Handwerk_Arts

Ryzen 7 upgrade. What motherboard to pick?

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I am upgrading and building a new PC ( tired for waiting on raytrace and rendering) So, after way too much research, and speaking to far too many gamers, a few video editors, designers and a couple techs at Chief, I am opting for a Ryzen 7 1700. After overclocking, the advantage of the 1700x or 1800 only add about 6% improvement, money better spent on RAM.
But, truth be told, the only ones who seem to know very much about matching motherboards are gamers, and they have much different needs. And as the Ryzen is still relatively new, the bugs are just getting worked out. So, for those of you who are more of the multitasking designers, what should I look for? Any suggestions?
FYI...I have opted for a Gigabyte GTX 1060 6GB , so midrange.

 

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Just a caution if your main purpose is to reduce your Ray Trace times. Your proposed Ryzen 1700x. Over your current CPU this CPU should deliver the same Ray Trace in about 1/3rd the time. Initially you will be impressed. But what will happen is that you will soon start to add more complex lighting, maybe run at higher resolution or run more passes than you did in the past. Before you realize it you will be back at the same time as it took before and now be hooked on the now improved scene quality. So if reducing time is your ultimate goal it will be short lived. If AMD is your choice then bite the bullet and go for the 1950X, this will give you lots of room to grow.

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If budget is the main concern then seriously consider the I7 8700K, this would likely give you similar Ray Trace performance improvements with the added benefit of much improved single thread performance. This is an added bonus over the AMD 1700 which does not really perform much better than your existing CPU when it comes to single thread operations.

 

Also moving up just one Video card level is likely not going to deliver any noticeable improvement. Use GTX 1050 Ti until you can afford something that will provide a noticeable benefit.

 

Concerning motherboards there a lots of reviews out there, Tom's Hardware, Hot Hardware and Guru3D are great resources fro detailed reviews. Thought they tend to focus on gamming the results are applicable as what they are showing is how well the motherboard handles it's responsibility. Most of the test tend to indicate that the majority of boards from major manufactures are all pretty close. Yes there are some differences, but the question is will you be able to notice it. If you are an extreme overclocker then it may be a bit more concerning as some boards are better designed to let you have full control over this. 

 

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I might add to the great advice from Graham that it is important to know how you will use your PC now and in the future. I built a dual Xeon PC because I did a lot of RayTracing and wanted the speed improvements of multi core CPU's. Now, I hardly ever do a RayTrace so the the Dual Xeons are not that much better for everyday 3D rendering and are actually slower than some of the newer CPU's at Chief's everyday tasks.

 

I also upgrade my video card to try and improve overall performance and saw zero real world difference between my older card and the newest 1080.

 

So bottom line is know how you will use your PC. If it is for RayTracing ( as opposed to 3D rendering) then you need as much CPU muscle as you can afford, Intel or AMD. If you do more 3D Rendering then perhaps a mid range video card will suffice but buying as much CPU power as you can afford will always be a good investment..

 

Motherboards? Will you overclock? If so find a board that's easy to accomplish same otherwise just buy a mid range good quality board as they are mostly very good these days. Also look for a motherboard that can accommodate the fastest hard drives. The newest M.2 SSD's can add a LOT of performance so make sure the MB can accommodate the fastest SSD's around.

 

The chart below is always helpful when trying to decide between relative CPU performance

 

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

 

Best of luck and please post with your decision and performance when you get your new machine.

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A thought I just had about my current system and that it is at least 5 - 7 years old and hanging right in there for every day Chief use. It slows down with large models but I think it only makes the point about buying as much CPU as you can afford and hopefully your PC will be good for many years to come.

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Great info and i appreciate all the replies.  I know I need an upgrade on my processor, it just cannot keep up with all I am putting it through. I really cannot afford a grand for a processor. And looking at the benchmarks, for 300 bucks, both the Ryzen 7 1700 and evidently, the Intel i7 8700 K both are screaming fast compared to my i5.
So now i am back to my original problem..AMD versus Intel. And i swear, everyone is an expert and it is like talking to people about politics. Frustrated...

