On i7-3930K. Any point in upgrading?

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Hi all,

So back when I first got my big tax return in... 2006? I ended up building a crazy expensive i7-3930K pc. I've had to upgrade Video Cards several times since then. But the processor/motherboard/memory are all original.

Just got a little bit of cash for my birthday - so was wondering if I should try to upgrade. Trouble is - you want to upgrade Processor - now you gotta upgrade motherboard/cooling/memory as well and I'm not sure I can get anything that's worth it for the budget of $400-500 for the bunch. Maybe I should just sit around and see if I get more money for Christmas? The current PC is working just fine (well, looks like I had to roll back overclocks at some point - back to 3200 Hz now looks like).

It's not like I don't have the money to raise the budget sky high - just married now, just had our second baby last week - can't justify spending money on myself.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,709
Xeon E5 1680 v2 is the highest the original 2011 platform will go. That will get you 8-cores, 16-threads and 25MB cache.

The 1680 v2 is unlocked as well. Mine is currently running at 4.5Ghz under a Noctua NH-D14 with upgraded fans.

Looks like about $170 is the cheapest on eBay right now.

What are the specs of the rest of your system?
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Xeon E5 1680 v2 is the highest the original 2011 platform will go. That will get you 8-cores, 16-threads and 25MB cache.

The 1680 v2 is unlocked as well. Mine is currently running at 4.5Ghz under a Noctua NH-D14 with upgraded fans.

Looks like about $170 is the cheapest on eBay right now.

What are the specs of the rest of your system?

The rest of the specs are:

Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme.
Memory: 4 sticks of G.Skill Ripjaws X Series. PC3-12800
Video Card: GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB.
Monitor: LG 27GL83A-B
Power Supply: 1000W Silver Stone Strider Gold.
Cooling: One of those Corsair Water Cooling blocks. Think it was H70.
Storage: 4 different SSDs. SSD2SC240G3LC709, OCZ-VERT EX3, SanDisk SDSSDHII960G, SanDisk SDSSDXPS240G
Case: Rosewill Thor V2.
Running on Windows 7.

Looks like I got the years completely wrong - the computer is a bit newer than I thought.

The reason I had to tone down overclocks is because I was getting random system locks during normal use. Like once a month or so - upon restarting it would say overclock failed. Burn tests were fine, eventually I gave up and set clocks to default. Think the motherboard was having an issue, but who knows.

Honestly I only use this computer for gaming. I tend to like Simulation Games (Europa Universalis IV, Football Manager, etc) - so I guess they might actually be CPU bound sometimes - but its always hard to tell what the bottleneck is.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
551

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Huh. I expected people suggesting a budget build with newer stuff. But I guess if this Xeon 1680 v2 has performance that still competes well with the likes of Ryzen 3600's then it would be half the price for me to just swap in one of these Xeons.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,709
Yeah, it is a really nice CPU.

The other thing that would help for some stuff would be faster RAM. DDR3-2133 or 2400 goes nicely with it.

But being G.Skill, you can probably get it up to 1866 or higher without too much trouble.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
551
Huh. I expected people suggesting a budget build with newer stuff. But I guess if this Xeon 1680 v2 has performance that still competes well with the likes of Ryzen 3600's then it would be half the price for me to just swap in one of these Xeons.

Let us know how it goes and when you overclock it what you get it to!
 

marshac

American Hero
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Messages
2,427
Also recommend the 1680v2 - I'm running it now, also coming from a 3930k.

I just did a quick bench so you could see where things are at- the CPU will run at 4.5GHz, but given the warmer summer days, I've dialed it down just a bit since the additional performance really doesn't matter. I'm also running a NVMe HDD, something x79 doesn't typically support, but it can be done and it's a great upgrade.

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/31480001

and the comparison vs 3800x

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Xeon-E5-1680-v2-vs-AMD-Ryzen-7-3800X/m59698vs4047

vs the 3930k

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Xeon-E5-1680-v2-vs-Intel-Core-i7-3930K/m59698vs1487
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Yeah, I've ordered it. Should arrive today.

By the way - how do you guys choose memory for it? I did a little bit of digging online and it sounds like my overclocking issues were due to memory overclocks. Since DDR3 memory isn't as widely used anymore - its a little difficult to find the trident sticks everyone recommended for 2400. Do I need to make sure I match the stuff Asus listed as valid for Rampage IV Extreme?
 

