Time to upgrade from Phenom II X4 960T

WildViper

Senior member
Feb 19, 2002
287
0
71
#1
Hello All,

I have had this processor for so long. It has served me well but it is time to change as my needs are changing.

What do you guys recommend I go with - an Intel latest generation chip, a Xeon chip or AMD newest chip with lots of cores? Or can I upgrade the current Phenom to something on my existing mobo - AM3 capable.

Here is what I do:
  • Photoshop photo editing - typically 16MP or higher
  • Lightroom
  • I am going to get involved in Video editing - would like to be able to handle 4K but not really necessary if price is triple or something. This is for Youtube videos and family home videos
  • I also have multiple Chrome tabs open all the time
  • I don't do much gaming but if it is a bonus, great - racing and fps style
  • Heavy use of Excel

So folks, help me out - I am just starting this search and hoping to know what I want by BlackFriday so i can buy at the time. And yes, I will need a decent video card too plus at least 16gig Ram.

Thx!
 

daveybrat

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Jan 31, 2000
5,008
76
126
#2
For your needs and as gaming is a secondary priority i'd recommend a Ryzen 1700. Comes with a great RGB Wraith cooler and will give you plenty of cores/threads to chew through any editing and games.

Plus you can get a good B350 motherboard for around $99. If you have a Microcenter near you that's a huge plus.
 

ZGR

Golden Member
Oct 26, 2012
1,815
37
106
#3
Ryzen is a great choice with B350 + 1700 + 3200 mhz CL14 DDR4.

You don't need 3200 Mhz CL14 DDR4 but wow does it help.

Other option is Intel Z370 + i5-8400/i5-8600k/i7-8700k
 
Aug 8, 2001
23,729
0
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#4
The most important factor here is budget.

For video and photo editing you could go with Threadripper or Skylake-X for maximum cores and threads, or stick to mainstream and go either for i7-8700/8700K or Ryzen 7 and get more bang for your buck. A Xeon or Epyc build is a possibility, too, but not worth it versus HEDT unless you have more extreme workloads (e.g. running a bunch of VMs or running an actual server).
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
932
105
136
#5
What is your budget? I'm assuming you are looking for 'mainstream' platforms and not the more expensive HEDT platforms. If that is the case, then for Photoshop and Lightroom at least, the 8700K seems to be the best bet... if you can actually find one in stock. Availability is still scarce at the moment.
Photoshop: https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/a...ormance-Core-i7-8700K-i5-8600K-i3-8350K-1057/



Lightroom: https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/a...ormance-Core-i7-8700K-i5-8600K-i3-8350K-1056/


Not sure what software you intend to use for video editing, but here are some Premiere Pro benchmarks:
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/a...ormance-Core-i7-8700K-i5-8600K-i3-8350K-1047/


All in all, the 8700K seems to be the best performer overall for your uses unless you move to the more expensive HEDT platforms such as AMD's Threadripper or Intels X299 Skylake-X (as seen by the i7 78xx/i9 79xx chips above) both of which provide CPUs with higher core/thread counts than is available on the consumer grade desktop platforms.

Gaming wise, the 8700K is also the fastest chip but you will need a fast GPU to notice the difference compared to the AMD chips, as you're a casual gamer I don't think you will be getting an expensive GPU so realistically all the CPUs will perform about the same in games on a lower end GPU as that will be the main limiting factor, not the CPU.
 
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WildViper

Senior member
Feb 19, 2002
287
0
71
#6
Thx for the guidance. I guess budget is important. I think I was hoping to get the CPU/Mobo/RAM 16Gig for around $500. Laughable? Let me know if so. I mean I can go 8GB Ram until I can afford it I guess.

For mobo, I am figuring I need a more advanced version.....need a lot of features. I was thinking I need one that can handle USB 3 flawlessly. Currently I have a PCI board with USB 3 on my old Gigabyte board and it is trouble always. Windows doesn't recognize when I connect and disconnect and I have to go to device manager and disable the board and enable it. Horrible experience there. I was also hoping to get fast SSD, perhaps the new ones with PCI express. I would think that would help with video and photo editing. And I need the fastest Sata connections for at least 6 drives - if not 8. I have always kept my data on separate drives - videos on one, photos on other and apps on other. Thinking I will get fast response from each drive when I am accessing all together. Wrong thinking there? Better to just get one large drive?

