Solved! Looking To Upgrade 5 Year Old System - Advice Welcomed!

Kirbyarm

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Hello, fellow TH folks!

I've been preparing for and looking into an upgrade for my aging PC. I'm one of the unfortunate saps that got a brand new PC that was at its limits in terms of upgrading a few years back, as in DDR3 RAM locked, can't really get a better CPU chip installed and that also means the motherboard needs an upgrade. Almost everything I do is showing performance issues most likely CPU bottlenecked as I have 32 GB of RAM, a 500 GB SSD and a 1080 Ti. Especially trying to stream CPU intensive games like Monster Hunter World, Just Cause 3 and AC: Odyssey, games like that.

This pushed me to decide on just getting the whole package (minus the GPU as I feel 1080 Ti is more than adequate for a whiles yet).

A friend of mine helped me picked out a few awesome parts for the build as shown here: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/rmzBRJ

The problem is I don't believe he's being statistically unbiased as he is probably concerned about money cost and expense and not really gripping the fact that if I'm going to upgrade, I want longevity and for it to remain good for a while aka I want to get some pretty high end parts and performance.

That said, my knowledge of CPU lines as of late is very limited and I don't really know how to compare or what sources I can trust to help me decide where the price meets my expectations for what I'm willing to spend and all that good stuff.

I have one friend that recommended the i7 9700k and another friend saying that the i9 9900k is the consumer-level monster right now while others are telling me AMD's announced lineup in July are going to blow all of these intel chips out of the water. This makes it difficult to decide what to go with as it is.

I was in hopes of posting this, that the last line ^ could be clarified by expert opinions with advice and experience regarding just how different these two chips are, or what we can expect from July's lineup or if there are any other current chips I should consider to get the most bang for my buck as a multi-taking heavy gamer.

My knowledge of CPUs in general isn't even that great.. I see specs and I just don't understand them sometimes. Such as this:

Intel - Core i7-8700 3.2 GHz 6-Core Processor - $439.75 (CDN)
Intel - Core i7-9700K 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor - $529.99 (CDN)
Intel - Core i9-9900K 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor - $697.70 (CDN)

$168~ difference between the 9700k and 9900k yet they are both 3.6 GHz and 8 cores... please if anyone wouldn't mind enlightening me of how I can properly research CPU technology to better make decisions for myself in the future, I would greatly appreciate the nudge in the right direction as well as the previously inquired advice.

Thanks for your time!

Edit: Progression of this thread has developed some new questions in post #10, which I'll paste up here so anyone new to the discussion can easily access it and help if they so feel inclined to chime in.

"More than likely landed on the 9900k at this point.. I just hope the Noctua NH-D15 will be capable of keeping it within safe operational temperatures under my normal usage.

That said, I have a few more questions I would love some peace of mind having clarified by you professional PC builders out there:

1) Will either or both of these SSDs be compatible with my motherboard choice 'Asus - ROG STRIX Z390-H GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard' ?
-Western Digital - Black NVMe 1 TB M.2-2280 SSD
-Samsung - 970 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 SSD

I'm genuinely not sure as I've never heard of M.2 until my friends mentioned it and the board lists '2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (support x16, x8/x8); 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (max. at x2 mode)' in specifications yet I'm seeing requirements for PCIe 3.0 x4 or something and it's like hieroglyphics to me with all this new technology.

2) Which similar performance-classed SSDs would you recommend for a planned system of this caliber? (can include the above 2 picks I've landed on above)

3) Would I benefit more in game performance by any significant margin by getting memory with >3200Mhz listed clock speed or would 3200Mhz be more than adequate?

4) Is my motherboard choice considered a reliable model? Would there be any suggested alternatives to that or reasons I should avoid the one I have chosen?

---Fantastic, now a friend has brought the existence of the Evo 970 Plus to my attention which boasts to have all superior specifications compared to the 970 Pro except for the lifespan of 1,200 TBW compared to the Plus's 600 TBW (which I haven't even gone through 1/8th of my samsung 840 evo SSD's TBW yet after nearly 5 years). So that's on the table now... how would that size up to those of you with experience? Are the specs actually better?

