Question Dilemma: buying AMD Ryzen 7 3700X or waiting for desktop Intel Ice Lake

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ubern00b

Member
Jun 11, 2019
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after 10+ years of quad cores, and only now IPC starting to stagnate, I think we're heading into the realms of true multi-chip computing where in another 10 years you might have a CPU that consists of 256 "small" cores with maybe 1024 threads that all work together regardless of whether you're gaming, or multi-tasking, creating content etc of course that will require a big shift from developers to change how they code everything but it's slowly getting there with gaming where now 8 cores can be utilised and a quad core will offer weaker performance, it just needs to be done at the OS level to properly balance and utilise all of those cores together. Can't see how else it could go tbh unless something big happens in quantum computing that throws all of this out of the window completely lol
 
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Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,800
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I agree with the others regarding the 3600. Maybe the 3600X for the better included cooler.

I haven't seen better value then either for a long time, and I'm very happy with my 3600. 8700-level performance, and sips power. Whats not to like?

3700X (8 cores + SMT + Sky Lake level IPC) will be significantly faster than Intel Core i5 2500K even in single threaded mode and Ryzen also supports AVX2 instructions which make certain workflows dramatically faster. The Ryzen 2000 series was a very mild upgrade in terms of IPC and it was quite limited in terms of frequency and thermals.
If you have a task that can take advantage in any way, shape or form of AVX2 the 3000-series really is a no-brainer.
 
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birdie

Member
Jan 12, 2019
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What's the best CPU your current board will take?

Perhaps there is a cheap 8 thread upgrade path that way, that will keep you from spending much money now?

3770K? 2700K?
That in itself is a little bit dangerous since I will have to reassemble the PC and that will also leave me with a CPU I have to flog. Also, neither my current build, nor a new CPU will have any warranty, so the whole affair becomes even riskier. So, I might as well either leave everything intact or upgrade to a new platform altogether which I'm currently inclined towards.
 
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zir_blazer

Senior member
Jun 6, 2013
918
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There are also rumors that AMD is going to more threads/core (3-4) versus more cores next round of Zen. It's possible some are hearing 24 threads and thinking 12 cores.
Knights Landing Xeon Phi had Airmont Atom cores that could do 4 Threads per Core.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
6,829
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Knights Landing Xeon Phi had Airmont Atom cores that could do 4 Threads per Core.
Knights Landing had modified the original Silvermont core so much that it was its own core. For that chip though, the 4 threads acted like how they do on GPUs.

For client CPUs, 4 thread SMT might be too much. 2 threads are there for optimal multi-thread gain with minimal single thread impact. Going above 2 threads per core also needs adding SMT-specific enhancements and will also bring diminishing returns.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,092
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The IPC and L3 cache increase, as well as the DRAM / IF clocking increases, are actual improvements that you can notice and feel, just using the PC.

Ryzen is here! Time to upgrade!

Just think, of people that upgraded to Sandy Bridge right when it came out, they were able to make use of all that performance increases for all of that time, till now. (And most Intel performance increases since then, were mostly just small arch tweaks, and process / clock-speed improvements. Sure, Skylake is faster than Sandy, but honestly, it's not a HUGE jump, although 5.0Ghz helps for those 9900K owners.)

OTOH, Ryzen 1st-Gen CPUs were kind of like Sandy Bridge, but unlike Intel, AMD AM4 owners can upgrade to 2nd-Gen (which was like AMD's Ivy Bridge), and then finally also 3rd-Gen Ryzen, which is like AMD's Skylake/Kaby Lake/Coffee Lake (mentioned together, because they're basically all the same cores that Intel has been "shoveling" at us for 4-5 years now).

Again, do your own research, but NOW, is indeed a very good time to upgrade. (Watch out for rising RAM prices though.)
 

teejee

Senior member
Jul 4, 2013
294
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Smart money is that the next gen xbox and PS4 will be crippled (relative to desktop and server Zen 2 brethren) in either clockspeed or cache size. Likely both.
Clockspeed will definately be lower, I don't know about caches but consoles have an OS optimized for gaming, that helps consoles a lot.
So I still consider 3600/3600x good value now but will not last like the eight cores.
If you want long term value like the good old 2600k/2500k for gaming then buy 3700x.
 

GaiaHunter

Diamond Member
Jul 13, 2008
3,560
41
91
Smart money is that the next gen xbox and PS4 will be crippled (relative to desktop and server Zen 2 brethren) in either clockspeed or cache size. Likely both.
Even crippled Zen2 will be way more powerful than the current Jaguar cores, meaning the delta between console and PC will be way smaller than today. Add to that the fact that developers spend more time squeezing every resource of the consoles while they rely on the brute force of the PC.

