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Question Upgrade CPU & MB now or wait for fall refreshes?

2blzd

Senior member
May 16, 2016
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PC: x99 w/ i7 6800k (6c) @ 4ghz + 32GB DDR4-3200 + 3090 FE
Monitor: 38" 3840x1600p @ 144hz

Gaming habits are inconsistent, but I still want the top or near the top single thread performance. I edit video and create content for a living using the Adobe Suite, so multi-core is very important.

Upgraded GPU to 3090 FE in beginning of Feb. Was planning on waiting for ADL-S to upgrade the rest of the system but now have doubts. I'd be down for a 5900X but availability is an issue and don't want to go out of my way to have to obtain one.

Doubts for waiting

1) DDR5 will have a price premium and be really expensive and possibly scarce at launch. After going through that with the 3000 RTX cards, I don't want to play that game again.
2) Realizing I'd have a 3090 in use for 10+ months on a 6 year old platform with 6 cores..ie leaving performance on the table for that long of a time period... Doesn't sit well.
3) I don't NEED to upgrade to the best of the best, something I've learned over the years, which is hard to admit. (and if you're wondering about the 3090, it wasn't my first choice, I bought what I could get :p) I just need more cores than I currently have.


Tentative ideas:

1) Snag an i9 10850k for $319 and z490 motherboard for $300 or less @ Micro Center (they have $20 off combo so $600), reuse my DDR4-3200, cooler, psu and case. Revisit ADL-S and possibly Zen 3+ Warhol after they launch and decide for a "full upgrade" then.

2) buy certified Intel refurb i9 6950X (10c) off ebay for $260. Drop in, change nothing else and wait for fall releases.

3) Do nothing and wait.


Thoughts?
 

CakeMonster

Golden Member
Nov 22, 2012
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I'd get the 10850k if you can't get a 5900X. If we learned anything last year it would be not to wait for anything you don't know the performance of or don't know the availability of.

DDR5 might be better and cheaper than you suspect. But the CPU's could arrive much later and be underwhelming. Or really good. Maybe general component shortage could leave you with a CPU but waiting for a motherboard? Or RAM? This paragraph is all BS speculation but the point is that in order to fully utilize the 3090 you need both the IPC and the cores, so I'd go with your first alternative to not let it waste for several more months.

I sat on all parts but the CPU for 5 months waiting for my 5900X (luckily I had a 9900K so it was no big deal), but there's way too much risk overall waiting for the next gen when you don't know how it performs, nor when it releases, nor how long after the actual release you can have all the parts (could be at worst mid '22 or later).
 

blckgrffn

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May 1, 2003
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My vote is 5800x and a ~$200 motherboard from Microcenter. Heck, I think I am going to use the B450 Tomahawk Max for my wife and it is like $130?

I like the value of the 10850k for sure, but the cost of boards that are solid makes me choke a little.

I think the 5800x offers enough oomph to get through to the next generation of everything and is more cores and threads too.

Dropping in the max CPU for the socket... well I won’t lie that seems solid too but seems to leave some IPC on the table that Nvidia cards really love.

FWIW I built my Dad a 10850k rig and I really debated it for a long time. Used and Auros Elite board and had zero issues. He’s the man I respect the most so we went a little crazy, and that was when the 10850k was $450+.
 
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moonbogg

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Jan 8, 2011
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I'd go with the 10850K or a 5900X if you can find one. The 10850K at that price is an insane deal and it's obviously a really fast CPU. It seems Intel might be trying to clear out inventory of the 10 series for some reason. It's odd since Alder lake isn't coming until later and it's not like they have anything new to make room for, so the discounts have me feeling confused. But hey, take advantage of the discounts before the 10 series chips dry up. A fast 10 core is crazy at $320.
 

2blzd

Senior member
May 16, 2016
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Maybe general component shortage could leave you with a CPU but waiting for a motherboard? Or RAM? This paragraph is all BS speculation but the point is that in order to fully utilize the 3090 you need both the IPC and the cores, so I'd go with your first alternative to not let it waste for several more months.
there's way too much risk overall waiting for the next gen when you don't know how it performs, nor when it releases, nor how long after the actual release you can have all the parts (could be at worst mid '22 or later).
This is an incredibly insightful response and something to consider for sure. Everything you're saying isn't BS and is making me lean towards not waiting and getting something asap. Thank you!