I appreciate any advice on this matter.. I got about a month to go before I slam $1,500 - $2,000 CDN on this new machine and trying to do a better job researching what's best for my situation and usage this time around."
 
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Karadjgne

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Some cpus have hyperthreading, some don't. Hyperthreading is where 2 threads share 1 core. So a 9600k is 6c/6t. An 8700k is 6c/12t. A 9700k is 8c/8t and the big daddy 9900k is 8c/16t.

Of course all that power comes with a price, heat. The bigger thread cpus will punish a cooler under heavy use, so above average cpu cooling is a must, especially when overclocking.

Amd is the currently the King of Value Performance. For less money overall, you could get 6c/12t from amd that had similar performance to a 4c/4t Intel in low thread, simple games, but gets tromped in anything multi-threaded like rendering, gaming+streaming, heavy multitasking etc. But much of Intels lead in fps is pointless, does it matter if Intel gets 300fps and Ryzen gets 290fps, on a 144Hz monitor? And with the core equalization with the 9th gen cpus (which cost significantly more than a comparable Ryzen) ppl are waiting to see just what the 3xxx series will bring to the table and whether it's going to be equitable to Intel at a lower price, or replace Intels IPC lead as gaming top dog.
 
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InvalidError

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By the time Ryzen 3000 launches, Intel may have Comet Lake (Coffee Lake Refresh Refresh, still on 14nm++++++++++) bump Intel's side to 10C20T. Should be interesting watching how that pans out.

Three consecutive years of Intel having to actually do something (add two cores per year) to hold onto whatever market share it is able to, that's a welcome change from a decade of being stuck at quad-core for high-end mainstream. Would be nice if the core count bumps didn't come with such large price bumps and markups. We can only hope that increasing market pressure from the AMD side will eventually force a good old fashion round of price cuts from Intel the likes of which we haven't seen in at least a dozen years.
 

rookieGamer

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i see you in to spend BIG
hold your horses till the end of this year wait for the intel 10nm and ryzen 3rd gen 7nm launch, they will have significant improvements over anything we have now
and since you will need a new motherboard, you can check out AMD too. ryzen have been keeping intel on their toes for few years now :p
 

Kirbyarm

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Hmm and now that friend is telling me 9700k is far superior in overclocking and 9900k is way too hot to overclock, especially with the air cooling solution I intend on using. I don't plan on overclocking due to the terrible experiences I've had trying to overclock this i7-4770k I'm still using... long story short we tried for many hours and many torture tests and voltage settings and even after a 48 hour Prime95 still BSOD at least once per day under regular general computer usage.. and the temperature was 95 - 100 C which is stupidly hot for a 4770k with Noctua D14. He blamed it on the IHS since we tried re-applying the thermal paste twice to see if that was the issue. Regardless, he is still claiming 9700k is the far superior choice.

Really still having trouble deciding on defining relevant factors as to which chip I should go for, despite you guys replying thus far.

Assuming I do go air cooling, which I fully intent to do, would that make 9900k less of a contender or a hazard to surpass the performance / power of a 9700k? So many questions swirling around inside, apologies if it came out like a jumbled mess but I really need help getting a clear picture about all of this. So many mixed signals, opinions, reviews and articles...
 
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Karadjgne

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Alot is going to depend on your peripherals, things like the monitor for sure and gaming style. If you are happy putzing around on a 60Hz monitor, whether 1080p or 1440p or even 4k, then fps is not that important. Any modern cpu in the upper reaches is more than capable of taking almost any game consistently past 60fps. So going overblown on a 9700k for its extra fps over what you have now isn't doing much. 9600k/9700k same cpu +2 cores. If you are streaming while gaming, that's a bonus, some few seriously heavily threaded games might be a little better.

