Is X99 worth it?

I am slowly upgrading my current PC part by part. Did so far graphics ASUS R9 290, fan Noctua NH-D14, ADATA SSD and new Fractal Define R4 case

but next step is "bulky" - motherboard + CPU + RAM

In essense the question is as old as mammoth's shit: AMD vs Intel.

in more detail - is it better to:

a) go for latest X99 with i7-5820K (don't wanna spend a fortune on CPU so going for lowest in the range here) + whatever Asus motherboard

b) go for CROSSHAIR V FORMULA-Z + AMD FX9560 (or maybe even FX9590 as they dropped in price)?

RAM depends on the architecture obviosly.

I am prepared to spend more money on Intel, but question is - will it be worth it in the long run? I don't want to do much upgrading afterwards for next, say, 3 years.

Also, I hear that AMD FX95xx will be drinking power - shouldn't be a problem as I am gonna buy new PSU as well. but more power = more heating - will my Noctua be able to cool it properly?

Ultimate question, "Is X99 worth it?"

The answer right now is no.


*if we're talking for general use case.

Depends what your needs are OP. If you have a large budget and you'll take advantage of the grunt of such hardware then yes it may be worth your while. ~ editing, massive workloads etc.

If you just use your rig for gaming dont worry so much about the cpu platform. You'll only ever notice big differences when doing synthetic benchmarking. You can have two pc's - 1 with midrange cpu and the other with the uber high end cpu. Add in the same gpu and you'll most likely see just a few frames difference between the two.

Those 9xxx FX chips are just cherry picked 8350's, so save yourself some coin and just get an 8350 and oc it. Or get one of the latest FX revision chips.

Power wise, yeah high end FX chips suck the juice, but crank the oc on a x99 chip and you see some pretty high consumption as well.

D14 will handle a substantial oc no matter what platform you choose. Just have good case airflow.

In 3 years, chances are you will be up for a gpu upgrade if you want to crank the latest titles. 

Well, I'm leaning towards a 5960x [not sure on the mobo yet]. As for my master thesis I will be editing a shit load of videos and so on, it might actually be worth it.

X99 is an odd platform:

1. It doesn't do high end computing well, because it doesn't support ECC and isn't certified for 24/7 operation;

2. It doesn't provide any noticeable gaming performance, nor any rendering performance that is worth the price premium (check TechofTomorrows benchmarks) in Windows;

3. It doesn't benefit from the OpenCL acceleration and Share Virtual Memory support of the next gen Broadwell CPU's;

4. It uses a lot of power for an Intel chip with those specs.


In my opinion, it's a serious sidestep, not a step forward, not a step backward, but a hyped status quo with a premium price tag.

It's clearly targeted at Windows gamers that use multiple nVidia-GPU SLI setups. So it's a luxury product, no real benefit, but something to show off with.

There is a market for that, but not such a big market I think.

When Broadwell comes out with the new iGPU's that have 48 streaming processors on board, that will be next desktop-CPU by Intel worth buying in my opinion, and that platform, once it comes to 2011-3, will also provide a system that will last a few years.

Haswell-E is just what Haswell should have been from the start, it's nothing special in 2014 any more, and certainly not worth the money. Just like AMD, Intel has made adjustments to their range, but nothing new has been brought out. Difference is that AMD has dropped the prices, and Intel has upped them.

For linux users, X99 isn't beneficial yet either. Difference with software console users is that X99, once Intel solves the problems with X99 support, will become pretty good in linux, whereas that will probably never happen for software console users. Usually, that takes a year or more nowadays, because Intel definitely has issues keeping up with their development.

The next AMD range will probably have hybrid CPU's, that also contain high performance computing ARM cores, that use much less power and have much higher specific computing performance. The hybrid computing model that AMD uses, has also been tried and tested, and has proven itself over the last 4 years or so, so it's a pretty safe investment for next-gen computing needs. Intel hasn't proven anything in terms of next-gen computing yet, they've only spent a lot of money on marketing. With Broadwell, Intel is going after AMD's Kaveri line, which is quite old at this point, and the Intel top model Broadwell will probably just about equal the compute performance in hybrid computing of the present top model Kaveri at stock clock (but they overclock so nice, nobody uses them at stock speed anyway...). That means that Intel is jumping through hoops and doing spins on it's head to compete with a 150 USD APU... they're not doing the same kind of thing to develop a faster high end desktop CPU... enough said.

