5150 III - Time for a new computer

Punisher Bass

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The last computer I built, GSX, was waaaaay back near the end of 2009. When new, it was pretty badass, and for a long time it was able to handle any game I threw at it without issue, until around the time Fallout 4 was released and it's only gotten worse from there.

Original thread https://forums.finalgear.com/threads/new-computer-build.41087/

i7-920 2.6ghz
8 gigs of ram, up from the original 6
GTX 660 donated by Quiky that replaced the original AMD 5850

That's what I've been running with all this time, I got 10+ years of service out of it but it's time for something new. I've spent the last couple weeks catching up on the newest tech and developments and this is what I've come up with and I'm open to questions and suggestions. I'm not looking to break the bank, I want something good that I can upgrade if needed and hopefully last me another 10 years. I also know that stock is greatly diminished because of covid, so prices and availability are in flux right now.

CPU: Ryzen 3600/3600x/3700x

I'm not sure which of the three just yet. I know you can overclock the base 3600 but I'm not a very savvy overclocker and the X version draws an extra 30w of power (95) compared to 65. The 3700x gets me two extra cores/4 threads and same the same low power draw of the 3600 but it currently costs another $80.

Mobo: The new b550 boards are due out next month so I'm waiting to see what features they'll have and what their prices will be compared to the b450's and x570's.

GFX: Radeon 5700. I don't care about ray tracing and nothing in my house can display anything above 1080p so that's my ceiling. 4k and VR is a non issue for me. I want something that will play games like the RE3 remake at 1080 maxed out with a rock solid FPS. The XT version has a bit more muscle but not enough to justify the price increase, and the regular version can come close to its benchmarks with a BIOS reflash.

Ram: 2x8gig 3600mhz cas 16 G skill ripjaws. Thought about just getting 32 gigs from the jump but I can always add more down the line if it winds up not being enough.

Storage: Intel 660p Series 1.02 TB M.2-2280 NVME. I've never had an SSD before so this will be interesting.

Power supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 650 W 80+ Gold. I thought about reusing my current 750w Antec, but I don't want to risk it since it's 10 years old, plus a new one will probably be more efficient anyway.

Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro Tempered Glass. I wanted to reuse my current Cooler Master HAF 932, but there are two issues. It's a great case and I love it, but it has zero filtration, and with 3 230mm fans it just sucks in dust like crazy. The fans are also worn out after all these years and relubing them will only work for so long. Not many places make fans in those sizes these days so for the price to replace them I'd almost be at a whole new case anyway.

The Phanteks is one of the few new cases that I like the look of, doesn't have a bunch of RGB crap, and it's fully filtered along with having room for a ton of fans.

So what do you guys think? Pretty good combo or am I handicapping myself somewhere?
 
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93Flareside

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I think with the recent talk of gen 3, you may see new cpus in July like last year. I nearly pulled the trigger on 2600 Ryzen but waited to see how things would go and got a 3700 in October. So far it’s been pretty good. I think you’d be best with either 16GB or if you can swing it 32GB memory.

New graphics are supposed to be coming out soon as well so it may be best to wait a couple of months if you can. I’m impressed you still are running such and early generation of core cpus.
 

Punisher Bass

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I think it's because I hit a real sweet spot when putting it together that I've gotten so many years out of it, that avoiding a lot of AAA games. The most recent and notoriously punishing game I have is Arkham Knight, which was so poorly optimized it got pulled from Steam after it's original release. Granted I had to dial it back to 720p and it would stutter while speeding around in the Batmobile, but I was still able to play it. GTA 5 as well.

Last I heard there wouldn't be new Ryzen chips or any new graphics cards until the end of the year or not sometime early the next. As far as cards go, it looks to me like AMD simply refuses to make the investment they need to to really compete with Nvidia, and because of that Nvidia can get away with charging $1000+ for what's basically a 2 year old card at this point. AMD won't innovate and Nvidia has no reason to.

As it is right now a 5700 will beat a 2060, and a 2060 starts about $100 higher. Unless there's something new on the horizon that will force the 2070's into a reasonable price range, I don't see the point in waiting longer than I already have.
 

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Funnily enough, out of everything on that list, you will see the most dramatic effects thanks to the SSD, prepare for sub 30 second boot times.

Two things about your list. You may not care about RTX or insane performance, but nVidia has by far a more polished driver experience with their GPUs, whether you just download them without any additional nonsense or through GeForce experience. It may be worth considering a 2060 Super / normal 2060. it may be worth checking the used market as well.

The i7-920 has a TDP of 130W, so even with a 3600x temperatures should be controlled if you don't overclock. The stock cooler should be enough in that use case too.

Apart from that it seems fine. Maybe consider some spinning rust storage for things you want to keep and don't need fast storage on.
 

73GMCSprint

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You'll wonder why you didn't go to SSD a long time ago, at least for your system drive.