OC is a hobby, not a necessity, not with these cpus. It's only really done for 3 reasons. The challenge, bragging rights and a small fps boost for those using 144Hz monitors. On a 60Hz monitor, 60fps is what you get, doesn't matter if the cpu can pump out 300 or 250, you get 60.

Which puts the considerably cheaper Ryzen 2600X with its good stock speeds and 12 thread capability right where you need it, and with its boost clocks, doesn't require OC at all. Although it's capable of it. The 3000 series should be better still, hopefully bringing some parity to the competition.
 

Kirbyarm

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I have 3 monitors. 2 are 1080p 60Hz for secondary general use, which I use just as avidly as my main central monitor, which is also 1080p but runs 144 Hz for gaming and the like.

For general PC usage however, I sometimes have more than one game running at a time, typical 1 or 2 game servers running in the background, 50+ tabs in browsers, several of which are video tabs like YouTube / twitch etc, while the video is likely only actually playing on one or two of the streams at a time. A dozen other apps running in the background all while doing typical consumer activities with all of this going on in the background... and streaming sometimes too. I noticed a few games like I said above, MHW, JC3, AC:O all bring my CPU usage to 100% regardless of how much or how little I have opened (through testing), whether the AV is on or not, none of it matters, they all bottleneck the CPU and I've been going through this bottleneck for at least a year now. Streaming has to be lower than ideal bitrate and quality to allow the game enough leftover CPU to run at at the very least a playable level.

This upgrade I want to negate that problem. I want to run all the above with no issues, preferably max settings 100+ fps while streaming (obviously not running more than one game / server at a time if I'm wanting performance during a stream or general gameplay and such).

Given I've not been able to upgrade the CPU for so long since it requires a new motherboard and 32 gigs of RAM, since I'm now making the push to do so, I want to make sure it's fully capable and that I'm not going to encounter this issue again anytime soon.

So that said, I do appreciate the advice and the encouragement that I don't need to overclock, as I really don't like the idea of overclocking, especially after the experiences I had with it... but I still can't decide on what to go with.

I have three builds I'm leaning toward, but so far strongly leaning toward the 9900k for my needs, despite my friend strongly suggesting to save the 200 bucks and air cooling not being capable enough for the CPU (to go with the 9700k).

https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/Z6TMNQ (9700k)
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/M9b2Cb (9900k)
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/GGWcKB (Threadripper)

I don't know anything about the threadripper besides some benchmarks blowing the first two out of the water, directly contradicting many articles of research saying it's not meant for gaming and that for game performance itself, has worse performance than the first two.

If anyone is still keeping track of this thread or wants to chime in their advices or suggestions about these chips, or heck, take a look at those links and let me know any parts you think would be worth considering with your reasons why, I'll be happy to review them and greatly appreciate any help with this matter. Thanks for your help everyone!
 
If you intend to game or about anything else, the 8700K or 9700K should both be plenty adequate for anything for quite a while, and not as stupidly priced as the 9900K....(In most of the top games, for example, the 9700K would give 150 fps to the 9900K's 152 fps.....; yes, the latter is faster by a miniscule amounts, but, it's like paying 25-30% more for 1% gain...,
 

Kirbyarm

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That is a very good point, and the primary reason why I'm having trouble deciding, mdd1963. Why I can't quite let go of the 9900k however is the hyperthreading. 16 threads of processing power. While not all that helpful with gaming performance, would tear through the other 75% of computer usage I partake in on a regular, daily basis. That's a lot of high powered threads!

Hmm. Would I barley notice a difference for strenuous activities such as streaming, compression/decompression, encoding, video editing and all that stuff or is the '1% gain' just looking for a 100% gamer-only care?
 
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Kirbyarm

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More than likely landed on the 9900k at this point.. I just hope the Noctua NH-D15 will be capable of keeping it within safe operational temperatures under my normal usage.

