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Old 10-15-2019, 03:09 PM
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Sweet spot Intel CPU?


I need to build a new machine that will be used for some gaming, some picture editing, and other such tasks -- more than just web surfing. Years ago, I did this using a Core i7-920 which really seemed to be a sweet spot in terms of price and performance. That machine seems to be failing (probably the power supply), and I want to go again.

I've done a little research and it seems like the Core i7-9700K@3.6 GHz may be the new sweet spot. What say you all?

I'm also going to need a new MOBO, power supply, memory, and case, if you have any recommendations there. I'll probably buy from Newegg. I'm going to try and move my system hard drive over directly -- it's a fairly new 1 TB SSD -- I think that's doable these days. The data drives should be easy to move. I already have a fairly modern GPU. I'd want room for a pretty big GPU card and 3 or 4 drives, and an optical drive, so I think a midsize case works. I think 16 GB of memory should be sufficient, but I'm happy to be convinced otherwise.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:50 PM
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My current box uses a quad-core i7-7700 3.6 with 16 GB; video card is a GeForce GTX 1070. Great for gaming, including VR.
  #3  
Old 10-15-2019, 04:11 PM
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My current box uses a quad-core i7-7700 3.6 with 16 GB; video card is a GeForce GTX 1070. Great for gaming, including VR.
I have the same amount of RAM and same card (GTX 1070 Ti on a Black Friday Amazon sale) and games run very smooth.

I canít recall my CPU but Iíve been a loyal AMD guy since my computer salesman days (20 years ago, has it been that long?). I donít remember which model. Honestly for gaming while your CPU and MB are of course critical, video card is usually the biggest bottleneck.

I love Newegg but Iíll be honest, I usually go there to find components then buy them on Amazon because theyíre cheaper. I use Newegg because itís easy to search for components there and they have pretty informed reviews.
  #4  
Old 10-15-2019, 07:56 PM
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This looks like a pretty good deal:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Combo...ption=i7-9700k

I haven't done this in a while -- do I want a LGA1151 MOBO or a LGA1151 300 Series MOBO? Does the size of the MOBO dictate the size of the case? What size power supply? So many questions...
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:05 PM
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This looks like a pretty good deal:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Combo...ption=i7-9700k

I haven't done this in a while -- do I want a LGA1151 MOBO or a LGA1151 300 Series MOBO?
Well, if you want to run that CPU that you've just linked to, you'll need the 300 Series. All Coffee Lake processors require the 300 Series, I believe.

I'm running a Skylake i5-6600K on an LGA1151 motherboard, and I've been thinking about moving up to an i7 to speed up my video procesing. I'd like the latest-gen processor, but if I don't want to buy a new mobo, I'll have to stick with a Skylake or Kaby Lake i7.
  #6  
Old 10-15-2019, 11:11 PM
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Hijack: my brother convinced me to join the dark side and go Ryzen with my build last year, and I've become a very big fan. I went crazy with a Threadripper, but the Ryzen 7 2700X is comparable to your i7 9700k, but roughly half the price. That's ~$200 you can spend on a top-tier X570 motherboard and STILL come out ahead, or getting silly and running two graphics cards.

Hell, for the $364 for the i7, you can get the 3800X running at 3.9 GHz. Add to that larger caches, faster RAM speeds, and a kick-ass stock cooler, and you've got yourself a freaking hero of a CPU.
  #7  
Old 10-16-2019, 08:42 PM
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OK, my main computer really is starting to fail -- every time I turn it on, it powers up and then shuts off. Then, I can turn it on again and it works -- I think there are probably some capacitors in the power supply that are going bad.

So, where's a good place to help me find the right components? I'm not planning on doing any overclocking, but I will probably always have a fairly beefy GPU (right now, it's the GTX 970), so I want a good power supply. Midsize case case should be fine for a few hard drives (three or four) and a CD-ROM, right?

If this isn't the right message board for this question, just let me know a good one. I'll take other recommendations on a CPU as well, if it's more of a sweet spot (thanks for the AMD rec, but I'm planning on staying with Intel).

