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  1. #1
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    Upgrade advice

    Hi, guys! As I'm in the middle of my exams and as I "treat" myself afterwards with something, I've decided this year's gonna be huge.

    I'm planning to switch from my Sandy Bridge platform to Coffee Lake (most likely).

    Current Setup:

    ASRock Fatal1ty P67 1155 MB
    2700K (4.6 GHz)
    16GB DDR3 1600 MHz

    My plan is the following:

    MBO: Asus Maximus X Hero
    CPU: 8700K
    RAM: Any brand 2800 MHz + DDR4
    (still debating on this) Samsung 960 EVO Series - 500GB NVMe - M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6E500BW)

    As this is a lot of money, I would like to talk to someone who has Coffee Lake, because there are a few points that need to be addressed:

    The primary reason I want to change the platform is that I want improved VM performance (I use VMs a LOT), that's why I was thinking of either putting the 500 GB M.2 as my primary Boot drive and then use the current 250 GB SATA as a VM storage to improve performance.
    Consequently I need a lot of processing power, quite frankly, when you have two VMs open and 35 tabs in FF, things are not smooth. RAM is fine, usually use 13/16 GBs. I encode videos from time to time, but that's really minor. I expect major differences unzipping wise and such.

    The second point why I want to change the platform is the bottlenecking of my 1080 (yes, even at 4K) by the 2700K.

    The third point is that I want to sell the SB setup while I still can get some money for it.

    It would be nice to hear what you think of this and what are your experiences after an upgrade. I'm wondering if 6 cores will suffice or should I wait a bit longer and go 8 core.

    FYI, I'm looking at this as a long-term solution (5 years at least).

    I have (approximately) 1600 $ to spend. I would like to spend around 1300 tops if possible.

    Also, my current CPU cooler is CM Hyper 212 (bought with the PC 6 years ago), I'm wondering if I should go with sth else or stick to this.

    So, to make it a TD;LR

    Please confirm that VMs function normally on CL.

    Sandy Bridge to Coffee Lake yay or nay?


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  2. #2
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    I'm not a hardware and have no passion for that aspect of it. I do have some people that work for me that are VERY passionate so I thought I would pass the question to one of them. Here was the response.

    So these are kind of vague questions so rather than answering them directly, Ill just provide some general thoughts.

    Yes, going from Sandy Bridge to Coffee Lake would be a good upgrade. Each individual iteration between 2nd and 8th Gen has been minor but when taken cumulatively, is pretty significant at this point. However, with the looming Spectre and Meltdown fixes in the works I personally would hold off for a few months to see how that shakes out. AMD is making an aggressive push in the performance market and since they arent impacted as much by Spectre and Meltdown as Intel, they very well could win the value race when its all said and done. But if hes set on Intel, nothing wrong with upgrading now just with the knowledge that day 1 performance might not equal day 60 performance.

    Truly though I think the bigger upgrade in performance would be from the Motherboard/memory upgrades and adding in the M.2.

    But all in all, sounds like a good plan if he can swing it in his budget so Id give it a yay. Although, given the budget confines Id bump the 8700K down to an i5 8600K and save over $100. Hyper-Threading isnt all its cracked up to be and in some virtualized workflows, actually slows things down if theres not enough cache. But thats a whole other conversation.

    P.S. Im a bit confused by the question but yes, assuming hes using a real Hypervisor (Hyper-V, XenServer or VMWare), VMs work very well on Coffee Lake. If its anything other than those two (VirtualBox or anything like that) he may want to contact the manufacturer to make sure its supported.
    Last edited by BrianDrab; 01-22-2018 at 02:11 PM.
    niemiro and softwaremaniac say thanks for this.

  3. #3
    Digerati's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    Well, I can't speak from personal experience as my CPU is a Skylake.

    See this: UserBenchmark: Intel Core i7-2700K vs i7-8700K

    It seems clear the 8700K will outshine the 2700K.

    I'm not sure what your question is concerning SSDs. Since that M.2 SSDs is PCIe based (M.2 comes in PCIe or SATA) it will be faster than your current SATA SSD. Whether you notice it or not is another matter. On some tasks you might, on others you won't.

