Upgrading my PC

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
teddyboy New Member • Posts: 19
Upgrading my PC

I am toying with the idea of upgrading my 9 year old Win 10 machine by swapping out some components and keeping others to minimize cost ( and landfill materials ). It works fine, just getting a bit slow. My main use, on top of light Word/Excel/Outlook use and web browsing, would be photo-editing (Capture One, Lightroom, Photoshop), and occasionally making slide-shows (ProShow Producer) from my photos. I am a hobbyist so workload is light, the only time I batch process files is when I am outputting/exporting files (somewhere between 30-100 at a time), or rendering a slide-show made up of maybe 30-100 pictures. I do no gaming at all.

Following is what my system is like and what I am planning on doing:

Components to swap out:

Motherboard: ASUS P8H67 M-EVO, to be replaced with MSI B450 Tomahawk Max

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K @3.3 GHz, to be replaced with AMD Ryzen 3400G @3.7 GHz

iGPU: integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000, to be replaced with integrated Vega 11

Cooler: Corsair A50 120mm, to be replaced with Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 120mm

RAM: G Skill RipjawsX F3-10666CL0-8GBXL DDR3 2x8GB, to be replaced with Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 MHz C16 2x16GB

Components to keep:

Boot drive: Crucial MX500 1TB SSD ( current usage under 30%)

PSU: OCZ StealthXtreme2 700W ATX 12V 20+4 pin 80+ (current load under 400W)

Case: Thermaltake V3 mid-tower ATX

Monitor: NEC EA231WMi IPS 1920x1080 (no immediate plan for newer bigger monitor)

Others: 3 SATA HDD for data and backup, wired keyboard and mouse

Does this sound like a reasonable upgrade? Would I see any improvements at all?

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tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 15,596
Re: Upgrading my PC

teddyboy wrote:

I am toying with the idea of upgrading my 9 year old Win 10 machine by swapping out some components and keeping others to minimize cost ( and landfill materials ). It works fine, just getting a bit slow. My main use, on top of light Word/Excel/Outlook use and web browsing, would be photo-editing (Capture One, Lightroom, Photoshop), and occasionally making slide-shows (ProShow Producer) from my photos. I am a hobbyist so workload is light, the only time I batch process files is when I am outputting/exporting files (somewhere between 30-100 at a time), or rendering a slide-show made up of maybe 30-100 pictures. I do no gaming at all.

Following is what my system is like and what I am planning on doing:

Components to swap out:

Motherboard: ASUS P8H67 M-EVO, to be replaced with MSI B450 Tomahawk Max

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K @3.3 GHz, to be replaced with AMD Ryzen 3400G @3.7 GHz

Not a big enough jump, IMHO.   Going quad core to quad core still.

I would go for an intel i5-10400 6 core if you want to stick with integrated graphics and do not play games.

iGPU: integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000, to be replaced with integrated Vega 11

Cooler: Corsair A50 120mm, to be replaced with Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 120mm

Aside from noise, you are probably OK with the free coolers that come with the chips unless you try overclocking.

RAM: G Skill RipjawsX F3-10666CL0-8GBXL DDR3 2x8GB, to be replaced with Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 MHz C16 2x16GB

Components to keep:

Boot drive: Crucial MX500 1TB SSD ( current usage under 30%)

PSU: OCZ StealthXtreme2 700W ATX 12V 20+4 pin 80+ (current load under 400W)

Case: Thermaltake V3 mid-tower ATX

Monitor: NEC EA231WMi IPS 1920x1080 (no immediate plan for newer bigger monitor)

Others: 3 SATA HDD for data and backup, wired keyboard and mouse

Does this sound like a reasonable upgrade? Would I see any improvements at all?

rest of the parts seem fine.   3400G is good, I just think you'll feel limited with another quad core.

PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 17,270
Re: Upgrading my PC

I think it will be ... disappointingly faster.   You've already got the best bang for the buck upgrade, which is a SSD boot drive.   The faster CPU is only going to show up in more demanding applications, which of course is good for those times.   I've upgraded a 10-year old I3 laptop with more ram and an SSD, and it's abut the same for my office apps as my newest computers.  The SSD is a huge difference.

It will be interesting to see.  I hope you have a good baseline test established to help compare between builds.

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OP teddyboy New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Upgrading my PC

tkbslc wrote:

Not a big enough jump, IMHO. Going quad core to quad core still.

That's my worry: doing all this and get little improvement. Does more threads not help?

I would go for an intel i5-10400 6 core if you want to stick with integrated graphics and do not play games.

I should look into Intel again, I've been looking at AMD all along.

Aside from noise, you are probably OK with the free coolers that come with the chips unless you try overclocking.

