Question Upgrade Decision

RhoXS

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Aug 14, 2010
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My current build is based on a three year old i7-6700K, ASUS Z170M-Plus Mobo, Samsung M.2 960 Pro, and 32 Gb DDR4-3000 RAM (at DDR-2133 - fastest it will now reliably go). I am not a gamer but I enjoy an ultra snappy machine so I typically upgrade the hardware every few years.

I am now considering replacing the mobo with an ASUS TUF Z390M-Plus and CPU with an i9-9900K. The RAM and SSD will be retained although a new M.2 970 Pro is so inexpensive I might just buy it also so I can keep the existing 960-PRO intact as a contingency backup.

To me a snappy machine does stuff like loading software almost instantly from clicking, through the splash screens, to ready to use and Windows is ready to use when booting within just a few seconds. My current machine is snappy but I want to make it noticeably snappier, if possible. I am not interested in any serious overclocking as I must have a reliable machine because I use it mostly for personal and business activities. As an example, I scan and organize documents using software called Paperport and now every time I click on the scan button the few second delay for the scanner dialog to start is annoying. There is also too long a delay once the scanner finishes to process the the scan and store it as a PDF.

So, will the hardware upgrade I described above result in a noticeable improvement with respect to how snappy the machine is or will the improvements likely be so inccremental that nothing consequentially noticeable will be gained?
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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To me a snappy machine does stuff like loading software almost instantly from clicking, through the splash screens, to ready to use and Windows is ready to use when booting within just a few seconds. My current machine is snappy but I want to make it noticeably snappier, if possible.
Then you will want a Ryzen 9 3900X, 32GB of DDR4-3600 CAS16 RAM, and an X570 chipset motherboard, and especially, one or two of the newest PCI-E 4.0 x4 NVMe SSDs.

That would give you the best storage performance possible today, and IMHO the best "snappiness".

By comparison, Intel does NOT have PCI-E 4.0 support, and their NVMe SSDs DON'T have a direct path to the CPU, they are routed through the chipset, of which ALL of the chipset I/O is routed through the DMI, which is basically equivalent of PCI-E 3.0 x4. AMD is SO much faster in that dept.
 

RhoXS

Member
Aug 14, 2010
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Then you will want a Ryzen 9 3900X, 32GB of DDR4-3600 CAS16 RAM, and an X570 chipset motherboard, and especially, one or two of the newest PCI-E 4.0 x4 NVMe SSDs.
Thanks for the advice but what you suggest is a bridge too far to be consistent with my needs and ability. I have been building Intel based machines for myself since the 1980's. I am confident I can put together a solid reliable Intel based machine with minimal challenges and time. I never previously used anything associated with the AMD ecosystem so I am reluctant to try and possibly end up with a time consuming science experiment on the way to a solid reliable machine. I also found, based on past experiences, everytime I try something new with respect to very differnt hardware (e.g. switching to an M.2 NVMe SSD 4 years ago or even using a brand mobo I never used previously), I end up with a research project to make it work right. My focus now is a balance between utility and a still alive interest in doing it myself although this interest is now on a low burner compared to years ago. In other words, if a relatively easy and familiar upgrade, as I described in my post, will give me some consequential bang for the buck I will do it. And that is the essence of my question: "will the hardware upgrade I described above result in a noticeable improvement with respect to how snappy the machine is or will the improvements likely be so inccremental that nothing consequentially noticeable will be gained?"
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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Thanks for the advice but what you suggest is a bridge too far to be consistent with my needs and ability. I have been building Intel based machines for myself since the 1980's. I am confident I can put together a solid reliable Intel based machine with minimal challenges and time. I never previously used anything associated with the AMD ecosystem so I am reluctant to try and possibly end up with a time consuming science experiment on the way to a solid reliable machine. I also found, based on past experiences, everytime I try something new with respect to very differnt hardware (e.g. switching to an M.2 NVMe SSD 4 years ago or even using a brand mobo I never used previously), I end up with a research project to make it work right. My focus now is a balance between utility and a still alive interest in doing it myself although this interest is now on a low burner compared to years ago. In other words, if a relatively easy and familiar upgrade, as I described in my post, will give me some consequential bang for the buck I will do it. And that is the essence of my question: "will the hardware upgrade I described above result in a noticeable improvement with respect to how snappy the machine is or will the improvements likely be so inccremental that nothing consequentially noticeable will be gained?"
Its no different than Intel. You will be loosing performance for what you do, just to buy Intel, which (other than games) is the looser right now.

