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TurtlePerson2
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Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:09 am

I've started playing The Outer Worlds and my system can't quite handle it. I know what the problem is, the CPU minimum requirement is Phenom II X6 1100T, but I have a 1090T. My CPU is pretty old, but the truth is that it runs most things just fine. I kind of hate the idea of upgrading my CPU, motherboard, and RAM, so I'm wondering if there are good options on my existing platform (AM3+).

I can't quite figure out where AM3+ ended and I have kind of a negative feeling about the post-phenom pre-'zen days of AMD. Anyone know of a good option that will keep me from having to drop $400 and maybe make it more like $50-100?
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:22 am

I don't believe that there are any reasonable $100 alternatives. Spending $180 on a used FX-8350 doesn't look like a good choice, either.

As a baseline, we might consider:
$235 Ryzen 5 3600X (6-cores/12-threads, 3.8/4.4 GHz base/boost frequency)
$0 included Wraith Spire CPU cooler
$86 Gigabyte B450 Aorus M
$70 2x8 GiB PC4-25600 Crucial BLS2K8G4D32AESCK (DDR4-3200, 16-18-18-??, 1.35V)
====
$391, delivered.

One of the cheaper alternatives to consider would be to find an off-lease (used) business PC with a Core i5 and stick a gaming graphics card into it.
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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TurtlePerson2
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:29 am

Thanks for the response. I figured AM3+ was probably still somewhat relevant, since we are on AM4, but I guess there was an FM1 and FM2 socket in there as well. I'll probably just watch for a killer deal on a mobo/cpu combo. It's just too bad about The Outer Worlds, since it's a great game, but the micro-stuttering is so bad that it's just stuttering. I would OC, since I'm using liquid cooling, but there's only 10% headroom due to the ridiculous TDP of this chip.

I wonder what my teenage self would have thought, if he had known that I would use the same CPU, RAM, and mobo for 10 years?
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TurtlePerson2
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:37 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
One of the cheaper alternatives to consider would be to find an off-lease (used) business PC with a Core i5 and stick a gaming graphics card into it.


I looked into this last night. The problem is that most of the machines I'm finding are either older than mine or too expensive to justify doing that.
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just brew it!
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:49 am

TBH if you're not finding the performance with the 1090T acceptable, an 1100T wouldn't cut it either; the core count is the same, and there's only a ~3% difference in core/boost clocks. So take the game's official minimum hardware requirements with a huge grain of salt.

Are you absolutely sure you're not GPU-limited? Do you have enough RAM?

For AM3+ your upgrade options are limited, and may not provide a perceptible boost over the 1090T. The fastest AM3+ processors that don't require heroic cooling (or a motherboard with beefed up VRMs) are the FX-8350 and FX-8370, but the time to buy one of those if you wanted to do an "AM3+'s last stand" sort of thing was probably 2-3 years ago. New ones are getting scarce and prices have gone up. If you want to go this route, your best bet is probably to find a used one for cheap on eBay, and cross your fingers that all the pins are straight and that an overclocker hasn't beat the crap out of it.

Although an FX-8350/8370 has 2 more cores and significantly higher clocks than the 1090T, IPC of the FX series is mediocre, so you won't see as much of a performance boost as those numbers would imply. IMO it does not really make sense to gamble on whether it will get your performance into the "good enough" range when you could be putting that money towards a more modern platform.

Yes, I know it is painful to upgrade across platform generations since you need to replace all of your RAM. But AM3+ really is at the end of the road (and has been for a few years now). And I say this as someone who still runs an FX-8350 as my primary home desktop. :wink:
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:58 am

TurtlePerson2 wrote:
I wonder what my teenage self would have thought, if he had known that I would use the same CPU, RAM, and mobo for 10 years?

If the motherboard is really 10 years old then it is actually AM3, not AM3+. In this case the 1100T is probably as high as you can go. (IIRC there were a few AM3 boards which were compatible with some of the AM3+ CPUs with a BIOS flash, but these were in the minority.)
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meerkt
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:17 am

If the FX-8350 is deemed worthwhile and compatible, the cheapest currently on eBay for "Buy Now" rather than bidding is $80.
 
