Upgrading from Sandybridge to Zen 2 - looking for advice

Hey guys. As the title states, it’s finally time for me to upgrade. I’ll be upgrading from Intel Sandybridge (i5-2500k) to AMD Zen 2 (3600 or 3700x).

  1. 3600 vs. 3700x… The main reason I ask is that I’m doing a degree in photography and I deal with relatively large image files (anywhere from 25MB to 250MB+) on Photoshop/Lightroom. If anyone has a link to benchmarks for this specifically, that’d be great.

  2. I think 3200MHz CL16 RAM is a good price/performance balance for me. However, I’ve found that 3000MHz CL15 is the same price if not marginally cheaper. Would it be beneficial to get this RAM and OC it to 3200 CL15 or higher, or should I go for the 3200 CL16 in the hopes that it might OC to 3600 CL16 or similar? If both RAM sets are “B-Die”, is there even much difference?

  3. Finally, I’m looking for a new CPU cooler. Is the Hyper 212 Evo (or the new “Black Edition” which seems a little quieter) still the best bet for under £50 ($60)?

Here’s the list:

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU *AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor £189.99 @ Aria PC
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition 42 CFM CPU Cooler £29.99 @ AWD-IT
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE ATX AM4 Motherboard £208.93 @ Box Limited
Memory *Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory £75.49 @ CCL Computers
Storage *Intel 660p Series 1.02 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive £97.97 @ CCL Computers
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total £602.37
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-08-14 17:36 BST+0100

Cheers guys!

Forgot to mention: some people on Reddit have been suggesting that getting a 3700x would be the better choice if only because it will be more future-proof. What do you guys think of this?

Yes, the 3700X is the way to go here. The four extra threads compared to the 3600 is going to be a big help for your workload.

To be honest, it’s very, very little difference in performance between 3200 and 3600, like, a 1% difference. Not quite a rounding error at that point. It is better to get something like 64 GB 3000 MHz RAM than 32 GB 3600 MHz. Set a price point you are comfortable with and shop from there, anything above 2800MHz is good enough!

To be honest, the stock cooler provides adequate noise levels and cooling unless you plan to go crazy with OC… Which, I’m told, isn’t that much of a point on the 3700X.

Still, the 3700X is a 65W TDP CPU. This means something like the BeQuiet Dark Rock Slim would be more than enough for your cooling and noise levels. Still waiting for a noise cooler test to appear featuring the latest 3700X and 3900X CPUs though…

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Hmm, Photoshop and Lightroom are pretty clock sensitive. Yes, you will see slight performance improvements overall but for the money you can’t beat a 3600.

Also 16GB RAM are fine, 32 might be nice when stacking dozens or hundreds of images.


Cheers guys. I think I’ve settled on the RAM speed and I think I’ll use the stock CPU cooler until I find a good deal on an aftermarket one.

I’m still stuck on the CPU though, and now I’m not sure if I’m safe with 2x8GB or if I should budget for 2x16GB sticks of RAM for future upgradeability.

Maybe I’ll wait until Black Friday/Cyber Monday for some deals that will make my decision for me…

In that case, you should go with the 3700X and not the 3600.

There are some, but why not spend a bit more on a decent Noctua or be quiet single tower one? They aren’t much more but will be with you for a long time. FOr example the Dark Rock 4 or NH-U12S.

As for Memory: Crucial belongs to Micron, thus has Micron CHips on it.

Also no Power Supply? You want to use your old, almost 10 year one with the new system??

Other things:
THink about the Mainboard, if you REALLY need/want PCIe 4.0 or not. If not, you can save 100€ or more on a good B450 or X470 Board. Just get one that support flashing without CPU.

The Intel 660p SSD is not very good and cheap for a reason. Might want to look at a slightly more expensive one…

And also grab a decent, mid range PSU such as Bitfenix Formula,
be quiet Pure Power, 400 or 450W minimum, 500/550W “to be on the safe side”. (some exceptions like x80ti or comparable oN AMD side).

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Deals on them aren’t that common though. And even if, you’ll use it for years, maybe even a decade. So I don’t see a point in saving money on that.
That beeing said, the Stock Ryzen 7 Heatsink isn’t too bad, its a quite reasonable Cooler. Might be surprised how big it is…

For your workload, the 16GiB sticks might be the better way to go.
As said in my last post, you can save money on the Mainboard and grab an MSI MAX one, wich comes with Zen2 support out of the box.

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It is not that bad. If your workflow involves writing over 100GB of data a day then yes you need a Samsung EVO. If you only write 5 GB a day you should last around 25 years with that 660p drive.

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That is 5-10% performance difference at best. Also 16GB RAM is completely fine for photo editing. And since the price difference could be spend on faster memory, a quieter cooler, a color meter, a proper monitor or literally anything else that would actually be useful for the job at hand, I think you guys are just plain wrong to push for the more expensive CPU.

A CPU can be switched for a faster one and you’re not losing tons of money. RAM can be doubled from 16 to 32GB by simply adding two more sticks. None of that has to be done right away.


