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Off-Topic Discussion => General Discussion => Topic started by: Wobble73 on July 01, 2020, 11:20:21 am

Title: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: Wobble73 on July 01, 2020, 11:20:21 am
Hi Folks,

I have this PC build at the moment,  any advice on upgrades for this build?

Operating System
   Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
CPU
   Intel Xeon X5690 @ 3.47GHz   
   Westmere-EP 32nm Technology
   Intel Xeon X5690 @ 3.47GHz   
   Westmere-EP 32nm Technology
RAM
   40.0GB Triple-Channel DDR3 @ 664MHz (9-9-9-24)
Motherboard
   Dell Inc. 0D883F (CPU1)
Graphics
   Philips FTV ([email protected])
   Panasonic-TV ([email protected])
   8192MB ATI Radeon RX 580 Series (Unknown)   
Storage
   223GB KINGSTON SA400S37240G (SATA-2 (SSD))   
   1863GB Hitachi HUA722020ALA330 (SATA )   40 °C
   1863GB Seagate Portable SCSI Disk Device (USB (SATA) )   
Optical Drives
   TSSTcorp DVD+-RW TS-H653G
Audio
   AMD High Definition Audio Device
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: The E on July 01, 2020, 12:36:07 pm
The only thing you can reasonably upgrade there is the GPU; for anything more substantial, you're looking at going for some Threadripper/3950X-based build.

That said, what do you want to do with the system? What are the bottlenecks you're experiencing?
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: Luis Dias on July 01, 2020, 01:01:54 pm
I'd say that the one thing that really stands out in that list as less-tier than all the rest is the SSD disk's size, unless that USB disk is also a SSD. I'd get a 1TB SDD for my windows / programs / games install folders.

Oh and yeah, that graphic card could get an update.

But this all stands on the idea that you really need an update... I mean that's way better than my build and I'm fine with my pc.
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: MitoPL on July 01, 2020, 01:20:58 pm
This looks to me like a single CPU server system based on the highest model of old LGA1366 Xeons. So not too much contest with modern offerings, especially if you take into consideration modern AMD systems. Slightly newer Xeon systems than what you have will be either an only incremental upgrade over what you have, more expensive than a fresh AMD system, or both.

Generally like The E mentioned, firstly you need to decide over what you want to do with the system and possibly find the bottlenecks. If this is your gaming machine, some games might have problems with utilising many weak cores, and will hit a CPU bottleneck, other games might be able to use 12 threads nicely but will choke on the GPU performance. It's hard to tell exactly.

@Luis Dias: a 1TB SSD, even a cheap one, would be overkill for such a system. Nowadays this is considered a very budget system, although most people building these today would use like a slightly slower $30 X5650 mixed with a consumer X58 chipset board and overclock it. So a 240GB SSD fits in here quite nicely. Still, it all depends on the use case.
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: Luis Dias on July 01, 2020, 05:07:19 pm
A 250GB SSD is constantly running into low space issues,  and if it is a game rig, I'd assume all the games would/ should be run on the SSD, it's just an entirely different experience, believe me.  I have a 500GB SSD and I would gladly have the extra space myself, and I'm not even that much of a gamer nowadays.
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: MitoPL on July 02, 2020, 06:36:47 am
Cheapest 1TB SSDs are roughly as expensive as decent B450 motherboards or low end Ryzen CPUs (quick peek at Newegg). Slightly upgrading your current, old system by putting a fresh Windows install on a small volume SSD, and maybe carrying over a couple favourite games is a very common way of a budget upgrade of some old computer, aimed in the direction of improving system responsiveness. And this is a system based on the first generation of Intel Core (the X5690 is basically a renamed i7-990X), so it is a budget system, all things considering.

Everything depends on the use case.
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: Wobble73 on July 02, 2020, 02:29:22 pm
I'd say that the one thing that really stands out in that list as less-tier than all the rest is the SSD disk's size, unless that USB disk is also a SSD. I'd get a 1TB SDD for my windows / programs / games install folders.

Oh and yeah, that graphic card could get an update.

But this all stands on the idea that you really need an update... I mean that's way better than my build and I'm fine with my pc.

Hi,

Yes the USB disk is an SSD.

I only put this up here as I wasn't sure as to the CPU as to being used in a gaming rig seeing as it was built for other purposes.

As for the graphics card I agree it could dowith an upgrade, altough Steam VR test tells me I'm good to go as a well working VR machine, scoring quite highly. Although I would like to get some ray tracing technology to see how it performs.