I second the thoughts about going Nvidia just because of drivers. AMD's current problem isn't performance. It's drivers. Until recently I'd only used ATI/AMD video cards but was basically forced to go Nvidia because AMD driver support has become, frankly, pathetic. I went from some games being completely unplayable because of frequent crashes to rock stable. (I went with a 2070 Super).
I'm seeing a lot of overlap in price between 5700/5700XT and 2060 Super, so I don't think there's much in it as far as price goes.
I've also seen the same that there won't be any new video cards from either Nvidia or AMD until at least Q3 this year, more likely at end of year.

I'd go 32 GB of RAM, but like you said, you can always add more later.
 

Punisher Bass

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I've heard about the AMD drivers being a complete nightmare for a lot of people going back to last year. But I've also heard that they pretty much all finally got sorted out with an update in March. I haven't seen any horror stories reported about them since then at least. I remember early on with my 5850 that watching streaming video would cause it to just shit itself at times.

I hesitate to go with a 2060 because it's such an old design, it's still more expensive than the 5700, and it doesn't perform as well. There is the 2070 which is also old and $100 more but at least it wouldn't be down 2gigs of ram and beats the 5700 in performance.
 

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I think everyone has it covered pretty well, but I will say it outright, wait, new stuff is coming soon. That will leave you open to get the latest and greatest, or a deal on the previous gen.

I will say one thing about AMD CPUs and motherboards that nobody hit on. The AM4 socket set will allow use of all the processors, but you may(will probably) need to put an older chip in an older board to update it to get the newer stuff to work. AMD does have a processor loan program available to use, but that is a pain. So if you get a newer CPU, look to see that the MB you want to use will handle that CPU out of the box to save the headache.

Also make sure the memory will work on that specific board. There are some compatibility issues, but not as bad as when the Ryzen chips launched.

I have a 1700x, and you will not need to overclock at all. And if you decide to do that, the board does most of the work for you. The one area you can get a real boost is memory speed, but just get a 3200 MHZ set of ram and set it to that speed and leave it there. 8GB is okay, 16 GB seems to be the sweet spot. 32 GB might help if you are working with video files or photoshop.

The extra power that the 1600x uses over the 1600 is not an issue at all. It is not like the old days when you turned on your PC for extra heat during the winter.

Nvidia came out with the upgraded "Super" cards to give a bump in performance. Go with those over the non super variant of the same card if you choose to go with the 2000 series cards.

SSDs are great. Check the specs and reviews before you buy. A decent low end SSD may not be the fastest, but it is still faster than spinning metal. A poor drive will not give the performance you want, and only get worse over time. I use a Samsung 860 EVO, and I highly recommend it. There is no reason to buy a Pro series, unless you are doing some heavy duty video editing, photoshop, or some other data intensive load. An NVME drive might be nice too, but not really needed for most cases.

 

93Flareside

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I'll second the "Don't need the pro version" argument on SSD's. NVME is great convenience as it takes no extra space up in your case, and no SATA cables to run. So if you set up a boot drive and maybe a storage drive on the mobo you get, you can have only 1 extra drive for huge storage items.

Sure, NVME is faster than SATA SSD but the speed difference that you'll notice day to day is a lot less noticeable. Do you need a PCIe gen 4 SSD? Absolutely not, Gen 3 will work just fine and you will not see the benefit today.
 

Punisher Bass

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I do know about some boards not being compatible with the newer chips and the loaner program, it depends on the board. Like with MSI, they released new versions of their b450 series with MAX in the title to denote that those boards would work with the newest cpu's right out of the box.

Trying to select the right memory has been almost as big of a pain in the ass as it's been trying to find a good motherboard. I've read a lot of conflicting opinions on what's best, one group says "get 3200 cas15 then overclock it" and the other says "get 3600 cas16, you don't have to dick with it then".

There was some news about the features and pricing on some of the upcoming b550 boards yesterday, and it looks like instead of starting around $100 as rumored, they're going to start around $150 and go up from there, which is the same territory as the x570 stuff. All the b450's are either out of stock or price gouged to hell and back so I can't even really compare cost vs features until things stabilize.

As for storage I was advised to get an nvme SSD so that's what I'm doing. My main drive in this computer is 1tb and it's roughly half full so an SSD of the same size will do me just fine. I also have a 500gig and 2tb platter drives that I keep my collection of movies and tv shows and such.

I'm not spending $500 or more on a video card, that's just not going to happen. If the 2070 (non super) cards somehow fall into the $350 range before I pull the trigger I'll consider going with nvidia, but right now their hardware is just too god damn expensive.
 

GRtak

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The Motherboard support page should have a section about what specific memory works with that board. Go from that, not what somebody says will work across the board.
 

Punisher Bass

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I know to check the specs, I was more talking about what's the best ram for the money. I don't know how the math works but apparently ram with a lower clock speed and cas latency will perform better or just as well as ram with a higher clock and cas latency. Like 3200 at cas14 will be faster than 3400 at cas 16 as a made up example.

