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X299 vs. Z390 + NVLink for gaming/workstation

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Hey guys,

 

So I initially posted this in "New builds and planning" but I think it belongs here. 

 

Budget&Location: ~8.000 , Germany

Use: Gaming/work (video editing, rendering, audio engineering)

 

 

I took a 13 year break from PC gaming and building. I'm excited to get back into it and am currently planning my new build. Intel's 9900K immediately caught my eye - with a dual 2080 Ti setup (I know that not all games support SLI and the performance gains can vary). However, after reading about CPUs, GPUs and PCIe lanes I'm a little bit worried about the fact that I can only run SLI 8x/8x. I'm aware of Gamers Nexus review on this topic and the small performance difference (2-5%) when running 2080Tis 8x/8x compared to 16x/16x, but wouldn't it be more future proof/wiser to have a 16x/16x configuration? I will be playing all sorts of mainstream AAA titles 1440p widescreen, 4k and VR.

 

Now I'm currently using a iMac Pro for video editing, rendering (4k) and music creation plus my girlfriend uses the iMac for content creation. I was playing around with the idea of selling the iMac and reinvesting the money in a 9980XE setup with dual 2080Tis. It would kinda ease my mind regarding PCIe lanes and I'd appreciate the cleaner look of my workspace with only one machine.

 

I just came across this page: https://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/2263?vs=2297
Apparently the performance difference reduces with increase in resolution. As I'm gaming on a 3440 x 1440 ultra-wide minimum I feel like the 9980XE would be the better choice. At those resolutions I expect the 16x/16x configuration to pay off also (compared to 8x/8x) which would leave me with a nearly identical performance as the 9900K, right?

 

Yes, either way this is going to be expensive, but I want to go all out for once and this investment won't ruin me financially - so money aside: what would be the better choice: 9900K + 2080 T SLI (8x/8x) or 9980XE + 2080 Ti SLI (16x/16x)

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nice to see you have done some research, let me see

 

and also I see enough information

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18 minutes ago, ShinRamen said:

(I know that not all games support SLI and the performance gains can vary).

 

the real problem is that an SLI setup could even give you a worse experience because of frame-rime variance.

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3 minutes ago, 17030644 said:

the real problem is that an SLI setup could even give you a worse experience because of frame-rime variance.

Thank you for taking the time to read through the entire thing. So when talking about NVLink performance I'm referring to benchmarks from hothardware (https://hothardware.com/reviews/nvidia-nvlink-review-taking-sli-to-the-next-level?page=5) and JayzTwoCents. I had the impression that scaling was not perfect but enoough to convince me to go with an SLI configuration.

 

Could you elaborate on frame-rime variance?

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25 minutes ago, ShinRamen said:

 

 

after reading about CPUs, GPUs and PCIe lanes I'm a little bit worried about the fact that I can only run SLI 8x/8x. I'm aware of Gamers Nexus review on this topic and the small performance difference (2-5%) when running 2080Tis 8x/8x compared to 16x/16x, but wouldn't it be more future proof/wiser to have a 16x/16x configuration? I will be playing all sorts of mainstream AAA titles 1440p widescreen, 4k and VR.

 

 

9900K if you want high refresh rate gaming

 

skylake-X/threadripper if you are all about the resolution and graphics

 

because the former is CPU bound and the latter is mostly GPU bound (sure it depends on the gaming, exact settings and even other stuff, but as a general rule it works this way)

 

27 minutes ago, ShinRamen said:

 

Now I'm currently using a iMac Pro for video editing, rendering (4k) and music creation plus my girlfriend uses the iMac for content creation. I was playing around with the idea of selling the iMac and reinvesting the money in a 9980XE setup with dual 2080Tis. It would kinda ease my mind regarding PCIe lanes and I'd appreciate the cleaner look of my workspace with only one machine.

 

1

the thing is, final cut is faster than any other video editing software IIRC

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1 minute ago, ShinRamen said:

Thank you for taking the time to read through the entire thing. So when talking about NVLink performance I'm referring to benchmarks from hothardware (https://hothardware.com/reviews/nvidia-nvlink-review-taking-sli-to-the-next-level?page=5) and JayzTwoCents. I had the impression that scaling was not perfect but enoough to convince me to go with an SLI configuration.

 

Could you elaborate on frame-rime variance?

SLI scaling is not as relevant as having stable framerates.

 

That's why GN does 0.1% low and frame time analysis.

 

Because having 100 FPS all the time is miles better than having 200 FPS with drops to 50 FPS, that's what frame time variance and 0.1% lows represent.

