Maxing AM4 platform

Hey Everyone, I wanted a quick sanity check with the group on here. I’m planning to do mass overhaul of my setup over the next few months (as US holiday sales come and go). The purpose of this machine is Gaming & Photo Editing (with some programming and video editing mixed in).
The original/current system was built back in 2019 just before the pandemic.

Current System:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
CPU Cooler: Wraith Stealth Cooler (don’t remember the name but it was the one that came w/ the cpu)
Mobo: Gigabyte B450M DS3H
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB Kit (F4-3200C16D-16GVKB)
GPU: Sapphire Technology Pulse Radeon RX580 8GB
M.2: Western Digital SN770 (This is where I have EOS installed on)
HDD: Seagate Ironwolf 2TB (Pure Storage)
SSD: Samsung 870 EVO SATA 250GB (Where I store my Timeshift snapshots)
Case: NZXT H510
PSU: Powerspec 550W

Planned Upgrades
CPU: Ryzen 9 5950X or Ryzen 9 5900X or Ryzen 9 5900XT (depending on sale pricing and performance tests)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12A chromax.Black
GPU: Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 7900 GRE 16GB
PSU: Corsair RM850e (In order to give headroom to both the updated CPU and GPU)
Case: NZXT H7 Flow (2024) (Specifically going for as much cooling while keeping enough Drive storage)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V 64GB (F4-3200C16Q-64GVK)
SSD: TEAMGROUP 4TB SSD (For updated storage device, will migrate the HDD Info over)
Fans: Noctua Bundle Including: 3X NF-P12 Redux 1700 PWM Fan, 1x NA-SYC1 Y Splitter Cable, 1x NA-SEC1 30cm Extension Cable

BIOS on the Mobo has been updated and already confirmed to be able to take the updated CPU’s (well except for the 5900XT since it’ll literally be brand new in Sept)

Primary Games I regularly play: Assetto Corsa Competizione, Skyrim SE (Modded) (Well once I get Mod Organizer 2 running or the supposed successor to Vortex that coming out: Thanks Steamdeck), Assetto Corsa (dropped in preparation for its successor coming out), Hogwarts Legacy, Cyberpunk 2077, NIGHT-RUNNERS, rFactor2 (might be in consideration as the next sim I’ll get outside of AC EVO), Starfield (assuming I get it on steam sale), Horizon Forbidden West (Complete Edition), and a lot of um… well dirty visual novel games (leave it to every ones imaginations :smirk:).

Programming Needs: Mainly Python Machine Learning (Yeah AI shocker)

Photo Editing: I mainly shoot cars using a Sony a6700, I found the RAW img files are just to heavy in darktable for the 3600 to really handle without having to wait for the changes unlike my M1 Pro Macbook Pro (which is reserved for mobile editing when I’m not in my apartment).

The end goal of this build is to max out as much as I can get from AM4 so I can skip AM5 and jump into AM6 or even AM7 (assuming AMD keeps that naming scheme) before my next full rebuild. My main question is am I overlooking something in the system or is there any need to go this balls to the wall (referring to jumping up to the 5950X)?
Is the Noctua Air cooler I selected good enough or should I look at another model (I figured it would be given how massive the cooler is paired with the two fans but never hurts to ask right?)

I should also mention I’ll be prioritizing the case, PSU, and GPU (I do need better air flow/cooling, and to run the GPU comfortably I want to have the updated PSU).

Why AM4 vs AM5? Given my needs I figured for an all around computer, being able to jump into a Ryzen 9 would be more beneficial than going AM5. As of right now there wasn’t a large performance difference between the Ryzen 9 chips I was looking at vs the AM5 platform X3D chips and given my needs X3D didn’t offer enough benefits to go AM5.

If you go down your current path, what percentage of your use case is gaming? The 5800X3D is a better chip for gaming than even the 5950X.

As for your plan in general, it seems like you are only keeping the MB. Is that really worth it? Couldn’t you sell the entire existing system and switch to AM5 for a similar total cost?

