Question Time to upgrade..Needing advice!

mf2385

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Sep 22, 2007
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My current rig as-is:

Core i7-5820K
16GB DDR4 2133
EVGA GTX 690 4GB
Cooler Master HAF 932 Case
256GB SSD OS
3TB External Storage

I'm looking to upgrade to:

Core i9-9900K
32GB DDR4 2133-2600
RTX 2070 8GB
1TB SSD (Games/Storage/Apps)
256GB SSD (OS)
3TB External (Storage)

I'll give you guys some context, I am a video editor and producer working freelance and actually have over 200k YouTube subscribers right now, so CPU does matter for rendering, etc. Plus I do gaming live streams and stuff like that as well. My GTX 690 is running on its last legs @1080p gaming and it's really about time for a refresh. I intend on gaming and staying at 1080p for the foreseeable future and I don't intend on 4K gaming anytime soon, just wanted to state that, but I DO want a little bit of "futureproofing" going on, which I intend on receiving with getting the RTX 2070 over the 2060, more RAM and basically a 1080p refresh, which would be a nice upgrade for me at this time. Any recommendations?

I'd obviously be upgrading my motherboard too

Thank you all!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
First of all, I would not go with any memory kit that is lower than 3000mhz. It will affect gaming performance but more importantly it will definitely affect performance in professional applications and rendering processes. The price difference is generally negligible or minimal in any case.

What is the price of the memory kit you are currently looking at, if you had even semi-decided on one already? You definitely also want to stick with a matched set of 2 x16GB for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the fact that running 4 DIMMS is a lot more stress on the memory controller, which in this case is of course in the CPU, which already has enough stress as it is with it's 8/16 cores/threads and a tendency to run towards the warmer side of things. Halving the memory voltage it has to deal with is a good idea, even aside from the fact that we see a lot of issues when trying to run mixed memory.

And by "mixed memory" I mean any modules that didn't come all together in a matched set. This problem isn't as prominent on lower speed modules because they tend to comply more fully with the JEDEC standards, but for higher speed memory that tends to ignore the JEDEC specs to some degree or other it is a crapshoot. I can understand wanting to simply add another 16GB to your current memory, but I think you are leaving significant performance on the table with that CPU and only low speed memory. Considering the fairly low prices of RAM right now, it's definitely worth considering at the least. Besides which, you can get a good 3000mhz kit of 2 x16GB sticks for around 160 for Ripjaws or 180 for Trident Z modules with a CL16 latency.

The other BIG consideration is going to be the power supply, and lets not confuse quality with capacity (watts) which may or may not even be an issue anyhow.

You are going to want a very good power supply, especially if you are upgrading from a very old graphics card and power supply to a new card and platform. Your current power supply may not even be compatible with the Haswell and newer C-state requirements or may be group regulated which wasn't a terrible issue on older units, but is on newer platforms that use the 12v rails a lot more and crossloading CAN be a problem without a DC-DC type power supply.

The models listed below, if you click the spoiler, are the ones I MOST recommend.

Let's start with the biggest misconception out there, which is that if a unit has high watts it will be ok or is good. No. Just, no.

There are plenty of 750-1000w units out there that I wouldn't trust to power a light bulb and might in fact be more dangerous due to their supposedly high capacity due to poor or non-existent protections inside the unit.

If the platform isn't good to begin with, how many watts or amps it says it can support is irrelevant.

Higher 80plus certification doesn't mean anything, UNLESS it's on an already known to be high quality PSU platform. For example, a Seasonic Prime platinum unit is going to be a better product than a Seasonic Prime Gold unit, because we already know the Prime platform is very good, and platinum efficiency along with it shows there are some improvements internally to account for the higher efficiency.

In a case like that, it might be worth it. It's likely the unit will create less heat, it will probably have better performance in regard to ripple, noise and voltage regulation. It might shave a few pennies, or dollars, off the electric bill over the course of a year.

Other than that, it is not going to perform any better than the same platform with Gold efficiency. On the other hand, just because a unit has Titanium 80plus ratings doesn't mean the unit is any good at all. For example, there are Raidmax units with Titanium efficiency and I wouldn't trust one of those to power a light bulb. There are a lot of units like this out there.