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32 minutes ago, ShinRamen said:

Hey guys,

 

So I initially posted this in "New builds and planning" but I think it belongs here. 

 

Budget&Location: ~8.000 , Germany

Use: Gaming/work (video editing, rendering, audio engineering)

 

 

I took a 13 year break from PC gaming and building. I'm excited to get back into it and am currently planning my new build. Intel's 9900K immediately caught my eye - with a dual 2080 Ti setup (I know that not all games support SLI and the performance gains can vary). However, after reading about CPUs, GPUs and PCIe lanes I'm a little bit worried about the fact that I can only run SLI 8x/8x. I'm aware of Gamers Nexus review on this topic and the small performance difference (2-5%) when running 2080Tis 8x/8x compared to 16x/16x, but wouldn't it be more future proof/wiser to have a 16x/16x configuration? I will be playing all sorts of mainstream AAA titles 1440p widescreen, 4k and VR.

 

Now I'm currently using a iMac Pro for video editing, rendering (4k) and music creation plus my girlfriend uses the iMac for content creation. I was playing around with the idea of selling the iMac and reinvesting the money in a 9980XE setup with dual 2080Tis. It would kinda ease my mind regarding PCIe lanes and I'd appreciate the cleaner look of my workspace with only one machine.

 

I just came across this page: https://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/2263?vs=2297
Apparently the performance difference reduces with increase in resolution. As I'm gaming on a 3440 x 1440 ultra-wide minimum I feel like the 9980XE would be the better choice. At those resolutions I expect the 16x/16x configuration to pay off also (compared to 8x/8x) which would leave me with a nearly identical performance as the 9900K, right?

 

Yes, either way this is going to be expensive, but I want to go all out for once and this investment won't ruin me financially - so money aside: what would be the better choice: 9900K + 2080 T SLI (8x/8x) or 9980XE + 2080 Ti SLI (16x/16x)

 

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Thanks. I definitely want high refresh rates for things like CS:GO, CoD and other FPS - would that be such a dramatic difference between 9900K and 9980XE on 3440 x 1440 ultra-wide? 

 

I have included a link in the original post showing that framerates are super close once you're gaming on 1440p and higher. So on my monitor there shouldn't be a huge difference if at all, or am I missing something? I was hoping that maybe the 2-5% performance gain from 16x/16x compared to 8x/8x even it out, so there wouldn't be a difference at all.

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1 minute ago, ShinRamen said:

Thanks. I definitely want high refresh rates for things like CS:GO, CoD and other FPS - would that be such a dramatic difference between 9900K and 9980XE on 3440 x 1440 ultra-wide? 

 

I have included a link in the original post showing that framerates are super close once you're gaming on 1440p and higher. So on my monitor there shouldn't be a huge difference if at all, or am I missing something? I was hoping that maybe the 2-5% performance gain from 16x/16x compared to 8x/8x even it out, so there wouldn't be a difference at all.

for CSGO and other FPS my recommendation is a 240hz monitor with a 9900K

 

a 9900XE behaves like a ryzen cpu in gaming

 

my question is, do you want a ryzen?

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Just now, Finwillwin said:

I would get a single 2990WX if it is a workstation and gaming PC.  It destroys everything else and has more PCI-E lanes than I can count.

for gaming it kinda sucks and not all workstation applications make proper use of its 32 cores

 

damn, in some applications the 9900K destroys both skylake-x and threadripper, so it's too early to say "this cpu is better"

 

he mentioned "content creation" but he never specified what specific software he uses

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5 minutes ago, 17030644 said:

for CSGO and other FPS my recommendation is a 240hz monitor with a 9900K

 

a 9900XE behaves like a ryzen cpu in gaming

 

my question is, do you want a ryzen?

That's a good question. I never had an AMD CPU or bothered with AMD tbh and actually only read up on Threadripper as an alternative to the 9980XE, which I decided I do not want to go with.

 

It'll be a good mix of gaming - Anthem, Destiny 2, Far Cry etc. and some FPS. Honestly I expected a 9980XE with dual 2080Ti to push 150-200fps in CS:GO easily - am I that far off? 

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1 minute ago, ShinRamen said:

That's a good question. I never had an AMD CPU or bothered with AMD tbh and actually only read up on Threadripper as an alternative to the 9980XE, which I decided I do not want to go with.

 

It'll be a good mix of gaming - Anthem, Destiny 2, Far Cry etc. and some FPS. Honestly I expected a 9980XE with dual 2080Ti to push 150-200fps in CS:GO easily - am I that far off? 

my point was, the i9 is as good as a ryzen/threadripper

 

So don't bother with it for gaming, unless there's some software that makes it worth the price

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Just now, Finwillwin said:

Well, with 8k why not go all out.

because it might even be worse for what he wants?

