Build advice (upgrade from a 2070 super & i7 6700k)

Associate
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Hello all, it’s that time again when I come out of the woodwork and ask for upgrade advice.

Current System:
CPU: i7 6700k
GPU: RTX 2070 Super
RAM: 16GB RAM
Storage:
1TB WD Blue 3D NAND M.2 SSD (games and software)​
250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD (OS and software)​
1TB Seagate HDD (documents and photos)​
Case: IN-WIN 503 MIDI Tower Case

Requirements:
  • Gaming (1440p, with ray/path tracing potential)
  • VR
  • Image editing
  • Video processing & encoding
  • AI development
I’m looking at an entirely new build, including storage, although I might reuse the WD Blue M.2 for extra storage.

Budget:
~£2,000
No hard limit but I’m not sure I can convince myself to spend 1.5-2k on a 4090…

Considerations:
CPUs​
GPUs​
Cries for help:
  • GPUs: Any advice or suggestions would be great here. I would be interested in switching to AMD, since the 7900XT and XTX are much better deals than their Nvidia counterparts, but Nvidia appears to have a decent lead when it comes to VR, encoding, ray/path tracing, and AI processing. I am a big fan of DLSS. With that said, I’d be happy to have my mind changed.
  • CPUs: Again, any advice is appreciated. The 7800X3D was my first choice but it has fewer cores and I’m not sure if other options would be better suited to my varied workload.
  • RAM: I need 64gb of RAM for the processing of local LLMs. More than that is probably not necessary.
  • Storage: leaning towards a 2TB M.2 for my primary OS and software drive, and a secondary drive for my heavy use documents and photos. Any suggestions for these drives would be appreciated. Could I use my WD Blue for the secondary or would frequent writing to that be a bad idea?
  • Cooling: do I need water cooling? I’ve never done that before and I’m hoping it’s a lot easier than it used to be.
  • Motherboard: I’m lost…
  • Case: I’d like to reuse my current case, if possible?
Thanks in advance for your guidance and tech wisdomness.
 
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Man of Honour
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GPU: Do you use Cuda? How much of your work is GPU-based? You can usually find content-creation oriented benches on YouTube, or on Puget. I'll assume nvidia is preferable in the below spec.
CPU: I'll do an Intel spec just to give you options, the 13700/13700F usually performs pretty well for productivity, due to the 8 P & 8 E cores, but the 7900 non-X is a pretty nice all-rounder too (GamersNexus have a review on YouTube).
Storage: I might have gone too far with the secondary drive, but it has double the endurance (TBW) of most other drives, at least it does on paper (including WD SN850X, Crucial P5P and Samsung 980/990 Pro).
Case: the components in my spec should be compatible with the case I included and your old case.
Motherboard: what do you need for VR equipment? USB Type-C? Do you need spdif? How many jacks? Is 3 M.2 drives and 4 SATA enough for you?

My basket at OcUK:

Total: £2,048.92 (includes delivery: £11.99)​

With this cooler, which is under £50.

FYI: the DDR5 version of this spec (same board, but DDR5 version and 64GB Kingston 5600) would add about £80 to the build cost.
 
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Associate
OP
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Posts
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Location
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Tetras, mate, I’m having a flashback to 2006 when you replied to my first build thread featuring an E6600 Conroe, and here you are again. I even named my computer “Tetroe” in your honour. What a legend :D

CUDA: yep
USB: I don’t currently have use for a usb-c slot, but I guess it might be useful if newer VR kits require it? My Rift-s uses two USB 3s but I might upgrade soon. Plenty of USB 3.0s would be ideal though.
SPDIF: i do have a SPDIF-OUT but I don’t think I us it.
HDDS: yup, 3 m.2s and 4 SATA is fine.

I’ve saved myself £100 and saved the 1TB version of the firecuda m.2. I don’t use a huge amount of storage for files.

I’ve also switched out the ddr4 version for the dd5, and the 13700f for the k so any troubleshooting down the line is a bit easier and I can also overclock a little.

My basket at OcUK:

Total: £1,994.84 (includes delivery: £7.99)​




Would you change anything at that price now?

I also noticed the graphics card and psu you suggested were for pre-order. Is there a reason you preferred those specific ones rather than in-stock alternatives? If they’re worth waiting for, I’m happy to wait.

