Time to Upgrade?

With the new Ryzen launch today I feel like I have to ask: Is now the time to upgrade?

I’m curious what the general consensus is on the timing and future of Red Vs. Blue.

Do we think that Intel will clap back with a giant leap to regain competitivness? or that AMD will take another giant leap next release? or do we think that improvements aren’t going to be as dramatic and right now, when AMD finally beat Intel, it’s time to get the new hardware?

Here’s what I’m running.
CPU: i5-4690K @ Stock (because I was too chicken to ever OC)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z97X-Gaming 5
GPU: GTX 980

I’ve been feeling the age and core count of my i5 when I’m running through a batch of 7zip compressions and still want to multi-task. My RAM has been feeling limiting to my bad habit of keeping Chrome open while I do basically everything else on my computer.

I think I’ll stick with my 980 for now since I am still getting rather reasonable performance out of it. (Though some tips for OC-ing it might be of interest if I play some harder titles)

I know that I could use the giant leap in cores that Ryzen provides (I might even try streaming or now that it’s feasible on CPU via the same box) but I’d like to make sure that I can get something that will last me the 3-5 years that my i5 has.

I forgot some additional details or to at least highlight specifics.

I’m US-based.
Budget isn’t exactly fixed but I’d like to keep it under $1k as much as possible.
Overclocking/Water-cooling isn’t something I’d focus on but might consider if it lets the Ryzen 3xxx run significantly better.

I game at [email protected], not that I actually reach 144hz all the time.
If I get a new monitor at some point I’d probably move to [email protected]
I don’t really play too many of the top of the line AAA title lately but I might hit up Cyberpunk 2077 and some other big titles occasionally

I might try streaming and I do use my computer for stuff like batch compressing stuff before archiving it on my NAS, which are some decently difficult multi-core tasks.

Intel is up against the wall. I expect they’ll drop prices a bit, but they’re in a tough spot. They can’t compete at 14nm and maintain their margins.

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So unless they make a full leap to 10nm or smaller next gen they aren’t going to be competitive for awhile then?

Kinda what I thought. They’ve become really lazy and so I figured that they’ll be stagnant for several years before the can clap back with anything truly competitive.

Well they can eat their margins, and Intel has enough in the bank to starve AMD if they wanted to do it.

This guy!
When the FX series was getting trashed by the tech press and intel was flying high Keller was quietly in the background working on Ryzen.
Has he ever designed a bad chip?

Probably the one good thing to come from the nightmare that is Penn State.

Now would be perfect :slight_smile:

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What CPU/RAM/MB solution would be recommended if I upgrade now?

The 12-core was my choice. It has all the [edit]L3-[/edit] cache, only a couple cores less than the absolute top end and probably a bit less heat density because of that.

Sorry bout that, I was talking about overclocking that I5, still gaming on my 7850K apu so I can’t help you on the upgrade choice.

However if you find your not really into overclocking I like budget boards, my current MB came free with the CPU (at microcenter) and works fine. Of course it is rare for anyone to review budget boards cause the companies give away the expensive boards to reviewers.

This is a minority view here however

Depending on your needs/budget either a Ryzen 5 3600 6 core or the 3700X 8 core with a moderately priced B450/X470 motherboard and a decent kit of 2X8GB RAM. 3200Mhz CAS14

I’d prob jump the 3700X personally. Those two extra cores will help out quite a bit in your workloads.

From the OP it sounds like you aren’t happy with the performance of you 4690k. I’d upgrade to either a R7 3700X or a R5 3600 with a B450 motherboard.

I’d go with B450 or X470 board because you mentioned not upgrading your graphics card or needing PCI Gen 4, a B450/X470 board doesn’t have a fan on the chipset so will have 1 less point of failure. When you compare the prices,

  • B450 boards start from $60-100
  • X470 boards start from $100-270
  • X570 boards start at $150-300.

