Question Buying a new rig, need input on CPU

Niege

Senior member
Oct 24, 1999
649
2
81
#1
I'm just about to pull the trigger on a major upgrade. My workload is 99% photo editing (Lightroom and Photoshop) and office stuff. Currently I'm running 1st generation i7-930 on Asus P6X58D-E, 24 GB. Crikey slow in editing over time. I'm looking a i5-9600K on MSI Z390-A Pro, 32GB. But now I'm reading that Intel takes a big hit with mitigations for their design flaws. All the Photoshop folks think Intel is much better than Ryzen, but I am unaware of any test that shows how big a hit this particular Intel chip will take, so I'm holding fire. Money is also a concern.

Questions: Will this 9th generation chip take a major hit with the mitigations? Will it be so large that a Ryzen will really compete with it? Is this a good choice seeing as how Lightroom and Phtoshop are CPU dependent? Should I cough up some more for an i7-9700? Or should I feed the hamsters in the CPU more high protein food?

Thanks in advance.
 

tamz_msc

Platinum Member
Jan 5, 2017
2,291
296
106
#2
I don't think the mitigations affect a workload like photo editing that significantly, so you're good to go with the parts you've chosen. Besides photo editing isn't that heavy on multi-core so an i5 overclocked to 5GHz would easily beat out any Ryzen alternative.
 

ehume

Golden Member
Nov 6, 2009
1,426
23
91
#3
I don't think the mitigations affect a workload like photo editing that significantly, so you're good to go with the parts you've chosen. Besides photo editing isn't that heavy on multi-core so an i5 overclocked to 5GHz would easily beat out any Ryzen alternative.
Supposedly the software mitigations for early Spectre-Meltdown did not affect 9th-gen hardware, IIRC. But the difference between a 9600k and a 9900k is more than price: the more expensive CPU was better binned. IIRC, a review looked at performances of a 9900k with HT turned off and a 9700k, which comes without HT. The truncated 9900k performed better, even with only 8 cores and no HT.

BTW -- I gave my daughter my i7-8700k, OC'd to 4.8 GHz and with 64 GB RAM for LR. She isn't here right now, or I'd give you a report. I read several "How-To" pieces, and they all recommended lots of RAM to get the quickest response from LR. But be warned -- even with the best HW, LR is slow.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
18,182
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#5
One other thing. I have heard nothing about using an SSD. I would make sure your new motherboard has an M.2 slot, and either it has a built-in heatsink for the M.2 or you buy a separate one. a 1tb M.2 would be good, so you can put the OS, the software, and working files all on the one disk. Get a separate disk for storage.

One more thing, the new Ryzen 3000 series are coming out soon, and single-thread COULD be faster on those, and no (or next to no) mitigations. If you can wait, it might be worth it.
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2006
19,794
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#6
Mark nails it here imho. I've got an Intel 8086k (think binned 8700k) gaming rig and a Ryzen (currently 2700x) general office PC, and both are great. The thing is, Zen2 (Eg; Ryzen 3600/3700/3800/etc) will be launching really soon, with a new PCIE 4.0 (first upgrade in ages, and should allow faster SSD with less bandwidth drag) and improvements, albeit perhaps incremental, at multiple levels.

I know sometimes you have to get something right away, but if there's any way to wait until at least the 1st of June to see what the deal is (details are going to be at Computex end of this month), then I think it's worth checking out.

When Ryzen 2xxx came out, Micro Center and some other sources dropped prices and made deals on 1xxx stuff that was pretty awesome. Intel doesn't lower prices on old SKUs most of the time, but they may announce 10-series Core products as well very soon. Whether or not 3xxx looks incredible or not, it should still make for some deals on 2xxx stuff.

And of course, definitely look for a deal on a good SSD config :)
 

jpiniero

Diamond Member
Oct 1, 2010
6,577
317
126
#7
Supposedly the software mitigations for early Spectre-Meltdown did not affect 9th-gen hardware, IIRC.
That's not true. Coffee Lake Refresh does have the microcode mitigations, but doesn't have all the hardware fixes. There is an updated stepping with them (R0) but those chips aren't available yet it looks.
 

ehume

Golden Member
Nov 6, 2009
1,426
23
91
#8
That's not true. Coffee Lake Refresh does have the microcode mitigations, but doesn't have all the hardware fixes. There is an updated stepping with them (R0) but those chips aren't available yet it looks.
OK. Coffee Lake Refresh does not have the HW mitigations, but I thought Coffee Lake Refresh was 8x00. That is not so?
 