There are hundreds of cases, power supplies, and motherboards -- how do you choose??
  #8  
Old 10-16-2019, 08:57 PM
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I'm certainly not an expert, but when I did my last build, I just read a bunch of reviews, and stuck with reputable brands. EVGA Gold 550W power supply, Fractal Design Define R4case, Gigabyte Z170 motherboard. The computer's still going strong 4 years later, and none of the components have died on me. Knock wood.

If I were starting a new build from scratch right now, I'd probably choose the same CPU that you listed earlier, at least if I were committed to staying with Intel. That said, I'd give AMD a serious look if I were starting again now.

That's about all the advice I've got. If you want more specialized feedback, the Tom's Hardware boards are good, as is Reddit. But it's easy to get bogged down comparing dozens of different components looking for small differences, and those expert boards often muddy the water more than they help because you'll have people arguing about tiny performance increments that will make almost no difference in the real, day-to-day world of your computing needs.

By the way, have you seen PCPartPicker? It's a good site that allows you to create multiple builds, shows you prices from different retailers, and also gives a good idea if there are any compatibility problems between the different pieces of hardware. I'm often willing to pay a few bucks more for something in order to get it from a reliable supplier with a good return policy. Last time, I bought about half my stuff at NewEgg, and half at B&H Photo.

Last edited by mhendo; 10-16-2019 at 09:00 PM.
  #9  
Old 10-16-2019, 09:29 PM
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Thanks! Will that size power supply be enough? I guess the only real power hogs are the CPU and GPU, plus the fans.
  #10  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:42 PM
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A 550W should be plenty for the components you plan to use. Just make sure you get a modular one. You will make things so much easier if you can unplug unnecessary cables from the PSU when you install it.
  #11  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:56 PM
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Thanks! Will that size power supply be enough? I guess the only real power hogs are the CPU and GPU, plus the fans.
I was necessarily recommending that particular size; rather, I was just noting that I bought a reputable brand. EVGA isn't the only one, of course, but it always gets good reviews.

Still, as Atamasama says, 550W will probably be fine unless you decide to really crank up your gaming, or do VR or something, and buy a power-hungry gaming card or two.
  #12  
Old 10-16-2019, 11:05 PM
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I was necessarily recommending that particular size; rather, I was just noting that I bought a reputable brand. EVGA isn't the only one, of course, but it always gets good reviews.

Still, as Atamasama says, 550W will probably be fine unless you decide to really crank up your gaming, or do VR or something, and buy a power-hungry gaming card or two.
Yeah if you upgrade your video card to something cutting edge (like an RTX series) you might need more.
  #13  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:47 PM
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Just make sure you get a modular one. You will make things so much easier if you can unplug unnecessary cables from the PSU when you install it.
Yeah, what he said.

My modular PSU was actually cheaper than the non-modular equivalent was after a $20 mail-in rebate. It's also a Gold because at the time the Gold was on special for I think less than a Bronze.

But the typical extra cost for Gold probably isn't worth it for most people. An standard certified 80 Plus supply is probably all you'll need. Go better if you get a good deal (or really hate power supply fan noise, since the higher the efficiency the less often the fan will probably run).

But the power savings overall for most people are going to take a long time to recover the extra upfront cost, and might not even recover by the time you need a new PS.

Also, make sure you check that the advertised PS is really 80 Plus certified if it's claimed as such.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_Plu...ly_advertising

https://www.quora.com/Is-it-worth-it...d-power-supply
  #14  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:02 PM
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Yeah, what he said.

My modular PSU was actually cheaper than the non-modular equivalent was after a $20 mail-in rebate. It's also a Gold because at the time the Gold was on special for I think less than a Bronze.

But the typical extra cost for Gold probably isn't worth it for most people. An standard certified 80 Plus supply is probably all you'll need. Go better if you get a good deal (or really hate power supply fan noise, since the higher the efficiency the less often the fan will probably run).

But the power savings overall for most people are going to take a long time to recover the extra upfront cost, and might not even recover by the time you need a new PS.

Also, make sure you check that the advertised PS is really 80 Plus certified if it's claimed as such.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_Plu...ly_advertising

https://www.quora.com/Is-it-worth-it...d-power-supply
What's 80+? What's Gold? I suppose I could read the links...
  #15  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:08 PM
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How does this build look?

