Question 12700K and 5900X. Which one for server and which one for gaming?

aclos3

Junior Member
Jul 7, 2013
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I am in the process of upgrading my old server hardware. Currently, I have an Ivy Bridge E3-1230 v2 Xeon CPU which is functioning as a Plex server, Chia full node, XMR full node and does a bit of GPU mining as well. The CPU, motherboard and ram are about 10 years old and it really chugs when it has to encode something for Plex.

My main computer is an Asus TUF Gaming X570 motherboard, 5900X and 2x16GB Corsair 3600Mhz DDR4 (Cas 16).

I have ordered a Intel 12700k, Asus Prime Z690 D4 motherboard, and 4x8Gb 3200Mhz DDR (Cas 14, older Samsung B-die I think).

My first thought is to use the Intel setup that I just bought as my main gaming computer and let the 5900X act as the server, but the 12700K and 5900X are very close in gaming performance. I suppose there is potential that the 12700K would be more efficient as a server CPU (power is really cheap where I live though), so what would you do? If I choose the 5900X as my gaming platform, am I better off using the 4x8Gb 3200Mhz B-die kit with it? The gaming machine will have a 3080 10Gb and I play at 1440p.

Thank you!
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
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12700Kis what I went with for Plex and some other functions such as router / switch / firewall.

I would suggest swapping that Asus though for a ASRock Steel Legend. It's got all of the perks you want / need and middle pricing.

The ADL will probably be better for gaming from the benchmarks floating around.

3080 should be sufficient on its own but, for boot / load times 16GB is more than enough. RAM isn't key for games it's key for caching data and then passing it to the system or higher transactional data like DB's. Or in my case for Chrome w/ tons of tabs open all of the time.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
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I would use the 5900X for the server and the 12700K with e-cores disabled for gaming.
I think I have to agree. As a server, the 5900x with 12 real cores will do better than the 12700k with the equivalent of 9-10 real cores (ecores are way less powerful)

But at gaming, disable the e-cores, and the 8 big cores will be great at gaming. Within a few % (5-10) of the 5800x3d. I could be off on the percent, but you only have a 3080(as compared to a 3080TI or 3090TI), so will be GPU limited more than CPU. Actually pretty decent match.
 
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aclos3

Junior Member
Jul 7, 2013
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Thank you all for the feedback. I think I will use the 5900x as my server and will use all of the new hardware I bought (Intel setup) + the b-die ram for my main gaming computer. I may sell off the 3080 for a 3090 or 3090 ti since prices are getting more reasonable, but for now it does great in all of the games I play.

Tech Junky, thank you for the tip about the ASRock board. I pretty much always stick to Asus, so I didn't even shop around this time and found a decent deal through Ebay for the Prime Z690 I just bought. I know that people have had a lot of good things to say about many of the ASRock boards over the last few years, so I do need to remind myself to look outside of the Asus sphere.
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
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The only reason I brought it up is Asus had a cap issue where the polarity was reversed on a batch causing them to fry.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
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Plex server, Chia full node, XMR full node and does a bit of GPU mining as well.
I suppose there is potential that the 12700K would be more efficient as a server CPU (power is really cheap where I live though), so what would you do?
There's some conflicting information here, but let's start from the capabilities of each system:

The Alder Lake system:
  • has potential to idle at considerably lower power.
  • does not need a GPU, offers hardware transcoding capabilities that can be leveraged by Plex
  • may or may not have issues with software video transcoding in Windows
The Zen3 system:
  • higher idle power consumption from the start
  • needs dGPU, potentially adding even more to platform idle power
  • much more predictable behavior under load
Now to the conflicting bit: you mention idle power consumption but the server seems to be aimed at being continuously utilized (crypto node, mining client). If this were a simple Plex server with long idle times then I would definitely advise you to consider ADL for the server role, but as soon as you add more workloads and/or as soon as you consider NVENC as the arguably alternative to Quicksync... then 5900X will do just fine while 12700K will obviously offer better gaming performance.

