Upgrade advice

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  1. Posts : 190
    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10

    Upgrade advice

    Want to upgrade my old motherboard and cpu to get more modern feature. I want good performance and quality that will not need to be upgraded again for a good length of time. Not a gamer, but something that might let me into an occasional romp. Looking for quicker. DDR4 ram, USB 2 and 3. Will have to be compatible with my hardrives.
    So many choices and time since my phenom was new Initial guessing was maybe something like an i3-8100, would that be new, efficient and capable? Once I get a good cpu choice I can move onto a motherboard.
    Any assistance is very much appreciated.
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  2. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 1,336
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    How much can you spend?

    Do you need only 3 pieces: motherboard, RAM, and CPU? No case, GPU, etc?

    If I was on a fairly strict budget and wanted to stay with the 8000 series Intels, the 8100 is a good choice. It has 4 cores, 3.6 ghz, priced near 120, and single thread performance is just about equal to a 6600K. The next step up in the 8000 series is the 8400--which has 6 cores, 2.8 ghz, but is around 200 to 220 dollars. Single thread performance about 11% above the 6600K. Both are 65 watts.

    An i3-8100, with 8 GB of DDR 4, and a mid level motherboard: probably $300 to $350.

    There is an i3-8300; around $180; 3.7 ghz; 65 watts; introduced about a year ago; slightly faster than the 8100.

    Pay attention to the specific features you need to have on the motherboard.

    Have you rejected newer processors in the 9000 series for some reason? The 8100 was introduced about 18 months ago.

    More info needed--budget, how rigid is the budget, what you do with a PC, how long you can wait before buying, who you would likely buy from, additional parts/software needed, etc.

    Are you building this yourself?
    Last edited by ignatzatsonic; 22 Jun 2019 at 10:56.
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  3. Posts : 190
    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Hello and thanks,
    As little as possible for cost within actual benefits. This will be my something like my 2nd motherboard and 3rd cpu since I first built it. As to why the i3-8100, I might have read something about it, good and inexpensive. Purchased the cpu's used.
    I will be putting it into my current box/ps and drives, except eventual up-size of system SSD.I have a video card because the built in graphics died. I believe the i3 has onboard graphics. I am not against a separate video but not for any gaming. No need for anything like 4K Video. No water cooling, or internal lights. I again want very snappy action for now as well as ability to upgrade well into future.
    I have used AMD products and thought to go Intel.
    Have no set preconceptions, at least that is what I think. So opinions are welcome!
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  4. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 1,336
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    You say "As little as possible for cost within actual benefits".

    Problem is, you likely get SOME "actual benefits" each time you move higher up in the CPU heirarchy--i3 to i5 to i7; quad core to 6 core; 3.2 ghz to 3.6 ghz, etc. It's ENTIRELY up to you to decide if the additional cost is "worth it".

    Like cars, dishwashers, or anything else the last few additional features or additional performance can be costly. You might spend twice as much money and decide after the fact that the extra money didn't get you much more satisfaction. You decide if that is "worth it". If your budget is quite flexible, maybe so. If you are cost-conscious or prone to "buyer's remorse", probably not. Maybe that extra $200 you spent on motherboard/CPU would have been better spent on a better monitor--for instance.

    You can look over specs until hell freezes over, but that will give you only limited insight as to how satisfied you might be for a given set of parts.

    Reading between the lines: you aren't a constant re-builder and want something that you won't want to upgrade for 4 or 5 years.

    You didn't say your budget is very tight and inflexible.

    Generally, I'd lean toward getting the highest performing CPU I could afford, rather than moving from 8 GB RAM to 16, or to very high speed RAM-----unless you knowingly have a very specific reason for the RAM.

    I'd probably keep the motherboard in the $100 to $160 range if not overclocking or you have serious need for features found on something more expensive. Asus or Gigabyte would be my choices.

    The CPU will likely come with a cooler. They are OK for ordinary usage, particularly if you are not sensitive to noise and don't overclock.