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/wrjKZf

I got some help from Tom's Hardware. I'm not sure about buying from all those places, so I'll probably try to reproduce it at Newegg, but I'm having a heckuva time even tracking down the PSU there.
  #16  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:56 PM
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Aw man. Now I want one.
  #17  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:57 PM
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Thanks! Will that size power supply be enough? I guess the only real power hogs are the CPU and GPU, plus the fans.
Most people( especially gamers, I think )significantly overestimate how much power they need. The power demand for a standard gaming PC with a single gpu is generally not massive. And going with too beefy of a power source is kinda a waste of money, efficiency and heat. Here's some online calculators that all do more or less the same thing:

https://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator

https://seasonic.com/wattage-calculator

https://www.coolermaster.com/power-supply-calculator/

Last edited by Tamerlane; 10-17-2019 at 05:58 PM.
  #18  
Old 10-17-2019, 06:19 PM
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Gah! What CPU cooler should I get? They don't have the one recommended at Newegg, plus it seems like crazy overkill unless I'm really misjudging the height. Here's what was recommended:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZYB8K77...ogi&th=1&psc=1

Here's what Newegg has:

https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?N=100008...er=BESTSELLING

Need answer kind of fast, because I'm putting my order together tonight.
  #19  
Old 10-17-2019, 06:27 PM
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I haven't looked at desktop components in a while(been a laptop guy now for a few years), but I am a big believer in an NVMe slot for a boot SSD at least, and would need one hell of a deal to pick up a motherboard without one these days, and I was unable to tell if that MOBO has an NVM2 m2 or a just a SATA one.
  #20  
Old 10-17-2019, 06:30 PM
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I haven't looked at desktop components in a while(been a laptop guy now for a few years), but I am a big believer in an NVMe slot for a boot SSD at least, and would need one hell of a deal to pick up a motherboard without one these days, and I was unable to tell if that MOBO has an NVM2 m2 or a just a SATA one.
I can't tell either, and that motherboard gets pretty bad reviews on Newegg, so I'm still looking for one. Any suggestions?
  #21  
Old 10-17-2019, 06:51 PM
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Taking a quick look on Newegg, nothing really caught my eye.(Well except an unrelated gaming laptop, sure you don't want one of those instead? )

Last edited by wolfman; 10-17-2019 at 06:52 PM.
  #22  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:08 PM
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I'm going with this Mobo instead. Seems to get better reviews:

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E1681314...82E16813144217

Now, just need the CPU cooler...

Has anyone had any luck moving a Windows 10 system drive to a new system? It's supposed to be doable, but there are conflicting methods.
  #23  
Old 10-17-2019, 08:00 PM
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I essentially did that by replacing my motherboard, RAM, and CPU. I had to re-authenticate Windows by signing in with my Microsoft account, but that was painless. It loaded enough of the motherboard devices that I could download and install those drivers.

For a cooler, get a Nocuta D15s for sure. Best cooler for performance and noise unless you want a custom water loop. Keeping down the noise will make your day-to-day PC usage more pleasant. Spend the extra $40.
  #24  
Old 10-17-2019, 08:49 PM
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I essentially did that by replacing my motherboard, RAM, and CPU. I had to re-authenticate Windows by signing in with my Microsoft account, but that was painless. It loaded enough of the motherboard devices that I could download and install those drivers.

For a cooler, get a Nocuta D15s for sure. Best cooler for performance and noise unless you want a custom water loop. Keeping down the noise will make your day-to-day PC usage more pleasant. Spend the extra $40.
I ended up going with the Noctua NH-U12S, so hopefully good enough. Reviews said it was fine for 9700k, even with some overclocking (which I'm not planning to do).

OK, all purchased -- total cost was just under $900 including tax and shipping. Now to get it, put it together, and figure out if I can move my system drive over. I'll post here again if/when it's all working. Thanks, everyone!
  #25  
Old 10-17-2019, 09:55 PM
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I'm going with this Mobo instead. Seems to get better reviews:

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E1681314...82E16813144217

Now, just need the CPU cooler...

