Question How many cores for 2020 and beyond?

numnums

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Jun 29, 2013
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Hey everyone!
I have an i7 2600 that I've been sitting on for almost a decade and was considering building on a new platform.
Was leaning towards the R7 3700x but I know the R5 3600 is a tough deal to pass up right now...
My main problem is I'm just having a hard time picking between the two because I intend on this build to last me another decade or so so I want it to last. Thing is it seems like 6 core CPUs are starting to become the standard? But I know most games and programs don't even utilize 4 cores so yeah... I'm just so torn between my choices.
What do yall think? Any opinions is really appreciated!
 

TechyInAZ

Polypheme
Moderator
To be honest, AMD's really pushed the core count game a LOT and it was completely unexpected in my opinion that they'd go to 16 cores so quickly on mainstream.

One thing's for certain 8 cores will be the predominant and optimal core config in the upcoming few years for sure. so a 3700X will last you at least 3 years in my opinion if not more.

If you plan on keeping your CPU as long as you did with your 2600, I would recommend you jump up to the R9 3900X 12 core CPU, which is on sale for $419ish. ($499 is the normal price.)

It also entirely depends on what you need from your CPU.
 
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Jorma04

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Nov 28, 2019
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Hey everyone!
I have an i7 2600 that I've been sitting on for almost a decade and was considering building on a new platform.
Was leaning towards the R7 3700x but I know the R5 3600 is a tough deal to pass up right now...
My main problem is I'm just having a hard time picking between the two because I intend on this build to last me another decade or so so I want it to last. Thing is it seems like 6 core CPUs are starting to become the standard? But I know most games and programs don't even utilize 4 cores so yeah... I'm just so torn between my choices.
What do yall think? Any opinions is really appreciated!
go for the 3700x imo especially since you want it to be long lasting.
 
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OllympianGamer

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Most processors from 10 years ago wouldnt hold up today, the 2600k being an exception intel being untouchable just basically kept adding slight bumps to performance with each generation. It's only since ryzen they have actually needed to change things up because of the competition. But if you really do want your new cpu to last another 10 years you should be looking at the top end enthusiast chips and not middle of the road ones.
 
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numnums

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To be honest, AMD's really pushed the core count game a LOT and it was completely unexpected in my opinion that they'd go to 16 cores so quickly on mainstream.

One thing's for certain 8 cores will be the predominant and optimal core config in the upcoming few years for sure. so a 3700X will last you at least 3 years in my opinion if not more.

If you plan on keeping your CPU as long as you did with your 2600, I would recommend you jump up to the R9 3900X 12 core CPU, which is on sale for $419ish. ($499 is the normal price.)

It also entirely depends on what you need from your CPU.

I am planning on keeping my next CPU for about as long as my 2600, yeah.
Will the 3700x really be that obsolete within 3 years? I mean considering my 2600 is kicking just fine, just struggles a lot with games AAA games these days... Will plan on mostly gaming, with the occasional streaming and light video editing
 

numnums

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Most processors from 10 years ago wouldnt hold up today, the 2600k being an exception intel being untouchable just basically kept adding slight bumps to performance with each generation. It's only since ryzen they have actually needed to change things up because of the competition. But if you really do want your new cpu to last another 10 years you should be looking at the top end enthusiast chips and not middle of the road ones.
Is the 3700x really considered a middle of the road chip?
 
Feb 7, 2020
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The problem is that 3700X has nearly identical gaming performance to the 3600. Either way you'll see a decent upgrade from the i7 2600, but 3900X will only give you more cores for something like rendering or video edits.
 
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Third-Eye

Distinguished
I am planning on keeping my next CPU for about as long as my 2600, yeah.
Will the 3700x really be that obsolete within 3 years? I mean considering my 2600 is kicking just fine, just struggles a lot with games AAA games these days... Will plan on mostly gaming, with the occasional streaming and light video editing
Maybe you just need to upgrade your GPU until you are ready to upgrade. What do you have now? I was on an oc'ed 2600K with a 1070 before I "upgraded" to a Ryzen 5 2600 and it was capable of 70-80fps in Witcher 3, Far Cry 5 and the BF 5 beta. Although the Ryzen 5 2600 is faster, It was mostly just intended as a stop-gap that allowed me to run Windows 7 ( I triple boot 7, 10 and Linux) without the issues x570 and newer boards have with 7, while also being ready for Ryzen 4000 8-16 core CPUs this year or next.
 
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NightHawkRMX

Illustrious
AM4 is a very good platform if you plan on future upgrades.

If you were to upgrade your 2600k, you could only go to a slightly better 3770k.

However, with AM4 you could buy a 3600 and use it for many years, and upgrade to a 3950x or even the upcoming Ryzen 4000 series!

I think the Ryzen 5 3600 is about all you need now, however in the future it will start to lag behind its extra core count siblings.