I thought I would OC when I got the i5 2500K but ended up not doing it because I never tried OC before and was hesitant. I MAY this time around, just MAY. But then again I can hold off the cooler and use stock until the time comes.

rest of the parts seem fine. 3400G is good, I just think you'll feel limited with another quad core.

If I moved up to 4600G or 4600GE (if and when they got released for retail) I will get more cores but that means B550 plus different RAMs....etc, and higher costs. Hmmm.

OP teddyboy New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Upgrading my PC

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

I think it will be ... disappointingly faster.

LOL, I love the way you put it, but that's exactly what my suspicion is.

It will be interesting to see. I hope you have a good baseline test established to help compare between builds.

I think I will do something like this:

- create a new folder in my SSD drive and copy a few hundred RAW files into it

- batch edit/auto-edit these files through the apps (Capture One, Lightroom), note time

- batch export the jpgs to another folder in the SSD, note time

- use exported jpegs in ProShow producer to auto-create a slideshow with no transitions, note time

Above is what I usually do so it's my real world working condition comparison. Does this sound okay?

DerKeyser Contributing Member • Posts: 728
Re: Upgrading my PC

Honestly - and I’m saying this as a PC guy through and trough - but dont bother.

That will still be an anemic machine, and while it’ll be faster, it wont be anywhere near what you would want from an upgrade.

Right now the best bang for your buck - by far - is actually the new Mac Mini M1. But that requires adjusting to a new OS and eco system which can be pretty though.
The beauty of that is it will deliver the best possible speed today for your kind of tasks. It wont scale like a 12 core AMD for parallel import/export, but it will be SERIOUSLY faster for anything interactice like processing images and such. And while it’s not cheap, it’s not expensive either, and in terms of performance for your $$$ - it’s an outstanding deal.

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Carey Brown
Carey Brown Senior Member • Posts: 2,169
Re: Upgrading my PC
4

DerKeyser wrote:

Honestly - and I’m saying this as a PC guy through and trough - but dont bother.

That will still be an anemic machine, and while it’ll be faster, it wont be anywhere near what you would want from an upgrade.

^^^ that's my feeling too. If you're going to do an upgrade make it one you can live with for a while.

Right now the best bang for your buck - by far - is actually the new Mac Mini M1. But that requires adjusting to a new OS and eco system which can be pretty though.
The beauty of that is it will deliver the best possible speed today for your kind of tasks. It wont scale like a 12 core AMD for parallel import/export, but it will be SERIOUSLY faster for anything interactice like processing images and such. And while it’s not cheap, it’s not expensive either, and in terms of performance for your $$$ - it’s an outstanding deal.

I don't agree. Switching eco systems can have a lot of indirect expenses and headaches.

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Austinian
MOD Austinian Forum Pro • Posts: 10,764
Re: Upgrading my PC

Carey Brown wrote:

DerKeyser wrote:

Honestly - and I’m saying this as a PC guy through and trough - but dont bother.

That will still be an anemic machine, and while it’ll be faster, it wont be anywhere near what you would want from an upgrade.

^^^ that's my feeling too. If you're going to do an upgrade make it one you can live with for a while.

Right now the best bang for your buck - by far - is actually the new Mac Mini M1. But that requires adjusting to a new OS and eco system which can be pretty though.

It's an impressive machine for the money, but yes, it's very new.

The beauty of that is it will deliver the best possible speed today for your kind of tasks. It wont scale like a 12 core AMD for parallel import/export, but it will be SERIOUSLY faster for anything interactice like processing images and such. And while it’s not cheap, it’s not expensive either, and in terms of performance for your $$$ - it’s an outstanding deal.

I don't agree. Switching eco systems can have a lot of indirect expenses and headaches.

Especially when switching to a brand-new architecture like the M1's Apple Silicon ARM. It's a different world; I'd suggest spending some time reading the "Mac Talk" forum or maybe the Macrumors M1 forum for info and suggestions before switching.

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 17,270
Re: Upgrading my PC

You need something processor-intensive, to show any differences, but it should also be something that you need to do.  For me, encoding a video slideshow with Proshow Gold would be a good test.   Some of those DVD's took more than 30 minutes to process.

If your tests seem typical of the work you need to do, then they are good tests.  If there is little difference, it just means there is little difference in the stuff you need to do, not necessarily everthing.

Whatever you do, it needs to be repreatable.  I'd run it 3x initially.  Watch out for caching skewing the results.  Maybe reboot between runs.

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KayL Contributing Member • Posts: 610
Re: Upgrading my PC

teddyboy wrote:

I am toying with the idea of upgrading my 9 year old Win 10 machine by swapping out some components and keeping others to minimize cost ( and landfill materials ). It works fine, just getting a bit slow. My main use, on top of light Word/Excel/Outlook use and web browsing, would be photo-editing (Capture One, Lightroom, Photoshop), and occasionally making slide-shows (ProShow Producer) from my photos. I am a hobbyist so workload is light, the only time I batch process files is when I am outputting/exporting files (somewhere between 30-100 at a time), or rendering a slide-show made up of maybe 30-100 pictures. I do no gaming at all.

