So it’s been something like 6 or 7 years since my last major upgrade to my desktop computer. Nothing wrong with it now per se, but it is getting a bit long in the tooth when it comes to newer features and after 5 generations of new CPUs, the IPC (instructions-per-clock) improvements alone would be worth it, not to mention the extra cores that the latest generation includes.

A few parts were carried over from my old computer, namely the power supply, graphics card, and all my hard drives. The new parts are shown below:

First things first, getting the M.2 heatsink onto the M.2 drive. You can see the M.2 drive itself on the left and then to the right there is the top/bottom heatsink, thermal pads, and clips to hold the heatsinks together.

And there’s the fully assembled M.2 drive.

Place CPU into motherboard. Attach stock CPU cooler (not using the monoblock for now). Put RAM into slots. Put motherboard into case. You can also see the M.2 drive on the lower right corner of the motherboard in the pic below.

Now for the parts that are being moved from my previous computer:

Graphics card was installed then a quick power on test to make sure I don’t have any dead parts. Kinda messy in this photo because of all my monitor/network/peripheral cables that are spaghetti’d under my desk…

No dead parts btw! I actually did have an issue where I’d be getting all these random static-like green dots on the screen and flickering lines but a simple re-seating of the graphics card fixed that. Must’ve not been installed properly the first time. Oops.

And here it is with it everything properly installed, including all the hard drives behind the cover plate on the right. Cable management went pretty well too although the SATA power/data cables is kinda messy (luckily it’s all hidden). The few lights you can see are all RGB-capable but I’ve just set them to a dim static purple for now.

Once the updated Ryzen 2 CPUs come out in April, I’ll see whether it’s worth upgrading to them. After that is when I’ll get around to properly watercooling the system with the monoblock because dismantling a watercooling loop to change components is a major pain the ass.

Benchmarking numbers

Onto some basic benchmarks to show the difference in performance. I used Cinebench R15 and SiSoftware’s Sandra to test the CPU and RAM whereas CrystalDiskMark was used to test the SSDs.

That Cinebench CPU score shows a pretty big difference even though my old 3770K was overclocked to 4.5GHz on all 8 threads. The R5-1600 was going at 3.22GHz since it can only hit that 3.6GHz boost when only two cores are being stressed. I’m guessing the two extra cores it has over the 3770K is the reason for that nice little bump in the score.
Sandra’s processor arithmetic also shows a nice increase by moving from the 4c/8t 3770K to the 6c/12t Ryzen even though clock speeds have dropped.

Memory bandwidth is no surprise since the G.Skill FlareX DDR4 kit memory frequency is much higher than the G.Skill TridentX DDR3 kit. But that latency… I would guess that’s an effect of Ryzen’s multi-module design creating latency because of the communication time between each module? Not that a 60 nanosecond increase would be noticeable anyway.

But goddamn that increase in read/write speeds on the system drive. The older computer was using a SATA3 SSD so that’s why you see it maxing out at just over 550MB/s. SATA3 is rated for 6Gbps. The PCIe x4 interface for M.2 drives is rated for 32Gbps, hence why you can see the new one reaching over 3GB/s read speed in the sequential test.