That said, I have a few more questions I would love some peace of mind having clarified by you professional PC builders out there:

1) Will either or both of these SSDs be compatible with my motherboard choice 'Asus - ROG STRIX Z390-H GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard' ?
-Western Digital - Black NVMe 1 TB M.2-2280 SSD
-Samsung - 970 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 SSD

I'm genuinely not sure as I've never heard of M.2 until my friends mentioned it and the board lists '2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (support x16, x8/x8); 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (max. at x2 mode)' in specifications yet I'm seeing requirements for PCIe 3.0 x4 or something and it's like hieroglyphics to me with all this new technology.

2) Which similar performance-classed SSDs would you recommend for a planned system of this caliber? (can include the above 2 picks I've landed on above)

3) Would I benefit more in game performance by any significant margin by getting memory with >3200Mhz listed clock speed or would 3200Mhz be more than adequate?

4) Is my motherboard choice considered a reliable model? Would there be any suggested alternatives to that or reasons I should avoid the one I have chosen?

I appreciate any advice on this matter.. I got about a month to go before I slam $1,500 - $2,000 CDN on this new machine and trying to do a better job researching what's best for my situation and usage this time around.
 

Achaios

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Regardless of what @Karadjgne might say, I advise against Ryzen CPU's if you play games which are largely dependent on single thread performance such as Total War series of games.

For example, a 2nd gen Ryzen 2700@4.1 GHz has got a Passmark single thread score of around 2000 @ Passmark, whereas my good old 4770k overclocked to 4.5 GHz scores exactly 2610 @ Passmark Single Thread. The difference in single threaded performance is huge and very noticeable since TOtal War games are so heavy on the CPU that one rarely ever sees 60 FPS.

Just don't listen too much to Evangelists. If Ryzen CPU's were truly superior to Intel CPU's they would sell for more which they don't and thus I don't see why anyone apart from a fanboy should buy a Ryzen CPU over an Intel one if money is no issue.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html
 

Kirbyarm

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Fantastic, now a friend has brought the existence of the Evo 970 Plus to my attention which boasts to have all superior specifications compared to the 970 Pro except for the lifespan of 1,200 TBW compared to the Plus's 600 TBW (which I haven't even gone through 1/8th of my samsung 840 evo SSD's TBW yet after nearly 5 years). So that's on the table now... how would that size up to those of you with experience? Are the specs actually better? Hmm.
 
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remixislandmusic

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9900k is much better than 9700k. For your budget it is the best option. It performs well and is quite a hot cpu, but can be cooled by a 240mm aio.
AMD also demonstrated a early engineering sample 7nm 8 core ryzen cpu beating the 9900k while using much less power. The new 7nm node and higher clocks will equal out the 1 thread performance gap between amd and intel. A 16 core version is expected to launch later, with even more performance. If you buy a 2700x now you can put a 7nm 3rd gen ryzen cpu in a current mobo with a bios update later down the road. This would give you more performance than thw 9900k platform will ever get.
I wouldnt wait for 7nm ryzen if you dont want to, and i would get a 9900k, but ryzen is something to concider.
I wouldnt buy a 970pro. It is slightly better but it isnt going to be worth the added money for the average consumer.
 
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Kirbyarm

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Yeah, remixislandmusic.. that's my only concern about getting Intel now when AMD is announcing some pretty hyped and lethal sounding chips for the summer. I've never not used an Intel CPU so I also have a bit of a trust issue concerning compatibility and reliability as I have no previous experience with AMD's products first-hand.. but as Achaios just said, if their chips were superior, they would (probably) sell for more than they currently do. I get competitive pricing and all that but I've always been on the you-get-what-you-pay-for side of the fence and have little evidence from first-hand experience to know whether or not that applies to processor brand shopping as of yet.
 

