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Question 3930k @ 4.2Ghz - Bottleneck? Upgrade or hold out?

blckgrffn

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Hey All -

I've been rocking a 3930k since sometime in early 2013, spent a about $500 between the CPU and motherboard back then and it has treated me well. I've been dropping hours into Borderlands 3 and also dropping some serious frames...

(Wait, I should see if this a Borderlands 3 issue because it's, ah, buggy in general. Turns out this is a crazy issue that many people are having...)

Ok, just starting this thread lead me to do a little homework on the current state of CPUs. I've thought that we'd really turned a page on CPU performance.

3930k_Passmark.PNG

So, that's not amazing but not nearly as "bad" as I thought it might be. I ran it on my 2700x office PC and it scored ~16,000, almost 2x the integer score but a 10% lower single thread score? The 2700x was only $130 at Microcenter, but there could be situations where it might actually be a step back, even now?

There is a part of me that is kicking myself for replacing my 290x without really looking into the performance woes of Borderlands 3. Based on reviews I thought a 5700xt would be good for 100+ FPS at 1080p instead picking up a couple detail levels and maybe 15-20% frames increase (mostly 60-70 FPS), drops to single digits on on interface loading and stuff.

I am torn - is it really worth upgrading yet? Has anyone else stepped from one of these to something like a 3600 or 3700x and did it make a difference that matters? This is a pure gaming PC, 5700xt for a video card and gaming at mostly 1080p (projector or a cheap a 24" Freesync depending on which room I am playing in). If budget wasn't a concern I would likely patiently track down a 3950x or get impatient and get a 3900x at Microcenter but I have spent the last couple of years starting a business so I can't justify it as well to myself, although I think they might be viable for ~7 years like my current setup.

Thanks :)
 

UsandThem

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I am torn - is it really worth upgrading yet?
Of course it's worth upgrading...........if you need the extra performance. Is your current CPU holding you back in anything you do right now? There's definitely a big performance bump in many scenerios going from a 3rd gen Intel CPU to a 9th gen Intel CPU like the 9900k or a Ryzen CPU like the 3700X, 3900X, or even the 3950X.......if your PC usage uses those extra cores. If you strictly game, an 8 core CPU will last you a while.

Anyways, UserBenchmark says your current CPU is a "battle cruiser", and a CPU like the 3900X is a "nuclear submarine". And everyone knows a nuclear submarine is WAY better than a dinky battle cruiser. ;)
https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-3930K-vs-AMD-Ryzen-9-3900X/1487vs4044

Seriously though, you can use their site comparison as a very rough estimate of what to expect, and then you can watch/read some more detailed reviews to finalize component selections.
 
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blckgrffn

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Using that benchmark, my system is a Gaming Nuclear Submarine :laughing:


It is scoring roughly evenly with a 2700x (164 vs 159 points on the single dual core, superior quad core performance from the i7, superior eight core performance from the Zen+) which seems to really only pull away when it can flex it's multiple extra cores (64 core test).


Would you say "Of course it's worth upgrading..." if I was asking that question with a 2700x in my gaming rig?

IDK, I previously upgraded my main rig from a heavily OC'd dual core opteron 165 to a q6700 @ 3.0 Ghz to this 3930k. I don't feel like a 3700x is really going to be a kick in the pants all alone, the biggest thing would be the availability of an NVME drive for boot, but I already have some really solid SATA drives for now (including another 730 waiting for me to install W10 on it) and the differences probably aren't going to be FPS related. It doesn't feel like even the options out now are going to give that kind of kick short of a 3900x or better and I am on the outside looking in on that budget wise. I feel like they (the 39xxx processors) will hold their value extremely well in the secondary market as well and the rumors I've read about Zen 3 seem to make it a late 2020/2021 bet.

What is the "default" OC these Zen 2 processors are getting these days? I was once way into that (don't let my upgrade path on my main set the grade there, I've built and sold other PC's just squeeze Mhz on them) but I just haven't followed that like I once did. I guess the 32nm Sandybridge near-guaranteed 25%+ OC has spoiled me.
 