It's odd since Alder lake isn't coming until later and it's not like they have anything new to make room for, so the discounts have me feeling confused. But hey, take advantage of the discounts before the 10 series chips dry up. A fast 10 core is crazy at $320.
Well rocket-lake just came out, so thats a pretty big reason to drop prices of previous gen, despite the core count difference and lackluster performance upgrade. But you make a great point about taking advantage of availability while its there.

Option 1 is pretty compelling. $320 for a 10850k is an insane value. Gigabyte Z590 AORUS ELITE would be my choice of motherboard. I'd avoid the z490 boards due to possible issues with the I225-V controller that many of these boards used.
Hmm, hand't heard about that, although I haven't done too much research into motherboards yet. Will make sure to look into that.

Kinda telling that no one has recommended RKL, haha, although I guess I'm not surprised.


I'm leaning towards the 10850k, I just need to figure out baseline price/needs for motherboards...I was looking at Asus because thats what I always go with but this Gig AORUS Elite AC for $249 seems pretty legit!
 

2blzd

Senior member
May 16, 2016
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FWIW I built my Dad a 10850k rig and I really debated it for a long time. Used and Auros Elite board and had zero issues. He’s the man I respect the most so we went a little crazy, and that was when the 10850k was $450+.
Sorry for back to back posts, but I just noticed this edit. Awesome, great to know, thanks for sharing that.
 
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Rigg

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May 6, 2020
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Excellent. Im seeing z590 prices the same as z490....Almost no point to get z490 then? Interesting..
I can't see any reason to go z490 over z590. Maybe if you were getting a big discount on an open box board it might be worth it.
 
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moonbogg

Lifer
Jan 8, 2011
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Well rocket-lake just came out, so thats a pretty big reason to drop prices of previous gen, despite the core count difference and lackluster performance upgrade. But you make a great point about taking advantage of availability while its there.
Oh, that's right. But yeah, 10850K for sure. You won't regret it.
 

B-Riz

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2011
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This is an incredibly insightful response and something to consider for sure. Everything you're saying isn't BS and is making me lean towards not waiting and getting something asap. Thank you!



Well rocket-lake just came out, so thats a pretty big reason to drop prices of previous gen, despite the core count difference and lackluster performance upgrade. But you make a great point about taking advantage of availability while its there.



Hmm, hand't heard about that, although I haven't done too much research into motherboards yet. Will make sure to look into that.

Kinda telling that no one has recommended RKL, haha, although I guess I'm not surprised.


I'm leaning towards the 10850k, I just need to figure out baseline price/needs for motherboards...I was looking at Asus because thats what I always go with but this Gig AORUS Elite AC for $249 seems pretty legit!
Edit, I like your option 2 if you do not need a latest and greatest something right now.

Getting a K series chip and Z board is a waste of money. You are paying for an overbuilt board because these chips are pushed so hard.

Get a 10700 and a ~$150 board if you need something better right now.

 

zer0sum

Junior Member
Aug 3, 2009
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I have just gone through a similar process because I needed an upgrade from my 8700k/Z370 so I could get more memory. I waited patiently for the Intel 11th gen launch, and it was disappointing to say the least!

So, considering that we have the choice of dead end platforms from both AMD and Intel, I chose a cheap, but blazing fast $299 5600X and an X570 board with 128g ram.

Moving forward I know I can get a 5900X or 5950X and end up with much higher core count than if I went with a 10850K or 11600K.

In my mind it just seems to make more sense than getting stuck with an 8 or maybe 10 core Intel CPU.
If all you do is gaming then I guess I can see the appeal, but if you value any sort of productivity with multi cores, then it's Zen3 all the way :)
 
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coercitiv

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Jan 24, 2014
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I edit video and create content for a living using the Adobe Suite, so multi-core is very important.
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Get yourself a modern platform today if you aren't willing to wait until fall. The 11700K is better than 10850K for your type of workloads, and the 5800X is better than the 11700K. Both CPUs give you a path towards upgraded storage speeds, which I assume you'd like to aim for in the future. RKL probably gives you Thunderbolt support as an extra feature, if you care for that ofc . People on this forum are growing more and more obsessed with core counts over the actual capabilities of the CPU and platform as a whole: it's the combination of core count and ST performance that matters, especially from someone who blends gaming with work on their home machine.

