Overdue Budget Upgrade

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Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby iMess » Mon May 04, 2015 12:57 pm

I know most of you are Intel users. I'm considering the switch over. Just looking to upgrade on a budget scale but also wanting to drop to ITX factor.

Do I?
1] MSI B85I GAMING Socket 1150 Mini-ITX Motherboard + Intel Pentium Dual Core G3258 3.2GHz Socket 1150 = £125.87 (Ebuyer)

2] ASRock FM2A88X-ITX + AMD Athlon X4 860K Quad 3.7Ghz = £135.42 (Amazon)

3] MSI Z87I-GAMING-AC Intel ITX + + Intel Pentium Dual Core G3258 3.2GHz Socket 1150 = £153.89

Please let me know. The reason I'm considering switching to Intel is purely to secure future upgrade path as I'm not hearing any future path for FM2+ and can't afford yet another mobo if they decide to change the socket again.
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Freelance » Mon May 04, 2015 2:56 pm

What kind of gaming do you expect to do, and do you expect to upgrade the CPU within the life of the motherboard? I'm just pondering whether some games would be better served if you went straight for a proper quad (some games get tetchy with a dual apparently, even they should be able to run), or an i3 (2 core, 4 thread), or if you're planning on upgrade to one later.
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby iMess » Mon May 04, 2015 3:44 pm

For Intel, I'd be looking at getting a i5 down the line.
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Freelance » Mon May 04, 2015 4:12 pm

At that point I'd be thinking whether you want to overclock later (Z chipset) and then what features you want on the motherboard. Maybe you like the extra heatsinks on the power delivery, looks, etc.

For AMD Zen is supposed to be out next year, but right now it's an unknown. Speculation is early Zen chips will be roughly on par with ivy bridge (but then you'd also thinking about intel skylake/cannonlake). If you're building now I find it hard to get enthusiastic about AMD offerings.
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Wishy » Mon May 04, 2015 4:38 pm

Skylake (The next gen intel desktop) will be out in august-octoberish and will be socket 1151, so you'll be lacking forward compatibility
FM2+ has been around for a while, I wouldn't count on further socket compatibility

I'm planning my desktop upgrade for Skylake release
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Freelance » Mon May 04, 2015 4:52 pm

It's been a long time since I've considered upgrading a CPU on an existing motherboard, back on socket 939 maybe? When I buy now I just see mobo+cpu to be a unit and will be replaced together.

In other news, I've still got a conroe E6850+mobo in the attic.
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby iMess » Mon May 04, 2015 9:38 pm

All 3 ITX boards offer what I require, mainly eSATA port on I/O and enough internal ports to support current drives. Both G3258 and 860k have very good overclocking features to push the boundaries, but it's mostly a question of forwards compatibility. I got stung and stuck on AM3+ and don't really want to do that again.

I don't know if Skylake will be a strong release for intel or not. If it is, then upgrading to i5 or i7 on 1150 will be alot cheaper.
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Merson » Mon May 04, 2015 10:04 pm

iMess wrote:I don't know if Skylake will be a strong release for intel or not. If it is, then upgrading to i5 or i7 on 1150 will be alot cheaper.

It's an incremental update. Going from 22nm to 14nm, introducing DDR4, USB 3.1/C and PCIe 4 to the mainstream. Other than that, it's likely to follow closely to Haswell's base clocks and configurations. Worth waiting regardless due to the socket upgrade and future proofing from the additions added.

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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Wishy » Tue May 05, 2015 10:35 am

I'm reading a 15-20% IPC increase, certainly nothing major. I doubt you'll get many Haswell users migrating across, especially as it involves a board change. There is a bit of pent up demand though, as there hasn't been a decent release for a couple of years now, Sandy Bridge is looking ripe for upgrade...

Main advantage is the upgrade of the DMI channel, which allows far more bandwidth between the CPU and Chipset. You'll get enough PCIe3 lanes to do justice to a PCIe SSD and leave 16x PCIe3/4 for the graphics.

Intel i5/i7 processors seem to keep strong second hand prices for quite some years.

On the overclocking front, are you going to have space for decent cooling in an ITX setup?

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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Freelance » Tue May 05, 2015 12:16 pm

One of the things skylake brings is support for booting from PCIe NVMe SSDs, which is what I'd be buying if I had excess monies. It could be interesting in the next few years to see the non-SATA/AHCI SSDs mature and what performance they get to. It also makes me question whether I want to go mITX over something with lots of PCIe slots, or if card format M2 SSDs will gain traction.
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Wishy » Tue May 05, 2015 4:32 pm

Freelance wrote:One of the things skylake brings is support for booting from PCIe NVMe SSDs, which is what I'd be buying if I had excess monies. It could be interesting in the next few years to see the non-SATA/AHCI SSDs mature and what performance they get to. It also makes me question whether I want to go mITX over something with lots of PCIe slots, or if card format M2 SSDs will gain traction.


NVMe has been supported since X97/X99.

The current generation seem to be orientated around either M2 for drives with smaller controllers, or PCI-E addons / SFF8639 for the very high performance drives. There are M2 (With PCIe channels, obviously - worth mentioning as there are non PCIe M2 cards which just use SATA) to SFF8639 adaptor which would work.
SATA Express seems like a standard which will never see any drives which implement it.

No reason to think M2 shouldn't become popular
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Freelance » Tue May 05, 2015 5:48 pm

Wishy wrote:NVMe has been supported since X97/X99.

Booting support on the base chipset, although I think there might be support on the enthusiast chips, or if a manufacturer wants to add it themselves.

The issue I can see for M2 is heat, a lot of the PCIe devices come with decently sized passive heatsinks. I'm not sure how well a card slotted flat on the motherboard would cool itself if it needed to, or if a M2 drive had a heatsink slapped on it whether there's clearance/airflow.

Related to that whether many motherboard manufacturers allocate space on the board to fit a M2 SSD, or two, or if you start seeing more boards with lots of PCIe slots (ditching PCI?), or if there's some kind of riser cable solution so the PCIe/M2 SSD lives in an enclosure you can mount like a normal 2.5" drive.

It'll be interesting to see how it all settles down in the self-build territory.
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Wishy » Tue May 05, 2015 6:42 pm

I believe pretty much all the X97 and X99 support booting from NVMe. Certainly that was suggested within the Intel SSD 750 reviews. I'm not sure about low end chipsets.

The samsung x951 pulls off 2,150MB/s read, 1,550MB/s write in m.2 form factor. The intel SSD 750 was designed as an add-in card due to the large number of flash channels, the ability to fit all this flash in the m2 form factor, and cooling.

Even if you put as powerful SSD in M.2 form factor, the odds are it'll only be under rare conditions that you thermally throttle (Eg writing gigabytes of data), you'll still get high speeds in normal use.

Some of the motherboards have a slot in style M2 connector to save space, which leaves the card sitting at 90 degrees to the board. It's just a case of decision around how you want to use your board space.
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby iMess » Wed May 06, 2015 1:43 pm

OK thanks for the info.. Not that much better off, but I think the G3258 will be a better about to get me onto the Intel build. The single core speeds will benefit the games I currently play. Unless anyone can find a good direct comparison review..
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Re: Overdue Budget Upgrade

Postby Wishy » Wed May 06, 2015 1:48 pm

The pentium is great on a budget, just make sure you buy a Z series motherboard and a decent cooler :)
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