Gaming Rig Upgrade Planning – I’m an Intel Guy, Should I Be?

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54

Greetings ladies and gentlemen,

I’m planning an upgrade of my gaming rig and I’m trying to decide which direction to go with the CPU. 

It is primarily for gaming, so I’m leaning heavier toward single-core performance than multicore. However, I would like to be able to use it for Dev (and maybe even drop Linux on it, though I’ve struggled the last few years dual booting on the bare metal and have leaned toward VMs/containers. 

Anyway, all the benchmarks I read suggest Intel still wins the race in single core, but AMD toss more horses on the track for multicore performance. 

I dont want to spend unreasonably, but cost isn’t a primary factor either…if there is a good trade off to justify added cost (for instance, I do have some brand leanings and will spend a bit more for quality / support).

Below are the two baseline builds I’m looking at. If I went with the AMD build I’d want a motherboard that supports a future upgrade to a 3000 series chip. (Assuming they are more expensive than I want to front for the baseline build.)

I have plans to add to the system in a few additional phases, but most of that doesn’t matter (for instance, the Intel build would quickly get a dedicated graphics card, but I can run it off my old 1070 for now; the AMD build would get a better cooler for additional overclocking, etc.) But these additions don’t really impact my main question here. 

I’ve always loved Intel, but is the better multicore performance of Ryzen chips worth it? (I’d like a friendly, but lively discussion from those who own similar chips to what I’m looking at.)

Intel – i5 (Phase 1, Baseline Build)

PCPartPicker Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/3MKVJ8

CPU: Intel – Core i5-9600K 3.7 GHz 6-Core Processor  ($249.95 @ Amazon) 

CPU Cooler: Corsair – H80i v2 70.69 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler  ($94.99 @ Newegg) 

Motherboard: Asus – ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard  ($231.99 @ Amazon) 

Memory: Corsair – Vengeance RGB Pro 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory  ($97.99 @ Newegg) 

Storage: Samsung – 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive  ($109.99 @ Amazon) 

Case: Corsair – 100R ATX Mid Tower Case  (Purchased For $49.99) 

Power Supply: Corsair – RMx 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply  (Purchased For $79.99) 

Case Fan: Corsair – CO-9050015-BLED 52.19 CFM 120 mm Fan  (Purchased For $11.25) 

Total: $926.14

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-05 05:13 EDT-0400

AMD Ryzen 7 (Phase 1, Baseline Build)

PCPartPicker Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/fVRXxG

CPU: AMD – Ryzen 7 2700X 3.7 GHz 8-Core Processor  ($269.99 @ Amazon) 

Motherboard: Asus – ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) ATX AM4 Motherboard  ($274.30 @ Amazon) 

Memory: Corsair – Vengeance RGB Pro 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory  ($97.99 @ Newegg) 

Storage: Samsung – 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive  ($109.99 @ Amazon) 

Video Card: Asus – GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB STRIX GAMING OC Video Card  ($389.99 @ B&H) 

Case: Corsair – 100R ATX Mid Tower Case  (Purchased For $49.99) 

Power Supply: Corsair – RMx 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply  (Purchased For $79.99) 

Case Fan: Corsair – CO-9050015-BLED 52.19 CFM 120 mm Fan  (Purchased For $11.25) 

Total: $1283.49

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-05 05:14 EDT-0400

Comments (54)

54 responses to “Gaming Rig Upgrade Planning – I’m an Intel Guy, Should I Be?”

  1. Avatar

    wright_is

    I can't really say for gaming. I haven't played games on my PC since 2007... But I can add something about the Linux/VM side.

    That said, I have a Ryzen 1700 PC (first generation), which I bought for VM testing. It has 3 x 500GB SSDs 1 x 2TB spinning rust, 32GB RAM and a GeForce GTX1050. It is only air cooled, but is is nearly silent, there is a very slight whirring in the background, but the only thing I can really hear is when the 2TB drive spins up to make an rsync backup every couple of hours (I rsync from the SSDs to the 2TB drive and from there it is synced to a NAS and into a cloud backup).

    The 8+8 cores are ideal for VM work - I currently have a base Windows 10 installation, with Hyper-V and I have a Windows 2019 server and 4 Linux VMs running on the system and I barely notice them. If you want to try Linux stuff, then VMs are the way to go. I had a PC with 2 HDDs in a caddy system (Icydock), one with Linux, one with Windows. To be honest, I started the Linux side and it ran for months. I found it too much of a pain to switch back and forth. Then VMs and multi-core processors came along and that made things easier. Since then, I've just used one base OS and VMs for everything else.

    Hyper-V is free and works well with Windows clients and Linux servers. If you want a full Linux desktop experience, it is okay, but you don't get any sound and you have to alter the boot config to change the screen size. It does have the benefit of automatically re-starting the VMs when you re-boot the host.

    VMWare Workstation costs money, but plays a bit better with Linux hosts, but you have to manually launch VMWare Workstation - it isn't a hypervisor, like Hyper-V.

    VMWare ESXi is great as a base OS, but you won't easily get a gaming rig out of running Windows 10 on top of ESXi. But it is a full hypervisor.

