[SOLVED] Unsure what CPU to upgrade to from i5-4690k

Jing__

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I am currently running an i5-4690K with a gtx 1080ti for 1440p gaming which has been working well till I started playing more recent titles like borderlands 3 and final fantasy 15. I experienced an insane amount of stutters in those games and think that my 1080ti is being bottlenecked so I want to upgrade my CPU and ram.

I want to play games at 1440p at higher refresh rates and occasionally stream on discord/twitch. I am not sure what I should be upgrading to. I have seen people recommending 3600, 3700x or 9700k. The price jump from 3600 to the 3700x or 9700k seems quite steep so I was wondering if the performance benefits were worth it.

I have also seen many people recommend the MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX to use with the ryzen chips, are the x570 motherboards not worth the extra price?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If you are going to game PLUS stream, and have a browser running as well, then the 3700x is probably the better option.

Consider that the operating system can use many cores itself, and most games can use one to six cores reliably, plus whatever the streaming app can use as well as any other background processes or applications that you might have running as well.

I mean, obviously either option will work, since what you have NOW works, but if you don't want to have to do this again for as long as possible, then getting those extra cores now while it's not a major additional expense makes sense. Changing CPUs in two years because you short changed yourself, doesn't.

Not sure where you get 700 dollars for the 3700x plus Tomahawk max, but unless you're in some country where hardware is impossible or ridiculously expensive, it's not even close to that. If you are, well, sorry, there's really not much we can do about that.


PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($298.99 @ B&H)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Best Buy)
Total: $413.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-03-28 22:55 EDT-0400
 
Reactions: cdrkf

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
To me, and to most people, the X570 boards are NOT worth the extra expense. If you want to know why, I can go into that, but suffice to say that most of the benefit of PCIe 4.0 is something that won't translate into any real world differences because the majority of current parts and hardware configurations can't take advantage of it anyhow. Even the PCIe 3.0 bus is rarely saturated.

The Ryzen 3600, 3600x or 3700x would be the most meaningful upgrades, at the least expense of any full platform upgrade currently available. Simply upgrading to a 4790k might be a good option as well if you can find one for a decent price. That however is becoming an upgrade that is hard to recommend because most of those CPUs are going for around 140 bucks and up, used, on Ebay, and for another 30 bucks you can get a new 3600 that outperforms it AND has a full warranty which the used Intel part would not.

The Tomahawk B450 MAX is the best budget motherboard option if you are looking to get into a Ryzen platform. The only real shortcoming it has IMO is the fact that it only has a single M.2 slot for storage devices, but since most people won't be using multiple M.2 NVME drives anyhow then it is not a problem in the majority of cases. I've used the 3600 and 3600x along with that exact board on three builds so far and the clients, and myself, have been extremely happy with the results.

It also seems to hold it's own against other, much more expensive designs and the very highest end Ryzen parts.

 
I am currently running an i5-4690K with a gtx 1080ti for 1440p gaming which has been working well till I started playing more recent titles like borderlands 3 and final fantasy 15. I experienced an insane amount of stutters in those games and think that my 1080ti is being bottlenecked so I want to upgrade my CPU and ram.

I want to play games at 1440p at higher refresh rates and occasionally stream on discord/twitch. I am not sure what I should be upgrading to. I have seen people recommending 3600, 3700x or 9700k. The price jump from 3600 to the 3700x or 9700k seems quite steep so I was wondering if the performance benefits were worth it.

I have also seen many people recommend the MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX to use with the ryzen chips, are the x570 motherboards not worth the extra price?
I think any of those CPU's will be a big jump in performance from your i5. The answer on what the benefit of the more expensive options is fairly limited if all you are doing is gaming as (at the moment at least) 6 cores / 12 threads is ample for modern games. In fact a decent 4 core 8 thread cpu is fine most of the time, it's the old 4 core 4 thread i5's that are really starting to struggle.