    If you will not be doing extreme overclocking, the EVO cooler should be fine - assuming fan bearings are still good. The cooler is always something you can upgrade later. Just remember, it is the case's responsibility to provide a sufficient supply of cool air flowing through the case. The CPU cooler need only toss the CPU's heat up into that flow. If the flow is not sufficient, you will have heat build up.

    Are you using that Silverstone KL04B listed in your specs? If so, 1 x 120mm Rear Fan, 1 x 120mm Side Fan and 1 x 120mm Top Fan should be plenty. I prefer 140mm fans because they move more air while making less noise, but 120mm fans can move a lot of air too. And while you are not really supposed to count the PSU fan, it helps with the flow too (or at least does not hurt it).

    Don't forget, since a new motherboard constitutes a new computer, unless your current Windows license is a full retail license, you will need to budget for a new Windows license too - to be legal.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  4. #4
    Tekno Venus's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    For a good, in-depth dive into benchmarks between the two, see here: i7-2600K vs. i7-8700K - Is Upgrading Worthwhile?.

    For VMs, more RAM is better, and if you can afford it it might be worth looking at increasing your RAM as high as you can afford (e.g 32GB). However, RAM prices at the moment are ridiculously high, so it might be best to start with 16GB and wait until RAM prices come back down again (hopefully) to increase it.

    What hypervisor are you using for your VMs?

    The 8700K is known to run quite hot, so upgrading your CPU cooler might be a good idea. I would recommend a Noctua cooler, something like their NH-U14S would be a great choice.


  5. #5
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    First of all thank you everyone for your kind comments. I have spoken to the person I buy my HW from and things are not looking up... I'm going to have to dial it down a bit after all, because the prices and availability in Croatia are insane. So it's not going to be 500GB SSD, but a 250 GB one most likely and he's unsure he can get the Hero for me.

    @Brian

    While I respect AMD for what they've done, I've always sided with Intel, and I don't know... I'd rather go with Intel. And taking it down a notch to an i5 is not an option for me. I'd rather wait a few more months and gain the budget needed.
    Interesting points on the memory, but I really don't feel I need that much now. That's a minor investment really, and I can always upgrade it later down the road if I feel that's not enough. and yes, I'm using VMware Workstation.

    @Bill

    Case has a great airflow, the guy who set it up for me paid attention to that. OS licence is not an issue as I get that from my uni. The SSD thing... I'm worried about potential overheating of it. I know that these do get very hot.

    @Stephen
    VMware Workstation is the hypervisor. Ah, Noctua, I like them performance wise, but they are so UGLY with their beige fans. UGH. I won't be OC-ing right away. Just like I wasn't with my 2700K. Only when it started to exhibit slowness.


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  6. #6
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    Quote Originally Posted by softwaremaniac View Post
    VMware Workstation is the hypervisor. Ah, Noctua, I like them performance wise, but they are so UGLY with their beige fans. UGH. I won't be OC-ing right away. Just like I wasn't with my 2700K. Only when it started to exhibit slowness.
    I have a noctua fan, and it's great. You can't see the colour once it's in the machine. They do make black fans now anyway NF-A14 PWM chromax.black.swap


  7. #7
    Digerati's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    Case has a great airflow, the guy who set it up for me paid attention to that. OS licence is not an issue as I get that from my uni. The SSD thing... I'm worried about potential overheating of it. I know that these do get very hot.
    Some may seem like they get "very hot" but, unless something is wrong, they really don't. SSDs are really very heat tolerant from the start. Note that more and more quality cases are even putting SSD mounting points behind the motherboard where they get very little air flow and no overheating problems are being reported.

    For example, if you look at the specs for that 960 EVO M.2, it has a normal operating temperature of 32F to 158F (0C to 70C). While 70C for a CPU is not much, that is very high for what amounts to memory modules. And that SSD is also "Temperature proof" meaning it will protect itself and shutdown before any damage might occur should it somehow get too hot.