    I'd think integrated graphics are fine for a non-gamer.
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  5. Posts : 190
    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    One trouble is I get lost in the cpus and specs. Is a quad core with hyperthread(not even sure completely of that benefit), better than a six core without? 3.6 Ghz is pretty fast, correct No not inflexible but I don't know where to place value. I've noted that my 8GB never shows it's use, possibly because of the onboard graphics, again I don't know. So I thought that 16GB would give me a noticeable performance upgrade if not monumental. I have used Gigabyte on my most recent iteration.I have a 750 Watt power supply. Also true about the time of use factor. I've generally always been on generation back, but now with so many choices, very confused. So thanks for your incite. What would you to be a solid performing upgrade from the i3-8100?
    Don't know that I need any of this new memory on a card hardware.
    Thanks for your time!
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  6. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 1,336
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    You still have mentioned no dollar limit, so it's difficult to suggest anything.

    Post a list of specific parts you think might work for you for your budget (whatever it is) and we'll see where that goes. Include links to the item at your vendor--Amazon, Newegg, wherever.

    Is there any specific thing you do on a PC much more than anything else? Maybe a serious hobby? Process video, use virtual machines, etc. Or are you more of a typical user--look around on the Internet, use Excel and Word, fiddle with photographs, Youtube, email, etc? What do you do that causes you to think "Man, that's taking a long time, I wish it were faster"? Does that happen 5 times a day or 5 times a year?

    You can track how much RAM you are using at any given moment. If you aren't up in the 6 or 7 GB range a lot of the time, I wouldn't think going to 16 from 8 would be the best use of the $50 extra it might cost. I'd spend the $50 on a more powerful CPU where you would get some benefit constantly. I rarely use over 4 GB, but maybe you are different?

    If you aren't using a video card, you likely won't use over 200 watts. I wouldn't worry about the power supply unless it's very old or problematic.

    Answer the questions if you can.

    Post a list of parts.
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  7. Posts : 190
    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I do mostly email/internet, some photo editing, music editing. May want to do some video editing eventually, camera control. What I wish was faster is response time, data transfer time for backups. Overall like I am living in 2017 or more.
    Okay starting with a CPU, why is the cheapest, the i3-8100 3.6Ghz quad core with i3 dual cores up to $50 more? Trying to get a feel for the value and cost. My comparison had same onboard graphics and memory slots
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  8. Posts : 190
    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Looking at Passmark CPU comparison, the i3-8100 is by far the best value over faster quad core i3 and i5s Is Hyperthread which none of these are going to be of great value to me?
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  9. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 1,336
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    The Passmark benchmarks are for a given set of tasks that might not apply to you. You might benefit more from higher CPU ghz than from additional cores.

    Still no budget number or proposed components. Why not spend $1000 on the CPU? You can't afford it? Then say what you can afford.

    Off the wall, I'd get a quad core running at least 3.0 Ghz.

    If another $100 fell out of the sky, maybe you move to 6 core, although you might not notice the difference on your typical tasks. So maybe you spend the 100 on a motherboard with more features or a larger SSD or?

    Do you keep data on the same drive as your OS?

    No reason yet to see why you should go higher than the i-5 series.

    Be careful on your motherboard features. You may want to use ONLY m2.2280 SSDs and completely avoid standard 2.5 inch SSDs with cables. You may want to use an m2.2280 NVME SSD boot drive and not all boards can boot from NVME. Some boards can accept more than one m2.2280 drive. There's not a lot of reason to buy standard 2.5 inch SSDs anymore.

    You will continue going around in circles and confusion if you can't even begin to come up with a budget.

    You appear to be "value conscious" and the 8100 is a good choice for that.
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  10. Posts : 190
    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I do believe what you are saying. I don't think I am willing to spend more than $250 for a cpu. I know the Passmark is limited but I have no other comparisons. What would be the benefit of a 3.7GHZ over a 3.6GHZ. I am currently thinking the i3-8100 is my tops so far. I have currently a 120 GB ssd (inexpensive) and keep my data on 2 500GB drives in raid. A faster SSD. I know nothing about the differences in SSDs as of now. I want an upgradeable motherboard, have been happy with the Gigabyte brand, but no real knowledge of current quality and such.If possible I would pick around $500 for all the components board,cpu, memory and say a very good 250 GB ssd.
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