Upgrade! double the CPU cores, double the RAM

Upgrade! double the CPU cores, double the RAM

With the evolution of software and AI requiring more CPU power and more RAM, I have finally taken the plunge and purchased an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16 core/32 thread CPU and 64GB DDR4 3200mhz Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB RAM to replace my first generation Ryzen 7 1800x, 32GB RAM system, built way back in 2017, which is really starting to show it’s age in day to day use for photo and video work.

I was thinking of building a whole new system from scratch, but to build a new Ryzen 9 7950X system, only transferring my storage drives, power supply, and case, I was still looking at over $1,600. So I took the upgrade path, which made more sense with the price of last-generation CPUs and DDR4 being slashed, as I could use all my existing hardware, just swapping out the CPU and RAM for $565 + tax.

When I built my Ryzen 7 1800x system, I purchased the best AM4 X370 motherboard available at the time, an Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero, which has a solid VRM capable of handling the 16-core 5950X, and all I need to do is flash the BIOS to v8503 to support the final generation of AM4 architecture CPUs.

It may not be the latest and greatest, but the estimated 27.5% increase in performance for the Ryzen 9 7950x over the Ryzen 9 5950x is not worth the estimated 175% increase in overall system cost.

Now I have gone over my reasoning for my purchase, it is time to move on to the installation and performance. Installation was straightforward, thanks to Corsair using the stock AM4 mounting brackets. I didn’t have to pull anything out of the case; I simply unscrewed the H115i waterblock/pump, cleaned off the cold plate with isopropyl alcohol, pulled the 1800x, dropped in the 5950x, applied the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, and reattached the cooler. Removed the older 32GB kit of Dominator Platinum, clicked in the new 64GB kit of Dominator Platinum RGB, reinstalled the side panel, and it posted the first time.

I’m sure I am losing some performance of the Ryzen 5950x using an X370 motherboard and not an X570 chipset motherboard launched with the 5000 series AMD Ryzen chips. Overall, I’m happy; stress testing revealed no temperature issues, and running all 32 threads at 100% revealed a max temperature of 78°C, even after a 30-minute stress test, which is not bad for an AIO water cooler that is seven years old.

I could have gotten better temperatures and better performance, but I tuned the fans to not start ramping up towards 100% until passing 80°C, with a ramp from 30% to 50% between 80°C and 85°C and a sharp ramp to 100% between 85°C and 90°C. This means my system remains quiet, even with 3 x 120mm, 1 x 140mm, and 2 x 140mm fans on the radiator. I’m looking for a good balance, I don’t want my PC to sound like a jet engine, which if does when all six fans are at 100%, for maybe an extra 100 Mhz of clock speed.

My newly upgraded system averaged 25,723 in Cinebench R23 over five runs, with a high of 25,943 and a low of 25,752. With my excitement about installing my new CPU and RAM, I didn’t think about running the same test on the older hardware, so I cannot directly compare. But according to Cinebench, a Ryzen 7 1700x scores 8,889; this is a 65% speed bump for the Ryzen 9 5950x. The 1700x is very close to the 1800x in performance terms, so much so that tech reviewers claimed it’s better to buy the cheaper 1700x over the 1800x and apply a mild overclock to bring it up to 1800x performance levels.

The only casualty of the upgrade was Microsoft Office 2019 because the license key was no longer valid after the upgrade; I don’t know why; it was valid before the CPU upgrade. But, whatever, I uninstalled it and installed Libre Office instead, which has all the same features for the bargain price of $FREE.

Final note; the most significant upgrade is the RAM, not because it doubles the capacity, but because it has RGB, which, as we all know, increases performance by a factor of 10. Oh, yeah, also, now I have made it out of the dark ages of computing, Microsoft is pushing me to upgrade to Windows 11.

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