Question Upgrade build - mobo, cpu, ram. Feedback and suggestions on components?

Mike_R

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
7
1
36
I currently have a Core 2 Duo E6850, 4 Gb RAM, GT550Ti, about 2TB storage, including a 480Gb SSD in an Antec Sonata III case with it's stock 500W PSU. I want to upgrade the CPU, Mobo and RAM as it's a bit sluggish on boot up and even browsing the web is occasionally a bit slower than I'd like. I dual boot, but 99% of the time I'm running Linux Mint these days. I do a little light gaming, some programming and a lot of time wasting on it. It runs Civ5 reasonably well and I've played Left 4 Dead 2 on it previously as well.

My budget is not fixed, but I'd like to keep it cheap. I'm currently considering a few options in the $180-450 Canadian range. I'm in Canada, but I'd consider ordering off Aliexpress as well. The retailers in Canada that I've dealt with include Newegg, CanadaComputers, Amazon (Canada) and ATIC. Ryzen prices here have recently gone through the roof for no particular reason that I can see or I'd just go that route. The other than #1, the prices I'm listing are from atic.ca, a company I've dealt with as far back as 1992.

I'm currently looking at a few options:
1. Cheap, but interesting: Xeon e5-2689. About 180 CAD on Aliexpress including cheap Chinese mobo and 16gb ECC RAM. Biggest down side is being patient for it to get here. Strong CPU performance.
2. Not so cheap, but can be delivered quickly: i3-9100F Asus Supreme H110 motherboard and 16Gb RAM $337CAD
3. For a bit more: Ryzen 3 3200g, Asus Prime a320-k + 16gb RAM: $366
4. As #3, but Ryaen 5 3600: $470
5. As #3 but Ryzen 5 3400g: $471

My current thoughts are that #4 is a better plan for a Ryzen platform. Much better CPU and the integrated graphics on #5 aren't that much better than what I have. Besides, if I need, I can upgrade with a used video card later. Same for #3, really.

However, the Xeon is insane bang/buck. It's super tempting, especially since I probably won't outgrow it for more than 5 years (look how long I've had a Core 2, right?). I'm an older retired guy and it's unlikely I'll do all that much FPS or MMORPG gaming at all. I did the MMO thing back in the Everquest days and permanently burned out. I'm much more of a strategy and tactics guy in that regard.

Please let me know what you think of these options, especially if I've misinterpreted the benchmarks. I've looked at passmark for the cpus as well as the results on userbenchmarks (where the 9100F scored surprisingly high).

Edit to add: monitor is 1680x1050 native
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,159
5,010
126
Well, for the record, userbenchmark is useless now, they score i3 CPUs higher than 12/16-core Ryzen, apparently, or "so I've heard". There were some threads about it in the CPUs & Overclocking sub-forum here, if you'de like more details.

Similar, but not as bad, with Passmark, they "tweaked" their benchmarks, because AMD's Ryzen architecture was running away with the show.

So, don't really consider Intel, at least, not in the consumer space.

The plan to get a Ryzen R5 3600 is a good one; I would recommend that. Keep your existing video card if you have to, for now, and get another one within six once once 7nm NV Ampere line drops, or the new Navi cards with RT built-into the pipeline. (Newest consoles are going to have that tech too.)

I really wouldn't recommend going the Chinese mobo route, unless it's just for S&G, and you don't use it as your daily-driver (because of embedded virus threats in the BIOS).
 

Mike_R

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
7
1
36
Well, for the record, userbenchmark is useless now, they score i3 CPUs higher than 12/16-core Ryzen, apparently, or "so I've heard". There were some threads about it in the CPUs & Overclocking sub-forum here, if you'de like more details.

Similar, but not as bad, with Passmark, they "tweaked" their benchmarks, because AMD's Ryzen architecture was running away with the show.
Where would you think I could find an 'unbiased' benchmark to make comparisons?
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,634
238
106
Xeons can be fun to play with, just to be interesting, but I'd say it's really hard to recommend buying a 7 year old CPU, especially with a cheap motherboard. Wouldn't surprise me if it's cheap/garbage RAM in that bundle as well...

Any of the Ryzen options will give you a much better experience, and you know you're getting a decent motherboard and RAM. It's worth noting that you want to make sure you get a motherboard that has a "ready for Ryzen 3000" or "Ryzen 3000 compatible", sticker on the box or the BIOS might not support the CPUs you are looking at until you put a different (older) Ryzen in there and update the BIOS.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
20,276
7,922
136
Where would you think I could find an 'unbiased' benchmark to make comparisons?
I have a E5-2683v3 or E5-2695v3 (not sure, but both similar) 14 core Xeon and a X99 mobo and 16 gig ram, I will sell cheap. I can't advertise it here, so if interested PM me with an offer.

That said, you are really better off long run with a Ryzen 3600, due to the upgrade path.
 

Mike_R

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
7
1
36
I found the following document on Asus' web site listing compatibility of their motherboards with various Linux distributions:


I found this interesting document on Asus' web site:


Looks like Prime a320-k might be a safe bet along with a Ryzen CPU. Might need to flash the bios if it's not fairly recent.
 

Mike_R

Junior Member
May 3, 2020
7
1
36
So in the end I ordered a Ryzen 5 3600, Gigabyte B450m DS3H and 2x8 G-Skill FlareX DDR4 3200. Please, motherboard, come with a Ryzen 3000 series ready sticker!
 

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