Surprised no-one picked up on the monitor? It just being a small Panasonic TV? But I also have it hooked up to a 42" Samsung UHD TV too, just use the smaller tv more often lol

Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: The E on July 02, 2020, 02:55:19 pm
I only put this up here as I wasn't sure as to the CPU as to being used in a gaming rig seeing as it was built for other purposes.

As a gaming rig, your system is ... not optimal. Dual-Socket CPU solutions are not that well supported outside the professional workstation/server market; Games will use only one of those CPUs (and likely not that many of its cores). And, well, they're Xeons: While very capable, they are not known for their blistering IPC, which is still something games need.
In addition, the old RAM you're using isn't that good either; modern DDR4 is cheaper and much faster.

Quote
Surprised no-one picked up on the monitor? It just being a small Panasonic TV? But I also have it hooked up to a 42" Samsung UHD TV too, just use the smaller tv more often lol

Monitors are one of those areas where "if it works for you it's probably fine" holds true, and there are a lot of differing tastes and use cases to consider. Personally, for example, I would ditch those and use a proper ultrawide (I'm currently using an LG 38WK95C, which is a 38" curved ultrawide with 3840x1600 pixels at 75 Hz -- But that's because I have built my work environment around an ultrawide. Some of my colleagues are big fans of vertically oriented screens; for them, this would be unworkable.
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: Wobble73 on July 02, 2020, 03:17:29 pm
I only put this up here as I wasn't sure as to the CPU as to being used in a gaming rig seeing as it was built for other purposes.

As a gaming rig, your system is ... not optimal. Dual-Socket CPU solutions are not that well supported outside the professional workstation/server market; Games will use only one of those CPUs (and likely not that many of its cores). And, well, they're Xeons: While very capable, they are not known for their blistering IPC, which is still something games need.
In addition, the old RAM you're using isn't that good either; modern DDR4 is cheaper and much faster.

Quote
Surprised no-one picked up on the monitor? It just being a small Panasonic TV? But I also have it hooked up to a 42" Samsung UHD TV too, just use the smaller tv more often lol

Monitors are one of those areas where "if it works for you it's probably fine" holds true, and there are a lot of differing tastes and use cases to consider. Personally, for example, I would ditch those and use a proper ultrawide (I'm currently using an LG 38WK95C, which is a 38" curved ultrawide with 3840x1600 pixels at 75 Hz -- But that's because I have built my work environment around an ultrawide. Some of my colleagues are big fans of vertically oriented screens; for them, this would be unworkable.

I suppose so, although I also can use an Oculus Go headset and Virtual Desktop in dark cinema mode. Playing Warzone is quite immersive although not true VR, its like playing on a real massive cinema screen which fills our whole vision.
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: MitoPL on July 03, 2020, 12:40:28 am
As a gaming rig, your system is ... not optimal. Dual-Socket CPU solutions are not that well supported outside the professional workstation/server market; Games will use only one of those CPUs (and likely not that many of its cores). And, well, they're Xeons: While very capable, they are not known for their blistering IPC, which is still something games need.

The Dell 0D883F is a single socket board, though? At least that's what the Internet tells me... Is this system a Dell Precision T5500?
And, well, as I mentioned before: this Xeon should effectively be a repackaged i7-990X, maybe with some better silicon quality.

Xeons on this socket are a popular low cost part often used in bugdet used gaming rigs, as long as you've got access to cheap 1366 boards, and they can still deliver some decent performance, although it's first generation Intel Core so there is a lot to be desired. There are a couple (https://www.reddit.com/r/lowspecgamer/comments/9e2u2h/can_a_xeon_x5650_run_low_resolution_vr_games/) threads (https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/4bzjvy/older_xeon_processors_seem_to_do_fine_with_vr_got/) on this family of CPUs doing... well enough with VR games, although with some drawbacks. So I guess that as long as you don't play CPU intensive titles, you're fine.

As for upgrade paths... Well, with such a platform you'd normally overclock this CPU and maybe try using faster RAM with it, but this will bring you only small performance benefits, and probably is impossible on this motherboard anyway.

One thing I'd want to mention is that you're using an external USB SSD, but the motherboard has got USB 2.0 only; that means that while your SSD should be able to have read speeds of up to about 500MB/s, the USB 2.0 interface will effectively limit that speed to about one tenth of that. The solution would be to use some USB 3.0 PCIe expansion card, although it'd probably be cumbersome to access. Eventually you could try seeing if you can pull the drive out of the USB case and connect it directly to your motherboard via SATA interface. This won't improve performance but will speed up data transfers and possibly reduce loading times.

