[SOLVED] Strategy for cool/quiet Ryzen upgrade

acordeon

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Mar 12, 2015
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I built my current system in 2018. I'm not much of a gamer, and this is mostly a work machine (heavy multitasking, programming, video conferencing, etc.) It's been great but is starting to slow down a little. For instance, if I have lots of stuff open (browser tabs and apps) and am in a zoom meeting and screen sharing, it can bog down as I'm alt-tabbing between windows.

It runs very quiet (basically inaudible) most of the time which is very important to me as I work in a quiet environment. The CPU runs very cool and I can't really hear the cooler fan or the case fans.

Current system includes:
  • Ryzen 3 1300X
  • MSI B350 PC MATE mobo
  • Noctua NH-L9x65 cooler (slim)
  • 32 GB RAM
  • Palit Kalmx GTX 1050 (passively-cooled GPU)
  • Full ATX case (Fractal Define S)
I suspect that a faster CPU would help so am looking to upgrade. But I don't want the system to get louder. I am looking at the 5800X, which seems like a lot of power for the current price. But I am seeing threads that say it runs hot and can lead to loud fans, especially without a big cooler. According to Noctua, my current cooler barely supports the 5800X and would only do a little better with the 5600X. I would also have to upgrade my mobo to go to the Ryzen 5000 series, which I am OK doing -- but it would be even better if I didn't have to.

Seems like I've got 2 main options:
  1. Upgrade to one of the latest AMD CPUS (5800X or 5600X?), upgrade the mobo, and get a beefier cooler.
  2. Don't get the latest CPU -- instead get the fastest one that will run well and quiet w/ current mobo and cooler.
And then follow-up questions are
  • if I go w/ #1, what coolers should I consider?
  • If I go with #2, what CPUs should I consider?
What would you do?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Aeacus

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With option #2, best CPU you could get would be R7 2700X and your CPU cooler might suffice, IF you have good ventilated PC case,
Noctua compatibility for 2700X: https://ncc.noctua.at/cpus/model/AMD-Ryzen-7-2700X-1015
R3 1300X vs R7 2700X comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-3-1300X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-7-2700X/3930vs3958


Option #1 costs more money but also gives far more performance boost,
R3 1300X vs R5 5800X comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-3-1300X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-7-5800X/3930vs4085

With R5 5800X/5600X, i'd go with NH-D15S chromax.black CPU cooler,
specs: https://noctua.at/en/nh-d15s-chromax-black/specification
That is, if your PC case has 160mm CPU cooler clearance.

Beefier CPU cooler helps to keep CPU temps in check and included fan isn't that loud either compared to your current cooler, 24.6 dB(A) vs 23.6 dB(A) or when you use L.N.A. adapter, then 19.2 dB(A) vs 14.8 dB(A). Where NH-D15S is a bit louder, but not much.
 

Aeacus

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With option #2, best CPU you could get would be R7 2700X and your CPU cooler might suffice, IF you have good ventilated PC case,
Noctua compatibility for 2700X: https://ncc.noctua.at/cpus/model/AMD-Ryzen-7-2700X-1015
R3 1300X vs R7 2700X comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-3-1300X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-7-2700X/3930vs3958


Option #1 costs more money but also gives far more performance boost,
R3 1300X vs R5 5800X comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-3-1300X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-7-5800X/3930vs4085

With R5 5800X/5600X, i'd go with NH-D15S chromax.black CPU cooler,
specs: https://noctua.at/en/nh-d15s-chromax-black/specification
That is, if your PC case has 160mm CPU cooler clearance.

Beefier CPU cooler helps to keep CPU temps in check and included fan isn't that loud either compared to your current cooler, 24.6 dB(A) vs 23.6 dB(A) or when you use L.N.A. adapter, then 19.2 dB(A) vs 14.8 dB(A). Where NH-D15S is a bit louder, but not much.
 
I built my current system in 2018. I'm not much of a gamer, and this is mostly a work machine (heavy multitasking, programming, video conferencing, etc.) It's been great but is starting to slow down a little. For instance, if I have lots of stuff open (browser tabs and apps) and am in a zoom meeting and screen sharing, it can bog down as I'm alt-tabbing between windows.

It runs very quiet (basically inaudible) most of the time which is very important to me as I work in a quiet environment. The CPU runs very cool and I can't really hear the cooler fan or the case fans.

