I have been wanting to upgrade my GPU test bed for around 6-9 months now, but with the COVID-19 insanity I have pushed it off. But then came the GeForce RTX 30 series launch, where I wanted to get components ready to build a new PC but it was hard to get components.
Eventually they began flowing in, but then I was missing one key component -- RAM. G.SKILL had sent me some new kits of RAM for some other builds, but I needed RAM for these two systems (as I'm not just building 1 new GPU test bed, but 2 new GPU test beds -- both with identical parts).
Once that arrived, the system building could begin -- the big upgrade from my tried-and-true Intel Core i7-8700K + GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard. The RAM and SSDs also get major upgrades across the board, thanks to our good friends at Sabrent.
By the time the ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII HERO motherboards arrived, it was about a month away from AMD's big Zen 3 reveal. I had a couple of AMD Ryzen 7 3800X processors sitting here ready to go, and then by the time the RAM arrived it was days before the Zen 3 reveal event.
So for the meantime, I'm going to run all of the cards through the Ryzen 7 3800X -- but then I will upgrade (again) to the Ryzen 9 5900X or Ryzen 9 5950X processor the second they drop. Then I'll do another article with the upgrade, and do some comparison testing using the data I'm compiling currently on the Ryzen 7 3800X against the new Zen 3-powered Ryzen 9 5900X/5950X.
Sabrent was a huge help sending over oodles of Rocket Q NVMe SSDs, more importantly some PCIe 4.0-capable NVMe SSDs to give us that ridiculous read/write speeds. I have to give them a special thanks as they sent over enough drives to power all of my current rigs that I've got in the midst of building for some improved GPU coverage here at TweakTown headed into all these new GPU releases and into 2021.
Another special thanks to AMD that hooked me up with 2 x Ryzen 7 3800X processors, with some Ryzen 5000 series chips on their way.
I've got the upcoming systems being tested, with some results coming in the next couple of weeks:
- MSI + Intel Core i9-10900K (4K 120Hz gaming system)
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X system (3090 NVLink system)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X (buy from Amazon)
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII HERO (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R RGB (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z NEO RGB 32GB (4x8GB) (F4-3600C18Q-32GTZN) (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: Sabrent 2TB Rocket NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 2280 (buy from Amazon)
- PSU: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1200W (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame 2.0
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional x64 (buy from Amazon)
Sabrent 2TB Rocket NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 2280
G.SKILL Trident Z NEO RGB 32GB (4x8GB)
ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII HERO
CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R RGB
Once I had got the system built and started doing some stability runs, cranking CPU benchmarks through the 16 threads of Zen 2 architecture with a 5% overclock through the BIOS on the ASUS Crosshair VIII HERO Wi-Fi motherboard and AMD Ryzen 7 3800X processor.
After the system was built, I did many hours of gaming to burn it in (and I wanted to get some Warzone in) and then the huge task of re-benchmarking a slew of graphics cards. I've mostly finished on this and have comparison results between the Intel Core i7-8700K and now AMD Ryzen 7 3800X and they're nearly identical.
But the big upgrade to the new Zen 3-based Ryzen 9 5950X is going to require even more testing and even more performance squeezed out of the graphics cards I'll be testing later this year, and into 2021 and beyond.
And Then AMD Announced Zen 3
AMD announced Zen 3 in the weeks leading into me upgrading, with some major changes that will have me upgrading to the Ryzen 9 5950X the second I can get my hands-on one.
- Read more: AMD's new Ryzen 9 5950X: 16-core/32-thread at nearly 5GHz for $799
- Read more: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X annihilates Intel Core i9-10900K in 1080p gaming
- Read more: Here's a family photo of the Zen 3-powered AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs
- Read more: AMD Ryzen 5 5600 could dethrone Intel, costs $220 launches in 2021
Upgrading to Zen 3
I've been benchmarking 10-12 hours a day for a couple of weeks building up results for new benchmarks, so by the time you read this I would've nearly finished my benchmarking run across 15+ graphics cards between NVIDIA and AMD.
By the time AMD has its new RDNA 2-powered Radeon RX 6900 XT, Radeon RX 6800 XT, and Radeon RX 6800 I will be running those cards through this new Ryzen 7 3800X-based GPU test bed. I will upgrade this system to the new Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 5950X for future testing as soon as AMD can get a chip to me.
I'll re-run all of the benchmarks and do a comparison between all of the cards that I have here to test, and then across the following setups:
- Intel Core i7-8700K
- Intel Core i9-10900K
- AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
- AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
- AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
I'm also re-introducing 3440 x 1440 ultrawide benchmarks into my suite, and adding new games to test DLSS and RTX going forward on these systems. The ultrawide benchmarks are something that I think is important as more and more gamers are picking up ultrawide gaming monitors for that 21:9 aspect ratio awesome sauce.
The new GeForce RTX 3070, RTX 3080 and upcoming Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT will be perfect for 3440 x 1440 ultrawide gaming monitors pushing past 120Hz and they won't cost as much as a higher-end (and more demanding) 4K 120Hz monitor.
Now to twiddle my thumbs until AMD can get the new Zen 3 processors in my hands.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me -- so thank you Sabrent, AMD, ASUS, G.SKILL -- and CoolerMaster that hooked me up with some CPU coolers a while ago but I haven't used until now. I will change some of these components around a bit, but the SSD + motherboard + RAM will remain unchanged.
Thanks again everyone! Can't wait to dive into more testing, and then the exciting new upgrade to Zen 3!