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Cpu Decision

wolfarus

2 months ago

I have designed a new high-end gaming rig for myself, w/ the intention of it lasting at least 5 years (current rig was build around 2009, and only started to show it's age w/ a moderately+ modded Fallout4).

I thought i had finally nailed down the cpu i wanted (and it's appropriate MB) w/ the i9 9900k. I've read that it runs hot, so did include a well-reviewed/recommended cooler in my build. And i've also read several articles and watched a few YT vids that describe it as still one of the top-rated, if not best, cpu's for gaming rigs. And as far as i understand it, that advantage is mainly due to the fact that most games and "day to day" programs still cannot or are not made to take advantage of multi-core cpu's, so opting for a newer/more expensive cpu w/ more cores is pointless if all you're doing is gaming/web surfing.

And now for the hesitation on my part. In a cple articles, i've read that games that take better (or outright full) advantage of multi-core cpu's will be coming. And if that's the case (or just a natural inevitability) i'd be better off switching to an amd cpu (first time in my life, i might add), and getting a 3900x. Since this is a "future proofing" build, after all. I'm also willing to wait a month or so for the newer 3950 to come back into stock on newegg or amazon, if that turns out to be the best fit for my plan here.

Any of you more experienced peeps have thoughts on this? And while i'm bringing up that amd chip, would it mesh well w/ the gpu i'll be getting? (geforce 2080ti)

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/advice i get for this.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

For pure gaming I'd stick with the 9900K. You can overclock it to run faster single-core than any Ryzen so far, and I don't think gaming engines will start demanding 12 and 16 core CPU's any time soon - not when they are rare and expensive, and I expect the 3900X and 3950X to continue to be relatively rare and expensive.

Until Intel gets their thumbs out and delivers on a real next-gen line, the 9900K is probably your best bet and it should be good for a while.

No issues with a 2080 Ti.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

"future proofing" build

Build the best PC you can afford today and upgrade it as and when necessary. The PC hobby is lossy, your hardware depreciates rapidly and gets quickly outdated. The best PC built 3 years ago is struggling with games today.

There are a few changes happening and we are right at the end of a generation. AMD and Intel will be moving on next year. DDR5 Ram will be coming shortly. Next gen VGA's will be much more geared for Ray Tracing. Gaming developers will have much more powerful Console hardware to develop their games (which get ported to PC). We have no idea how and what will be utilized. Now is the worst possible time to attempt "future proofing". You can sink $750 on the 3950X and three years from now it could be barely adequate. You cannot plan for these things. Assemble a budget, get good components, enjoy your PC, upgrade when you need to upgrade. Components like your fans, cooling blocks, Power Supplies, and to a degree, your SSD/HDD and so on can last a long time. You will go through 2 or 3 motherboards/CPU's/GPU's before replacing these.

Another example of why future proofing being redundant is the GPU. According to an article I read, rasterization will be consigned to the history bin - all that lovely silicon optimized for Matrix level math/Transformations will be redundant. Your 2080TI will be utterly incapable of coping with the demands of tomorrow which is using different methods for generating graphics. In this respect the 2080TI will be blown away by a budget $100 GPU in the next 2/3 years.

Your PC, if you build now, is always halfway future proofed. Your motherboard/Ram/CPU/GPU are not and you should expect to replace them in the next couple of years due to aforementioned changes in the industry.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Build the best PC you can afford today and upgrade it as and when necessary. The PC hobby is lossy, your hardware depreciates rapidly and gets quickly outdated. The best PC built 3 years ago is struggling with games today.

While future proofing is a flawed concept: When was the last time this happened? I remember it being the case 10-20 years ago when we're going from the first 1 GHz CPU to 64 bit to quad cores. Yeah, if you bought a top of the line PC in 1999, it was probably trash in 2002, maybe worthy of web browsing and playing old games. In 2016, you got a 6700k and a 980 ti. While a 980 ti is showing its age now, it still goes for about $150-200 on eBay and is an ok performer at that range. The 6700k is perfectly acceptable as well.

DDR5 Ram will be coming shortly.

It's unlikely DDR5 will come to mainstream desktop until 2021 and the performance difference won't be seriously noticeable until a couple years after that. AMD may choose to throw it on to X670 if possible, but I doubt it will be, and if it is, that would only extend the 3950X's useful life.

You can sink $750 on the 3950X and three years from now it could be barely adequate.

Press X to doubt. Seriously, 3 years is the shortest refresh cadence I've ever heard of working in tech infrastructure and it applies to garbage laptops that weren't even good when you bought them. The only shorter cadences I've heard of are super serious professional video renderers and the like and they're buying stuff better than the 3950X because time is money and $2000 for a 3970X is nothing to them. Even most professionals would be more affected by the downtime in practice than saved render time.

