Time to forcefully upgrade my PC but I need some advice

Good day everyone. My current PC is experiencing some issues that I cannot solve so I’ve decided it’s time I upgraded. I would be upgrading from Haswell - E i7 5820k, Asus sabertooth x99 motherboard and Coarsair Dominator Platinum 4x4 @ 2667 Mhz.

I am interested in purchasing the new i9 12900KF paired with a MSI Tomahawk Z690 DDR4 motherboard. Can anyone advise me if it makes sense in purchasing faster DDR4 RAM for this and if some what would be recommended? I am currently using Coarsair Dominator Platinum 4x4 @ 2667 Mhz in my current build.

I am comfortable overclocking. I had a 4.5 Ghz OC running on my 5820k since 2014 with no issues so I also want to make sure the current motherboard and RAM I want to purchase are good for overclocking.

TLDR: I need recommendations for a good 32 GB RAM kit and probably a motherboard that supports DDR4 and supports overclocking. I looked at bullzoid’s video from actually hardcore overclocking and the MSI line seems to be the best so far. Any advice is appreciated, it’s been a minute since I had to research all these new parts.

What kind of tasks do you do with the computer, and what are the related hardware for those tasks? How important do you value small changes in performance?

Not much heavy stuff to be honest. Just gaming, cloning drives for customers, compiling some code. I am opting for this because I like to keep my computers long. hoping for another 8 years out of this upgrade.

I decided on the MSI MPG Z690 EDGE WIFI DDR4 LGA 1700 ATX Intel Motherboard.

I read on some forums that the Gskill Trident Neo RAM kits are good for manual tuning as well as having good speed and timing out of the box.

I am just into overclocking and learning what’s around the BIOS etc. However I have never done RAM overclocking so I was looking at a decent kit to learn how to.

I have mixed feeling about you going DDR4 board if your trying to let it last a long time. You 100% can do it just might as well go to ddr5 board imo. Just by whatever is cheap and good enough for your needs then upgrade to way better sticks as the price comes down and capacity goes up


I don’t have anything for work right now and the DDR4 is the fastest to get. I don’t mind purchasing a DDR5 motherboard later down the line and having this one as back up since it’s the motherboard I currently have failed. I don’t mind having a back up but I really do need something soon. I was still really happy with the performance of my 5820k, if this hadn’t happen I would still be using it for years because I really only play games like dota2 and world of warcraft anyway and I get over 120 fps in both games currently and well I don’t need much for drive cloning and compiling my code regardless

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Maybe pick up a 3600x/5600x and b550 mobo as a temp rig till DDR5 becomes a better deal if you want to shoot for 8 year rig. Seems like you already went to one of the best sources (Buildziod), maybe check out a HWunboxed/GamersNexus on ram performance differences.

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I checked out a few places already. I think I am either gonna go with the Corsair Dominator Platinum 2x16 3600 Mhz kit or the GSKILL Trident Neo 2x16 3600Mhz kit. I just have to make a choice now. I posted here to see what others would think to see if I was doing made sense

I like Gskill more personally, but honestly you cant really go wrong these days and since you dont need every drop of perf I would just get which ever is cheaper.

The G.Skill has better timings. I haven’t researched the overclock-ability of either module but a CAS of 16 vs 18 is significant when increasing the clocks.

They both seem to be the exact same price lol.
G.SKILL Trident Z Neo Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) RAM Memory - Newegg.com-20-232-861--Product

The GSKILL specifies its for AMD RYZEN though. Not sure if it’s compatible with intel

I did read that the GSKILL was the best for manual overclocking because you can get tight timings and also it seems everyone I talk to loves GSKILL so I will probably get those.

Are you familiar with RAM overclocking? if so does having a 4x8 configuration better than a 16x2?

G.SKILL Trident Z Neo Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) RAM Memory - Newegg.com-20-232-861--Product

I am interested in this but it specifies it’ for ryzen. It should work fine on the intel platforms to right? or there is a specific one I need to buy?

If you’re worried about memory compatibility MSI has a Quality Vendor List (QVL) of modules they have validated and guarantee to be compatible with the board. But there are plenty of modules that aren’t on the list that work perfectly fine too.

On the left menu click “Compatibility” → Memory By 12th Gen i5/i7/i9

I haven’t overclocked any of my personal rigs in +10 years but I’m familiar enough. It’s really a coin flip between the two. Using only 2 modules is usually easier to overclock, but 16GB modules are usually dual ranked which have their own drawbacks. But in real world gaming I doubt you would see any notable difference in FPS between 4x8 or 2x16. Latency is far more important.

As an example a 3600 C16 module when overclocked to 4800 should run somewhere in the ballpark of CAS 21. But a 3600 C18 will likely be closer to 24. Guessing how high a module will overclock and at what timings it will be stable at isn’t an exact science. That’s where product review and benchmarks come in. Personally I’d choose a module that’s within your budget and then seek out reviews on that P/N to see if anyone had success overclocking it.

Edit: Not sure what crack I was smoking when giving that example. But you’re not going to hit 4800 overclock on a 3600 module. Don’t feel like redoing the math on the CAS to 4000 so I’ll just leave it :roll_eyes:

From what I researched. It can hit up to 4200 mhz max on the GSKILL stable. I am okay with that to be honest because for me it’s a learning experience lol.