Going back to the OP.

If you are playing a game and not enjoying it because of the performance, that is a good reason to update.

Then the options are going for a 3600 to save some money now if you have shortish upgrade cycles (which doesn't seem to be the case) or spend a bit more on 3700X to have a platform that last longer.
 

TheGiant

Senior member
Jun 12, 2017
658
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I have a sneaking suspicion we're now enjoying the last pieces of IPC increase, so I believe waiting even further doesn't make too much sense. Also, it's not exactly clear new nodes (10nm and smaller) can reach the frequencies we enjoyed in the past (~5GHz).

Besides in single threaded mode we're now just two times faster than we were ten years ago aside from the tasks which take the advantage of new instructions (AVX, AVX2).

It's all become pretty bleak on the CPU side of progress. Some algorithms just cannot be parallelized.
smart money IMO if you are not totally to some rendering or encoding is 3600 non X
200EUR CPU r3600+msi b450 tomahawk(94EUR)
sub 300 EUR you have pretty much everything you need
so you save 140 EUR for CPU and another 20 for better board and
if you want upgrade, save the money and in 2 years buy something in that class like todays 3600

thats imo smart, buying hardware for the need in the future was here in 1990s
 

amrnuke

Senior member
Apr 24, 2019
836
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I have a sneaking suspicion we're now enjoying the last pieces of IPC increase, so I believe waiting even further doesn't make too much sense.
Cost? If there will be no IPC gains then you still realize a benefit when the price of the 3600 or 3700X drops upon release of the (?)4600.

That being said, I'm not sure why you're clamoring for the 3700X. The utility of 2 extra cores / 4 extra threads for gaming purposes only (you didn't mention streaming or content creation) makes little sense, especially for the 50% price premium you'll pay. You even said it yourself: "Some algorithms just cannot be parallelized." Considering you marked yourself as "a very price conscious person" who is "also very strapped for money" it makes very little sense to pay such a premium for the 3700X. It sounds like you're stuck on an idea that you need the 3700X and have blocked yourself from considering a better alternative in the 3600 that from an IPC standpoint will probably last you a long time, and from a thread standpoint will also probably last you a long time.

Further, I'm not sure what to think about your computer needs. You said "my current PC still works just fine and it runs all the games and tasks I throw at it" but then you say "my build even struggled to run The Division (1) smoothly so I had to dial down quite a few settings." Which is it?

In the end, it's really hard to make a recommendation because (and don't take this the wrong way) you are all over the place with what you're saying. Further, it sounds like you came into this thread already having your mind made up the processor - it sounds like you're requesting affirmation more than anything.

My recommendation - don't over-think this: Ryzen 3600 ($199) + Radeon 5700 ($349) would absolutely hammer (and then wipe the floor with, laugh at, and urinate on) a Ryzen 3700X ($349) + RX590 or 1060 (both $199) for the exact same price. Spend less on the CPU and more on the GPU.
 

dnavas

Senior member
Feb 25, 2017
288
125
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A little bit about myself and my situation. I'm a very price conscious person (let's say the average wage in my country is six to ten times lower than in the US), I'm also very strapped for money and at the same time I want to upgrade because ... I don't really know why since my current PC still works just fine and it runs all the games and tasks I throw at it.
My advice: leave it alone. I felt I was in much the same situation except I could afford to thank AMD by buying its processors before they were perfect competition to Intel, because anyone that would bring competition to the lga1156 instigator was worth rewarding to me. Also, my PC was definitely NOT fine with 4k content creation. So, I might have felt similarly about the stagnation from Intel, but I needed the upgrade, and I could afford it. I don't see you being in the same situation. Wait until you need it, or alternatively, can afford it. If neither is true, it's not a particularly smart purchase, and I suspect you will come to regret it.
 

maddie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2010
3,105
1,733
136
Cost? If there will be no IPC gains then you still realize a benefit when the price of the 3600 or 3700X drops upon release of the (?)4600.

That being said, I'm not sure why you're clamoring for the 3700X. The utility of 2 extra cores / 4 extra threads for gaming purposes only (you didn't mention streaming or content creation) makes little sense, especially for the 50% price premium you'll pay. You even said it yourself: "Some algorithms just cannot be parallelized." Considering you marked yourself as "a very price conscious person" who is "also very strapped for money" it makes very little sense to pay such a premium for the 3700X. It sounds like you're stuck on an idea that you need the 3700X and have blocked yourself from considering a better alternative in the 3600 that from an IPC standpoint will probably last you a long time, and from a thread standpoint will also probably last you a long time.

