Can I extend the life of my i5 4690k system?

Darmok N Jalad

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So I checked my resource monitor during a multi photo run on DeNoise Ai. It's obviously just using my CPU and not engaging the integrated graphics 4600HD as I see on the Topaz website says (since I finally checked). This is pretty typical of what I saw on a single photo for CPU temp when i was testing the overclock. However when i peeked back at the temp on like photo 3 or 4 the temp was bumping around 93C, so that's definitely not good. Multi photo is not what I typically do, but I obviously need more cooling to keep this. The OC software had backed the clock speed down to 4.1GHz to cool it off. I had checked the heat sink / fan earlier, some dust but not a blanket. One thing did notice is that the graphics were engaged in making the previews. So all cores plus the graphics were maxed on that task.
View attachment 901456



Are you saying it wouldn't help at all? I realize it has minimal Cuda cores (after lots of googling) but it's got to be more efficient than loading my cpu. I'm a bit leery of buying used computer components, do you have recommendations for where to buy used that hasn't been ragged out?
Unfortunately, no. I'm taking a chance on something from eBay, but the seller happens to be 45 minutes from here, so hopefully that will be a positive. It's just really a tough spot to be in at the moment. I've purchased a fair amount of used PC hardware over the years (more than I can count), and I only recall problems with one of them, which did happen to be a GPU. The fans failed, but it was fortunately inside the return period so I didn't lose out on much but time. Had it not been, I probably would have just replaced the fans on it and kept using it.

I really don't think the 1030 will help you much. It's probably around 2x as fast as your Intel GPU, but that's not exactly saying a whole lot. There's just not a lot of compute power there to move the needle.

I did wonder if you'd benefit from getting an i7, where you'd at least get 4 more threads, but if you had a GPU to leverage, you wouldn't be seeing your i5 get loaded down so heavily.
 

John King

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Specs here:

https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z97 Pro4/

1) clean everything, as per AC12's post

2) upgrade to I7

3) upgrade RAM

4) add scratch/working PCIe SSD for faster processing.
PS:

Don't buy bottom of the range i7. Get mid range.

Upgrade RAM to 32 GB.

Buy a decent graphics card. It doesn't have to be the 'best', just adequate, with at least 4 GB of 'real' DDR3 or DDR4 RAM (not virtual ... ). Preferably with a big heat sink, rather than a crappy fan.

Using a PCIe NVME SSD unit will help dramatically. Put your Windows virtual memory file on it, with settings of Min=8 GB and Max=8 GB.

Use the NVME unit as working storage, but back the data on it up to your HDD every hour or so - i.e. do not use it for long term storage (1 or more days), unless you have a third copy of your data.

SYNCBACK is your friend for scheduled backups.
 
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PS:

Don't buy bottom of the range i7. Get mid range.

Upgrade RAM to 32 GB.

Buy a decent graphics card. It doesn't have to be the 'best', just adequate, with at least 4 GB of 'real' DDR3 or DDR4 RAM (not virtual ... ). Preferably with a big heat sink, rather than a crappy fan.

Using a PCIe NVME SSD unit will help dramatically. Put your Windows virtual memory file on it, with settings of Min=8 GB and Max=8 GB.

Use the NVME unit as working storage, but back the data on it up to your HDD every hour or so - i.e. do not use it for long term storage (1 or more days), unless you have a third copy of your data.

SYNCBACK is your friend for scheduled backups.
Thanks for the recommendations John, you have some things I would have never thought of for storage options. For the processor, I'm kind pretty hesitant to spend a couple hundred bucks on a processor of the same generation if it's not going to move the needle as much as putting that money into a gpu. I may have to go the gpu route first and see how that improves things. I really would like to just cut the wait time in half... but boy is it a bad timing.
 

ac12

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Thanks for the recommendations John, you have some things I would have never thought of for storage options. For the processor, I'm kind pretty hesitant to spend a couple hundred bucks on a processor of the same generation if it's not going to move the needle as much as putting that money into a gpu. I may have to go the gpu route first and see how that improves things. I really would like to just cut the wait time in half... but boy is it a bad timing.
I'm kinda in the same boat.
GPU card prices have gone way UP, and most of the denoise SW want a GPU. :(
 

