Thomasso

I'll be upgrading CPU, MOBO, RAM and SSD - advice?

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Hello guys,

my PC has recently suffered water damage and my Z97 MOBO is dead. So there's a good reason to do the much needed upgrade 🙂. I'll be buying new CPU, MOBO, RAM and storage.

 

Of course CPU and MOBO go hand in hand, and I have a few options here:

  • Wait for the 9th generation (i9-9900K) and buy Z390 MOBO with that (the ideal one seems to be the AORUS Z390 Master)
  • Buy some 8th gen CPU like i7-8700K or i7-8086K - which one is better and do they benefit from the Z390 MOBO?

Will the new one have significantly better performance to bother with waiting and paying more? I have the i7-4790 @ 4,6 now. I'd like to OC with my Corsair H115i cooler. Also, do we have any information about the 10th generation yet? Is it going to be compatible with current MOBOs?

 

As for RAM, that's my weak spot for ages. I don't know exactly, but I believe that I have something like 2x4 GB, 1600 MHz, DDR3 memory. I did some research and the market looks totally different nowadays. So my question is, what should I look for in a high-end gaming PC? (simming, other games, rendering videos, overclocking...) I guess 16 GB DDR4 is the minimum (what is DDR4 anyway), what about 32 GB? What frequencies should I consider?

 

I wanted to buy a classic SSD, but I came across the M.2 ones which I never heard of before. I did some research and apparently they are the best alternative because of their speed. The idea is that I would use my 250 GB SSD (which I already have) for Windows and software that would benefit from being on an SSD, then I would have M.2 disc for P3D v4 only, and finally 1 TB HDD (which I already have) for everything else.

What I can't decide is the size. 512 GB or 1 TB? The price difference is enormous. I know that my 250 GB wasn't enough for Windows and P3D. The big add-ons had to be stored on the HDD and the loading times were awful. What do you guys recommend me?

 

So, my setup is gonna be something like this:

  • MOBO, CPU, RAM - new, to be determined
  • GPU: Gigabyte GTX 1080 Ti OC
  • Storage: M.2 disc for P3D, SSD for Windows and apps, HDD for everything else
  • PSU: Seasonic Prime 750W Gold (I suppose this PSU will do good?)
  • Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D
  • Cooling: CPU - Corsair H115i, GPU - stock

Feel free to consider this topic a discussion, so it can help other people. I believe that there are many folks dealing with exactly the same questions right now 🙂

Thanks!

Edited by Thomasso

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7 hours ago, Thomasso said:

Hello guys,

my PC has recently suffered water damage and my Z97 MOBO is dead. So there's a good reason to do the much needed upgrade 🙂. I'll be buying new CPU, MOBO, RAM and storage.

 

Of course CPU and MOBO go hand in hand, and I have a few options here:

  • Wait for the 9th generation (i9-9900K) and buy Z390 MOBO with that (the ideal one seems to be the AORUS Z390 Master)
  • Buy some 8th gen CPU like i7-8700K or i7-8086K - which one is better and do they benefit from the Z390 MOBO?

Will the new one have significantly better performance to bother with waiting and paying more? I have the i7-4790 @ 4,6 now. I'd like to OC with my Corsair H115i cooler. Also, do we have any information about the 10th generation yet? Is it going to be compatible with current MOBOs?

 

As for RAM, that's my weak spot for ages. I don't know exactly, but I believe that I have something like 2x4 GB, 1600 MHz, DDR3 memory. I did some research and the market looks totally different nowadays. So my question is, what should I look for in a high-end gaming PC? (simming, other games, rendering videos, overclocking...) I guess 16 GB DDR4 is the minimum (what is DDR4 anyway), what about 32 GB? What frequencies should I consider?

 

I wanted to buy a classic SSD, but I came across the M.2 ones which I never heard of before. I did some research and apparently they are the best alternative because of their speed. The idea is that I would use my 250 GB SSD (which I already have) for Windows and software that would benefit from being on an SSD, then I would have M.2 disc for P3D v4 only, and finally 1 TB HDD (which I already have) for everything else.

What I can't decide is the size. 512 GB or 1 TB? The price difference is enormous. I know that my 250 GB wasn't enough for Windows and P3D. The big add-ons had to be stored on the HDD and the loading times were awful. What do you guys recommend me?

 

So, my setup is gonna be something like this:

  • MOBO, CPU, RAM - new, to be determined
  • GPU: Gigabyte GTX 1080 Ti OC
  • Storage: M.2 disc for P3D, SSD for Windows and apps, HDD for everything else
  • PSU: Seasonic Prime 750W Gold (I suppose this PSU will do good?)
  • Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D
  • Cooling: CPU - Corsair H115i, GPU - stock

Feel free to consider this topic a discussion, so it can help other people. I believe that there are many folks dealing with exactly the same questions right now 🙂

Thanks!

The upgrade would be nice, I know a friend that upgraded from an I7-4790K to an I5-8600K and he gained about 10 FPS

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I upgraded my i7-4790K to the i7-8086K.  With a good air cooler, power supply, and case, I'm able to run it at a constant 5.2 GHz. I wasn't necessarily hunting frames, but I was able to turn the settings in P3D up even further and maintain what I wanted, especially in dense scenery and heavy clouds. Still can't get into LAX without seeing a drop, but I fly with ORBX SoCal, UT Live, the works.  Almost anywhere else I fly I can get the performance I want without compromising.

As I understand it, the 8086K is the same processor as the 8700K, but Intel picks out the best quality ones and brands them as the 8086K. Using only the best chips allows them to bump the boost frequency to 5 GHz out of the box.  The way I see it, an 8086K is much more likely to hit the higher speeds than an 8700K.  Is it worth the price premium? It was for me.