Thanks again for the help mate.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
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Posts
12,588
Would you change anything at that price now?

Nope, looks pretty solid for the Intel/nvidia option.

I also noticed the graphics card and psu you suggested were for pre-order. Is there a reason you preferred those specific ones rather than in-stock alternatives? If they’re worth waiting for, I’m happy to wait.

Graphics card: just the warranty length. TPU and Guru3D have quite a few 4070 AIB reviews if you want to compare models, though I'm not sure how applicable the 4070 coolers are to the 4070 ti.
PSU: the price for a 750 with decent warranty, which is atx 3.0 with a native 12/16 pin. For in-stock right now, I'd probably swap for the MSI A850G PCIE5.

Tetras, mate, I’m having a flashback to 2006 when you replied to my first build thread featuring an E6600 Conroe, and here you are again. I even named my computer “Tetroe” in your honour. What a legend :D

"Tetroe" :D Wow, you have a good memory. I had a read of the old thread, takes me back, I think I forgot half the stuff I knew back then, but glad I could help when I was just a whippersnapper :o
 
Associate
OP
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Graphics card: just the warranty length. TPU and Guru3D have quite a few 4070 AIB reviews if you want to compare models, though I'm not sure how applicable the 4070 coolers are to the 4070 ti.
PSU: the price for a 750 with decent warranty, which is atx 3.0 with a native 12/16 pin. For in-stock right now, I'd probably swap for the MSI A850G PCIE5.



"Tetroe" :D Wow, you have a good memory. I had a read of the old thread, takes me back, I think I forgot half the stuff I knew back then, but glad I could help when I was just a whippersnapper :o
I can't believe that was almost 20 years ago, I was at uni a the time and it only feels like yesterday...

Anyways, OC had one of the zotac's in stock and I switched out the PSU, so it's all ordered and already on the way. Thanks again mate. I guess I should call this one TetraRaptor :D
 
Soldato
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Uk
A 7800X3D + 7900XT is the sensible option, not worth buying any of the Nvidia gpus under the 4080 since 12gb VRAM wont be cutting it for long and once you're spending that kind of money you might as well just get a 4090 as its so much better than anything else.

Screenshot-545.png
 
Associate
OP
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A 7800X3D + 7900XT is the sensible option, not worth buying any of the Nvidia gpus under the 4080 since 12gb VRAM wont be cutting it for long and once you're spending that kind of money you might as well just get a 4090 as its so much better than anything else....

That may be true for rasterization based gaming, but I need the card to also cover RTX, video encoding & editing, VR, and AI processing. From what I have seen, AMD falls behind in all of these areas, doesn't it?

As for the 4090, it's double the cost of the 4070ti. I've fallen into the trap of thinking like "you might as well just spend more for that price" but where do you draw the line... if I'm going to buy the 4090 I may as well just also spend "a bit more" to buy the most expensive CPU too, and before I know it I've gone from spending £2000 to £4000.

I'm not sure Jedi Survivor is the best analogy of things to come to be honest...it's horribly optimised. The main issue seems to be developers relying on direct storage on consoles, and the lack of DS implementation in PC games is artificially stretching the VRAM demands on PC gaming. If they don't fix that, even the 4090 won't have enough VRAM in a years time.
 
Associate
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If it was me and you can't go AMD I would definitely be looking at a 4080 minimum. If you plan on keeping the card for a few years. I think 12gb will become the bare minimum but 16gb the recommended in much sooner time then we think. 4080s can be had for 1100 - 1200 so not too far off your budget.
 
Associate
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If it was me and you can't go AMD I would definitely be looking at a 4080 minimum. If you plan on keeping the card for a few years. I think 12gb will become the bare minimum but 16gb the recommended in much sooner time then we think. 4080s can be had for 1100 - 1200 so not too far off your budget.
It’s not that I can’t go AMD, I’ve been very tempted to go that way, because for rasterisation-gaming they’re the best bang for the buck by far, but once you factor in my other requirements and the quality of DLSS2 (and now the potential of DLSS3), the Nvidia option becomes much more competitive.

