[SOLVED] Inexperienced and confused - R3000 to R5000 on MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max

PurpleChange

Commendable
Apr 15, 2020
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Talk to me like I'm stupid, please.

I'm considering upgrading my 1st build (May 2020):
MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max
Ryzen 5 3600
Arctic Freezer 34 Esports Duo CPU Cooler
MSI 1660 Super Ventus XS OC - recently upgraded to - Gigabyte 3060 Ti Aorus Elite
G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2X8GB) DDR4 3200
Crucial P1 500GB 3D NAND NVME M.2
Crucial MX500 1TB SSD
WD Blue 1TB HDD
FSP Hydro GE 650W 80+Gold

I've noticed a slight CPU bottleneck since upgrading to the 3060 Ti. The 1660 Super was a place holder when I first built but the GPU crisis moved me forward a generation further than expected. Now I'm motivated to look at a better CPU option and I'm hoping to get the most out of the AM4 platform that I have.

I've done lots of research but can't find specific answers to specific hardware... and I can't say I understand everything I research. I've narrowed down my options to either a 5600X or a 5800X.

Naturally, I'd prefer the 5800X. But I'm concerned about the mobo vrms (which I don't understand well) and the increased power draw over the 5600X (or current 3600).
Can anyone offer some insight, specifically regarding the MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max's vrms and it's ability to handle a 5800X?
I mostly use my rig for gaming but I've looked at some 3D rendering and would prefer the option to push the system a bit in that regard. Also, I had problems with my current R5 3600 running HOT when I built it and had to upgrade from the stock cooler. It's my understanding that the 5800X also runs hot, maybe even hotter. This is a major concern for me. My research shows that the R5 5600X runs even cooler than the 3600 in many cases - more to muddle my decision.

I also have questions about my RAM. I'm also looking at purchasing an additional 2x8GB kit to increase to 32GB. BUT am I correct in understanding that 5000 series' sweet spot is 3600 speed?
Would it be in my system's better interest to upgrade to DDR4 3600 with the 5000 series cpu? I would prefer to stick with the G.Skill Brand but I've noticed that MSI's compatibility page does not list G.Skill DDR4 3600. In fact, it doesn't seem to list ANY DDR4 3600 as being compatible in conjunction with RX-5xxx cpus.
Would DDR4 3600 RAM even work on my MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max?

My instinct tells me to play it safe, go with the 65W chip and 3200 RAM and not push anything. But maybe I'm being overly cautious.
I hear some giving assurances regarding the 5800X and mobos like the B450 Tomahawk. But I'm not sure my Gaming Plus Max is in that category.

I'd love to hear more experienced builder's thoughts on my dilemma.

I expect many to recommend just waiting for the AM5 socket, which I'm considering. But it looks like it's going to be an expensive, multi-component upgrade and, again, I'd like to get as far as I can with this AM4 setup. It's only 2 yrs old. And I also expect some to recommend buying a B500 series mobo to which I can only say... I don't want to? I can afford a reasonable upgrade here but I'm still trying to be budget conscious.

THANKS! I'm looking forward to your input!
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Userbenchmark is ridiculously useless. Don't use it as a metric when trying to determine performance of, well, anything, other than as a quick and dirty tool to see if anything is seriously, utterly, underperforming.

If you want to see actual performance differences then look at professional reviews where they already have done the performance testing for you, and at things like the Passmark CPU comparison or Anandtech bench. All of which are highly substantially more accurate methods of comparison than userbenchmark, which frankly, lacks any actual value at all in my opinion and the opinions of a good many veterans around here who agree.

That board will easily support the 5800x and in fact will support, and has good enough VRMs for (Essentially identical to B450 Tomahawk max) any current Ryzen CPU all the way up to the 5950x. Your use case should determine whether the additional cores or small bump in frequency are worth it to you. What is worth it to one user may, and often is not, worth it to another and visa versa. If you play games or run applications that are very well optimized to take advantage of a higher number of cores and threads then it's probably worth it because you might well see some substantial increases in performance, but if you don't, and most of what you do can do fine with fewer cores and you don't do a lot of multitasking, then it probably isn't worth it, and might not be even if you do run those other types of applications depending on whether the difference in performance is actually worth 100 dollars to you if you can be satisfied with what the 5600x brings and again, looking at professional reviews and these other trustworthy comparisons should at least partially tell you that.