remixislandmusic

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I never had never had experience with AMD in my computers before last year. I had used intel all of my life and the switch to ryzen was well worth it. I wasnt disappointed by AMD, even though the cpu i purchased was a low end ryzen 3. At the time i got double the cores and an unlocked multiplier compared to the dual core i3 7100, which cost much more. The cheaper ryzen cpu crushed intel, breaking the "you get what you pay for" rule. AMD motherboards and cpus are cheap. You dont have to pay intel tax and more for intel to remove the multiplier lock off of their cpus.
I strongly disagree with achaios. He is misleading. As you are seeing with your cpu, single thread performance gets you only so far. Newer games can use more than 8 threads so the older i7 chips are a stuttery mess when paired with a new gpu.
The single threaded numbers dont tell an accurate representation of a cpus performance since all modern games and programs use more than one thread. A 2700x should double an older i7s score in multithreaded cinebench which is felt in games and daily usage. Games also show much better and smoother results with a 2700x compaired to chips with less threads, such as the i7 4770k, which has 8 threads. A newer i7 such as 9700k will beat a 2700x in games, but the amd ryzen has proven to best at streaming for their price since streaming likes more threads.
A 2700x will have no issue with 60 fps, or even 144fps at 1080p when paired with a good gpu in most games. Achaios obviously has never seen benchmarks for a 2700x.At resolutions above 1080p your gpu will be the limit, making any decent cpu such as a 2700x or 9900k perform just as well.
While the 9900k crushes the 2700x everywhere, it costs much more, comes with no stock cooler, so factor $75 more into budget, and used motherboards double the money of a quality x470 board.
If you are willing to spend the money, buy the 9900k for maximum performance.
If not, save yourself a lot of money and buy a 2700x with included rgb cooler and you wont be disappointed. You will have the ability to buy 9900k beating cpus later and install them into any am4 mobo with a bios update.
 
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remixislandmusic

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I would avoid Threadripper for this use.
A 9600/9700/9900/2700x can all do 144hz 1080p. I would pick one with the most threads for multitasking. This narrows it to the 9900k or 2700x. Since the 2700x is cheaper and may get an upgrade path to 16 core cpus, id go for that.
 

Kirbyarm

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Couldn't have said it better, remixislandmusic. While I don't agree with his outlook against Ryzen CPUs, I can relate to feeling more secure with intel's 'tax' as you call it, simply because of personal experience. I'm not so quick to jump to a conclusion to assume AMD/Ryzen are terrible and are 'cheap for a reason', hence why my primary concern with impatiently getting the 9900k is mostly because of the monsters AMD are allegedly releasing this summer, which even I have to admit as a long-time Intel CPU user, has me very excited to see how those pan out.

Even still, I don't have it in me to wait several more months for the new lineup with no guarantees of their performance or reliability, no reviews or research material to go on without them being out for a bit of time and so on and so forth.. but I will have no qualms with migrating the new board and new CPU over to my secondary PC (this one I'm on now) which will become my standalone server box for server hosting purposes if the new Ryzens do prove to be worthy replacements of my primary gaming/streaming PC. Even if they don't, they might be a tasty enough price to put THEM at least over into the will-be server box.

I appreciate the explanations and value your input. Definitely have my eyes open awaiting Ryzen's advancements this year. Who knows how Intel will respond with their advancements after that too!
 

remixislandmusic

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https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/ydXNmq
9900K build
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/WnHKmq
2700x build for much less money using simmilar parts. This also allows you to get more powerfull cpus later this year.
I expect intel to fire back at amd as they always do when amd adds more performance to a cpu.
Intel doubled their core counts of some cpus and improved others when origional ryzen came out so i bet they might improve again.
 
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Karadjgne

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@Achaios
Just to clarify, I'm not an AMD fanboy, I've owned nothing but Intel personally since the early 90's, only my kids had amd cuz it was cheap for homework usage.

Core per core, Intel is faster (currently, again). AMD is @ 6% slower IPC. When compared to Ryzen average OC of 4.0GHz and Intel pushing 5.0GHz, that translates into more instructions per clock, more clocks per time period, more fps. The caveat being that only happens in a benchmark.

