PC Upgrade 2020

I enjoy chronicling my PC builds on the blog, mainly so I can refer back to them when the time comes to upgrade. That time is now!

The part of my machine that is most in need of an upgrade is the CPU. My current Intel i5-4590 launched in 2014 and easily became a bottleneck to my graphics card after I installed the MSI RTX 2070 SUPER GAMING X at the end of last year (ha, these product names are silly).

Current PCMy current PC build

Here is what we’re upgrading:

  • Ryzen 7 5800X 8 Cores, 16 Threads, 3.8-4.7GHz
  • MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk motherboard
  • Noctua NH-U12S CPU fan
  • Crucial Ballistix RAM 16GB (2x8GB), 3600MHz CL16

I was lucky enough to find a Ryzen 5800X in stock on launch day. Matching or superior performance to Intel, PCIe gen 4 support, and a growing market share made the decision to move to AMD an easy one. I’m also upgrading from DDR3 1866MHz to DDR4 3600MHz RAM, which should be a decent improvement.

Parts ready to install

All my previous builds used a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler, and while it had great performance, was a pain to install. It had a crappy X-shaped bracket with 4 screws that wobbled around as you mount it. I found the Noctua NH-U12S much easier, with a mounting system fixed to the cooler and only two screws. Props to AMD as well for including their own backplate.

Motherboard and CPU

Something I have to vent on is how small the latch on PCIe slot is. Take a look at this:

PCIe slot

Can you spot the latch? It’s so difficult to get to between the graphics card, M.2 bay, and CPU cooler! Why don’t they make them bigger so they are easier to reach and get leverage to release the card? The only PCIe 4 M.2 bay is here, so I am likely to have to access this at some point.

Anyway… it’s alive!

New working build

So far it’s been running well. I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and am very happy with the performance. This CPU should keep my PC competitive as we enter the next generation of consoles.