As far as the memory goes, unless you simply have money in your pocket that is burning a whole in it, I would not ever recommend paying for a new memory kit just to go from 3200mhz to 3600mhz, because THAT performance gain is not going to be worth what it will cost to do it UNLESS you already have another system you want to use the old memory in or are fairly certain you can sell it for a reasonable price to offset some of the cost of the faster set. Otherwise, I would simply continue to use what you have and then also possibly just go in and tighten up the timings a bit which might give you a bit more memory performance, for free. There are plenty of guides on tightening your memory timings but I can point you to some good ones if you wish.

Also, if you are planning to want to increase from 16GB, to say 32GB, then it might be worth it to go with the faster memory kit anyhow because adding a second kit to an existing kit is something we generally do not recommend doing except as a last resort or when a second kit just happens to fall in your lap and you just want to give it a shot to see if the two kits will play nice together. So if you have to buy a whole new kit to go from 16GB to 32GB, if that happened to be your intention, that also would factor in as a consideration.
 

PurpleChange

Commendable
Apr 15, 2020
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5600x is the best cpu price/performance for gaming right now on the AMD side of things.
My research agrees. But I can't help wonder how much performance I could get with a few more cores for $100 more especially considering if I choose to take on more cpu specific tasks. It's only $100.

The base clock for the 5800x is a little slower but the boost clock is the same. I'm not clear on how extra cores actually affect performance in gaming. I'm guessing it's more game specific.

EDIT: further research further agrees. cpu.userbenchmark.com shows a negligible increase in performance (particularly in gaming) from the 5600X to the 5800X. I'm a little surprised by that. I'm seeing lots of people saying that although the 5600X is a good match for the 3060 Ti and better price/performance than the 5800x, the 5800x is a better match for the 3060Ti. I've found little to help me understand what justifies that statement. The increase seems to be so small.

That helps the decision.
BUT I'm still curious if it would be better to upgrade to DDR4 3600 over the DDR4 3200.
Price/Performance is probably going to favor the 3200 here as I already have 16GB. But it would have to be 4x over buying 2x of the 3600.
 
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My research agrees. But I can't help wonder how much performance I could get with a few more cores for $100 more especially considering if I choose to take on more cpu specific tasks. It's only $100.

The base clock for the 5800x is a little slower but the boost clock is the same. I'm not clear on how extra cores actually affect performance in gaming. I'm guessing it's more game specific.

EDIT: further research further agrees. cpu.userbenchmark.com shows a negligible increase in performance (particularly in gaming) from the 5600X to the 5800X. I'm a little surprised by that. I'm seeing lots of people saying that although the 5600X is a good match for the 3060 Ti and better price/performance than the 5800x, the 5800x is a better match for the 3060Ti. I've found little to help me understand what justifies that statement. The increase seems to be so small.

That helps the decision.
BUT I'm still curious if it would be better to upgrade to DDR4 3600 over the DDR4 3200.
Price/Performance is probably going to favor the 3200 here as I already have 16GB. But it would have to be 4x over buying 2x of the 3600.
5800x vs 5600x trust me no diff for gaming, Unless you are streaming also. I have used both cpus didn't see any gains in straight gaming.

Btw not to many cases where a 3600 will bottleneck a 3060ti, I think people fail to understand the 3060ti isn't a Uber tier card.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Userbenchmark is ridiculously useless. Don't use it as a metric when trying to determine performance of, well, anything, other than as a quick and dirty tool to see if anything is seriously, utterly, underperforming.

If you want to see actual performance differences then look at professional reviews where they already have done the performance testing for you, and at things like the Passmark CPU comparison or Anandtech bench. All of which are highly substantially more accurate methods of comparison than userbenchmark, which frankly, lacks any actual value at all in my opinion and the opinions of a good many veterans around here who agree.

