Poll: Which high-end desktop platform has you most interested?

Howdy, gerbils. The Summer of Hardware is in full swing, and the pace of product announcements in the CPU and graphics card world has barely let up since the beginning of the year. Not everyone is in a position to upgrade every three months, though, and the current deluge of hardware releases requires sifting through with some care.

High-end desktop platforms in particular don't see refreshes all that often, and it's been a long, long time since "AMD" and "high-end" belonged in the same sentence. Intel's letting loose the X299 platform and its associated Core X CPUs  in flavors up to the 18-core Core i9-7980XE. AMD has readied up the X399 chipset and the positively humoungous TR4 socket to take in its Ryzen Threadripper CPUs, up to the Threadripper 1950X and its 16 cores.

Are you planning on upgrading to one of these platforms? If so, how far up the performance ladder are you looking to climb? Let us know in the poll below.

Comments closed
    • Mr Bill
    • 2 years ago

    Now that I’ve seen the specs, That 1900X looks a whole lot more interesting, compared to the 1800X and 1600X.

    • VinnyC
    • 2 years ago

    Please tell me that’s a Dexter’s Lab reference

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 2 years ago

    I’m starting to appreciate the name “Threadripper” because its uncharacteristically honest. [i<]Threads![/i<] Looks like a lot of enthusiasts might buy it without needing it, but nobody is being fooled.

    • BurntMyBacon
    • 2 years ago

    The poll is approaching 1000 votes in and it appears that there is more interest in Chipset du fromage than any of the listed Intel high end processors (5% cheese vs 4% all i9s). While I’ve already voted and made good on a mainstream Ryzen system (still gaming on Skylake, though), I find it quite surprising that there is less Interest in the individual high-end Intel platforms than cheese. On the other hand, it is cheese. Even more surprising is that more people seem to be interested in upgrading to a Threadripper than sticking to any of the mainstream platforms (45% TR vs 41% MSDT). I guess more people commonly engage in highly threaded tasks than I realized.

      • moose17145
      • 2 years ago

      Well… keep in mind that (in general) people on this website tend to not represent the majority of computer users… I would say there are a disproportionately large number of system administrators and others one this website that can either make use of a heavily threaded chips, or simply love the sweet sweet excess…

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    I’m definitely fine with a mainstream desktop platform. Most of what I do is not bottlenecked by my “old” Haswell i7. In fact, the Ivy i7 in my HTPC seems to be perfectly capable still.

    Perhaps, if my 4790 really starts to struggle with VMs when I’m working from home, I’ll consider a Ryzen 1700. I know it’ll be a small downgrade for gaming but honestly it’s going to be quick [i<]enough[/i<]. I'm pretty sure that the money I save over the upcoming i7-8700K can be put to better use buying either a Vega RX or GTX1080 instead. I think the biggest bottleneck for power users these days is not the CPU, it's their ISP, their Gigabit network, or the stagnant transfer rates to mass-storage. Outside of multiple virtual machines or software rendering that can truly exploit all these extra cores, the sweet spot for most people is still going to be a really fast 4-thread solution for the next few years.

    • Koli
    • 2 years ago

    I upgraded my FX-8350 to a Ryzen 1500X and I couldn’t be happier. I generally just play MMOs like Elder Scrolls Online and Guild Wars 2, and the FX-8350 was a massive bottleneck when lots of players were in view. With the Ryzen 1500X, I can now crank those settings to max and still get twice the frame rate I was getting before – this is just with a 1050 Ti, too.

    • Klimax
    • 2 years ago

    Skylake-X 7900 or better for me. AVX512 and beefed up L1 bandwidth for better AVX(2) performance. Upgrading from i7-5960x…

      • ermo
      • 2 years ago

      Sounds like you have a very particular (set of) workload(s)?

      Where in particular is the increased intel AVX(2) bandwidth extra important to you? =)

        • Klimax
        • 2 years ago

        I am upgrading particular Avisynth video filter that filters out noise from video. (The only one that works for me) It uses fast Fourier transform and then applies Wiener filter. I use config tat uses 4 input frames, which means 4 loads at the beginning of loop. (Rest is nearly pure compute till single store of result)

        Funnily enough, Skylake-X with AVX512 and boosted L1 bandwidth is resembling GPU or Xeon Phi quite a bit.

    • hkuspc40
    • 2 years ago

    None of them at the moment. The current crop of CPUs is frustrating. When I bought my 4790K it was a good price, screaming fast, and very clear about what it was and wasn’t good at. These latest top of the line processors are very expensive and for my home pc workloads are COMPLETELY unnecessary. What am I going to do with 18 cores at this point time? Render a video while playing a game in 4k while streaming netflix while reading the Tech Report? I don’t think so.