Comet Lake is a great value & budget option for today. It is not a great performance option for the future. At the end of 2021 two things can happen:
  • Alder Lake turns out to be a flop, in which case Zen 3 (+) will still be the best architecture available
  • Alder Lake smokes both CML and RKL, with 40% better ST performance over CML and almost 100% better MT performance, including a solid win in gaming (albeit considerably lower advantage there)
Comet Lake makes no sense in either of the cases above, not for a professional who also happens to want gaming performance. Not for someone who bought a 3090 because the 3080 was in even shorter supply.
 

Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
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Going from a 6800K to a 10850K is probably enough performance uplift to justify it it from a work perspective.

AT Bench doesn't have a 6800K, but the 8600K can be used to give a reasonable comparison against the 10850K: https://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/2656?vs=2786

For anything that can use all of the threads, you'd probably close to doubling the performance or halving the time something takes. Assuming that made up time gets used productively (and not just gaming with that 3090) your upgrade probably pays for itself quite easily over the next year.
 
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2blzd

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May 16, 2016
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I ordered a 10850k from Microcenter. When I got the invoice today, they increased the price $40 after I bought it and they're giving me the run around. I have screenshots and everything.

First and last experience with Microcenter. Back to the drawing board. Will try for a 5900x I guess..
 
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blckgrffn

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May 1, 2003
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View attachment 42664

Get yourself a modern platform today if you aren't willing to wait until fall. The 11700K is better than 10850K for your type of workloads, and the 5800X is better than the 11700K.

I just went and read that, and to say the 11700k is "better" than the 10850k is generous. To me, the 10900k (our 10th gen i9 representative) is trading blows with the 11th gen i9 and i7. I'd call it more of a draw. I mean, After Effects looks to be the one place 11th gen wins outright, then it goes ahead and drops Cinebench. I know that's different but a it's a situation where, with a given workflow, they basically jockey for the same spot. The spot behind Ryzen 5000 series CPUs.

Which is to say if you use your PC to make money, the 5800x is super compelling as it is price competitive on a platform (inclusive of motherboard) and doesn't "sorta win some and lose some" it just wins.
 

blckgrffn

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I ordered a 10850k from Microcenter. When I got the invoice today, they increased the price $40 after I bought it and they're giving me the run around. I have screenshots and everything.

First and last experience with Microcenter. Back to the drawing board.
Oh man, I've had them give me price protection the other way with very little hassle, sorry to hear that.
 
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Rigg

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I ordered a 10850k from Microcenter. When I got the invoice today, they increased the price $40 after I bought it and they're giving me the run around. I have screenshots and everything.

First and last experience with Microcenter. Back to the drawing board.
Well that sucks. I've bought a bunch of (probably 30 or more) CPU's and motherboards from MC over the last 3 years and they've always done right by me. I got the run around from the online support one time regarding price protection but an in-store manger sorted me out without any fuss. I wouldn't write them off completely as it's probably just a jag off manager being a jag off. I've gotten some pretty amazing deals (especially on open box items) from MC, and with the exception of the one negative experience with online support noted above, their customer service has been excellent.
 

2blzd

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May 16, 2016
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Well that sucks. I've bought a bunch of (probably 30 or more) CPU's and motherboards from MC over the last 3 years and they've always done right by me. I got the run around from the online support one time regarding price protection but an in-store manger sorted me out without any fuss. I wouldn't write them off completely as it's probably just a jag off manager being a jag off. I've gotten some pretty amazing deals (especially on open box items) from MC, and with the exception of the one negative experience with online support noted above, their customer service has been excellent.

I'm getting a callback from a manager, but I'm not holding out my hopes. It's an 80 mile drive, otherwise I'd just go in there and try to sort it out in person. Never had been to a MC so I thought I'd make a fun road trip out of it. (I have an EV so Gas is non issue for those wondering how it would offset price difference)

Maybe it's a sign to try to put some effort into getting a 5900x.



Get yourself a modern platform today if you aren't willing to wait until fall. The 11700K is better than 10850K for your type of workloads, and the 5800X is better than the 11700K. Both CPUs give you a path towards upgraded storage speeds, which I assume you'd like to aim for in the future. RKL probably gives you Thunderbolt support as an extra feature, if you care for that ofc . People on this forum are growing more and more obsessed with core counts over the actual capabilities of the CPU and platform as a whole: it's the combination of core count and ST performance that matters, especially from someone who blends gaming with work on their home machine.

