Need Help with Hardware upgrade

My computer has died and I must quickly decide on a motherboard that will be most compatible with several nvidea graphics cards. I’ve done some searches, but haven’t turned up anything current.

Though this machine would primarily support blender, I will use it for other art stuff as needed.
I only have one 1070 currently, but will add a second … is it possible to match it with a 1080?. I will buy a new i7, probably the more economical available, unless there is a best one for blender.

Desperation has loosened my credit card, and I hope to figure out a complete system in the next 24 hours.
Your suggestions will be appreciated, please help me resume my Blender project… thanks.

What’s the budget? Are you going to keep parts from your previous rig, ex. chassis, hdd’s etc?
Where are you going to buy the new parts from (country, e-shop etc)?

the i7 7700 would be great since i assume the rendering will be done on gpu.

pcie bandwidth doesnt have much effect on render times.

My budget is $1200 to $1500, new hard drives, new power supply, cpu and ram. I’m in the usa and buy from tiger direct, b&h video.

This motherboard is on sale and looks great, is the z270 better than x99 chipset for blender?

This is my suggestion for parts PCPartPicker part list
The 7800X is an affordable 6c/12t processor with a 4.0GHz turbo boost, which can easily be overclocked to a 4.4-4.5GHz range giving a decent single core performance. It has 28 pcie lanes, which are more than plenty for up to 3 gpus for rendering.
The psu is more than enough for up to 3 gpus too.

If you need a new chassis too, then I suggest you take a look at this one

overclocking is not an acceptable solution. too unstable (especially if the use is professional) and voids the warranty. but the difference in single thread isnt that much(~2200 vs ~2500) if 6(12) cores and buckets of pcie lanes are preferred.

Z270 looks to be better imho. more pcie lanes onboard, better bus bandwidth, and its alot newer.

  1. Overclocking is totally fine in most cases, even for professional use. Cpus get burned only under extreme situations (very high voltages etc). Most motherboards can steadily overclock cpus with a couple of clicks nowadays.

  2. Z270 is slightly older than the X299 (Q1’ 17 vs Q2’ 17 see hereand here). The Z270 is about to be replaced by Z370 chipset which will hold the new CoffeeLake cpus (8700K etc). So, I wouldn’t advice anyone to throw money on a 7700K at this moment. In less than a month’s time the new cpus will be in the market.

  3. In s2066, cpus with more than 6 cores provide more pcie lanes compared to s1151. 28 and 44 vs 16 in s1151.

  4. Pcie lanes coming from the chipset are the same in both cases (s2066 and s1151). Up to 24. Pcie lanes coming directly from the cpu are more important in gpu rendering, because gpus use only these lanes. Chipset lanes are destined for other uses (sata, usb, etc).

And why “z270 has better bus bandwidth”?

Thanks for your input guys.
I looked up pcie lanes, birdnamanam, and from what I was able to grasp, it may make a difference with multiple graphic cards.
I’m seriously considering the 7800x, but I’m nervous about the liquid cooler. Are you using this one?

I’m currently using this one . It’s an older model of the Kraken series. No problems at all. Don’t worry. These are quality products. NZXT gives a 6 year warranty for these coolers and there is a reason for that.

i wouldnt risk it. air cooling should be good enough, and any overclock wont return enough to justify the risks.

does the warranty on the water cooler cover damage done to other parts? i would guess not.

not sure if intel fixed the cooling issues, but most of the heating issues is due to intel nerfing the internal heat spreader on the last few series. a better cooler wont help that much.

You’ll have to do a bit of research but I believe Corsiar’s warranty covers any damage caused to components due to a leaky water cooler (which is rare) if you are worried about it.

Id recommend Ryzen R7 1700 (or x variant). The 7800x does not bring anything at all to you except an expensive platform.

So if you are in Intel camp. then 7700k or AMDs camp 1700x , and rest of funds save and put into GPU.

For blender you can mix and match between GPU types, so getting GTX 1080 is a good match.

For gaming, you can NOT mix and match them.


If blender is your priority, spend less on the CPU, don’t go for the 7800x and over expensive confusing platform, and spend more on the GPU side.

Just to say that there have been a couple of users complaining about poor performance with Ryzen on Blender (I’m not talking about Cycles render). So if you plan to render with GPU, you try to choose something balanced between number of threads and single thread performance:

Thanks for the link Yafu. I see the 7800x single thread performance is not as good as the 7700, but I really don’t have an understanding of how much difference it will be in everyday use. Do you think this is a reasonable choice?

You mean i7-7700k (with k) model, right?. If you plan to render with GPU, I would choose i7-7700k. In addition, this has integrated graphic so you can use iGPU connected to the display while you render with CUDA. So if that is going to be your case, at the moment of choosing motherboard you see outputs/connections for display that it has and if they meet your needs.

Anyway 7800X does not seem to be that bad in single thread performance. It should be remembered that performance in Blender not only depends on hardware, but also Blender has its own limitations sometimes.

Please, I am not an expert, so you investigate on your own about what I said, I could be wrong.

I’ll throw in a middle-of-the-road opinion on overclocking. If you know what you’re doing it can be a big help, and reasonably reliable. If you don’t know what you’re doing, and don’t have a good tech handy, things like water cooling systems are generally to be avoided.

Overclocking shouldn’t be viewed as a cheat to get the performance of a higher-end system with lower-grade components; you’re better of spending the extra money at the low-to-mid end of the spectrum. Best use is towards the high-end systems where the price increases for the next bigger/faster/etc. model starts increasing out of proportion with performance returns.

So there might have been a time when AIO’s were ‘risky’. This certainly isn’t the case now.
The mostly likely way you’re going to get a leak is by mishandling the AIO at its fail-points - don’t do that and really there is nadda to worry about.

This should be instructive.

OP, if you’ve got the time and decide on liquid… might be worth waiting for the new EK MLC system that should be coming out soon.
My predator 360(MLC’s predecessor) is one solid piece of kit and manages keeps both GPU and CPU within reasonable temps at load.

With regards to the topic.

If you plan to do a lot of simulation, paricle, cloth,. Smoke, volumetric -> money into CPU
If you plan to do a lot of rendering, materials -> money into GPU with at least 8GB

Agree. I would make a subdivision in the first item.

Cycles render with better volumetrics speed and RAM adventages > CPU and giving preference to more threads.
Simulation - Particles - Modifiers (maybe Sculpt - Edit Mode too) > Giving preference to single thread performance.

Serin, that’s helps a lot, the next video in the series broke down the functioning of these modern liquid coolers. I’m less intimidated now.