    With your case, I would not worry about your SSDs overheating.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  8. #8
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
    Case has a great airflow, the guy who set it up for me paid attention to that. OS licence is not an issue as I get that from my uni. The SSD thing... I'm worried about potential overheating of it. I know that these do get very hot.
    Some may seem like they get "very hot" but, unless something is wrong, they really don't. SSDs are really very heat tolerant from the start. Note that more and more quality cases are even putting SSD mounting points behind the motherboard where they get very little air flow and no overheating problems are being reported.

    For example, if you look at the specs for that 960 EVO M.2, it has a normal operating temperature of 32F to 158F (0C to 70C). While 70C for a CPU is not much, that is very high for what amounts to memory modules. And that SSD is also "Temperature proof" meaning it will protect itself and shutdown before any damage might occur should it somehow get too hot.

    With your case, I would not worry about your SSDs overheating.
    Samsung 950 Pro M.2 Throttling Analysis


  9. #9
    Digerati's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    Hmmm, those are surprising results. I wonder how the 960 would compare to that 950 - though they have the same published specs.

    I do note they say in reference to the throttling, "we wouldn't expect anyone to actually see this in the real world outside of very specific circumstances."
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  10. #10
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    960 Pro seems to have similar heat issues, though there are other NVMe drives that might be worse. The hotter versions I'd not run in a notebook; in a PC case I'd use mini heatsinks and possibly a heat shield deflecting a local heat source, depending on the 'board layout.

    Cooling a HOT M2 NVMe drive | Overclockers Forums

    EK-M.2 NVMe Heatsink - Black – EK Webshop

  11. #11
    Digerati's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    Since looking into this more and more since Mihael's opening post, I am surprised to find so many reports of these SSDs running so hot. At the same time, I am surprised to find so few reports from users complaining about poor and degraded SSD performance caused by heat. I've only had a handful of builds with M.2 SSDs but none of those clients have complained of degraded or throttled performance. I fear that, once again, benchmark program results and simulated laboratory stress tests are skewing perceptions of real world realities.

    If these devices really needed their own cooling devices, it seems to me the big makers would bundle heatsinks with these devices. In such large quantities, the added costs would be negligible.

    What bothers me too is misguided, poorly executed (lackluster?) reaction by the industry - "IF" this is really a problem. I note this Gamers NEXUS review, MSI's M.2 "Heat Shield" Increases SSD Temperature.

    Just checking Samsungs website, I don't see any M.2 SSDs with heatsinks, not even the monster $1300 960 Pro NVMe M.2 2TB SSD. Why not? Surely Samsung would not want the bad publicity with heating issues would cause? That $15.85 heatsink in Satrow's 2nd link probably costs a couple dollars wholesale in large quantities. Just as effective (though perhaps not as pretty) OEM sinks would cost just pennies in large quantities.

    Why aren't these SSD makers bundling heatsinks so their marketing departments can tout how superior their SSDs are?

    Something is not adding up.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  12. #12
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    New NVMe heatsink testing review: M.2-heatsinks review: which SSD-cooler performs best?

  13. #13
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    That was an interesting review. Not sure I would come to the same conclusions.

    We also performed all tests with the airflow of a 92mm-fan at a distance of a casefan in the average case.
    When was the last time you saw a modern case with a relatively small 92mm fan? Would buyers of these high-end (and expensive) SSDs use such a case with that sort of limited cooling? Was that really an "average case"?

    Just looking at several mid-tower cases here from Fractal Design, Corsair, NZXT and TT, not one even supports a 92mm fan. They all support a minimum of 2 x 120mm (most support both 120mm and 140mm and more than just 2 case fans).

    It is the computer builder's and user's responsibility to ensure case cooling is properly set up and sufficient for the components inside, cable routing is properly managed, and the case interior is kept clean of heat trapping dust. I accept that fan noise is a consideration. But the reality is, quality, quiet fans will not break the bank. And most decent, and affordable cases these days do come with quality fans.

