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Stay on X299 or move to Ryzen

Looking for some quick thoughts on my workstation upgrade path. I’m currently running a ASRock X299 Taichi XE MB with an Intel i7-7820X CPU. I would like more cores for VM’s. I’m currently running Ubuntu linux as the host OS and using KVM/QEMU for a VFIO Windows gaming/utility VM. I would like a bit (or a lot :slight_smile: ) more overhead in cores for running more VM’s for testing and or training.

I’m debating whether I should put my 7820X on the market and buy a new Cascade Lake i9-10940X or similar processor or abandon the X299 and jump over to Ryzen on an X570 board? I don’t mind spending some extra cash but jumping to Threadripper (ideal) takes a LOT more money and moving to X570 requires me to drop two of my memory modules (48GB down to 32GB) and probably go get new larger modules ($$$).

Just looking for thoughts on what you might do. Seems like there is so much “bashing” of Intel but almost seems better to stay put until maybe another generation of Threadripper comes out in another year or two?

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What are your workloads?

@cekim is probably the best person to ask.

Zen2 has a bit better IPC but doesnt generally clock quite as high. You can get better single thread and of course better multithreaded performance than intel but an overclock on intel can quickly put you ahead in some cases. Its really all down to what workload you have and if that would actually save you any time.

Thanks for the response. Yeah not sure I “need” faster single thread performance necessarily. In all honesty the move seems interesting but having a working VFIO setup currently, it might be nice to drop a new Intel in it’s place with minimal effort rather than a new build, test, etc. As I haven’t used AMD in quite some time I just wasn’t sure if it’s worth the move. If this was a new build there would be no question I would go with Ryzen and call it a day, but taking into account the effort and rebuild needed I figured I get some thoughts from the collective!

I would keep the x299, upgrade the cpu for more cores. It’s still cheaper than starting over with a ryzen rig. Plus, you keep your ram, which is quad channel vs dual for and. Afaik, Xeons with insane core counts are available for that socket.
I have both and x99 system and a ryzen 2700, somehow the Intel system seems to be more stable and run better overall. I don’t have any hard info as to why, maybe it’s just me. That said if you want to sell the x299 motherboard and CPU send me a pm.

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I would say unless you need the cores, I would stay where you are at as the bump in performance is pretty minimal. I’m on a 3900x from a 7700k and the single threaded performance is pretty similar, just way more cores.

When I saw your title this is what I was thinking.
It’s a good upgrade for a decent price, I’d go for that.

Didn’t even consider a Xeon, might look into that compatibility. Probably not now, but if that is true, then I may hold onto this board for a long time to come and buy a used Xeon when they drop significantly in a few years!

@aloe if I stay with Intel, I will definitely be selling the CPU. And both if I go AMD. I’ll keep you mind.

@Adubs see, this is the sane and most likely correct answer. However, zero fun. LOL.

Have you already delidded and used liquid metal?

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@Adubs, point taken. But to answer your question, no. However, that does sound fun!

Stay on X299 for the PCI-E Lanes, which Looking Glass and high refresh 4K might need.

I would stick with x299 really.
If you are already on x299 it generally does not make much sense to switch to Ryzen in particular.
You could eventually consider to upgrade to Threadripper 3960X TRX40.
But i still don’t think that it would really be worth it tbh.
The cheapest upgrade would just be a higher core count i9 cpu basically.
The new Cascade lake-X cpu’s or a higher core count Skylake-X.

Threadripper 3000 definitely isn’t worth it for the latency increase. There’s multiple reports of DAWs not playing nice with Threadripper 3000 because of high latency.

With lots of caveats - AMD can still be ahead even with this tradeoff…

A 7xxx-10xxxx intel part would need to be at ~4.6-4.7GHz all-core to beat the 3970x core-for-core from what I’ve seen…

They are neck-and-neck in terms of GHzXIPC. Starting from scratch you can’t go wrong with AMD right now while, if you do wildly parallel work, you can go wrong with Intel.

I have trouble answering the OP’s question since I need lanes and memory… these impact my applications heavily. Going quad down to dual channel memory is a non-starter for me.

In his place, I’d be sorely tempted to look for a used 7960 or 7980… for now. It’s not nearly as fun and that’s not a knock on AMD at all, but unless your use-case tile rendering, the gains you will get from there to AMD will be small and you already have an x299 and memory, so the upgrade cost is small…

My 3970x is now outperforming my 4.5GHz all-core 7980xe for 16-18 core jobs despite its 4.2GHz all-core speed… however, its not cheap…

For all the trash-talk of geekbench, it tends to reflect my use-case if you look at both numbers. Gains I see here, reflect back on my day-to-day experience. Here’s my table of results as I tuned up the 3970x, but including some results of my 7980xe. The single core tells you how it will game and how DB access for my purposes will behave. The multi-core tells you how multi-core simulations will run.

Couple of results to highlight:

  1. 14915196 - (7980xe) the bottom-most windows result - that’s a “stock” 7980xe as Asus configured it on “auto”… 5041 single 52090 multi
  2. 14915220 - (7980xe) the windows result 2 above it is my 4.GHz all-core config 5883, 66169
  3. 14903610 - (7980xe) last result is the same setup in linux 6173, 76484
  4. 15140244 - (3970x) - out of the box as Asus configures it with “auto” 5883, 89751
    5.15149740 - (3970x) - tuned up to something just beyond what I’d want for DD - voltage higher than I’d like - 6421, 107075
  5. 15149786 - (3970x) - my DD config now… PBO tuned up, but to “reasonable” power/current levels and temp throttled to 72C or less… 6383, 103135

Both are under similar custom water loop, with 1000W+ dissipation capability.

Before the picture - have you considered a 2nd machine for a VM server? A TR first-gen (getting cheap!)? I run E5-2996v3 xeons I get used from ebay for that sort of thing as well… still very capable even multiple generations back.

sounds like you could recoup costs and sell off a cpu.

me? Still using it. :wink:

The 2990wx can go though…

Curious. Why look for a used 7960 or 7980 ($800/1000 respectively) when the 10920X is starting new for roughly $800?

I’m a ryzen fanboy as much as anyone but i’d say in your case it is probably better to just swap out CPU to something with more cores.

Less work (same drivers, no need to disassemble the whole box), less cost, etc.

Switch to Ryzen or Threadripper next time (assuming intel is still behind at that point) - AM4 is end of the line so i’d probably sit on your X299 board until AM5 or whatever the next socket AMD put out is available - or there’s DDR5 boards available from either vendor.

Have you considered upgrading the cpu to a 7/9/10980xe for the 18 cores? I know that a grand they do cost more than a 3950x with a cheap x570 motherboard, but given you need the ram and pcie lanes i’d imagine the cpu upgrade would be the better option.

You’d be saving more than compared to a threadripper and by the time you need an upgrade again, you could probably just switch to some AM5, DDR5 platform on like zen4/5 with on die HBM, assuming its decently priced.

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