I’m not particularly worried about the power supply. It’s a good Seasonic and it’s not an original component. It’s probably about 5/6yrs old, not nearly 10. I’ll research this some more but I currently foresee this being an upgrade for a year’s time or so.

I’ll heed what you said about memory so cheers for that. Also, I’m now reconsidering B450. I don’t need X570 at all, I’m just concerned by BIOS issues (see: MSI) and future upgradeability.

I’m not concerned by the SSD. I’ve chosen the Crucial P1 or Intel 660p because they’re both very cheap and I believe that the performance will be more than good enough for me after seeing various real-world benchmarks.

That’s not what I meant.
I meant that the Performance of that Drive in certain workloads is worse or at best on par with normal, standard S-ATA Drives.
And a better one with a Phison Chipset isn’t that much more.

And he has the money - if he just replaces the cheaper X570 Board with a decent X470 Board, a better SSD would be in the budget without Problems.

Also an SSD, if it is used as a Boot Drive, is not easily replaced. And I don’t see a Boot/Work Drive Configuration. Wich is also something to consider, IMO.

…if the Workload isn’t well multithreaded, if it is, we are talking more about 20% or more.
THe Core Count is around 33% more + slightly higher clockrates as well.

But depending on the Heatsink, a CPU isn’t changed that easily…

While it is true, it can cause Trouble with modern, hgiher frequency memory. Haven’t tested all 4 DDR4-3200 sticks in my X370-F yet though…

Why the “love” for Seasonic?? THeir lower end products are pretty garbage…
Their S12II-Bronze variants lack Protection, Voltage Regulation is shit, loud and really not recommended…
The older X/P Series (660W) have Problems with higher end GPUs…

So wich Seasonic are you talking about?

Remember: With PSU all have access to the same components at the same cost. The only difference is the R&D. And as one of the Smaller ones, IIRC even a Tier 3 manufacturer, their calculation is different from a Tier1 Manufacturer like Delta or FSP.

It is an S12II.

I have no love for any brand. When I was in the market for a power supply Seasonic was highly recommended by sources that I trust/ed. Could you please explain to me why it’s so bad (or point me in the direction of some documentation that can)?

LTT tested the 660p and this exact scenario.

When you copy more than 60GB at once then yes cache full and it will take like 3-4 times as long. For regular use it’s fine though.

Big name AAA titles will install in about ten minutes instead of three though, but otherwise pretty much same.

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No, its worse, look at these reviews:

And this was the one I was thinking about:

So tl;dr is: you’re better off with a good quality S-ATA Drive - such as the MX500, Samsung 850 or 860…
The Intel 660p really isn’t that good…
And neither is the Crucial P1…

So why not get a good old Samsung 860 EVO for the same price??

Well then a lot of manufacturers low end products are shit too because they are the OE for a good portion of the market.

620W or less? Or the better 750W or more? the 750W or more is OK, not great but decent.

Yeah, because of the Name Seasonic…
And based on ancient Reviews, anno 2010…

The Problem with the unit is that it lacks Protection…
No Over Current Protection anywhere, just the Over Power Protection.
No Over Temperature Protection
Not even Undervoltage on 12V! According to the Spec sheet of the Supervisior (HY-510N), that is only on 3,3V and 5V

Also the Voltage regulation. The Transformer puts out 2 Voltages, wich is called Group Regulation. That means that if you have high load on either 5V or 12V and low load on the other rail, the highly loaded goes high, the lightly loaded goes low.
That can even mean out of spec voltages, as shown in this Review:

The XFX XT (zweite Revision) is the S12II-Bronze variant.

Bad voltage Regulation
bad protection
And all that for the same price as other mid range units such as be quiet Pure Power 10 and 11 (400W and up), Corsair CX x50W, sometimes even a Bitfenix Formula isn’t much more expensive.

What PSU I can recommend depends on availablility, personally:
Bitfenix Formula, Whisper M, be quiet Straight Power 11, 550W is more than plenty.

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That is just NOT TRUE!
Look at Corsair, their lower end Products are passable.
Look at be quiet: If its 400W and more and ATX, its good. Even their System Power 9 and U9 have DC-DC (400W and up).
Both have all necessary and useful protections.

And even Cooler Master Master Watt Lite at least has protections!!

So stop defending Seasonic for their almost 10 Year old Product when you can get far superior ones for the SAME PRICE!
Hell you even pay less for some superior units!

I would recommend to go with a X570 board really.
I mean decent B-450 / X470 boards aren’t that cheap either.
And next to that just to safe your self some possible headaches,
like cpu mobo combo not working out of the box, because it needs a bios update etc.
Of course certain boards support bios updates without cpu installed.
But definitely not all of them.
Next to that pci-e 4/3 quirks.
It’s just not worth the hassle if you ask me.

The Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite for just $210,- is a very decent choice.
I would pair it with a 3700X and have a very nice system there,
It basically has all the base features you would likely need.
And next to that it has a pretty decent vrm.

You need to relax my friend. Its just a PSU. Seasonic is the OE for a lot of brands including corsair.


It is absolutely true.