    As long as you have some cooling, there does not necessarily seem to be a link between the temperature and performance.
    Exactly! I've been saying for YEARS it is the case's responsibility to provide a sufficient supply of cool air flowing through the case to justify using OEM CPU coolers instead of wasting money on aftermarket coolers. IMO, the same applies here (assuming the M.2 is not hiding behind a rat's nest of cables or expansion cards).

    Look at the 2 charts on Page 4, Results: temperatures. The first graph is without any fan (who would do that?). And the second graph is with that little 92mm. There is a HUGE difference. Imagine what it would be like in a properly cooled case where there was at least a couple 120mm case fans, if not 140mm fans. But that review did not use a properly cooled case.

    I guess the purpose of the review was to compare those heatsinks so if that was the intent, I might come to the same conclusion.

    But what I really want to know is, do I need a 3rd party heatsink for my M.2 if I have fulfilled my responsibility of insuring proper case cooling? Again, I think the SSD makers would include one (or at least suggest one in the documentation) if it was really needed. After all, they sure don't want their customers complaining their expensive SSDs don't perform as advertised.

    I note according to the Samsung SSD 960 EVO M.2 data sheet (PDF file),
    In most cases of data transfers, heavy workloads induce heat. Once temperatures reach a threshold, memory performance may be adversely affected. As the leader in SSD memory solutions, the 960 EVO adopts a new heat spreader for dissipating heat more efficiently during heavy workload use. It achieves this by integrating a thin copper film and because copper is a great heat conductor it helps to shed heat faster than would be possible without the label.
    Is everybody but Samsung saying the OEM heat spreader is worthless?

    The conclusion I have come to is if your M.2 SSD is throttling due to heat, it is because you, as the user, have failed to set up proper case cooling. If the case is not providing adequate flow to extract the heat and prevent heat buildup, that is not the fault of the SSD (or CPU, RAM, etc.).
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    MS MVP 2007 - 2018

    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

  14. #14

    Re: Upgrade advice

    Will Dual channel memory make any difference with this MOBO?
    Back to time having two identical RAM chips was making huge difference in the performance.
    In a world without fences and walls, who needs Gates and Windows?


  15. #15
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        W7 x64 Pro

    Re: Upgrade advice

    Any differences will likely be marginal either way (though I've not seen any VMs tested), depending on the specific software in use. Throughput is (obviously) better on dual but some of that's offset by the usually higher latency.
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  16. #16
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      • Motherboard:
        ASUS MAXIMUS ROG HERO X
      • CPU:
        Intel Core i7-8700K 3.7GHz
      • Memory:
        Crucial 2x8GB DDR4 2666 MHz
      • Graphics:
        Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming 8 GB
      • Sound Card:
        Asus Xonar DSX
      • Hard Drives:
        WD Caviar Black 1TB SATA III 7200rpm, WD Caviar Black 6TB SATA III 7200rpm
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        Corsair HX 750W 80+ Platinum
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        Fractal Design Define R6
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      • Display:
        Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC 4K 3840x2160
      • Operating System:
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    Re: Upgrade advice

    DC makes very little difference (tested this on DDR3).
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  17. #17
    Digerati's Avatar
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    • specs System Specs
      • Manufacturer:
        BrightWorks Systems
      • Model Number:
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      • Motherboard:
        Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3
      • CPU:
        Intel Core i5-6600 Skylake Pushed to 3.9GHz
      • Memory:
        2 X 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000
      • Graphics:
        EVGA GeForce GTX 1050TI 04G-P4-6251-KR, 4GB GDDR5
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        Integrated
      • Disk Drives:
        Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD, 850 EVO 250GB SSD, Blu-ray R/W
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        Fractal Design Define R4 Mid Tower w/Window
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        2 x 140mm case fans, OEM CPU Cooler
      • Display:
        2 x Samsung S24E650BW 24 inch WS
      • Operating System:
        Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit

    Re: Upgrade advice

    Will Dual channel memory make any difference with this MOBO?
    Back to time having two identical RAM chips was making huge difference in the performance.
    "In theory" it was supposed to give you almost twice the bandwidth. And maybe decades (yes decades) ago it did. And marketing people really touted those advantages. But in practice, dual channel made very little difference - mostly noticeable on paper (benchmarks) only.

