Apologies for the one or two of you who have been following this new blog of mine. My work hours have spiked for a new project and I find that I don’t even keep up with photography during these brutal spurts of activity, much less blogging.
Anyway … I made an interesting discovery this evening (it’s actually the wee hours of the morning, but who’s counting?)
Some years ago, I inherited my son’s Intel 4670 core i5 when he upgraded his system to something better. He’s a gamer and I’m not, so this chip has been quite sufficient for a long time. But I have always secretly wanted to grab the core i7 4790 Devil’s Canyon chip, which continues to have a place in the top 50 or 60 chips of all time (according to Notebook Check’s mobile benchmark site, which I really like). The K chip is even better (by quite a bit), but is extremely expensive used. I got the locked version for much less on eBay.
I had a lot of trouble getting it running, having installed it 4 times over two evenings, the second pair after getting a new power supply (which had been on my upgrade list for a while anyway owing to the number of hard drives in my system).
The vendor actually refunded my money at one point, but also kept helping me with it and finally suggested I check my BIOS, and sure enough that was the issue. I was running the original F4 level BIOS on my Gigabyte board, and F12 was the one that introduced support for these newer chips. I upgraded to the latest — F15 — and it works!
So now to my discovery … I had tested all my drives when I installed my new images disk as a replacement for my older 3TB Seagate Barracuda desktop drive, which was almost full. The new drive is a fantastic NAS drive from Seagate, a 6TB IronWolf Pro. It turns out to be much faster than its predecessor, as shown here.
The 3TB was not bad for speed:
But the newer drive is about 18% faster, which is nothing to sneeze at when you consider that this is a high performance and extremely durable drive designed to run 24/7, unlike desktop drives. I chose this drive as an attempt to ensure that my images would never be lost through a disk crash. I also back these up to an off board USB drive, also 6TB but a desktop drive.
And by the way, when I moved an identical drive on to a SATA 2 slot from its normal SATA 3 slot (to make room for the new NAS drive), I was surprised to see it take a big hit in performance. The SATA 2 specs should be adequate to run these drives at full speed, but apparently not.
That’s a huge drop in read speeds, so beware of motherboards that use a mix of SATA 3 and SATA 2 ports to save money. I got caught by that, but my main drives are all on SATA 3 ports, so I’m not too twisted over it.
But I digress …
I had tested my Samsung 250GB 850 EVO before I got this new processor. It works as well as ever, which is shockingly fast (for a basic SATA 3 SSD, no fancy PCIE interfaces etc.)
You can see here that it is very fast, which is why these things make machines feel new all over again. I recommend an SSD upgrade for everyone using a laptop that feels a bit slow (as they pretty much all do, especially when booting).
But what caught me by surprise was the speed boost I got from changing only the processor. Nothing else is different.
It’s not enormous, but it’s surprisingly high. The random read and write is especially nice, and may very well be noticeable.
I just thought I’d pass this along. Used CPUs are available for many platforms, and SSD prices are very low these days. If you have a desktop or laptop with socketed i5 and a mechanical hard drive, you just might want to consider this dual upgrade. The difference can be pretty impressive, especially if you do anything demanding.
In addition to trying to fix some issues I’ve been having lately, I did it to avoid spending any real money on Ryzen technology at this time. I expect that I can get years out of this rig now that it is state of the art (for spring 2014 LOL), and that gives these new Zen 3 chips time to get cheap.