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3 hours ago, Handwerk_Arts said:

Great info and i appreciate all the replies.  I know I need an upgrade on my processor, it just cannot keep up with all I am putting it through. I really cannot afford a grand for a processor. And looking at the benchmarks, for 300 bucks, both the Ryzen 7 1700 and evidently, the Intel i7 8700 K both are screaming fast compared to my i5.
So now i am back to my original problem..AMD versus Intel. And i swear, everyone is an expert and it is like talking to people about politics. Frustrated...

The new AMD Ryzen Series are definitely a big step forward for AMD, I guess they needed to make a choice and decided that the number of cores was where to focus their efforts. They definitely offer a lot of cores for the money. But core count alone is not the only factor that determines a CPUs performance capabilities. CPUs have to process both single and multithreaded operations and this varies greatly according to the software you are running. CA, though it has some multithreaded optimization, is still highly reliant on single threaded operations. Ray Trace on the other hand is fully optimized for multithreaded operation. Here's the dilemma, your model building performance is primarily affected by the former and your Ray Trace performance is dependent upon the latter. Also, how well the CPU does in these two areas is dependent upon it's operational base frequency. What you will notice is that many of these high core count CPUs run at base frequencies lower than the lower core count ones. This is often due to heat dissipation issues when all those cores are running flat-out.

 

In general if you look at the Intel processors you will see that they tend to operate at higher base frequencies over the AMDs, especially when multiple cores are involved. That's why for instance the I7 8700 can deliver similar multi core performance over the higher core count AMD 1700 and better single core performance. Just my opinion, but unless you are going to go for the AMD 1950 I would choose the I7 8700K, hands down.

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8 hours ago, Handwerk_Arts said:

Great info and i appreciate all the replies.  I know I need an upgrade on my processor, it just cannot keep up with all I am putting it through. I really cannot afford a grand for a processor. And looking at the benchmarks, for 300 bucks, both the Ryzen 7 1700 and evidently, the Intel i7 8700 K both are screaming fast compared to my i5.
So now i am back to my original problem..AMD versus Intel. And i swear, everyone is an expert and it is like talking to people about politics. Frustrated...

 

4 hours ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

 

Tim, 

I'll second Graham's opinion on this one. Although chief is written for multi core rendering the improvements are marginal when stacked against a fast single thread(I have both)...and single threaded speed helps for all other tasks that chief handles. 

A big recommendation from a former computer builder..make sure your motherboard supports m.2 drives and quad channel ram. 

 

ALSO, planning is the key to raytrace success. Run your raytrace on a slave computer, or run it overnight...or set your computer up to ba able to handle raytrace with only half the cores(more ram!)

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Quote

Although chief is written for multi core rendering the improvements are marginal when stacked against a fast single thread(I have both)...and single threaded speed helps for all other tasks that chief handles. A big recommendation from a former computer builder..make sure your motherboard supports m.2 drives and quad channel ram.


I ended up going with a 7820x + 32GB of Quad Channel ram for this exact reason. Built the system just yesterday. 

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2 minutes ago, DavidJames said:

>Although chief is written for multi core rendering the improvements are marginal when stacked against a fast single thread(I have both)...and single threaded speed helps for all other tasks that chief handles. A big recommendation from a former computer builder..make sure your motherboard supports m.2 drives and quad channel ram.



I ended up going with a 7820x + 32GB of Quad Channel ram for this exact reason. Built the system just yesterday. 

7820x? Curious - what is that?

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20 minutes ago, HumbleChief said:

7820x? Curious - what is that?

 

These are the newer top of the line I7 intel processors. that model offers 8 hyper threaded cores for 16 logical cores running at 4.5. The next new series is the 
I9's with processors up to 18 hyper threaded cores for 36 logical cores. These run a lower base clock frequency but are the fastest single chip beasts you can buy. Top one runs in at close to $2,500 just for the CPU. The new updated Alienware 51 offers these now.

