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Upgrade advice needed

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Sep 4, 2016
My 4 year old custom build works fine but am considering upgrading 1 or more components. My budget is $2000 Cdn and want my PC to stay relevant for at least another 5 years!
My work involves primarily 3D applications (Houdini, Maya, etc) and working in Unreal Engine.

This is my current build
  1. Motherboard ROG Zenith Extreme 399
  2. CPU AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16-Core Processor 3.40 GHz
  3. Water Cooler Swiftech H240
  4. GPU 2x Nvidia Volta
  5. RAM Total 64 GB
  6. EVGA 1200P power supply
I don't do a lot of Redshift GPU rendering and no SLI so unfortunately I rarely take advantage of my dual GPUs.
Should I consider upgrading my CPU only? CPU + Motherboard or?
What would you recommend?

My water cooler seems to work fine but haven't changed coolant or done any maintenance since purchasing.
Should I make this a priority? ie if I don't ever clean and change coolant can I expect a performance decrease due less cooling performance?
So a quick look at the motherboard shows it only supports up to second gen threadrippers, so if you want anything real new you'll want to swap that out as well.

I'm a little unfamiliar with CPU based rendering but took a look around Newegg.ca and looks like the chip shortage is hitting the newer threadrippers pretty hard, and if going with a high end/high core count Ryzen I'd personally wait, AMD's putting out a new line later this year.

If going Intel, you can get a 12900KF for ~700CAD, which comes with 16 performance threads and 8 "economy" threads and a Z690 MSI Tomahawk for ~400CAD. The MSI board comes in DDR4 and DDR5 versions, but 64GB of DDR5 will run you about $800.
Awful expensive ($2,100 US at Newegg), but a Threadripper 2990WX Colfax (Zen+) 32-Core, 64-Thread, 4.2 GHz Max Boost, looks like your top CPU only upgrade. Double the cores and threads with a higher boost clock will be a nice upgrade. I wouldn't go to the next gen Threadripper and new motherboard since they are still at Zen2 when Zen3 with up to 64C/128T is coming later this year. And then Zen4 with DDR5 support and possibly up to 96C/196T or maybe even 128C/256T are in the pipeline. So if you upgrade the CPU now, I'd wait for the Zen4/DDR5 Threadripper likely sometime in 2023.
Unfortunately, the 2990WX is ~ $3000 here in Canada. To stay "relevant" for the next 5 or so years you should most likely make the leap to a new platform with DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 capabilities. Here you have a couple of options, you can adopt Intel's new Alder Lake platform or wait for AMD to launch their new 7000 series in the fall which will undoubtedly have more cores than the current Intel desktop and much higher performance than your current Threadripper. Either way, it will require a full makeover of your board, CPU, and RAM.