Buying high end hardware tends to last you a while if you're not very sensitive to every performance jump.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

You raise some very nice points. Nice to meet a fellow who has been in the hobby for 20years plus. I built my first in 1998, 3DFX Voodoo 2 and Pentium 2. I wish I still had it as a keepsake, a relic from yesteryear. Starcraft and my dial up modem was my high school hobby.

In 2016, you got a 6700k and a 980 ti. While a 980 ti is showing its age now, it still goes for about $150-200 on eBay and is an ok performer at that range. The 6700k is perfectly acceptable as well.

At 1080p today this top rig three years ago is a middling performer - a PC today with similar specs is a Ryzen 5 2400G and a GTX 1660 Super. While certainly a very reasonable 1080p build considering the 10's of thousands of games on GOG/Steam, there are newer AAA titles where 60fps at 1080p is a challenge at high settings. Add in 1% lows and it is suddenly looking limited. Not the rig's fault of course, in 2016/17 games that used more than 4 threads or gave a 980TI 1% lows below 60fps at 1080p were rare/nonexistent. Yet here in 2019 we find a handful of titles where an i9-9900K/2080TI build is looking limited for 1080p. It is all relative though. Some folks see 60fps as a magic marker, others like myself consider 60fps a poor outcome when factored against cost - i.e. you have spent four or five times the cost of a console to achieve what it could at 1080p.

It's unlikely DDR5 will come to mainstream desktop until 2021 and the performance difference won't be seriously noticeable until a couple years after that. AMD may choose to throw it on to X670 if possible

I read a couple of articles about 3 weeks back that suggested 2020 being a likely launch. They did not indicate when we will see actual Ram sticks for a desktop, I just assumed we would see the next gen Intel / AMD launch with DDR5 compatibility. You are probably right, I remember DDR2-3 and DDR3-4 transitions being anything but instant, at least for those that followed it.

he only shorter cadences I've heard of are super serious professional video renderers and the like and they're buying stuff better than the 3950X

Gaming is capriciously malevolent with CPU's. I remember the FX 8350, a glorious 8 core CPU, being outperformed in gaming by a Dual Core i3 or even Pentium (that one Skylake chip that could be overclocked). Unbelievable it could be the case. The 3950X while undoubtedly completely overkill for gaming, 3 or 4 years from now you never know. I doubt it given the consoles will be getting what is a lower TDP version of the Ryzen 2700X. But still, console vs PC is apples to oranges, hard to say how the industry will move.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

You raise some very nice points. Nice to meet a fellow who has been in the hobby for 20years plus. I built my first in 1998, 3DFX Voodoo 2 and Pentium 2. I wish I still had it as a keepsake, a relic from yesteryear. Starcraft and my dial up modem was my high school hobby.

We had the same system, if I remember correctly. Though, I must say, my dad was in charge of this thing back then, so some of the details are a bit murky. He was really into 3dfx.

At 1080p today this top rig three years ago is a middling performer - a PC today with similar specs is a Ryzen 5 2400G and a GTX 1660 Super.

This is true, but dropping a 5700 XT or 2070 Super in there would make it decent and with the resale value at a conservative $150, the marginal cost is only around $250. Buying a machine in 2016 and spending $250 3 years later for a significant performance boost is a pretty good deal. I've given this significant consideration, and part of it comes down to how you budget and how you want to spend money. I'm going to test out consistent upgrades from now on, like maybe every other gen on CPU and every gen on GPUs. That way your rig can stay at the same class of performance while spending smaller amounts here and there (used parts also tend to drop in value exponentially at certain points). Some people would prefer to just buy a super powerful machine and hope it works for 6+ years for whatever they use it for and then build whole new rigs.

With 30-50% average performance increases every gen over the past 10 years or so, that's probably a pretty safe assumption. Main threat right now is AMD and Intel's core wars. The thing is that, unlike the Gigahertz wars, software still needs to be optimized to run on high thread counts, so that actually helps older processors with untapped potential. The question here is one of marginal value. If you want a PC that will last a long time, then it is likely that, due to greater software optimization, higher core count CPUs will gradually outpace lower core count rivals from the same generation. While the 3900X won't look like the beast it is today, it's likely greater software optimization will gradually "unlock" greater potentials, make those Cinebench scores more relevant.

Gaming is capriciously malevolent with CPU's. I remember the FX 8350, a glorious 8 core CPU, being outperformed in gaming by a Dual Core i3 or even Pentium (that one Skylake chip that could be overclocked). Unbelievable it could be the case. The 3950X while undoubtedly completely overkill for gaming, 3 or 4 years from now you never know. I doubt it given the consoles will be getting what is a lower TDP version of the Ryzen 2700X. But still, console vs PC is apples to oranges, hard to say how the industry will move.

