Question $80 new budget CPU king?

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GunsMadeAmericaFree

Golden Member
Jan 23, 2007
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I just saw that Micro Center now has dozens of the Ryzen 5 3600 cpu in stock at $80 each. They have about 30 in stock at our closest store. This brings back memories of the Ryzen 1600 they had in stock for $80 for about a year and a half, pre pandemic. That's what I initially built my system on. I later upgraded to a 3600, and then a 5500.

I'm thinking of building two new budget systems to replace some old intel based I5 4570 systems. At $80 each, these make a compelling case, and cpu performance would be about triple the current processors. (17,800 cpu marks for the 3600 at $80)

https://www.microcenter.com/product...oxed-processor-wraith-stealth-cooler-included

If they keep these in stock at this price for a year or more like they did with the 1600, do you think these will become the new "budget cpu king"?
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator CPU Forum Mod and Elite Member
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@aigomorla

Cheapest B550 NIB I see right now is $89.99. Not bad, but I agree a board like a Tomahawk MAX II is plenty. I was trying to keep feature parity with the 12100f is all.
 

ondma

Platinum Member
Mar 18, 2018
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oh i thought the pic-e lanes came on the 5000 series.... oops...
Then that makes it even better, except the fact the B550 is still one hell of an expensive board.
Well maybe they dropped in price, but definitely a still more expensive then a B450 or even a X470 for that matter.



So you think they are going to use IGP?
Do you know how bad gaming is on a IGP and how limited you are to titles, and you can even almost forget 1440p with anything but low settings.

A RX 6600 is running for 229.

Id think any smart gamer would at least allocate some of his/her budget on a dedicated card.
Huh??? I certainly said nothing in my post about using the IGP. The minimum GPU for ray tracing is an RTX 2060, which is in the 250 to 300 dollar range, and depending on the game, it could take an even more powerful card. If one is willing to pay that for a gpu, it would seem reasonable to move up to 12th gen intel or AMD 5xxx.

Edit: The problem with the 3600 (even the faster 3600x) is that it is only about on par with Intel 10th gen for gaming. For about 100.00 more, one could get 12400 or 5600, which would seem definitely worth it for me.
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
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A 12100 might slightly out-perform a 3600 in lightly threaded games that benefit most from clock-speed but for overall/general computing and productivity a 6-core 3600 is a better choice. (especially if you already have an AM4 MB)

I snagged a 3600 back in summer of 2020 to run with my old GTX-980 for gaming and then got a 3080 in late December.

Later I moved to a 5800x and while it was a fairly large performance-bump it wasn't as big as expected and if I had it to do again I would wait based on average frame-rates in games.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Let's put it this way, the 3600 is pretty-much the lowest I would go in the AM4 stack, for gaming. That means that the 16MB L3 / PCI-E 3.0 of the 5500 is below the 3600, for gaming, although, that's probably honestly more of a toss-up than I want to admit, with the Zen3 cores.

If this news of a "3600AF" with cores from a 5600 is true, then I'm sure we'll all be talking about that CPU soon, and forgetting all about the 12100F.

I stand by my statement, though, if you have an older board, and an older 1st-gen or zen+ Ryzen CPU, an $80 3600 as a drop-in is largely a no-brainer.
 

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
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Whole lot of gaming talk when there's better options out for that sort of thing.

The horsepower for gaming isn't in the CPU anyway if you look at the CPU stats while gaming., It's all about the GPU which is why you end up paying 50% or more for a system price in the GPU department.

If I can build a headless non-GPU ADL -K for ~$1000 and adding a GPU adds $1500 it tells you something about where the performance lies.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
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I wouldn't bother with a 5500 personally but not so much because of gaming, it would be the lack of PCIe gen 4 for NVME storage.

Due to my being a clumsy oaf and damaging my Gigabyte B450 (repaired by GB) I snagged an ASUS B550.

The 1tb WD SN850 Gen 4 NVME I was booting from actually was noticeably snappier running on the B550, but the 3080's performance was literally identical running on gen 3 vs gen 4.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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If I can build a headless non-GPU ADL -K for ~$1000 and adding a GPU adds $1500 it tells you something about where the performance lies.
Good points.