For CPU, as much as I was hoping to get away from AMD, I maybe back to it from what I read here. I want to have a cpu/mobo combo that has a long upgrade path. I am reading on this forum that Intel keeps changing chipsets forcing a rebuy of everything...that is NOT the way I would want to go. Is that accurate or did I misread it here?

For video editing, I am not sure what I will use - I am thinking Premier Elements for now and then go to Pro version.

Edit: I do live near a Frys and Microcenter. :)
 
Aug 8, 2001
23,729
0
136
#7
Not laughable at all. It does narrow down your choices, but that can make it easier to decide on components.

With a $500 CPU/Motherboard/RAM budget, I would go for the Ryzen 7 1700. It's 8 cores, 16 threads, comes with a cooler, and overclocks really easily to 3.7 to 3.8GHz with the included cooler. Or get the 1700X and a good aftermarket cooler if you don't want to overclock. Performs well in Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere, and is a good gaming option, too. Add 16GB of RAM and you should have no issues with multitasking like with Chrome and multiple tabs, either.

Just using Microcenter, you can fit just under the budget, though you may want to get the RAM from Amazon or Newegg, since they have more options (16GB DDR4-3200 CL14 as opposed to the DDR4-3000 below). Note that wherever you go, you'll find RAM prices are high right now for various reasons. Unfortunate reality :(.

ASRock AB350 Pro4 $39.99 (discounted $50 with motherboard/CPU combo deal)
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 $279.99
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 2 x 8GB DDR4-3000 $169.99

Subtotal $489.97
You could also choose a different motherboard for slightly less money or get a higher B350 or X370 one with more features and still be within budget - that one just happened to be one of the lowest priced full ATX motherboards with decent reviews.

As for storage, going for 2+ drives still makes a lot of sense, especially for media storage. A fast 256GB NVMe m.2 drive runs $100-$125 (Intel 600p versus something like the Samsung 960 EVO), which would be perfect for the OS drive and programs. Add a large hard drive (4-6TB for under $200, though you get a 10TB drive for about $150 more) for media storage. You could do more drives if needed, but generally I like to keep the OS and non-gaming programs on the same, fast SSD, and then you can separate videos, photos, and games onto other drives.

As far as long-term upgradability, yes, Intel generally doesn't give as good support there. Usually you get 2 generations of processors supported on a chipset. AMD has promised and has on their roadmap support for Ryzen until at least 2020, so you could likely swap in a Zen 2 processor if you wanted to later on.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Intel just because of their more limited long term chipset support, but in this case an AMD processor fits well with your budget and intended usage.

EDIT: changed recommendation from Ryzen 5 1600 to 1700 after checking prices on Microcenter. Just under budget. :)
 
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WildViper

Senior member
Feb 19, 2002
287
0
71
#8
Well I guess I am going to have to look at Intel instead of AMD - just saw this youtube video for Lightroom and that is unacceptable in this day and age. Youtube Link
 
Aug 25, 2001
43,581
533
126
#9
AFAIK, Lightroom is not heavily threaded, so it benefits more from a CPU with "fast cores" as opposed to "more cores". AKA Intel.
 
Aug 8, 2001
23,729
0
136
#10
Well I guess I am going to have to look at Intel instead of AMD - just saw this youtube video for Lightroom and that is unacceptable in this day and age. Youtube Link
Adobe Lightroom not being optimized for multithreaded performance is a known issue (Adobe in general isn't very good with this), but a few of his complaints in the video were because of not using a fresh install and other driver issues. Coffee Lake does have better Lightroom performance, but you'd either have to up your budget a little if you want an i7, settle for an i5, or drop down to 8GB (may be worth it temporarily since you can add RAM later).

Additional Lightroom performance comparison:
https://us.hardware.info/reviews/76...eation-adobe-lightroom-photoshop-and-premiere
 
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