That board will easily support the 5800x and in fact will support, and has good enough VRMs for (Essentially identical to B450 Tomahawk max) any current Ryzen CPU all the way up to the 5950x. Your use case should determine whether the additional cores or small bump in frequency are worth it to you. What is worth it to one user may, and often is not, worth it to another and visa versa. If you play games or run applications that are very well optimized to take advantage of a higher number of cores and threads then it's probably worth it because you might well see some substantial increases in performance, but if you don't, and most of what you do can do fine with fewer cores and you don't do a lot of multitasking, then it probably isn't worth it, and might not be even if you do run those other types of applications depending on whether the difference in performance is actually worth 100 dollars to you if you can be satisfied with what the 5600x brings and again, looking at professional reviews and these other trustworthy comparisons should at least partially tell you that.

As far as the memory goes, unless you simply have money in your pocket that is burning a whole in it, I would not ever recommend paying for a new memory kit just to go from 3200mhz to 3600mhz, because THAT performance gain is not going to be worth what it will cost to do it UNLESS you already have another system you want to use the old memory in or are fairly certain you can sell it for a reasonable price to offset some of the cost of the faster set. Otherwise, I would simply continue to use what you have and then also possibly just go in and tighten up the timings a bit which might give you a bit more memory performance, for free. There are plenty of guides on tightening your memory timings but I can point you to some good ones if you wish.

Also, if you are planning to want to increase from 16GB, to say 32GB, then it might be worth it to go with the faster memory kit anyhow because adding a second kit to an existing kit is something we generally do not recommend doing except as a last resort or when a second kit just happens to fall in your lap and you just want to give it a shot to see if the two kits will play nice together. So if you have to buy a whole new kit to go from 16GB to 32GB, if that happened to be your intention, that also would factor in as a consideration.
 
Talk to me like I'm stupid, please.

I'm considering upgrading my 1st build (May 2020):
MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max
Ryzen 5 3600
Arctic Freezer 34 Esports Duo CPU Cooler
MSI 1660 Super Ventus XS OC - recently upgraded to - Gigabyte 3060 Ti Aorus Elite
G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2X8GB) DDR4 3200
Crucial P1 500GB 3D NAND NVME M.2
Crucial MX500 1TB SSD
WD Blue 1TB HDD
FSP Hydro GE 650W 80+Gold

I've noticed a slight CPU bottleneck since upgrading to the 3060 Ti. The 1660 Super was a place holder when I first built but the GPU crisis moved me forward a generation further than expected. Now I'm motivated to look at a better CPU option and I'm hoping to get the most out of the AM4 platform that I have.

I've done lots of research but can't find specific answers to specific hardware... and I can't say I understand everything I research. I've narrowed down my options to either a 5600X or a 5800X.

Naturally, I'd prefer the 5800X. But I'm concerned about the mobo vrms (which I don't understand well) and the increased power draw over the 5600X (or current 3600).
Can anyone offer some insight, specifically regarding the MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max's vrms and it's ability to handle a 5800X?
I mostly use my rig for gaming but I've looked at some 3D rendering and would prefer the option to push the system a bit in that regard. Also, I had problems with my current R5 3600 running HOT when I built it and had to upgrade from the stock cooler. It's my understanding that the 5800X also runs hot, maybe even hotter. This is a major concern for me. My research shows that the R5 5600X runs even cooler than the 3600 in many cases - more to muddle my decision.

I also have questions about my RAM. I'm also looking at purchasing an additional 2x8GB kit to increase to 64GB. BUT am I correct in understanding that 5000 series' sweet spot is 3600 speed?
Would it be in my system's better interest to upgrade to DDR4 3600 with the 5000 series cpu? I would prefer to stick with the G.Skill Brand but I've noticed that MSI's compatibility page does not list G.Skill DDR4 3600. In fact, it doesn't seem to list ANY DDR4 3600 as being compatible in conjunction with RX-5xxx cpus.
Would DDR4 3600 RAM even work on my MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max?

My instinct tells me to play it safe, go with the 65W chip and 3200 RAM and not push anything. But maybe I'm being overly cautious.
I hear some giving assurances regarding the 5800X and mobos like the B450 Tomahawk. But I'm not sure my Gaming Plus Max is in that category.

I'd love to hear more experienced builder's thoughts on my dilemma.