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58 minutes ago, DavidJames said:

>Although chief is written for multi core rendering the improvements are marginal when stacked against a fast single thread(I have both)...and single threaded speed helps for all other tasks that chief handles. A big recommendation from a former computer builder..make sure your motherboard supports. m.2 drives and quad channel ram



I ended up going with a 7820x + 32GB of Quad Channel ram for this exact reason. Built the system just yesterday. 

Okay, I think you have me convinced to stay with Intel. Especially after looking at the benchmarks. It is matching some processors that are four times the price.
Only one problem: Tracking down an I7 8700K is like trying to find the elusive Jackalope. They may indeed exist, but thanks to underproduction, they are nowhere to be found. Motherboards to match, are almost as troublesome. Especially if i am aiming for one that supports  m.2 drives and quad channel ram.

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8 hours ago, Handwerk_Arts said:

Okay, I think you have me convinced to stay with Intel. Especially after looking at the benchmarks. It is matching some processors that are four times the price.
Only one problem: Tracking down an I7 8700K is like trying to find the elusive Jackalope. They may indeed exist, but thanks to underproduction, they are nowhere to be found. Motherboards to match, are almost as troublesome. Especially if i am aiming for one that supports  m.2 drives and quad channel ram.

 

I believe within your budget you will find the I7 8700K to be a well balanced out CPU and you will see significant performance improvements right across the board. Of course finding these and the motherboard you want will be challenging as intel and other hardware providers ramp up production. AMDs release of the Ryzen processor series seems to have caught Intel off-guard. Not that Intel did not already have these processors developed but it was not in their marketing/sales strategy to bring them to the market at this point in time. This of course will correct itself over the next few months and all will be good.

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14 hours ago, Handwerk_Arts said:

Okay, I think you have me convinced to stay with Intel. Especially after looking at the benchmarks. It is matching some processors that are four times the price.
Only one problem: Tracking down an I7 8700K is like trying to find the elusive Jackalope. They may indeed exist, but thanks to underproduction, they are nowhere to be found. Motherboards to match, are almost as troublesome. Especially if i am aiming for one that supports  m.2 drives and quad channel ram.


Much like yourself, I was planning on upgrading to a Ryzen system as well. I was debating between the 1800x and the 7820x for months. I ultimately went with the 7820x because it essentially provided single threaded performance close to the 7700k (single-threaded king), and multi-threaded performance meeting/exceeding the 6950x (10 core, $1700, beast of a chip).

The Ryzen chips are great, don't get me wrong; they really shine with multi-threaded performance but unfortunately fall behind when it comes to single-threaded performance by quite a large margin. Some of the software I use benefits from ST, and some of the software I use benefits MT so to me the 7820x ended up being the better option. 

As TheKitchenAbode has said, the 8700k should be a great option for you. Keep in mind that the 8700k, much like the 1700x/1800x, only supports dual-channel memory. Is there much of a difference between dual/quad channel? Depending on the software it can double your memory bandwidth, or it can have absolutely no benefit whatsoever.

Here's a comparison between your current chip and the 8700k: 

http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-8700K-vs-Intel-Core-i5-2400/3937vs803

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David _ 100% correct, great advice and a solid interpretation of what can be expected and under what conditions.

 

The problem with many of these test reviews sites is that they are not the best a putting all of the results into a perspective that is easy to fully understand. Memory, bandwidth and many other things we can focus on really only matter when a system is being pushed to it's limits under very specific situations. Unless those very specific circumstance exist, there will be no perceivable difference. For CA and Ray Tracing the most important by far is the base frequency and # of cores. When evaluating that base frequency there is also the boost frequency to consider. This is not always fully understood, the boost frequency is intended to crank up the CPU for only a limited amount of time and very often on only a few of the available cores. This will vary according to the cooling system, boosting the frequency causes CPU temperatures to rise, once these hit the chips operating limitations the system will either crank up the cooling system and if this does not bring the temps down then it will throttle back on the boost, the boost is really only designed for short burst. For long term boosting on all cores one needs to set up their system for overclocking.

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