    You might bring up “work” workloads but it will be a cold day in hell before my work ponies up to something like anyone of the CPUs here. They still can’t figure out why it takes me so long to do my work on a 7 year old laptop when I’m trying to run Outlook, AutoCAD, Bluebeam, Chrome, and whatever else simultaneously.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    I’m most interested in the Super7 platform. I’ll buy only the motherboard for now but I’m still deciding between the VIA MVP3 and the ALi Aladdin V. After that I’ll think about which CPU from which vendor to plug in but the K6-2 is on top of my list. The Cyrix MII is no speed champ but it’s nonetheless an interesting and inexpensive option as well. It’s a very interesting platform, isn’t it?

    Edit – oh sorry I forgot it’s already 2017. In that case, I’m fine with a mainstream platform. Maybe a 1500X or 1600X for me.

      • auxy
      • 2 years ago

      You should wait for Sharptooth! It is supposed to move the L2 cache on-chip, so you have [b<]3[/b<] cache levels! (・∀・)

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah I’ve heard about it. 256KB of L2. We could literally put King’s Quest 1 entirely on-chip! (@_@;)

      • srg86
      • 2 years ago

      I’ve gone for the VIA MVP3 and K6-2 400MHz to replace my old K6 166/430VX…..and I’ve kinda regretted it ever since.

      Weird AGP issues and crashes mainly. Rage 128 crashes as soon as it touches 3D and My Matrox G400 is a little hampered, plus pops and crackles from my Sound Blaster Live! Oh and don’t even bother with PowerDVD, get a Hollywood+ card. I kinda wish I went for the Celeron 300A or a Mendocino on a BX board, (considering my budget).

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        I had a K6-2/450 paired with the VIA MVP3 as well, plus a Sound Blaster Live!. Apart from Unreal (1) not saving and restoring properly on the 2nd level, and having to apply the Win95 patch because the K6-2 executed the loop instruction too quickly at 350MHz and beyond (not really a problem with the core but it does have a real-world effect) I don’t recall having had other noticeable issues. Then again that was back in 1999 so maybe I’ve already forgotten some other issues I’ve had.

          • srg86
          • 2 years ago

          Most of my issues were with 3D applications with graphics cards and the dodgy AGP implementations of the chipsets. I still remember my Rage 128 crashing as soon as it touched anything 3D.

          As per Phils’s computer lab, for Super Socket 7 systems, the Voodoo 3 was the best if you was a gamer since it used the AGP slot like an fast PCI slot.

          As for the Sound Blaster Live! I remember it forcing me back from Windows 2000 to Win98SE on that system because it would hard lock. But also had pops clicks in Win98. Southbridge was only the 586B though.

          I loved my Matrox G400 for its analog output quality and powerdesk software.

          Again for me and AMD based systems, it all comes down to the chipsets, the CPU was fine. The only thing it lacked was pipelined x87.

    • Prototyped
    • 2 years ago

    Just built a KBL-S Xeon box (E3-1245v6 + C236 + DDR4 ECC) in May. So I’m going to sit tight. In any case, HEDT has no appeal for me, and I don’t game, so I foresee this KBL-S lasting me something like five or six years. The last one sure did.

    (I do run a VM or three from time to time, and I do write and build software, and I do parallel transcodes. I would occasionally be able to use more than the eight logical processors I have now, but not often enough to actually warrant getting an even more expensive processor. I am coming from a 2.8-3.3 GHz 6-core Thuban so this is already a major upgrade.)

    • Glock24
    • 2 years ago

    I have no use for a HEDT platform, but if I were to buy one the obvious choice is Threadripper because it offers the best value.

    I’m more interested in the Ryzen based APUs, I’ll wait for that. Also I’ll consider Ryzen Pro with a motherboard that supports remote management and ECC to replace some Xeon E3 severs.

    • AMDisDEC
    • 2 years ago

    No Desktop, but I am expecting a decent AMD TR Workstation.

    • albundy
    • 2 years ago

    are any of them 65w? then none of the above. r7 1700 overclocked to 4ghz on stock is all i need now. and since cheese tastes better than a cpu wafer, i went with the obvious choice. stinky cheese FTW!

      • EndlessWaves
      • 2 years ago

      An 1700 overclocked to 4Ghz is a fair way away from 65W.

    • the
    • 2 years ago

    These are the first generation of parts for new platforms (X299/X399 respectively). The second generation of parts for these sockets/motherboards should be even more interesting. Things are finally exciting again though.

    • not@home
    • 2 years ago

    I am loving the competition AMD is bringing. That said, I am not in the position for an upgrade. Maybe in five years. My old upgrade cycle was whenever my PC died beyond repair. Now I might upgrade sooner, though MS’s attempt to strong arm me into Win 10 will have me heading to Linux.