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:20 am

meerkt wrote:
If the FX-8350 is deemed worthwhile and compatible, the cheapest currently on eBay for "Buy Now" rather than bidding is $80.

...and that's more than I'd be willing to pay for one today, if I was in the OP's shoes. Heck, he can have mine for $80 if he wants. :wink: (I have an 8320 I'd be willing to live with until I put together my Ryzen build...)
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blastdoor
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:59 pm

How about dual core Skylake Celeron and cheap motherboard?
 
Waco
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:54 am

If your BIOS support it, turning off a pair of cores (core 1 and core 4 if you have the choice, indexed from 0) and overclocking might help a bit in games without blowing up your VRMs or CPU temps.
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TurtlePerson2
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:30 pm

Waco wrote:
If your BIOS support it, turning off a pair of cores (core 1 and core 4 if you have the choice, indexed from 0) and overclocking might help a bit in games without blowing up your VRMs or CPU temps.

It's been 7 or 8 years since I last tried overclocking the thing, but I recall trying to disable 2 of the cores for a better overclock and not getting much of anywhere. I think I was able to coax another 200 MHz out, but that's less than 10%, which I don't think will make too much of a difference for my current simulation. The Intel processor I had before this one (Core 2 Quad) could run at 150% of the stock frequency without moving the voltage. Those were the good old days...

I've improved performance somewhat by lowering the shadow quality. I read online that that was the most taxing setting from an FPS perspective. I don't know why that helped when the CPU is the bottleneck, but it did. It's playable now, but not ideal. I'll probably continue to push off that system upgrade...
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:16 am

Awesome! I also prefer not to upgrade as much as possible. No matter what you get, you are struck by buyer's remorse sooner or later as the next big thing will always have something that will make you wish that you had waited just a bit longer.
 
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:34 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
Awesome! I also prefer not to upgrade as much as possible. No matter what you get, you are struck by buyer's remorse sooner or later as the next big thing will always have something that will make you wish that you had waited just a bit longer.

OTOH, if you go too far the other way you end up pissed off at yourself for putting up with the slow, decrepit system you've been hanging on to for years while you wait for the next big thing.

I seem to have fallen into a cadence where I upgrade twice per DRAM generation. This way, I only need to buy all new RAM for half of my builds.
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:36 am

Thank God I have resisted the urge to upgrade so far, especially since re-using my 32GB DDR3 will be hard. I think 128GB DDR5 at an affordable price might get me to upgrade in the future.
 
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:00 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
Thank God I have resisted the urge to upgrade so far, especially since re-using my 32GB DDR3 will be hard.

...not to mention, it would not make much sense. If you're currently on DDR3, a meaningful upgrade is going to involve DDR4, a new motherboard, and a current-gen CPU. Unless you're currently on a really weak budget CPU, in which case upgrading the CPU one more time using your current platform might be worthwhile.

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
I think 128GB DDR5 at an affordable price might get me to upgrade in the future.

What in the world do you run (or want to run) that 128GB of RAM would be a worthwhile expense?
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:03 am

just brew it! wrote:
What in the world do you run (or want to run) that 128GB of RAM would be a worthwhile expense?


*Neo's voice* VMs. Lots and lots of VMs.
 
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:05 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
What in the world do you run (or want to run) that 128GB of RAM would be a worthwhile expense?

*Neo's voice* VMs. Lots and lots of VMs.

For what purpose? And why would you need to run them all at the same time?
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:12 am

just brew it! wrote:
Igor_Kavinski wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
What in the world do you run (or want to run) that 128GB of RAM would be a worthwhile expense?

*Neo's voice* VMs. Lots and lots of VMs.

For what purpose? And why would you need to run them all at the same time?

Some things you do just for the heck of it. Because they are fun to do. Because they give you pleasure, peace and who knows, prosperity?
 
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:19 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Igor_Kavinski wrote:
*Neo's voice* VMs. Lots and lots of VMs.

For what purpose? And why would you need to run them all at the same time?

Some things you do just for the heck of it. Because they are fun to do. Because they give you pleasure, peace and who knows, prosperity?

I can think of much more interesting/enjoyable/useful things to do with the money spent on 128GB of RAM than running a couple of dozen VMs just for grins. But whatever floats your boat, I guess.
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:24 am

just brew it! wrote:
I can think of much more interesting/enjoyable/useful things to do with the money spent on 128GB of RAM...


