Question Time for an Upgrade (?)

THRobinson

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I was looking for a used PC for my niece since right now she has an old Core2Duo laptop and can't run much of anything current. Some decent used ones out there, 3rd gen i5's... maybe update the video card later on. She's not a gamer but does play games and getting tired of Unreal Tournament. That said, she's not after some $2k gaming rig either.

Started to think, instead of buying her a used PC, upgrade mine and donate the parts to her.

Parts I'd upgrade are the motherboard, 2x8GB ram and a Xenon E3-1231v3 which I think would be on par with a 3rd gen i7.

If I went that route, I'd probably go i7-9700k, 2x8gb ram and a decent Asus motherboard (Asus fanboy).

https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/4sJpJ8

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Xeon-E3-1231-v3-vs-Intel-Core-i7-9700K/m11040vs4030

Now, I'm not a gamer either. I do have a nice ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 DUAL-GTX1060-O6G 6GB which plays my games more than just fine. My main drive is an SSD for program installs, files are on an HDD. Boot is 11sec to desktop and ready to go.

Until this week I never really thought of upgrading because my system works just fine. Borderlands 1&2 are fine, BioShock, Doom... running max I never had problems. I see on the benchmarks that my CPU is rank 164th vs the i7-9700k at 4th... but I have no idea how 'big' the gaps are between each rank.

I guess basically what I'm trying to wrap my head around is... would I see enough of a jump in performance to warrant $850 for an uprade? or for now, just grab a used i5-3xxx and a decent used vid card and wait a few more years.

I remember when I upgraded my GTX660 to a GTX960, I was very disappointed in the performance jump... then the GTX1060 came out and someone said it was a much bigger jump due to some sorta advancements, so I got it and it was an impressive upgrade. Instantly saw the difference.
 
Hey there,

Some good questions in your post. I'd prob go a different route. Something like this:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Walmart)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ B&H)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Total: $494.96
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-11-28 14:22 EST-0500


It will save you a few quid and have as good performance FPS wise, and some more CPU resources for mulitasking/productivity. The money saved could easily be put to a new GPU like this:

PCPartPicker Part List

Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8 GB ARMOR OC Video Card ($399.99 @ B&H)
Total: $399.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-11-28 14:24 EST-0500


This would give you a pretty kick ass gaming/productivity PC, and the bump in performance difference wise would be like night and day. You could then simply gift nearly your entire PC to your niece as is. You would have to get a SSD/HD for your new system, and perhaps the OS as well, unless you have a licence hanging around somewhere, but it's an option nonetheless.
 

THRobinson

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I gotta admit.... I have 0 clue about what's what when it comes to AMD. I see used ones for sale and can't figure out what the Intel equivalent is. :D

That's why I just steer clear of AMD.

Video card wise, I'll probably keep my card for another 4yrs. Again, not a gamer... FPS don't mean much to me at all. Games like Doom, Borderlands, BioShock, World of Warcraft all seem to run with very high settings without any problems.

I'll also admit I shy'd away from AMD because I remember years ago having nothing but issues with them. But we're talking 20yrs ago maybe more. Back when computers seemed to have way more compatibility issues with parts.

That AMD though vs the i7 in Canada is about $60 cheaper, ranked 16th vs 4th. Saves a few bucks. Likely I'd go with what I linked to but get a motherboard that's cheaper. Was the first high rated ASUS board I clicked on... but, I probably don't need a full ATX for 1 video card and 2 slots for ram.

Is there any advantages of AMD over Intel?
 

THRobinson

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Took me a while to figure out why so much cheaper, then noticed top right corner was set to USA... switched to CANADA and $494.96 jumped up to $643.49.

Was able to knock about $100CAD off my build switching motherboards. Can save more if I switched to miniATX, or another brand, or B360... potential compatibility alert came up for B360 but looks like as simple as a BIOS update so long as one exists for it. But, could save up to another $90 on the motherboard. Maybe a few bucks on RAM but I've had good luck with that brand.

https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/yWJCKB
 

THRobinson

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Ya I saw a few reviews about the difficulty installing for the fan... plus I like the more traditional sink with a fan on top.

The link though was just rough... if I recall correctly the "k" basically means unlocked for overclocking, correct? if the case I'll probably get the non-K if much cheaper because I never over-clock, stock only. If the difference in price is only a few bucks, I'll get the "k" for future resale value.