Oct 27, 2006
19,794
302
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#9
That's not true. Coffee Lake Refresh does have the microcode mitigations, but doesn't have all the hardware fixes. There is an updated stepping with them (R0) but those chips aren't available yet it looks.
This is true. And variants of Meltdown and Spectre type attacks have been made that affect ALL current x86 CPUs from both vendors.

However, I've yet to see reports of actual attacks in the wild that are more than test code. These are edge cases where it would take a directed attack for a person to be affected. In big datacenter/cloud/infrastructure environments, this is obviously very relevant, as they want to wall up against sabotage/espionage as much as possible.

For home users, it doesn't seem all that relevant beyond the performance hits on the patched products. In fact, it's an order of magnitude more common for someone to be affected by a social engineering or phishing attack, or hotspot hijack that for some elite hacker to target you specifically, wait for the long process of data to exfil the process, etc.

Now it's certainly up to each user to prioritize what they want, but having seen slammer, CIH, etc, this is more of an annoyance than anything so far, and it's been a while since it was first widely revealed.

The tools and such leaked by the Shadow Brokers are far more threatening IMHO. YMMV.
 
Oct 27, 2006
19,794
302
126
#10
OK. Coffee Lake Refresh does not have the HW mitigations, but I thought Coffee Lake Refresh was 8x00. That is not so?
See my screen cap of my 8086k, InSpectre shows this info.
 

Indus

Diamond Member
May 11, 2002
5,842
1,278
136
#13
I can't compare 9th gen since I didn't buy intel 9th gen but I bought Ryzen last year strictly for photoshop & lightroom & some light gaming at 1440p. It was a major upgrade over intel quad cores when I upgraded.

I haven't had any problems and it's way faster in exporting than my older 3rd gen intel. I also have 32 GB of RAM and I've not seen it use more than 20GB yet.

An SSD scratch drive does tend to help imo.

Overall I've been happy with ryzen and looking forward to dropping in a 3rd gen ryzen soon. The thing I tend to upgrade the most often is hard drives.. they just keep running out of space. Currently I'm using a 1TB boot, 4TB as primary storage and then transferring to 8TB's as I need. You probably know the storage problem that we run into as our data takes a lot of space.
 
Jul 25, 2001
10,248
47
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#14
I'm just about to pull the trigger on a major upgrade. My workload is 99% photo editing (Lightroom and Photoshop) and office stuff. Currently I'm running 1st generation i7-930 on Asus P6X58D-E, 24 GB. Crikey slow in editing over time. I'm looking a i5-9600K on MSI Z390-A Pro, 32GB. But now I'm reading that Intel takes a big hit with mitigations for their design flaws. All the Photoshop folks think Intel is much better than Ryzen, but I am unaware of any test that shows how big a hit this particular Intel chip will take, so I'm holding fire. Money is also a concern.

Questions: Will this 9th generation chip take a major hit with the mitigations? Will it be so large that a Ryzen will really compete with it? Is this a good choice seeing as how Lightroom and Phtoshop are CPU dependent? Should I cough up some more for an i7-9700? Or should I feed the hamsters in the CPU more high protein food?

Thanks in advance.
If you want the best CPU for Adobe, get the 9700K or 9900K. Personally, I got the 9700K because it was much cheaper and the performance is so close, you'd never notice. Everyone wants to preach HT, but in reality, Adobe just doesn't utilize HT that well. Also, if you're comfortable doing it, the 9700K overclocks very well at 5ghz.

I know I read somewhere else that because of HT, the 9900K doesn't overclock as well as the 9700K. I can't find that article, but the Anandtech article talks a little about it.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/13400/intel-9th-gen-core-i9-9900k-i7-9700k-i5-9600k-review/22

Photoshop testing.
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/a...K-i9-9900K-Performance-1248/#BenchmarkResults

And yes, the Intel chips are much better for Adobe than Ryzen.
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/a...K-i9-9900K-Performance-1248/#BenchmarkResults
 

Indus

Diamond Member
May 11, 2002
5,842
1,278
136
#15
From https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/a...s-Mac-1295/#IntelvsAMDvsMacforPhotoshopCC2019

For Photoshop CC 2019, there is no question that the Intel 9th Gen CPUs are currently the fastest processors available (beating AMD Ryzen 7 2700X by about 7-15%).

The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, on the other hand, does about right for its price. It is a bit more expensive than the Intel Core i5 9600K, but it is also faster by a few percent.