If you are planning on streaming then there is potentially a benefit to going with a higher core / thread count cpu - although that is only if you plan on using CPU encoding (which is arguably better quality but requires more resources). If you use nVenc to stream on the gpu then it won't make much difference.

For a 1080ti, the 3600, 3700X and 9700 are going to offer similar performance in most situations, there are a few titles where the Intel part might be a bit faster (especially if you overclock) thank's to it's higher clock speeds but the differences are fairly small. If you are planning on using CPU encoding for streaming then the 3700X is by far the best solution as it offers 8 cores / 16 threads vs just 8 threads on the i7 (so for gaming and streaming on the cpu it will be quite a bit faster and smoother overall).

With respect to the motherboards, the B450 Tomahawk Max gets a lot of recommendations as it's got a good feature set, a strong VRM (meaning it will support any Ryzen cpu including the 12 and 16 core parts if you wanted to upgrade in the future) and has Ryzen 3000 support out of the box. It's the best 'bang for buck' solution. That said if you are looking for future proof and want all the bells and whistles then an x570 board is the way to go - the main feature being full PCIe 4.0 support (not really needed now but might come in handy in the long run). They cost quite a bit more though and don't offer anything that is really essential if you are keeping to a budget.

TL, DR: If you want the best bang for buck option then the B450 Max motherboard + R5 3600 will be plenty to max out that 1080ti.

For better cpu streaming + future proofing then an X570 board + R7 3700X is a good choice.

The 9700K is an options for max fps now, although I'm not sure you'll see much difference with a 1080ti vs the other options so I'd say AMD is the way to go at the moment.
 
Thanks for the detailed response. Would going for the b450 max and the 3700x be a bad choice then?
I’ve got a B450 Tomahawk Max, 3700X and 2080 Super and game at 1440p. It’s an excellent setup that I’m very happy with. I’m sure for now a 3600/3600X would game just as well. I’ve had my system doing other activities while I game with no noticeable impact on performance.
 
Reactions: cdrkf

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
The unasked but very important question here is what else will you be doing while you game?

Do you plan to do any heavy multitasking like recording, streaming, encoding, browsing with multiple tabs, video chat, other multitasking tasks, WHILE you game, or do you JUST game, only?
 

Jing__

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To me, and to most people, the X570 boards are NOT worth the extra expense. If you want to know why, I can go into that, but suffice to say that most of the benefit of PCIe 4.0 is something that won't translate into any real world differences because the majority of current parts and hardware configurations can't take advantage of it anyhow. Even the PCIe 3.0 bus is rarely saturated.

The Ryzen 3600, 3600x or 3700x would be the most meaningful upgrades, at the least expense of any full platform upgrade currently available. Simply upgrading to a 4790k might be a good option as well if you can find one for a decent price. That however is becoming an upgrade that is hard to recommend because most of those CPUs are going for around 140 bucks and up, used, on Ebay, and for another 30 bucks you can get a new 3600 that outperforms it AND has a full warranty which the used Intel part would not.

The Tomahawk B450 MAX is the best budget motherboard option if you are looking to get into a Ryzen platform. The only real shortcoming it has IMO is the fact that it only has a single M.2 slot for storage devices, but since most people won't be using multiple M.2 NVME drives anyhow then it is not a problem in the majority of cases. I've used the 3600 and 3600x along with that exact board on three builds so far and the clients, and myself, have been extremely happy with the results.

It also seems to hold it's own against other, much more expensive designs and the very highest end Ryzen parts.

I don't think I would want to upgrade to the 4790k. What are the benefits of PCIe 4.0? Or what devices could make use of it?
I think any of those CPU's will be a big jump in performance from your i5. The answer on what the benefit of the more expensive options is fairly limited if all you are doing is gaming as (at the moment at least) 6 cores / 12 threads is ample for modern games. In fact a decent 4 core 8 thread cpu is fine most of the time, it's the old 4 core 4 thread i5's that are really starting to struggle.