I would predict a 3700x will last you a long time, and that would be my pick, however you could spend an extra 100 and get 4 more cores with a 3900x, which would be even better.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/QKJtt6/amd-ryzen-7-3700x-36-ghz-8-core-processor-100-100000071box
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/tLCD4D/amd-ryzen-9-3900x-36-ghz-12-core-processor-100-100000023box
 

OllympianGamer

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Is the 3700x really considered a middle of the road chip?
3700x is definitely high end but you can get one new for roughly £250 and that comes with a fairly decent cooler. The i9 9900k on the other hand is like £500 ish without a cooler so I'd say that's more enthusiast. I wouldnt usually recommend such expensive components as I tend to find them a waste of money but if we are talking about components staying relevant for 10 then obviously the top end is the best bet.
 
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numnums

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Maybe you just need to upgrade your GPU until you are ready to upgrade. What do you have now? I was on an oc'ed 2600K with a 1070 before I "upgraded" to a Ryzen 5 2600 and it was capable of 70-80fps in Witcher 3, Far Cry 5 and the BF 5 beta. Although the Ryzen 5 2600 is faster, It was mostly just intended as a stop-gap that allowed me to run Windows 7 ( I triple boot 7, 10 and Linux) without the issues x570 and newer boards have with 7, while also being ready for Ryzen 4000 8-16 core CPUs this year or next.
Right now I'm running an EVGA GTX 1060 6GB with +166 on core and +550 on memory
The GTX 680 was my first GPU I ever bought, got it with my 2600 and I bought the 1060 back in 2017
I've no problems running games at 60+ fps with high settings, I just notice dips and drops from time to time because the CPU is usually struggling
 

numnums

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AM4 is a very good platform if you plan on future upgrades.

If you were to upgrade your 2600k, you could only go to a slightly better 3770k.

However, with AM4 you could buy a 3600 and use it for many years, and upgrade to a 3950x or even the upcoming Ryzen 4000 series!

I think the Ryzen 5 3600 is about all you need now, however in the future it will start to lag behind its extra core count siblings.

I would predict a 3700x will last you a long time, and that would be my pick, however you could spend an extra 100 and get 4 more cores with a 3900x, which would be even better.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/QKJtt6/amd-ryzen-7-3700x-36-ghz-8-core-processor-100-100000071box
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/tLCD4D/amd-ryzen-9-3900x-36-ghz-12-core-processor-100-100000023box
Yeah, I was leaning thinking of the 3600 but then I thought of longevity and then I thought maybe the 3700x... I wasn't considering the 3900x because they seem to be pretty similar? With the 3900x being 5% faster from reviews I've seen
 

numnums

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3700x is definitely high end but you can get one new for roughly £250 and that comes with a fairly decent cooler. The i9 9900k on the other hand is like £500 ish without a cooler so I'd say that's more enthusiast. I wouldnt usually recommend such expensive components as I tend to find them a waste of money but if we are talking about components staying relevant for 10 then obviously the top end is the best bet.
You've given me a lot to think about haha 😁
 
I am planning on keeping my next CPU for about as long as my 2600, yeah.
Will the 3700x really be that obsolete within 3 years? I mean considering my 2600 is kicking just fine, just struggles a lot with games AAA games these days... Will plan on mostly gaming, with the occasional streaming and light video editing
Just imagine how well your 2600k would be doing today if it was constricted to 3.8Ghz...not well at all.
Ryzen is fine if you want it only for right now but it's inability to go above ~4.1Ghz all core is going to keep it back a lot in the future against intel chips hitting 5.1.
Right now intel fights with both hands tied behind it's back because GPUs just can't keep up at 1080p and everybody is pushing for 1440p and upwards.
Just try to remember how things were back when you got your 2600k it was barely any better than the 8350 especially in higher resolutions because of weak GPUs.
 

numnums

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Just imagine how well your 2600k would be doing today if it was constricted to 3.8Ghz...not well at all.
Ryzen is fine if you want it only for right now but it's inability to go above ~4.1Ghz all core is going to keep it back a lot in the future against intel chips hitting 5.1.
Right now intel fights with both hands tied behind it's back because GPUs just can't keep up at 1080p and everybody is pushing for 1440p and upwards.
Just try to remember how things were back when you got your 2600k it was barely any better than the 8350 especially in higher resolutions because of weak GPUs.
So I guess I should def invest in a higher chip like the 3900x? Thinking back that was all so long ago wow...long live sandy bridge
 

OllympianGamer

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Just imagine how well your 2600k would be doing today if it was constricted to 3.8Ghz...not well at all.
Ryzen is fine if you want it only for right now but it's inability to go above ~4.1Ghz all core is going to keep it back a lot in the future against intel chips hitting 5.1.
Right now intel fights with both hands tied behind it's back because GPUs just can't keep up at 1080p and everybody is pushing for 1440p and upwards.
Just try to remember how things were back when you got your 2600k it was barely any better than the 8350 especially in higher resolutions because of weak GPUs.
I agree with this completely, I've got a 3900x and I'd say the i9 9900k will probably outlast it regardless of core count, although I never really thought about keeping this for 10 years.
 
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