Installing the M.2 is the hardest part of the install ! Also, I would recommend an AIO to cool the 3900x like a 240 should be fine, It will be quieter.
 

deustroop

Golden Member
Dec 12, 2010
1,536
205
116
Your suggested upgrade, the 970 Pro and a 9900K, will certainly give you the sought after improvement in response times . You will notice and marvel at the technology that made your dreams come true, lol. I have that combo . I came from an 860 Pro/960 EVO / 6800K, and noticed the improvement right away. Not earth shattering, my eyes did not water, there was no levitation but something was there nonetheless

As for cooling, pick up the Noctura NH -D15s. I o/c to 5Ghz occasionally just to check that techology out and temps are fine .
 
Last edited:

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
13,015
2,688
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So, will the hardware upgrade I described above result in a noticeable improvement with respect to how snappy the machine is or will the improvements likely be so inccremental that nothing consequentially noticeable will be gained?
It is important to consider what is causing your delays before you upgrade.

When you click on the scan button, what is causing the delay? Do you see a burst of CPU usage or disk usage? I'm thinking whatever interface you use to connect to your scanner may be your chokepoint. Not having used the software you use, I can't say for sure. But it would be worth your while to observe what is causing your slowdown before you upgrade anything.

If you want instant load times for anything that does NOT involve an external peripheral (like activating the scanner), you should invest in a setup with a ton of RAM and use some kind of RAM caching technology. Storage latency is going to affect "snappiness" more than anything else, and system RAM is much faster than any NVMe SSD you put into your system. Look at something like Primocache. A massive RAM cache (32GB or larger) would make your load times insanely fast. A 9900k and faster NVMe drive alone will not make as big a difference as something like PrimoCache. Brief example:

https://forums.guru3d.com/threads/os-nvme-drive-cached-to-ram-32gb-cache-size-with-primo-cache.427104/

You would have to play with your defer-write settings to suit your tastes. If you have a proper UPS and aren't overclocking, you can afford to be aggressive to maximize performance.

All that aside, you should be looking at a platform that allows at least 64GB of RAM comfortably (so you can use PrimoCache without eating up all your system RAM) and then go for the fastest NVMe storage you can get in a single drive as your cached drive, so that deferred writes can be resolved as quickly as possible. The fastest NVMe drives right now are exclusive to AMD's x570 platform. Intel doesn't have PCIe 4.0 yet. Which CPU you use on such a setup is largely irrelevant, though I would go for the 3900x for arcane reasons having to do with differences in RAM speeds based on how many chiplets you have. Full RAM performance seems exclusive to the 3900x and 3950x. Interestingly enough. Not sure what are the real-world implications of that.

As far as being "hard to set up", since you are not overclocking . . . it's pretty easy. You may encounter some snags getting XMP settings to function, so avoid RAM that requires XMP. I would get this RAM here:

https://www.avadirect.com/32GB-M378A4G43MB1-CTD-DDR4-2666MHz-CL19-DIMM-Memory/Product/12763278

(get two sticks)

Run it at defaults, run the CPU at defaults . . . no muss, no fuss. Only "complicated" bit will be installing the chipset drivers which is . . . not complicated. And you'll have to learn to use PrimoCache. But you should be using that for your situation even if you choose Intel instead.
 

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