I expect many to recommend just waiting for the AM5 socket, which I'm considering. But it looks like it's going to be an expensive, multi-component upgrade and, again, I'd like to get as far as I can with this AM4 setup. It's only 2 yrs old. And I also expect some to recommend buying a B500 series mobo to which I can only say... I don't want to? I can afford a reasonable upgrade here but I'm still trying to be budget conscious.

THANKS! I'm looking forward to your input!
How does adding 16GB of ram to 16GB of ram equal 64GB?
I would stay away from 3600 ram even crucial does not show it as an option.
Only increase ram amount if your running up near the top now.
 

PurpleChange

Commendable
Apr 15, 2020
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How does adding 16GB of ram to 16GB of ram equal 64GB?
I would stay away from 3600 ram even crucial does not show it as an option.
Only increase ram amount if your running up near the top now.
Error on my part. Fixed and thanks.
EDIT: and as it turns out, your advice on avoiding 3600 RAM seems to be completely on point (see below). Bravo!

... Also, if you are planning to want to increase from 16GB, to say 32GB, then it might be worth it to go with the faster memory kit anyhow because adding a second kit to an existing kit is something we generally do not recommend doing except as a last resort or when a second kit just happens to fall in your lap and you just want to give it a shot to see if the two kits will play nice together. So if you have to buy a whole new kit to go from 16GB to 32GB, if that happened to be your intention, that also would factor in as a consideration.
That was my intention. I wasn't aware that adding an additional kit could be such an issue. Good to know. That eliminates the 3200 upgrade, making my choice a little simpler: Stay with my 16GB 3200 or buy a new 32GB 3600 GB kit. I'm starting to have RAM issues in games like Cities: Skylines so the 32GB upgrade is kind of a priority. Buying a whole new 32GB kit adds a considerable cost to what I had planned/hoped which I can offset by just going with the 5600X.
But the info you gave regarding my vrms is very helpful. It is good to have confirmation that the 5800X+ is an option for that mobo.

Now I just have to decide whether a few extra cores is worth it to me. This is really offset by reports of the 5800X running hot. My current system can't keep my 3600 under about 43C at min load. I currently game around 70-85C, which has always made me uncomfortable despite AMD saying those temps are fine. I'm not sure my case/cooler is going to keep a 5800X cool enough for me not to freak out over it despite the knowledge that the vrms should be able to handle full core load.

That helps... a LOT. Any additional thoughts welcome.
 
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PurpleChange

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OK, one more thing: I'm looking at compatible memory on MSI's support page and it doesn't list support for ANY 3600 speed RAM kits (under "Memory By RX-5xxx"). Yet pcpartpicker.com lists several 3600 speed kits as being compatible.
What does this mean? Is it a concern for me?
 
OK, one more thing: I'm looking at compatible memory on MSI's support page and it doesn't list support for ANY 3600 speed RAM kits (under "Memory By RX-5xxx"). Yet pcpartpicker.com lists several 3600 speed kits as being compatible.
What does this mean? Is it a concern for me?
No concern manufacturers QVL list is just a snapshot of what is out there, you can look up on ram manufacturers site if supported on your platform as well.
 

PurpleChange

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No concern manufacturers QVL list is just a snapshot of what is out there, you can look up on ram manufacturers site if supported on your platform as well.
ACK! That made it worse. LOL
I can't find any available 32 GB kits that that lists my mobo in it's QVL that's in stock or affordable.

I didn't realize finding RAM for a 2-3 y/o mobo would be so difficult. Everything listed in the QVLs is either Out of Stock or wildly overpriced.
Basically every RAM module I look up that is over CL 17 is not compatible, every one I look up that is CL 17 and under is OOS.
Or I am missing something.

I should probably move this subject to the RAM section.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
QVL list is only a VERY SMALL sampling of what the manufacturer tested on any given board. The compatibility lists provided by the memory manufacturer are far more exhaustive than the QVL, however, most of them don't show a lot of memory that IS compatible on B450 boards because nobody has bothered to go back and re-test the faster kits once CPUs with stronger memory controllers came out, and since those boards have been capable of supporting several generations of Ryzen there are a lot of those.

