Poll: CPU upgrades on the AMD AM4 platform

Have you ever upgraded the CPU across generations in your AMD AM4-based system?


  • Total voters
    61

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
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Today I finally put in the order for an interim upgrade of my old desktop PC (based on an Asus PRIME B350-PLUS AM4 motherboard with an 8-core Ryzen 1700 "Zen" 14nm CPU with 8 GB of memory). So I will soon enjoy 16-core Ryzen 5950X "Zen 3" N7 goodness. Thanks to AMD for the amazing AM4 platform support!

The new processor should let me upgrade to Windows 11 and give my programming workloads a pretty boost. To give the massively parallel build jobs I run more breathing room, I also added 16 GB of memory for a total of 24 GB. I had planned to only double my current 8 GB, but the price difference was low (£60 vs £40).

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I also ordered a cheap 19 inch monitor to replace my secondary monitor that failed a while ago. This will serve as a stopgap solution until I eventually upgrade to a whole new multi-screen desktop setup based on the upcoming AM5 platform (may even go for Threadripper, if I find a good argument) — next year, perhaps.

The longevity of the AM4 platform has been remarkable. Hopefully, AM5 will follow suit. What do you all think? What are your AM4 experiences? Please vote in the poll, and share your story below.
 

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
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I think you might be missing AM4 owners who never exchanged their CPU.
Ugh. Stupid of me to omit the obvious. Unfortunately, I cannot change it now. Everyone that owns an AM4 system will just have to do a CPU upgrade. :)

Joking aside, those that own an AM4 system, but have not (yet) upgraded, can vote "No, but I upgraded an AM4 CPU within the same generation (Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000 or 5000)". The point of the poll is mainly to see how many have used the opportunity to upgrade across generations.
 
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igor_kavinski

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2020
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Weird that you went with DDR4-2666. Will you be overclocking it to DDR4-3200? If you don't, your multicore workloads will be starved for memory bandwidth and the CPU cores may spend more time idling waiting on data to arrive.
 
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Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
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Weird that you went with DDR4-2666.
The thinking was to match my current memory sticks. I am not too concerned about memory speed — I run the memory at standard speed for maximum stability — but it might be interesting to do some testing.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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To give the massively parallel build jobs I run more breathing room, I also added 16 GB of memory for a total of 24 GB. I had planned to only double my current 8 GB, but the price difference was low (£60 vs £40).
I wouldn't have run mis-matched RAM in a "mission-critical" rig. I would have bought a new 32GB (or two of them) or a 64GB kit.

Currently running 4x16GB Team Vulcan DDR4-3200 with my 5900X.
 

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
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your multicore workloads will be starved for memory bandwidth
I was somewhat torn between the 5800X3D and the 5950X, but since the extra cache on the former has shown no benefit in software build workloads, indicating that such workloads have little sensitivity to memory latency, I went for more cores and threads instead. I am not sure how sensitive such workloads are to memory bandwidth, though. Do you have data to help me?
 
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Schmide

Diamond Member
Mar 7, 2002
5,497
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Can we get a 5000 -> 5800x3D I know it's niche, but I did it and I bet it gets some votes.

Technically I went from 3900x -> 5800x -> 5800x3D

Sidenote: The replacement 5800x3D (first one failed in minutes and I had to RMA) runs my 4x16GB = 64GB 3600 at 3600 flawlessly. The 5800x only ran at 3466.

Edit: 4x16GB = 64GB I would love to have 4x64GB = 256GB
 
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Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
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Can we get a 5000 -> 5800x3D I know it's niche, but I did it and I bet it gets some votes. Technically I went from 3900x -> 5800x -> 5800x3D
Yeah, 5800X3D is in its own category, so it would be interesting to have an option for it. But I cannot change the poll now, unfortunately. However, the poll is multi-option, so you can vote both for "3000 to 5000" and for "No, but I upgraded an AM4 CPU within the same generation".
 
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moinmoin

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2017
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Semi off topic, I wish poll setups in forums were more flexible, allowing for drop down lists (in this instance one for the first and one for the second processor on the same board) instead having to list all possible combinations separately. o_O
 
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Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
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Initially seeing you spend $600 for a CPU + Cooler + RAM seems like a bit much but, from an Intel perspective which would have required a new MOBO on top of the CPU this seems reasonable for doubling performance but, waiting until the next release in a few months would have made more sense since the whole platform is getting an uplift.