3600 $80
B550 budget board $85-100
RX 6600 $225
16GB DDR4-3200, maybe 3600 $45

case $50
PSU, maybe a future-proof 850W 80Plus Gold w/10-year warranty $100

$600 total (all NEW)? (plus tax / shipping)

Edit: Sorry, forgot storage and windows license.

2TB SATA budget SSD or 1TB Gen4 NVMe $99
VIPSCDKeys Win10 Pro license key $20 or so, less on sales.

Edit: If semi-Pro gamer, or wanting a little more future-proof or with higher-res display, consider:

XFX RX 6750 XT 12GB $399
5600 CPU $130
2TB Gen4 NVMe for $215-ish?
 
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Tech Junky

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Good points.

3600 $80
B550 budget board $85-100
RX 6600 $225
16GB DDR4-3200, maybe 3600 $45

case $50
PSU, maybe a future-proof 850W 80Plus Gold w/10-year warranty $100

$600 total? (plus tax / shipping)
And you won't be using it for high power games and if it's a server build drop the 6600 and it's under $400.

The prior statement of using it for a router/firewall/nas/media server makes even more sense at that price even excluding storage. It still would perform 10X better than anything you bought off the shelf.
 

Markfw

Moderator Emeritus, Elite Member
May 16, 2002
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Whole lot of gaming talk when there's better options out for that sort of thing.

The horsepower for gaming isn't in the CPU anyway if you look at the CPU stats while gaming., It's all about the GPU which is why you end up paying 50% or more for a system price in the GPU department.

If I can build a headless non-GPU ADL -K for ~$1000 and adding a GPU adds $1500 it tells you something about where the performance lies.
Not until prices come down... BUT soon the 4090 will be $1600, all GPU prices seem to have skyrocketed for some reason, but I am sure very soon it will all stabilize again. Just 2 days ago you could get a 3080TI for like $730, and now they are $1500 ????
 

In2Photos

Golden Member
Mar 21, 2007
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Good points.

3600 $80
B550 budget board $85-100
RX 6600 $225
16GB DDR4-3200, maybe 3600 $45

case $50
PSU, maybe a future-proof 850W 80Plus Gold w/10-year warranty $100

$600 total (all NEW)? (plus tax / shipping)

Edit: Sorry, forgot storage and windows license.

2TB SATA budget SSD or 1TB Gen4 NVMe $99
VIPSCDKeys Win10 Pro license key $20 or so, less on sales.
My daughter's PC doesn't meet the specs of a game coming out early next year. This looks like a pretty decent upgrade that would fit the bill and not break the bank for her. Hmmm...
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator CPU Forum Mod and Elite Member
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Let's put it this way, the 3600 is pretty-much the lowest I would go in the AM4 stack, for gaming. That means that the 16MB L3 / PCI-E 3.0 of the 5500 is below the 3600, for gaming, although, that's probably honestly more of a toss-up than I want to admit, with the Zen3 cores.
I have seen people get 4.6GHz+ fairly readily on the 5500. It is close to a 3600 in gaming with both at stock, But the extra cache on the 3600 won't make up for the clockspeed disadvantage. The 5500 is over $120-$130+ making it a tough sell v. $80 3600.
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
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Newegg has multiple 3080 ti's in stock for $850-$875 and a bunch of 12gb 3080's for roughly $100 less. I would suggest skipping the ti and getting a "vanilla" 3080 or a 3090/6900XT instead.

These prices are still too high though. :confused_old:
 
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Tech Junky

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Newegg has multiple 3080 ti's in stock for $850-$875 and a bunch of 12gb 3080's for roughly $100 less. I would suggest skipping the ti and getting a "vanilla" 3080 or a 3090/6900XT instead.

These prices are still too high though. :confused_old:
so, this puts it at 2/3 of the total cost of a build outlined above. If you're putting that kind of cash into the GPU you wouldn't be entertaining a cheap CPU / MOBO in the first place.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator CPU Forum Mod and Elite Member
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My daughter's PC doesn't meet the specs of a game coming out early next year. This looks like a pretty decent upgrade that would fit the bill and not break the bank for her. Hmmm...
I'd spend less on the PSU. And M.2 SATA is dead to me now. No point in it with how close in price NVME has gotten. Well worth the extra spend.

I'd also get the B550M Steel Legend for $110. Sapphire Nitro RX6600 for $220, and the Ryzen 5600 for $130 if you don't live neat MC. Spend a little more, get a lot more.
 