The cpu sets the fps CAP. It can only do so much with game code, only pre-render so many frames per second. At 1080p, modern gpus are well capable of rendering those frames well above the monitor refresh, so it doesn't make any difference whatsoever if an intel cpu is capable of 300fps or a Ryzen capable of 250fps sustained minimums, all you get is 60 or 144 as that's the refresh of the monitor.

So on most games at 1080p, the top tier cpus from either AMD or Intel are the same, minimums above refresh, and thats all you'll get.

Which leaves production and usage. When it came to compiling, using programs like winzip, the R7 1700 was 2x as fast as the Intel i7-8700k. Literally took just less than 1/2 the time. Most programs along those lines use threads, not clock speed so much so Intel struggled to try and keep up with cheaper AMD. And failed. There simply wasn't enough. Streaming is the same, uses thread count, not speed. You'll get better results on a 8 thread 1.8GHz PS4 than on a dual core i3-6100 at 3.7GHz. And that PS4 was an FX cpu. A 2700x Ryzen will dust anything Intel has to offer except the 9900k or better, simply can't match the thread count.

Tabs. That's all Ram. Lower ram = less tabs before it becomes an issue. You want 50 tabs open, multiple VM's, you need Ram. Absolute minimum of 8Gb for the base and 4Gb per VM wanted. So running a pc with just 4 VM's running will require at least 32Gb. 64Gb would be preferable if those VMs start running multiple tabs or doing other high ram usage apps.

VMs also require threads. Running multiple OS instances basically translates to a physical pc acting as 2 or more pc's. It's the entire purpose behind dual cpu boards, threadripper, 2011-3, Xeons etc. Without thread counts, threads get prioritized, waiting for available bandwidth to process through. Which slows everything down.

For the price, Intel can't touch AMD. AMD simply has far better adaptability over a broader range of subjects than Intel. Intels only strong suit is its IPC which applies mostly to gamers and the odd few apps like Autocad.

9700k, great for gaming, mediocre for production, sux for VMs and multitasking.
9900k, excellent for gaming, great for production, good for VMs and multitasking.
2600, good for games, great for production, good for VMs and multitasking.
2700x, great for games, fantastic for production, excellent for VMs and multitasking.
X299+, great for games, fantastic for production, excellent for VMs and multitasking.
Threadripper, sux for games, epic for production, epic for VMs and multitasking.

You have needs and budget. How you balance that is up to you, but higher ability comes at a cost, be it more emphasis on gaming or more on the server type/production side of things. A Ryzen 2600 can get you started in mainstream pc's, with the ability to go up. A 9900k is going to be better, but then you are already topped out, there is nor will be a better Intel cpu for the LGA1151v2. Tr, Xeon, or LGA2066 come with their own bonuses, but are more specialized with cost, cooling etc. I personally would not run a TR, Xeon e5 or anything 2066 on anything less than a decent full custom loop cooling, especially if that system is going to be worked for long hours daily.
 
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Kirbyarm

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Those are some interesting builds, remixislandmusic. Thank you for sharing them.

And Karadjgne, Thank you so much for taking the time to go into analysis between the brands and specific CPUs and what kind of general balance we should all be looking for when CPU shopping. I do have a high priority set on gaming for this upgrade, which according to your written chart - the 9900k seems like an appropriate pick for this moment in time.. but saying the 2700x is 'great' I wish I had a better understanding with experience to compare great and excellent between the two CPUs and just how much of a difference than would be in gaming... because if it isn't all that significant, the way you markup the 2700x's performance in the other categories certainly makes it a tempting choice.

That said however, Ryzen's got summer releases coming out and if I'm going to go with Ryzen, I believe I want to wait for that lineup as I expect performance to truly outshine Intel when that occurs. No guarantees of course but I'm sure at the very least they'll exceed their 2xxx lineup so I should wait and see to check it out while in the meantime getting the Intel powerhouse in the time span I need to upgrade.