 

more expensive ISN'T always better

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4 minutes ago, ShinRamen said:

That's a good question. I never had an AMD CPU or bothered with AMD tbh and actually only read up on Threadripper as an alternative to the 9980XE, which I decided I do not want to go with.

 

It'll be a good mix of gaming - Anthem, Destiny 2, Far Cry etc. and some FPS. Honestly I expected a 9980XE with dual 2080Ti to push 150-200fps in CS:GO easily - am I that far off? 

yes, CSGO is not a very CPU demanding title

 

still, I'm pretty sure CSGO pro players would prefer 600 fps than 500 fps

 

and the 9900K would make a difference in CPU bound games

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Ah gotcha. Yeah I think I've pretty much made up my mind that's it's going to be either 9900K or 9980XE. I was just worried that the 9980XE would totally suck for gaming, but I then came across the above mentioned link, which kinda eased my mind a bit. (I edited that in in the original post on "new builds").

 

From what I can tell the TR is just not as good as the 9980XE for gaming and that's actually my main concern right now. Both will have plenty of power for my kind of work. I was just not sure whether or not 9980XE can compete with an 9900K gaming-wise on my resolutions, but now I think that it definitely can. 

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1 minute ago, ShinRamen said:

Ah gotcha. Yeah I think I've pretty much made up my mind that's it's going to be either 9900K or 9980XE. I was just worried that the 9980XE would totally suck for gaming, but I then came across the above mentioned link, which kinda eased my mind a bit. (I edited that in in the original post on "new builds").

 

From what I can tell the TR is just not as good as the 9980XE for gaming and that's actually my main concern right now. Both will have plenty of power for my kind of work. I was just not sure whether or not 9980XE can compete with an 9900K gaming-wise on my resolutions, but now I think that it definitely can. 

well if the difference in gaming between the 9980XE and threadripper worries you, then you don't want a 9900XE for gaming

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In vacuum the 9900k might seem like a better option but if you plan on slapping NVMe drives there then those HEDT CPU's might be better. 

 

Also, consider a cooling solution for the built, it's not irrelevant. It would be ideal if you could put those GPU on water. If this prevents you budget-wise from 9980XE, then go mainstream. 

 

If I had to choose between mainstream + SLI on water vs. HEDT + SLI on air, I'd choose the former. If you can do LC regardless, then I'd consider the 18-ccore and OC it to something like 4.6-4.8GHz. Don't forget to OC the mesh and RAM, it offers huge improvement since SLI is a thirsty bitch. Oh and btw. there are games which will offer improved framerates if you have quad channel vs. dual channel, so it's something to consider as well.

 

In the end, it's alright to be on the fence here (as Tim Minchin sings) since both options have certain advantages and disadvantes. 

CPU: i7 6950X  |  Motherboard: Asus Rampage V ed. 10  |  RAM: 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum Special Edition 3200 MHz (CL14)  |  GPUs: 2x Asus GTX 1080ti SLI 

Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 1 TB M.2 NVME  |  PSU: In Win SIV 1065W 

Cooling: Custom LC 2 x 360mm EK Radiators | EK D5 Pump | EK 250 Reservoir | EK RVE10 Monoblock | EK GPU Blocks & Backplates | Alphacool Fittings & Connectors | Alphacool Glass Tubing

Case: In Win Tou 2.0  |  Display: Alienware AW3418DW  |  Sound: Woo Audio WA8 Eclipse + Focal Utopia Headphones

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Well I mean I want the best gaming performance. 9900K and 9980XE seem to be pretty close performance-wise at 1440p+ and they can both push nearly the same framerates. Also having 44PCIe-lanes helps me sleep and night and at least gives me the illusion of running an unhindered SLI configuraton - who knows how upcoming games deal with a 8x/8x limitation.

 

Threadripper wasn't my kind of jam to begin with. I compared it to the 9980XE since I wanted to make sure to get the best cpu for my use. If I can get a better gaming performance from the 9980XE I'll gladly take it. From what I've seen the 9900K only has a really big advantage when gaming at 1080p - and then I'm not sure about the PCIe-lanes and their limits - that would probably always keep bothering me.

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53 minutes ago, ShinRamen said:

 

I just came across this page: https://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/2263?vs=2297
Apparently the performance difference reduces with increase in resolution.