John King

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So I checked my resource monitor during a multi photo run on DeNoise Ai. It's obviously just using my CPU and not engaging the integrated graphics 4600HD as I see on the Topaz website says (since I finally checked). This is pretty typical of what I saw on a single photo for CPU temp when i was testing the overclock. However when i peeked back at the temp on like photo 3 or 4 the temp was bumping around 93C, so that's definitely not good. Multi photo is not what I typically do, but I obviously need more cooling to keep this. The OC software had backed the clock speed down to 4.1GHz to cool it off. I had checked the heat sink / fan earlier, some dust but not a blanket. One thing did notice is that the graphics were engaged in making the previews. So all cores plus the graphics were maxed on that task.
View attachment 901456



Are you saying it wouldn't help at all? I realize it has minimal Cuda
So I checked my resource monitor during a multi photo run on DeNoise Ai. It's obviously just using my CPU and not engaging the integrated graphics 4600HD as I see on the Topaz website says (since I finally checked). This is pretty typical of what I saw on a single photo for CPU temp when i was testing the overclock. However when i peeked back at the temp on like photo 3 or 4 the temp was bumping around 93C, so that's definitely not good. Multi photo is not what I typically do, but I obviously need more cooling to keep this. The OC software had backed the clock speed down to 4.1GHz to cool it off. I had checked the heat sink / fan earlier, some dust but not a blanket. One thing did notice is that the graphics were engaged in making the previews. So all cores plus the graphics were maxed on that task.
View attachment 901456



Are you saying it wouldn't help at all? I realize it has minimal Cuda cores (after lots of googling) but it's got to be more efficient than loading my cpu. I'm a bit leery of buying used computer components, do you have recommendations for where to buy used that hasn't been ragged out?

cores (after lots of googling) but it's got to be more efficient than loading my cpu. I'm a bit leery of buying used computer components, do you have recommendations for where to buy used that hasn't been ragged out?
You are 100% CPU bound.

Your GPU is idling!

A mid range i7 will give you 4 cores, running 2 threads each - double the capacity of your i5, and faster. This doesn't take into account the faster architecture of the i7 series.

Depending on your i5, it may well be dual core, running 2 threads per core ...

Clearing the CPU caches faster (both input and output) to an NVME SSD will also help greatly.

I've been building workhorse boxes for over 30 years.

These changes should greatly improve your PC, without even buying a new graphics card.
 

ac12

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Thanks for the recommendations John, you have some things I would have never thought of for storage options. For the processor, I'm kind pretty hesitant to spend a couple hundred bucks on a processor of the same generation if it's not going to move the needle as much as putting that money into a gpu. I may have to go the gpu route first and see how that improves things. I really would like to just cut the wait time in half... but boy is it a bad timing.
Take a look at the

Intel Core i7-5775C CPU​

Same socket 1150
One generation newer than your i5-4690K, and an i7 (4-core, 8-threads)
About $130 on eBay.
 

Dinobe

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I'm running a very similar system: 4690k, Asrock Z97, SSD's but I run a Nvidia GTX750ti

While there are vastly faster computers around these days, I don't find my system to be slow, but I would not spend too much money on this machine anymore. It's not Windows11 compatible, so it's a dead end in the long run.

The 4690K is a 4 core, 4 threads cpu. You could upgrade to an i7 on the condition that your software is capable of using the hyperthreading feature. Most software is not, so it might not be worth it.

Increasing the RAM, honestly I might not be worth it, 16GB's is plenty. The increase to 32 is not going to result in better performance.

Swapping the SSD for an NVME is probably not worth it either. While the formfactor is M.2 it's SATA internally. So no gains there.

What I do notice is that your cpu runs really hot. I would certainly check for dust buildup around the heatsink.
You could try removing the heatsink, remove the old termal paste and sparingly apply a very thin layer of good quality thermal paste.
Too much paste or old degraded paste will conduct less heat (decrease the heat transfer between cpu and cooler).