Generally, if you're looking for some considerable performance improvement, there's no way around replacing the platform (motherboard, CPU, RAM) for something more modern. And if this is a Dell Precision T5500, that means building an entire new computer. Except the graphics card, storage and any accesories you might be using.
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: Wobble73 on July 03, 2020, 07:47:09 am
As a gaming rig, your system is ... not optimal. Dual-Socket CPU solutions are not that well supported outside the professional workstation/server market; Games will use only one of those CPUs (and likely not that many of its cores). And, well, they're Xeons: While very capable, they are not known for their blistering IPC, which is still something games need.

The Dell 0D883F is a single socket board, though? At least that's what the Internet tells me... Is this system a Dell Precision T5500?
And, well, as I mentioned before: this Xeon should effectively be a repackaged i7-990X, maybe with some better silicon quality.

Xeons on this socket are a popular low cost part often used in bugdet used gaming rigs, as long as you've got access to cheap 1366 boards, and they can still deliver some decent performance, although it's first generation Intel Core so there is a lot to be desired. There are a couple (https://www.reddit.com/r/lowspecgamer/comments/9e2u2h/can_a_xeon_x5650_run_low_resolution_vr_games/) threads (https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/4bzjvy/older_xeon_processors_seem_to_do_fine_with_vr_got/) on this family of CPUs doing... well enough with VR games, although with some drawbacks. So I guess that as long as you don't play CPU intensive titles, you're fine.

As for upgrade paths... Well, with such a platform you'd normally overclock this CPU and maybe try using faster RAM with it, but this will bring you only small performance benefits, and probably is impossible on this motherboard anyway.

One thing I'd want to mention is that you're using an external USB SSD, but the motherboard has got USB 2.0 only; that means that while your SSD should be able to have read speeds of up to about 500MB/s, the USB 2.0 interface will effectively limit that speed to about one tenth of that. The solution would be to use some USB 3.0 PCIe expansion card, although it'd probably be cumbersome to access. Eventually you could try seeing if you can pull the drive out of the USB case and connect it directly to your motherboard via SATA interface. This won't improve performance but will speed up data transfers and possibly reduce loading times.

Generally, if you're looking for some considerable performance improvement, there's no way around replacing the platform (motherboard, CPU, RAM) for something more modern. And if this is a Dell Precision T5500, that means building an entire new computer. Except the graphics card, storage and any accesories you might be using.

Yes it is a Dell Prceision Workstatrion T5500

There is some room for expansion inside the case, a couple of  PCIE slots free, but space is definitely at a premium inside this case, There is a large heatsink and fan inside with 3 sticks of ram on it, then the motherboard has another 4-6 stacks of ram.
Is this motherboard capable of using faster ram? If so what speed can I get away with?
I thought having so much Ram that the speed wouldn't make much difference seeing as it can hold so much more data?
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: The E on July 03, 2020, 02:11:53 pm
Is this motherboard capable of using faster ram? If so what speed can I get away with?

You are already using the fastest RAM that Dell lists as compatible.

Quote
I thought having so much Ram that the speed wouldn't make much difference seeing as it can hold so much more data?

That's .... not how that works. For gaming performance, memory access latency and bandwidth are the determining factors; memory size only provides an ancillary benefit in that it allows the OS to cache more things.

You're basically limited by the fact that your system is 11 years old. It's not bad or unusable, as modern games can make better use of multicore CPUs and since it does have PCIe slots, upgrading the GPU is possible without much issue (depending on the PSU, of course; knowing Dell and their affinity for proprietary ones, there may be a hard wattage limit.
Title: Re: Advice on my PC build?
Post by: MitoPL on July 03, 2020, 03:20:26 pm
Generally, for gaming the memory size works mostly in the spectrum of "is enough, doesn't lag/crash" or "is not enough, will lag/crash". For gaming you rather want to have the fastest RAM possible, as long as it is enough capacity. Of course more RAM might let you multitask, like for example run your internet browser in the background of your game.

@The E: Dell lists max RAM speed there as 1333MHz for the motherboard... I'm not sure if the RAM speed he listed is before the effective speed doubling, or after. But I guess it's the "real" speed then?

So generally, outside of plopping in a better GPU (and connecting the USB drive differently as I mentioned earlier), there isn't really much you can do, except basically building a new computer.

I don't even think you'll be able to carry over the case and power supply from your current workstation, as they're probably some proprietary Dell form factor/connector spec that won't fit any normal off-the-shelf part.