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2 days ago.

— The quad core i3-8350K hails from Intel’s most recent (and as yet unreleased) generation of Coffee Lake processors. It has a stock clock of 4.0 GHz, 8MB of cache and a TDP of 95W. The 8350K is the first i3 processor to feature four cores (previous generations of i3s had two cores and four threads). With this eighth generation of processors, Intel has introduced a step change in their nomenclature which witnesses the old quad core i5s become the new quad core i3s. Our benchmarks show a 25% increase in effective speed between generations of i3 8350K vs 7350K and near equivalence between the outgoing i5-7600K and the new i3-8350K. Although the price points of Coffee Lake are not yet known, if Intel keep them roughly in line with the previous generations (i3 ~= $140) this will represent the best improvement in value for money since Sandy Bridge as the 8350K at $140 would be 34.8% cheaper than a 7600K at $215. Cynics among us will see this as an effort to fend off competition from AMD’s new multi-core Ryzen processors. It appears Intel may have been successful with this move as early benchmarks from the 8350K suggest that it beats the more expensive 8 core Ryzen 7 1700 in single and quad core performance by 25%. The 8350K is a great choice for gaming builds, but the budget will also need to factor in a complementary motherboard based on the new 300 series chipset. Expect the quad core i3-8100 which is the 8350K’s little sister featuring a base clock of 3.6 GHz, to follow shortly.

1 month ago.

— The Ryzen Threadripper 1920X is a 12 core 24 thread CPU, currently second only to the 1950X (16 cores, 32 threads) in AMD’s latest Zen-based line for high end desktop processors. Similarly to the 1950X, it has a base clock speed of 3.5 GHz (3.4 GHz for the 1950X) which can boost to a maximum of 4.0 GHz and features quad channel DDR4 and 64 PCI Express lanes. Also, like the other Threadripper CPUs, the 1920X sits on the latest X399 platform. Intel has a number of processors which outperform the 1920X, such as the i5-7600K which is a quarter of the price and offers around 25% better performance than the 1920X for single and quad core usage (most games only use a maximum of four cores). However, the 1920X is squarely aimed at offering value for money to multi-core workstation users and in this category, the 1920X is closer to competing with Intel’s 15% dearer 10 core, 20 thread i9-7900X. The 8 core, 16 thread 1900X, will shortly be available as the third product in the Threadripper line, featuring a slightly higher base clock of 3.8 GHz.

1 month ago.

— AMD’s 16 core, 32 thread Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is finally here to seize the throne for high end desktop processors. The 1950X is the flagship of the Zen based Threadripper series which also includes the 12 core 1920X and the 8 core 1900X. The 1950X has a stock clock of 3.4 GHz increasing to a maximum single core boost of 4.0 GHz and features quad channel DDR4 and 64 PCI Express lanes. This processor is effectively two Ryzen 7 1800Xs glued together with Infinity Fabric (AMD’s scalable interconnecting technology), making the 1950X one of the physically largest CPUs on the consumer market. If you are considering this CPU, you will need a new X399 motherboard with a TR4 socket. Early benchmarks show the 1950X competing with Intel’s similarly priced i9-7900X. Whilst the 7900X has slightly higher single and quad core scores (10%-15%), the 1950X is around 35% faster for multi-core workloads. Content creators, and other core intensive task masters will not be disappointed.

1 month ago.

— The Ryzen 3 1200 is the second of AMD's new entry level CPUs which feature the latest Zen core architecture, as already seen in the Ryzen 5 and 7 series. Like its sister, the Ryzen 3 1300X, the 1200 is a four core CPU which offers fantastic value for money. Priced at just $109, this unlocked processor has stock base / boost clock speeds of 3.1 / 3.4 GHz respectively, compared to 3.5 / 3.7 GHz for the 1300X. Early benchmarks show that the Ryzen 3 1200 is worthy competition to Intel's six month old and currently 50% more expensive i3-7320. This may make the fact that the 1200 comes without integrated graphics more forgivable. The dual core, hyperthreaded i3-7320 beats the 1300 in single threaded tests by over 20% but the 1200 wins in multi-threaded tasks, scoring 10% higher for quad-core benchmarks, making the Ryzen 3 1200 a better choice for thread intensive workloads.

1 month ago.