These are a very high quality kit, specifically intended for use with Ryzen platforms, and should work fine. The "Neo" designation denotes that it is for Ryzen platforms and will have timings that are favorable as well as using ICs that are compatible. Not terribly expensive either.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $149.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-05-09 13:31 EDT-0400
 

PurpleChange

Commendable
Apr 15, 2020
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QVL list is only a VERY SMALL sampling of what the manufacturer tested on any given board. The compatibility lists provided by the memory manufacturer are far more exhaustive than the QVL, however, most of them don't show a lot of memory that IS compatible on B450 boards because nobody has bothered to go back and re-test the faster kits once CPUs with stronger memory controllers came out, and since those boards have been capable of supporting several generations of Ryzen there are a lot of those.

These are a very high quality kit, specifically intended for use with Ryzen platforms, and should work fine. The "Neo" designation denotes that it is for Ryzen platforms and will have timings that are favorable as well as using ICs that are compatible. Not terribly expensive either.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $149.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-05-09 13:31 EDT-0400
Thanks Darkbreeze. I have seen that kit highly recommended for the 5600X and 5800X on multiple sites. I'll be looking further into this kit. It's a bit more expensive that I was looking for (and kinda ugly too, huh?) but if all else fails...

I'm currently moving this aspect of my questions to the Memory Section of the forum. Please respond there if you have further input, which is very much appreciated.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
I'm not sure what's ugly about it. It's just being shown with multiple colors enabled. The heatsinks themselves are just black and silver and you can set the RGB lighting to a variety of colors to match your scheme. Quality wise, you'd be hard pressed to find a better series than the Trident Z sticks.

These Ripjaws should probably be fine too, and are CL16 rather than CL18, so they should in actuality be using a higher quality IC and perform a bit snappier than the Neo sticks I linked due to the lower latency at the same speed. They are a few dollars more though.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 Memory ($152.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $152.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-05-09 16:41 EDT-0400
 

PurpleChange

Commendable
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I'm not sure what's ugly about it. It's just being shown with multiple colors enabled. The heatsinks themselves are just black and silver and you can set the RGB lighting to a variety of colors to match your scheme. Quality wise, you'd be hard pressed to find a better series than the Trident Z sticks.

These Ripjaws should probably be fine too, and are CL16 rather than CL18, so they should in actuality be using a higher quality IC and perform a bit snappier than the Neo sticks I linked due to the lower latency at the same speed. They are a few dollars more though.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 Memory ($152.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $152.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-05-09 16:41 EDT-0400
Again, that is exactly the module I'm looking at, highly recommended for R5 5600X. BUT not listed in QVL. And "ugly" is a subjective term. I'm just not into RGB and prefer plain, black RAM. If I had QVL or assurances from experience that it would work, I really couldn't care less. But I don't, so...

HERE is where I'm frozen stiff: I've read dozens of threads on multiple forums under the search heading: "MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max DDR4-3600" Every... Single... Post... indicates major problems. I have yet to find a single instance of a plug n play DDR4-3600 + MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max.

That's a big red flag to me. I'm convinced at this point that this mobo simply DOES NOT SUPPORT (at least not easily or at listed speed) DDR4-3600 RAM.

I've looked at some DDR4-4000 kits and it's the same: Not a single instance where the RAM works without problems or the RAM actually working at that speed.

I've also looked at options between 3200 and 4000 (excluding 3600). Nearly the same thing. Not a single instance that I can find where it works like it's supposed to in a kit that is in-stock or under $300 (LOL).

The ONLY kits that I can find that include QVL support for my board and instances without problems is DDR4-3200.

I think that's the end for me. I won't rely on "Maybe it'll work", particularly if I can't find a single testimonial of it ever working.

Until someone can answer definitively that the MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max supports DDR4-3600 RAM, I'm convinced that it simply doesn't.
I have yet to find a single person who can absolutely say it does. If one of these people exist, I'd love your input.

Other than that, I'm upgrading to DDR4-3200 32GB CL16 and live with the fact that I'm at "good for Ryzen 5000 series" instead of "great for Ryzen 5000 series" because that's better than the chance of blowing cash on components I'll just brick. I'm just trying to get to 32GB RAM. The difference in speeds should be negligible, right? Capacity is more important than speed. Works is better than might work.

