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Require good single threaded performance on a budget

Sonikku

Lifer
Jun 23, 2005
15,617
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I'm upgrading a system in a month or so with an old, locked, i5 2500, 8gb of ram and a 1060 card with a new motherboard socket/16gb ram/cpu for gaming in general but mostly WoW. It has been put off a long time due to the staggering amount of cost that goes into upgrading a cpu not even being related so much to the cpu itself as much as because of outrageous price gouged ram costs and other factors. But, unfortunately, the system is at a point now where despite running WoW with a 1060 gtx, the framerate remains stuck in the same 30 fps range whether it runs games in 1080p or 4k. 30fps in WoW isn't the fault of a 1060gtx. The bottleneck is clearly in the processor.

Making matters worse, WoW has a very old engine and doesn't care a lick how many cores you throw at it, it just wants a single core with the highest IPC possible so AMD may be out in spite of their improvements. At the same time this system has been running the same mobo/ram/cpu setup for over 6 years and does not get upgraded very often at all, so if I'm looking at paying $300 for just the ram and motherboard alone I don't want to just get the bare minimum celron either, there needs to be some longevity to its lifespan and features.

What kind of combo would offer the best bang for the buck for half a grand?
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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Have you considered just putting in a socket-compatible i7? An i7-3770k would get you a higher base clock and extra L3 cache, plus the option of overclocking.
 
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Gideon

Golden Member
Nov 27, 2007
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Have you considered just putting in a socket-compatible i7? An i7-3770k would get you a higher base clock and extra L3 cache, plus the option of overclocking.
If you can still find one for decent price. Otherwise it's a really tough time to upgrade, you'll pay through your nose, pretty much no matter what you choose (that would be a meaningful upgrade).

AM4 stuff is the cheapest at the moment, but even a 2600X won't be all that much of an improvement for you in ST (as WoW isn't all that optimised for Ryzen). But if you plan to go Ryzen, This is the best ST perf you can get (for about 200$).

I guess if you're hell bent on only playing only WoW and on ST performance (for the duration of the rig) the cheapest bang-for buck you can go is a i3 8350K (and overclocking it up to ~4.8 GHz) for about 165$.
As it's a 4/4 CPU it will however be limiting in newer games (check the link above).

If you do not plan to OC and want a more future proof system, I would rather recommend a i5 8400 (if you can find one for ~200$)
A i5 9600K is also an option ($280), but it's not what I would call cheap.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,891
5,846
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See if you can put together a decent 7700k system. Some of them touch 5 GHz, and you will not get much more out of an 8700k or 9900k except for the expanded L3 cache. You can probably pick up some used hardware on fleabay or find someone here trying to get off a 7700k that has already been put through the paces.

Plus on a 7700k it really doesn't care about memory frequency beyond DDR4-2400. So if you can tune for low latencies you can get some nice performance and not have to shoot for DDR4-3200 or higher.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,523
1,570
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I'd look for a cheap 3770 or 3770K to drop in there. It has 8 threads, higher base and turbo clocks, more cache and it's only 77W TDP.

Star Micro has a 3770 for $125 if you don't trust Ebay.
 
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Gideon

Golden Member
Nov 27, 2007
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I'd look for a cheap 3770 or 3770K to drop in there. It has 8 threads, higher base and turbo clocks, more cache and it's only 77W TDP.

Star Micro has a 3770 for $125 if you don't trust Ebay.
For that price that is the best upgrade for sure, especially if overclocked.

7700K Imo isn't worth it (for the prices i find it online ~300$). It could be a good deal, if it didn't cost more than the 9600K. 9600K is soldered, therefore will almost certainly OC better, and has 2 more cores (overall better ST perf and about the same MT perf).
 

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
558
611
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AMD has traditionally provided more performance per dollar, especially when you consider cooling and platform cost as well. This is particularly true now as Intel is supply-constrained and is driving up their prices.

So for anyone on a budget, I recommend the following buying algorithm:
  1. Consider the most expensive Ryzen processor you can afford.
  2. Research reviews.
  3. If it doesn't provide the performance you require for your workloads, save up for a more expensive AMD or Intel processor that does, if any. Again, research reviews.
  4. Otherwise, just buy the Ryzen processor.
Simple as that.

Note: I am assuming you want a new processor from the current generation, and that you prefer to run your processor at stock speed (thus within warranty). If you are content to buy second-hand, older generation and/or overclock, you may want to do more research.
 

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
558
611
136
Here are some Ryzen + Motherboard + RAM combos between $400 and $750 at Newegg:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=31001489 600090103 4020 4021&IsNodeId=1&Description=amd ryzen combo&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=36

For example this combo with Ryzen 2600X, Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming motherboard and 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 — for $475.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.3845868

It gives you 6C/12T, which is probably enough for your gaming needs, and 2nd-generation Precision Boost provides great uplift for single-thread performance with no need for manual overclocking. Also, the platform is upgradable to the 7nm Ryzen 3000-series (Zen 2), which may catapult AMD gaming performance ahead of Intel (remains to be seen, of course).

Edit: Price reduction (old price: $483).
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,979
342
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I think you can get 8600k + "budget" z370 and some ram for that...
 