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ao_ika_red

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but I have spent the last couple of years starting a business
For me at least, this is the main deciding factor. Can you wait, idk a year maybe, to see how your business going and then pull the plug?
And if you think 2700x is a small jump from your OC-ed 3930k, how about waiting for 4xxx generation so you can feel the performance gap more?

But if you can't wait anymore, I suggest 3800X * which more gamer-focused than 3700X while offering less cooling-related headache than 3900X or 3950X.

* see correction below
 
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UsandThem

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Would you say "Of course it's worth upgrading..." if I was asking that question with a 2700x in my gaming rig?
If your primary use is gaming, then there are better CPUs for that purpose. The 2700X is a good CPU, but if you look at benchmarks from any reputable hardware review site, you will see the 2700X falls back in gaming performance compared to other options. It still would be a good CPU for gaming, just not one that you will see much of a difference coming from your current CPU.
For me at least, this is the main deciding factor. Can you wait, idk a year maybe, to see how your business going and then pull the plug?
And if you think 2700x is a small jump from your OC-ed 3930k, how about waiting for 4xxx generation so you can feel the performance gap more?

But if you can't wait anymore, I suggest 3800X which more gamer-focused than 3700X while offering less cooling-related headache than 3900X or 3950X.
+1 ditto this.

If you have the urge to upgrade now, the most sense would to go with a 3700X or 3900X (the 3800X is the odd duck out), or a CPU like the 9900K. Those would be the CPUs where the gaming performance would be a jump up from your current CPU.
 

ao_ika_red

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I suggest 3800X which more gamer-focused than 3700X
the most sense would to go with a 3800X or 3900X (the 3800X is the odd duck out)
Oops, I have to retract my suggestion because I forgot about this article, silly me.

TL;DR: it's between 3700x or 3900x. 3800 is a dud from value perspective.
 
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UsandThem

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Oops, I have to retract my suggestion because I forgot about this article, silly me.

TL;DR: it's between 3700x or 3900x. 3800 is a dud from value perspective.
There were many weeks between Black Friday and Christmas where the 3800X was only like $20 more than the 3700X, in that case I would go with it. I just don't think the difference is anywhere near $50+.
 
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blckgrffn

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Great points. You're probably right, even though waiting is the universal answer, something better is always in the pipeline.

Sometimes the itch is greater than other times, and the I really started this thread because of the Borderlands 3 performance which, upon closer inspection, appears to be somewhat of a crapshoot anyway. And I have this just gigantic Noctua cooler that a friend gifted me after he tossed a motherboard that had the mount and he noticed to late. The AM4 adapter was like $7 shipped from NewEgg...

I also have been putting off the W10 upgrade, thinking I would be moving on to new hardware any time, it just never happened.

Ah well, I suppose on to W10 and DX12 and we'll see how that fresh install feels.

Just did a Google search, is this really the OC ceiling on the Zen 2 chips? Maybe getting all cores to the single core boost speed?

(I see it is consistent with the Techspot article linked above, thanks for that better quality link)

 
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UsandThem

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Just did a Google search, is this really the OC ceiling on the Zen 2 chips? Maybe getting all cores to the single core boost speed?
You don't go with Ryzen for overclocking. As Silicon Lottery found out when binning the CPUs, AMD really has squeezed just about all performance out of them. They really are a "plug and play" type CPU for most users. There's a few users here that tweak them a little further, just don't expect overclocking results anywhere near what you are used to in the past.
https://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-ryzen-3000-cpus-silicon-lottery-binning,40157.html
 
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extide

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I just barely went from a 3930K at 4.4Ghz to a 3900X. It is quite a bit faster, per core, and having literally twice as many cores is pretty freaking awesome too.