Looks about $10 difference between the i7-9700 and i7-9700k

In any case... exact versions and such isn't really why I posted... bit more research and maybe some boxing day deals in a month will change the prices a bit.

The main concern was... would the i7-9700 be that much better than the Intel Xeon e3-1231v3 (computer that's in my signature). Factoring in the newer motherboard and faster ram of course.

Updated... down to $676.72... though not sure how good MSI is... again I don't overclock or anything, just basic stable setup so Z390? or even B360?

https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/zGVZwh
 
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It's not about the difficulty of installation, it's the ability of the cooler to actually cool the cpu. Neither of those coolers you've listed are up to the task of cooling the cpu you chose. It may be okay for the non k, but certainly not for the k sku part. And looking on pcpartpicker the k is actually 40ish less than the non k. And will most definitely outperform it.

Yes k sku cpus are unlocked. Meaning they are ready to be overclocked. But they also have a higher base and boost clock.

If I was in your position I would highly consider a new ryzen build. AMD has made leaps and bounds in the last few years, let alone 20. They perform on par with intel. And offer way better price to performance. In gaming they offer up performance within a few fps, as far as maximum, but usually have much better 1% and .1% lows. Making gameplay overall smoother. As far as cpu intensive and multi threaded workloads, they absolutely kill Intel currently.

Try to put past discrepancies behind and highly consider the switch. More money in your pocket, and a better performing rig. Think about it.

If you absolutely have to stick with intel, I'd get the k cpu and z series board. You'll spend a bit more but get overall much better components. Even when not overclocking, or even considering it. The k is faster, both base and boost. And the z series boards will offer better memory performance. You could always look at z370 boards as well, as most of them will allow use of 9th gen if they have updated bios, which buying new they should. I also think 9th gen needs b365, but b360 may also work, again as long as the bios is up to date.

Here's a 3700x for 630. Go with a 3600 instead, 6c12t, and still on par or better than the 9700. And save a 100 or so bucks. https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/TVc4XP

Edit:3600 will save about 160. https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/mfbYyX

I'm all about intel, but amd is killing the game currently.
 
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THRobinson

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If not overclocking or anything, that Arctic Cool should be enough, no? I've always used the Intel fans that came with the CPU without issue, until the fan wears out then I switch to usually an Arctic of the same style. I will say mount wise, I loathe those plastic push/turn posts, and would rather something else.

CPU wise, again, I'm in Canada so our prices may vary... for me the i7-9700 is $442.75 and the i7-9700K is $459.00, so the K is actually $16.25 more than the non-K... but for $16.25 I'd rather the faster CPU.

Use wise... again, a few FPS doesn't matter to me much, I'm a casual gamer and usually a few years behind on games. I tend to add games to Steam's wish list, and wait 2yrs until they're 80% off. :) Otherwise the system is used for Photoshop/Illustrator, very little Sketchup, and a lot of video re-encoding.... basically taking 16GB MP4 files and reducing to around 4GB MKV x265.

Again... works fine but, niece needs a PC and would rather a win/win for both of us. :D

I'll look into the AMD some more... I know it was mentioned earlier on, but when switched to CAD pricing, the price wasn't too much more for the Intel which ranked higher. Though AMD seems to have more motherboards listed at lower prices.

So... something like
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/McmjZf

Motherboards, not sure which is which... but CPU support lists says will work with BIOS update.

Using a site like below, Intel's i7-9700k seems to beat everything by AMD... but again, it's hard to know by those ranking numbers. The difference between 4th and 16th place may be a big jump, or so small a difference that you need a computer to tell you that there is one. :D

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-9700K-vs-AMD-Ryzen-5-3600X/4030vs4041
 
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For the 9700k, no it wont. The 9700, iirc, will include the factory cooler you're used to. And the linked cooler may be ok for that, not good, but ok. New intel cpus tend to run fairly hot. It seems intel and amd have switched places here.

The 9700k even in stock configuration can run upwards of 150+ watts. So ideally you'd want a 180ish capable cooler. It will more than likely have to be a tower type. Unless building a very compact pc. Then you'll have to compromise on cooling slightly with one of the downfire coolers you prefer. I'd recommend the noctua, yes itll cost a bit more than the artic, but will be way better performance wise.

