CPU dilemma - Which one is better for an ITX graphic designer build?

Entersprite

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Sep 6, 2019
4
0
I'm currently building a new PC inside an NCase M1 V6 and having a hard time to decide which platform should I go to. Originally I would have gone with a 9900K/Z390 combo, but recently AMD just have released Zen2 CPUs, and 3900x brought me into a dilemma. Since 9900K is almost a year old product, it's infrastructure is way more matured and it's presented on the used market for around 370€. Meanwhile 3900x has 4 more cores and has 30% more performance in productivity but it costs 570€ at cheapest. Additionally X570 is not just expensive but also has a 40 mm fan onboard. X470 would be fine, but those boards usually have slightly worse VRMs and having a terrible I/Os. So the question is this:

Which one would be better for an ITX home workstation for graphic design/video editing and midnight gaming?
Is the additional 200€ worths to spend to go for 3900X?
Which one will have better thermals in an NCase M1?
 

She loved E

Chassis Packer
Compact Splash
Jun 24, 2015
16
12
I would personally go for the more mature, cheaper platform, unless there's built in features with x570 that you can't live without. It never hurts to have an extra year of bios updates & knowledgebase info as a resource, and reliability will be important since it'll be a workstation.
 
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ignsvn

King of Cable Management
Apr 4, 2016
744
644
Graphic design doesn't really need bleeding edge processors. Even if you work with images from medium or large format cameras, usually you are more limited by your RAM.

Video editing, or 3D work is another story though.

In any case, both are great CPUs, so I think you can't go wrong with both.
 

EndEffeKt

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Mar 23, 2019
105
32
If thermals are a consideration (imho they should be) I would look at the 3700x with 8 cores, but significantly lower powerdraw than the 9900k or 3900x. It is priced pretty competetively too. Goes for 330 euros new here in Germany.
You might get a cooler and therefore quieter system. And it should work without problems with a b450 mobo. Whats your cooling setup?
 

Entersprite

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Sep 6, 2019
4
0
If thermals are a consideration (imho they should be) I would look at the 3700x with 8 cores, but significantly lower powerdraw than the 9900k or 3900x. It is priced pretty competetively too. Goes for 330 euros new here in Germany.
You might get a cooler and therefore quieter system. And it should work without problems with a b450 mobo. Whats your cooling setup?
I'll most probably go with a Dark Rock TF since it looks like the best possible option for air cooling.
What makes me drag to Intel, is ironically the price. Right now an i9 here used costs 320-350 euros and dropping (since everyone is selling their i9s and purchases 3900Xs instead which is now out of stock and the remaining ones costs around 6-700 euros or more). A 3700X lags a bit behind an i9 in terms of performance and if I would use X470 with it I wouldn't even get it's benefits (like PCIe 4.0, better VRMs, wider memory support). And if I'd go with X570, the price difference between the 2 platforms would be 1-200 euros so It would actually worth more to go with Intel, not mentioning that with the latter option gives me better I/O, a Type-E header and no 40mm fan onboard. And honestly nothing really uses 4.0 PCIe except NVMe drives and even they don't really improve especially in a real world scenario. So right now for me Intel ironically became a budget option over AMD.
 
Last edited:

wertigon

Caliper Novice
Sep 13, 2019
26
13
Why not a 2700X then?

The 3700X and the 9900K are pretty much comparable, with the 9900K having a slight edge:


While the 2700X vs 9900K only brings you around a 22% improvement at twice+ the cost (2700X is a nice bargain at this point):


Couple it with an X470 ITX board like the Asrock X470-I and call it a day. The 3700X is also pretty decent in a B450 motherboard, but the best B450s like the MSI B450 Tomahawk is unfortunately ATX-only, the ITX VRMs are not great. Still, for the 3700X the B450 ITX boards are good enough especially if you buy adequate cooling, it's a difference of about 5-10 degrees (75 - 85 deg).

Lastly, X570 is a good idea IF;

1. You plan on buying a high end GPU within the next 2-3 years, that really needs the 4.0 speed (even the 2080 Ti only needs 8x PCIe 3.0 today)
2. You plan to upgrade your CPU for an end-of-the-line AM4 CPU (Ryzen 4xxx most probably), at which point why even bother with the 3900X?
3. You absolutely need the extra performance PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives bring to the table (only if you mess around with a lot of *large* files)
4. You absolutely need all those extra PCIe lanes (mITX, very doubtful, unless you buy an ROG Crosshair VIII Impact)
5. You do not have a way to reflash a B450 / X470 board (usually not a big issue)

Finally, with all that said, from what I understand the 9900K is significantly better for video productivity if you run Adobe. This is because Premiere Pro is especially written to utilize the iGPU to the max. So if that is your daily driver and main reason for the system the choice is pretty easy regardless.