How much performance am I leaving on the table?

So I’ve been running a ryxen 7 1700X since launch day, and as such have an Asus prime x370 pro motherboard with two sticks of Corsair ram running at 2666.
I’m looking into buying a ryzen 3000 cpu, probably a 3900X/XT, once the prices come down a bit.
Were I to keep my current motherboard and ram, how much performance am I leaving on the table? Are we talking 1-2%, or more like 10%? If I could only upgrade one thing, where should I focus, motherboard or ram?

I could be wrong, but other than the performance loss of not having PCIe 4, you should not be losing anything by using an X370 board.

The difference, if there is any, to other motherboards in the 400 and 500 series would likely be down to how they handle boosting and possibly power delivery to the CPU.

That would definitely be something worth checking, that the X370 board you have can actually safely feed the CPU power and not over work itself. It was made in a time before the 3900X/XT existed and thus its power demands were not able to be considered and they are higher end, higher core count, higher clocked and boosting chips that the 1700X, I am not sure then power efficiency from the smaller node makes up enough difference to off set the extra power required.

As for the RAM, that is controlled largely by the CPU so if you do get a 3900X/XT it should be capable of just using 3600MHz or whatever you want, though the BIOS would also have to agree on that which I know far less about. For which is a better thing to get, well if the mother board “just works™” then RAM all the way. Just be sure to check those QVL lists for definitely compatible RAM.

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The one thing you should check first is if there is a bios update for the motherboard so it can work with the 3900x. There probably is, but you should check.

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Depends on workload and latency. In mining monero I saw 10% gain going from 3200mhz to 3600mhz using identical timings. In reality I feel no difference.


Yup I’ve confirmed there’s a compatible bios released for my board, and a few revisions since as well. I’ve been more or less keeping up with the updates to eek any performance I can out of my system.

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Check CPU compatibility firstly, regarding which Ryzen 3xxx chips are applicable [BIOS update(s) likely]. PCIe 4.0, is obviously out of question, but a mere divot to 3.0 GPU wise [NVMe data bandwidth is some bit of loss, but not a spin drive → SSD difference]. Best point of gains, would be memory SKU compatibility and higher baseline freq support.

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check your boards power delivery can handle the higher watt part.

if your good to go with that, then make sure your bios is up to date for the 3000 series but not upgraded for 5000 series.

other than that your ram choice is next, try to aim for ram that has sub 10ns timings.
on 3677/3600mts if you want best performance to bandwidth. if you cant afford low latency ram then 3600 with what ever timings you can get. then try to manually tweak em.
if you cant spring to 3600 then 3200 with tight timings will work well enough. but stay clear of ram between them 2 sets of timings as the cas latency’s increase puts the ram over 10ns.
why under 10ns?.. your system will feel snappier across the board regardless of m/ts bandwidth.

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I’d say, once you update the BIOS and get the new CPU, try to work on the RAM speed and timings with DRAM calculator. If you can’t get them up to 3200 with reasonable timings and voltage you can easly get a 3600 kit CL18 for not that much money that will be pretty much plug and play.
If you don’t want to spend time tweaking RAM just get a 3600MHz kit that’s on the AsRock QVL or vice versa make sure the RAM manufacturer put your motherboard on their QVL for the kit you want.

Besides a return to Amazon + return to G.Skill directly (I think Amazon had a bad batch of them), I’m having very good luck with the G.Skill F4-3600C18-8GTZN.

For general use with my 2700x I’ve noticed little difference between dual rank 1866 and 3000 (1866 was running 4 dual rank non-QVL modules)

I’m sure it would bench worse but I used it for work, games, etc. and it handled things just fine.

It really depends what you’re doing and how cpu/memory bandwidth bound it is.

As to what to upgrade? I’d go for the motherboard. Why? Better ram timing on new b550 and x570 boards due to layout and they will work with pcie4 devices and Ryzen 5k in the future.

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