Just to put some numbers, here are some benchmarks: (Same GPU, bit more o/c on the 3900x because it is now water cooled, but check the physics scores if you want a straight cpu to cpu comparison)

3900X:
Timespy: 10,242 https://www.3dmark.com/spy/8196652
Fire Strike: 24,820 https://www.3dmark.com/fs/20196376

3930K:
Timespy: 8,650 https://www.3dmark.com/spy/7963652
Fire Strike: 20,887 https://www.3dmark.com/fs/20013445
 
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blckgrffn

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I just barely went from a 3930K at 4.4Ghz to a 3900X. It is quite a bit faster, per core, and having literally twice as many cores is pretty freaking awesome too.
Right on! That is awesome. I think that's what I would want in order to step up - twice the cores, all that cache... and all the advantages of some seven years of engineering. There is some solid performance increases there, but it definitely shows the future is probably wider (more cores) rather than stronger cores. I am curious to see how many cores the new consoles get, that's likely a new minimum going forward.

I like that you have that paired with VII as well! I almost bit at $500 over the holidays, but I picked up this 5700xt for about $350 and there didn't seem to be that big of a step up, and it was finally supposed to be a real step up from my 290x.

I'll just save up and do it right. It's prevented me from doing as many steps as I did in the earlier 2000's and that was just throwing money away. If I can "limp" the 3930k into 2021 it will be a 10 year old chip. I am not sure if that is awesome or sad ;)

Thanks for sharing :)
 

SPBHM

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if it's for gaming it makes sense to wait another year or longer,
the current games should all run OK with it, and the next gen consoles are going to change hardware requirements I think and they are going to be released later this year.
 

Markfw

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if it's for gaming it makes sense to wait another year or longer,
the current games should all run OK with it, and the next gen consoles are going to change hardware requirements I think and they are going to be released later this year.
You can always wait. But I think the 3000 Series Ryzen will not be topped for quite a while. (multicore wise)
 

Shmee

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For gaming, the main benifits you will see between an OCed SB-E or IB-E and a Ryzen 3k will be the # of cores and the platform upgrade. I have a system with the same motherboard and a 4930k, though it only wants to clock to about 4.1GHz stable. I feel a big advantage of the new board will be support for NVMe, PCIe gen 4 vs PCIe gen 2 (since you are on SB-E) and lots more SATA 6gig ports. IIRC, the X79 UP4 only has 2 Sata 6gig ports from Intel, and 2 from Marvell or ASmedia or something.

For the CPU itself, I feel a good OC on a SB-E or IB-E is still relevant as a good 6 core with good ST performance, but having more cores with a 3700X or with a 12 or 16 core ryzen 3k would be helpful.
 
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blckgrffn

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For gaming, the main benifits you will see between an OCed SB-E or IB-E and a Ryzen 3k will be the # of cores and the platform upgrade. I have a system with the same motherboard and a 4930k, though it only wants to clock to about 4.1GHz stable. I feel a big advantage of the new board will be support for NVMe, PCIe gen 4 vs PCIe gen 2 (since you are on SB-E) and lots more SATA 6gig ports. IIRC, the X79 UP4 only has 2 Sata 6gig ports from Intel, and 2 from Marvell or ASmedia or something.

For the CPU itself, I feel a good OC on a SB-E or IB-E is still relevant as a good 6 core with good ST performance, but having more cores with a 3700X or with a 12 or 16 core ryzen 3k would be helpful.
All good points. I can run PCIe gen 3 on this board - it's not officially "supported" by Intel but after this long, it's not a big deal ;) My board seems finicky on what port I use for graphics cards to do it, but long ago I tested the functionality.

I had forgotten the SATA 6 gig limitations on this, I'll have to be careful in which I use, I've noticed pretty big differences in SSD performance, more than I would have suspected and now that makes more sense.

To SPBHM's point, I'll probably wait until we get really solid specs on the consoles and make sure whatever I buy is faster than that. To me, it seems like these next consoles are going to be thermal limited in terms of doing anything too crazy, it seems like the 7nm GPU's are not bring nearly as much efficiency as one might have hoped for from AMD, it's hard to believe that they are going to have much more than one chiplets woth of cores running @ ~3ghz or so. That's still soooooo much faster than the Jaguar cores.
 