If you are planning on streaming then there is potentially a benefit to going with a higher core / thread count cpu - although that is only if you plan on using CPU encoding (which is arguably better quality but requires more resources). If you use nVenc to stream on the gpu then it won't make much difference.

For a 1080ti, the 3600, 3700X and 9700 are going to offer similar performance in most situations, there are a few titles where the Intel part might be a bit faster (especially if you overclock) thank's to it's higher clock speeds but the differences are fairly small. If you are planning on using CPU encoding for streaming then the 3700X is by far the best solution as it offers 8 cores / 16 threads vs just 8 threads on the i7 (so for gaming and streaming on the cpu it will be quite a bit faster and smoother overall).

With respect to the motherboards, the B450 Tomahawk Max gets a lot of recommendations as it's got a good feature set, a strong VRM (meaning it will support any Ryzen cpu including the 12 and 16 core parts if you wanted to upgrade in the future) and has Ryzen 3000 support out of the box. It's the best 'bang for buck' solution. That said if you are looking for future proof and want all the bells and whistles then an x570 board is the way to go - the main feature being full PCIe 4.0 support (not really needed now but might come in handy in the long run). They cost quite a bit more though and don't offer anything that is really essential if you are keeping to a budget.

TL, DR: If you want the best bang for buck option then the B450 Max motherboard + R5 3600 will be plenty to max out that 1080ti.

For better cpu streaming + future proofing then an X570 board + R7 3700X is a good choice.

The 9700K is an options for max fps now, although I'm not sure you'll see much difference with a 1080ti vs the other options so I'd say AMD is the way to go at the moment.
Would having only 6 cores on the 3600x vs 8 cores on the 3700x and 3800x have any notable performance loss? The 3600x with the motherboard costs $509 while the 3700x with the motherboard costs $700
 
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Jing__

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The unasked but very important question here is what else will you be doing while you game?

Do you plan to do any heavy multitasking like recording, streaming, encoding, browsing with multiple tabs, video chat, other multitasking tasks, WHILE you game, or do you JUST game, only?
I would probably be using this pc to game + stream on twitch or discord and browse youtube during queue times. Not going to be doing encoding or any content creation
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If you are going to game PLUS stream, and have a browser running as well, then the 3700x is probably the better option.

Consider that the operating system can use many cores itself, and most games can use one to six cores reliably, plus whatever the streaming app can use as well as any other background processes or applications that you might have running as well.

I mean, obviously either option will work, since what you have NOW works, but if you don't want to have to do this again for as long as possible, then getting those extra cores now while it's not a major additional expense makes sense. Changing CPUs in two years because you short changed yourself, doesn't.

Not sure where you get 700 dollars for the 3700x plus Tomahawk max, but unless you're in some country where hardware is impossible or ridiculously expensive, it's not even close to that. If you are, well, sorry, there's really not much we can do about that.


PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($298.99 @ B&H)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Best Buy)
Total: $413.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-03-28 22:55 EDT-0400
 
Reactions: cdrkf

Jing__

Reputable
Dec 30, 2016
32
0
4,530
0
If you are going to game PLUS stream, and have a browser running as well, then the 3700x is probably the better option.

Consider that the operating system can use many cores itself, and most games can use one to six cores reliably, plus whatever the streaming app can use as well as any other background processes or applications that you might have running as well.

I mean, obviously either option will work, since what you have NOW works, but if you don't want to have to do this again for as long as possible, then getting those extra cores now while it's not a major additional expense makes sense. Changing CPUs in two years because you short changed yourself, doesn't.

Not sure where you get 700 dollars for the 3700x plus Tomahawk max, but unless you're in some country where hardware is impossible or ridiculously expensive, it's not even close to that. If you are, well, sorry, there's really not much we can do about that.


PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($298.99 @ B&H)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Best Buy)
Total: $413.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-03-28 22:55 EDT-0400
My currency SGD is $1=0.7 USD so i guess 414 USD is about 600 SGD and with taxes its almost that price unfortunately. I do wonder if I should buy those parts online though, would save about $50
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
And, you have to also kind of figure that for many regions it's worse right now because there is hardly anything being shipped anywhere outside the country where it was manufactured. And yeah, Singapore prices for some of the more global mainstream products are really expensive.

