[SOLVED] Which of these is the best CPU+cooler+motherboard combo?

Jul 3, 2020
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Hey guys!

So, I got a 1TB NVMe, a 700W Platinum+ SFX-L, and a kit of 32GB 3200. Thanks to your advice, I was gonna get the i9-9900 (at 50% off from a family member working for Intel), but when I went to find an ITX motherboard the only one I found in my country that can sustain an i9 is the Phantom, which costs $258. I also read that I'd need to buy a cooler cause the Intel 9th gen stock one sucks, so it's another $59 for the L12S.

I'm reconsidering options before ordering. Here are possible combinations I found (all with mITX motherboards). I do not need a video card at all, it's purely for productivity uses (lots of text, very heavy browser use, web developing, and some programming). When necessary, I factored in the cheapest 1030 that I found. Also, I used the stock cooler (hope it's enough) on all builds (except the 9900). Listed in order of price:

  1. Ryzen 5 3400G = $271 (B350) or $301 (B450)
  2. i3 10100 = $300 (B460) or $336 (Z490)
  3. i5 10400 = $390 (B460) or $426 (Z490)
  4. Ryzen 7 2700 = $396 (B350) or $427 (B450) or $497 (X470/B550)
  5. Ryzen 5 3600 = $402 (B350) or $419 (B450) or $493 (X470/B550)
  6. i5 10500 = $412 (B460) or $448 (Z490)
  7. i5 10600 = $427 (B460) or $463 (Z490)
  8. Ryzen 7 2700X = $430 (B350) or $461 (B450) or $531 (X470/B550)
  9. Ryzen 5 3600X = $432 (B350) or $463 (B450) or $533 (X470/B550)
  10. i5 10600K = $482 (B460) or $518 (Z490)
  11. Ryzen 5 3600XT = $490 (B350) or $521 (B450) or $591 (X470/B550)
  12. Ryzen 7 3700X = $529 (B350) or $560 (B450) or $630 (X470/B550)
  13. i7 10700 = $568 (B460) or $604 (Z490)
  14. Ryzen 7 3800X = $574 (B350) or $605 (B450, $675 (X470/B550)
  15. i9 9900 = $590 (50% off on CPU, pricey Z390 + Noctua L12S)
  16. i7 10700K = $628 (B460) or $664 (Z490)
  17. Ryzen 7 3800XT = $653 (B350) or $684 (B450) or $754 (X470/B550)
Which configuration gives the best bang for the buck for the uses I listed (without suffering any productivity setback)? Still the i9?

Thanks <3
 
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Karadjgne

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Things take time. It takes a cpu a certain amount of time to render anything, game frame, web page etc. A stronger cpu can do things in less time as it has more available resources to work with. A 3700x might render a page in 1 second, a 3400G might take 2 seconds. To a cpu that's a huge improvement, massive really. To you, you blinked and it was over with. Can't really say just exactly how much of a difference there is on such a small scale. But when it comes to large scale, that's a different story. Play gta5 on a 3400G and 3700x, there's a fps difference, then add in streaming and the 4 cores of the 3400G just got swamped and fps drops like a bad habit. The 8/16 of the 3700x doesn't even blink.

Mmorpgs online are even worse. All that AI can be seriously detrimental to fps. I play swtor and in single player ultra have no issues on an i7-3770K with getting 90fps+. 8man op and I'm into 60-90fps range, 16man op and I'm averaging 30fps with all cpu details disabled/min and a 24man world boss fight is miserable at 5-10fps and everything disabled. Just way too much, too intensive, too cpu challenging for even a 8thread i7 at 4.6GHz to handle. 3400G will be far worse as it has no Lcache and not nearly the same resources, even if it does have better IPC. Fastest runner in the world is useless if he has a ball and chain around 1 ankle. Make him stronger, make the chain longer and he'll just lick it up and run.

B450m-H is a value motherboard. More tailored towards the 3600 or lesser cpus. It'll handle a 3700x just fine under normal circumstances, but Ryzens are dynamic cpus, they boost according to voltages, temps, loads. With no heatsink the VRM's will run hotter and will limit the boosting ability of the cpu. They won't overheat, but instead of seeing nice high boosts, you'll be relegated to more minimal boosts. The cpu will protect itself and the motherboard from excessive power draws.
 
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Jul 3, 2020
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A typical day of my life would be having a writing software open, working on a massive piece of text, having a gazillion reference materials in the background, researching simultaneously, sometimes having 20 browser tabs all open. Another day I may be developing a website, lots of work with images, PHP files, again heavy browser use, etc. These are the primary uses, but I also plan to refresh my programming skills and dive into Python/Lisp to develop some productivity software for my own workflow.
 