    Oracle VirtualBox is free, plays fairly well with Linux, but isn't a hypervisor solution and runs slower than all of the others. It also feels clunky and doesn't have functionality of the VMWare or Hyper-V

    Personally, I'd go with Hyper-V for most tasks, including Linux that doesn't need sound. If you need sound, I'd go with VMWare Workstation.


    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to wright_is:

      This is excellent information, thank you.


      To be a bit more specific on my Linux usage, while I do like to test Linux desktop on occasion to see if it’s going to get its year in the spotlight soon, I expect it would be mostly relegated to Dev use.


      In which case, I’d be running VMs. No sound required for that use case, so Hyper-V would be my choice. I’d be bumping the RAM up to 32GB if I end up using it frequently as a Dev workstation. (With WSL 2 around the corner, I’ll probably be leaning toward this rig for development frequently.)


      I think I’m going to have to research additional considerations for the multicore performance, specifically in regard to typical development workflows.


      Great info, thanks again!

      • Avatar

        infloop

        In reply to curtisspendlove:


        If you don't mind it, you can split the two use cases off and keep the gaming rig tailored for that while using a different setup for your dev work.


        I am slowly moving in that direction of separating usage. I have a couple of the 8th generation i5 NUCs with 32GB RAM running Hyper-V Server, and I will probably get another NUC to run Linux desktop directly on it. This way, I can keep my old gaming rig off and only turn it on when I will be gaming, and use less power overall.


        However, if electricity rates aren't a concern for you, and you'd rather do it all on one system, then you can ignore this reply. The builds look good.

        • Avatar

          curtisspendlove

          In reply to infloop:

          I have considered two separate systems but my home office is getting ridiculous. I have two laptops (one for work and a personal MacBook) and the gaming rig.


          Switching between those is highly irritating. But I can’t seem to find any KVM options worth a damn with reasonable prices (less than $500). As is now, I have a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, both of which can pair to multiple devices and I share four HDMI cables between two monitors and three computers.


          Adding a fourth? Ugh. Obviously using the personal laptop only for portable tasks and not docking it is a potential solution there. Then I could leave the two desktops plugged in and swap in the work laptop when needed.


          Hmm...

          • Avatar

            infloop

            In reply to curtisspendlove:


            Yep, I hear you, because I am in the same boat myself. My sister made fun of me once years ago for having so many screens: dual monitors on the primary desktop, a MacBook Pro, and multiple devices (iPod Touch, Lumia 900, and a Lumia 635).


            I have also been looking into a KVM, but I think I will just deal with using two sets as one will not be used as often. My MacBook Pro with a Boot Camp install is used mostly for portable admin work, and I also use it for the Apple Continuity capabilities.

            • Avatar

              curtisspendlove

              In reply to infloop:

              Lately I’ve been getting quite disgruntled coding on a laptop. It is fine if you need a portable Dev workstation (which many, many devs do need) but my job requirements don’t necessitate me carrying around a computer able to code 100% of my life. (Unfortunately I’m doing more project management and less coding nowadays...but I still like to keep my chops up when I do need to jump into a codebase. Also...personal projects. ;) )


              But if you don’t need to carry around your coding rig, you can get rid of the compromises a laptop presents. And get a significantly more powerful workstation. I’m ... really liking this idea of simplifying. I have a feeling PC Part Picker will be seeing more of my time tonight. :D

          • Avatar

            wright_is

            In reply to curtisspendlove:

            If you are running Hyper-V or ESXi, you are usually running headless anyway, if you are running it on a dedicated NUC, for example. You don't need a monitor, mouse or keyboard, beyond the initial setup. Everything is done using the Hyper-V manager or web browser on one of your other machines.

            All you need is plenty of memory and fast storage.

        • Avatar

          curtisspendlove

          In reply to infloop:

          I am slowly moving in that direction of separating usage. I have a couple of the 8th generation i5 NUCs with 32GB RAM running Hyper-V Server.


          So, I got thinking about this a bit more...


          I love the idea of a Hyper-V server...solves several professional workload things I’ve been thinking through.


          Also, I’m thinking I could spin up a VM running a Plex oriented HTPC Linux build. And this server could essentially perform additional duty serving as an HTPC and NAS.

          • Avatar

            infloop

            In reply to curtisspendlove:


            Just to add to what I was talking about, Hyper-V Server is Microsoft's type-1 hypervisor. It's basically Windows Server Core with just the Hyper-V role installed. The equivalent from VMware, as wright_is mentioned, is ESXi.


            One way to manage Hyper-V Server is via the Hyper-V Management Tools. Also, you could use Remote Desktop to connect to the server to run commands directly on it, like enabling firewall rules for remote management. There are limitations, however, to what you can do remotely versus using the full-blown GUI version of Windows Server. I am mostly using the basics like Disk Management, and the rest of the time I am using Hyper-V Manager to configure virtual machine settings.


            The NUCs are running headless with just the NICs and power connected. There is a workaround to perform to get the driver installed for the built-in NIC for Windows Server, though. It may not be required if running VMware's ESXi. I don't have any experience with that, but I've read that ESXi works out of the box. If you need more than one NIC, a USB 3 adapter may work. I am using Apple's Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adapter with a Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter, as the port on the 8th gen NUCs is USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 style. Yay dongles! :P


            Also, there is a page on Microsoft Docs that has some useful information on the supported Linux and FreeBSD virtual machines, as well as a page on some best practices. As of now, I am mostly running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS in the VMs.


