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Upgrade Suggestions

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I built my home PC a while ago now for modeling and rendering but it's starting to show it's age with rendering speeds compared to my machine at work. I would like some suggestions on what to upgrade.

Current System:

CPU: i7 5960x

Motherboard: ASUS X99 Pro

Cooling: Watercooled

RAM: 32 GB

HDD: SSD for programs and RAID 2tb for storage

GPU: Geforce GTX 970

Software I use: 3DS Maax 2020, Vray Next, PS


Rendering time is my bottleneck, I'm thinking the most obvious choice is a cpu upgrade but not sure what will work on my motherboard. I have max £700 budget for the upgrade, I'll probably sell the older components afterwards to recoup some of that. I don't currently do any GPU rendering.


Any suggestions would be most welcome.



Edited by Carl Gissing
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I have a similar system myself. Just a better gpu (1070). I'll tell how I see it. It's not worth upgrading just the cpu in this old system. Your best bet would be a used 6950X, or a compatible Xeon. Not much of an upgrade. You would improve your rendering times, but single threaded performance would be worse, especially with a s2011 Xeon. What you can do is sell your current combo (cpu+motherboard+RAM), and get yourself a new Ryzen set: 

- 3950X for ~680£

- a X570 motherboard for ~ 150-200£

- a new RAM kit 2x16gb at 3200MHz, for ~ 150-160£

For approximately 1000£ you could have way better performance in any scenario. Especially for rendering in Vray, you could see more than 100% faster times. 


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Thanks for the reply.


I think you're right, I suppose I would get roughly £300-£400 for the CPU, motherboard and RAM I have in it now so if I sell that it's not so much of a stretch.

Would just like to buy myself a few more years before a full rebuild.

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2 minutes ago, Carl Gissing said:

Although I suppose that's not much RAM

Exactly. The processor is ~20% slower in rendering compared to the 3950X, and only 16gb of RAM will get you nowhere. Not a great bundle for what you want.


Edited by Nikolaos M
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  • 2 weeks later...

Some xeons with a high core count compatible with the board below. Snag one off ebay.

May end up with a small hit to viewport performance but should boost your rendering speed.    
Intel Xeon E5-2697A-v4 (2.6G,145W,L3:40M,16C,HT)      
Intel Xeon E5-2697-v3 (2.6G,145W,L3:35M,14C,HT)      
Intel Xeon E5-2697-v4 (2.3G,145W,L3:45M,18C,HT)      
Intel Xeon E5-2698-v3 (2.3G,135W,L3:40M,16C,HT)      
Intel Xeon E5-2698-v4 (2.2G,135W,L3:50M,20C,HT)      
Intel Xeon E5-2699-v3 (2.3G,145W,L3:45M,18C,HT)      
Intel Xeon E5-2699-v4 (2.2G,145W,L3:55M,22C,HT)
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  • 1 month later...

Absolutely you don't have to overhaul smash, PSU ought to be sufficient until further notice as well. GPU update could be fascinating decision, however whenever constrained to AMD just, and as a result of mining insane, there's very little to search for: both rx 580 and vega are costly and difficult to get. So all that is left is CPU and motherboard. In any case, since you can introduce even 8700K and for that I was perusing an article about the other day...I should uncover it for you...


I hope it helps!

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