Alternatively, if you really want to upgrade, I would consider keeping more of your existing system to keep the upgrade worthwhile.

Eh…I don’t really think this is true from a performance perspective for the kind of workloads you describe.

So CPU really is kind of the back end of it as mentioned I will be giving priority to the gaming specific components first and supporting devices.
As for rough eatimates of time split is say gaming is ~30% of total use, photo editing would be ~40% and say 30% remaining on just general use (music listening, videos, etc). I’m grluping coding into that 30% general use as well as I normally will have videos or music up while gaming or editing videos.

I did initially think about selling what I have but I’ve been thinking about keeping this chassis and I have another older chassis as backups in case something happens. In reality I do want build my own NAS but this would be later down the line (but having the extra components are good backups).

I’m also not in love with a lot of the mobo for the AM5 (or the intel counterparts) right now either which also is part of the issue as to why I hesitate into jumping into AM5.

And I’ll reiterate b/w videos over seen of actual gameplay comparisons I don’t notice the difference b/w the AM5 & AM4 performance so theres that as well.

And I’ll admit some of this is probably my attachment to AM4 as the current machine was the first pc I built as well.

Unless the tasks are extremely thread bound, the 5800x3D makes more sense as a purchase than any of the AM4 Ryzen 9’s. Also if the 5900xt is anything like the 3000 series XT line, do not even bother purchasing it. 5800x3D is still a 8 core, 16 thread beast and should be great for most use cases.

On the note of AM5, AM5 motherboard combos come fairly often with certain retailers, so I would look into any of those as you can take advantage of faster RAM and a faster architecture overall. But it is up to you, the chips you listed will still last a fair bit of time.

The Ryzen 7 5800X3D vs Ryzen 9 5900X make for an interesting comparison.

Overall, the 5800X3D looks to have an edge only in memory latency, which equates to 5% “effective” benefit (on the basis of UserBenchmark’s tests).

On a per core basis, the 5900X has a marginal edge, but it also has 50% more cores, which is reflected accordingly in tests that make use of them (note 64-core test). It also has better overclock performance, which may further reduce the 5% “effective” performance gap.

I’d probably lean 5900X, because there’s only marginal difference in it, but it still has 4 additional cores that would make a significant difference to workloads that can utilise them.

(of course, whether your workload can utilise them is really the main question)


The cooler you have chosen is more than sufficient for the 5950X or 5800x3D. You can also take a look at the NH-D15 or D15S in the black version. They might be a bit cheaper, the disadvantage would be that they are bigger and bulkier.

If you want to save some money then I can recommend the Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120. This is simply great for its price and the cooling is in the same league as the coolers mentioned above. You can find a test from GamersNexus here (with video).

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It also depends a lot on the resolution you play in. The higher the resolution, the less the CPU has to do and the more important the GPU you use becomes. This statement is of course very simplified and does not apply to every game, but to some.

Nevertheless, the 5800x3D is the better CPU for gaming. If you use a lot of applications that benefit from many cores, the 5900x/5950x is worth considering.

It all depends on the use case/workload as you wrote.

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I chose the Ryzen 9 7900X over the Ryzen 9 7900X3D because of this and because I also use my desktop for things other than gaming.

I would probably have done the same if I had had to choose between the two CPUs. The 7900x3D is unfortunately not a great CPU because only 6 cores have the x3D cache. The 7800x3D and 7950x3D are simply better because they have 8 cores with x3D cache.

I have a 5900x here because I did a lot with virtual machines back then and the 5800x3D wasn’t available at the time. I’ve often toyed with the idea of replacing the CPU but I’m keeping it now.

The platform will probably only be changed with AM6 because the jump with AM5 is too small for me, at least with the 7000 CPUs. Let’s see how good the x3D models of the 9000 series will be.