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alexbirdie

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Feb 20, 2020
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Selection 9 or 12 with b450.

Why?

Your daily work is not very CPU-intensive, and you do not use many threads at the same time, although lot of windows and programs are open.

Therefore no need for a 12- or even a 16-core-CPU and 6 to 8 cores will be more than enough for you.

That means, selection 9 would be enough for you.

For me personally I would go for a 3700x and B550 (selection 12) to have some CPU-power left for future work and because B550 is new and does PCI-e 4.0.
 
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Karadjgne

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I'm thinking you are thinking in the wrong direction. Everything in your day takes massive amounts of Ram. Gazillion tabs? RAM. Massive txt files? RAM. Lots of images, PHP files, heavy browser usage? RAM.

16Gb isn't going to cut it. I'd be looking at 32Gb-64Gb. That's what I'm thinking. 16Gb is recommended size for average gaming, where 1 game and maybe a few apps are running simultaneously and soaking up 6Gb-13Gb on average heavy use.

9 or 10, higher tier mobo. Asus Strix B550-i/X570-I to take advantage of pcie4.0 or at least a good 2Tb NVMe 3.0 drive. They have the better options, asrock isn't worth the money unless you have a Need for Thunderbolt, msi/gigabyte lack ports and fan headers. Z490 won't see pcie4.0 until maybe 11thgen cpus but does have USB-C internal.

With your work, it's not going to be so much what the cpu can do, but what the supporting equipment will allow the cpu to do.

Low ram, slow storage, limited peripherals ability, lack of options. All that just adds up to one thing. Extended nap times.
 
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Jul 3, 2020
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@alexbirdie thanks a lot for the response :)
  1. What about programming, I figured Python/Lisp compiles would benefit a lot from multi threads, won't they?
  2. Is the 3700x same level of a non-K 9900 (non-gaming purposes)?
  3. What about the 2700/2700x? a 2700x is 30% cheaper than a 3700x here. The 2700 is even cheaper than a 3600.
 
Jul 3, 2020
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@Karadjgne thanks a lot man :)

I actually got a 32GB kit (16x2) 3200 waiting for this build. For the storage I have the Sabrent Rocket 1TB NVMe (3.5/3.0 speeds), will a B550 utilize it better than a B450?

Btw, if settling on a Micro ATX instead, prices significantly change, and here the 50% the i9 becomes more noticeable because the MB is half the price of that mini ITX (although with those Intel mATX boards there's no HDMI2.0, and I'm using a massive 4K TV as my monitor. Will a DP to HDMI cable not hurt the signal at all?):
  1. Ryzen 5 3400G = $227 (B450)
  2. i3 10100 = $234 (B460)
  3. i5 10400 = $334 (B460)
  4. i5 10500 = $356 (B460)
  5. Ryzen 7 2700 = $356 (B450)
  6. Ryzen 5 3600 = $360 (B450)
  7. i5 10600 = $371 (B460)
  8. Ryzen 7 2700X = $387 (B450)
  9. Ryzen 5 3600X = $389 (B450)
  10. i5 10600K = $426 (B460)
  11. Ryzen 5 3600XT = $450 (B450)
  12. i9 9900 = $485 (Z390)
  13. i7 10700 = $512 (B460)
  14. Ryzen 5 3700X = $500 (B450)
  15. Ryzen 5 3800X = $539 (B450)
  16. i7 10700K = $572 (B460)
  17. Ryzen 5 3800XT = $613 (B450)
+$25 for a B550.

Thanks again, much much appreciated.

P.S - also factored in the prices the assumption (correct me if im wrong) that all the CPUs will work well with the stock cooler (without OC), except for the i9 9900 (non-K) which I read needs at least a $59 L12S to stay sane. If it's wrong and it can work with the stock cooler, then its overall price will be $426, same as the i5 10600K.
 
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Karadjgne

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Question is, how much value is the Python compiles worth. If that's an everyday use, then a stronger cpu like the 3700x will have time gains over the 3600, but if it's a once a week thing, the extra few minutes saved doesn't mean much. It's nothing more than work done while you are in the bathroom, or getting something to drink.

I'd not plan a build around 1 minor thing, a major factor is a different story altogether.

Just remember, mITX is limited. It's not like there's a huge choice in motherboards, and the bigger you go in cpus, the harder mITX becomes to cool. You've so far labeled just the mobo/cpu but cooling a 9900k/10700k won't be done easily nor cheaply when it's subject to compiling loads at extended duration.

MITX you don't build outwards like you do with ATX or even mATX, where you start with cpu, cooler, mobo then case. MITX demands you start on the outside and work inwards, if that's not going to work, scratch the case and start over.

