• Now's your chance win big! Join our community and get entered to win a RTX 2060 GPU, plus more! Join here.

    Pi Cast Episode 3 streams live on Tuesday, August 4th at 2:30 pm ET (7:30 PM BST). Watch live right here!

    Catch Scharon on the Tom's Hardware Show live on Thursday, August 6th at 2:00 pm ET (7:00 PM BST). Click here!

Question What should I upgrade with 250$?

Jason H.

Honorable
Oct 20, 2013
1,481
77
11,590
65
Ok so the past couple weeks Ive been thinking about upgrading my case cooling for my PC because my 3800x is running a bit hot. So I posted a thread about it (that actually got 5k views and over 125 responses between me n others) and we narrowed down A LOT about what I would need.

I have a 250$ budget.

During that thread I made some decisions that I didnt follow through with.

As of right now my case can only support a 155mm cooler and 120mm fans (240mm rad). I get decent temps but I was looking to get higher boost clocks while stress testing which is how all of the "cooling convo" came about.

I was going to buy an AIO for 120$ but the temp differance would only be like 3-4c lower than my current air cooler (Scythe Mugen 5 rev.b) so I decided to not do it, well, I decided to think about it longer.

During this time I thought, maybe I will just buy a couple Noctua 120mm fans for my case because my current Antec Prism fans only have a 43 cfm. They are advertised to be "low noise". I thought if I did this then I could spend the remainder on maybe upgrading my ram to 3600mhz ram. Then I found out my MOBO only supports up to 3455mhz ram.

SO now Im considering upgrading my MOBO to have better memory. Im not sure if I can just run 3600mhz memory with a XMP of only 3400mhz and it work on my current motherboard. At least until I could also afford to upgrade the MOBO to run the full 3600mhz.

So now Im stuck at what I should upgrade 1st before the other with my current restrictive budget of only 250$.

My Main Questions I Want Answered Are:
  • Should I upgrade my case so I can have better cooling with 140mm fans?
  • Could my current motherboard run 3600mhz ram at 3400mhz and it still work or would the mobo not accept the ram?
  • Would upgrading my current low CFM fans to a much higher CFM fan, and then buying better 3600mhz ram be more worthwhile for money spent?
  • Or should I upgrade my mobo so Im able to run the full 3600mhz ram when I can afford to upgrade ram?
I know it sounds a bit complicated but hopefully someone can help me make a choice. ALL of them need upgraded, but what would you do 1st?

PC Specs

MOBO: MSI Tomahawk B450
CPU: Ryzen 7 3800x (4.3ghz 1.32v)
Cooler: Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B
GPU: Gigabyte RTX 2060 Super OC 3x Windforce White (8pin only version)
MEMORY: HyperX RGB 2x8gb DDR4 3000mhz
Storage: Samsung 860 Evo 250gb / 500gb Seagate / 1tb Samsung 860 Qvo
PSU: Corsair cx550m
WIN: Windows 10 Pro
Case Cooling: Antec Prizm 3x 120mm rgb case fans with controller and 2 RGB strips / 1 default 120mm case fan
Case: Cougar MX330
 
Last edited:
Perhaps you can recoup a little money selling off your existing RAM modules, and get a good 16 GB kit (8 GB x 2 sticks) at 3400 or 3600 MHz for reasonable cost... (There are at least a few videos that show Ryzne scaling at different RAM speeds, you can review them to decide if it is worth it the expense....
 
Ok so the past couple weeks Ive been thinking about upgrading my case cooling for my PC because my 3800x is running a bit hot. So I posted a thread about it (that actually got 5k views and over 125 responses between me n others) and we narrowed down A LOT about what I would need.

I have a 250$ budget.

During that thread I made some decisions that I didnt follow through with.

As of right now my case can only support a 155mm cooler and 120mm fans (240mm rad). I get decent temps but I was looking to get higher boost clocks while stress testing which is how all of the "cooling convo" came about.

I was going to buy an AIO for 120$ but the temp differance would only be like 3-4c lower than my current air cooler (Scythe Mugen 5 rev.b) so I decided to not do it, well, I decided to think about it longer.

During this time I thought, maybe I will just buy a couple Noctua 120mm fans for my case because my current Antec Prism fans only have a 43 cfm. They are advertised to be "low noise". I thought if I did this then I could spend the remainder on maybe upgrading my ram to 3600mhz ram. Then I found out my MOBO only supports up to 3455mhz ram.