Dual rank two sticks is going to be best oc generally

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So I found the kit but it says for AMD RYZEN but it is on the motherboard list on the official website for the motherboard so I assume I am safe to buy this right?

Yes. “For AMD Ryzen” is just marketing speak. If it’s on the list it has been validated by MSI to work at 3600mhz. But no guarantees on how far it will overclock.

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I see check forums to see what people usually overclock them at on the intel platform, maybe a older msi intel board as well

I recently upgraded from an i5-2500k to ryzen 3900x. The old overclocking versus new overclocking is interesting. It used to be, the only limit was stability. I ran the 3.3 ghz stock 2500k at 4.9 on water and it worked close to a decade. The limit was not thermals it was just stability because of frequency.

Modern cpu’s have so many cores, that the limit is now thermals and cooling. The cooling solution can only remove so much heat. Or, in other words, as you push the cores harder to consume more power, their temperature rises to push more heat into the water. For simplification purposes consider the change from idle to full load. Consider the inlet temperature of the water to the waterblock as fixed, as it will take time for the hot output water to loop through the radiator, reservoir, and pump. As your TDP or PPT (Watts) increases to full load, the outlet temperature of the block rises while the inlet stays the same. Equilibrium is reached where heat produced by the cpu is equal to heat removed by the waterblock.

Nowadays, there are so many cores on a cpu that you will be able to hit Tjmax or whatever you call your thermal limit easily. Performance per watt should guide your overclocking goals. I’d rather have 16 cores consume 200W than 12 cores at 200W for instance. In my case, I think my cooling solution can handle just under 200W where I approach 100C, but I rather run my 3900x at 145W or so at max load.

I like to think like this. First, load one cpu and it’ll run at it’s maximum frequency. You could optimize for this by increasing it’s frequency; you will hit stability due to frequency. Now, keep loading cpu’s each at frequency stability. Eventually, you’ll reach PPT limit and then increasing core count will cause a frequency drop of all cores to reduce the average core power to stay within PPT limit.

So if I wanted to ‘overclock’ more, what could I do? If the common case is gaming or the like with a few fully utilized cores, I hit stability limits caused by frequency way before thermal limits.

If I want my cpu to do as much work as possible, then I need an appropriate workload and the best thermals as possible. In my case, the total cpu power (145W) is the limit. I could increase the PPT limit to get more work done. I’d need to measure carefully the work done versus power to find efficiency that I’m happy with. I’d reach the ~200W limit of my cooling solution where my cores reach Tjmax.

Then I’d be looking at increasing pump speeds, increasing the thermal conductivity of the heat transfer materials (copper or aluminum), and decreasing their thickness and increasing surface areas.

Some material I’ve read at a pc radiator testing website had data which indicated increasing pump speed is not very effective. This is intuitively true because doubling pump speed would halve the delta(Tout - Tin). But deltaTwater (5-20?) is small compared to the hot cpu temp (100C) versus the average coolant temperature (30C).

In my personal situation, a better waterblock would probably be helpful, with more surface area. Especially because I re-used my i5-2500k waterblock and built an adapter :slight_smile:

How could I tell if a workload is limited by power? If I see 145W being used and core clocks are below what I normally see. A light all core load at 145W runs at 4.3 ghz. A heavy all core load I’ve seen less than 4ghz at 145W. In that case, increasing my PPT limit to 180W or more could get more work done by letting the cores run back closer to 4.3 ghz.

Part of the difficulty is even knowing what data you can rely on. You need good benchmarks which I’m not fully versed on. You need to be careful what you read or listen to. Undervolting could be a deceptive practice. To rapidly respond to load change, you want idle voltage higher, I haven’t read this but I suspect it’s a sort of energy storage mechanism which allows transients to be handled with less droop.

Anyway, I’m no debauer or anything and I just felt like rambling a bit. In summary, I overclock by increasing PPT, optimizing my cooling solution, and running my ram at 3600 mhz to match the cpu fabric/uncore clocks. I had previously overclocked the uncore to 1866 and run the ram at 3733. I don’t do it anymore. I enjoyed the hours of ram timing fun and optimizing Aida64 latency results but I added 2x16GB and haven’t re-timed and also am more concerned with stability. I was just happy to still be able to run 4 sticks at 3600 mhz.

Ddr4 boards are fine for the most part, the caveat being I would highly recommend staying in gear 1.

For those not in the know starting with 11th gen you could run the imc in 2 different speeds, gear 1 is 1 to 1, and gear 2 runs the imc at half speed and gear 4 will make it run quarter speed

The imc can only clock so high so that will limit the speed of ram, that’s what gear 2 is for, but you will get a latency penalty as well as the imc running slower

The IMC will generally top out at 1700-1800mhz
Gear 1 top ram speeds will be 3400-3600
Gear 2 top ram speeds will be 6800-7200
Gear 4 top ram speeds will be 13600-14400

Gear 4 is reserved for ddr5 and those top speeds are theoretically will likely never be achieved

I was able to get 3600 going on gear 1 using 4 sticks of dual rank which is the best possible outcome but milage will vary on your CPU, board and ram and you will not likely achieve this.

Gear 2 will make the imc run painfully slow on ddr4 even at the upper limits of super expensive ram, which is why if you’re aiming for gear 2, get ddr5

3600 doesn’t cost much more so grab it with the intention of running 3400 and if you get lucky with 3600 you get lucky make sure the timings are tight too

That said ddr5 s near impossible to get a hold of