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— The budget Ryzen 5 2400G is a four core, eight thread APU (accelerated processing unit: combined CPU and GPU) from AMD’s Raven Ridge product line. It has a base clock of 3.6 GHz which boosts to 3.9 GHz. Its RX Vega 11 graphics scores an average bench of 20% which is at the forefront of performance from integrated graphics and is 34% faster than the RX Vega 8 graphics found in the Ryzen 3 2200G (the 2400G’s ultra budget sister APU). The 2400G currently retails at $162 and includes a Wraith Stealth cooler. This puts it in direct competition with Intel’s quad core Coffee Lake i3-8350K at $167, which does have a 26% faster effective speed. However, the 2400G’s integrated graphics are far stronger (137%) than the 8350K’s, making the 2400G a great choice for those looking for an economical multimedia PC or a super budget gaming PC.

1 month ago.

— AMD’s Ryzen 3 2200G is a budget APU (accelerated processing unit: combined CPU and GPU) from its Raven Ridge product line. It has 4 Zen CPU cores which run at a base clock of 3.5 GHz up to a max boost clock of 3.7 GHz. It also has Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. The $105 price tag also includes a Wraith Stealth cooler. Intel’s 15% more expensive quad core i3-8100 CPU beats the 2200G in terms of single core workloads by 13%, but the effective speed of Intel’s integrated UHD 630 Graphics falls around 77% short of AMD’s RX Vega 8. The 2200G offers unsurpassed value for money for an all in one budget multimedia or ultra budget gaming PC.

1 month ago.

— The Ryzen 7 2700 is an 8 core, 16 thread high-end desktop processor featuring AMD’s second generation 12nm Zen+ architecture and Precision Boost 2 technology. It is the second strongest of four new Ryzen CPUs due for imminent release. The second generation Ryzen processors, codenamed Pinnacle Ridge, are both compatible with the new 400 series and 300 series of motherboards. Official specs for the 2700 are yet to be seen, but early benchmarks appear to indicate base and boost clock speeds of 3.2 and 4.1 GHz respectively. This translates to a modest improvement upon the previous generation 1700 which continues to offer fantastic value for money in terms of multi-core performance. The expected retail price of $299 includes a Wraith cooler and costs the same as Intel’s 6 core 12 thread i7-8700. As expected, the 8700 beats the 2700 on single and quad core intensive tasks, but lags behind for higher core workloads.

1 month ago.

— The 8 core, 16 thread 2700X is AMD’s second generation Ryzen 7 flagship following in the wake of the Ryzen 7 1800X which continues to offer excellent multi-core value for money. This new Pinnacle Ridge processor features the Zen+ architecture with 12nm lithography compared to 14nm previously. Whilst there is no increase in the number of cores, the stock base / boost clocks appear to have received a bump up to 3.7 / 4.3 GHz from 3.6 / 4.0 GHz. The 2700X is compatible with both the new 400 series and 300 series of motherboards. Early benchmarks indicate that the 2700X has a slightly greater effective speed than the 1800X, although further benchmarks are necessary to quantify this. The expected launch price of $329 includes a Wraith Prism cooler and is in the same price bracket as the 1800X and Intel’s Coffee Lake i7-8700K. Whilst the 6 core, 12 thread 8700K beats the 2700X in single and quad core performance by about 10%, the 2700X wins on multi-core workloads. PC gaming and desktop performance is generally governed by four or less cores but the 2700X offers unbeatable value for money for workstation users.

1 month ago.

— The 6 core, 12 thread Ryzen 5 2600X is one of four new AMD second generation of high-end desktop Ryzen processors (codenamed Pinnacle Ridge) renowned for excellent value multi-core performance. The 2600X is set to replace the also 6 core, 12 thread 1600X as AMD’s new mid-range Ryzen 5 flagship. The latest generation of CPUs features a matured Zen+ chip architecture with 12nm lithography, increased clock speeds and Precision Boost 2 technology designed to leverage more CPU power than per the first generation. The 2600X appears to have stock base / boost clock speeds of 3.6 / 4.2 GHz. This is only marginally faster than the 1600X’s 3.6 / 4.0 GHz. Modest effective speed improvements are expected, although further benchmarks are necessary to draw firm conclusions. The 2600X ships with a Wraith Spire cooler and is priced reasonably at an expected $250. However, for most use cases, the new lower clocked Ryzen 5 2600 at $200 represents better value for money. Pinnacle Ridge processors are designed to work with the new 400 series motherboards, which allow for greater overclocking head room, and they are also backwards compatible with the 300 series motherboard following a bios update.

1 month ago.