Has anyone had any luck moving a Windows 10 system drive to a new system? It's supposed to be doable, but there are conflicting methods.
I've got a Noctua cooler in my system. I got the NH-D14, and while I did the measurements beforehand to make sure it would fit in my case (by about half an inch!), that didn't really prepare me for how huge it is. It's been great; it's really quiet and it keeps my system nice and cool, but to be honest, it was probably overkill. I think a smaller Noctua, or a Coolermaster 212, or something similar, would have been just fine. I think that the NH-U12S you're getting will be perfect.

I've never moved an OS drive to a new system, but a while back I did decide to replace my regular SSD with an M2 drive, and the Samsung software made shifting the OS really easy. As Palooka said, you'll probably need to log into your Microsoft account, and you might need to call Microsoft if you have a problem. Just make sure that your current Win 10 system is set up with your Microsoft account, and not as an anonymous user, because without that, it will be harder to swap it over.

Did you stick with your choice of a Fractal Design case? I've been really happy with mine. It's plain and black and boxy, but I don't need windows and LED lights and colored fans. All I want is a spacious and quiet case, and the Fractal has been awesome.
  #26  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:26 AM
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I've got a Noctua cooler in my system. I got the NH-D14, and while I did the measurements beforehand to make sure it would fit in my case (by about half an inch!), that didn't really prepare me for how huge it is. It's been great; it's really quiet and it keeps my system nice and cool, but to be honest, it was probably overkill. I think a smaller Noctua, or a Coolermaster 212, or something similar, would have been just fine. I think that the NH-U12S you're getting will be perfect.

I've never moved an OS drive to a new system, but a while back I did decide to replace my regular SSD with an M2 drive, and the Samsung software made shifting the OS really easy. As Palooka said, you'll probably need to log into your Microsoft account, and you might need to call Microsoft if you have a problem. Just make sure that your current Win 10 system is set up with your Microsoft account, and not as an anonymous user, because without that, it will be harder to swap it over.

Did you stick with your choice of a Fractal Design case? I've been really happy with mine. It's plain and black and boxy, but I don't need windows and LED lights and colored fans. All I want is a spacious and quiet case, and the Fractal has been awesome.
I did stick with that case, so I'm glad you like it! I'll log into Windows with my hotmail ID before I try and make the move, assuming my current power supply makes it to next week. Thanks for the advice!
  #27  
Old 10-22-2019, 09:31 PM
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It all worked! The machine is put together, my system disk moved over with no issue (I connected Windows to my hotmail account), GPU working fine. The system is so quiet that I can't tell that it's on.

The only mistake I made was buying a case without a CD-ROM spot. Luckily, I already have an external DVD writer, so I'll just connect that when I need it. I suppose I didn't need the drive cluttering up the case.

I really like the way the case is laid out -- all the wires, drives, and the power supply are sort of hidden away behind the motherboard.

I'm having some problem activating Windows:

Quote:
We can't reactivate Windows as our servers aren't available right now. Wait for a few minutes or try adding your Microsoft account again.
Seems weird. I'll try again tomorrow, I guess.
  #28  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:20 PM
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It all worked! The machine is put together, my system disk moved over with no issue (I connected Windows to my hotmail account), GPU working fine. The system is so quiet that I can't tell that it's on.

The only mistake I made was buying a case without a CD-ROM spot. Luckily, I already have an external DVD writer, so I'll just connect that when I need it. I suppose I didn't need the drive cluttering up the case.

I really like the way the case is laid out -- all the wires, drives, and the power supply are sort of hidden away behind the motherboard.

I'm having some problem activating Windows:



Seems weird. I'll try again tomorrow, I guess.
Youíre better off with an external drive. I have an internal one but canít honestly remember the last time I used it. Better to leave the extra space for cooling. Honestly Iíd also not leave the external one connected all the time; leave it unplugged until you need it so that there is one less thing to burden your system with.

I agree, try to activate later. My experience with Xbox consoles has taught me that MSís servers go down now and then.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...ivation-errors
ďIf the activation server is temporarily unavailable, your copy of Windows will automatically be activated when the service comes back online.Ē

It happens.
  #29  
Old 10-23-2019, 04:45 PM
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Yeah, don't bother with internal optical drives these days.

You can get a great external drive for fairly cheap, and why waste the case space on something you'll rarely use?
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