[SOLVED] CPU upgrade q's

Jun 5, 2020
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hi everyone,

relatively new to computers and have done my best to gain some knowledge around them as i just had my first PC build couple months ago (was prev a laptop user forever). currently running ryzen 5 3600 and looking at upgrading in near future to 3900x. my q is; do i also need to upgrade other components such as mobo/gpu? and would air cooling be sufficient for a higher end card or would i need to look at watercooling?

currently;
mobo= MSI m2 pro max
GPU= radeon RX 570 ITX
stock cooler used for cpu

thanks
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Your B450m Pro-M2 max is really not suitable for use with a high TDP (Thermal design power) processor like the 3900x.

There are some good recommendations here, best of which for the least amount of money would likely be the B450 Tomahawk. However the B450 Gaming Pro Carbon, B450 Gaming Plus and B450-A Pro are all good choices with similar VRM configurations. I'd probably opt for the B450 Tomahawk Max if you want a budget option. That has good enough VRMs to support the 3900x AND it supports higher speed memory than most the other B450 non-MAX models.

Keep in mind, if you can't run the 3950x on a given board, it's probably not a good idea to run the 3900x on it either.


I also agree that a graphics card upgrade would seem like a MUCH better prospect than the CPU right now. Your current CPU is fairly capable. Your graphics card is really not very capable by comparison. The Ryzen 3600 could be paired with pretty much any existing graphics card to good effect so long as you weren't looking for very high frame rate gaming. Anything around 60-120fps depending on settings should be easily attainable though. Obviously, a bigger and better CPU increases that capability somewhat, but probably not as much as you think except in certain games that are highly optimized for multithreaded performance.
 

ttower2020

Prominent
Nov 5, 2018
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A couple things.

- What do you do with your PC, because if you play games, upgrading the GPU would be better than upgrading the CPU in your case.

- The air coolers that come with Ryzen are acceptable to use with their CPUs, but an aftermarket is going to be better. Air or Water are acceptable, ass long as you get a good one.

- That is not enough information on the motherboard, and whether you need a new motherboard depends on exactly what motherboard you may have. The manufacturers website will have information about support for Third gen chips, but it will possibly require a BIOS update.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Your B450m Pro-M2 max is really not suitable for use with a high TDP (Thermal design power) processor like the 3900x.

There are some good recommendations here, best of which for the least amount of money would likely be the B450 Tomahawk. However the B450 Gaming Pro Carbon, B450 Gaming Plus and B450-A Pro are all good choices with similar VRM configurations. I'd probably opt for the B450 Tomahawk Max if you want a budget option. That has good enough VRMs to support the 3900x AND it supports higher speed memory than most the other B450 non-MAX models.

Keep in mind, if you can't run the 3950x on a given board, it's probably not a good idea to run the 3900x on it either.


I also agree that a graphics card upgrade would seem like a MUCH better prospect than the CPU right now. Your current CPU is fairly capable. Your graphics card is really not very capable by comparison. The Ryzen 3600 could be paired with pretty much any existing graphics card to good effect so long as you weren't looking for very high frame rate gaming. Anything around 60-120fps depending on settings should be easily attainable though. Obviously, a bigger and better CPU increases that capability somewhat, but probably not as much as you think except in certain games that are highly optimized for multithreaded performance.
 
Jun 5, 2020
12
2
15
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A couple things.

- What do you do with your PC, because if you play games, upgrading the GPU would be better than upgrading the CPU in your case.

- The air coolers that come with Ryzen are acceptable to use with their CPUs, but an aftermarket is going to be better. Air or Water are acceptable, ass long as you get a good one.

- That is not enough information on the motherboard, and whether you need a new motherboard depends on exactly what motherboard you may have. The manufacturers website will have information about support for Third gen chips, but it will possibly require a BIOS update.
thanks for the reply,

1) will be doing some gaming but main reason i'm looking to upgrade CPU is to run game theory analysis and the software is very CPU intensive.

2) you reccmd any particular aftermarket coolers in particular from exp or just go with any of the leading big brand ones?

3) just checked their website thanks for pointing this out. says my current mobo will support ryzen 9 so seems that i won't need a new mobo.
 
Jun 5, 2020
12
2
15
0
Your B450m Pro-M2 max is really not suitable for use with a high TDP (Thermal design power) processor like the 3900x.

There are some good recommendations here, best of which for the least amount of money would likely be the B450 Tomahawk. However the B450 Gaming Pro Carbon, B450 Gaming Plus and B450-A Pro are all good choices with similar VRM configurations. I'd probably opt for the B450 Tomahawk Max if you want a budget option. That has good enough VRMs to support the 3900x AND it supports higher speed memory than most the other B450 non-MAX models.

Keep in mind, if you can't run the 3950x on a given board, it's probably not a good idea to run the 3900x on it either.


I also agree that a graphics card upgrade would seem like a MUCH better prospect than the CPU right now. Your current CPU is fairly capable. Your graphics card is really not very capable by comparison. The Ryzen 3600 could be paired with pretty much any existing graphics card to good effect so long as you weren't looking for very high frame rate gaming. Anything around 60-120fps depending on settings should be easily attainable though. Obviously, a bigger and better CPU increases that capability somewhat, but probably not as much as you think except in certain games that are highly optimized for multithreaded performance.
awesome thanks so much for this detailed response!
 

ttower2020

Prominent
Nov 5, 2018
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thanks for the reply,

1) will be doing some gaming but main reason i'm looking to upgrade CPU is to run game theory analysis and the software is very CPU intensive.