1

all things being equal yes, because the higher the resolution, the more strain the GPU gets and the less FPS it can process

 

since you now get less FPS the cpu doesn't need to work as hard so it becomes less of a bottleneck.

 

55 minutes ago, ShinRamen said:

As I'm gaming on a 3440 x 1440 ultra-wide minimum I feel like the 9980XE would be the better choice

 

it's important to note that resolution isn't everything.

 

So games are cpu bound enough to the point where you'd want a 9900K

 

playing at ultra settings is also a bit cpu bound, because geometry/draw distance/number of NPCS put a strain on the CPU as well.

 

56 minutes ago, ShinRamen said:

 

At those resolutions I expect the 16x/16x configuration to pay off also (compared to 8x/8x) which would leave me with a nearly identical performance as the 9900K, right?

 

 

it's a tradeoff

 

with the mainstream you get more fps, with the 9980XE you get more bandwidth and more cores

 

it depends on what you prioritize

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2 minutes ago, Lathlaer said:

In vacuum the 9900k might seem like a better option but if you plan on slapping NVMe drives there then those HEDT CPU's might be better. 

 

Also, consider a cooling solution for the built, it's not irrelevant. It would be ideal if you could put those GPU on water. If this prevents you budget-wise from 9980XE, then go mainstream. 

 

If I had to choose between mainstream + SLI on water vs. HEDT + SLI on air, I'd choose the former. If you can do LC regardless, then I'd consider the 18-ccore and OC it to something like 4.6-4.8GHz. Don't forget to OC the mesh and RAM, it offers huge improvement since SLI is a thirsty bitch. Oh and btw. there are games which will offer improved framerates if you have quad channel vs. dual channel, so it's something to consider as well.

 

In the end, it's alright to be on the fence here (as Tim Minchin sings) since both options have certain advantages and disadvantes. 

Thanks for chiming in! CPU is 100% going to be watercooled and I'm thinking about a custom loop including the GPUs (actually I just don't like the looks of watercooling). I will definitely throw m.2 nvme storage in there, so you're right about that. Totally forgot to mention the quad channel advantage of x299, but yes that is something I was wondering about too. Thanks for shining some light on that. I didn't want to make this even more complicated in the original post.

 

I have yet to read up on how to OC the mesh.

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1 minute ago, ShinRamen said:

Thanks for chiming in! CPU is 100% going to be watercooled and I'm thinking about a custom loop including the GPUs (actually I just don't like the looks of watercooling). I will definitely throw m.2 nvme storage in there, so you're right about that. Totally forgot to mention the quad channel advantage of x299, but yes that is something I was wondering about too. Thanks for shining some light on that. I didn't want to make this even more complicated in the original post.

 

I have yet to read up on how to OC the mesh.

yeah the i9 definitely needs to be watercooled

 

even the 9900K does

 

now, air cooling is better for reliability

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11 minutes ago, ShinRamen said:

 I will definitely throw m.2 nvme storage in there, so you're right about that.

1

well X299 and X399 is specially useful for nvme raid, not sure if a single nvme will make a difference

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13 minutes ago, 17030644 said:

all things being equal yes, because the higher the resolution, the more strain the GPU gets and the less FPS it can process

 

since you now get less FPS the cpu doesn't need to work as hard so it becomes less of a bottleneck.

 

it's important to note that resolution isn't everything.

 

So games are cpu bound enough to the point where you'd want a 9900K

 

playing at ultra settings is also a bit cpu bound, because geometry/draw distance/number of NPCS put a strain on the CPU as well.

 

it's a tradeoff

 

with the mainstream you get more fps, with the 9980XE you get more bandwidth and more cores

 

it depends on what you prioritize

 

If the numbers from andandtechs comparison are representative (I mean we are talking about a 1-4 fps difference in games like Far Cry, Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5 at 1440p) and I'm looking at a 500 vs. 600fps difference in games like CS:GO, then I'm fine with the tradeoff.

 

Also yes, both CPU would be watercooled! I was planning on using the Phanteks Evolv X which should give me plenty of space for a custom loop including the GPUs if necessary.

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Just now, ShinRamen said:

 

If the numbers from andandtechs comparison are representative (I mean we are talking about a 1-4 fps difference in games like Far Cry, Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5 at 1440p) and I'm looking at a 500 vs. 600fps difference in games like CS:GO, then I'm fine with the tradeoff.

 

Also yes, both CPU would be watercooled! I was planning on using the Phanteks Evolv X which should give me plenty of space for a custom loop including the GPUs if necessary.

do keep in mind that whenever two gpus can push higher framerates, the situation will start to be cpu bound

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