Following is what my system is like and what I am planning on doing:

Components to swap out:

Motherboard: ASUS P8H67 M-EVO, to be replaced with MSI B450 Tomahawk Max

Quite a beefy motherboard for the 3400G, but good choice with providing future CPU upgrade options. The MAX should support 3400G out of the box, but worth checking with the seller if the installed BIOS is compatible.

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K @3.3 GHz, to be replaced with AMD Ryzen 3400G @3.7 GHz

A gentle upgrade IMO (about 20% higher IPC, and multithreading) but would look into moving up to a stronger CPU + GPU in the future when funds permit. 3400G is actually 2nd generation Ryzen, and an overclocked 2500K might get pretty close to the 3400G's performance. Can you stretch your budget to something like a new-old-stock 2600/2700 and GTX1050Ti/RX570 (or much newer, which is preferable)?

iGPU: integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000, to be replaced with integrated Vega 11

Cooler: Corsair A50 120mm, to be replaced with Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 120mm

Try the Wraith Spire that comes with the 3400G first. The A50 should be good enough for the 3400G as well, but I guess the issue here is having the correct mounting bracket.

RAM: G Skill RipjawsX F3-10666CL0-8GBXL DDR3 2x8GB, to be replaced with Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 MHz C16 2x16GB

32GB RAM is good

Components to keep:

Boot drive: Crucial MX500 1TB SSD ( current usage under 30%)

PSU: OCZ StealthXtreme2 700W ATX 12V 20+4 pin 80+ (current load under 400W)

Case: Thermaltake V3 mid-tower ATX

Monitor: NEC EA231WMi IPS 1920x1080 (no immediate plan for newer bigger monitor)

Keep in mind that motherboard HDMI can't drive 4K at higher than 30Hz refresh, if you change your mind about upgrading this

Others: 3 SATA HDD for data and backup, wired keyboard and mouse

Does this sound like a reasonable upgrade? Would I see any improvements at all?

Sounds good to me A capable framework for future CPU, GPU, and M.2 SSD upgrades. I see your proposal as a foundational upgrade, rather than an outright processing upgrade - with B450 offering future compatibility with Ryzen 5000 series. With Intel you're kind of stuck with the generation that you bought first time.

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OP teddyboy New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Upgrading my PC

I am hesitant to cross the floor at this point, not because the suggested Mac Mini M1 is not good, actually it probably is TOO good for my use case. Also, switching to a new system altogether is not feasible (for me) cost-wise, not only hardware but software as well, not to mention how my brain will hurt!

It is possible that this is a right step but I really need to do a lot more homework before I can head in that direction. I appreciate the suggestions.

OP teddyboy New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Upgrading my PC
1

KayL wrote:

A gentle upgrade IMO (about 20% higher IPC, and multithreading) but would look into moving up to a stronger CPU + GPU in the future when funds permit. 3400G is actually 2nd generation Ryzen, and an overclocked 2500K might get pretty close to the 3400G's performance. Can you stretch your budget to something like a new-old-stock 2600/2700 and GTX1050Ti/RX570 (or much newer, which is preferable)?

I picked B450 and 3400G because these are "tried and true" I can start with. If I need more GPU juice I can always buy one later on. I thought about B550 but it won't support 3400G, I won't rule out upping my budget to go for a better CPU+GPU setup but for now I will have to wait for the 5000 series to become available and look at the cost then.

Try the Wraith Spire that comes with the 3400G first. The A50 should be good enough for the 3400G as well, but I guess the issue here is having the correct mounting bracket.

I have been happy with the A50 but there is no AM4 bracket for it. I think I will try the Wraith Spire and get the Hyper 212 if the CPU can't "keep it's cool" for what I do.

32GB RAM is good

Actually I almost never use up to 16GB according to Task Manager, but since I am going from DDR3 to DDR4 might as well splurge a little.

Keep in mind that motherboard HDMI can't drive 4K at higher than 30Hz refresh, if you change your mind about upgrading this

Good point to remember for future reference.

Sounds good to me A capable framework for future CPU, GPU, and M.2 SSD upgrades. I see your proposal as a foundational upgrade, rather than an outright processing upgrade - with B450 offering future compatibility with Ryzen 5000 series. With Intel you're kind of stuck with the generation that you bought first time.

Yeah M.2 sounds good but I don't do that much batch processing of large (100+MP) files so can't really take advantage of it at this point.

It would've been great if money is no object and I can freely build a complete new system from scratch with the latest offerings, but now I still have to separate my wants from my needs and take things one at a time.

Thanks guys, all good food for thought so far.

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