IMO, a ryzen 5 5600X would be better.
Should cost the same as the 3700X. it has 2 less cores, but these cores are so much faster, it makes up the ground, even in multicore tests.

Tho, if you did go with the 3700X, you would even need to swap motherboards.
The 5600X would also go into the B450-M board, but a future bios (to be released this month or next month) would be needed

Actually im not sure if they are released yet or not
anyway, you can also put a 5600X into that motherboard with a bios update.
That's a good point, problem is that the 5600x is almost unfindable (I live in Italy so it's even harder), and the ones that seem normally prices are probably scams. Even if I got one, i'd probably pair it with a good B550 or a 180$ X570
Thanks for the response!
 

A_Salad

Commendable
Feb 17, 2019
45
0
1,540
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Although your current motherboard is known for VRM’s that run hot you won’t have any issues with a 3700x and should run fine with a 5800x but I’d wait for reviews. Why do you want to upgrade the motherboard to a B550 when you can drop an upgrade into your current motherboard?
Because the current one i have is quite old and I think unreliable. I'd end up replacing it sooner or later, and it seems appropriate to do so with a CPU upgrade
 
Because the current one i have is quite old and I think unreliable. I'd end up replacing it sooner or later, and it seems appropriate to do so with a CPU upgrade
If it has a fault then sure upgrade it. If you are worried because the board gets bad reviews that is because the VRM’s get hot but that should only be problem if running a Ryzen 9. There is every chance the board with an R5 or R7 would last to your next platform upgrade. It’s up to but was thinking it would save some money.
 
It is premature to be making decisions now when your time frame is in June.
By then, intel rocket lake will be out.
Current leaks indicate that rocket lake will be very competitive and likely better than ryzen 5000 series in the single thread performance department.

No telling about availability.
Prices of new Z590 motherboards are likely to be high.

Is your processor a r5-2600x or a r7-2700x? You mentioned both.

If your main use is for gaming, look first at the single thread performance.
Most games will not effectively use more than 4-6 threads.
Many threads is good for batch multithreaded apps or perhaps for multiplayer games with many participants.
One way to tell how important many threads is to you is to take a couple away and see if it makes any difference.
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.

A reasonable way to compare processors is to look at the passmark ratings.
For example, a
R5-2600X has 12 threads and a rating of 14088/2414.
The first number is the performance when all threads are fully utilized. The second is the
single thread performance.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+Ryzen+5+2600X&id=3235
That is arguably the more important number for gaming and daily performance.
R5-2700X has 16 threads and a rating of 17613/2441.
More threads but the same gaming performance.
Some other numbers:
R7-3700X 16 threads 22821/2690
R5-5600X 16 22191/3382 the ipc gain is impressive.
The ryzen processors can all work on your motherboard with a bios update.
i7-10700K 16 threads 19624/3081
i7-9700K 8 threads 14585/2912 I would pass on this one.
An Intel upgrade will require a motherboard upgrade to a lga1200 motherboard.
If you will not be overclocking, you do not need a Z590 motherboard, most any lga1200 motherboard will suffice.
The i7-10700 for example can not be overclocked and does come with a (barely) adequate cooler.
Here is a nice article on it:
https://www.anandtech.com/show/16343/intel-core-i710700-vs-core-i710700k-review-is-65w-comet-lake-an-option

I suspect that the rocket lake processors will be a better option since they will benefit from a purported 19% IPC boost.

It will pay you to wait and keep abreast of the news.
 
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A_Salad

Commendable
Feb 17, 2019
45
0
1,540
2
You could put it in your current motherboard, and upgrade down the line, giving you more headroom for a better cpu today.
I think the only reason that I want to upgrade my motherboard now is because it's quite visually unappealing and, quite frankly, I think it might fail with a CPU that's more powerful than a 3600
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
I think the only reason that I want to upgrade my motherboard now is because it's quite visually unappealing and, quite frankly, I think it might fail with a CPU that's more powerful than a 3600
There's no basis for the latter unless you're talking the highest-end of their product stack, not something like a 5600. If you want to buy a whole new motherboard because you don't like how the current one looks, that's absolutely fine -- it's your money -- but do be aware what the reasons are and what they aren't.
 