D-EJ915

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
1,213
I'd probably go for 1866 or 2133 over 2400 to be honest since that series CPU is pretty old for DDR3 standards so 2400 may not really work well. I ran 1866 with my 3930k.
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
I'd probably go for 1866 or 2133 over 2400 to be honest since that series CPU is pretty old for DDR3 standards so 2400 may not really work well. I ran 1866 with my 3930k.

Right, but I'm already upgrading to the Xeon everyone is suggesting here. So not sure if my 1600 is going to hold it back.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,709
Ivy handles higher RAM speeds way better than Sandy does. XMP 2400 should work right off the bat. When overclocking the CPU, some tweaks will probably have to be made though... I also don't trust the voltages that XMP sets.
 

dave343

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 17, 2000
Messages
1,788
Looks like I got the years completely wrong - the computer is a bit newer than I thought.

Yeah haha, I was reading that thinking "wait what?? 2006? That stuff is from at least 2013"

Ok, so here would be my 2 paths to take...

1) Upgrade to that Xeon CPU as mentioned above and try to clock it high. With the additional money saved you could keep it aside and after the dust settles with the Nvidia 3000 series card, pick up a RTX 3060 Card with Christmas $.

2) I think with your budget, $400-500, you definitely could pickup an AMD 3600 cpu, a B450/550 Motherboard, and 16GB DDR4 3000. That in itself would not only give you a massive performance increase, it'll also breathe new life into your 1060 GPU. And going this route, you'll have a solid CPU to last another 4-5 years at least. Then come Chrismas, again see if you can grab a 3060 card.
If you absolutely want to stay on the Intel platform, then look for a sale on the 9600k, or 8700k, and then get the associated motheboard, but you don't have to look far on YT or the web to see how much the 3600 CPU is killing everything.

I know this is an Intel thread, but I would take route #2 any day of the week. It makes the most sense. Sure, you're only spending $180 on that Xeon but it's from 2013... 2013, why upgrade to a 7yr old CPU? And if you take this path, you're still on DDR3, with zero upgrade path. At least with the AM4 platform on a B450 or B550 board, you can upgrade down the line again to Zen 3 cpu's. And you'll have DDR4 ram with PCIe gen.

With sales happening all the time, I would just grab a 3600 cpu, some cheap DDR4 3000 memory, and any B450 or B550 board. This in itself will not only shatter any gains that 2013 Xeon can bring you, but you'll also get some extra performance from that 1060 you have, which is certainly CPU bound at this time. Again if you prefer to stick with Intel, then grab a 9600k or 8600/8700k cpu on a sale or ebay Micro Centre etc...

Just to reiterate though, I would not upgrade to another 7yr old Xeon CPU, your 1060 is already being held back, and any CPU upgrade you make will not only still hold back your existing 1060, any video card you upgrade to in the future will be held back. It makes no sense to invest any more money into your existing rig at this point. If your PC was 4-5yrs old, then ok... that's a different story, but with the age of your cpu and motherboard, as well using DDR3 ram, you'll see massive performance gains doing a platform upgrade which is totally doable with $400-500. And you're setting yourself up to be able to upgrade for years (at least on AM4) with PCIe Gen 4, Zen 3 cpu's, DDR4 ram.

Anyways, my 2 cents. Cheers.
 
Last edited:

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Ok, so here would be my 2 paths to take...

1) Upgrade to that Xeon CPU as mentioned above and try to clock it high. With the additional money saved you could keep it aside and after the dust settles with the Nvidia 3000 series card, pick up a RTX 3060 Card with Christmas $.

2) I think with your budget, $400-500, you definitely could pickup an AMD 3600 cpu, a B450/550 Motherboard, and 16GB DDR4 3000. That in itself would not only give you a massive performance increase, it'll also breathe new life into your 1060 GPU. And going this route, you'll have a solid CPU to last another 4-5 years at least. Then come Chrismas, again see if you can grab a 3060 card.
If you absolutely want to stay on the Intel platform, then look for a sale on the 9600k, or 8700k, and then get the associated motheboard, but you don't have to look far on YT or the web to see how much the 3600 CPU is killing everything.