2) you reccmd any particular aftermarket coolers in particular from exp or just go with any of the leading big brand ones?

3) just checked their website thanks for pointing this out. says my current mobo will support ryzen 9 so seems that i won't need a new mobo.
Ok, that sounds good about the CPU upgrade. However, do consider that the X570 Chipset motherboards are better capable for high performance chips, like the Ryzen 9. If you do put a Ryzen 9 in your current motherboard, keep a close eye on it for a while. Make sure that it is running stable and cool enough at the right clock speeds. I would personally upgrade to a X series motherboard, either X470 or X570.

For the cooler, Noctua is well regarded as one of the best coolers. You can really go with any high TDP, good rated cooler. I personally use a Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4, which is very overrated for my CPU, but has done a VERY good job. Water coolers will do decent too, but you would need to get a larger one. Just make sure the product is rated high enough and reviewed good, there are not a lot of bad coolers, persay, so just make sure they are reviewed well.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Ok, that sounds good about the CPU upgrade. However, do consider that the X570 Chipset motherboards are better capable for high performance chips, like the Ryzen 9. If you do put a Ryzen 9 in your current motherboard, keep a close eye on it for a while. Make sure that it is running stable and cool enough at the right clock speeds. I would personally upgrade to a X series motherboard, either X470 or X570.
This, in general, is not true.

There are MANY B450 motherboards that handle the 3950x, better than a lot of the X470 or X570 boards. As always it is a matter of specific models.

For the cooler, Noctua is well regarded as one of the best coolers.
Noctua isn't "a cooler". It's a company. They make many coolers, some suited, some not suited, for this application and specific CPU. Saying "Noctua is one of the best coolers" Is like saying Ford is the best car. You need to be specific, it is important.
 

ttower2020

Prominent
Nov 5, 2018
158
30
640
6
This, in general, is not true.

There are MANY B450 motherboards that handle the 3950x, better than a lot of the X470 or X570 boards. As always it is a matter of specific models.



Noctua isn't "a cooler". It's a company. They make many coolers, some suited, some not suited, for this application and specific CPU. Saying "Noctua is one of the best coolers" Is like saying Ford is the best car. You need to be specific, it is important.
This is probably the most nitpicky post I have seen in a long time.

How about a good X570 board will be better than a B450, generally speaking, or that Noctua is well known for making some of the best air coolers on the market. Is that much different?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Yes, Noctua is well known for making some of the best air coolers on the market. Absolutely agree with you on that.

No, I don't agree that the X570 boards are better than the B450 boards, in fact, unless somebody gave me one of the few really decent high end models, I'd much prefer to run a good B450 or X470. Or wait for B550. X570 is, to me, and many others, a flop that is overpriced and generally under delivers in every way. Most of the boards have problems and the ones that don't are really expensive. I mean, I guess they are "ok", but they are not awe inspiring for a flagship chipset when compared to practically all other previous flagship chipset examples. PCIe 4.0, on X570, has proven to be extremely underwhelming and the fact that chipset fans are required, it makes the presumptively less expensive B550 boards that have PCI 4.0 but do NOT need a chipset fan and heatsink cooler, a lot more attractive to most people.
 
Jun 5, 2020
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so my rookie tech knowledge take on that was that; X570s are overrated compared to B450 & X470s which i assume are lower priced? im also making the assumption that the difference in performance between the X570 & B450/X470 are essentially negligible hence why it's better to go for the cheaper priced latter than the X570?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
X570 boards are about 40% more expensive, across the board (No pun intended) than either B450 or X470, which are both older chipsets than X570. X570 supports most Ryzen 3000 series processors out of the box with no BIOS update needed.

ONLY the MSI "Max" series of B450 motherboards can do that without a BIOS update, however, there are a few other MSI motherboards, and one or two ASUS boards (Very expensive top of the line models though, for ASUS) that have BIOS flashback and can be updated to the latest BIOS version without even having a CPU installed to do it. Other boards can't do this.

X470 is the OLDER flagship chipset that preceded X570. The only things that X570 has that X470 does not have, is out of the box support for Ryzen 3000 series processors and PCIe 4.0 support.

Since PCIe 4.0 support is largely overrated, because graphics cards don't even saturate the PCIe 3.0 bus currently, and because only minor gains have been shown in NVME storage devices using the PCIe 4.0 standard in real world usage, it makes it a hard pill to swallow paying ~40% more for a motherboard that largely doesn't net you anything substantial.

Obviously, the current lack of availability and increased prices for ALL motherboards, graphics cards and power supplies makes the whole thing a big fiasco, and to be honest my recommendation on all these parts is that if you don't HAVE to pull the trigger on anything right this moment and you can wait another ten days to two weeks to see if things start sliding back towards somewhat realistic prices and availability as we suspect it might, you could save yourself a fair amount of money PLUS there should be some B550 boards on the horizon before long which means potentially being able to do both things, save money AND get PCIe 4.0 support, without having to have annoying chipset fans on the motherboard like X570 has.
 
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