Pray elaborate.
 
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:30 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
I can think of much more interesting/enjoyable/useful things to do with the money spent on 128GB of RAM...

Pray elaborate.

I did not think that was necessary to elaborate on why spending several hundred dollars just to be able to say "Look, 200 VMs all running at once on the same box!" does not seem like a worthwhile use of funds.
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:57 am

just brew it! wrote:
I did not think that was necessary to elaborate on why spending several hundred dollars just to be able to say "Look, 200 VMs all running at once on the same box!" does not seem like a worthwhile use of funds.


I don't do vanity stuff like that. Besides, got no one to show something like that, except maybe you folks. What I meant was, I would love to do that first then figure out later if anything good can come out of it. I'm the experimenting "Let's do first, see/think later" type. By the time 128GB is affordable, we might be looking at 64GB recommendations for good gaming systems.
 
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:13 pm

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
Some things you do just for the heck of it.

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
I don't do vanity stuff like that.

Cognitive dissonance much?
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:16 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Igor_Kavinski wrote:
Some things you do just for the heck of it.

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
I don't do vanity stuff like that.

Cognitive dissonance much?

No. No.No. I meant I don't do stuff just to show off.
 
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:33 pm

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
I'm the experimenting "Let's do first, see/think later" type.


Ok, so you spend oodles of $$$ on gear, then find out if it'll actually benefit you?

Gotta agree with JBI here.
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:37 pm

Not oodles. Within reason. The most I've spent is around $1200 on a build/laptop. My IT expenses are dwarfed by my health-related/nutritional expenses.
 
Acidicheartburn
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:30 pm

I ain't condoning spending a ton of money just to go "let's see how far I can take this" just for the heck of it, but if the man wants to, it's his money and if he gets enjoyment out of it then more power to him. If he ain't harming anyone then I see no issue. I have an IT friend who does similar things; he loves to overbuild the heck out of things and push them to the max just because he finds it fun, even if he doesn't need to. It's a hobby. I see no problem here.

As far as OP goes, I'm going to agree with JBI. If you wait too long on your old hardware between builds then you're putting yourself in a position of unnecessary hardship, so to speak. 10 years is an eternity for computer hardware and I would feel very comfortable upgrading from your position, provided you have the money.
 
Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:35 am

Acidicheartburn wrote:
10 years is an eternity for computer hardware and I would feel very comfortable upgrading from your position, provided you have the money.


Don't have something like $1200 right now but also I don't like upgrading if the performance boost isn't going to be massive. So far I haven't felt any need to upgrade. Will see in a couple of years if there is any killer application or game that refuses to run due to non-availability of AVX2 instructions. Even then, I would try to get my hands on a used mobo that supports DDR3 with 6th gen or 7th gen Core CPU. I know that ASUS has a few mobos like that.

Or I might get a new one if Intel's Modular PC project becomes a reality by then: https://www.anandtech.com/show/14953/th ... ne-to-life
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:49 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
I would try to get my hands on a used mobo that supports DDR3 with 6th gen or 7th gen Core CPU.
Yet another terrible idea.

JustAnEngineer wrote:
As a baseline, we might consider:
$234 Ryzen 5 3600X (6-cores/12-threads, 3.8/4.4 GHz base/boost frequency)
$0 included Wraith Spire CPU cooler
$85 Gigabyte B450 Aorus M
$70 2x8 GiB PC4-25600 Crucial BLS2K8G4D32AESCK (DDR4-3200, 16-18-18-??, 1.35V)
====
$389, delivered.
E-tailers continue to clear out stock of older processors. If your budget is constrained, these are still much better than decade-old junk.
$140 AMD Ryzen 5 2600X (6-cores/12-threads, 3.6/4.2 GHz base/boost frequency) - use code EMCUUTA25
$118 AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (6-cores/12-threads, 3.4/3.9 GHz base/boost frequency)
That brings the total down to $273 for a capable system.
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Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Upgrade Path for Aging Processor

Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:20 am

Thanks JAE but I'm not really in the mood for a system upgrade right now. Lots of other things take precedence. Plus, my i7-3770 feels just fine with an SSD. Really don't have a reason to upgrade.

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