The problem the FX series had is that it wasn't just slightly weaker with more cores: It was a lot weaker. AMD went so far in on cores, they had total trash IPC and overall core strength. By the time Zen 1 was released, Intel's cores were so much stronger than Intel's, it was just a joke.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

This is true, but dropping a 5700 XT or 2070 Super in there would make it decent and with the resale value at a conservative $150, the marginal cost is only around $250.

That is correct. I slightly overlooked the performance of the 6700K. The i7-6700K is actually still reasonable today if you game without streaming. If all you did was switch out GPU's you have a rig that can game pretty much most stuff at whatever settings/resolutions you choose, i.e. you could get 4 years of pretty much top level gaming out of it.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

By the time you need more that the 9900K for gaming the 3900X will be so slow compared to the latest tech it will not matter.Trying to future proof a gaming PC is not really doable because the tech just changes to fast. I would even look at the 9700K for a new build.

From my understanding their actually looking at going back the other way making games better optimized for 4 to 6 cores but being able of using a higher percentage of the cores. Instead of using 8 cores like core 1 90% core 2 90% core 3 50% core 4 50% core 5 20% and so on.

As far as video cards that is the worst place to try to future proof unless your running a 4K monitor the 2080ti is a very bad buy about a 60% to 70% price increase for a 15% or so performance increase over a 2080 Super.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point
  1. Future proofing is a flawed concept.

  2. That being said, the higher core count will likely start showing superiority before the end of the CPU’s lifespan. Especially if you ever get into stuff besides gaming.

  3. Neither of these options are budget options and both perform very well.

  4. I think PCIe 4.0 is underrated if we’re talking a long term build. If you buy the top performing GPU each gen, in about 4 years I expect 3.0 will be saturated.

  5. For “future proofing,” I honestly thing the best thing to do right now is buy a Ryzen 5 2600/3600 with an X570 Motherboard and wait for Zen 3 to come out and upgrade to a Ryzen 9 at that point.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

For “future proofing,” I honestly thing the best thing to do right now is buy a Ryzen 5 2600/3600 with an X570 Motherboard and wait for Zen 3 to come out and upgrade to a Ryzen 9 at that point.

If AMD sacrifices second generation to keep room for fixes/optimization like they did with first generation the 2600 wouldn't work in that scenario.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you put a Ryzen 5 2600 into an X570 board today? Yes. Assuming Zen 3 is on AM4 (which nearly everyone I have found is assuming at this point), you should be able to run a BIOS update and plop in the 4950X or whatever they’ll want to call it. If you’re worried the latest BIOS update will ruin your performance, you can always wait to just update until you get the new CPU. You don’t need to have the latest BIOS. In fact, usually it’s recommended against updating unless you have a reason to do so.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

On an AMD BIOS if a CPU is required it has to be compatible with both the previous and end BIOS or you brick the system.

If they continue with the path of sacrificing a generation to keep room in the BIOS yes it will work now, but you would need to update the CPU in order to update the BIOS, or you locked yourself out of an upgrade path which runs any practical use for the 2600 on X570.

On paper it looks like an option but the practicality of it is questionable giving AMD has already giving up support.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

As far as I can tell, this is mostly a problem with a lack of official support from AMD on 3 series motherboards for Zen 2. Which is a different problem, and most board partners just seem to get it to work anyway. There’s also the problem with some cheap B450 boards not having enough room on the BIOS chip, but that’s hardly AMD’s problem some of their board partners cheaper out. There are also multiple solutions to that:

  1. Just buy a 3600 if you’re uncomfortable.

  2. Buy a MoBo with BIOS flashback.

  3. Get an upgrade kit from AMD when Gen 4 comes out.

Quite frankly, you just seem obsessed with finding any reason at all to dislike AMD products. Very few people will encounter any problem at all upgrading from a 2600 to a 4000 series, if they buy a decent X570.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

As far as I can tell, this is mostly a problem with a lack of official support from AMD on 3 series motherboards for Zen 2. Which is a different problem

X570 doesn't feature support for first generation Ryzen at all is what I'm referring to.

Also.

No 3. Only works with new products not existing.

If you already have an existing motherboard from an older build AMD will not supply a boot kit.

They require the invoices for newly purchased board and CPU/APU to supply the kit.

Having had to deal with the problems several times now things are less then easily done when it comes to upgrading.

Less then half the older boards I've run into so far can even work with the boot kits since they don't support Athlons.

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