I don't think you'd be giving up TOO much by settling for the 3600 or 3600x. Plus, you'd likely be able to drop a better CPU in there in a year or two if you really find you need to.
 

Jing__

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I think I'll go for the 3700x with the tomahawk max. But just curious if there would be any significant changes going from the tomahawk max to the gigabyte aorus elite x570? Does having PCIe4 "futureproof" my system? Does the aorus elite have better vrms for overclocking the ryzen chip?
 
I think I'll go for the 3700x with the tomahawk max. But just curious if there would be any significant changes going from the tomahawk max to the gigabyte aorus elite x570? Does having PCIe4 "futureproof" my system? Does the aorus elite have better vrms for overclocking the ryzen chip?
PCIe 4 at the moment is a nice to have - the main benefit of it is if you want to use the latest, fastest NVME drives as these can make use of the extra bandwidth.

There are a few graphics cards out that have PCIe 4 support (specifically AMD's RX 5000 series) although like when we moved from PCIe 2 to PCIe 3, the cards run just as well on the older standard.

Where having PCIe 4.0 might be an advantage in the longer term is that future graphics cards may require it for best performance (although as PCIe is backwards compatible the newer cards will still work on the older standard, and historically the difference of running on the slower bus is pretty small).

As for the VRMs... that is down to the specific motherboard. I would check a review of that board before buying as some X570 boards have weaker VRM than the B450 Tomohawk Max (which is one of the best B450 boards you can get vrm wise).
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Actually, the B450 Tomahawk, Tomahawk max and Gaming Pro carbon are some of the best boards you can get VRM-wise for Ryzen, at all. Yes, there are some that are better, but they are also twice the price, at least. And there are SOME that are twice the price, and are worse than those boards. Those boards are good enough that I've caved on my long time belief (Still applies in many situations and for many boards though, just not these) that MSI has troubles with quality controls or just quality in general on their budget to mid grade boards. They've always had decent quality on their high end boards, for the last five years or so anyhow, but prior to that there were ample examples of why to not buy an MSI motherboard throughout their product stack.

This platform however, those three boards are very hard to beat, especially considering they are so much less expensive AND there is supposed to be a B450 Gaming Pro Carbon Wifi motherboard coming out soon that has higher speed memory support and supports Ryzen 3000 series out of the box with no BIOS update needed. Not sure when we'll see those, because without the Covid-19 situation we'd probably have already seen them since they were announced several weeks ago.

As I have said before, if you need dual M.2 NMVE drives, you don't want the Tomahawk. It has a single M.2 slot. The gaming pro carbon has multiple M.2 slots which is a desirable feature set for anybody that will be inclined to use multiple NVME drives. At some point you almost have to say, ok, let's just do all NVME drives where possible, because the prices are getting down to where there is some parity and since they are much faster in SOME scenarios, why not.

But certainly standard SATA SSDs are still perfectly fine for the majority of users. I still have some rather large HDDs in my NAS box and a couple of external HDDs as well, although everything IN my machine itself is some kind of SSD.

As to the PCIe 4.0 as mentioned, there is very little, if anything, to be gained in the here and now from using it. If the X570 boards were on par with the quality, performance and price of at least X470 or comparably performing B450 options, it would be different. But they are not. And I seriously dislike the need to run an additional chipset fan, which is a requirement on X570. I'm interested to see what, exactly, the B550 boards bring to the table and what they don't, but I see almost no reason at all right now to go with X570. I've looked at a lot of storage device reviews and to be honest there is very little argument to be made for any benefit even with PCIe 4.0 M.2 drives, for paying the additional expense on X570 just to have it. Mostly it is synthetic in nature and is not anything that any person would EVER appreciate in the real world when it comes to a translation into performance while actually DOING things. Like gaming. Or other common tasks.
 

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