SO now Im considering upgrading my MOBO to have better memory. Im not sure if I can just run 3600mhz memory with a XMP of only 3400mhz and it work on my current motherboard. At least until I could also afford to upgrade the MOBO to run the full 3600mhz.

So now Im stuck at what I should upgrade 1st before the other with my current restrictive budget of only 250$.

My Main Questions I Want Answered Are:
  • Should I upgrade my case so I can have better cooling with 140mm fans?
  • Could my current motherboard run 3600mhz ram at 3400mhz and it still work or would the mobo not accept the ram?
  • Would upgrading my current low CFM fans to a much higher CFM fan, and then buying better 3600mhz ram be more worthwhile for money spent?
  • Or should I upgrade my mobo so Im able to run the full 3600mhz ram when I can afford to upgrade ram?
I know it sounds a bit complicated but hopefully someone can help me make a choice. ALL of them need upgraded, but what would you do 1st?

PC Specs

MOBO: MSI Tomahawk B450
CPU: Ryzen 7 3800x (4.3ghz 1.32v)
Cooler: Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B
GPU: Gigabyte RTX 2060 Super OC 3x Windforce White (8pin only version)
MEMORY: HyperX RGB 2x8gb DDR4 3000mhz
Storage: Samsung 860 Evo 250gb / 500gb Seagate / 1tb Samsung 860 Qvo
PSU: Corsair cx550m
WIN: Windows 10 Pro
Case Cooling: Antec Prizm 3x 120mm rgb case fans with controller and 2 RGB strips / 1 default 120mm case fan
Case: Cougar MX330
Case isn’t a bad idea you can get some really great one for around $100. Also look into getting a 650W modular PSU something like a EVGA G2/3 around there if you’re doing a full rebuild anyway. Maybe you can even squeeze in some peripheral upgrades if you get a deal like mouse, keyboard and headset. Or you could Just get the peripherals
 
Reactions: Vic 40 and Jason H.

Jason H.

Honorable
Oct 20, 2013
1,481
77
11,590
65
Case isn’t a bad idea you can get some really great one for around $100. Also look into getting a 650W modular PSU something like a EVGA G2/3 around there if you’re doing a full rebuild anyway. Maybe you can even squeeze in some peripheral upgrades if you get a deal like mouse, keyboard and headset. Or you could Just get the peripherals
Hey ty for the suggestions!

TBH Im only looking to either upgrade any of the things I asked about. Just want to know what YOU would do 1st out of my list of things. Yano haha?
 

Jason H.

Honorable
Oct 20, 2013
1,481
77
11,590
65
Perhaps you can recoup a little money selling off your existing RAM modules, and get a good 16 GB kit (8 GB x 2 sticks) at 3400 or 3600 MHz for reasonable cost... (There are at least a few videos that show Ryzne scaling at different RAM speeds, you can review them to decide if it is worth it the expense....
Well, Ive already recouped a little money selling my 1060, my 2600, and a 8gb kit of 3000mhz ram. I can pay for the ram up front, but I would sell my current ram to AFTER to help recoup the money.

But would u do the whole mobo/ram/new 120mm fans scenario, or would you just go straight for the 140mm cooling situation?
 

Phaaze88

Illustrious
Ambassador
1)If anything is actually overheating because of the case, then yes. If not, no.
2)According to the mobo support page, yes: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B450-TOMAHAWK#support-mem-19
3)A waste, IMO... IF nothing's actually overheating.
4)Updating the bios should be all that needs to be done. I don't see a reason to change the current mobo.
5)Do they really need upgrading? On paper, I'm not really seeing any serious problems with the build...
 
that case has very good airflow with the full mesh front and top. with a good fan setup you will have no problem with airflow.
i would change to 2 high pressure, high RPM fans on that CPU cooler(one pushing air directly into it from the front and one pulling air directly out of it towards the rear) and it should work fine.

while using the air cooler;
having 3 good intake fans on the front of the case pulling cooler air in,
one fan on the rear and one fan in the top-rear, both pulling warm air out of the case
you should be getting very good temps.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: Jason H.

Deicidium369

Upstanding
Mar 4, 2020
384
59
290
5
Case isn’t a bad idea you can get some really great one for around $100. Also look into getting a 650W modular PSU something like a EVGA G2/3 around there if you’re doing a full rebuild anyway. Maybe you can even squeeze in some peripheral upgrades if you get a deal like mouse, keyboard and headset. Or you could Just get the peripherals
Stay away from anything EVGA - especially power supplies. Get a Seasonic and skip the companies that don't make their own power supplies.
 