I saw these benches in my research (Puget is my go to and have been using them for years.) Outside of AE, which I use the least, the performance differences between 11700k and 10850k are minimal at best and MT pulls it a few pts ahead in a lot of situations. The logic was spending $600 for a 10c cpu and mobo with 90%+ of the performance for $100s less, compared to 5900x.
 
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Rigg

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I'm getting a callback from a manager, but I'm not holding out my hopes.

Maybe it's a sign to try to put some effort into getting a 5900x.
You might be pleasantly surprised. The in-store management tends to be very accommodating and professional in my experience. I'm guessing if you explain the situation calmly and politely they will honor the reserved price. I've actually had them do this for me in the past. I reserved a 2700x at a sale price that was no longer current when I went to pick it up 2 days later and they honored it with zero push back.
 
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blckgrffn

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I'm getting a callback from a manager, but I'm not holding out my hopes. It's an 80 mile drive, otherwise I'd just go in there and try to sort it out in person. Never had been to a MC so I thought I'd make a fun road trip out of it. (I have an EV so Gas is non issue for those wondering how it would offset price difference)

Maybe it's a sign to try to put some effort into getting a 5900x.
Which one were you headed towards, if you don't mind me asking?

Here in Minnesota it's like a grungy hardware store. Stacked to the ceiling with products, jam packed packed with stuff and ever ready sales associates with stickers to claim your sales.

lol, I love it. Personally it bugs me right now with no vax to rub shoulders with that many people for any period of time so I ninja in and out and there is always a clock ticking in my head. I long for the days of wandering aisles eyeing all sorts of stuff I have no intention of buying.
 
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2blzd

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May 16, 2016
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You might be pleasantly surprised. The in-store management tends to be very accommodating and professional in my experience. I'm guessing if you explain the situation calmly and politely they will honor the reserved price. I've actually had them do this for me in the past. I reserved a 2700x at a sale price that was no longer current when I went to pick it up 2 days later and they honored it with zero push back.
You're right, I will wait and see before I pass judgement. I had just woken up to loud construction noises when I saw this invoice so I was a little on the angry side this morning, admittedly. Thanks for sharing your experience, Ill see how it plays out, calm and politely.

Which one were you headed towards, if you don't mind me asking?

Here in Minnesota it's like a grungy hardware store. Stacked to the ceiling with products, jam packed packed with stuff and ever ready sales associates with stickers to claim your sales.

lol, I love it. Personally it bugs me right now with no vax to rub shoulders with that many people for any period of time so I ninja in and out and there is always a clock ticking in my head. I long for the days of wandering aisles eyeing all sorts of stuff I have no intention of buying.
I live in San Diego California, was planning on making the 160 mile round trip (80 miles away) to the Tustin California store. I have never been to a MicroCenter and being a computer enthusiast it was always on my bucket list. As a Tesla owner, I had planned on making a quick little fun road trip out of it.
 
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zer0sum

Junior Member
Aug 3, 2009
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I ordered a 10850k from Microcenter. When I got the invoice today, they increased the price $40 after I bought it and they're giving me the run around. I have screenshots and everything.

First and last experience with Microcenter. Back to the drawing board. Will try for a 5900x I guess..
You can snag a 5900X at the normal RRP of $549 direct from AMD if you setup a website watcher for their page at https://www.amd.com/en/direct-buy/us

Or try your luck through Newgg Shuffle - https://www.newegg.com/product-shuffle
 
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2blzd

Senior member
May 16, 2016
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You can snag AMD processors at RRP of $549 direct from them if you setup a website watcher for their page at https://www.amd.com/en/direct-buy/us

Or try your luck through Newgg Shuffle - https://www.newegg.com/product-shuffle
Thanks...it's something to consider.

One thing I think I should make clear, part of the appeal to me for 10850k was to upgrade as little as possible and reuse as much as possible until I was ready to go all in. I can reuse my cooler and ram with a 10850k and I don't know if that would be the case for switching to AMD/5900x. $600 to upgrade to a modern 10core out the door vs $800+ for 5900X.
 

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