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Thread: What CPU to aim for?

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    What CPU to aim for?

    For the past two upgrades, I've stuck to Intel - Q6600 and the current one, the 3570k i5 I'm using now. Before that, it was AMD.

    What do people suggest upgrading to now?

    And should I get the best processor I can afford or a cheap processor now, if there's new processors that use the same socket looming just behind the horizon?

    I know these are the perennial questions, but this system is just struggling to cope with Star Citizen right now and I heard that some new graphics cards are looming, so I've decided to aim for the main system first.

    And, for gaming, I'd assume "stick to ATX" is still the norm?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Have a watch of this: https://youtu.be/_4DZDNkZusc (Top 5 Best CPUs of 2019, Gaming & Productivity)

    For most purposes a Ryzen 5 3600 is a good choice. I've just upgraded to one and I don't regret it.

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ciber View Post
    For most purposes a Ryzen 5 3600 is a good choice. I've just upgraded to one and I don't regret it.
    Ditto.
    Grab that. Get that. Check it out. Bring that here. Grab anything useful. Take anything good.

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    3rd gen Ryzen, as said above, is amazing
    That Ryzen 5 3600 is £180

    but don't discount the last of the old Ryzen 2nd gen if you might benefit from a few extra threads
    Ryzen 7 2700
    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-...ail-plus-wrait
    £135
    because THATS a lot of grunt for few £ while still in stock

    (I have a series 1 Ryzen 7 1700 which I got when 2nd gen came - always a deal somewhere )
    Last edited by Zak33; 20-01-2020 at 06:15 PM.

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    Thanks guys - I'll go look into that.

    I'll probably aim for a recent board to put it on, but the chip should be fine, even if it's a bit older...

    That's one thing I DO like a lot of about AMD - they don't keep swapping chipsets on us... my current Sabertooth Z77 is doing fine, but I'll have to change the board anyhow to get a new chip... which is annoying.

    I'm especially tempted to get that 2700 - if only as a startup/backup and I can come back in a few months and upgrade from that if I want... that's what I did with AMD last time and didn't regret it one bit.

    Oh and a quick question: If I get an AMD CPU - stick to AMD graphics cards too?

    It always used to be advisable to go Intel/nVidia or AMD (as it is now) and not to mix the two... still the case?
    Last edited by scaryjim; 21-01-2020 at 12:32 PM. Reason: two posted merged and approved

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Quote Originally Posted by BFalcon View Post
    and not to mix the two... still the case?
    Never was the case. Get what you think best.

    To be fair, for a few years AMD was the budget option in both CPU and GPU which meant if you were on a tight budget then you wanted an AMD/AMD system, and if money was no object then you would be Intel/Nvidia. That wasn't down to any compatibility issues though, just budget setting the trend.

    That is still the case in GPUs. If money is no object, then you want one of the high end 20x0 cards from Nvidia. On a budget, there are some amazing deals still on RX 570 cards, Amazon have a few left for around £120. In the middle, just check a few reviews but they all seem pretty good.

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Quote Originally Posted by BFalcon View Post
    If I get an AMD CPU - stick to AMD graphics cards too?
    nope.. choose what you want and what fits your needs.

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    nope.. choose what you want and what fits your needs.
    Cool, makes it much easier. Time was, if you swapped, there were some minor instability issues. AMD (or ATI as it was back then) was less stable anyhow, but it showed up more if you had an Intel processor, as I recall (going back a decade or two now).

    Oh and thanks ScaryJim - I don't think I can see my own "pending" posts to edit them, can I? (To save you having to merge them if it happens again).

    Looking at the video reviews... I think I'll be aiming for the RX580 or 5700 I was going to go for an intel 2060, but if I can shave some cash off the first build, then all the better... it's GOT to be better than my poor (2nd-hand) GTX770...

    Thanks all!

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Quote Originally Posted by BFalcon View Post
    ... thanks ScaryJim - I don't think I can see my own "pending" posts to edit them, can I?
    Nope, but approving and merging posts is what us mods are here for - not a problem at all

    Quote Originally Posted by BFalcon View Post
    ... Looking at the video reviews... I think I'll be aiming for the RX580 or 5700 I was going to go for an intel 2060, but if I can shave some cash off the first build, then all the better... ...
    Then you might want to check out the RX 5600 XT reviews that have just started landing today

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Quote Originally Posted by BFalcon View Post
    Cool, makes it much easier. Time was, if you swapped, there were some minor instability issues. AMD (or ATI as it was back then) was less stable anyhow, but it showed up more if you had an Intel processor, as I recall (going back a decade or two now).

    Oh and thanks ScaryJim - I don't think I can see my own "pending" posts to edit them, can I? (To save you having to merge them if it happens again).

    Looking at the video reviews... I think I'll be aiming for the RX580 or 5700 I was going to go for an intel 2060, but if I can shave some cash off the first build, then all the better... it's GOT to be better than my poor (2nd-hand) GTX770...

    Thanks all!
    By modern standards that 770 is slightly slower than a GTX 1650 (or on par with a 1050ti).

    https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-spec...-gtx-770.c1856

    What you might find though is that the 2GB of vram is making games stutter. I actually have a VR headset strapped onto a PC with an old R9 285, it copes surprisingly well with games like Beat Sabre, but it there are times when 2GB isn't enough and it goes really lumpy. Cards all seem to come with at least 4GB of ram these days (though I would be happier with more), so yeah just about anything would be an upgrade... but perhaps not as much as you would hope in a well optimised game.