This was a demo for streaming and encoding

3600 review

Whatever he does at Intel would need at leas a couple years before releasing…

Here’s the question:
Do you need the upgrade?
If yes - then now is the perfect time…
Seeing that you have an i5 and not an i7 or a high end desktop system, you can get an 8 core Ryzen and some sort of mid range motherboard with decent ram for about 500$, you will have massive improvement in performance without spending thousands of dollars.
Or you can get the 12 core and a decent board with fast ram and spend north of 1000$ and be set for a similar period of time you have used that 4690k…
Currently AMD smashes Intel in multitasking and multithreading and pure number crunching.
Intel put out hints they are looking at a node shrink, so 7 or 5nm… But that takes time, so maybe 2 years from now…

If your fear is Intel tomorrow will release something that will beat Ryzen 3000 - Intel will not. They lack the design and the ability. 14nm++ is great, but the architecture they are using can’t really do as many cores at as low of a price with as low power and heat… If Intel respond strongly, it will be next year or something.


You can guarantee intel will be back, however

  • it won’t be for a couple of years at least, AMD are that far ahead right now. Sure, intel hired Jim Keller, but as per @psycho_666 above, he can’t just magic some silicon out of thin air. There WILL be a lead time of a couple of years.
  • if/when intel do claw back, you can guarantee you’ll need a new motherboard/socket/etc. AM4 at least has an upgrade path and right now you can get PCIe 4.0 on the AM4 platform which means if you do get a CPU upgrade down the way a bit your GPU upgrade will also have some breathing room. You can also get faster SSD performance, etc.

If you’re on haswell, i’d say that yes, right now is a great time to upgrade, and AM4 is a great target platform. You WILL see a significant performance uplift going from Haswell (unless you’re heavily OC’d and even then, that will only help gaming) to even a 2700x, never mind anything in the 3000 series. I say that as someone who went from a haswell xeon e3-1231v3 (e.g., similar to an i7-4770) to a 2700x…

Depending upon your needs, with Ryzen there are plenty of B450 and X470 boards which could keep you within budget----I’d be somewhat careful with the cheaper tier X570 as some of the corner cutting might not be worth the savings, for example some boards will use an older RealTek audio or RealTek NIC chipset. Older chipsets of RealTek aren’t always bad since the driver support just gets further extended with more OEMs reusing them–RealTek NICs have a so-so reputation, some models are more prone to weird issues(waking from sleep and randomly not reconnecting to the network or being stuck at non-gigabit speeds until a reboot).

In my opinion upgrading from anything Intel Skylake or earlier has its own benefits as extra cores are ideal due to software nowdays. I’d say Ryzen 5 at a minimal but Ryzen 7 is a decent balance for the performance per dollar.

I’d agree from the looks of the current trend of Intel, it might take 3-5yrs of an actual catching up but also factor in they’re still cramming in an IGP to keep pushing QuickSync on consumer CPUs.

@Calvin I would have to disagree with Derkrieger recommendation of purchasing a Ryzen 3000 series processor, and then matching it with a B450/X470 motherboard. While the Zen 2 processors are supposed to be backward compatible with the old chipset’s, people seem to forget while it is true they are compatible they need a BIOS update to accept the new processor or if they aren’t updating the computer will not post.

@Calvin my advice would be if you can’t afford a good X570 motherboard I would keep what you got and save more money, or purchase Ryzen 2000 series parts now then upgrade to Ryzen 3000 processors when either Zen 2 + or Zen 3 drops.

@Calvin according to a spreadsheet link someone posted in another post there are a few B450/X470 motherboards that would let you bypass the problem I see with advising matching Zen + motherboard with a Zen 2 processor. Unforchantly Asrock doesn’t make a single one. Asrock is the only motherboard manufacturer that I recommend to people. I have included the link in this post in case you want to have a look.

Most manufacturers will update their board lineup soon. I expect most mid to high-end B450 and X470 Boards to support at least the 3700X. And newer batches will probably ship with compatible Bios’s.

Buying Ryzen 2000 CPU’s now is pretty much dumb. The 3600 ist the same price as a 2700. You loose 2 cores, yes. But where do you exactly need more than 6 cores and 12 threads? But you loose a heck of a lot in terms of IPC.
If Ryzen 3000 is to early for your taste and you don’t care for the main features anyways, just get a core i5 9600k or such. They are similar in price and suffer none of the Problems. They lack behind in HT, so Rendering Blender will be slower, but that’s about it.