Sonikku

Lifer
Jun 23, 2005
15,617
4,186
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I think you can get 8600k + "budget" z370 and some ram for that...
I think right now I'm leaning towards this. If I have to buy a new motherboard anyway for a new socket, I may as well get one for overclocking as I felt the $60 motherboard I got over six years ago was a huge limiting factor because it couldn't. If I could get a 8600k and OC it to 4.7ghz with my evo 212 cooler I suspect it would have the high single threaded IPC I need for WoW while still being versatile enough for other games in the near future, should I get the itch to play them. And then there's the ram. I hear 3200 speed is the standard. So which?
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,528
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no absolutely not....

reason is because your so close to the 9000 series launch.

i5-9600K:

  • 3.7GHz/4.6GHz Turbo Boost
  • 6-core/6-threads
  • 9MB cache
  • Unlocked multiplier
  • 95W TDP
  • Up to 40 PCIe lanes
  • Price: $262
Which is in the simular price range of a 8600k.
Also we dont know for certain if the 9600k will even have metal solder like the 9900k, so i would seriously kick myself if i got a 8000 series when the 9000 series are that close to launch.

The only thing is you may need a z390 board, which may cost a little extra then the z370 board.

But if your going to do a full platform upgrade like that... go 9000 series.
 
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LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,523
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All 300 series boards should be compatible with the 9th gen chips.
# of PCIe lanes is still the same as before. 16 cpu and 24 chipset.
 

Gideon

Golden Member
Nov 27, 2007
1,196
2,200
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no absolutely not....

reason is because your so close to the 9000 series launch.
Agreed, I specifically mentioned 9600K multiple times and didn't say anything about the 8600K for the very same reason
 

John Carmack

Member
Sep 10, 2016
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Saw this on a rumor site today, maybe you should wait to see the results?

The upcoming Battle for Azeroth patch 8.1 will offer new DX12 multithreading options which will offer FPS improvements by up to 25%.
 

Malogeek

Golden Member
Mar 5, 2017
1,390
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yaktribe.org
My 2600X was a considerable upgrade in WoW for me. A couple of cores running at 4.2ghz in wow certainly gave me the needed boost since as you mentioned, it's mostly CPU limited. As suggested, a high core speed Intel will be bigger gains but I know I'll be golden for multicore games as well. At $180 it was a great deal.

With a B350 motherboard you have enough budget left over to try and get some nice RAM to really boost the Ryzen.
 
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scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,764
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My 2600X was a considerable upgrade in WoW for me. A couple of cores running at 4.2ghz in wow certainly gave me the needed boost since as you mentioned, it's mostly CPU limited. As suggested, a high core speed Intel will be bigger gains but I know I'll be golden for multicore games as well. At $180 it was a great deal.

With a B350 motherboard you have enough budget left over to try and get some nice RAM to really boost the Ryzen.
I have a 2600x, Asrock B450 Pro4 motherboard and 16 gigs of DDR4 3200 memory arriving tomorrow. $420. While I would have liked a Threadripper or something, buying a new house and trying to get this one ready to sell has cramped my play budget.
 
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Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,444
636
126
Lotta bad advice here. Wait for the full (independent 3rd party) 9xxx benchmarks since they are coming out very soon.

I would not be surprised if WoW and other games are equally as bottlenecked by the memory speed and latency as they are straight CPU. So I dont think you'd get as much as you'd expect out of a 3770k, especially if you cant overclock it.

Finally, no one is addressing the fact that you shouldn't just buy something that will be okay today but outmoded tomorrow. You held onto a 2011 processor for 7 years. You should pick something that will last another 7. I don't think going 4c/4t is a good idea, or 6c/6t. Get at least 6c/12t in an overclockable model. Ryzen is certainly a contender here but if you go Ryzen get very good, fast RAM and apply the timing tweaks from Stilt. They're great. Less important if you go Intel. RAM is important either way and has come back into focus for gaming much more so recently so don't sweep RAM under the rug
 
May 11, 2008
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I would definitely wait as Aigomorla has good advice.
Wait till the 9 series from Intel lanch and see if you can find a good deal for either an AMD (2600x +B450 board that is able to handle an 2600X) system or Intel system.

Be sure to do some research how the pci-e lanes are distributed through the board. And do some compatibility checks for the RAM and the motherboard.
 

Malogeek

Golden Member
Mar 5, 2017
1,390
778
106
yaktribe.org
With the improved multithreaded performance patch apparently in the works I'm now leaning towards a 2600x. >.>
Was just reading up on it and it sounds great! Looks like they're using DX12 multithreaded draw call submission and there's considerable improvements from the testing I've seen. Boralas is incredibly dense so seeing a 25% improvement there is fantastic.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,528
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i completely agree that you should always wait for reviews before getting a product and never blind buy.

That being said, you should wait for the 9000 series launch.
Core per Core clock Intel has a greater advantage then AMD.
Dollar to performance margin, is where AMD has a greater advantage then Intel.

Then when you get to thread ripper, you get a bigger advantage with core count to dollar.

But again that being said, if you want the fastest core right now, its definitely the 8086k.
The 9000 series however im willing to speculate that they will either be close to the same, or a bit greater.
The 9000 series also if rumor goes welll, will also be soldered so it will be a lot easier to get that 5ghz+ overclock on a mid tier heat sink.

Hence why if you want the fastest core speed, wait for the 9000 series to launch, then read the reviews, and then make your choice then.
 

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