— The Ryzen 5 2600, from AMD’s second generation (Zen+) of high-end desktop Ryzen processors, supersedes the first generation Ryzen 5 1600. The newer generation sees a lithography reduction from 14nm to 12nm, but no increase in the number of cores and threads (6 and 12 respectively) above what was witnessed in the ground-breaking first generation which continues to surpass similarly priced Intel CPUs in terms of multi-core performance. In other words, progress between generations is predominantly driven by power efficiency and therefore higher attainable clock speeds. The 2600 appears to have a stock base/boost clock of 3.4 / 3.9 GHz compared to the 1600’s 3.2 / 3.6 GHz which is expected to result in a modest increase in effective speed that said, early benchmarks are inconclusive. Included in the expected retail price of about $200 is a Wraith Stealth cooler, so the 2600, like the 1600 before it, represents great value for money, especially for workstation users. The 2600 compliments the new 400 series motherboards and is also backwards compatible with the 300 series following a bios update.

1 month ago.

— The hex-core i5-8500 hails from Intel’s eighth generation of Coffee Lake processors, known for featuring a higher number of cores at each SKU than in previous generations and their refinement of the 14nm architecture as seen in 6th and 7th generation processors. At an estimated price of $184 it offers good multi-core value for money. Its quad core performance nearly rivals the more expensive i7-7700K (the 2017 CPU of choice for many top-end gamers). However based on preliminary benchmarks, the i5-8500 is only marginally faster (2% greater effective speed) than the i5-8400 which is also a recent and competitively priced hex-core Coffee Lake processor. Also, like the i5-8400, the 8500 features 9MB of L3 cache and a frugal TDP of 65W, leaving not much to choose between them. As is the case of all Coffee Lake processors, currently the only motherboards that the 8500 can be paired with feature Intel’s high-end Z370 chipset for overclocking. However, alternative and more suitable 300 series motherboards are long overdue and expected to be available soon.

2 months ago.

— The 8 core, 16 thread 1900X is the third and entry-level processor from AMD’s Threadripper series of high-end desktop (HEDT) processors. The 1900X is based on AMD’s 14nm Zen architecture and features 20MB of cache (16MB of which is L3) and quad channel DDR4, which is twice as many channels as in the Ryzen 7 series. It has a base clock of 3.8GHz increasing to a boost of 4.0 GHz and has an additional short-term boost of 0.2 GHz when thermals allow. Most impressively, the 1900X features 64 PCIe lanes which is the same of number of lanes in the nearly twice as expensive Ryzen Threadripper flagship, the 1950X. This facilitates the simultaneous high speed PCIe connection of up to seven different graphics or storage peripherals. By comparison, Intel’s similarly priced 8 core, 16 thread i7-7820X which, even though it has an 11% effective speed advantage over the 1900X, only has 28 PCIe lanes (down from 44 lanes as recently seen in the recent i9-7900X). Both upgrade options may require new, and not inexpensive motherboards, the 7820X requires an X299 (Basin Falls) chipset and the 1900X utilizes the premium X399 motherboard. Despite the considerable price tags attached to the CPUs and motherboards, never before has HEDT processing been so affordable.

6 months ago.

— The high-end hex core, 12 thread i7-8700 is second in Intel’s line up of 8th generation Coffee Lake CPUs that witnesses an increase in the number of cores at each SKU, as well as further refinement on the 14nm architecture as seen in the 6th and 7th generations. The i7-8700 features a TDP of 65W, 12MB of L3 Cache and 16 PCIe lanes. Although the 8700 has a base clock of 3.2 GHz it has an all core boost of 4.3 GHz and a single core boost of 4.6 GHz. These are unusually high clocks for a non-K SKU, Intel have historically clocked their non-K SKUs around 10% lower than the flagship K variants but with Coffee Lake, the 8700 is almost a match for a stock 8700K. Priced at $320, the i7-8700 offers exceptional single, quad and multi-core processing power to the mainstream market but unfortunately a new 300 series chipset will also need to be factored into the purchase. AMD’s comparably priced Ryzen 7 1700X is an 8 core 16 thread processor which is around 20% faster at multi-threaded tasks, but has around 20% slower single and quad core performance so the choice between these two processors is use case dependant but generally favours Intel for most desktop users whose workloads are typically single or dual core bound.

7 months ago.
The Best.
CPUGPUSSD
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 $169Nvidia GTX 1070 $447Samsung 850 Evo 250GB $95
Intel Core i7-8700K $325Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB $295Samsung 850 Evo 500GB $137
Intel Core i7-7700K $290AMD RX 480 $330Samsung 850 Pro 256GB $139
HDDRAMUSB
Seagate Barracuda 1TB (2016) $45Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3000 C15 2x8GB $180SanDisk Extreme 64GB $41
Seagate Barracuda 3TB (2016) $80G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 3200 C14 4x16GB $960SanDisk Extreme 32GB $46
Seagate Barracuda 2TB (2016) $60HyperX Fury DDR4 2133 C14 2x8GB $226SanDisk Extreme 16GB $20
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