Chances are very real that with linux and HSA, a 150 USD chip will outperform any X99 system in the next 12 to 18 months in most applications, thereby using only half the power. Two years ago, when HSA was still being tested, speed increases averaged between 60 and 80% for a quad core setup. That's a lot, especially knowing that speed increases will be higher with more CPU cores and GPUs with FPU units. Compare that to the Intel advertised performance increase of X99 of maximum 20% (of which almost none is really noticeable in Windows gaming and accelerated video rendering), and it's clear that X99 is not really the deal of the century...

I would buy nothing if you can avoid it right now, and wait for the next generation HSA systems.

Depends, most cases no. I did the upgrade because I work solely from my computer.

I am going to go against the flow here and say that it is worth it...... sort of. It is an investment.


The thing here, is that most older games and unoptimized games (and software) will do better with the higher IPC of intel cpus than with the many cores of AMD's stuff. That said, stuff is moving towards using more cores more efficiently, but in order to take advantage of both current and future software, it would be best to have many, strong core. Intel's x99 platform has that in spades. Now, for gaming alone, you won't see too much in terms of advantage with the x99 cpu with current games, and ddr4 doesn't make much difference at the moment either. The thing to note here however, is something that Wendell himself said. x99 is the current 5-year platform. If you get a good x99 platform and a good amount of ram to go with the cpu, then you are looking at a platform that you won't have to think about for the next 5 years in all likelihood. Meanwhile, the current fx processors available struggle in many situations, such as poorly optimized software and older games. You might end up having to upgrade again in the next few years if you go with AMD now (AMD has said that they are looking to update the fx line somewhere around 2017 anyway iirc, so that would probably be the time to upgrade). With the two platforms that you would end up purchasing, you would probably spend around the same amount, or more going with the current cheaper option. View x99 as an investment.

Not to mention that x99 has plenty of bandwidth, both pcie and sata. Now, I know that someone is going to say that pcie 2 isn't maxed out by current cards, and blah blah blah. That might be right. There might not be much difference between pcie 2 and 3 even with something like a 290x or 780 ti. But I am talking about a 5-year platform here. With the way that things are going, graphics dependance in games is only going to continue to skyrocket, meaning that the extra bandwidth will come in handy down the line.

Then there is the sata express. Again, this isn't a big deal right now, but later on, it might be. Sata express ssds are likely to become the norm for high end rigs in the coming future as sata III is currently bottlenecking ssds (which is why people are using m.2 and pcie based ssds more and more lately).


Would AMD's cpus get by in current games and software? For the most part, yes. They do just fine. But so would a cheap i5 with z97 and you would sitll have more pcie bandwidth for the future and the possibility to upgrade to a better cpu later on (4790k, or whatever else if they release more cpus for that platform).


All that said, I know that there are a lot of AMD fanatics and fanboys on this site (don't even bother trying to argue with me on that as that is something that I have observed for a long time, and there isn't much wrong with that so long as the other side of the argument gets stated as well).

Some games where the 8350 doesn't do so well. Again, this isn't true with all games, but some don't do so well with AMD cpus.


I'm going to argue that X99 is acutally a bit of a bargain from a workstation productivity standpoint. 8 (or more) core Xeons, are much much more expensive than the 5960x. For a £760 i7 the nearest 8 core xeon is the E5-2640 or 2650 clocked at 2.0Ghz or 1.8 Ghz which is going to be terrible at single threaded applications, the nearest 8 core Xeon in terms of specs to the i7 is the E5-2687 which costs £1600. Granted you can run dual CPU with them and they have more cache and compatable with ECC and certified 24/7 but if I'm paying for the machine myself I'd go for the i7 every time.

with 8 cores the lack of dual cpu isn't such a big deal. But the lack of ECC support pretty much rules it out for professional workstation use. From a professional point of view it would be plain irresponsible to not go with ECC memory, since it's only a tiny investment for a rather valuable security blanket.


For the average "Joe" or "Jane" it definitely is not worth it. But the people that can afford it ... will do it anyway. I know a lady that spends more than $2000 a month just having her hair, nails done. If someone told her she didn't have the fastest & newest ... she wouldn't be able to stand it. Even though she doesn't ever use the one she has.

And I just might accidently let something slip about Intel's latest and greatest ... just 'cause I could use the side work.    lol     (she will probably want me to haul off her old & useless PC also)

If you are doing industrial grade computing and absolutely need a monster that works 24/7 ... buy an older dual Xeon off ebay if you have to.