— At a list price of just $129, the quad core, Ryzen 3 1300X is a great budget CPU. The Ryzen 3 series is based on AMD's powerful and energy efficient Zen core architecture as already featured in the mainstream Ryzen 5 series and performance Ryzen 7 series, both launched earlier this year. The 1300X is fully unlocked with a stock base clock speed of 3.5 GHz running up to 3.7 GHz for boost and has a TDP of 65W. The 1300X comes with AMD's Wraith Stealth cooler, but significantly, it is devoid of integrated graphics. Although this can be inexpensively rectified, it may be a stumbling block to those at the entry-level of the market. By comparison, Intel's dual core, four thread i3-7350K comes with 630 HD integrated graphics. In terms of effective speed, early benchmarks for the 1300X just pip the 7350K to the post but results in specific games will depend on the extent to which the game is able to use more than two processing cores simultaneously. The 1300X scores around 20% higher on quad-core tests whereas the 7350K scores 16% higher on single-core tests. The Ryzen 1300X has been released alongside the similar Ryzen 3 1200 which is also an unlocked quad-core with slightly lower base / boost clock speeds of 3.1 / 3.4 GHz and a slightly lower price of just $109.

1 month ago.

— Intel’s core i9-7900X, from the Skylake-X series, is Intel’s latest 10-core, 20-thread flagship processor. It's the first to bear the i9 moniker and utilize the new X299 (Basin Falls) chipset/motherboard. The 7900X is the fastest CPU on the market today, however, imminent competition from AMD’s 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen Threadripper CPUs and the forthcoming release of more Intel Core X series mean that its reign will be a short one. The i9-7900X supersedes the 10-core Broadwell-E core i7-6950X that held the crown for little over a year. Both are extremely powerful and pricey high end desktop processors (HEDTs) which excel in multi-threaded tasks such as media encoding. However, despite the same power draw (TDP 140W), the newer i9-7900X betters the i7-6950X in terms of peak overclocked performance by 10% mostly thanks to increased clock speeds from 3.0GHz/4.0GHz to 3.3GHz/4.3GHz for base/turbo. It also betters the i7-6950X on price by around 28%. This all translates to the i9-7900X offering around 20% more value for money, even despite its eye-watering $999 price tag. The more accessible pricing (albeit not accessible for the majority) and hurried release of the i9-7900k to market is widely perceived as a reaction to AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper CPUs, rumoured for release towards the end of July 2017. So if you want to own the fastest consumer CPU in the world, it would be wise to wait for the dust to settle.

2 months ago.

— The I7-7820X is the second of three new Skylake-X HEDT (high end desktop processors) released by Intel as part of their core X series (the others being the flagship 10-core i9-7900X and the 6-core i7-7800X). The 7820X is an 8-core, 16-thread CPU which will amply satisfy all but the heaviest of multi-threaded use cases. The 7820X requires a relatively expensive X299 (Basin Falls) motherboard, which costs upwards of $250. The 7820X is listed at $599 which is about $200 more than AMD's current flagship 8-core, 16 thread Ryzen 7 1800X. In addition to better IPC, the 7820X is higher clocked with base and max boost clocks of 3.6/4.5 GHz respectively, compared to 3.6G/4.0 GHz for the Ryzen 7 1800X. The additional $200 (50%) buys you around 20% more performance in both single and multi core workloads. Intel have also released several Kabylake-X HEDT CPUs: the 4-thread i5-7640X and the 8-thread i7-7740X and will shortly release of even higher spec Skylake-X processors. It's probably wise to hold off purchasing until the eagerly anticipated 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen Threadripper CPUs are launched later this month.

2 months ago.

— The Ryzen 5 1400 is the entry-level chip from AMD's latest Ryzen 5 series which is aimed at the mainstream market. The 1400 is a budget quad core, 8 threaded CPU with base/boost clocks of 3.2/3.4 GHz. Like most the other non-X Ryzen CPUs the 1400 comes with a decent cooler included in the box (Wraith Stealth in this case). Modestly priced at $169 the 1400 is in direct competition with Intel's recent Kaby Lake dual core, four threaded i3-7350k which runs at a base clock of 4.2GHz. The 1400's 8 threads allow a near 40% lead in multi-core processing, but for single-core tasks the 7350K is 45% faster. The Ryzen 5 1500X commands a $20 premium and offers a 25% increase in effective speed over the 1400. Although the 1400 only has a base clock of 3.2 GHz it should more or less match the 1500X when overclocked. Provided it is overclocked, the 1400 joins the other non-X Ryzen models in offering the best bang for your buck. Users not keen on overclocking would probably do better to consider the 1500X at this price point.

5 months ago.
The Best.
CPUGPUSSD
Intel Core i7-7700K $295Nvidia GTX 1070 $410Samsung 850 Evo 250GB $97
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 $270AMD RX 480 $350Samsung 850 Pro 256GB $120
Intel Core i5-7600K $210Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB $263Samsung 850 Evo 500GB $150
HDDRAMUSB
Seagate Barracuda 1TB (2016) $45G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 3200 C14 4x16GB $724SanDisk Extreme 64GB $33
Seagate Barracuda 3TB (2016) $77Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3000 C15 2x8GB $155SanDisk Extreme 32GB $22
Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 1TB $56HyperX Fury DDR4 2133 C14 2x8GB $141SanDisk Extreme 16GB $20
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