If the platform isn't good to begin with, whether or not it has an 80plus certification or not is irrelevant.

Whatever you do, don't EVER buy a power supply based on whether it has RGB or lighting, or looks like it might be a quality unit. Some of the biggest hunks of junk out there look just as good as a Seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium, but I assure you, they are not. So far as I've seen there are really no excellent units out there that have RGB built in. Maybe one or two models, but rest assured you'll be be paying for the lighting, not for the quality of the power supply.

I don't know what country you reside in, and I know that sometimes it's hard to come by good units in some regions, but when possible, when it comes time to get that PSU, I'd stick to the following if you can.

Seasonic. Seasonic isn't just a brand, they are a PSU manufacturer, unlike many of the PSU brands you see they make their own power supply platforms AND a great many of the very good PSU models out there from other brands like Antec, Corsair and older XFX are made by Seasonic.

Just about anything made by Seasonic is good quality for the most part. There are really no bad Seasonic units and only a very few that are even somewhat mediocre. They do make a few less-good quality OEM style units, but mostly those are not going to be units you come across at most vendors, and they are still not bad. Also, the S12II and M12II 520 and 620w units are older, group regulated models. At one time they were among the best units you could buy. Now, they are outdated and not as good as almost any other Seasonic models. They are however still better than a LOT of newer designs by other manufacturers.

The Seasonic 520w and 620w S12II/M12II units CAN be used on newer Intel platforms, if you turn off C6/C7 in the bios, but I'd really recommend a newer platform whenever possible. Prices are usually pretty good on those though, so sometimes it's worth accepting the lack of DC-DC on the internal platform. Higher capacity versions of the High current gamer are not based on that platform, so they are fine. Those being the 750w and higher versions.

Most common currently, in order of preference, would be the Seasonic Focus series, then Focus plus, then Prime, then Prime ultra. It's worth mentioning that there are generally Gold, Platinum and Titanium versions within each, or most, of those series, but that does not necessarily mean that a Focus plus Platinum is necessarily better than a Prime Gold. It only means that it scored better in the 80plus efficiency testing, not that the platform is better.

Again, don't let yourself get tangled up in the idea that a higher 80plus rating specifically means that it is a better unit than another one with a lower rating, unless you know that it is a good platform from the start. All these Focus and Prime units are pretty good so you can somewhat focus on the 80plus rating when deciding which of them to choose.

Super Flower Super Flower is another PSU manufacturer. They also make most of the good units sold by EVGA like the G2, G3, P2 and T2 models.

Super Flower doesn't have a very broad availability for the units with their own brand name on them, and are not available in a lot of countries but for those where there is availability you want to look at the Leadex and Leadex II models. The Golden green platform is fairly decent too but is getting rather long in the tooth as a platform AND I've seen some reviews indicating a few shortcomings on units based on this platform.

Even so, it's a great deal better than a lot of other platforms out there so you could certainly do worse than a Golden green model. Units based on the Leadex and Leadex II platforms are much better though.

Corsair. The CX and CXm units are ok as a budget option, but I do not recommend pairing them with gaming cards. The newer 2017 models of CX and CXm are better than the older ones, but still not what we'd call terrific, so if it specifically says 2017 model, or it has a capacity other than an even 100, like 550w, 650w, 750w, etc., then it's likely at least better than those older ones. Aside from that, any of the TX, RMx, RMi, HX, HXi, AX or AXi units are good. Those are listed from best to worst, with the best being the AX and AXi units.

Antec. The True power classic units are made by Seasonic, and are very good, but are not modular. The High current gamer 520w and 620w, or any other PSU you see on the market that is 520w or 620w, are also made by Seasonic, based on the S12II and M12II platform for modern versions, and are pretty good units but again they are an older platform that is group regulated so if you go with a Haswell or newer Intel configuration you will want to avoid those because they do not support the C6/C7 Intel low power states.

The Antec High current gamer 750w and 850w units are very good and are not the older design, which came in 520w and 620w capacities and were good for back then but again, are an aging Seasonic platform that is not the best choice most of the time these days. Occasionally, these older units MIGHT be the best unit available and you could do worse than one of them, but a newer DC-DC platform is desirable when possible if it doesn't mean sacrificing quality elsewhere in the platform. There are however older and newer HCG models, so exact model number will likely be a factor if choosing one of these however both the older models and the newer models are good.