    • Kougar
    • 2 years ago

    I like cores, but I also want strong IPC. Haswell IPC is too similar to warrant an expensive platform upgrade either way.

    Going to sit on the fence and just enjoy the show, see what the next couple of Lake / ThreadRipper generations will bring.

    • Spunjji
    • 2 years ago

    Honestly I’m most interested in Raven Ridge for a small HTPC / console grade gaming ITX box. However, out of the HEDT platforms I’m way, way more interested in Threadripper.

    • odizzido
    • 2 years ago

    1900X is the most interesting product to me. I don’t know how it performs so I don’t know if I would actually buy it but it is the most interesting ATM.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      1900X is an intriguing product. I really want to see 1900X vs 1800X.

    • Voldenuit
    • 2 years ago

    So, nearly as many TR readers will build Threadripper systems instead of Kaby/Coffee/Ryzen?
    Ha.
    Ha. Ha. Ha.
    BWAHAHAHAHAH.

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      No, nearly as many people clicking a poll question will click the button that’s got the most hype behind it.

      If they had to pay money for their poll choices I think you’d see different results.

        • moose17145
        • 2 years ago

        Well it did only simply ask which desktop platform has you most INTERESTED. Not which one you would necessarily actually purchase for yourself.

        So that being said… I feel that poll is accurate in that people are very interested in threadripper.

        To be completely honest with myself… the platform that has me interested the most is Epyc.

        • Spunjji
        • 2 years ago

        It’s not necessarily about hype. I am more /interested/ in threadripper because it’s part of a comeback.

        • BurntMyBacon
        • 2 years ago

        [quote=”chuckula”<]If they had to pay money for their poll choices I think you'd see different results.[/quote<] I imagine you are correct. You'd probably see a lot more people more interested in sticking with mainstream. The most expensive processors (i9-7920X or better, TR 1950X) would take the biggest hits. That said, you might actually see an increase in interest for lower end HEDT processors.

      • odizzido
      • 2 years ago

      That’s not what the poll asked.

        • Voldenuit
        • 2 years ago

        [quote<]Are you planning on upgrading to one of these platforms?[/quote<]

          • moose17145
          • 2 years ago

          I suppose… I guess I simply read the “which platform has you most interested” and voted. lol oh well. I suspect that is how most people voted though, so I still feel it is fair.

          If I had to pick which am I going to upgrade to, then the answer would be none of the above. I am already happily setup with a very nice x99 platform which is suiting my current needs nicely.

          In the “which ones am i simply most interested in” line of thinking though… the 12 core chip actually has the LEAST amount of interest to me. The two I find most interesting are the 16 core (obvious reasons) and the 8 core model.

          The 8 core model I think should be particularly interesting because it has twice as many memory channels for the same number of cores as the top end Ryzen chips. So it should be interesting to see how the 8 core threadripper performs compared to the 8 core Ryzen imo (especially considering some of the other key differences between the two chips).

          • odizzido
          • 2 years ago

          Oh I didn’t read that. I read the huge bold title of the post and the in bold question directly before the poll which both asked which one was most interesting.

      • Laykun
      • 2 years ago

      The question isn’t whether you’d buy one, it’s which one has you most interested. Thread ripper is probably more interesting at this point because of the drama it creates.

      • flip-mode
      • 2 years ago

      Threadripper definitely has me “most interested” just as the poll asks. I have no intention of buying or building a Threadripper machine.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 2 years ago

    Ware Coffee Lake?

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]I'm fine with a mainstream desktop platform [/quote<]

    • ImSpartacus
    • 2 years ago

    For gamers, HEDT just doesn’t get the job done.

    Skylake-X’s mesh introduced enough intra-die latency to severely gimp gaming.

    For Threadripper, you’ve got the NUMA issue that isn’t going to be game-friendly. And if you just use one die to get around that, then you’re basically using Summit Ridge.

    High end Coffee Lake oughta be a good happy medium if it maintains the clocks of Kaby Lake despite the core increase.

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      The early reviews of The Threadripper have definitely not been overly kind in games even though the Skylake X parts also aren’t #1 either.

      • jts888
      • 2 years ago

      I don’t think the extra latency in Skylake-E/X comes directly from the move to meshes from rings.

      It’s more likely from moving to victim/non-inclusive L3, which means that snoops routed to an L3 slice (determined by hashed address) now must be routed to other arbitrary cores’ L2s to provide fills for non-included data. Arguably, Broadwell and earlier were stuck with inclusive L3 in order to minimize extra long ring traversals, while the mesh designs have lower enough average hop counts between cores that the extra snoop fill indirection for non-inclusive L3 can now be tolerated.