            Edit: Yep, you can use virtualization to run all sorts of things. Web servers, DNS, DHCP, AD, VPN, reverse proxy, and yes, Plex. Some also use containers like Docker and LXC. It just depends on your hardware. Usually RAM and storage are the primary concerns.

            • Avatar

              curtisspendlove

              In reply to infloop:

              Gotcha. Appreciate the additional info. I’ve been out of the MS world for a while now (at least on an admin level, and the cost of learning “admin” level stuff on MS tech is a bit beyond what I want to spend since my primary “bread on the table” role is leading teams of developers, not managing IT teams).


              The problem is that there is so much crossover at the moment when you have some basic knowledge. Hyper-V server is freaking awesome. (I’ve put together a “server” parts list for playing with that after I have the desktop upgrade out of the way.)


              So, my lack of experience with Windows Server (Core) was part of what led to this question. Makes sense though, that you can Remote Desktop into the Hyper-V server itself to control it. I’ve read (elsewhere) that Hyper-V Server is most often used with automation workflows. Which makes me think it has a decent CLI available. This makes me happy, because I’d imagine you’d be able to script spinning up VMs and using Ansible (or such) to code out repeatable infrastructure.

    • Avatar

      illuminated

      In reply to wright_is:
       I haven't played games on my PC since 2007..
       a GeForce GTX1050. It is only air cooled, but is is nearly silent,


      No games explains why GTX is so quiet. Slightly off topic here. From my experience liquid cooling is important only for CPU as its usage does not correlate with the need for silence.

      Graphics cards on the other hand become noisy only during gaming which is OK.


    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to wright_is:

      That said, I have a Ryzen 1700 PC (first generation), which I bought for VM testing. It has 3 x 500GB SSDs 1 x 2TB spinning rust, 32GB RAM and a GeForce GTX1050.


      So...thinking through the “dedicated machine” thought (which is a good one) it occurs to me a Dev workstation doesn’t need much of a GPU. I realize the GTX1050 is a bit older of a card, but not significantly so. Was there a reason you went with it? Did you used to game on that GPU?

      • Avatar

        wright_is

        In reply to curtisspendlove:
        I realize the GTX1050 is a bit older of a card, but not significantly so. Was there a reason you went with it?

        The first generation Ryzen didn't offer an onboard video option, so it was the cheapest option that was half-way current at the time.

        • Avatar

          curtisspendlove

          In reply to wright_is:

          Appreciate the info on Hyper-V and ESXi.


          I have a tiny bit of experience with ESXi. We were running an IP Telephony system, on-site CI server, and a couple other VMs off of a single bare metal server at a small business coding shop where I used to work.


          I think it is overkill for what I need. I was just planning to use Hyper-V (largely headless) as deploy targets to development mirrors of a few production servers running various Linux builds (largely server flavors of CentOS, Clear, and Debian).


          However I hadn’t considered wanting those to keep running when my main Dev workstation is off. A NUC is an excellent idea for that. Hmmmmm...


          (Update: thanks to comments from you and @infloop, I looked into Hyper-V Server...man what a great tool. I need to do more research on it, but it sounds like if I offload VMs to a separate server, such as a NUC, the whole thing can run headless after initial config, eh? I can administer it via my Dev workstation or some sort of web admin front-end?)


          Even now I think there are only a few Ryzen chips that support on-board video. So yeah, cheap graphics card to get it all working makes complete sense. ;)


          I actually fell down a 4K rabbit hole last night and answered my own question about a high-end graphics card in a Dev workstation though...


          Multi-monitor support!


          i.imgur.com/0Y0vHxf.png


          It looks like a 2070 Super should easily be able to drive 4 4K monitors for a production load. (And I will have it just drive a single monitor for gaming.)


          This whole thread was very helpful in ironing out my plans. Thanks to all so far, and look forward to future ideas as well.


          I’ve decided I want to expand my monitor setup by two. Instead of two side-by side, I want an array of four. Two sacked in the center, in landscape orientation and one on each side in portrait. (I’ve found I love portrait mode for certain tasks, like code editor windows).


          (The link above shows an image I found of someone doing this. Kudos to this unnamed genius.)


          I now just have to decide if I want to drive that with a single, insane, rig or build out two special purpose rigs (one for gaming on the lower center monitor and another for driving all four for productivity—mostly development—tasks).


          I am a *very* happy geek right now. I’ll try to remember to update this thread with my progress over time (though this is likely a multi-year endeavor).


          And now I’m off to find a couple dual monitor arms. :)

    • Avatar

      waethorn

      In reply to wright_is:

      If you want a good hypervisor solution with a DE, just use Fedora Workstation and install virt-manager on it. KVM with newer UEFI and virtio drivers are going to give you everything that you could run natively, including sound. If you have a spare GPU, you can even do full PCI passthrough to the VM guest.