Current system includes:
  • Ryzen 3 1300X
  • MSI B350 PC MATE mobo
  • Noctua NH-L9x65 cooler (slim)
  • 32 GB RAM
  • Palit Kalmx GTX 1050 (passively-cooled GPU)
  • Full ATX case (Fractal Define S)
I suspect that a faster CPU would help so am looking to upgrade. But I don't want the system to get louder. I am looking at the 5800X, which seems like a lot of power for the current price. But I am seeing threads that say it runs hot and can lead to loud fans, especially without a big cooler. According to Noctua, my current cooler barely supports the 5800X and would only do a little better with the 5600X. I would also have to upgrade my mobo to go to the Ryzen 5000 series, which I am OK doing -- but it would be even better if I didn't have to.

Seems like I've got 2 main options:
  1. Upgrade to one of the latest AMD CPUS (5800X or 5600X?), upgrade the mobo, and get a beefier cooler.
  2. Don't get the latest CPU -- instead get the fastest one that will run well and quiet w/ current mobo and cooler.
And then follow-up questions are
  • if I go w/ #1, what coolers should I consider?
  • If I go with #2, what CPUs should I consider?
What would you do?

Thanks!
A lot of questions asked, but probably the key question unasked needs answering first: what kind of work you do with your system. Gaming, productivity and content creation are the three general categories, and each have their considerations and allowances.

Gaming can be further broken down by FPS type games or triple A type games where FPS games benefit more from the most modern 5600X. Triple A games lean almost entirely on the GPU so even a 3600X would probably suffice and you could probably stay in the same motherboard for that.

Content creation including video editing/encoding, 3d graphical artwork generation probably needs at least the 5800X, maybe even a 5900X. That will also require a new motherboard, obviously.

Productivity is generaly not very demanding and includes word processing, email, web browsing, spreadsheets, power point and even light Photoshopping. They could all be comfortably handled even by your 1300 but upgrading to a modern CPU will help. Something like the 3600X again and stay in your current motherboard.

But also a consideration is the PSU, something not mentioned in your specs list. A 1050 isn't heavily power demanding as far as GPU's go but it's still important to not overload a low-spec/low power delivery unit.

If you choose a 5800X or 5900X a large air cooler or quality 240mm AIO would be best. Not that they have enormous thermal output but their boost algorithm benefits greatly from being kept "chilled". A 3600X or 5600X can get along with a bit smaller air cooler but their performance will also benefit from being kept chill so opt for more rather than less if you can.

The good thing about an AIO is you can keep the fans very low speed and the pump is always quiet. You're relying on the liquid's ability to absorb an enormous amount of heat before the fans have to speed up to shed it. But you do have to adjust fans with a custom curve, something most people don't do, or they can pulse annoyingly.

And last, about your motherboard: B350 motherboards, as a whole, are junk IMO. They were at the outset and still are (I've got two, I know). You can probably get a 3600X to work in yours (I'm pretty sure there's a BIOS for it) but easily getting it to shine with 3600 memory is less likely. Even a 3600X will probably get the under-spec'd VRM toasty hot in heavy use and I'd simply not want to try putting a 2700X on it. You should seriously consider upgrading it for any Zen2 (even if it could work) or Zen3 CPU to get their fullest performance benefit.
 
Last edited:

acordeon

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Mar 12, 2015
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Thanks Aeacus for your reply. Very helpful illustration of the tradeoffs!

One question though, re this:
With option #2, best CPU you could get would be R7 2700X and your CPU cooler might suffice, IF you have good ventilated PC case,
Noctua compatibility for 2700X: https://ncc.noctua.at/cpus/model/AMD-Ryzen-7-2700X-1015
R3 1300X vs R7 2700X comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-3-1300X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-7-2700X/3930vs3958
Can you explain why 2700X is the best you think I could do w/ current mobo? According to MSI it should support 3000-series CPUs and I would expect those would be better?

Looking at prices, though, I am surprised at how expensive both 2000 and 3000-series CPUs still are! I thought they would be a lot cheaper compared to the latest and greatest. Makes that option less attractive.
 

acordeon

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Mar 12, 2015
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And last, about your motherboard: B350 motherboards, as a whole, are junk IMO. They were at the outset and still are (I've got two, I know). You can probably get a 3600X to work in yours (I'm pretty sure there's a BIOS for it) but easily getting it to shine with 3600 memory is less likely. Even a 3600X will probably get the under-spec'd VRM toasty hot in heavy use and I'd simply not want to try putting a 2700X on it. You should seriously consider upgrading it for any Zen2 (even if it could work) or Zen3 CPU to get their fullest performance benefit.
Thanks Drea! Can you say a little bit more about this? I have read what VRM is although I know very little about it. But what I did read said it was mostly a concern to gamers and especially overclockers. I am neither -- as I said in the OP, this is a work machine being used mostly for productivity tasks. And I have 3200 memory that I'm not planning to replace right now.