...

Anyways, my 2 cents. Cheers.

Well, I already jumped onto path #1. Maybe will jump to some newer iteration of path #2 in a few years. We'll see. Thanks for your 2 cents!
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
So I just tried installing it about 5 times. Won't post. Code 00 and cpu_led was or vttddr_cd was lit up red. My pins were messed up somehow, but no matter how I fixed them the Xeon repeated the behavior. Old processor worked so I guess I got a bad one :(
 

dave343

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 17, 2000
Messages
1,788
So I just tried installing it about 5 times. Won't post. Code 00 and cpu_led was or vttddr_cd was lit up red. My pins were messed up somehow, but no matter how I fixed them the Xeon repeated the behavior. Old processor worked so I guess I got a bad one :(

You flashed to the latest bios before dropping in the Xeon?
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Hmmm, nope. Also hearing I need to clear cmos. Seems like a jumper is necessary for that and I don't have the box for the motherboard anymore.

I tried removing the battery and disconnecting from power hopefully that will clear cmos by tomorrow.

Then will try new processor again. If it doesn't work will plug in old one and try updating bios.
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Ok, after flashing the bios and going through bunch of different error codes I'm finally in windows with the new processor! Thanks guys!

Now to figure out why I was getting all those memory error codes...
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Mine is currently running at 4.5Ghz under a Noctua NH-D14 with upgraded fans.

cyclone - what temps does it do under load? I think something is messed up with my cooling. Just at base 3.2 Mhz clock I'm already getting up to 74 degrees under Intel Burn test on some cores. After doing some google image searches my cooler looks more like the H100. Seems like it should be doing better.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,709
cyclone - what temps does it do under load? I think something is messed up with my cooling. Just at base 3.2 Mhz clock I'm already getting up to 74 degrees under Intel Burn test on some cores. After doing some google image searches my cooler looks more like the H100. Seems like it should be doing better.

I try to keep my Intel CPUs under 82C. That being said, I haven't really bothered with Intel Burn Test in a long time. Nothing you actually use it for will ever load it up that much anyway. Max I ever see in game when I have actually bothered to monitor it is around 65c.

I just ran the default 10 loop test that Intel Burn Test has and it went up to 87C on one core.

CoreTemp showed the load voltage being 1.2910 but not sure how accurate that is. What voltage is your CPU running at?

My NH-D14 isn't quite stock though. One with a stock setup would never be able to handle the heat output of this CPU.

1. The base is lapped
2. I am using 2 120mm Rosewill dual ball bearing fans. max CFM is around 85. Instead of the hot air from one tower being blown through the second tower, I have the fans blowing the hot air into the space in between the towers. I also have 2x 180mm intake fans on the bottom of my case (case in sig... the CPU is near the bottom of the case).

I have fan profiles set up in the BIOS and is it always pretty quiet under normal use.

What fans are you using with the H100? Is warm/hot air being exhausted from the radiator?

Sounds to me like something is wrong with your setup though the load temps do go up a lot faster on the 22nm CPUs due to the smaller die size. 74C on stock speeds seems awfully high though. I'll test mine on stock voltage and speed real quick and post back.
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Max vid I'm seeing from coretemp is just over 1.05.

I'm using whatever fans that came originally with this H100.

I just cleaned off the dust on the radiator and flipped fans on the radiator to pull air from the outside as online guides seem to recommend. There is an extra fan that pulls air out of the PC.

The flip and the cleaning didn't change core temp results. The air after going through radiator fans is slightly warm but I wouldn't call it hot.

I also tried making fans go faster. That didn't change the result either.

I wonder if the pump is not working anymore or I put too much paste on or something.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,709
Stocks speed and mostly stock voltage (only set the vcore back to stock) and the highest temp was 62C on the hottest core for the 10 loop default run.

This is with the fans on my regular fan curve setup as well. I could probably drop a few degrees is I set the fans to 100%. As it is, they barely ramp up at all at these temps.

RAM is still at 2133 so that is going to affect temps a bit as well but don't feel like messing with those settings right now.

With the Stress Level set to Maximum, I am getting 62C on the coolest core and 66C on the hottest core. The fans are going a bit faster at these temps then with the standard test.
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Stocks speed and mostly stock voltage (only set the vcore back to stock) and the highest temp was 62C on the hottest core for the 10 loop default run.

