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AMD 1700 System Review and Upgrade Advice

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Nov 19, 2004
Albuquerque, New Mexico
A bit of background:

I recently had a discussion with work about my work from home situation and was asked if I needed a computer. I said I was fine but complained that it was a bit bothersome as it was slower than my work PC and in jest I sent a picture of the PC I was using at home (specs in my sig).

It's all in a Silverstone TJ06 case. While the case is nearly 100% metal, certain things have not stood the test of time and my abuse.

The pads on the feet would not stay on so I removed them, I have lost most of the HDD mounting brackets so my HDD's mostly just sit there in an unsecured stack, most of the rivets on the side window have fallen out and one of the latch mechanisms on the side panel is broken so it does not stay secured without screws. It only has 1x80mm and 1x120mm inlet fans and 1x120mm exhaust fan which is not bad but newer cases have a bit better designs imo. Other than the HDD brackets and fans, the rest is easily fixable with some nice machine and thumb screws. The point is, they saw my case with side panels off and HDD's flopping about and they told me the company would pay for, or help pay for, me to upgrade the computer.

I did build a new work PC last Aug with:

ASRock X570 Taichi
G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series (2 x 16GB) F4-3600C19D-32GVRB
Samsung 970 Evo 1TB M2
Silverstone KL07 case

So far it has been great, noticeably faster than my home rig in all areas (except for video which I don't really care about for work). I didn't buy the parts with OC in mind as I don't feel comfortable doing much overclocking on a company computer, I can't speak much to that but it did load the ram XMP profile for 3200 MT/s no problem and has been rock solid ever since. I was quite pleased with the motherboards general design and features, as well as the BIOS options. My only initial pet peeve (which has since been fixed I think) is you could not turn off the RGB.

I selected the case because I was looking for a large to EATX sized tower that looked professional and wouldn't break the bank. Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality and design given the price. I like how the various drive bays and PSU is segmented from the rest of the system. Looks clean, installing/swapping disks is a breeze, and I imagine it helps with keeping the airflow where it needs to be (anecdotal of course, I have no tests). Only a few things to nit pick:

  • I put a Seasonic FOCUS Plus 650 Gold (SSR-650FX) full modular PSU in it and it is quite a chore to attach/detach cables once the PSU is installed due to the tight space between it and the 3.5 bays.
  • There is not much room on behind the motherboard mounting plate and the side panel for routing cables. Routing most of the cables behind was the only logical way that I could see to make the cables reach and keep it clean.
  • The expansion slot covers and set on loosely and are secured by a single locking mechanism for all slots, so to add a card, you open the locking mechanism and you have metal expansion slot covers falling all over the place. A real pita to re-secure. The threads were not cut well on some of them, adding to the difficulty.
  • Not sure where this one falls (case or motherboard) but IIRC the USB-c jack connector was different from the one on the motherboard so no USB-c without some sort of adapter or alternate solution.

I do want to take them up on the offer but I do want to keep it reasonable. I am thinking tops $2k for parts, then even if I split the cost (which I will likely do as I wouldn't feel right otherwise), $1k is about what I can afford out of my own pocket.

The reason I am posting here is my home use also includes gaming, hobby level 3d work, and some OC tinkering (I'd eventually like to get a decent water loop).

I am definitely going to find a new case, either the KL07 or even something a little larger. I am not sure larger exists at a reasonable price point and build quality. I don't care for pre-made RGB, it's often too dramatic and just adds up to light pollution for me and nothing bothers me more than buying chintsy ****. For example, I like cases with quick mount drive bays but I would rather have a case that I can just screw the drives in than quick mount bays that are under-engineered or require me to store mounting hardware (see TJ06 where you cannot have unused brackets left in the case). In my previous case search I couldn't find anything that seemed much better than the KL07 that was not substantially more expensive or looks like it came out of a sci-fi movie. I am open to any suggestions and I am open to spending a little more on a case if it will last.

I am also leaning toward picking up at least that 1TB Samsung ssd. Right now I have a smorgasbord of 6 drives drives ranging from a 2007 era 160GB WD Caviar, 500GB WD Blue, a few older ~220GB SSD's, and the 500 GB Evo. I am at about 75% total capacity but am constantly running out of space. I'd kind of like to have a more contiguous storage solution that I can work with and expand without worrying about performance and organization issues. Ideally, something like an OS drive, a data disk/array, and a backup array that can be used to backup all of my families computers to etc. Faster storage is always a time saver and is generally the only or primary bottle neck when it comes to general business use.

I am kind of on the fence about if and what I should upgrade when it comes to the mainboard, cpu, and ram. Part of me thinks, "this is a good deal, take advantage of it while you can and grab that stuff too." The rational part of me thinks, "well that stuff does still work OK (it can always be faster :p); don't be a glut."

Does it seem like a good idea to maybe keep the motherboard I have now and just upgrade the CPU? There is quite a bit of performance gain between the 1700 and the 3700x but I don't want to do it if the motherboard is going to prevent me from realizing that gain especially as sticking with the X370 may keep me limited in the memory performance area.

For work, I do a lot of software development, testing and labing. Lot's of multitasking. It's nice and cost effective to be able to store many VM's and run a few simultaneous VM's and Docker containers locally (hence the 32Gb of ram on my work machine) rather than on cloud VM's. I'd love a Threadripper but I don't think I do quite enough on my local machine to justify anything like that, especially on a home rig. The primary games I play are BFV (though it has lost a bit of it's luster), FarCry, etc. I have a 1080ti (another gift from work) and 2 2k monitors. It runs BFV at 2k and tops out at about ~70 fps, even at min settings. Also, textures in BFV can be slow to load e.g. sometimes the terrain gets kind of blocky in areas where the texture has not loaded yet and I am moving fairly quickly. Blocky textures are more annoying than the fps. I think this is a GPU issue but I don't intend to buy a GPU here as it serves no business purpose.

I'd be grateful for your thoughts on what I should prioritize as time and time again this forum saves me from making sub-optimal hardware choices.

Go for he 3800x and an b550 motherboard. The b550 will give you the option for upgrading to Ryzen 4 in the future. b550's will debut next month. Go for 32gb of 3600 RAM.

Don't plan on overclocking. Very little to be gained with Ryzen in doing so and that allows you to save money on the motherboard since most any one will run these CPUs at default frequencies and voltages. I recommend MSI boards as I think they have done the best job with memory compatibility. For memory get GSkill Trident Z Neo (tailored for AMD).

Have you been given a budget to work with?
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