      • Avatar

        curtisspendlove

        In reply to Waethorn:

        I have a *lot* to learn in this area. I fell down another rabbit hole. I investigated FreeNAS because I had this brilliant idea to virtualize all my disks as a single, huge RAID array which I can then use as base storage for whatever I want.


        Then I ran into the warnings.


        Then I ran into the “posh...it’s going to be fine...it is officially supported” posts.


        Then I read that and understood like...words...a few of them even. And not just the articles and proper nouns. (Ok, mostly just those.)


        Seems like I need a good type-1 hypervisor to do what I want to do. Or, I could cluster the disks into two groups and pass one straight through to the FreeNAS VM and let Hyper-V manage the rest.


        Or, I can skip FreeNAS because I really don’t *need* a NAS, it kinda just sounded like a fun project. :D (I’ve been on the fence for a long time about a Synology or such. But I do want to get the media off my main desktop so I don’t always have to have that running.)


        The good news is that it doesn’t sound too hard to install ESXi, or the “virt-manager” Linux package you mentioned. But I foresee a lot of new rabbit holes in the next couple of years.

  2. Avatar

    curtisspendlove

    UPDATE:


    I’ve taken a look at some of the new builds and everything is still as irritating as before. ;) You can still get an excellent machine regardless of where ch way you go. So I have decided to do what every good geek does and buy both systems to compare (albeit in slightly different roles).


    I’ll be upgrading my “gaming/dev” rig to a new i5 9600K. And I’ll be starting a “homelab” with a Ryzen 5 3600X. Based on the benchmarks I’ve found these chips are fairly comparative, but the 3600X kills it in multicore (which should be very useful in a hypervisor “server”).


    But first, the three desktop builds I was considering (these are meant to have all the components one would need if they didn’t have any spare coolers or GPUs). I have also used some parameterized filters to bring costs down slightly.


    The cost of the AMD are slightly elevated due to a decent 1080p video card being needed (no onboard video). The Intel build has integrated graphics. You’ll be able to do some light gaming on the Intel build, but add at least another $100 - $150 to do any decent gaming.


    On the other hand, the AMD chips exclude dedicated cooling, relying on the stock cooler that comes in the box. It is my understanding that you should be able to get slight overclocking from that cooler but you would want a dedicated cooler to do more (usually cheaper than a video card).


    I’d say it is a bit of a wash at the moment. Probably leaning to the new generation AMD chip (definitely for multicore performance). Looking *just* at the CPU/Motherboard combo, you’ll need to make your own decision, but I’m honestly a bit surprised Intel isn’t supplying a stock cooler for overclock rated chips. That would help tighten up the value a bit, I think.


    Also, I’d recommend more than a 120mm all-in-one cooler, but I don’t want to buy a new chassis. And I won’t be heavily overclocking my CPU anyway.


    I’m not enamored with the current selection of X570 motherboards, but I can’t be too picky like a couple days into release. That will fill out and I won’t be buying “server” components until later in the fall anyway. But I think the below would be a pretty good desktop (or desktop masquerading as a server). I know I’ll be scoffed by the real server guys, but I don’t need a big rack...I’m a software guy, I only need something to simulate at most a Kubernetes cluster. (Though I will probably drop FreeNAS or such on it eventually and maybe even spin up a few VMs for my home, such as a Pi-hole, etc.)


    Spoiler Alert: I’ve included the Blue-ray R/W, beefier CPU and RAM for anyone tired of swapping optical discs in our Blue-ray connected to the TV. It should be able to handle ripping / transcoding fairly well.


    I’m madly in love with the Fractal Design Node 804 chassis. It even has a spot for a slim optical drive inside the front panel of the case...clever. And room for a metric crap-ton of drives. (Note, the build below only includes an M2 drive for the OS, though that drive should be overkill, I tend toward “if in doubt, go bigger”.) You’ll need to decide your level of RAID, and overall capacity depending on your roles.


    Hope some of this is useful to someone. :)


    ——— NEW BUILDS ———


    — Intel – i5 (Phase 1, Baseline Build) —


    PCPartPicker Part List: pcpartpicker.com/list/GF3C3b


    CPU: Intel - Core i5-9600K 3.7 GHz 6-Core Processor ($249.99 @ Walmart) 

    CPU Cooler: *Cooler Master - MasterLiquid ML120L RGB 66.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($39.99 @ Newegg) 

    Motherboard: *Asus - TUF Z390-PLUS GAMING (WI-FI) ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($165.99 @ Amazon) 

    Memory: *G.Skill - Aegis 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg) 

    Storage: *Western Digital - Blue SN500 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon) 

    Case: Corsair - 100R ATX Mid Tower Case (Purchased For $49.99) 

    Power Supply: Corsair - RMx 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $79.99) 

    Case Fan: Corsair - CO-9050015-BLED 52.19 CFM 120 mm Fan (Purchased For $11.25) 

    Total: $722.18

    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

    *Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria

    Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-10 00:34 EDT-0400


    — AMD Ryzen 5 2600X (Phase 1, Baseline Build) —


    PCPartPicker Part List: pcpartpicker.com/list/79XLhy


    CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 2600X 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($159.98 @ Amazon) 