Adding PCIE 5 to the will open doors for upcoming new HW. DDR 5 is a wash at this point for enhanced performance but, moving forward the potential phase out of DDR 4 gives you longevity but, I suspect that AMD based MOBO/CPU will be changing sockets like Intel moving forward but, then again AM4 has been around for several generations now.

AM5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_AM5 Looks to be a bit of a boost beyond Intel's offering when it comes to Gen5 lanes being provisioned. 20-24 vs 16. It might be time to consider using AMD again now that they will both be on the same level for tech beyond the CPU's themselves. I like the idea of bifurcation on the slots which is something Intel doesn't allow on the consumer side which is a bit annoying when looking at out of the box ideas like using a PCI slot for multiple M2's for Raid. Not having to deal with a PLX switch on the card cuts costs by ~$500 which is another drive in my eyes.

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gdansk

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2011
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Going only by my main system:
1700X -> 3700X (old NAS died, 1700X repurposed)
3700X -> 5900X (no good reason)

Unfortunately the motherboard changed in 2020 for PCIe4 but I am still using the original motherboard and it has BIOS support for basically everything AM4.
 
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Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
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waiting until the next release in a few months would have made more sense
An AM5 system will probably be expensive initially, but AM4 upgrade options will presumably become even cheaper, so you are right in that sense. Personally, despite being a self-employed programmer, I spend so little on hardware that the cost of this purchase is of no material significance at all. Over my 30 year career, I'm pretty sure my PC spending comes out way less that £1 per day.

That said, this is an interim upgrade until I do a bigger home-office overhaul.
 
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Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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That said, this is an interim upgrade until I do a bigger home-office overhaul.
Makes sense to me.

AM5 shouldn't be that big of a jump as ADL on the Intel side wasn't that big unless you took on the DDR5 challenge and paid out the @$$ for RAM that didn't really offer much benefit when it comes to performance. Prices have normalized but it's still a 50% premium on DDR4 prices and the MOBO side is coming inline with their DDR4 counterparts for pricing.

For me it's tempting to go back to AMD if things shake out and prices are reasonable. The first build I did ever was AMD because I wanted to avoid the premium of Intel was charging ~25 years ago. Following the cycles of tit for tat between the two though gets tiresome but, finally both are pushing things forward at a good pace.

Ideally both would just use the same socket and boards to allow true competition.
 
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Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
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Can't find [memory scaling data for software compilation] for Zen 3.
Well, the software compilation test on "Zen 2" in the TechPowerUp article you linked shows 3200 rated memory scoring 61.70 seconds versus 62.20 seconds for 2666. That's just a 0.8% speed gain (which is probably within the error margins of the test). So, presuming this test is typical for software compilation, and that "Zen 3" behaves similarly, memory overclocking is pretty much pointless for my workloads.
 
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Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
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Well, there are still hold outs.
AMD still has share to grab, for sure. But what I meant was that the majority of buyers of AM4 would have had to previously been Intel customers, based on AMD's dismal market share before the launch of "Zen" and AM4. It is very unlikely that the market share gained by AM4 all came from old AMD customers sitting on the side lines.
 

Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
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Could be enticing offers to new customers though as well. Bulk purchases by businesses make for a big swing in numbers if they get a good deal on the HW. For the prosumer / enthusiast market though the numbers don't change all that much. Adoption by other vendors though can make a difference. Maybe more laptops are sporting AM4.

It takes a specific need to rationalize the cost differences between the 2 when you can build Intel for 30% less with the same performance. The niche things I've mentioned like more PCI lanes and being able to divide them as wanted w/o PLX chips needed.

If all the tech / pricing was equal between the two companies I would opt for AMD again. I considered this last fall just to see where the two compared and went Intel again because of different perks. I think there's some headway being made though with AMD being pushed into using open source drivers after the LHR fiasco. If you don't make the Linux user base FIGHT to make your product work correctly you get more of them to convert.

Right now though I'm hitting rebuilds ~2-3 years when there's a significant change. Going from PCI3 to PCI5 being one of them. Next on my list would be going from a single die to the chiplet setup coming 2024. Now, if AMD beats Intel to the punch on that front it might be sooner on the next rebuild.
 
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