@domsch1988 I have a question, why would motherboard manufactures devote precious resources updating an old chipset when there is more profit to be made in the new chipset (i am just guessing here, I don’t know for sure there is more profit)?
Also, why would they necessarily upgrade the B450/X470 chipset when as far as I know they didn’t for the B350/X370 chipset? At least I have never heard of an updated Zen + motherboard.

@domsch1988 I wouldn’t call buying a Zen+ processor dumb. I would say it isn’t a good idea. If I was in @Calvin’s financial shoes I would wait until Christmas season and save more money then purchase an X570 motherboard. I am waiting until Christmas before I purchase my parts for a new build. I am waiting for two reasons, one I have my eye on the R9 3950X (the 16 core part) and to save more money for my build. I know I could get the first gen Threadripper for the same cost as the R9 3950X but I need something that is reliable and just works. I don’t have the time to mess with it. A friend had a first gen Theadripper and had so much trouble with it, He replaced it with an Intel X299 (I don’t know which processor) and his productivity is almost twice what it was before.

I’m not extremely strapped for cash. I’m just cheap :stuck_out_tongue:

So I want to try and find the best choice for the long run that I can snap up.

I’d be fine with an X570 board despite the cost increase it’s known that they’ll be reliable and the feature set is important over time. I’m unsure of the impact PCIe Gen4 is going to make. I’m planning on upgrading to an NVMe SSD at the same time but I don’t think there are any reasonably priced ones that use Gen4 yet.

I’ll be honest. I’ve been kinda lazy with my computer lately besides the occasional batch 7zip compression, I haven’t done tons of productivity work. I may do some encoding tasks in the future but I’m unsure. So I’m debating on the core count to settle on.

Again, my goal is to “future proof” (not that you really can) as much as possible. That way if I want to upgrade later it’s not the CPU that I’m thinking about, at least not very soon.

And yet in the same breath you are suggesting a 9600k (Presumably, so you can overclock it, on an expensive Z series board with no upgrade path)?

Ryzen 2000 is still a great CPU for multitasking and its not a shit gaming CPU either. Sure it loses at twitch 1080p gaming, but it (say a 2600 or 2700) will slaughter a 9600k in just about everything else for similar/less money? Especially if paired with a B450 board.

If buying Ryzen 2000 is dumb, buying an intel i5 is rocks in your head insane.

Well, the 9600K is not replaced yet. It’s still the current offering from intel with no replacement announced.

The Ryzen 2000 CPU’s pretty much got replaced one for one (sometimes loosing 2 cores for much higher IPC). the 2700 is the same price as the 3600 at my retailer (give or take a few bucks) and the 3600 creams it in single and multithreaded (https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/AMD-Ryzen-5-3600-vs-AMD-Ryzen-7-2700/3481vs3240)
You can buy the same board and RAM and both come with a cooler in the box. Why should you ever get the 2700? I’d argue the 2 Cores make no difference to 99.9 percent of the people (Applications that run better with 8 slower vs 6 faster cores are rather rare).

The i5 is similar price and matches the 3600 in singlecore performance, but looses in multithreaded. So, if early adopter Problems are not for you, and you mostly do gaming, browsing and office work, the 9600K is a decent choice that’ll perform similar to a 3600 in most Games. No clue if 10 Series CPUs from intel are on the way. And yes, the board for the intel would be a bit more expensive, but that’s allways been the case.

I personally would get the intel either, but it makes more sense than the 2700 when the 3600 isn’t for you.

So? It’s 6 cores 6 threads on a dead-end Z series platform (in order to overclock) with no upgrade path, whereas i can build a 2000 series Ryzen today on a B450 or X470 series board with a 2600 or up to get 12 threads today, and actually have an upgrade path to ryzen 3000 or 4000 in future (even X370 boards are getting Ryzen 2 updates) - for less money…

I get it, Ryzen 3000 is the shiny new hotness, but there are some issues identified already (Linux boot problems for example), there will be more teething issues to be found, and its not like Ryzen 2000 are suddenly a garbage product anyway.

The 2700(x) still holds up to all but the most high end of intel Z390 platform parts and even there it offers far superior bang for buck.