I decided to upgrade the core of my PC. The current has more than 7 years and has been running overclocked non-stop for the last 5 years.
- i7 3770k 3.5GHz;
- 16 GB Corsair Dominator 2133MHz
- ASUS P8Z77-V DLX
- Corsair Graphite 600T
The CPU has been running at 4300MHz for 5 years but recently it’s becoming unstable. It is still good enough to run DCS at 1080p whilst streaming with fps ranging between 40 and 60 at a temperature always lower than 63°.
Unfortunately some tests proved that this instability is almost certainly due to the overclock. I regained rock-solid stability only by lowering the speed to 3900MHz. That, plus the looming Black Friday, convinced me to upgrade. I plan to keep my old SSDs (except for an old 60 GB I bought in late 2011) and the GPU, so I’m going to change the “core” of the PC.
My last AMD CPU was a Thunderbird 1200MHz. It ran at 1330MHz for years (until I literally melted it by pushing it over 1500MHz ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ), I then came back into Intel’s arms with the brilliant Q6600 and the 3770k later.
The recent Ryzen 9, the new non-impressive release of the new Intel’s generation and… the big money-saving moment (aka Black Friday) pointed my to AMD.
The new CPU is an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, running on an Asus ROG Strix X570 with 64 GB of Corsair 3200MHz CL16. I was looking for some low-CAS 3600MHz, 64 GB but most options were either out of stock, not available or not on sale, so I went for something a little slower but massively cheaper. Hopefully I can squeeze a wee of clock to fill the gap later on.
On top of that, an M.2 1 TB for the OS and a couple of the more demanding programs and games (id est Star Citizen, ArmA3 and DCS) and to cool the CPU, a tiny Noctua NH-D15.
The memory sounds overkill but games like Star Citizen happily sucked all my RAM plus a good chunk of swap file. Then there’s the streaming, browser, third-party comms apps (Discord, TS) and the OS. The RAM situation gets even worse when I’m doing tests and I have with GIMP, libre office and DCS whilst I’m encoding a video or something else…
I did a couple tests already, I haven’t run any optimization pass yet, just updated the BIOS, set the appropriate RAM timings and that’s it.
This is Star Citizen’s telemetry on my now old PC:
This is the telemetry now:
The only odd result is the loading time but it may be related to the fact that with the new PC I spawned only in Area18 with a fresh installation, whereas on the old I was mostly on Port Olisar.
The FPS are quite similar due to the GPU bottleneck. Nevertheless, it’s not stuttering any more and I can play Star Marine fluidly.
RAM-wise, the peak so far has been 17 GB for RAM for Star Citizen alone.
My flying stuff is still packed in a number of boxes, so I just installed and had a look around. I maxed out almost everything, except for MSAA, SSAA and View Range but I run into the GPU bottleneck again.
SP is fine-ish, having around 60-70fps but MP is a bit more demanding. I jumped into GAW (12 players at that moment) and this is the result:
Quite a shame that DCS doesn’t take advantage of multiple cores more efficiently. AFAIK, the split of the sound on a different thread has been the only step in that direction, back in ~2009.
Vulkan can’t come soon enough!
Lastly, I run a quick 3D Mark benchmark using DX11 (ergo, theoretically, less hampered by the GPU bottleneck).
Braking down the numbers:
|i7 3770k||Ryzen 3900X|
|Graphics Score||19 044||18 362|
|Physics Score||10 936||28 224|
|Combined Score||6 183||7 990|
Next step, updating the GPU (nVidia Ampere?).