DrMrLordX

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TL;DR: it's between 3700x or 3900x. 3800 is a dud from value perspective.
You don't go with Ryzen for overclocking.
I wanted to clear up some misconceptions here.

The 3600, 3600x, 3700x, and 3800x are all "duds" in a sense if you care about memory write bandwidth (theirs is cut in half vs the full-bandwidth 3900x and 3950x). A minor gripe, since many end-user systems - including gaming rigs- do not live and die by memory write bandwidth. But I wanted to point that out to anyone seriously thinking about the 1xCCD Matisse chips. Don't lose your mind when you run AIDA64 on a 3700x and find the weird memory results.

That being said, the 3800x isn't really a "dud" in that it is basically tied with the 3950x for maximum MT clocks in a static OC scenario. If you want the absolute best gaming performance from Matisse in a modern game that uses 4 or more cores heavily, you will want static OC or some crazy PBO action. Either scenario favors the 3800x and 3950x due to the binning involved in creating those chips. Case in point, the highest my 3900x with overkill custom cooling has ever gone with PBO or default mode (either one) in a game is around 4350 MHz. Period. Usually it likes to stay around 4300 MHz. If I switch to an all-core OC of 4400 MHz, I get measurable gains in gaming benches, and it will push out a few more fps. It's probably helping drag up those minimums more than anything else.

A 3800x (or a 3950x on its "good" CCD) might get you as high as 4450 or 4500 MHz at realistic voltages. Contrast this with the lowly 3700x that is more of a crapshoot thanks to binning. Some poor souls have trouble getting theirs to all-core OC higher than 4250 MHz. A 3800x is also relatively easier to cool than chips like a 3900x. You still need to throw a good 280mm AiO at a 3800x to tame those hotspots and go for the maximum possible all-core OC, but if I were going to put together a Matisse gaming rig, my choices would be 3800x + Crucial DDR4-3000 (with e-die) and . . . probably a C6H to be honest. Lots of people have had amazing results with Matisse on the old C6H! That's assuming you don't need PCIe4.0 of course.
 

Gideon

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3900x does indeed seem like the best all-around upgrade for your rig.

But if you only plan to game then also keep an eye oout on the upcoming (Q1) Comet-Lake i7 or i9 might edge it out a bit in that regard (gaming-only).

Then again, there is always the "next best thing right around the corner". Ryzen 4xxx series Desktop CPUs should be here in late Q3 - early Q4. These have a new cache hierarchy (and rumored >10% IPC gains) that should make them the kings in pretty much everything.
 
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Shmee

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All good points. I can run PCIe gen 3 on this board - it's not officially "supported" by Intel but after this long, it's not a big deal ;) My board seems finicky on what port I use for graphics cards to do it, but long ago I tested the functionality.

I had forgotten the SATA 6 gig limitations on this, I'll have to be careful in which I use, I've noticed pretty big differences in SSD performance, more than I would have suspected and now that makes more sense.

To SPBHM's point, I'll probably wait until we get really solid specs on the consoles and make sure whatever I buy is faster than that. To me, it seems like these next consoles are going to be thermal limited in terms of doing anything too crazy, it seems like the 7nm GPU's are not bring nearly as much efficiency as one might have hoped for from AMD, it's hard to believe that they are going to have much more than one chiplets woth of cores running @ ~3ghz or so. That's still soooooo much faster than the Jaguar cores.
Yes, the board will support PCIe gen 3, but that would require a new CPU I believe, one from the 4xxx IB-E series, as the PCIe controller is on the CPU. Same thing happened with Sandy bridge vs Ivy Bridge on the Z68 and Z77 boards.