It took 3 months of planning, scratching, shopping, surfing, to figure out my mITX, and that was started 6 months ago. And it's still not done. But thats to be expected with 2x 240mm radiators and a full custom loop inside a 12.7 litre case. By comparison, the average ATX midtower is @ 45 litres. The case is 1 inch taller than a size 10 shoebox.

Picking parts to fit a budget is easy. Picking parts to fit a budget when there's limitations on size, workload, requirements and every other consideration mITX brings to the table is as far from easy as it gets.

So just how much value is there in the time saved, cooling a larger TDP cpu like the 3700x isn't as easy as cooling a 3600 although far easier than cooling Intel.
 
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@Karadjgne Got ya. Makes sense. Tho what about the "snappiness" of the system for day to day use under the tasks I mentioned? Will a 3600/10400 be as snappy as a 3700x/9900? I suppose that's the number one question.

As for the form factor, I actually was pinning for a Mini ITX for two reasons: not take too much space (remove distractions from sight, get more work done), and also the only motherboards which I found to support HDMI2.0 (to connect my computer to its monitor, which is a huge 4K TV) were the MiniITX ones.

However, I had a revelation! Instead of getting a Mini ITX, I can just get a Micro ATX and bolt it underneath the desk so that it takes even less space than a mITX case.

And as for the HDMI2.0, well, with an AMD system I'll have to grab a video card (which will have HDMI2.0). I see this as a downside tho, since it's larger, generates more heat, more electricity, etc. I wish AMD released their 4000 APUs already :) Also with the motherboard bolted upside down, I'm afraid the video card won't hold tightly enough to the MB..? As for the Z390 or B460 MicroATXs, I found a DP-->HDMI2.0 cable on Amazon which might get the job done, I just worry the conversion will result in signal quality loss, flickering, etc.

edit: you mentioned cooling a 9900k, I meant a 65TDP nonK 9900 :)
 
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Karadjgne

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Can't really say as to 'snappyness' other than other people with pc's have not said anything about one cpu being faster or slower than another. There's multiple factors to OS speeds including the ram, the mobo, the cpu, storage and OS in general.

But seriously doubt with everything being the same there'd be any noticable difference whatsoever as you'd not be saturating the equipment when opening a web page. The instructions per clock being so close with the cpus that humans can't see a difference. You are talking about nanosecond differences.
 
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@Karadjgne "The instructions per clock being so close with the cpus that humans can't see a difference. You are talking about nanosecond differences."

What exactly does that mean, instructions per clock? Do you mean that each CPU has a set of instructions that optimizes it for its specific clock speeds? If so: you're saying I won't notice any difference between the 9900/3700x to the 3400G?
 

Karadjgne

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No. Not quite. Game code is nothing much more than a series of instructions. An old cpu might be able to deal with 1,000 instructions per 1 clock cycle, and at 4.2GHz there's 4.2 billion cycles. A newer cpu might handle 2000 instructions per clock cycle and be at 5.0GHz or 5 billion cycles.

So when dealing with fps limits, which is the amount of frames a cpu can completely render in 1 second, an older cpu might only be able to complete 42 frames, a newer cpu 100 frames.

Those being fictional numbers. But when dealing with 4.2 billion cycles multiplied by 1000 instructions per cycle, you are into nanoseconds in time per instruction. 1 nanosecond is 1/1,000,000,000ths of a second. You can't see the difference in anything less than a second without 2 comparisons, and even then maybe not.

The differences between the cpus goes much farther but can't really compare amd to Intel on a 1 to 1 basis as their architecture is different, how they deal with things is different etc. There's also core count, bandwidth per core, memory speeds, memory controller speeds, Lcache and a host of other factors in a cpu. A cpu like the 3700x has more cores, higher Lcache, better memory controller, etc etc, so is all around a stronger cpu, even if it's architecture design is similar to the 3400G, but there's also a microprocessor count too, there's a lot more transistors on a 3700x than there is on a 3400G, so it's faster all around.
 
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The differences between the cpus goes much farther but can't really compare amd to Intel on a 1 to 1 basis as their architecture is different, how they deal with things is different etc. There's also core count, bandwidth per core, memory speeds, memory controller speeds, Lcache and a host of other factors in a cpu. A cpu like the 3700x has more cores, higher Lcache, better memory controller, etc etc, so is all around a stronger cpu, even if it's architecture design is similar to the 3400G, but there's also a microprocessor count too, there's a lot more transistors on a 3700x than there is on a 3400G, so it's faster all around.
Thanks for this explanation.