Antec Edge units are ok too, but reviews indicate that they have noisy fan profiles. I'd only choose this model if it is on sale or the aesthetics match up with your color scheme or design. Still a good power supply but maybe a little aggressive on the fan profile. This may have been cured on newer Edge models so reading professional tear down reviews is still the best idea.

Antec Earthwatts Gold units are very good also.

BeQuiet. BeQuiet does have a few decent models, BUT, you must be VERY selective about which of their models you put your trust in. From model to model their are huge differences in both quality and performance, even with the same series. If you cannot find a review for a BeQuiet unit on HardOCP, JonnyGuru or Tom's hardware that SPECIFICALLY says it is a very good unit, and does not have any significant issues in the "cons" category, I would avoid it. In fact, I'd probably avoid it anyhow unless there is a very great sale on one that has good reviews, because their units are generally more expensive than MUCH better units from Antec, Seasonic, EVGA and Corsair.

Super Flower. They are like Seasonic and they make power supplies for a variety of other companies, like EVGA. Super Flower units are usually pretty good. I'd stick to the Leadex, Leadex II and Golden Green models.

EVGA. They have BOTH good and not very good models.

Not very good are the W1, N1, B1, B3 (All models except the 650w model), BQ, BR, BT and G1 NEX models.

Good models are the B2, B3 650w, G2, G2L, G3, GQ, P2 and T2 models.

FSP. They used to be very mediocre, and are a PSU manufacturer like Seasonic and Super Flower, although not as well trusted based on historical performance. Currently the FSP Hydro G and Hydro X units are pretty good.

I would avoid Thermaltake and Cooler Master. They do have a few good units, but most of the models they sell are either poor or mediocre, and the ones they have that ARE good are usually way overpriced.

This is just ONE example of why I say that. Very new and modern CM unit. One of the worst scores ever seen on JonnyGuru for a well known brand name product. Doesn't look to be much better than a Raidmax unit. Sad.


And most of the models I have linked to the reviews of at the following link are at least good, with most of them being fantastic.


Certainly there ARE some good units out there that you won't see above among those I've listed, but they are few and far between, much as a hidden nugget of gold you find in a crevice among otherwise ordinary rocks and don't EVER assume a unit is good just because of the brand.

If you cannot find an IN DEPTH, REPUTABLE review on Tom's hardware, JonnyGuru, HardOCP, Hardware secrets (Old reviews by Gabe Torres), Kitguru (Only Aris reviews), TechPowerUP, SilentPC crew or a similar site that does much more than simply a review of the unboxing and basic tests that don't include reliable results for ripple, noise, voltage regulation and a complete teardown of the unit including identification of the internal platform, then the unit is a big fat question mark.

I recommend not trusting such units as companies generally always send out review samples of any unit they feel is going to get a good review, and don't send them out if they know they are going to get hammered by the reviewer. No review usually equals poor quality. Usually.

Other models that should never be trusted OR USED AT ALL, under any circumstances, include A-Top, AK Power, Alpine, Apevia, Apex (Supercase/Allied), Artic, Ace, Aerocool (There might be one model worth using, but I'd still avoid them.), Aspire (Turbocase), Atadc, Atrix, Broadway com corp, Chieftech, Circle, CIT, Coolmax, Deer, Diablotek, Dynapower, Dynex, Eagletech, Enlight, Eurotech, Evo labs, EZ cool, Feedtek, Foxconn, G7, HEC/Compucase Orion, HEDY, High power, iBall, iStar computer co., Jeantec, JPac, Just PC, Kolink, LC Power, Linkworld electronics, Logisys, Macron, MSI, NmediaPC, Norwood Micro (CompUSA), Okia, Powercool, Powmax, Pulsepower, Q-tec, Raidmax, RaveRocketfish, Segotep, SFC, Sharkoon, Shuttle, Skyhawk, Spire, Startech, Storm, Sumvision, Tesla, Trust, Ultra, Wintech, Winpower, Xilence (Until I see a reputable review of a model showing different), xTreme (Cyberpower), Youngbear and Zebronics.
 

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