A step you might do is getting a dedicated GPU. Depending on your plans you might getting an older second hand to stretch the life, or buy an newer one depeding on your future plans. Probably something like a GTX1660 might be a good starting point.

The 4690k can be overclocked very easily. If you have your cpu temperature under control you might try squeezing a bit more performance out of this cpu, but don't do this with the stock cooler.
Mine runs @4ghz with ease and can be pushed to 4.4ghz but temperatures get too high for my liking.
 
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Stanga

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I know that I'm about due for a PC upgrade and was pretty close to doing so until a cursory look at prices stopped that. Also need to limit money spent due to recent lens purchase. Sometime last year I was looking for some additional speed on LR tasks and I added ram and overclocked the processor and now it works satisfactorily for Lightroom. Topaz Denoise AI or the trial of PureRaw take a really long time, ~1-2 min per photo. I've put up with it in Topaz for almost a year now, since I would only work on one or two images out of a set. But I recently needed to run it on probably 15-20 photos in a set and boy was that frustrating. Also the new 4panel comparison view where you tweak parameters takes a long time to load the previews. I know that now is a horrible time to buy a GPU, but I'm also extremely confused by what would even help. I don't want to buy one that can't improve the render times.

I know there are some really smart PC folks on here and I can't pretend to have any knowledge about this stuff. I stopped caring in about 2009 lol. I would appreciate any thoughts on if I should just muddle through until all prices come back down and do a full build, or if there's a way to get a modest improvement for a couple hundred dollars.

Currently I have:

Core i5 4690k 3.5 GHz clocked up to 4.3 (can get warm on a topaz run up to 80-82C if I recall correctly) 4 cores only no hyperthreading stock bundled cooler fan
16gb ram DDR3
ASrock Z97 Pro4 MB
Using the integrated graphics
SSD (SATA connection I think) for the OS and spinning drives for the photo storage

Thanks,
Eli
Before doing any buying, download the trial version of DxO Photolab4 and have a look in the GPU compatibility section to see which GPU cards will support it. Then base you graphics card purchase on that. As I found out the hard way, some older cards are not supported or not supported fully. My GPU can do DeepPrime from RAW to JPG, but not RAW to TIFF for instance. The DxO info does say that my graphics card is only partially supported due to its age.
 

Stanga

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Windows 11 compatibility is a false dawn. You would be forced to update all your expensive programs as well. I still run Win8.1 on two laptops because of this forced software update issue. I have some CAD packages that can only open older files of drawings etc that were made more than a decade ago. For product repair and support reasons I need to be able to access those files. They won't open in the newer versions of the CAD program on W10 without the program trying to modify the old file.
 

John King

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Windows 11 compatibility is a false dawn. You would be forced to update all your expensive programs as well. I still run Win8.1 on two laptops because of this forced software update issue. I have some CAD packages that can only open older files of drawings etc that were made more than a decade ago. For product repair and support reasons I need to be able to access those files. They won't open in the newer versions of the CAD program on W10 without the program trying to modify the old file.
I still have a PC running Windows XpPro for that exact reason.

My newest OS is Windows 7 Pro 64 bit. It is extremely stable. My record to date is 130 days between reboots. The memory manager finally got its words mixed up on day 130, so I just shut everything down gracefully, then rebooted the PC.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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You are 100% CPU bound.

Your GPU is idling!

A mid range i7 will give you 4 cores, running 2 threads each - double the capacity of your i5, and faster. This doesn't take into account the faster architecture of the i7 series.

Depending on your i5, it may well be dual core, running 2 threads per core ...

Clearing the CPU caches faster (both input and output) to an NVME SSD will also help greatly.

I've been building workhorse boxes for over 30 years.