Would the AMD options perform better than a 4070ti at 1440p while using DLSS2 and/or DLSS3? That’s the question I was hoping to get some clarity on. Of course my other requirements and use cases had to be considered too, and I personally have no knowledge of AMD’s performance with AI, encoding, and so on.

As for the 4080, it still costs a third more than the 4070ti at a fifth of the performance gain. I admit, I’m tempted to amend my choices, but at 1440p is it worth it?
 
Man of Honour
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I can't believe that was almost 20 years ago, I was at uni a the time and it only feels like yesterday...

Anyways, OC had one of the zotac's in stock and I switched out the PSU, so it's all ordered and already on the way. Thanks again mate. I guess I should call this one TetraRaptor :D

You're welcome. Tetraraptor :cry:

I like it :D

As for the 4080, it still costs a third more than the 4070ti at a fifth of the performance gain. I admit, I’m tempted to amend my choices, but at 1440p is it worth it?

For a quick summary, what I usually do is check out the average FPS graphs on TPU. for a recent GPU review and compare the raster and RTX graphs (if relevant), to get an idea of the playability level.

My personal opinion is that a 4070 Ti for 1440p is fine and would last me quite awhile (4-5 years maybe), but then I'm happy with playing at 1440p/60 medium. For you, if your work uses a lot of the GPU and it needs VRAM and you like to play with ray tracing, I think the advice above is far more relevant to you and to your requirements, than what it would be to me.

(DLSS) Hardware unboxed do semi-regular updates on the status of upscaling tech, you might be interested in watching those.

About AMD and content creation, I think this can change a lot even just based on driver updates and software optimisation, but you're more likely to have a stress-free experience with nvidia. Puget benches and YouTube can definitely help, but how long these results stay valid, I'm really not sure. Having something that can substitute for cuda would be super important too, I should imagine and I'm not sure all apps can even support that.
 
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Associate
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It’s not that I can’t go AMD, I’ve been very tempted to go that way, because for rasterisation-gaming they’re the best bang for the buck by far, but once you factor in my other requirements and the quality of DLSS2 (and now the potential of DLSS3), the Nvidia option becomes much more competitive.

Would the AMD options perform better than a 4070ti at 1440p while using DLSS2 and/or DLSS3? That’s the question I was hoping to get some clarity on. Of course my other requirements and use cases had to be considered too, and I personally have no knowledge of AMD’s performance with AI, encoding, and so on.

As for the 4080, it still costs a third more than the 4070ti at a fifth of the performance gain. I admit, I’m tempted to amend my choices, but at 1440p is it worth it?

I think given you intend to keep it for 5 years that the 4080 is a far better investment as the VRAM at 1440p will likely become an issue in that timeframe, as for AMD I am afraid I have no knowledge of encoding AI etc with them, I can say however that having owned a RX6800 for the last 2.5 years I have been very happy with them as gaming hardware and their software a joy to use. If I had bought an 8gb 3070 back then (was in my basket) I can't say I would be as happy right now despite it having features such as ray tracing etc. Food for thought maybe ?
 
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OP
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I think given you intend to keep it for 5 years that the 4080 is a far better investment as the VRAM at 1440p will likely become an issue in that timeframe, as for AMD I am afraid I have no knowledge of encoding AI etc with them, I can say however that having owned a RX6800 for the last 2.5 years I have been very happy with them as gaming hardware and their software a joy to use. If I had bought an 8gb 3070 back then (was in my basket) I can't say I would be as happy right now despite it having features such as ray tracing etc. Food for thought maybe ?

Absolutely, I appreciate the food for thought, thank you. I won't be putting the build together just yet and I may be building a pc for my nephew too, so I have some room to play. I won't be building a whole new pc in the next 5 years but I'm definitely up for upgrading the GPU within that time-frame.

For a quick summary, what I usually do is check out the average FPS graphs on TPU. for a recent GPU review and compare the raster and RTX graphs (if relevant), to get an idea of the playability level...

I have been doing a lot of research and watching YouTube comparisons but of course it's hard to find such reviews that cover my range of use cases. I'll check out Hardware Unboxed, thank you.

My 2070 super runs 1440p with DLSS2 at high settings reasonably well, even in cyberpunk, and the performance I've seen from the 4070 upwards is a massive jump, but I'll think more on the GPU and consider the suggestions.
 
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