I was blown away when I found out that modern chips can overclock themselves and do it safely. The last time I was dealing with this kind of thing, overclocking was still more or less black magic involving making small tweaks to your bios and then praying you didn't fry something by pumping in a half volt too much.

What I want is something that will give me good performance right out of the box, and then I can fiddle with it later of if I desire. Basically I'd rather start with the V8 and supercharge it later vs getting the V6 and have to throw parts at it to bring it up to the same level.
 

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RAM latency is still a bit of voodoo to me. I know it can make a difference, but I don't mess with it.
 

Matt2000

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I don't mess with overclocking anything, it's plenty fast enough in auto. Using G.Skill memory myself (TridentZ) and it has been great. As others have said, SSD speed is impressive - I personally have only used Samsung EVO SSDs due to poor experiences with others but I can't see an Intel one being bad.

Can't comment on the AMD processor or Radeon card as I have no experience but it's great to see AMD competitive in the CPU market at least.
 
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Punisher Bass

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From what I've been reading, it's more Intel trying to be competitive with AMD. If you want the absolute fastest system you can buy, Intel is what you're going to go with, but you're going to pay through the nose for it. Ryzen chips will match or beat Intel is most benchmarks while also costing far far less and consuming way less power to do it. Also, all Ryzen chips are unlocked for overclocking from the start along with having pretty decent coolers included while with Intel you have to shell out extra money for a K series to overclock it and pay even more for a heatsink because they won't give you one.
 

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I don't mess with overclocking anything, it's plenty fast enough in auto. Using G.Skill memory myself (TridentZ) and it has been great. As others have said, SSD speed is impressive - I personally have only used Samsung EVO SSDs due to poor experiences with others but I can't see an Intel one being bad.
Depends on the Intel SSD


(i swear those fucking thumbnails...)

Can't comment on the AMD processor or Radeon card as I have no experience but it's great to see AMD competitive in the CPU market at least.
PB's assessment on his reply is accurate w/r/t CPU's, though the price gap has lowered on the enthusiast space.

On the GPU space, however, while there is still somewhat of a locked market. AMD has been playing catchup since the 900-generation series. Their new cards are competitive on price and performance, but they are more power-hungry and, though AMD and their loyal fans swear the driver issues have been patched recently, the jury is still out.

@Punisher Bass , I did a bit of research on this. the standard (non-super) 2060 can still be found at competitive pricing with the 5700 ($309-319) and is, on the real world, about 3% slower

the 2060 super, which, as you have pointed out, is markedly more expensive, is about 9% faster.

With those numbers, I would happily go for the 2060 non-super, especially when you take into account that any one of them is about a 60+% improvement over the 1060 currently in my rig.

Note: Userbenchmark takes results of people willingly benchmarking their machines to create a more accurate view of real-world performance (hence the name). Some sites just take the spec sheet and compare it, while other still test the GPU on a no-bottleneck environment, which is good for comparing raw performance, but rather academic IRL.
 
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73GMCSprint

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Granted my experience is only one person out of many, but I never saw any improvement in my AMD driver problems by March or early April (I replaced my video card in mid April).

Maybe the driver fixes only helped newer hardware. I was running an HD 7970.
 

argatoga

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I recently bought an AMD 3700x/x570 to replace my 2500k and it's been wonderful (once I set the bios to not have the chipset fan go nuts at room temperature). The 5500XT, I bought to replace my Nvidia 960, has been a bit crashy. I would stick with Nvidia for drivers unless you are using Linux.
 

argatoga

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RAM latency is still a bit of voodoo to me. I know it can make a difference, but I don't mess with it.
It's voodoo to me too, I turn on XMP and that's it. It's much harder to overclock modern CPUs anyway as binning has gotten much better, it's not like back in the day when you could easily turn a Celeron 300A into a PII killer with just an FSB change
 

Punisher Bass

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The only issue I ever had with my 5850 was for awhile early on if I had streaming video playing, like justintv, for no reason at all the playing would crash and just play a green box every now and then. Simply refreshing the page fixed it but it was really annoying when it happened. Never had a single issue while playing games and it was fixed within 2 or 3 months.
 

Punisher Bass

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Anyone have any thoughts when it comes to cooling?

My room gets really hot in the summer even with AC on, so when I built GSX I installed a big tower cooler from Thermaltake with a 120mm fan on it, that's also part of the reason why I used the CM HAF 920 because of the high airflow. Back then water cooling was expensive to do any reserved for only high end builds.

At first I was going to get a 212 Evo but then I saw what Noctua is offering and all the rave reviews their stuff has gotten. I'm also seeing a lot of good things about the modern crop of AIO coolers from places like Corsair. And depending on who you ask, one side will say fans are still the better choice and the other says water cooling is the way to go.

I've seen benchmarks where the d215 cools better than an AIO and where a 240mm AIO comes out on top. Are modern water coolers reliable or do they still have issues where the pump fails and/or leaks? Does anyone have any first hand experience with them?
 
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