These changes should greatly improve your PC, without even buying a new graphics card.
It's only CPU-bound in this task because there isn't a sufficient GPU for the denoise software to use it. When the GPU is not sufficient, it will NOT use the GPU, and instead use the CPU and load it to 100%, and it's going to be really slow. It won't matter if he has 16 cores, it's still going to be slower than any half-decent GPU for this task. I have 24 CPU threads, 16GB RAM, and NVMe storage available for PureRAW, and it pegs them all to 100% and is still really slow when running as a CPU-only task. My M1 MacBook Air only has 8GB of RAM, but the software uses the GPU and flies through the task, relatively speaking--on this machine, it uses around 25% CPU most of the time.

The reason for the high temps is likely due to the use of a stock cooler while overclocking. Running all OCed cores at 100% for that long is going to overwhelm the cooling solution, which is likely rated for 65W. You're less likely to see this problem under everyday use because most work loads won't run sustained 100% on all cores like this, giving the chip a chance to recover. Still, I maintain that an i7 is not going to provide OP with the gain he is seeking.
 
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I'm running a very similar system: 4690k, Asrock Z97, SSD's but I run a Nvidia GTX750ti

While there are vastly faster computers around these days, I don't find my system to be slow, but I would not spend too much money on this machine anymore. It's not Windows11 compatible, so it's a dead end in the long run.

The 4690K is a 4 core, 4 threads cpu. You could upgrade to an i7 on the condition that your software is capable of using the hyperthreading feature. Most software is not, so it might not be worth it.

Increasing the RAM, honestly I might not be worth it, 16GB's is plenty. The increase to 32 is not going to result in better performance.

Swapping the SSD for an NVME is probably not worth it either. While the formfactor is M.2 it's SATA internally. So no gains there.

What I do notice is that your cpu runs really hot. I would certainly check for dust buildup around the heatsink.
You could try removing the heatsink, remove the old termal paste and sparingly apply a very thin layer of good quality thermal paste.
Too much paste or old degraded paste will conduct less heat (decrease the heat transfer between cpu and cooler).

A step you might do is getting a dedicated GPU. Depending on your plans you might getting an older second hand to stretch the life, or buy an newer one depeding on your future plans. Probably something like a GTX1660 might be a good starting point.

The 4690k can be overclocked very easily. If you have your cpu temperature under control you might try squeezing a bit more performance out of this cpu, but don't do this with the stock cooler.
Mine runs @4ghz with ease and can be pushed to 4.4ghz but temperatures get too high for my liking.
Thanks for the feedback. After the scary realization that multiple photo runs get it above 90C i've cut back the OC. I don't know how many times this has happened so far, but hopefully it's minimal and hasn't caused any damage.

I think with all the comments it's really about getting a good gpu to use to unload the CPU. With the insane prices of the cards at the moment, I'm probably just going to muddle through. I think my preferred route to buy a gpu would be to get one that is decent and somewhat future proof but that's unholy expensive right now. I could better justify to myself buying a prebuilt box that includes a card already and be a wholesale update to modern everything.
 
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It's only CPU-bound in this task because there isn't a sufficient GPU for the denoise software to use it. When the GPU is not sufficient, it will NOT use the GPU, and instead use the CPU and load it to 100%, and it's going to be really slow. It won't matter if he has 16 cores, it's still going to be slower than any half-decent GPU for this task. I have 24 CPU threads, 16GB RAM, and NVMe storage available for PureRAW, and it pegs them all to 100% and is still really slow when running as a CPU-only task. My M1 MacBook Air only has 8GB of RAM, but the software uses the GPU and flies through the task, relatively speaking--on this machine, it uses around 25% CPU most of the time.

The reason for the high temps is likely due to the use of a stock cooler while overclocking. Running all OCed cores at 100% for that long is going to overwhelm the cooling solution, which is likely rated for 65W. You're less likely to see this problem under everyday use because most work loads won't run sustained 100% on all cores like this, giving the chip a chance to recover. Still, I maintain that an i7 is not going to provide OP with the gain he is seeking.
This is a really good comment showing how much the gpu is needed.