The other side of the coin is you're already very familiar with the 5900X & Asus X570 mobo. This means you'll know what to expect from the hardware as you rebuild your server. The ADL platform will be new, different quirks. Using it for gaming will make the transition easier.
 

aclos3

Junior Member
Jul 7, 2013
14
5
81
There's some conflicting information here, but let's start from the capabilities of each system:

The Alder Lake system:
  • has potential to idle at considerably lower power.
  • does not need a GPU, offers hardware transcoding capabilities that can be leveraged by Plex
  • may or may not have issues with software video transcoding in Windows
The Zen3 system:
  • higher idle power consumption from the start
  • needs dGPU, potentially adding even more to platform idle power
  • much more predictable behavior under load
Now to the conflicting bit: you mention idle power consumption but the server seems to be aimed at being continuously utilized (crypto node, mining client). If this were a simple Plex server with long idle times then I would definitely advise you to consider ADL for the server role, but as soon as you add more workloads and/or as soon as you consider NVENC as the arguably alternative to Quicksync... then 5900X will do just fine while 12700K will obviously offer better gaming performance.

The other side of the coin is you're already very familiar with the 5900X & Asus X570 mobo. This means you'll know what to expect from the hardware as you rebuild your server. The ADL platform will be new, different quirks. Using it for gaming will make the transition easier.
Thank you for these new points -- I hadn't considered them before. Yes, my server doesn't really sit idle. In fact, because my power is cheap I will probably use at least some of the spare threads for Rosetta@home or XMR mining. It also hosts about 16 hard drives (some external, some on a Host Bus Adapter, and others directly attached to the board). For the server, I will either use an old Nvidia 650 Ti or the onboard graphics of the 12700k.

The Plex transcoding advantages have me very interested. I will do more research into what the 12700K can offer, but that point alone could potentially sway me to use the Intel setup as my server.
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
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12700K can offer, but that point alone could potentially sway me to use the Intel setup as my server.
I use my ADL 12700K for Plex as well as other functions and since they invoked some additional packages in Linux it flies through comskip like butter. It can handle on the fly transcoding as well if the player side isn't weak (chromecast). When I was running a TCL TV w/ Roku built in it could handle just about any scenario. CC is just under powered for anything significant.

I came across an interesting case yesterday though that had room for 2 MOBO's which would give you a primary + ITX for 2 systems in the same case and tons of drive options for "NAS".

Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2
 

aclos3

Junior Member
Jul 7, 2013
14
5
81
I use my ADL 12700K for Plex as well as other functions and since they invoked some additional packages in Linux it flies through comskip like butter. It can handle on the fly transcoding as well if the player side isn't weak (chromecast). When I was running a TCL TV w/ Roku built in it could handle just about any scenario. CC is just under powered for anything significant.

I came across an interesting case yesterday though that had room for 2 MOBO's which would give you a primary + ITX for 2 systems in the same case and tons of drive options for "NAS".

Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2
Further evidence that I should go 12700K for the server.... My next case is definitely going to be a: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1566867-REG/lian_li_dk_05fx_black_aluminum_steel_desk.html or equivalent. I would love to run a couple of PC's and a bunch of hard drives all inside a desk. My work computer is, of course, a laptop though that will have to sit on the desk!
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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It seems to me the Alder Lake i7 would be better suited for gaming. Though both of these would likely be fine for either.

Also, on a side note, to my understanding, the B die memory may do better with the Ryzen 5900X system, as Ryzen will scale well with increased frequency and lower latency, I believe more so than Alder Lake. The B die should also OC nicely, 3600-3800 MHz should be doable. Possibly more.
 

KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
8,397
392
126
Just one thing to consider when talking about servers, and I ran into this with my 3970x is that a GPU takes away both a PCIE slot and lanes. Even with a Ryzen board, you are going to eat into the 3, maybe 4 slots, and at least 8 lanes.
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
840
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ADL has plenty of lanes between CPU / DMI and the BW boost under DMI 4 doubles the rates as well.

CPU / PCIE 5 you have 16+4 for 1 slot + M2
DMI has several more to play with for everything else.
 

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