DAPUNISHER

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so, this puts it at 2/3 of the total cost of a build outlined above. If you're putting that kind of cash into the GPU you wouldn't be entertaining a cheap CPU / MOBO in the first place.
If they are, that's a weird flex. :p
 

Captante

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My specific suggestion for a GPU right now would mostly be AMD.

6600/6600XT for "bang for the buck" or a 3060 if you feel the need to go Nvidia..... for high-end if you can live without ray-tracing it's tough to beat the 6900XT for less than $700 though!
 
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Tech Junky

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If they are, that's a weird flex. :p
I've seen dumber postings mentioning similar thought processes. When it doesn't matter as much would be if you were just setting up a mining rig and just need a base + OS to bring up the GPU's and start hashing.

Gaming though is a trigger for nerds though and they lose sight of the where the bang for the dollar actually matters.
 
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Captante

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A 3600 would get beaten handily by a 5600 all else being equal especially in games .... Zen 3 IPC was far better for gaming then Zen 2.

Having said that, as I mentioned I went directly from 3600 to a 5800X with the identical motherboard, memory and storage.... IRL it was an underwheming upgrade that I wish I had bypassed considering the price-tag at the time.

What I WISH I'd done was ride the 3600 until the 5800X3D was released. (first world problems big-time!)

:D
 
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Captante

Lifer
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@Captante That's the problem with the hype on the CPU side. It doesn't make as much difference as a GPU upgrade would have made.

For mainly gaming 100% agreed except in extreme circumstances and/or low-resolutions. *(1080p/60hz or below)

These days I game 100% of the time @ 1440p/165hz with G-Sync and with those hardware-settings plus max-details once the CPU is "sufficient" there's very little to be gained by spending more.... again IN GAMES. (for example compare gaming performance of a 5600 to a 5950x)

The exception to the above would be if you frequently host game-servers locally with large numbers of players.... in that case it MIGHT be worth springing for that 12/13900k/7950x!
 
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Ranulf

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Jul 18, 2001
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A 3600 would get beaten handily by a 5600 all else being equal especially in games .... Zen 3 IPC was far better for gaming then Zen 2.

Having said that, as I mentioned I went directly from 3600 to a 5800X with the identical motherboard, memory and storage.... IRL it was an underwheming upgrade that I wish I had bypassed considering the price-tag at the time.

What I WISH I'd done was ride the 3600 until the 5800X3D was released. (first world problems big-time!)

:D

I feel you. If AMD hadn't said 3 years ago no support for what became Zen3 on X370, I just might have held out with my 1700 till 5800x 3d.

I also don't understand anyone taking anything cezanne seriously for desktop given the current prices (US anyway). A 5600 is $130 right now. A 5500 would have to be $100 or less to be interesting. The only cezanne desktop product remotely interesting is the 5600g/5700g and only when they're on sale and you want the built in graphics to save a pci-e slot in some sort of server or utility build.

As for future proofing under some notion of ps5/console game rtx performance... no one in the budget realm should care about ray tracing performance that will be horrid on low end gpus. Never mind that many of these console games will be 1+ years behind for the PC release and probably be the typical lazy "console port" that devs/publishers blame any issues on the tech and not their sloppy programming.
 

aigomorla

CPU, Cases&Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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My specific suggestion for a GPU right now would mostly be AMD.

6600/6600XT for "bang for the buck" or a 3060 if you feel the need to go Nvidia..... for high-end if you can live without ray-tracing it's tough to beat the 6900XT for less than $700 though!

actually best bang for the buck is a 6700XT or 6750XT.

That would push your GPU into upper mid class territory.
Upper class starts at 6800XT and high upper would be the 6900XT.

@Captante That's the problem with the hype on the CPU side. It doesn't make as much difference as a GPU upgrade would have made.

what if you like playing games @ 800x600 resolution? (heavy sarcasm) :tearsofjoy:
 
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SteveGrabowski

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$600 total (all NEW)? (plus tax / shipping)

Edit: Sorry, forgot storage and windows license.

Thank god fordeletedI don't feel at all bad about pirating Windows since that company should have been broken up in the 1990s.



You cannot post how/where to pirate software.
It's just not allowed.


esquared
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