      Zeppelin does face the same issue with non-inclusive distributed L3, but the closer proximity of L2 does help substantially there, at the cost of smaller pools available to the cores.

      Edit: lots of typos and poorly articulated argument fixed.

      • evilpaul
      • 2 years ago

      What game uses 8+ threads?

        • blahsaysblah
        • 2 years ago

        The awesome games everyone’s been wanting for decades…

          • EzioAs
          • 2 years ago

          That rules out Half-Life 3 at least…
          *ducks*

      • Airmantharp
      • 2 years ago

      It really doesn’t.

      The formula is clockspeed * IPC * [i<][b<]enough[/b<][/i<] cores. Drop any of those- Ryzen's lower IPC and clocks, or an i3's lack of cores- and you get behind the pack in gaming. Until AMD/Intel are interested in pushing that envelope in HEDT, top-end gaming will remain a premium consumer socket endeavor. [granted, if you're interested in [i<][b<]good enough[/b<][/i<] gaming and have other thread-intensive or perhaps memory intensive things to do, then the HEDT platforms from AMD and Intel are probably an effective fit]

      • Krogoth
      • 2 years ago

      They both get the job done if you doing real work or a power user. There’s more to computing then silly gaming, besides the difference in gaming performance if any is marginal at best.

        • moose17145
        • 2 years ago

        I would have to agree on that one.

    • ermo
    • 2 years ago

    As much as I recognize that intel’s employees also need their jobs, I hope AMD wins this round with their somewhat simpler product segmentation strategy.

    Why? Because, frankly, intel’s approach to product segmentation by disabling features from working silicon is really, really annoying to the point that it is actively keeping me from buying (and recommending) intel products.

    Just cut the crap intel. No more hare-brained artificial product segmentation schemes, OK? Take a play from AMD’s playbook on this one and you might win me back as a customer.

    • gerryg
    • 2 years ago

    Planning on mid-range Ryzen for the holidays, maybe upgrade the CPU next summer/fall as funds allow.

    • srg86
    • 2 years ago

    I like Integrated graphics (there was a time when I’d never think I’d ever say that), with the option of adding a graphics card later, so I’d be happy with the mainstream desktop platforms.

    That said if I was going to go HEDT, I’d probably look at the Core i7-7820X.

    • jts888
    • 2 years ago

    The rumored TR 1920 non-X will be the sales champ this round if it has the promised 12c @ 3.2/3.8 GHz clocks and manages to sell for $650-$675.

    For both TR and baseline Ryzen, 2nd tier clocking of 2nd highest core count = enough performance for vast majority of customers at a price level that doesn’t feel like getting scalped.

    • just brew it!
    • 2 years ago

    I’m fine with mainstream (still rockin’ an FX-8350), but if I was building a HEDT system in the near future I’d probably go for the 1950X.

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      Same here: no reason to replace my 8350 although Ryzen sure is tempting. But wait, aren’t you using an 8320? Or did you push it to 4.0GHz?

        • just brew it!
        • 2 years ago

        I have one of each — an older FX-8320 build, and a slightly newer FX-8350. The 8320 is my secondary box, which is currently used to smoke test custom Linux kernels and conduct other potentially damaging experiments I wouldn’t want to do on my daily driver. Lately I’ve gotten dragged down the kernel customization rabbit hole by the day job, and I work from home a couple of days a week, so it seemed like a good use for hardware which would otherwise be under-utilized.

    • bthylafh
    • 2 years ago

    Obligatory: Sandy Bridge still does what I want.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 2 years ago

      So does Haswell, especially with an OC.

      If I did decide to upgrade, highly unlikely to be HEDT — would be either Coffee Lake or RyZen.

        • Klimax
        • 2 years ago

        If going from Haswell, then Ryzen doesn’t make sense. (That’s sidegrade at best)

          • K-L-Waster
          • 2 years ago

          Yeah, basically seems to be Haswell performance per core but with more cores. Would help on multi-threaded operations, but my use case doesn’t hit alot of those (which is why I went i5 instead of i7).

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      I’ll continue the predictable course of discussion by saying I’ve been doing fine gaming on a C2D recently.

      Most of my machines are laptop or AIO with turbo-ing processors, so actually I’m pretty impressed how quiet and cool running a stock desktop C2D is, by contrast.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Those choices aren’t platforms they are chips that go into platforms!

    Or cheese.

    #PEDANTICIZED!

      • flip-mode
      • 2 years ago

      You’re absolutely correct. Hell, this isn’t even one of your annoying opinions. Have an upvote.

        • willmore
        • 2 years ago

        Clearly you’re unaware that cheese is the platforms that *chips* need to be useful. Mmmm, chips and cheese….

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