    Motherboard: *Gigabyte - X470 AORUS GAMING 5 WIFI ATX AM4 Motherboard ($174.99 @ Amazon)

    Memory: *G.Skill - Aegis 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg) 

    Storage: *Western Digital - Blue SN500 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon) 

    Video Card: *MSI - Radeon RX 580 8 GB ARMOR OC Video Card ($159.99 @ Newegg) 

    Case: Corsair - 100R ATX Mid Tower Case (Purchased For $49.99) 

    Power Supply: Corsair - RMx 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $79.99) 

    Case Fan: Corsair - CO-9050015-BLED 52.19 CFM 120 mm Fan (Purchased For $11.25) 

    Total: $761.17

    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

    *Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria

    Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-10 00:37 EDT-0400


    — AMD Ryzen 5 3600X (Phase 1, Baseline Build) —


    PCPartPicker Part List: pcpartpicker.com/list/2wvVhy


    CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8 GHz 6-Core Processor ($249.00 @ B&H) 

    Motherboard: *MSI - MPG X570 GAMING EDGE WIFI ATX AM4 Motherboard ($199.99 @ Newegg) 

    Memory: *G.Skill - Aegis 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg) 

    Storage: *Western Digital - Blue SN500 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon) 

    Video Card: *MSI - Radeon RX 580 8 GB ARMOR OC Video Card ($159.99 @ Newegg) 

    Case: Corsair - 100R ATX Mid Tower Case (Purchased For $49.99) 

    Power Supply: Corsair - RMx 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $79.99) 

    Case Fan: Corsair - CO-9050015-BLED 52.19 CFM 120 mm Fan (Purchased For $11.25) 

    Total: $875.19

    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

    *Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria

    Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-10 00:39 EDT-0400


    — Hyper-V Server / AMD Ryzen 5 3600X (Phase 1, Baseline Build) —


    PCPartPicker Part List: pcpartpicker.com/list/GggLhy


    CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8 GHz 6-Core Processor ($249.00 @ B&H) 

    CPU Cooler: *Cooler Master - MasterLiquid ML240L RGB 66.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($69.99 @ Amazon) 

    Motherboard: *ASRock - X570M Pro4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($175.99 @ Newegg) 

    Memory: *G.Skill - Aegis 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($101.99 @ Newegg) 

    Storage: *Western Digital - Blue SN500 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon) 

    Video Card: *EVGA - GeForce 8400 GS 1 GB Video Card ($38.86 @ Walmart) 

    Case: Fractal Design - Node 804 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($108.99 @ Newegg Business) 

    Power Supply: *SeaSonic - FOCUS SGX 450 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply ($64.99 @ Newegg) 

    Optical Drive: *Panasonic - UJ-265 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($99.00 @ Other World Computing) 

    Total: $973.80

    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

    *Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria

    Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-10 00:54 EDT-0400

    • Avatar

      infloop

      In reply to curtisspendlove:


      Are the RAM parts good for AMD? It doesn't look like there is anything available right now for the Ryzen 3000 series on the G.SKILL website, though it could just be that their RAM configurator isn't updated yet due to the CPUs being just released. That's something I check for now before buying the parts, as I've run into trouble in the past.


      See if you can go for 64GB RAM on the virtualization server if you are only using one. RAM amount is usually the limit hit before the others. I am not sure what your needs are for your workloads, though, so this is just a heads up.

      • Avatar

        curtisspendlove

        In reply to infloop:

        I didn’t verify the RAM. That is a parameterized filter so it is very possible they aren't. For anyone building an AMD rig you want to verify the motherboard / RAM combos on the respective support sites for your chip to ensure capability (and take care to check RAM speed, not just brand / capacity). I will do this at the time I purchase. And I also replace the parameterized filters with a specific pick, then save a new copy of the listing (or overwrite if I don’t need the previous build list). This ensures it doesn’t change on you from day to day.


        I was just reading about an hour ago that FreeNAS in particular can gobble up RAM and CPU as storage capacity rises (for caching, I guess, mostly). (I may eventually break out the FreeNAS stuff into its own server over time, but I think if I’m careful with this build it will be sufficient for at least a few years,)


        Oh, also I haven’t checked those components for ESXi compatibility yet either. That will be something I do shortly before purchase. I’m hoping in the next couple months we will get a few more motherboard options and some early bugs will be crushed by some firmware updates. I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to buy it this soon.


        As more X570s come on the market I’m hoping I can find some that can support up to 128GB. I also read that people have tended to have some difficulties using more than two sticks of RAM with AMD chips. But a lot of that was old, so I can’t tell if that was just for the really old, like first-gen Ryzens. Regardless, my ideal board would feature 8 RAM slots with a max capacity of 128, but that is probably a tall ask.


        I plan on on updating this post with final build lists once I’ve purchased them. And I plan on a few blog posts detailing the builds and what I do with them...so I’ll post links to those as well in case anyone is interested.)

  3. Avatar

    madthinus

    Those two looks like excellent machines. Ryzen 3000 is worth waiting for and the Nvidia RTX cars in Super form looks very appealing. So I would consider both those before buying. Worth noting that adding even a cheaper SATA based SSD in 1TB form is a great boost to load times in modern games. Worth adding it to the machine instead of a traditional drive if you need more space.