Anyway, I don't think it makes sense to upgrade to an IB-E CPU this far down the road. I agree that if the current build suits you for now, you could wait for the Ryzen 4k series. You could also jump on an X570 board now with a 3700X or better, and possibly upgrade to the 4k series later. (most likely)
 
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Carfax83

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1080p gaming on an old CPU paired with a much stronger GPU in a game that has shoddy optimization and uses the DX11 API.......what could go wrong I wonder? :D

Seriously though, seems like your decision to stay with Windows 7 is hurting you more than anything else, as you're limited to the DX11 API. With Windows 10, you could try DX12 and that alone could potentially solve your problems; especially given the fact that you have a 5700XT paired with an older CPU. Secondly, if you haven't done so already, try lowering the volumetric fog setting to medium. That setting alone has a huge impact on performance when set to ultra, and lowering it to medium (no noticeable reduction in image quality) could net you around an extra 20 FPS. Or at least that's what it did for me. But since you are CPU limited, it probably won't have that affect.

So the biggest advice for you definitely is to get on Windows 10 ASAP, if you want to keep your system for a little while longer.
 
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blckgrffn

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I think SB-E does support PCIe 3... :sunglasses:

https://www.anandtech.com/show/5264/sandy-bridge-e-x79-pcie-30-it-works <-- it's so old! Anand himself posted it :disrelieved: But how else was I supposed to keep those xfired 7950's fed?!? What a heaping mess of performance garbage that turned out to be. I was so happy moving to the 290x.

Anyway, @ Carfax you're right. But Windows 7? :rolleyes: Please. I am rocking 8.1 Pro on this guy! :D DX12 is still a viable target though, and from what I've been reading should help push the bottleneck back to the GPU. I've just been avoiding it due to years of app accumulation and having that one PC that reboots on my schedule... Also going to kill the fog.

(I appreciate all the responses and especially the note on the possible trade offs between the Zen 2 chips and why their bins/TDPs might play into real world performance)
 
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SPBHM

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regarding PCIE 3 on Sandy Bridge-e, the controller was capable but not fully certified if I remember correctly, the AMD drivers would enable PCIE 3.0 on this platform, the Nvidia ones would not and require some registry tweak, but I'm not sure how current drivers behave with it.

You can always wait. But I think the 3000 Series Ryzen will not be topped for quite a while. (multicore wise)
true, but new console gens are not happening every year and this one in particular is going to have far better CPUs than the prior one (and hardware RT, also very fast I/O storage), so it's likely that things (requirements) will change more in this regard, so I think the "wait and see" is not a bad approach, given his CPU is not that bad anyway.

but yes, if you have a 12 core Zen 2 you are probably safe for a while,
 
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Topweasel

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Great article that just went up today on Techspot regarding bottlenecking. I was considering the 3600 (if I bother upgrading) but may look at the 2600 instead (it's $105 CDN cheaper than the 3600 at present). I have a 1440p monitor and a 1070 right now. Would make for a really cheap upgrade with current RAM prices:

https://www.techspot.com/review/1968-ryzen-3600-vs-2600-gaming-scaling/
If you are serious about getting a 2600 you might want save another $20-30 and get the 1600 AF and get a better cooler and just run it at OC 2600 clocks.
 

blckgrffn

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Great article that just went up today on Techspot regarding bottlenecking. I was considering the 3600 (if I bother upgrading) but may look at the 2600 instead (it's $105 CDN cheaper than the 3600 at present). I have a 1440p monitor and a 1070 right now. Would make for a really cheap upgrade with current RAM prices:

https://www.techspot.com/review/1968-ryzen-3600-vs-2600-gaming-scaling/
The thing is, benchmarks are showing that I can expect roughly 2600 to 2600x performance out of my dinosaur, so I don't think a side grade would be worth hardly any money.

@Carfax83 I had turned down fog down but turning it off was huge. About 20 FPS in game (from 55-75 to 85-100) , almost 100FPS on the initial screen/menu (140 to about 230+) :D - what a setting.

I tried Wolfenstein 2 on the highest settings last night, ran super well and looked phenomenal. Since I only play one game at time these days, the rough Borderlands 3 experience was weighing too much on my upgrade considerations.
 
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