Short term I'll look for an upgraded cooling fan so I don't lose the improvements I got in LR and other apps with the overclock.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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The beauty of any modern CPU or GPU (which includes anything in the "Core" family) is that they have a Tjunc, which essentially is the max operating temp before it automatically throttles to protect itself from damage. Now, the question would be how the power delivery system of the motherboard handles that over time, but most of this stuff is built with self-protection included. Basically, you probably have just been losing some performance due to throttling, but otherwise things are likely okay. A better cooler is still not a bad idea though. Get the heat exhausted from the case. There are many good, cheap tower coolers out there. Whatever you buy will probably also work in your next system build, so buy accordingly.

To give you some idea, modern GPUs are designed to boost aggressively until they hit 90-100C before backing off. To a lesser extent, that's also what turbo boost functions on CPU's do. In both cases, the intent is to be as performant as possible under a set cooling design. It also means overclocking is becoming much harder to do, since these chips are essentially overclocking themselves every millisecond and then reigning themselves back in when they exceed their cooling solution. Pretty cool stuff, unless you're a system board manufacturer and you have to provide a relatively complex power delivery system in order to keep the whole thing stable.
 
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The beauty of any modern CPU or GPU (which includes anything in the "Core" family) is that they have a Tjunc, which essentially is the max operating temp before it automatically throttles to protect itself from damage. Now, the question would be how the power delivery system of the motherboard handles that over time, but most of this stuff is built with self-protection included. Basically, you probably have just been losing some performance due to throttling, but otherwise things are likely okay. A better cooler is still not a bad idea though. Get the heat exhausted from the case. There are many good, cheap tower coolers out there. Whatever you buy will probably also work in your next system build, so buy accordingly.

To give you some idea, modern GPUs are designed to boost aggressively until they hit 90-100C before backing off. To a lesser extent, that's also what turbo boost functions on CPU's do. In both cases, the intent is to be as performant as possible under a set cooling design. It also means overclocking is becoming much harder to do, since these chips are essentially overclocking themselves every millisecond and then reigning themselves back in when they exceed their cooling solution. Pretty cool stuff, unless you're a system board manufacturer and you have to provide a relatively complex power delivery system in order to keep the whole thing stable.
That's a relief that it shouldn't be damaged. Thanks for that.

Starting to look at better coolers is interesting... way too many options. Any suggestions that you may have used in the past? Someone mentioned stock was only designed for 65w, so not sure how many watts I should look for to dissipate what I have....
 

Darmok N Jalad

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The R9 380 4GB arrived today (in pretty solid condition, the metal parts still had the protective films on them), so here are the results for DXO PureRAW to process one 20MP RW2 from my G9:

Set to use CPU only: 184 seconds (3 minutes)
Set to use GPU: 25 seconds

Basically, even an old GPU like the R9 380 (which has a 256bit memory bus and relatively high shader count) will process the image in 14% of the time of an older 12C/24T system. One other thing to note, the software does not appear to use hyperthreading at all, as watching System Monitor shows every other core active, which is likely the physical cores and not the virtual ones. The only reason I can come up with is that some software loses performance when using HT, so perhaps the developer elected to only use physical cores.
 
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The R9 380 4GB arrived today (in pretty solid condition, the metal parts still had the protective films on them), so here are the results for DXO PureRAW to process one 20MP RW2 from my G9:

Set to use CPU only: 184 seconds (3 minutes)
Set to use GPU: 25 seconds

Basically, even an old GPU like the R9 380 (which has a 256bit memory bus and relatively high shader count) will process the image in 14% of the time of an older 12C/24T system. One other thing to note, the software does not appear to use hyperthreading at all, as watching System Monitor shows every other core active, which is likely the physical cores and not the virtual ones. The only reason I can come up with is that some software loses performance when using HT, so perhaps the developer elected to only use physical cores.
Thanks for that feedback. That's really impressive time reduction. If you don't mind me asking, how much were you able to snag a good one for? eBay is looking somewhat like auction starting at ~$100-$150 and some buy it now higher. The shader counts and memory are much higher for the money compared to spending $100-130 on the bottom rung GT 1030. But as @jdcope mentioned about old drivers, it looks like this might not be supported with updates any longer? But it could work as a stop gap.

1628021500324.png
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