Question modern-day system components, AMD vs. Intel, etc.

Turbonium

Golden Member
Mar 15, 2003
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I'm still using an old i5 system from circa 2013. It does fine (I only play older games), but I think it may be time for a new build (and newer, higher Hz monitor).

Some general questions I have:

raw performance: AMD or Intel?
PPW: AMD or Intel?
GPUs: AMD or NVIDIA?
storage: Form-factor/format? NVMe, M.2 vs. 2.5" SATA, etc.? Lots of changes to learn about here.

I'm doing reading on my own (starting on Anandtech), but I find it's all a bit overwhelming, even for me (lots of cores in modern-day CPUs, new technologies, etc.), so I thought I'd also post here.
 
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Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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And yet it's all changing every 2 years now or shorter depending on the component being updated.

To answer your questions though we need to know more. Latest CPU from either works fine though AMD is releasing a new platform this fall which competes more directly with Intel now. Both are aiming to go chiplet in the next year or so though which is a game changer from the ground up again.
 

OlyAR15

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Oct 23, 2014
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Honestly, in your situation, none of that matters. If your old PC still does what you need of it, then any upgrade will be unnecessary, and you probably won't notice much of a difference, assuming your PC is using an SSD. As far as Intel vs. AMD, again, both are more than capable of playing modern games. Something like an Intel 12400 or 12600k (if you can afford it), or an AMD 5600x, is good enough. Same for GPUs. Price and availability is most important, but at least things are looking better these days. Something like a Radeon 6700xt or RTX3060ti will be fine, especially since you play older games.

As for form factor, the major advantage of nvme is lack of cabling. Yeah, it's a bit faster than SATA, but for the most part, you really won't notice it. Windows boots up a bit faster, and you might shave a few seconds here or there, but the biggest difference in speeds comes between an HDD and an SSD. Once you get an SSD, the speed difference becomes less and less noticeable.
 

Tech Junky

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Yeah, it's a bit faster than SATA, but for the most part, you really won't notice it. Windows boots up a bit faster, and you might shave a few seconds here or there,
SATA = 600MB/s but if it's a spinner the top end is ~225MB/s
SATA M2 / same 600MB/s
NVME Gen3 - 3.5GB/s
NVME Gen4 - 7GB/s
NVME gen5 - 16GB/s

So, while most of the speed boost is the boot time or huge game loads it's a nice to have situation if you don't like waiting. Now, the difference between the Gen3 / Gen4 drives on boot times is negligible due to how Windows handles the boot process If you went Linux though it does leeverage the speeds more.
 

OlyAR15

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Oct 23, 2014
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SATA = 600MB/s but if it's a spinner the top end is ~225MB/s
SATA M2 / same 600MB/s
NVME Gen3 - 3.5GB/s
NVME Gen4 - 7GB/s
NVME gen5 - 16GB/s

So, while most of the speed boost is the boot time or huge game loads it's a nice to have situation if you don't like waiting. Now, the difference between the Gen3 / Gen4 drives on boot times is negligible due to how Windows handles the boot process If you went Linux though it does leeverage the speeds more.
Yeah, all those numbers are meaningless to most people. This is the problem with a lot of reviews that focus solely on numbers. You simply aren't going to get 10x performance boost going from SATA SSD to nvme g4. You will notice some improvement in day to day use, but for the most part it will not be significant. Of course, some workloads will take advantage of the improved throughput, but from what the OP is describing, he is unlikely to notice a significant improvement over a SATA SSD. And as for games, there have been a lot of tests that show no significant difference between SATA, nvme3, and nvme4. The only significant difference is between HDD and SSD.

Basically, fixating on the numbers is equivalent of bench racing among car enthusiasts. Everyone salivates over the horsepower numbers of the latest supercars, but if you just drive them on the street, they are meaningless to the overall experience.
 
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Tech Junky

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They have to be stored somewhere prior to loading into the RAM on the GPU.

GDDR6 delivers maximum bandwidth and blazing-fast speed of up to 768GB/s,

Getting it from storage in a speedier fashion makes for less waiting. Noticeably going from a GTX1650 to RTX3060 made a bigger difference in load times since both systems had the same Drive / RAM. I went from maybe 2 minutes down to maybe 30-45 seconds pushing 4GB of files into the GPU for play.