Further, I'm not sure what to think about your computer needs. You said "my current PC still works just fine and it runs all the games and tasks I throw at it" but then you say "my build even struggled to run The Division (1) smoothly so I had to dial down quite a few settings." Which is it?

In the end, it's really hard to make a recommendation because (and don't take this the wrong way) you are all over the place with what you're saying. Further, it sounds like you came into this thread already having your mind made up the processor - it sounds like you're requesting affirmation more than anything.

My recommendation - don't over-think this: Ryzen 3600 ($199) + Radeon 5700 ($349) would absolutely hammer (and then wipe the floor with, laugh at, and urinate on) a Ryzen 3700X ($349) + RX590 or 1060 (both $199) for the exact same price. Spend less on the CPU and more on the GPU.
Don't you have this in the wrong order?

My recommendation - don't over-think this: Ryzen 3600 ($199) + Radeon 5700 ($349) would absolutely hammer (and then wipe the floor with, laugh at, and urinate on) a Ryzen 3700X ($349) + RX590 or 1060 (both $199) for the exact same price. Spend less on the CPU and more on the GPU.

Shouldn't it be (laugh at, urinate on and then wipe the floor with)? :p
 

coffeemonster

Senior member
Apr 18, 2015
241
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I feel like moving to SMT3/4 would have been logical going forward if AMD hadn't gone the ccx/chiplet design and mainstream core counts were still mostly 4 to 6. But with mainstream being bumped up to 16 cores this year, 4 threads per core seems a bit ludicrous. Maybe it will end up being a Threadripper/EPYC only thing.
 

moinmoin

Golden Member
Jun 1, 2017
1,611
1,508
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I feel like moving to SMT3/4 would have been logical going forward if AMD hadn't gone the ccx/chiplet design and mainstream core counts were still mostly 4 to 6. But with mainstream being bumped up to 16 cores this year, 4 threads per core seems a bit ludicrous. Maybe it will end up being a Threadripper/EPYC only thing.
All Zen designs are server first and the same across all markets. Aside memory encryption and PSP management AMD just hasn't disabled any features for the consumer market. That's how we got the large LLC cache ("gamecache" lol), 2x 256bit AVX2 and other server oriented design decisions (the mass of cores itself could be included in this list as well). SMT4 being introduced in Zen 3 but disabled in consumer chips would be a(n imo negative) first for a core feature.
 

CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
2,252
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I would say get the 3600 now and if / when games need more. Just upgrade the cpu. It is a simple upgrade. That assumes you really need the cpu. I might would just get a faster gpu and game at 4K or turn up more settings. Really depends on what you play or do with your computer.

I have a 2500K, a 7950 and a 4K monitor. While I really like the 3600 and would like to upgrade. My money would be better spent on a 5700 or something.
 

jackstar7

Lifer
Jun 26, 2009
11,666
1,918
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If you can make it another year to when we see discounts on Ryzen 3XXX chips (like we are now seeing on the 2XXX series), then you'll benefit greatly from that patience. You can also space out your build over time to budget more easily. Like picking up a new PSU, GPU, or other things that could swap into your current system, but their primary purpose would be for that future build. That might help you scratch the itch without having you over-spending when you don't have the budget to support it.
 
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epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
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I would say get the 3600 now and if / when games need more. Just upgrade the cpu. It is a simple upgrade. That assumes you really need the cpu. I might would just get a faster gpu and game at 4K or turn up more settings. Really depends on what you play or do with your computer.

I have a 2500K, a 7950 and a 4K monitor. While I really like the 3600 and would like to upgrade. My money would be better spent on a 5700 or something.
That's the thing, CPUs last way longer than GPUs in useful longevity for gaming systems. I normally go through 2 - 3 GPUs before I even consider upgrading the CPU.

My general rule of thumb with gaming systems is - spend twice as much on the GPU as the CPU. This generally keeps the system balanced in terms of CPU vs GPU bottlenecks. So I agree with most posters here, 3600 ($200) + 5700 / 5700XT ($350 - $400) is by far the most sensible combo, especially on a limited budget.
 

HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
2,071
461
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If you can make it another year to when we see discounts on Ryzen 3XXX chips (like we are now seeing on the 2XXX series), then you'll benefit greatly from that patience. You can also space out your build over time to budget more easily. Like picking up a new PSU, GPU, or other things that could swap into your current system, but their primary purpose would be for that future build. That might help you scratch the itch without having you over-spending when you don't have the budget to support it.
Alternatively, buy a 3600 now if your current setup is significantly old and/or slow, and buy a Zen 3 on fire sale around the time that Zen 4 hits. (Assuming comparability is retained and you motherboard gets an update, which are both extremely likely but not 100% surefire).
 

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