So, my kid is pestering me to build a new PC (not that I need much convincing). Currently we have an HP Elitedesk 705 system (AMD A8-6500B, SSD, 16 GB RAM (2x8) sporting a 4 GB Radeon RX 550). System works fine and I got it very cheap, but my kid likes to game and would also like to record / stream and it's more of a "do one thing at a time" system.
Plus, my Ryzen 2500u Notebook already feels a lot snappier and smoother.
I think even the Ryzen 3000G would be a noticeable upgrade but I decided on the following after checking prices here in Germany:
CPU: Ryzen 3600 - decided for the entry level Ryzen 3000 series.
RAM: 32GB G.Skill RipJaws V schwarz DDR4-3200 (2x16)
GPU: I will most likely go for an RX 5700 (non-XT), either Sapphire or Powercolor. Plan is to upgrade it with something bigger in a year or so.
I am still very undecided on the mainboard. The plan is to keep the system for a long time, so I would probably upgrade to a 3900X or 3950X once they are EOL and then afterwards a Ryzen 4000 series CPU.
The mainboard that I would really want / love to get is the MSI X570 Creation (sounds nice and has tons of USB ports).
But, it's not exactly on the cheap side, even for X570 boards, so the alternatives I am looking at are:
- An MSI 450 Max board for around €100 - should be good enough for now but not sure how it will do in the future and it does not have too many USB ports.
- A Taichi X470 for €200. This seems like a solid board with a good build quality and VRM / power circuitry, but it has no PCIe 4
- Another X570 board in the €200-300 range, preferrably with a fan that sits idle when not needed and enough USB ports. I do not care about LED or Wifi but it should have a good build quality and power circuitry (including cooling).
Oh: Overclocking is not my thing. Do not really care. But I do value stability and reliability.
One more thing: While I do not think PCIe 4 will make much of a difference at the beginning - beside X570 offering twice the bandwith between the CPU and chipset - I feel that I would potentially regret not going with X570 in the future.
I am still hoping that I would get at least the 20 PCIe 4 lanes direct from the CPU with a B550 mainboard (why wouldn't I since these lanes are not going through the chip set), but I do not know when it will be released.
First the CPU: If the objective is to game whilestreaming a video of said game I'd say you need at least a Ryzen 7, and a Ryzen 9 is the go-to option. (Otherwise the stream will be very choppy.) Gaming while recording can probably be done nicely with a Ryzen 5, but I'm not 100% sure.
Then for the motherboard: If you can wait a little while it might be worth to know when the B550 will be out. I expect it to be at least announced (with a launch date) on CES next week. I'm not sure why you'd need all the bells and whistles of an X570: * The VRMs are only relevant for heavy overclocking of the higher end CPUs. The latest Ryzens don't need overclocking in the first place. * That many gen 4 PCIe-lanes are irrelevant for the next few years, unless you plan to use some very high end SSD(s). * If you need more USB ports you can always use a hub and/or expansion card.
I need a new motherboard myself to replace my faulty B350 (that can only run on default BIOS settings). I will wait to learn more about the B550 and then decide what to opt for. X570 is still too expensive for me.
Thanks for your reply Olle (are you Swedish, btw ?).
Since I told my kid he'd be able to play and stream with the new PC, I don't want to spend a lot of money on a new PC just to disappoint him.
Following your advice, I changed to CPU to a Ryzen 3900X. Luckily, they are now readily available and cheaper (EUR 498).
As for the mainboard, I'll definitely wait for B550 - the current alternatives are either too expensive or not forward looking enough.
I am sure B550 boards will have at least the 20 lanes connected directly to the CPU as PCIe 4 (as they do not go though the chipset). The rest, I do not care too much about.
The reason why I want at least some PCIe 4 slots (and good power circuitry on the board) is future proofing. For the power circuitry, I figured that quality components that are not used near their limit will last longer.
Let's see what AMD and the board partners announce at CES. A good B550 board in the 150ish range would be nice.
CES and AMD's keynote has come, but nothing official about the B550. ☹️ The latest rumors I've found are from september/october.
One (unconfirmed) detail is that B550 won't support PCIe4, but only PCIe3!
I don't believe in "future proofing" a motherboard any more, beyond planned upgrades. I used to think like you earlier, but now after two decades with incremental upgrades of my own computer I've realised that you will pay extra to get "futuristic" features that you'll never use (to their capacity) (1) while still getting stuck with other features that get obsolete and will prevent upgrades (2).
You won't run any risk of getting close to the limits of the power regulators unless the computer is used for distributed computing 24/7, loading the CPU to the hilt. The motherboard will be out of commission long before power regulation will become an issue.
(1) A prime example is when I got a Z68 motherboard just to get LucidLogix Virtu which was a feature that would let the computer use the IGP and (discrete) GPU mixed and/or on their own based on need and workload. Seemed really nice to me! Light office work: Use the IGP to provide picture and save power. Heavy 3D gaming: Use the IGP for physics calculations. As it turned out it required optimization for each program, and was only available for a select few that I've never used.
On top of that the motherboard typically has more PCIe slots and SATA connectors than I'll ever use...
Now I'd say that PCIe4 is such a feature that in practice won't make much practical difference over PCIe3 unless you use very high end SSD. (Just like USB3 is "nice to have" while most of my peripherals still use only USB2.)
(2) Current CPU socket, chipset and other features can prevent reasonable upgrades a couple of years from now. Early on I thought I'd be able to get a much faster CPU later on, but almost every time I've wanted a faster CPU a new motherboard has been required. (Expect, at best, to get 4th gen Ryzen compatibility with today's motherboards.) I got into an even greater snag when new graphics cards switched from AGP to PCIe, so I had to replace most of the computer at once just to get a better graphics card.