Yeah and the reasons I’m struggling with this and leaning towards the ryzen 9 5000 series over the ryzen 7 x3d chips is I literally cannot find anything that shows whether my main games (Skyrim and ACC) really benefit from the 3d cache which is actually noticeable (in order for me to sacrifice the extra photo editing performance the 5900x or 5950x would offer me).

Forgot to mention end goal is a stable 1440p min gaming experience is what I’m aiming for on the gaming side (gpu wise I think I got it covered with the rx7900 gre but I’m open to jumping to nvidia if a good price to performance card is available but well I doubt that will happen).

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Yes, the decision is not that easy. Not every game benefits from the x3D cache and unfortunately the 8 cores are slower in applications than the 12 or 16 of the other two processors.

You can take a look at the benchmarks here. A 5800x is compared with a 5800x3D. It might help you with your decision.

Edit: Found a Benchmarkvideo for ACC.

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This is actually a life save or maybe its adding more confusion. Subscribed to the dudes channel and it does look like the x3d chips do have an impact on ACC/AC which is good, but the performance of the 5800x3D got my head scratching here lol.

Also his videos got me questioning whether or not I should just go Nvidia on the GPU now. But I definitely appreciate this. Not sure why I couldn’t find his benchmark videos before.

When we talk about real world performance vs synthetic performance, how much difference do you actually think you are going to see in photo editing between the 5800X3D and 5900X? My guess would be not much. Especially since darktable can use GPU acceleration. (Make sure you remember to enable that).

Also, processing RAW files is heavily influenced by disk I/O. If you are processing them off your SATA HDD that is probably your bottleneck.

On the other hand, the 5800X3D will age much better for games performance and still be very good in photo editing. It also uses less power and generates less heat.

That being said, I still think, given how heavily you are investing in this “upgrade”, you should give a little more thought to AM5. There are a lot of benefits for you. PCIe Gen3->PCIe Gen5. More PCIe lanes. Faster CPU architecture. Faster memory. This setup will age much better.

If you were just upgrading your CPU and GPU I think it makes total sense to keep your exiting system but you are more or less upgrading everything except your motherboard. This is a clear scenario of where you should be building on AM5 at this point.


The extra cache on the X3D makes a huge difference in a lot of games.

Yeah that’s also a good point. This isn’t something that really gets discussed on multiple levels in benchmarking videos (and not enough people really use darktable for it to pop in a video, anyone want to start a youtube channel for this lol).

Yeah as for the AM5 I just recently saw a slightly higher drop on the 7800x3d bundle at Microcenter just pop which would give me motivation. But like mentioned above I’m starting to debate NVIDIA GPU vs AMD GPU (mainly because I have no idea how difficult it will be to switch drivers over initially since I don’t want to necessarily load a clean EOS iso when I do the upgrade).

On the games that make use of it yes I would agree, my issue is that at least from what I’ve been seeing there just some games that refuse to use that extra 3d Cache which is what confuses me. But I think that’s mostly been answered at least from a driving Sim Scenario which is probably where I sink most of my PC Game time into (In terms of of the above percentages I mentioned above I’d say I spend of the ~30% of my gaming, about 50-60% of my PC gaming time on AC/ACC, and the rest spent on RPG’s/JRPG’s/Indie style games).

Switching GPU drivers isn’t hard. However, there are definitely complexities and inconveniences that come with nvidia on Linux.

However, nvidia is making much better gaming GPUs right now in the mid to upper end of the spectrum which makes it a tough call.

I happened to see this today. If you are still undecided, it is definitely worth watching.

He highlights performance across most of the chips you are considering and the charts are also interesting.

It also highlights just how poor the 5950X compares with even the entry level AM5 parts for gaming.


I have 5950X. But 5800X3D better for gaming indeed.

64GB of RAM worth it if you include all cached memory that won’t have to be shrinked anymore with it. Also future proofing until DDR4 are totally forgotten.

I happened to watch this one already. I’ve pretty much decided its a question of ryzen 7 5700x3d/5800x3d or stepping up to the 7800x3d. But I’m still bouncing around ideas.