    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to madthinus:

      I’m interested in the early results of the new Ryzens. I’m even impressed with what I see from the initial Navi cards. However, ugh, blowers. If I go with Navi’s instead of RTXs (and honestly, I’m not enamored with ray tracing yet) I’d wait for 3rd party cards.

  4. Avatar

    Lordbaal

    Intel isn't any better at games then Ryzen. If parts are the same, obviously apart from the CPU and mobo, in the same game, you would already have over 100 FPS. And if Intel is 10 FPS faster, that is hardly noticeable.

    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to Lordbaal:

      Touché. At this performance level, at 1440 (which is currently, at least IMO, the sweet spot in gaming without spending ridiculous amounts of money on a 4K monitor and a rig to drive it) the difference between 104fps and 114fps is negligible—and flat out irrelevant without a 144mhz monitor.

      • Avatar

        Daekar

        In reply to curtisspendlove:

        I recently purchased by first 144Hz monitor, and I wish I had gotten one years ago. I can't push those framerates in every title, but especially in high-motion games it's worth turning the details down a bit to get above 100Hz. I never thought 60Hz was insufficient until I saw what things looked like at more than twice that - there is no replacing it.

  5. Avatar

    Daekar

    I'll put another word in for Ryzen 3000. Wait until the independent tests come back on them from places like Toms Hardware or AnandTech on the chips from the price range you want. What I've seen so far is very compelling.

    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to Daekar:

      It does indeed look interesting. Where I’m at at the moment, after the initial stuff I’ve read, is that I’m not sure it is worth the price yet. The main hole in the data for me, at the moment, is a dearth of info on the new motherboards. Does an x570 + 3xxxX chip give me measurable happiness in relation to the added cost?


      As of now, I’m not so sure. At this point I’m honestly still a bit on the fence if any of that gives me measurable performance gains over an i56900K. It looks like it certainly does in multicore performance. And the world is getting better at multicore. ;)

      • Avatar

        Winner

        In reply to curtisspendlove:

        I'm not that into gaming, but have a 7 yo Intel hombuilt ITX system. I'm about to build a Ryzen 5 3400G system with integrated graphics. It's better than any Intel integrated graphics but might not be enough performance for your needs. The CPU with graphics is only $149 and beats anything from Intel at that price. But it's a huge money saver with a low cost CPU and then no graphics card. Not to mention a power saver, too. I'm going to add a M.2 NVME drive and 32 GB RAM and it should be pretty screaming.

  6. Avatar

    martinusv2

    What I can say from experience so far with Ryzen chips is check ram compatibility closely with the ram manufacturer for your board. I had to change my ram after getting some random BSOD. Since then, so far so good. I started with the 1800x with a x370 motherboard. When the Ryzen 2 got out, all I did a BIOS update and replace the CPU. Couldn't get easier than that. I saw last week that I can update the BIOS again for the Ryzen 3000 series.


    As for gaming, never had any problem whatsoever with any games I played. I play at 4k with my Vega 64. Always had 30fps+.


    Like others, I would wait for the 7th before making a move. My self, I am tempted to go with the Ryzen 3700x and replace my MB with the x570 chipset. So I would be ready for the next Ryzen.


    For me the AMD Ryzen are a cood comprise performance / price.

    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to MartinusV2:

      I’ve heard of the persnickety RAM challenges, soo I appreciate the confirmation on that tip. If I go with the AMD I’ll be sure to research it before I buy.


      I’m definitely waiting to see what the new Navi cards look like before I make a decision. I don’t have a 4K monitor yet, so 1440 is fine for now. But hell, an excellent video card would always give me an excuse to upgrade my monitor. ;)


      I’m tempted on an x570 (if nothing else for the faster M2 speeds when those start hitting the market) but I’m ok getting a 2700X for now and upgrading it when prices for the 3000 series drop a bit. I dunno. :: shrug ::


      Sounds like overall, people are pretty happy with their AMD chips.

      • Avatar

        martinusv2

        In reply to curtisspendlove:

        The Navi board are rumored to not be much faster than a Vega 64 and less powerful than the Vega VII. But I'm waiting for real reviews to really see where it stand. Today AMD revised the prices of the Navis to fight the new RTX Super. I am pretty sure that Navi will do fine with 1440p games.


        • Avatar

          curtisspendlove

          In reply to MartinusV2:

          I just read about AMD returning the warning shot across Nvidia’s bow. That is very interesting. I’m looking forward for Sunday’s embargo to lift. It sounds like the Navi cards might be quite comparable to the “Super” cards. Which means that (approximate) $50 price drop might be the kicker to make the Navi cards a better value.


          Very interesting time time to be planning an upgrade. :D

  7. Avatar

    bob_shutts

    Curtis, I'm overdue to upgrade my gaming rig. Please post your results, etc. after you complete the project.

  8. Avatar

    jimchamplin

    Save some bucks and put a 1660 Ti in there instead of the 2060. There's not a better value out there. Says the guy with a bargain-basement GT 1030.

  9. Avatar

    curtisspendlove

    Greetings Again,


    Sorry about the long time without a post. Busy at work and had a few personal things kinda wipe out my spare time for a bit.