The performance comparisons jumping to either 3050 or 3060 or biting off more costs with a 3070 came into the decision to at leas double the GPU performance and skip the 3050. In the end though the drive speed does make a difference but, it's very focused on certain activities. The scenario where it really makes a difference would be transactional databases that are constantly hitting the drive for R/W's.
 

OlyAR15

Senior member
Oct 23, 2014
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Why are you bringing in databases into this discussion? Nothing in the OP's post mentions needing that kind of throughput. Again, nvme drives are nice to have, but not necessary for a decent system. There is nowhere near the difference as compared to going from a HDD to an SSD. The main advantage is the absence of cabling.

 

DAPUNISHER

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Aug 22, 2001
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You are jumping in at a time when you cannot make a bad choice on which brand of CPU and GPU to use for a build.

Only real considerations IMO are:

if you intend to play new games with ray tracing, Nvidia is the clear choice if building now.

Value M.2 drives are not much more expensive than the older Cable attached SATA versions. And make for a neater build, as has been pointed out. And as was also pointed out, can reach performance levels far beyond cabled versions, if choosing a higher priced, higher performance NVME model. All let you install windows the same as always.

You definitely need a new PSU, And quality Corsair, Silverstone, or EVGA 650W or higher, will suffice for a bang for buck mid range build that is the modern equivalent of the i5 you put together nearly a decade ago.

To answer performance v. power usage: If you stick to mid range bang for buck, any choice is a good one. And either AMD or Intel combined with either AMD or Nvidia, will be capable of driving high refresh gaming in older titles without becoming a serious room heater. Higher end CPUs from either company, can run warm, and will require some level of tweaking to dial in a better performance per watt profile than out of box provides.

Cost is pretty similar on board and CPU, with AMD having an advantage in sheer number of well priced boards there are to choose from. Upgrade path is meaningless if you intend to keep the system for a number of years again.

Also, I do not recommend stock cooling for either platform. While they suffice to prevent clock throttling on mid range CPUs, they can get noisy. A much better cooler can be had for $30-$40.

Conclusion: Pick whichever companies parts you want at the price level you decide on, can't go wrong. Competition has heated up the last couple of years, and it will only get more intense from looking at upcoming parts.
 
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VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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You definitely need a new PSU, And quality Corsair, Silverstone, or EVGA 650W or higher, will suffice for a bang for buck mid range build that is the modern equivalent of the i5 you put together nearly a decade ago.
If you plan on using a 3000-series (or, eventually, newer) from Nvidia, you're going to want to start the PSU consideration at 850W and 80Plus Gold or better.

(Search "GPU load transient power spikes")

Also, I do not recommend stock cooling for either platform. While they suffice to prevent clock throttling on mid range CPUs, they can get noisy. A much better cooler can be had for $30-$40.
Listen to this!
 

DAPUNISHER

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If you plan on using a 3000-series (or, eventually, newer) from Nvidia, you're going to want to start the PSU consideration at 850W and 80Plus Gold or better.

(Search "GPU load transient power spikes")
For a mid range GPU/build? No, just no. Even double the power spike on a 200W card like my 3060ti build with a 5800x isn't going to overtax my EVGA 650 GT.

OP went with mid range last go around, I doubt they are looking for power gulping hardware this go around either. However, If they are looking at 300W+ cards, then high wattage PSUs are recommended anyways.
 

Turbonium

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Mar 15, 2003
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Honestly, in your situation, none of that matters. If your old PC still does what you need of it, then any upgrade will be unnecessary, and you probably won't notice much of a difference, assuming your PC is using an SSD.
I'm using 2 x 10,000 rpm drives in RAID-0, actually. :cool:

You definitely need a new PSU, And quality Corsair, Silverstone, or EVGA 650W or higher, will suffice for a bang for buck mid range build that is the modern equivalent of the i5 you put together nearly a decade ago.
How is Seasonic these days? Still high quality as far as PSUs go?
 
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DAPUNISHER

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How is Seasonic these days? Still high quality as far as PSUs go?
Definitely still one of the top brands. I think I intended to type their name, my smooth brain picked Silverstone instead. o_O Corsair has been working hard to be the best, and they have some top notch high quality PSUs too. EVGA is also solid in my own experience. Buying from any of them, and getting a model with a great warranty, like say 10 years, will get you clean power and peace of mind.
 

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