I've also seen that the newest Intel chips (the 9XXX series) might not be the best when overclocking either (example: https://www.anandtech.com/show/13400/intel-9th-gen-core-i9-9900k-i7-9700k-i5-9600k-review/22) The new chips are faster out of the box, but Intel seems to be shipping them at much closer to their maximum clock than they used to. It seems to be a lot more work and money to squeeze out a couple hundred MHz on them than it used to be. There may be benefits to having the additional cores, but I think P3D still has a ways to go to automatically say more cores is better than more clock.

As for the 10th generation, most of the speculation is on Intel moving to a smaller manufacturing process (10nm or even 7nm).  Historically, Intel moves to a smaller process every other generation (which generally improves efficiency) and then stays there while improving the performance for the next generation (referred to as the tick-tock cycle in the past). The next smaller manufacturing process is already a little late (this is the second performance increase generation) although some of the new mobile chips are using a new process.

As for the Z390 motherboard vs the Z370, most of the specs I've seen refer to improvements in USB, Wi-Fi, PCI lanes, etc, and not much that really centers on the processor.  At one time I thought I read that the new chipset supported faster memory, but I can't find anything now that says it. 

DDR4 vs DDR3 vs DDR2 is basically a generational notation, much like the 8700K is the 8th generation processor and the 9700K is the 9th generation processor. Newer generations support faster speeds. RAM speed is generally measured in bandwidth instead of frequency because a number of factors make the specific clock frequency meaningless. The general rule is to buy the highest bandwidth that the processor and motherboard support.  Then you get into the timings thing, which is above my pay grade.  For example, I found a 16 GB stick of ram advertised as DDR4 400 (PC4 32000) with timings of 18-19-19-39. I'm pretty sure that it's running at a 200MHZ clock frequency, but because it transmits on both ends of the clock cycle, it's transfers data at a 400MHz rate (DDR stands for Double Data Rate - two transmissions for every clock cycle).  Because it can transfer multiple bits (8?) at a time, it has a total bandwidth of 3.2 MB/sec. (I might not have it exactly right, but you get the idea.)  The timings (18-19-19-39) refer to how many clock cycles / how much time the RAM takes to perform certain actions such as respond to an instruction or access a specific bit.  It gets super technical, but the rule is always lower is better.  I believe it is possible for RAM with a higher frequency but slower timings to end up having poorer performance than RAM with a lower frequency but faster timings.  I think that's only true in extreme cases, but it means you can't ignore the timings entirely.

As far as an SSD goes, I can't really speak about M2 versus a standard SATA.  I have a desktop with an M2 SSD, but my P3D machine has SATA SSDs. I haven't benchmarked the drives, but the computers are nothing alike in terms of the other components so I don't know that it would be meaningful anyway.  I honestly I can't say I notice any difference between them, but that's doing normal day-to-day tasks.

I also don't think that P3D is particularly sensitive to disk speed above a certain point once you're flying. That may be different for photoreal, which I don't use. I've never felt that the SATA SSD I have was holding me back. Moving from a traditional rotating disk to an SSD is such a massive game changer, but I don't think an M2 makes quite the same impact.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that in my opinion it would be better to make sure you have everything on an SSD, even a cheaper and slower one (non M-2). I also understand that the M2 format drives do generate a lot of heat under load. My ASUS motherboard came with a special heat sink just for the M2 slot.

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Personal opinion. Staying one generation behind, especially where mobo/cpu/gpu are concerned is a good idea. Moore's Law died a while ago so generational changes are incremental rather than game-changing. Of course, maunfacturers push their newest as being the best and something you simply cannot do without (with a corresponding unjustifiably large price hike) but it's all marketing hype.

Flightsimming is demanding but not to the point that we can't live with high end components currently being touted as being the cat's whiskers. Besides, I very much doubt that any hardware would be able to run the new platforms with all sliders to the right, heavy scenery and complex weather and aircraft add-ons.

If you have deep pockets then by all means go for the bright lights but a careful, considered and tempered decision (especially paying attention to the best compatibility between components) would be the wisest path. I am currently in the market for a much needed new computer so all I am doing here is sharing my mindset rather than offer suggestions. Not much help, I know and all rather superficial but getting into a deep conversation regarding specific harwdare issues such as this is not, to my mind at least, the best idea in the various fora where one gets to "listen" to opinions rather than facts. I'd love to able to afford to pay someone with knowledge and experience to try different hardware combinations and come up with solid alternatives depending on ones budget and performance desires. It's a pipe dream though for many reasons

**Just saw Scott's post. Nice read. Thank you!

Edited by speedyTC

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Scott, great post, I learned a thing or two, thanks 🙂

Tony, I have the same mindset. No need to buy the newest stuff just because of the hype. AND, it's not gonna be the newest one next year. My pockets aren't exactly "deep" right now, but the thing is that I've already invested too much. We economists call it "sunk costs". Therefore I have to keep going 🙂

So far, I'm leaning towards this setup:

  • CPU: i7-8700K
  • MOBO: AsRock Z370 Extreme4
  • RAM: something 2x8 GB, 3200 MHz, not sure about specific SKUs yet... any ideas there? 🙂

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Quote

 

Quote

Using only the best chips allows them to bump the boost frequency to 5 GHz out of the box

 

But only on one core, and as long as only one core is active. Unless you switch on MCE, or with some Asus boards now MCE is disabled, so sync all cores.

 

Quote

The way I see it, an 8086K is much more likely to hit the higher speeds than an 8700K.  Is it worth the price premium? It was for me.

 

Better chance of achieving 5 GHz on all cores with the 8086K and at lower temp.

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