This is with the fans on my regular fan curve setup as well. I could probably drop a few degrees is I set the fans to 100%. As it is, they barely ramp up at all at these temps.

RAM is still at 2133 so that is going to affect temps a bit as well but don't feel like messing with those settings right now.

With the Stress Level set to Maximum, I am getting 62C on the coolest core and 66C on the hottest core. The fans are going a bit faster at these temps then with the standard test.

Sounds like I need to save up for a Noctua.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,709
Sounds like I need to save up for a Noctua.

The H100 really should cool a lot better than what you are seeing, especially at stock speeds. Are you sure it is the H100? Do you have the software installed for it? What RPM is the pump running at? Make sure you are getting good contact between the CPU and the waterblock. Too much paste could hurt as well the it not being mounted flat.

I've been using this particular NH-D14 for at least 8 years now. Might be closer to 10. Again, stock fan setup cools nowhere near as good. The Noctua fans are quiet, but they don't push near enough air and blowing hot air from one tower through the other tower is a stupid setup as well.

I even experimented with a duct and another fan to pull the hot air out from between the towers and it lowered temps another couple degrees but the hassle of the extra stuff always being in the way with that setup wasn't worth it.

Pretty sure my NH-D14 is experiencing thermal soak and/or getting close to heatpipe dryout when running things like Intel Burn Test at 4.5Ghz (all core turbo)... but is does just fine under normal load situations.

My next cooler upgrade is going to be the IceGiant ProSiphon Elite. I got in on the beta stage so was able to pre-order and get it for a lot cheaper. Hoping it will cool better.
https://www.icegiantcooling.com/
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
I'm not sure, but it's the one from early 2010s with double sized radiator and a speed control button on the piece that goes on the processor. I tried the button and it definitely made the fans go faster but the temp result was the same.

I also tried pushing down on that piece while running the test to make sure I was getting full contact between the plate and the processor. Still got same result.

Oh well - real world temps are fine and I can do research on modern coolers when I can justify spending another hundred bucks to my wife.
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
If the paste has squished out to cover the entire waterblock base or CPU heatspreader.. whichever is smaller.

Should be a really thin layer as well. What paste are you using?

Arctic MX-4. I'll try later tonight, but seemed properly squished every time I was removing the processor and trying again during that midnight fiasco described earlier in the thread. Also according to these tests - the paste application doesn't really matter much - https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3346-thermal-paste-application-benchmark-too-much-thermal-paste

The only thing I can think of is that either my backplate is not tight enough - or the fact that I can't get the old paste from the cooler's copper plate off is affecting it some way.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,709
pics of old paste stuck on the waterblock? That could be it. Have you tried a razor blade?
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Managed to clear it off using a plastic scraper that came with the Arctic paste. Cleared off the processor re-applied everything. No improvement. Actually it was 1 degree worse - but I think it's cause the room heated up. Speaking of - maybe that's the difference here. I'm in the room next to the attic. AC fails to keep it as cool as rest of the house.

Before removal:
DSC_0787.JPG


The radiator
DSC_0788.JPG


Extra exaust fan:
DSC_0789.JPG

Paste spread after removing cooling header
DSC_0790.JPG

Paste on cooling header's plate after removal from processor
DSC_0791.JPG

After scraping off the paste
DSC_0792.JPG

After wiping paste from processor
DSC_0793.JPG


New paste put on

DSC_0795.JPG
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,709
Ok... so from those pics, it looks like the waterblock is not seating well enough against the CPU. Looks like the mounting tabs on the waterblock are seating all the way against the mounting lugs on the motherboard which should not be happening. The cooler should have come with some shorter lugs.
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Hmmm... I guess its possible. I don't have any of the original stuff so I can't be sure.

I just ordered Noctua NH-D15 so I guess I'll try to make sure I follow directions on installing it extra well to make sure I don't miss some mounting pieces.
 

Sergius648

n00b
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
23
Update: I think Cyclone was right about the tightness of the mounting lugs to the motherboard as those seemed loose. Either way - I put in the Noctua and now the processor is running at 4 Ghz and Intel Burn test can't get any of the cores to 70 degrees. I love it. Thanks everyone for your advice!
 
Top