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Nope, but approving and merging posts is what us mods are here for - not a problem at all



    Then you might want to check out the RX 5600 XT reviews that have just started landing today
    Already on that, thanks.

    If the 580 is roughly the same, given the prices, I might just go for one of those in a couple of weeks when I get paid... I'll probably grab an SSD for my games drive while I'm at it, in case the NAND prices shoot up later as predicted.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    By modern standards that 770 is slightly slower than a GTX 1650 (or on par with a 1050ti).

    https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-spec...-gtx-770.c1856

    What you might find though is that the 2GB of vram is making games stutter. I actually have a VR headset strapped onto a PC with an old R9 285, it copes surprisingly well with games like Beat Sabre, but it there are times when 2GB isn't enough and it goes really lumpy. Cards all seem to come with at least 4GB of ram these days (though I would be happier with more), so yeah just about anything would be an upgrade... but perhaps not as much as you would hope in a well optimised game.
    Yeah, the 2Gb is a real limit right now - I'd like to get a 6 or 8Gb if possible... but I think the 3750k might be a slight bottleneck (slight?) in getting the textures from the SSD to the graphics card.

    One problem I've hit with the 770 is with Star Citizen - the consoles are supposed to give a preview of the weapon or piece of armour or clothing that you're viewing... but it seems like the 700-series doesn't like the way they've done it. Both myself and another user with a 3750k and a 760 (in his case) just get the lights and a dark shadow and nothing else... It might be the amount of memory we have that's causing that... so upgrading would be very welcome in that respect. Or it might just be something in the 700-series...?

    But the games I can still run with this setup is pretty impressive... I'm really happy with it. It's like an old pair of shoes that you just don't want to get rid of, but they've just started to leak a bit and you now have to choose between damp feet and a new pair of boots. The best part is that this 770 was second hand and bought off ebay... and that was years ago.

    But thanks everyone - I now have plenty to think about.

    Any suggestions on cases? My old thermaltake Shark needs retiring after many years' service - I need something smaller and that actually has 2.5" bays... I was thinking the Thermaltake v21 Core (as per the thread in the Cases forum).

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Quote Originally Posted by BFalcon View Post
    Yeah, the 2Gb is a real limit right now - I'd like to get a 6 or 8Gb if possible... but I think the 3750k might be a slight bottleneck (slight?) in getting the textures from the SSD to the graphics card.
    With an 8GB card any texture bottleneck is part of the loading screen. Once the textures are loaded onto the card there is enough spare space to keep them cached on there.

    It has been interesting to see the RX 5600 reviews comparing 4GB and 8GB cards where the only difference is amount of memory. It looks like the reviewers with PCIe 4 motherboards (as in X570 chipset) didn't see a drop in performance with the 4GB cards, others did. That implies that for AMD cards at least the wall is now getting towards 4GB (Nvidia are historically better at low memory) and that faster PCIe does actually help when, in 5 years time, 8GB starts looking a bit iffy. Yeah, maybe I keep my machines too long

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Yeah, I keep mine for far too long too... But then, if they work, why replace them.

    That's why I'm still not sure which to go for first - gfx or the main board (and cpu).

    I'm actually tempted to go gfx first - that was a good point about the textures loading up quickly - and seeing if I can hold out a little longer with my 3750k...

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    With an 8GB card any texture bottleneck is part of the loading screen. Once the textures are loaded onto the card there is enough spare space to keep them cached on there.

    It has been interesting to see the RX 5600 reviews comparing 4GB and 8GB cards where the only difference is amount of memory. It looks like the reviewers with PCIe 4 motherboards (as in X570 chipset) didn't see a drop in performance with the 4GB cards, others did. That implies that for AMD cards at least the wall is now getting towards 4GB (Nvidia are historically better at low memory) and that faster PCIe does actually help when, in 5 years time, 8GB starts looking a bit iffy. Yeah, maybe I keep my machines too long
    The 5500 XT is an odd case, as it only has 8 lanes - bigger cache is useful when you're bottlenecked by PCIe3 8x on anything other than X570 (and that'd be an odd combo). The GPU-Z screenshots in the hexus review show this:
    https://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graph...-pulse/?page=3

    Green competition has the expected 16 lanes, so will show less effect of memory bottlenecks

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xlucine View Post
    Green competition has the expected 16 lanes, so will show less effect of memory bottlenecks
    Whilst true, if a card can get double the performance of a 5500 XT then I'm sure twice the lanes to talk to it will become rather essential and the whole problem should scale feeding those extra shaders.

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    Re: What CPU to aim for?

    Thanks for all the help guys - I've decided to grab a 1Tb SSD now before the NAND prices go up and will probably get the main system next... get that built up.

    Then I'll get the graphics card in the autumn... the 770 is capable enough for now and that'll let me slot an M.2 SSD in the middle (hopefully before the prices DO go up) for my system drive.

    Thanks for all the help... now I've got to go see about getting a new case lined up before I do anything else... if for no other reason than to keep myself from spending more money while I try to save.

    Suggestions welcome...

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