    I ordered the rest of the parts (as previously said) and my son and I assembled the system a bit ago.


    So far, great. Very happy with the system.


    I ultimately went with:


    PCPartPicker Part List: pcpartpicker.com/list/Fn77kd


    CPU: Intel Core i5-9600K 3.7 GHz 6-Core Processor (Purchased For $245.00) 

    CPU Cooler: Corsair H55 57 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler (Purchased For $59.99) 

    Motherboard: Asus TUF Z390-PLUS GAMING (WI-FI) ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (Purchased For $165.00) 

    Memory: G.Skill Aegis 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory (Purchased For $59.99) 

    Storage: Western Digital Blue SN500 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (Purchased For $64.99) 

    Case: Corsair 100R ATX Mid Tower Case (Purchased For $49.99) 

    Power Supply: Corsair RMx 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $79.99) 

    Case Fan: Corsair CO-9050015-BLED 52.19 CFM 120 mm Fan (Purchased For $11.25) 

    Total: $736.20

    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

    Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-08-19 20:01 EDT-0400


    The build went well; I'll have a more detailed review ... up ... somewhere in a bit. But I didn't want to spam the forum with some lame ranting about screwing in M.2 drives (ugh, seriously!)


    But I'm loving this system. And using Windows more commonly on good hardware has reinforced my belief that Microsoft has definitely been working for the better (at least for developers). With WSL / Docker I can do pretty much anything I can do on my Mac or in Linux with similar (if not identical) results. And this system has the power to work well with WSL / Docker.


    Who knows...might not even replace the Mac when it eventually dies. I was considering a Mini...but ... :: shrug ::


    (I haven't put the 1070 GPU back in since I was very curious how the integrated Intel graphics can do. It's actually played way more games than I would expect it to at decent settings. Of course, that largely depends on the game; but you know...logic and all that.)


    I'm actually thinking of building out a similar PC for my son who's going into high school this year and I'm thinking of checking out an RX 590 8GB GPU for either this one or his (I'll probably give him the more powerful of the two as he'll play more demanding games than I.)


    I'll post some benchmarks again when I decide what I'm going to do there and get a real GPU in it. (Still, super impressed by the integrated Intel UHD 630 GPU.)


    UserBenchmark:


    www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/19423433


    ("Surfboard" gaming was pretty funny to me. Looks like either the 1070 or the RX 590 should kick it up to near 100%. But yeah, they hammer the GPU pretty hard in the benchmarking tests.)


    Overall, pretty happy with the benchmarks. Workstation was penalized due to the hexacore i5 (Ryzen would have been significantly higher). And Gaming was, of course, tanked by the integrated GPU. (Again, I'll update in a bit when I toss a dedicated GPU in it.)


    A few upgrades:


    Although it's pretty great, I do plan on a couple of upgrades other than the GPU. I want to add another 16GB of RAM and at least an SSD or HDD. I haven't quite yet decided 100% what I want the storage to do; so I haven't fully decided.


    But the RAM and storage are primarily for VMs. It can currently run Windows 10 Pro and 3-4 linux VMs (even GUI ones for playing around) quite easily. I could probably even get up to 8 or so server VMs, but I need to test the limits of that. Regardless, RAM and storage will always be welcome when running VMs/Docker.

  10. Avatar

    kherm

    Wait until the Ryzen 3000 series launches on 7/7. Rumors suggest that these CPUs have caught up with Intel on single thread performance and have surpassed them by a wide margin in multi threaded tasks.

  11. Avatar

    Greg Green

    The nvidia Super version of their 20xx cards are being released later his month with a $50 price increase over the non Super flavors. The 2060 Super is about 20% faster on some games at 1080p and 1440p than the regular 2060.


    I think it’s still mostly a single or dual core world, especially for gaming. According to a discussion by the PCWorld staff there’s a game or two which can use as many cores as available but otherwise multicore isn’t really necessary unless you’re recording or streaming your game to viewers while playing.


    If you watch frame rates more than the game go with intel, otherwise they’re close competitors. The overclocking potential of intel is better but adds less than 10% to performance.


    Amd has been very good sticking with sockets but the ryzen 3 series may be the end of the line for the AM4 platform. With a name brand mid range board or better you should have no problem dropping a ryzen 3 into it later, but that’ll likely be the end of the platform. The socket longevity is one of the things I’ve enjoyed about the amd motherboards.


    I’d go with amd just to keep the competitive pressure on intel but both chips are winners. It’s really more personal preference at this point, either way you’ll enjoy it.


    I recently upgraded due to a motherboard death, going with the ryzen 7 2700x. I had delayed the update because it meant new ram and an nvme drive, but now that I’ve got it I’m loving it. Quiet and the nvme boots in no time. I even managed to get Win 7 in there on a dual boot just to see if I could. It took some work but it got in there. It was the first build I had done in many years and it went quite well and quickly, except for the Win 7 part, which took a few hours a day for a few days to figure out.


    Good luck and enjoy!

    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to Greg Green:

      The battle between Nvidia’s “super” cards and the new Navi family is getting interesting. ;) I’m looking forward to Sunday.