This means that if your budget can only accommodate a ~$300 CPU, you likely won't see much of a difference between Intel and AMD for Photoshop.

However the real question is if 7-15% improvement of a 9900k worth almost doubling the cost of the CPU to the OP.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,420
265
136
#16
I would hold on for a month or two. See how the next gen Ryzen performs. And isn't Intel's 10 series due out fairly soon as well?

Toss a $20 Xeon 5660 in your current rig for now. Clocks better, runs cooler and has more cores/threads.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
18,182
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#17
I would hold on for a month or two. See how the next gen Ryzen performs. And isn't Intel's 10 series due out fairly soon as well?

Toss a $20 Xeon 5660 in your current rig for now. Clocks better, runs cooler and has more cores/threads.
WOW, I just looked, and a X5660 is $14 on ebay, buy it now ! Good call. I think it might overclock.... But still 2.8 on 6 core vs 2 core@2.8 (I7 930 stock) is a 50% improvement ! And on ebay they are the same price ! Just update your bios first, I have X5670's and they are $21 and 3 ghz, and thats another option to hold you over.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,420
265
136
#18
WOW, I just looked, and a X5660 is $14 on ebay, buy it now ! Good call. I think it might overclock.... But still 2.8 on 6 core vs 2 core@2.8 (I7 930 stock) is a 50% improvement ! And on ebay they are the same price ! Just update your bios first, I have X5670's and they are $21 and 3 ghz, and thats another option to hold you over.
The 5660 is easy to get to 3.8 to 4.2 Ghz. I've had them as high as 4.8, but wouldn't do it now since any board it would work in has old VRM's.
 
Oct 27, 2006
19,794
302
126
#19
LOL I didn't even notice OP had an X58 platform already.

Yeah for sure, bang in one of the 6C/12T guys. Will be a solid improvement, they have more cache as well. $ for $ that improvement will be leagues ahead of a totally new platform, and you can start thinking about moving up well after the news on what Intel 10 series and Ryzen 3000 series stuff is in the real world.

W3670, 3680, and 3690 are all valid options as well. 3690 a bit less so because it was the top model for the series and seems a little overpriced, but the 3670/3680 are $20-$50 going by sold prices. They are all 6C/12T 12MB Cache, at 3.2Ghz, 3.33Ghz, and 3.46Ghz stock, respectively.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
18,182
2,133
136
#20
Yea the 3690 is $80 for 3.46 vs $45 for 3.33, so W3680 is the way to go until you get the new system.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
3,880
68
126
#21
The 5660 is easy to get to 3.8 to 4.2 Ghz. I've had them as high as 4.8, but wouldn't do it now since any board it would work in has old VRM's.
I would 2nd the X5660, I think I have bought 2 of them for 2 different machines. (One in a Gigabyte GA-X58-UD5 @ ~4.2 GHz that my sister uses, and one on an Asus P6X58D premium @ ~4.2 GHz. 4.2 GHz should be easy peasy on most boards, I would shoot for 4.3 or 4.4 as a middle ground on a decent air cooler.
 
Apr 27, 2000
12,791
1,575
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#22
This is true. And variants of Meltdown and Spectre type attacks have been made that affect ALL current x86 CPUs from both vendors.
Not exactly true. Meltdown does not affect AMD processors.

MDS also does not affect AMD processors, and we're still sorting that one out (bleh).
 
Oct 27, 2006
19,794
302
126
#23
Not exactly true. Meltdown does not affect AMD processors.

MDS also does not affect AMD processors, and we're still sorting that one out (bleh).
I thought so too, but that has changed.

https://www.techrepublic.com/articl...ined-a-comprehensive-guide-for-professionals/

"AMD CPUs are vulnerable to the Meltdown-BR variant, publicly disclosed in November 2018."

"AMD microarchitectures starting from K8 (Hammer) through Zen+ are vulnerable to Spectre. The K8 microarchitecture debuted in September 2003 with the Athlon 64, the first of AMD's CPUs capable of running 64-bit Windows."

Seems to be a matter of how long attackers work towards exploring potential vulnerabilities in these architectures.
 
Apr 27, 2000
12,791
1,575
136
#24
"AMD CPUs are vulnerable to the Meltdown-BR variant, publicly disclosed in November 2018."
Huh, interesting. I'll have to look into that further. Might need another UEFI update on the ol' X370.
 

Niege

Senior member
Oct 24, 1999
649
2
81
#25
Thanks so much, guys, this is really terrific info.
 


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