I realize you don't necessarily care about high fps, which is yet another reason the new ryzen makes sense. The difference to you between the two would be imperceivable.

The msi MAX line comes with the correct bios for third gen cpus. The asus board you listed, will work if the bios is updated. But you'd need a compatible cpu to update bios if the board doesn't have a flash feature. I really do like asus boards, and have one in my current build, but in this case the msi is ready to go and makes sense.

One other nice thing about ryzen is it comes with a decent cooler. Not the best, but will do the job and you wont need to go aftermarket.

Yes the video you linked is pretty much true. Though I'd get the non x version. It performs nearly identical and will save you some more money. Its again a difference you would not notice.
 
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THRobinson

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Fans have always confused me, I've never noticed specs that said which CPU it's good for... Mostly go by size, rpm, dB level and reviews... And price of course. Honestly don't think I've ever had issues with heat using stock fans but maybe throttle? Never really checked performance... Stuff runs with no errors or shutdowns, that's as far as I 'test'.

Watched a few video reviews about 'is the X worth $50 extra' for the 3600 vs 3600x and agreed, it doesn't seem worth it. $10 maybe for the better cooler but about it.

Noctua NH-D9L looks good but $65CAD, Enermax ETS-N31-02 had some good reviews and about $40. NOCTUA NH-L9 series look good price wise but not much there sink wise. Really hard to choose... Again specs never seem to show much in terms of what to expect.

Motherboards.... I guess B450 is usually compatible but may not come pre-flashed with an update... That might make things difficult. Price seems to jump up a notch ($100) if going X570 which has features I'll probably never use. Then again, future proofing wise, is it worth it? Will it be valid for a few more generations of AMD's than the B450? Also, some are listed as gaming boards, but specs overall seem the same, is it mostly just extra lights and plastic guards on the board to look fancy? Asus seems to be reinforced strength on ram sockets and clips for video cards... Not sure what people are doing to their pc to need that.
 

THRobinson

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So... With the Stock fan, maybe this...

Looked at reviews and the manufacturing sites to see what said specifically 3rd Gen Ryzen (not 3rd Gen ready) and out of the box the MSI seemed one of the few that I could confirm. Though a few very bad reviews, but, kinda that way for all boards I think.

Other thing was, I saw a few cheaper options, but either just 1 fan header and I wanted 2 minimum, or some USB ports were USB-C which on the rear of the PC is useless for me.

https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/LY3Bgw

If I need a fan I might later get the Noctua NH-D9L... Though hoping to find cheaper.

Also, in general, it's getting harder to find stuff with NO LED lights... Power and HDD lights are all I need. :)

So... All said and done, worth the upgrade from my Xeon e3-1231v3?
 
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For the most part, a motherboard is a motherboard. Gaming is just a keyword to sell more. And you're correct they usually have more flash than a "standard" board.

Msi has been pretty good with third gen support, and they also have a flash ability without the cpu. That's why a lot of recommendations lean toward the msi boards.

The b450 should keep you set for quite sometime. I don't think x570 is needed, as they'll both support the same cpus. AMD has said they will make one more generation fit this socket, so you'll still have some upgradability down the line, should you want.

Definitely try out the stock ryzen cooler. For your needs it should do well and save you some money.

As far as the extra support in the gpu and ram slots. It's not so much what people are doing to there pcs, but how heavy the new cards are getting. Especially the 3 slot high end cards. They are very heavy and can sag alot putting undue stress on the slot.

From the little Google searching I did, yes this would be a fairly significant upgrade for you.
 

THRobinson

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@Gmoney06ss Ya, benchmark ranking I think had mine down around 164th and the upgrade around 16th... so jumps up quite a few notches.

I use to just skip a gen with upgrades. Buy a PC, skip a gen and then do what I'm doing now... which was fine because a new gen came out every 2-3yrs. Now, the Intel CPU's seem to have a new gen every year and hard to know how much of a jump in performance each has. I believe my Xeon was on par with a 3rd gen i7, and now after 5yrs we're at what, 9th gen? So basically jumping up 6 gens?

Wow... 6 gens in 5yrs.

I think mobo wise, I have it narrowed down to 2 .... A lot of bells and whistles I don't need. Don't have an M.2 SSD, don't use dual GPU cards, no RAID, and don't need fancy lights or extra strength. Pretty much just need the 1 slot for my video card, 2 for ram, 2 case fan headers, and 6 full size USB ports on the rear (no USB-C). Basically what's in my signature is going into it.