I was planning to replace this with a B550 if I upgrade, but feel free to talk me out of that.

You also asked about PSU: I have a be quiet! Straight Power 11 650 W, which I think should be enough for any of these CPUs with some headroom, at least according to pcpartpicker. But if you disagree, please let me know.
 
Thanks Drea! Can you say a little bit more about this? I have read what VRM is although I know very little about it. But what I did read said it was mostly a concern to gamers and especially overclockers. I am neither -- as I said in the OP, this is a work machine being used mostly for productivity tasks. And I have 3200 memory that I'm not planning to replace right now.

I was planning to replace this with a B550 if I upgrade, but feel free to talk me out of that.

You also asked about PSU: I have a be quiet! Straight Power 11 650 W, which I think should be enough for any of these CPUs with some headroom, at least according to pcpartpicker. But if you disagree, please let me know.
The CPU VRM circuit converts 12V DC coming from the PSU to a much lower voltage that's needed by the CPU. The nature of voltage conversion is as you go down in voltage, the current increases for a given electrical load. So it is a circuit that has to be able to handle a lot of current to keep the very small voltage the CPU needs extremely stable so the system doesn't crash. One of the principle parts used in it (FET's or MOS-FET's) are relatively expensive and several of them are needed to handle powerful CPU's. B350 boards were made very cheap and didn't use very many and low-current versions at that. Again being cheap, B350 boards frequently used inadequate heatsinks for those parts. Too few and low power handling FET's with inadequate heat sinking means the VRM circuit will run very hot with more powerful CPU's.

Later model Ryzen's don't really need 'overclocking' as such. In fact, they tend to overclock themselves if you cool them with a good heatsink or AIO. They're also extremely dynamic and a VRM needs to be able to respond to their frequent and sudden wide swings in power demand with stable voltage at both extremes. B350 boards predate Zen 2 and 3 and don't really consider that in their design. They may work, just not as well as a more modern B550 or even B450.

A B550 board would be a great choice.

I agree, that beQuiet should be a good PSU... even if running a much more powerful GPU.
 
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Aeacus

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Can you explain why 2700X is the best you think I could do w/ current mobo? According to MSI it should support 3000-series CPUs and I would expect those would be better?
Your MoBo supports Ryzen 3rd gen with beta BIOS. So, you need to update your BIOS, by 1st downloading that beta BIOS *.zip file from the link you shared.

However, do note that when BIOS update would be interrupted for whatever reason (e.g power loss), your MoBo will be bricked and only fix is MoBo replacement. If lucky, you can roll back the BIOS update, if your MoBo has that feature.

Is it worth the risk? I don't know.

Looking at prices, though, I am surprised at how expensive both 2000 and 3000-series CPUs still are! I thought they would be a lot cheaper compared to the latest and greatest. Makes that option less attractive.
As long as there is demand, prices will not drop. Despite much newer/better CPUs being out.

There's 70 bucks diff between R5 3600X and R5 5600X,
pcpp: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/3WYLrH,g94BD3/

With 70 bucks, you can get a MoBo for R5 5600X,
pcpp: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/motherboard/#sort=price&page=1&X=0,7000

I'd say, it would be better to go with R5 5600X. Downside is that you need to do MoBo swap, which is one tedious thing to do. But with same price, you'll get a bit better performance,
R5 3600X vs R5 5600X comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-5-3600X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-5-5600X/4041vs4084
And your newer MoBo would support upcoming CPUs as well, future proofing to say so.

Oh, and you could leave the old B350 chipset MoBo and R3 1300X as backup, just in case something may happen with new setup. Heck you could even put it back into service, with cheap components, resulting into 2 PC setup.
 

acordeon

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Mar 12, 2015
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I'd say, it would be better to go with R5 5600X. Downside is that you need to do MoBo swap, which is one tedious thing to do. But with same price, you'll get a bit better performance,
R5 3600X vs R5 5600X comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-5-3600X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-5-5600X/4041vs4084
And your newer MoBo would support upcoming CPUs as well, future proofing to say so.
Yeah, I've come to the same conclusion. Although the last part seems questionable since I bought my last mobo only 3-4 years ago and now I'm already replacing it. But still seems like the way to go.

Now I just need to figure out which cooler to get. Hoping to go a little smaller than the D15S since I'm going with 5600X instead of 5800X.

Thanks for your help!
 
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