Reactions: helper800

Jason H.

Honorable
Oct 20, 2013
1,481
77
11,590
65
1)If anything is actually overheating because of the case, then yes. If not, no.
2)According to the mobo support page, yes: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B450-TOMAHAWK#support-mem-19
3)A waste, IMO... IF nothing's actually overheating.
4)Updating the bios should be all that needs to be done. I don't see a reason to change the current mobo.
5)Do they really need upgrading? On paper, I'm not really seeing any serious problems with the build...
PLZ READ FULL

Only a 1c differance with side panel off. We just considered doing the case/140mm fan upgrade to help with my CPU temps because I wasnt boosting when stress testing and was only seeing a 10c differance with the scythe mugen 5 compared to stock cooler.

Thats its whole own beast of a topic that I have a big thread on already. Dark has been helping me with it along with some others. Heres the link if youd like to take a peak inside. https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/r7-3800x-vs-r5-2600-temps.3580101/

But since you mentioned overheating, without going too much off topic, I get 84c with an all core OC of 4.3ghz at 1.32v on the 3800x while using Prime95. Dark said its a bit hot so we discussed multiple different cooling options. Seeing as an AIO within my budget would only lower temps by like maybe 4c at most, it makes most sense to NOT get the AIO and possibly upgrade my current fans to something more substantial. 140mm was mentioned so we discussed a case. All in that thread.

Anyhoo.... I only considered a MOBO change so I could run full 3600mhz ram as my mobo only supports 3455mhz. And then I wondered if I bought a 3600mhz rated kit, if running it underclocked at 3400mhz would still work on my current mobo until I did upgrade the mobo.

Updating the BIOS worked fine but the board itself wasnt built for the 3000 series, plus the limitation on ram, made this an option for me so I could see more performance out of my CPU.

On paper it looks great, maybe my mind is expecting more than my pockets can afford. But I feel something within the 250$ range could get me something lol.
 
What is you objective?
What is your tolerance for noise?

You can replace the two 120mm front intakes with insanely high rpm fans that will push massive amounts of cooling air through the case and cooler.
But, If I read correctly, you have experimented with the case covers off to little effect.
That suggests to me that case cooling is not your issue.
Did you direct a house fan at the innards?

Your case has a 155mm cooler height limit.
That restricts you to air coolers with a 120mm fan or two.
It will be the cooling equivalent of a 120 aio.
To do better with your case, you would need a 240 class aio and that might give you mounting problems in your case.

With your budget, I think I would buy a better case.
It should have at least two 140mm front intakes(hopefully filtered)
Perhaps something like the cm H500 with 200mm intakes and 1667mm available.
https://www.newegg.com/gunmetal-cooler-master-mastercase-h500-atx-mid-tower/p/N82E16811119350
And at least 160mm available for a top air cooler.
Noctua NH-D15 or NH-D15s is as good as it gets for an air cooler.
https://www.newegg.com/noctua-nh-d15s/p/N82E16835608072

Still when all is done, you will not be able to oc much higher, that limit resides mainly in the quality of your chip.

On ram, I really doubt that you would see any significant difference in performance with 3600 speed ram compared to 3400 speed.
 
Reactions: Jason H.

Phaaze88

Illustrious
Ambassador
Thats its whole own beast of a topic that I have a big thread on already. Dark has been helping me with it along with some others. Heres the link if youd like to take a peak inside. https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/r7-3800x-vs-r5-2600-temps.3580101/
But since you mentioned overheating, without going too much off topic, I get 84c with an all core OC of 4.3ghz at 1.32v on the 3800x while using Prime95.
I saw bits and pieces of that thread, but the 2nd line is what I have a problem with to begin with; that you're overclocking the chip at all, even in light of the downsides of doing so. It's just not worth it.
Auto is best - just tweak the memory.
3800X is a 3700X with a more aggressive voltage/frequency curve to allow it to run 100mhz higher than the latter. It's going to consume more power and be harder to thermally tame VS a 3700X; it's even worse with an overclock.