Asus PRIME B450M-A/CSM Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard - $80CAD
MSI B450-A PRO MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard - $114CAD

The Micro ATX MSI board equivalent to the Pro Max sadly has only 1 case fan header. $15 cheaper but, rather have the extra fan headers.

Gamble is... I know I like ASUS... and about $24 cheaper.... but worth the gamble to arrive and not work? Plus a full size ATX might be better in terms of finding coolers that fit, or making sure that the GPU fits etc.
 

Karadjgne

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I see a lot of uber nice, over the top performance builds. And not a word mentioned on the fact that Op is more than likely still using and will continue to use a 1080p/60Hz monitor, so really hasn't much need whatsoever for a 9700k, 3700x, 2060 super etc.

In the more budget oriented range, Intel really has nothing worth buying except the i5-9400f, and thats not all that much of an upgrade vrs an 8 thread Xeon, the v3 is 4th gen Intel, lga1151, the v2 is 3rd gen Intel, lga1155, slight difference. If you do have the v3, you've basically got a slightly slower i7-4770. Which isn't too shabby, but is getting a little long in the tooth.

Honestly, unless you are planning on bumping up the performance of the monitor, or diving into the latest and greatest type games, there's little to be gained by a gpu upgrade if you are happy with current settings.

This would be a decent start. If you wanted more cpu, that mobo will handle larger units, the 3600 is better, the 3700x more than you need even for the relatively near future.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor ($154.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: Asus TUF B450M-PLUS GAMING Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($99.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($99.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Total: $354.97
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-12-02 17:16 EST-0500


Get a cpu cooler if you want, don't necessarily need one, but aftermarket coolers do have added bonuses, like quieter and cooler. Upgrade gpu/psu as you need to, with a regular monitor an overkill performance pc won't show any benefits as is, but will only reveal its limits and the scope of upgrade if you open up the resolution and/or refresh rate.
 

THRobinson

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Currently not using a gaming monitor... Bought a UltraSharp 24 Monitor, U2414H when I was doing photo work so the image is sharp, colour accurate and uses a wider colour gamut than most. I'd like to get 27" but, image is nice, no ghosting in games, nice deep blacks, I just can't justify replacing.

GPU, you are correct... It's fine. 1920x1080 and things look just fine. It'll be at least 2 more years before I even consider upgrading it.

I like games but, not enough to spend that much on constant upgrades for a few fps. Way I see it, if your spending that much time looking at minor details and fps, you're probably not enjoying the game. :) as long as there's no lag, I'm happy.
 
It's not about the difficulty of installation, it's the ability of the cooler to actually cool the cpu. Neither of those coolers you've listed are up to the task of cooling the cpu you chose. It may be okay for the non k, but certainly not for the k sku part. And looking on pcpartpicker the k is actually 40ish less than the non k. And will most definitely outperform it.

Yes k sku cpus are unlocked. Meaning they are ready to be overclocked. But they also have a higher base and boost clock.

If I was in your position I would highly consider a new ryzen build. AMD has made leaps and bounds in the last few years, let alone 20. They perform on par with intel. And offer way better price to performance. In gaming they offer up performance within a few fps, as far as maximum, but usually have much better 1% and .1% lows. Making gameplay overall smoother. As far as cpu intensive and multi threaded workloads, they absolutely kill Intel currently.

Try to put past discrepancies behind and highly consider the switch. More money in your pocket, and a better performing rig. Think about it.

If you absolutely have to stick with intel, I'd get the k cpu and z series board. You'll spend a bit more but get overall much better components. Even when not overclocking, or even considering it. The k is faster, both base and boost. And the z series boards will offer better memory performance. You could always look at z370 boards as well, as most of them will allow use of 9th gen if they have updated bios, which buying new they should. I also think 9th gen needs b365, but b360 may also work, again as long as the bios is up to date.

Here's a 3700x for 630. Go with a 3600 instead, 6c12t, and still on par or better than the 9700. And save a 100 or so bucks. https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/TVc4XP

Edit:3600 will save about 160. https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/mfbYyX

I'm all about intel, but amd is killing the game currently.
Nice post, well explained.
 

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