A_Salad

Commendable
Feb 17, 2019
45
0
1,540
2
It is premature to be making decisions now when your time frame is in June.
By then, intel rocket lake will be out.
Current leaks indicate that rocket lake will be very competitive and likely better than ryzen 5000 series in the single thread performance department.

No telling about availability.
Prices of new Z590 motherboards are likely to be high.

Is your processor a r5-2600x or a r7-2700x? You mentioned both.

If your main use is for gaming, look first at the single thread performance.
Most games will not effectively use more than 4-6 threads.
Many threads is good for batch multithreaded apps or perhaps for multiplayer games with many participants.
One way to tell how important many threads is to you is to take a couple away and see if it makes any difference.
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.

A reasonable way to compare processors is to look at the passmark ratings.
For example, a
R5-2600X has 12 threads and a rating of 14088/2414.
The first number is the performance when all threads are fully utilized. The second is the
single thread performance.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+Ryzen+5+2600X&id=3235
That is arguably the more important number for gaming and daily performance.
R5-2700X has 16 threads and a rating of 17613/2441.
More threads but the same gaming performance.
Some other numbers:
R7-3700X 16 threads 22821/2690
R5-5600X 16 22191/3382 the ipc gain is impressive.
The ryzen processors can all work on your motherboard with a bios update.
i7-10700K 16 threads 19624/3081
i7-9700K 8 threads 14585/2912 I would pass on this one.
An Intel upgrade will require a motherboard upgrade to a lga1200 motherboard.
If you will not be overclocking, you do not need a Z590 motherboard, most any lga1200 motherboard will suffice.
The i7-10700 for example can not be overclocked and does come with a (barely) adequate cooler.
Here is a nice article on it:
https://www.anandtech.com/show/16343/intel-core-i710700-vs-core-i710700k-review-is-65w-comet-lake-an-option

I suspect that the rocket lake processors will be a better option since they will benefit from a purported 19% IPC boost.

It will pay you to wait and keep abreast of the news.
My CPU is a 2600x, I mistyped in the specs, sorry about that

Thank you for the really detailed response. I have a few things that I want to reming you of:
Like I said in another reply, the 5600x is insane overpriced or is just a scam if it goes for less than 400$ nowadays. I looked around and only found shady websites that sell it or EBay (at around 450$). Intel rocket lake is definitely going to be a step up from 10th gen (I hope), but I can't really know for sure that it'll be less expensive.
I have no need for overclocking, so going for a non-k SKU or even an f SKU since I don't have the need for integrated graphics. Therefore, I can go for a B560 or a motherboard that lacks overclocking features but costs less.
Point is, I don't want to spend 100$ extra on a cpu that is not worth the price. I could get a 3900x or even a 3950x for that price. And why not the 3700x? Is it that little of an upgrade from the 2600x?
 

BogdanH

Upstanding
Sep 21, 2020
389
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390
12
Kinda pointless topic, considering you plan to upgrade in 6 months.. but I'll bite...
Get 3700X, a decent $50 CPU cooler to keep PC quiet and keep motherboard you have. Really can't understand why changing mobo for 65W CPU.. You think it's "getting unreliable"? Silly.. either it works or not. B550 won't make your PC better/faster (that's a game your mind plays).
In six months?.. Not much will change, except prices will stabilize. Yes, there will be old/new (again) Intel CPU's trying to beat AMD at gaming, what they will probably succeed by few fps (with good cooling) and that's pretty much all.

Just saw you last post...
Going from 2600X to 3700X is very solid upgrade -trust me, there's difference between 6 and 8 cores! I had 3700X and can really recommend it.
Ok, in benchmarks, 5600X is better for gaming.. but does it matter to you if you play some game at 117fps or 128fps? Speaking for me (not really a gamer), I would pick 3700X instead of 5600X anytime -considering the price.

