How long was it? 12 years, since 2007, when I built my first PC to go to college. My first CPU was the Athlon 64 x2 4400+, if memory serves me well. Those were the time when AMD got a lead in technology, the first 64 bit multi-core CPU to hit consumer market. But those time was short lived, multi-core software took time to catchup and when it does, Intel got their reply.
The Athlon 64 served me well. It got me through college, and into my working years. But I never got an upgrade choice from AMD, their Athlon line up couldn’t compete, their Phenom still couldn’t, their FX also failed, and then they just sort of gave up. For years, they only sell cheap CPU, that can’t meet my demand. And when my Athlon died after 6 years of service, I switched to a Core i5 – 3550 or something.
Another 6 years passed, the Core i5 is now falling behind in many tasks and in dire need for an upgrade. It can’t play 4K video, it’s a bottle neck for my GPU in, and it takes a lot of times only heavy crunching workload. And most importantly, it struggle to run the variety of virtual machine that I’m using for code work. Thus I have to look for an upgrade, and when I start considering options, AMD bounce back.
The ryzen CPU was good, it showed how Intel was lazy and greedy for the last decades after they dominate the market. Right after ryzen release, people see that Intel could have added more core into one CPU dire, but they just didn’t want to. Intel could have thrown in a better heatsink fan but they just didn’t want to. And when news of Ryzen 3000 series with Zen2 architecture come out, I decide to switch.
My choice was the Ryzen 7 3700X, the price was announced at 8.690.000VND. I have been using mid-range CPU for my whole life, so this was a big bump, but 8 core – 16 threads with 4.2GHz boost in a 65W TDP seem too good. I don’t overclock so the 65W TDP limit is more of a pros than cons. And at that price, it beats anything Intel currently offer in every possible ways of comparision.
The mainboard choice was more of a hassle. Ryzen 3000 series was built for AMD X570 chipset, but I distrust that chipset. They seem a bit rush to releasing X570, PCIe 4.0 is more of a gimmick than a feature right now and the 15W TDP just for the mainboard running, doing absolutely nothing is a big annoyance. Moreover the required fan for the chipset seem like a major weak point. CPU HSF can be replaced but we don’t have any standard for replacing chipset fan.
And the biggest downside of of X570 is they are vastly overpriced. Moreover there was no plan to reduce price of the last gen X470 chpiset so I decide to go with B450 chipset in the Asus ROG Strix B450F. At 3.350.000VND, it was the biggest B450 board I could find. And since I have grown skeptical with Gigabyte BIOS updating process, it seems like a good chance to try out Asus board.
RAM choice was two sticks of Gskill Trident Z 3000. Even though the internet recommend even 3600 or 4000Mhz RAM for Ryzen 7, but 3200 were the highest got sold here and they are too pricy. I purchase the RAM first before Ryzen 3700X release. The was almost 3.050.000VND in May and the put the whole CPU upgrade price tag at almost 16.000.000VND. That was more than my first PC (with monitor include) and it should mark the time I switch to more serious workload.
I also switch to NVMe SSD so that I can migrate the old SSD to the new HTPC for family use, completing my computer vision at least for the next decade