      I definitely won’t be streaming, and I doubt I will be recording video; but I’ve learned it is a bad idea to say “never”. The universe likes to wait for you to give an absolute and smack you in the face with it a few months later. :p


      I imagine it isn’t easy to do proper multicore coding; but modern games are so complex I think many of them would benefit greatly if they can divvy some stuff up to free cores.


      I saw a PC boot from an M2 at a friend's house and I was like...yeah, no way. That thing was just sleeping, right? I look forward to my first NVMe boot drive. So fast.

  12. Avatar

    Tony Barrett

    There's absolutely no reason not to go with AMD these days, especially with the new Ryzen 3000 CPU's imminent. Faster, cheaper, better supported and less security issues than Intel.

  13. Avatar

    waethorn

    AMD


    And get one of the new GTX "Super" cards. Same MSRP but 20%+ extra performance.


    Make sure to compare the various ASUS gaming boards. I would get an X570 chipset board if you're worried about future upgrades - PCIe 4. I usually find MSI are just as good but don't have as high a pricetag.


    Have you looked at pre-built systems too? Check out MSI and ASUS pre-built rigs. It's getting to a point where custom-building isn't really worth it anymore.

    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to Waethorn:

      If I’m not impressed with the Navi cards, I’ll definitely be going with a “super” card. I think Nvidia loves dropping those bombshells to take the wind out of AMDs sails right after announcements.


      I’ve gone with MSI and Gigabyte before, but that was in the past. Liked them though, decent BIOS and the boards were quality.


      I hadn't considered a prebuilt system. I’ll look into them. I mostly do the custom builds to have a little fun, but you’re right. Custom builds aren’t really money-savers anymore.

  14. Avatar

    bharris

    One thing about buying now is I think existing hardware is being discounted. I just purchased a Ryzen 2700 system, 32 gig, 250g nvme, RTX2070, 4TB WD Black and 1000w Seasonic power supply for $1,650 from CPU Solutions. The only thing that I sort of regret is the motherboard. It is ASUS TUF B450M Plus Gaming board. It seems like a pretty basic motherboard.


    If I would have had the luxury of not buying to replace a dead 6 year old Dell, I might of waited. But I do think I got a good deal because new hardware is coming. I think PC builders are clearing out existing inventory trying not to get stuck with a bunch of soon to be dated components



  15. Avatar

    ndragonawa_ii

    I hope I can help, going to be upgrading too soonish.


    1 I would check out Micro Center too, especially if you have one nearby. IDK why PC Part Picker does not work well with them.

    i5-9600k @ $219.99 (as of posting) https://www.microcenter.com/product/512485/core-i5-9600k-coffee-lake-37-ghz-lga-1151-boxed-processor

    Ryzen 7 2700X @ 199.99 (as of posting) https://www.microcenter.com/product/505632/ryzen-7-2700x-37ghz-8-core-am4-boxed-processor-with-wraith-prism-cooler

    Also, an additional $30 off when paired with an "eligible processor".


    2 I would redo your AMD list after the 7th, when the Ryzen 3000 CPUs come out. (per their marketing) +15% IPC with lower TDPs. Or you can go with the 2000s and get a great deal. Just more options.


    3 Depending on the age of the games you play, (i.e. pre-Ryzen or post-Ryzen) you might get better performance in gaming with AMD vs Intel. I'd expect all new games as they come out will be optimized for higher thread counts.

    https://www.techspot.com/review/1859-two-years-later-ryzen-1600-vs-core-i5-7600k/


    4 Personally I'm going with AMD as of the 7th. It's the best bang for the buck: On your builds it's 10 more threads (which is important if you want to try out VMs) for $20 less + a cooler. I'm going with the 3900X though, it was that or the i9-9900k. I'm just tired of Intel's f***ery: The security exploits (which will knock performance out of your i5), the removal of hyper-threading on lower SKUs (anything not an i9), and the confusing SKUs are the ones that come to my mind.  /rant

    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to ndragonawa_ii:

      Ugh! $20 difference makes it even tougher. (I wasn’t aware of MicroCenter, so thanks for that too.)


      I was considering an i7 or even an i9, but the price to performance ratios weren’t that impressive to me. Even the i3 has pretty decent performance. But it seemed to me that the i5 had the best performance per dollar ratio of the Intel chips. I agree, I was a bit disappointed to see hyper threading had been removed from the lower end of the top range.


      I already use VMs and containers (mostly Docker) extensively. And they are fine on my Mac (i7). It sounds like people see excellent performance with all those extra cores though. I’ve seen some very interesting statistics on compilation in Visual Studio projects as you up the core count as well. :/


      I will be reconsidering the AMD build after I get proper info on the 3000 series and the new Navi GPUs. The question there is are the new x570s and the 3700X or 3900X priced well enough to be worthwhile or can I get a better “bang for my buck” out of reduced prices on the previous gen chipsets. (My gut tells me that the CPUs are definitely worth it, but I haven’t seen much pricing info on the new motherboards yet.)


      My secondary concern there is can I overcome my OCD and allow myself to use parametric filters to get lower prices and ignore a hodge-podge of device brands. (The struggle is real, folks.)

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