Just my 2c
 

A_Salad

Commendable
Feb 17, 2019
45
0
1,540
2
Kinda pointless topic, considering you plan to upgrade in 6 months.. but I'll bite...
Get 3700X, a decent $50 CPU cooler to keep PC quiet and keep motherboard you have. Really can't understand why changing mobo for 65W CPU.. You think it's "getting unreliable"? Silly.. either it works or not. B550 won't make your PC better/faster (that's a game your mind plays).
In six months?.. Not much will change, except prices will stabilize. Yes, there will be old/new (again) Intel CPU's trying to beat AMD at gaming, what they will probably succeed by few fps (with good cooling) and that's pretty much all.

Just saw you last post...
Going from 2600X to 3700X is very solid upgrade -trust me, there's difference between 6 and 8 cores! I had 3700X and can really recommend it.
Ok, in benchmarks, 5600X is better for gaming.. but does it matter to you if you play some game at 117fps or 128fps? Speaking for me (not really a gamer), I would pick 3700X instead of 5600X anytime -considering the price.

Just my 2c
Honestly I don't see the need for a lot of the things you say, and from a few people's experience I can debunk some things you said.
The motherboard I have has un-cooled VRMs (it has no heat-spreader) so I'm worried that with a CPU like a 3700x they might get hot and cause a few problems.
And who knows about the new Intel CPUs? They have a new CEO, so the same thing that happened with AMD and Lisa Su might happen with Intel.

Btw, I don't think that a correlation between a 2600x that goes at 117 fps and a 5600x that goes at 128 can really even start to exist.
Another thing: neither 6 nor 8 cores are used in games, and they're not the thing that really matter in terms of gaming performance. Good thing I don't only do gaming, otherwise I would've sticked with my 2600x since its gaming performance is actually really good for the price. You have a point when it comes down to the price side of things, the 3700x has had a surprisingly stable price these last few months, so if that doesn't change in 6 months I might end up going for that. If the 5600x goes for under 380$, I'll 100% go with that, since it can beat even a 3900x in some use cases.
 

A_Salad

Commendable
Feb 17, 2019
45
0
1,540
2
There's no basis for the latter unless you're talking the highest-end of their product stack, not something like a 5600. If you want to buy a whole new motherboard because you don't like how the current one looks, that's absolutely fine -- it's your money -- but do be aware what the reasons are and what they aren't.
I think that general consensus got to me I guess. Pairing a 300+$ CPU with a 75$ motherboard doesn't seem like the most reliable thing to do in my head, but from what people are saying I think I might not need to upgrade.
 
I think that general consensus got to me I guess. Pairing a 300+$ CPU with a 75$ motherboard doesn't seem like the most reliable thing to do in my head, but from what people are saying I think I might not need to upgrade.
You are right, when talking about building a new pc, it's just kind of stupid, not because the board will die, not handle or not fit the higher end cpu, but just because you don't want the bottom of the barrel in any category.

But when upgrading an older rig, having stuff like this is quite normal.
 

Elterrible

Honorable
Nov 9, 2014
15
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10900k @ $499 is better than anything you will likely be able to buy for for under $500 from AMD right now.

The sad truth is that you cannot get the AMD CPUs very easily, unless you pay scalpers and then you’re looking at double the retail price easily.
 
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TravisPNW

Upstanding
Aug 26, 2020
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10900k @ $499 is better than anything you will likely be able to buy for for under $500 from AMD right now.

The sad truth is that you cannot get the AMD CPUs very easily, unless you pay scalpers and then you’re looking at double the retail price easily.
Yep... it doesn't matter how much better AMD is when they are only in stock with scalper tax attached. For that reason I went with the 10900k and it was an easy decision. Intel wins hands down when it comes to pricing and availability... at least until the scalpers get all the 11th gen stock. :LOL::ROFLMAO::LOL::ROFLMAO:
 

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