When you say 'faster all around' - what does that mean in the usual day-to-day tasks? Will applications launch quicker (to the human eye) on a 3700x than a 3400g? Will pages render quicker on the browser (to the human eye)?

Btw I think I'm gonna end up with either the 3600 or the 3700x (both 65TDP). But is the rather-cheap GIGABYTE B450M H enough VRM-wise? It's got all the ports I need, but the price just seems too low :) Somebody said I shouldn't take it (or the B550 S2H that I offered to replace it, even though my SSD is Gen3), because "it doesn't has heatsinks", but it's a 65TDP CPU with no overclocking whatsoever planned. Is that correct? I'll be using the WrathPrism btw.
 

Karadjgne

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Things take time. It takes a cpu a certain amount of time to render anything, game frame, web page etc. A stronger cpu can do things in less time as it has more available resources to work with. A 3700x might render a page in 1 second, a 3400G might take 2 seconds. To a cpu that's a huge improvement, massive really. To you, you blinked and it was over with. Can't really say just exactly how much of a difference there is on such a small scale. But when it comes to large scale, that's a different story. Play gta5 on a 3400G and 3700x, there's a fps difference, then add in streaming and the 4 cores of the 3400G just got swamped and fps drops like a bad habit. The 8/16 of the 3700x doesn't even blink.

Mmorpgs online are even worse. All that AI can be seriously detrimental to fps. I play swtor and in single player ultra have no issues on an i7-3770K with getting 90fps+. 8man op and I'm into 60-90fps range, 16man op and I'm averaging 30fps with all cpu details disabled/min and a 24man world boss fight is miserable at 5-10fps and everything disabled. Just way too much, too intensive, too cpu challenging for even a 8thread i7 at 4.6GHz to handle. 3400G will be far worse as it has no Lcache and not nearly the same resources, even if it does have better IPC. Fastest runner in the world is useless if he has a ball and chain around 1 ankle. Make him stronger, make the chain longer and he'll just lick it up and run.

B450m-H is a value motherboard. More tailored towards the 3600 or lesser cpus. It'll handle a 3700x just fine under normal circumstances, but Ryzens are dynamic cpus, they boost according to voltages, temps, loads. With no heatsink the VRM's will run hotter and will limit the boosting ability of the cpu. They won't overheat, but instead of seeing nice high boosts, you'll be relegated to more minimal boosts. The cpu will protect itself and the motherboard from excessive power draws.
 
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Jul 3, 2020
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Things take time. It takes a cpu a certain amount of time to render anything, game frame, web page etc. A stronger cpu can do things in less time as it has more available resources to work with. A 3700x might render a page in 1 second, a 3400G might take 2 seconds. To a cpu that's a huge improvement, massive really. To you, you blinked and it was over with. Can't really say just exactly how much of a difference there is on such a small scale. But when it comes to large scale, that's a different story. Play gta5 on a 3400G and 3700x, there's a fps difference, then add in streaming and the 4 cores of the 3400G just got swamped and fps drops like a bad habit. The 8/16 of the 3700x doesn't even blink.

Mmorpgs online are even worse. All that AI can be seriously detrimental to fps. I play swtor and in single player ultra have no issues on an i7-3770K with getting 90fps+. 8man op and I'm into 60-90fps range, 16man op and I'm averaging 30fps with all cpu details disabled/min and a 24man world boss fight is miserable at 5-10fps and everything disabled. Just way too much, too intensive, too cpu challenging for even a 8thread i7 at 4.6GHz to handle. 3400G will be far worse as it has no Lcache and not nearly the same resources, even if it does have better IPC. Fastest runner in the world is useless if he has a ball and chain around 1 ankle. Make him stronger, make the chain longer and he'll just lick it up and run.
Got ya. I think I'm seeing where I was thinking wrong then. I thought a CPU only uses a % of its resources to complete a task, and assumed what would take the 3700X, say, 15% of its available resources to accomplish at X time would take the 3400G, say, 50% of its resources to accomplish at the same time (and that to me it wouldnt matter, because its the same time). What you're describing, a CPU is always using 100% of its available resources to accomplish a task, so that it gets to accomplish that given task quicker even if it's a fairly basic task. Correct?

Btw - does that last part mean that I better pick up the 8c/16t CPU for the rare occasion once every two years where my little brother insists I play whatever new expansion WoW/GW2 pushed out?! (on a 4K TV, btw)

As for the motherboard, will the basic B450-S2H be enough VRM-wise for my awesome new 3700X + Wraith Prism + 32GB DDR4-3200 + 1TB NVMe Gen3x4?

Thank you so much man,
You're a legend. Comments are pure gold, feel like I'm absorbing so much from you.
 

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