On the subject of the 9900k, would you say the NH-D15 could adequately cool it or are my friend's claims of water cooling being an absolute necessity surfacing some merit to consider?

I ask because I've never installed water cooling and I probably don't have the physical strength, dexterity and calm hands needed to properly setup a loop, especially being a first time.. so I would have to go through the trouble of arranging around 100 bucks in transportation to the city and back where there's a computer shop and ask someone to install it for me with an added bonus of labor fees and whatever else they charge for that kind of service these days... and I am skeptical as heck putting liquid in my expensive electronic devices. If I can get the best air cooling solution money can buy, that would put any concerns of the like at ease for me and be immensely more preferred if it isn't going to make or break my build to use air.
 

Karadjgne

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The NH-D15/S are the best 2 aircoolers on the market. Not only do they include Noctua fans which are known to be excellent at what they do, but also the Noctua mounting system is as good and easy as it gets. Really can't beat them for the money.

That said, even the largest possible air has its limits. Case size, socket real-estate, gpus, ram all play a limiting part on tower dimensions and in general the bigger the tower fin surface area, the higher the ability to dissipate heat. Big air has a TDP of 250-300w. That's all the heat from the cpu it can handle and keep the cpu inside safety ranges. A decent 240mm AIO has equitable range, a 280mm closer to 350w+, the 360mm is closer to 400w and a 420mm closer to 450w. But thats top end ability, that's not exact performance. Under 250w an AIO has a hard time matching the NH-D15S efficiency, you'll generally see it out shining the AIO by upto 5°C or so. But get closer to 250w and you'll see the difference as the Noctua is now maxed, the heatsink is hot, the fins can't dissipate the heat as fast as its replaced. The AIO can, so temps there stay under 70, the Noctua climbing rapidly.

Theres also other variables, especially airflow. It's physically impossible to cool something by mechanical means to lower than ambient. Cpu coolers are a mechanical process. So heat in the case is going to affect the efficiency of the cooler, and this affects AIO's less than aircoolers since AIO's have radiators that combined surface area is greater than aircoolers. Basically the heat is spread around over a larger area, making it easier to dissipate.

So if you go with a mediocre cpu, big air will be the better option, it'll handle the workload without issue. But if planning on a 9900k, taxing it heavily with gaming, streaming, and running it all day long, airflow will be highly important, without it the cpu can't breathe, and just climbs in temps.

Mounting an aio is not much different to mounting air, takes no special tools other than a Philips head screwdriver. Full custom loop is entirely different, as is the thought behind temps. A cpu/gpu at 70°C is no different than at 50°C so a custom loop running slightly higher temps, consistently without much change over workloads is preferable over a smaller cooler running low temps at idle and high temps under stress.
 
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remixislandmusic

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I couldnt agree more with Karadjgne. I think the 9900k will suit you. If you do go with a 2700x you could get more ram and more ssd space for same money which would make vms and multitasking better. The 9900k would perform better in games.
 

Kirbyarm

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@Karadjgne That is a lot of factors for temperatures and cooling. Here's to hoping the D15 can handle some overclocking of the 9900k then! I suppose if it doesn't handle it I can just try my hands at a liquid cooling solution, if you say it isn't physically demanding or risky to spill out onto components, breaking them!

As for the airflow, I have the Fractal Design Meshify case chosen so far which seems to be specifically engineered for optimal airflow, as it doesn't even let you mount a physical internal optical drive or the like. I'm fine with that as I have been meaning to get an external one anyway.

And remixislandmusic, yes I agree. I believe the 9900k is the suitable choice for right now and also have a strong preference of air cooling. Clearly if I go baller with multi-GPU SLI and max turbo'd top-end CPU (maybe even dual CPU on an enthusiast rig some day) then I'd clearly need to get a potent loop going.. but if I had that kind of money to blow on a single PC I wouldn't have an issue paying someone entirely to professionally assemble it, clean it up and get it all going perfectly. We'll see!
 

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