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Build Advice Looking for some upgrade advice

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by bionicgeekgrrl, 26 Oct 2019.

  1. bionicgeekgrrl

    bionicgeekgrrl Member

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    So, I currently have an old Q9550 running Linux with 8Gb ram and a 12Tb RAID array plus a 120Gb SSD for the OS.

    The RAID/SSD are fine and whilst upgrading the capacity of the RAID would be nice, not really viable at this time.

    However, the Q9550 is getting a bit long in the tooth. I could do with upgrading it. Graphics isn't important, this things is a file server, mainly for Plex (hence the RAID array), and the Q9550 gets a hammering on transcoding.

    My desktop is currently a Z170 + i7 6700K with 970, so whilst that could do with a upgrade (the 970 mostly) and more memory), the priority is the server for now.

    Is it worth looking around the old 61/71 chipsets and a lower spec cpu I'm wondering or better to get another Z170 board (or replace the Z170 board with a newer board that can still accept the 6700K and use the Z170 for the server with a cheapish quad core cpu of some description with the aim to upgrade later). miniITX/microATX are not really suitable, as min. of 6 SATA ports is required (whilst I could use a PCI-E SATA controller, Linux performance/support can be troublesome for some cards, so the Intel chips are generally a better bet IME)

    I have considered AMD/Ryzen, but I haven't really a clue of what is what with that tbh!

    Budget is tight unfortuately, so I can't go out and buy a board, chip and memory in one go sadly. So it'll have to be a gradual thing collecting parts.

    Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: 26 Oct 2019
  2. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    What is the budget you currently have? You might be able to pick up a cpu+Mobo+ram combo for 'relatively' cheap. A sandybridge i5 kit or even a first gen ryzen system. An R5 1600 with 6cores 12 threads would be a massive upgrade, even though it's a first generation ryzen.

    There's a whole i5 rig in the marketplace for £120+P&P
     
    Last edited: 26 Oct 2019
  3. bionicgeekgrrl

    bionicgeekgrrl Member

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    Budget is a tricky one, as the car is due MOT next month (which might well see it getting scrapped if it fails too badly ('05 Mondeo). But getting some ideas of the pros/cons of different options is going to be of help in itself really. Probably can budget for about £150-200 spread over time I suspect, maybe a bit more if I spread it out further.

    A quick eBay search seems to suggest a 1600 is around £90~ and a B450 board seems to be around £60~ (cheaper for a B350 board obviously by a little, but perhaps not worth the effort?) depending upon form factor (6x SATA is the important feature really). The Xxxx series boards are likely overkill for my need in this case. Getting rid of need for discrete graphics card is also a useful bonus of upgrading too, though the right GeForce card might aid Plex in transcoding I believe? though not sure if that requires a certain flavour of Intel chip only. So that looks like it could be doable if I save and spread cost out a bit.
     
  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Bear in mind that a Ryzen CPU like the 1600 does not have an iGPU, and you'd still need a discrete GPU; only the APUs, which have a 'G' suffix, have the iGPU.
     
  5. bionicgeekgrrl

    bionicgeekgrrl Member

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    Ah! thanks for that. I've really not kept pace with AMD developments (nor a number of Intel ones to be fair as I tend to skip a number of generations at a time (last being E6800 -> 6700K for example).
     
  6. Arboreal

    Arboreal Well-Known Member

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    Haswell (4th Gen) H81/H87/Z87 is still good and runs DDR3 which may save you some money. The i5 45xx CPUs are surprisingly good compared to 6/7th Gen.
     
  7. bionicgeekgrrl

    bionicgeekgrrl Member

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    Thanks for that info. I had considered getting a Haswell (or a 5th Gen board/cpu), but some of the pricing almost makes it easier to get Skylake if I went that route. Haswell at least supports Intel Quick Sync (needed by Plex to support hardware video decoding which would help plex with transcoding, the other option being an Nvidia graphics card, but either require me to get a Plex Pass to use, but a consideration).

    I'm leaning towards the Ryzen 5 or 7 1st Gen option, with a B450 board so I can pop a 2nd or 3rd gen Ryzen in later to give a little upgrade room, Haswell and DD3 doesn't offer that headroom really, even if it would be cheaper initially.
     
  8. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    I have a ryzen 2400g bought secondhand with b450 board and 16gb of ram for less than 200 and have been very impressed with its performance, cracking little cpu and gpu.

    If you buy a Ryzen I would recommend a 2xxx from the off there can't be much saving to be had on first gen, most shops seem to have 1st and 2nd gen at the same price.
     
  9. bionicgeekgrrl

    bionicgeekgrrl Member

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    Having given this some thought, I suspect I'll go with a Z87 and i5 of some description. Whilst Ryzen is compelling on price/performance, as the primary use of the machine is Plex and transcoding can be a cpu hog, having Plex Pass + Intel QuickSync support (2nd Gen i5/i7 onwards iirc) is a cheaper initial option than needing to get an addition GeForce 900/1000 series card for NVDEC/NVENC support (having done some research on the various support). Though at some point if the gaming rig gets an upgrade (when funds allow it) to the 970, the 970 can go in the plex box to provide additional hardware acceleration for transcoding content (needed when sending to Android tablets, etc or over a internet connection).

    Thanks for the advice given. Ryzen is certainly something I'll give some thought if I come to upgrade beyond the current Z170/i7-6700K gaming set up I have (x2 as my other half has the same set up), though I think first upgrades will be more DDR4, better graphics (to replace the 970) and M.2 NVMe to replace/supplement the SSD).
     
  10. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Ironically, your 2400G is actually first-gen 14nm Zen - not second-gen 12nm Zen+. Blame AMD's marketing department for that.
     
  11. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    I am aware of this, as you'd see in the other upgrade post, where I explain it to someone else, it just easy to make an error here

    For an APU it doesn't really matter if you have first gen 2xxx or second gen 3xxxx there's bugger all difference crappy thermal paste and iGPU levels them out.

    But if you're buying a non apu Ryzen go 2xxx as there is hardly any price difference and you get decent boost mechanism that gen1 doesn't have.
     
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Whoopsie - my bad. I think I even quoted you in that one!

    On my third... wait, fourth 17-hour day. Brane not working quite as well as it should.
     
  13. spolsh

    spolsh Active Member

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    Spellings as good as ever though ...:happy:
     
  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    A deliberate miss-take, however, I assure you.
     
  15. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    Nice work/life balance you got going on there!
     
  16. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, it's gone a bit silly - had a big project with a short deadline drop on me. Today should be the last crazy day, and then it'll be back to normal.

    Where "normal" is a 12-hour day, anyway...
     
    SuperHans123 likes this.

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