    Generally, it is almost always the case where more RAM trumps faster RAM every time.

    But still, buying all identical RAM does help ensure all the RAM plays well together. So I generally recommend buying all that you think you will need right from the beginning of the new build or new computer purchase. If you wait 3 or 4 years to upgrade, it may be difficult to find compatible RAM.
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  18. #18

    Re: Upgrade advice

    That is right was before decade for sure I think duo-core era :)
    I was wondering if this feature still make any difference.
    Thanks to all of you for the detailed info :)

    Edit: typo
    In a world without fences and walls, who needs Gates and Windows?


  19. #19
    Digerati's Avatar
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    • specs System Specs
      • Manufacturer:
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      • Model Number:
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      • Motherboard:
        Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3
      • CPU:
        Intel Core i5-6600 Skylake Pushed to 3.9GHz
      • Memory:
        2 X 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000
      • Graphics:
        EVGA GeForce GTX 1050TI 04G-P4-6251-KR, 4GB GDDR5
      • Sound Card:
        Integrated
      • Disk Drives:
        Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD, 850 EVO 250GB SSD, Blu-ray R/W
      • Power Supply:
        EVGA Supernova 550W Gold
      • Case:
        Fractal Design Define R4 Mid Tower w/Window
      • Cooling:
        2 x 140mm case fans, OEM CPU Cooler
      • Display:
        2 x Samsung S24E650BW 24 inch WS
      • Operating System:
        Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit

    Re: Upgrade advice

    That is right was before decade for sure I think duo-core era :)
    No, it was long before that even - the concept goes way back to the 1960s!

    It used to be where memory makers would manually test every single RAM module coming off the assembly line and physically pair it with another module that matched its specifications most precisely. They then would be packaged and sold as matched pairs. This clearly was laborious and expensive and that was reflected in their prices. But in terms of performance, it was worth it to be able to crunch data on each side of the cycle, which is what dual channel allows. This was due much in part because way back then RAM was measured in kilobytes, not gigabytes as it is today.

    Fast forward to recent years and the raw materials to make the RAM modules are as close to 100% impurity-free as Man can possibly make. Also, manufacturing techniques have improved so dramatically too that it is just a given every module coming off the production line already precisely (or darn close to it) matches design specifications.

    This means the modules today don't need to be individually tested and paired into matched sets. They all already comply well within any allowed tolerances. So today, when you see "Dual channel" RAM for sell today, they are simply packaged and labeled that way for convenience, not because they have specifically been matched.
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    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
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  20. #20
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    • specs System Specs
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
        Intel Core i7-8700K 3.7GHz
      • Memory:
        Crucial 2x8GB DDR4 2666 MHz
      • Graphics:
        Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming 8 GB
      • Sound Card:
        Asus Xonar DSX
      • Hard Drives:
        WD Caviar Black 1TB SATA III 7200rpm, WD Caviar Black 6TB SATA III 7200rpm
      • Disk Drives:
        Samsung 960 Evo 256GB NVME PCIe
      • Power Supply:
        Corsair HX 750W 80+ Platinum
      • Case:
        Fractal Design Define R6
      • Cooling:
        Noctua NH-D14
      • Display:
        Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC 4K 3840x2160
      • Operating System:
        Windows 10 Pro 1803 x64

    Re: Upgrade advice

    [QUOTE=Digerati;208680]
    Will Dual channel memory make any difference with this MOBO?

    But still, buying all identical RAM does help ensure all the RAM plays well together. So I generally recommend buying all that you think you will need right from the beginning of the new build or new computer purchase. If you wait 3 or 4 years to upgrade, it may be difficult to find compatible RAM.
    What I do is, I generally put in the RAM and then if I want to upgrade, I sell it and buy a matching pair. i.e. if I had 8GB RAM and I want 16GB now, I'll sell the 1x8 stick or 2x4, and get myself a 2x8GB from the same manufacturer and model.
    RepairandRestore says thanks for this.


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