4 Days, 2 Computer Builds

TUF Gaming B450-Plus II, MAD Ryzen 3600X, Vengeance LPX

This week, I have built two PCs, one is an upgrade of motherboard, CPU, and RAM, the second being a computer built from the parts I upgraded from, and an SSD and case that I had knocking about.

Starting with my wife’s upgraded machine; back in 2016; I built her a machine for real estate work, but over the past couple of years, my wife has been getting into photography; and the Intel G4400 with 8GB of RAM system was not cutting it; being a dual-core processor without hyperthreading. So, I used my new Amazon store card, to buy my wife an AMD Ryzen 3600X CPU, Asus TUF Gaming B450-PLUS II motherboard, and 16 GB 3600mhz Corsair Vengeance RAM, which is a rather large boost in performance.

Out of interest, I ran Cinebench R23; and I was surprised by the performance of the 3rd generation Ryzen 5. Despite having two fewer cores than my 1st generation Ryzen 7, it outperformed my top-spec 1st gen Ryzen 7 significantly.  The 3rd gen Ryzen 5 in my wife’s upgraded computer scored 1,165 more points than my Ryzen 7 1800X, a 13% uplift. I understand why; my wife has a 600Mhz speed boost on the RAM, 3,600Mhz vs 3,000Mhz; and despite having two fewer cores, the 3600X boost clock is higher and it is an all-core boost to 4.4Ghz, where their first generation Ryzen chips only boost on a single core to 4Ghz.

Suffice to say that my wife is very happy with the new motherboard, CPU, and RAM combo.

After the upgrade of my wife’s computer, I found myself with motherboard, CPU, and RAM without a purpose; and I’m all about repurposing hardware rather than putting it away in the closet, collecting dust. I did it when I replaced my PC in 2017, upgrading from an AMD FX 8350 based system to the aforementioned Ryzen 7 1800X, using my former FX-based system as a PLEX media and file storage server.

I had a spare case, SSD, and power supply in my closet; so I thought that I’d make good use of this complete set of components; but sadly, the 350w power supply, which came out of an Asus pre-built, was not up to the job of powering the Gigabyte H110M-A, Intel Pentium G4400 combo, it would power on for 1/2 second, before powering off again. Rather than letting perfectly good components sit unused, I purchased a cheap, but reliable power supply, a Corsair CX550M 550 Watt unit for $65, and now I have a fully functional media center PC in my living room, even if the Ultra XBlaster Mid-Tower V2 case is very dated, from a time where cable management wasn’t important, it literally has zero cable management.

Seeing the performance of a mid-range chip like the Ryzen 3600X, compared to the first generation flagship chip, has me thinking maybe it’s time for an upgrade for myself. One option would be a simple swap of the Ryzen 1800X to the Ryzen 3950X, 8 core to a 16 core chip on the same motherboard, as I spent the extra for the Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero X370 board, meaning Zen 2 (Ryzen 3000) chips work with a firmware update. Or, as my system still meets my needs, I might look into a whole new platform change, with whatever comes from AMD after the 5000 series, which will probably arrive in 2022.

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