FIN

Thanks for everyone's input. If you have successfully paired DDR4-3600 w/ MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max, HOLLA!
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Well, just about everything out there you find, that is negative in that regard, is likely from much earlier on in the products life cycle, and also almost certainly with previous Gen processors. Higher speed memory support was extremely terrible with the 1st Gen Ryzen, not much better but a little bit with the 2nd Gen, 3rd Gen was greatly improved and honestly I've built several systems using similar MSI B450 motherboards and 3600mhz DIMMs and the latest 4th Gen Ryzen 5000 series CPUs have vastly improved the memory controller so that on any supported board you should be able to run the majority of memory kits out there from 2133mhz up to 4133mhz as listed on the MSI product page for that motherboard, and that listing is for the previous generation 3000 series. The 5000 series will have somewhat broader compatibility and speed support.

But I get if you are not willing to try. Nothing is ever guaranteed though when it comes to PC hardware, so you're always taking at least a minor chance with anything you do, especially memory and especially on Ryzen platforms. Well, AMD platforms for that matter, because the much older FX series platforms were pretty finicky too. Much better now. You could of course find a 3200mhz CL14 kit that would have the same true latency as a 3600 CL18 kit, but you're going to pay significantly more for it because those will be Samsung B-die IC equipped sticks. The thing is, if you simply get another kit exactly like the one you have now, you are still taking the exact same risk that it might or might not work, because the second you start mixing sticks or kits, all bets are off.

Reading this might be somewhat helpful in some way as you proceed or just for informational purposes.

 

PurpleChange

Commendable
Apr 15, 2020
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...the latest 4th Gen Ryzen 5000 series CPUs have vastly improved the memory controller so that on any supported board you should be able to run the majority of memory kits out there from 2133mhz up to 4133mhz as listed on the MSI product page for that motherboard, and that listing is for the previous generation 3000 series. The 5000 series will have somewhat broader compatibility and speed support...
Although I believe every word of that it certainly isn't the impression given on MSI's support page. It lists a total of 23 compatible memory kits for Ryzen 5000 series, most of which I've never heard of and none of which are under several hundred dollars or in stock. They provided support for 5000 series and then kinda left us on our own. But I do get that 5000 series support was not AMDs original intent, it was a consumer gimmie and I should be happy that I have the opportunity to even upgrade to 5000 series on a 400 series board (with all the headaches).

I have to make a decision whether I want to manage that headache. I don't have experience, swappable parts or diagnostic tools or abilities. I also don't have money to burn. And I can admit a lack of patience as well.

After sleeping on it I've concluded that the only way I'll feel safe and get the upgrades I was originally hoping for is to buy a 500 series mobo. That added expense has me reconsidering the entire upgrade. Do I really need it? Yeah, kinda. But if it is going to cost considerably more than I expected, it's likely best to wait until the AM5 socket is out and a little established. I figure if I can hold out for about a year (having a 3000 series gpu), I'll just upgrade to a 6000 series cpu, new mobo, get future proofed memory from the start and hope like hell I won't need anything else. Maybe I'll need a better psu.

Or I take the risk. Which I will probably regret when the AM5 socket does come out. I'm looking at spending around $500-600 to get me to the middle crust of a chipset that is at the end of it's life cycle for a roughly 15-25% performance increase. What performance increase can I expect from a next gen chipset? I imagine a lot more than that.

I'm currently enjoying the performance increase I got from my gpu upgrade. It's significant. Maybe I should just be satisfied and save my money for a higher performance, less headache future... and get it right, from the start, next time.

Hey, Darkbreeze. Thanks for your attention to my first world dilemma. Your assurance and references are not wasted. I DO have additional confidence in coping with a RAM upgrade if I do choose to do that. I'm not totally giving up just yet. I did figure this would be easier than it's proven to be. But I have learned a lot and feel like I have most of the info I need if I choose to risk it. It's probably not as hard as I think (but that's what I thought about all this).

Lesson learned: Build best from the beginning. Had I bought a B550 with 32GB RAM to begin with, this would be a very different thread. I examined those options and chose to build with an "upgrade path". Won't happen again. That option is for experienced hobbyists, tinkerers and professionals. I'm just a gamer.
 
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