You won't see a large change in temps between coolers - instead, it'll show itself in boost clock:
-Run 3800X on auto with the stock cooler. Frequencies?
-Run 3800X on auto with Mugen cooler. Frequencies?
No, 3800X doesn't make it automatically better binned for overclocking over a 3700X, when Ryzen 3000 is already inefficient at it anyways. Intel logic doesn't apply with these chips.

On top of that, I addressed before how your overclock may not be safe for long term operation and you risk rapidly degrading the cpu. Time will tell though; maybe in a few months.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: Jason H.

Jason H.

Honorable
Oct 20, 2013
1,481
77
11,590
65
I saw bits and pieces of that thread, but the 2nd line is what I have a problem with to begin with; that you're overclocking the chip at all, even in light of the downsides of doing so. It's just not worth it.
Auto is best - just tweak the memory.
3800X is a 3700X with a more aggressive voltage/frequency curve to allow it to run 100mhz higher than the latter. It's going to consume more power and be harder to thermally tame VS a 3700X; it's even worse with an overclock.

You won't see a large change in temps between coolers - instead, it'll show itself in boost clock:
-Run 3800X on auto with the stock cooler. Frequencies?
-Run 3800X on auto with Mugen cooler. Frequencies?
No, 3800X doesn't make it automatically better binned for overclocking over a 3700X, when Ryzen 3000 is already inefficient at it anyways. Intel logic doesn't apply with these chips.

On top of that, I addressed before how your overclock may not be safe for long term operation and you risk rapidly degrading the cpu. Time will tell though; maybe in a few months.
Well the temps are higher on auto, and they reach the same boost clock of 4.3ghz, never above, as my 4.3ghz manual OC. The auto mode uses a higher voltage which raises my temps by 3c. So we figured out, at least for me, the manual OC is the better option for what Im looking to get out of it.

Max temp during gaming right now is 68c, but thats just a spike. The average is 60-61c. So Im not worried about the longevity of my CPU with the manual OC in those regards. And its not like Im ever going to push my PC to make temps go to 84c, like Prime95.

With the 3800x on stock cooler, stock settings, temps were reaching 92-94c in prime95. I didnt see frequencies but Im assuming 4ghz or below give the boost pattern.

With the Mugen cooler, 84c max temp after 3 hours on Prime95, 4.1ghz boost clock. BUT with my manual OC, max temp is 82c, because I use a lower voltage than PBO does.

IDK, when I use stock settings, the PBO uses a higher voltage to reach 4.1ghz which causes the temp to be higher. Which is another reason I optd to keep the manual OC. I mean when PBO is only boosting to 4.3ghz ANYWAYS while gaming, mine as well just set the all core to 4.3, lower the voltage, n have better temps. IMO.
 

Phaaze88

Illustrious
Ambassador
Something that slipped my mind, and one you're already aware of: single core performance is sacrificed for multi-core.

https://www.amd.com/en/products/cpu/amd-ryzen-7-3800x
So, no more 4.5ghz boost when the cpu wants to - which would happen during lighter loads when the cpu is normally seen boosting up and down like a madman... you're not always taking advantage of the manual OC.

I think you should leave PBO alone as well. The Mugen 5 isn't strong enough to take advantage of it; you're better off on auto. It does the same thing, but isn't as aggressive on the power consumption.

Heh... there aren't too many 3800X samples here, but they're making the 3700X look even more attractive.
If you choose to make changes anyway, hopefully the gains will be worthwhile for you.
Good luck!
 
Reactions: Jason H.

Jason H.

Honorable
Oct 20, 2013
1,481
77
11,590
65
Something that slipped my mind, and one you're already aware of: single core performance is sacrificed for multi-core.

https://www.amd.com/en/products/cpu/amd-ryzen-7-3800x
So, no more 4.5ghz boost when the cpu wants to - which would happen during lighter loads when the cpu is normally seen boosting up and down like a madman... you're not always taking advantage of the manual OC.

I think you should leave PBO alone as well. The Mugen 5 isn't strong enough to take advantage of it; you're better off on auto. It does the same thing, but isn't as aggressive on the power consumption.

Heh... there aren't too many 3800X samples here, but they're making the 3700X look even more attractive.
If you choose to make changes anyway, hopefully the gains will be worthwhile for you.
Good luck!
Thanks! And yes man, I wish I would have just optd for the 3700x as its BARELY worse and its only 65w tdp... buttt Oh wellllllll I guess lol. leaves me enough power to start streaming or going to 4k if I want to in the future I suppose lol.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS