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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Aug 22, 2001
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All lower-end RPL are really just relabel ADL CPUs. So no, that's not really an option.
I think the stronger argument is that few gamers buying NIB $95 CPUs will be upgrading any time soon. Most would spend more on a better CPU if they could fit it in the budget. Older financially established forum goers seem to have trouble understanding how tight a budget many younger gamers have to work with.

AM4 is an outlier because it has stayed around so long. Hell, the 3600 has caused confusion even with experienced users in this thread because of how many generations of Intel CPUs have come out since. It took 2 more gens before Intel had PCIe 4.0.

Which brings us to a fun fact: The 3600 launched against the 9400f. There is a reason that the 9400f hasn't entered the chat; it is already irrelevant, unlike the 3600. Another Fun fact, even at over $100 it was in the Amazon top 10 selling CPUs recently, over 3yrs after launch.

And I have had this same discussion for years now. History keeps repeating itself. The cycle is Intel being stingy with threads, and proponents point to bar charts showing why it is just fine for gaming. A couple of years pass and... crickets. The 12100 is today's 9400f. 8 threads isn't enough moving forward. That an almost 3.5yr old $199 3600 can still square up against it for gaming, and beat it in productivity and multitasking is evidence of it. It costs $95 for a reason, because it is going to fade fast like i3s have for a good while.

I stated either are fine for a ultra budget build, that is the diplomatic answer. The harsh truth is threads have mattered for a long time now. The 12100f having the same 4/8 as an i7 from a decade ago is sad. The old PS4 and Xbox One X targets are fading away. Averages and percentages on bar charts made by people testing games that don't even play the games, won't mean squat when frame pacing is garbage in a couple of years. All because the CPU keeps pegging out at 100%.

Thank you for attending my TED Talk. :p
 

In2Photos

Golden Member
Mar 21, 2007
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Normally I wouldn't either, but Zen2 is getting a little long in the tooth.
Really? Depends on the user I guess. I still have an i7-920 that I use for games. That's long in the tooth. My daughter has an i7-4790. That's getting there too, but she can play the majority of titles, although there is one coming up that will require an upgrade. Still, I'm having a hard time believing that the 3600 won't be usable for at least a few more years and longer depending on what you use it for.
 

maddie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2010
4,775
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I think the stronger argument is that few gamers buying NIB $95 CPUs will be upgrading any time soon. Most would spend more on a better CPU if they could fit it in the budget. Older financially established forum goers seem to have trouble understanding how tight a budget many younger gamers have to work with.

AM4 is an outlier because it has stayed around so long. Hell, the 3600 has caused confusion even with experienced users in this thread because of how many generations of Intel CPUs have come out since. It took 2 more gens before Intel had PCIe 4.0.

Which brings us to a fun fact: The 3600 launched against the 9400f. There is a reason that the 9400f hasn't entered the chat; it is already irrelevant, unlike the 3600. Another Fun fact, even at over $100 it was in the Amazon top 10 selling CPUs recently, over 3yrs after launch.

And I have had this same discussion for years now. History keeps repeating itself. The cycle is Intel being stingy with threads, and proponents point to bar charts showing why it is just fine for gaming. A couple of years pass and... crickets. The 12100 is today's 9400f. 8 threads isn't enough moving forward. That an almost 3.5yr old $199 3600 can still square up against it for gaming, and beat it in productivity and multitasking is evidence of it. It costs $95 for a reason, because it is going to fade fast like i3s have for a good while.

I stated either are fine for a ultra budget build, that is the diplomatic answer. The harsh truth is threads have mattered for a long time now. The 12100f having the same 4/8 as an i7 from a decade ago is sad. The old PS4 and Xbox One X targets are fading away. Averages and percentages on bar charts made by people testing games that don't even play the games, won't mean squat when frame pacing is garbage in a couple of years. All because the CPU keeps pegging out at 100%.

Thank you for attending my TED Talk. :p
That last sentence in the 1st paragraph should be bolded & underlined. This also applies to the greatest % of the world's population.

"Older financially established forum goers seem to have trouble understanding how tight a budget many younger gamers have to work with."
 

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
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That last sentence in the 1st paragraph should be bolded & underlined. This also applies to the greatest % of the world's population.

"Older financially established forum goers seem to have trouble understanding how tight a budget many younger gamers have to work with."
It's not that there's a misunderstanding it's just simply a fact that happens. I know there's not a one size fit all budget for every scenario and my goals are to put the best HW into a system for the cheapest possible. I hate over paying for this crap and will do anything possible to avoid paying the stupid tax applied by sellers. If your budget doesn't allow to buy something off the shelf then you find a way to make it yourself and sometimes do it better than the suggested option that's 3X the price.

For the setup I'm running now I collapsed several functions into a single box and up the performance factor. Just because I used higher end components doesn't mean it wouldn't work on a cheap $200 SFF PC.

If you're BROKE and want to play games like someone that has a budget it just doesn't work that way though as the HW isn't going to magically come down in price tomorrow so you can play a AAAA game with high FPS. I put my nose up at the GPU prices and the thought of the new 4090 starting at $1600 is just dumb. Back when I started in tech simple things like RAM cost you $100 for 8MB and now you get 32GB for the same price. Time passes and prices come down after the gold rush first few months or years of a new product. As supply kills the demand the prices come down quickly. Suppliers restrict the supply at launch to keep the price high for as long as they can before the next new product is to be released and then flood the market to get rid of stock at a low price.

"Younger" people haven't been around long enough to know how the game goes yet. As time passes and they learn more about how things work then it becomes more clear on how to make their resources work for them instead of the companies making profits off of them.
 

blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
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I upgraded from 3930K at 4+ghz to 3600 and it was a huge improvement. I upgraded to a 5800X from there and found it underwhelming, a PITA because it hot spotted like crazy spinning up my fans, etc.

The 3600 has been my most used CPU for builds simply because of the value it brings. Its easy to work with in terms of its modest cooling needs, a $20-$25 tower cooler is going to get you max boost and low noise every time.

For a budget gamer I'd have zero problems throwing it into a B450 board even now. You lose PCIE4 but so what? It gets you from a cheap 500GB nvme to a 1TB decent NVME for the price difference, etc. That's actually useful. Or a nice case, which is worth it IMO, or a steadier PSU.

This is a great deal.
 
Jul 27, 2020
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"Older financially established forum goers seem to have trouble understanding how tight a budget many younger gamers have to work with."
YES!!! I survived the entire P4/Athlon XP era with just a Celeron 700 overclocked to 1 GHz. Went from Voodoo 3 3000 to Geforce 2 MX 400 to Geforce 3 Ti 200 on the same machine. The money I saved from limiting meals to once a day!
 

AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
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The discussion is somewhat moot, considering the price is now $130.

But damn, I am jealous: Once again the U.S. gets the nicest deals, while here in Canada we're treated with leftovers.
The closest deal to this (in terms of sheer value for the money) was a recent two-day sale where you could buy the 5600G for CAD140 (about $100 US)...
 

ondma

Platinum Member
Mar 18, 2018
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It's not that there's a misunderstanding it's just simply a fact that happens. I know there's not a one size fit all budget for every scenario and my goals are to put the best HW into a system for the cheapest possible. I hate over paying for this crap and will do anything possible to avoid paying the stupid tax applied by sellers. If your budget doesn't allow to buy something off the shelf then you find a way to make it yourself and sometimes do it better than the suggested option that's 3X the price.

For the setup I'm running now I collapsed several functions into a single box and up the performance factor. Just because I used higher end components doesn't mean it wouldn't work on a cheap $200 SFF PC.

If you're BROKE and want to play games like someone that has a budget it just doesn't work that way though as the HW isn't going to magically come down in price tomorrow so you can play a AAAA game with high FPS. I put my nose up at the GPU prices and the thought of the new 4090 starting at $1600 is just dumb. Back when I started in tech simple things like RAM cost you $100 for 8MB and now you get 32GB for the same price. Time passes and prices come down after the gold rush first few months or years of a new product. As supply kills the demand the prices come down quickly. Suppliers restrict the supply at launch to keep the price high for as long as they can before the next new product is to be released and then flood the market to get rid of stock at a low price.

"Younger" people haven't been around long enough to know how the game goes yet. As time passes and they learn more about how things work then it becomes more clear on how to make their resources work for them instead of the companies making profits off of them.
I only buy the "tight budget" argument for e-sports type games, or perhaps older Steam games. If one wants to play AAA games, the price of one or two games is more than the upgrade from 3600 to 12400 or 5600.
 

blckgrffn

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May 1, 2003
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I only buy the "tight budget" argument for e-sports type games, or perhaps older Steam games. If one wants to play AAA games, the price of one or two games is more than the upgrade from 3600 to 12400 or 5600.

How many AAA games does the typical PC gamer even buy? Especially at full price? Most of the PC gamers I know play a handful of games into the ground. A good buddy of mine basically plays 7 Days to Die and maybe some other games when they are cheap. Hundreds and hundreds of hours. Other gaming group I know plays essentially whatever CoD game is out for essentially the whole year until the next one comes out. So on and so forth.

Checking out Steams top sellers list it's massively F2P and those games generally run great on these budget rigs.

1665681239611.png

Anyway, the last guys I had in my office to pick up a PC were talking about getting a monitor from one of those places where you make payments over time.

Many budget gamers are likely not budget gamers by choice. They may need to save that $60 on the PC upfront so they can actually buy the game their friends are playing. The difference in what software you can successfully run on a 3600 (at $80) vs a 5600 (at $130) is zero. If prices are the same, obviously take the newer one.
 
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In2Photos

Golden Member
Mar 21, 2007
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I'm not a hardcore gamer, hard to do that as a father of 2 teenagers, so I'm cheap when it comes to game prices. I don't think I've paid more than $10 for a game since we started playing PC games about 4 years ago and the majority are F2P. Sure we paid more for console games on the Wii and PS when the kids were younger as splurges for birthdays or Christmas, but $60/game, plus DLCs and such is tough to stomach!
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator CPU Forum Mod and Elite Member
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. Still, I'm having a hard time believing that the 3600 won't be usable for at least a few more years and longer depending on what you use it for.
Edit: Looks like it was a flash sale only not permanent price reduction. They will sit on the shelf at $130.

If you go used, you can get even better deals. I just picked up a 5600X for a killer price in our For sale/for trade forum. Always great deals rolling through there.
 
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maddie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2010
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YES!!! I survived the entire P4/Athlon XP era with just a Celeron 700 overclocked to 1 GHz. Went from Voodoo 3 3000 to Geforce 2 MX 400 to Geforce 3 Ti 200 on the same machine. The money I saved from limiting meals to once a day!
Well, I do hear that caloric restriction is good for a long & healthy, though maybe not happy, life. Cheers.
 

blckgrffn

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May 1, 2003
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Edit: Looks like it was a flash sale only not permanent price reduction. They will sit on the shelf at $130.

If you go used, you can get even better deals. I just picked up a 5600X for a killer price in our For sale/for trade forum. Always great deals rolling through there.

This is the real secret to budget rig building right here.
 

Ranulf

Platinum Member
Jul 18, 2001
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Which brings us to a fun fact: The 3600 launched against the 9400f. There is a reason that the 9400f hasn't entered the chat; it is already irrelevant, unlike the 3600. Another Fun fact, even at over $100 it was in the Amazon top 10 selling CPUs recently, over 3yrs after launch.

Eh, thing is the 12100 is still better than the 9400f because it has 8 threads vs 6. While 8 threads will likely not last as long as the 12 thread 3600, I don't think it is going to matter that much to most budget gamers in the next 2-4 years. Given the performance jumps over the past couple of generations, many will probably want a whole new system in 4-5 years. If not, they may want to jump up to a 13th gen i7+ or AMD 5000 series. I'd actually vote going AMD in that case simply because AMD's chips have not held their value near as much as Intel even in the past 3-4 years where Intel's cpus drop in value quicker than before.

Its been sad and hilarious at times to see some first and second gen Ryzen cpus drop to values equal or less than 4th gen i7 chips.
 
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AnitaPeterson

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Apr 24, 2001
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Eh, thing is the 12100 is still better than the 9400f because it has 8 threads vs 6. While 8 threads will likely not last as long as the 12 thread 3600, I don't think it is going to matter that much to most budget gamers in the next 2-4 years. [...] Its been sad and hilarious at times to see some first and second gen Ryzen cpus drop to values equal or less than 4th gen i7 chips.

QFT, particularly bolded part.
Just got a Ryzen 2600 for CAD80, it's crazy how much computing power you buy for this price!
 
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blckgrffn

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QFT, particularly bolded part.
Just got a Ryzen 2600 for CAD80, it's crazy how much computing power you buy for this price!

Especially when all pre-8th gen intel CPUs are bound to be ewaste in three years.

I know that's a ways out, but their value will likely (who knows) fall precipitously in those last few months when people (maybe) start figuring it out.

I bought a whole i5 6th Gen Dell business PC for ~$130 shipped w/8GB ram and a M2 sata drive, so businesses are clearly shedding them already. For an office use PC, it's actually pretty snappy.

That 2600 should live on like a Thuban and be useful for a long time :)
 
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DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator CPU Forum Mod and Elite Member
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Its been sad and hilarious at times to see some first and second gen Ryzen cpus drop to values equal or less than 4th gen i7 chips.
As a active used market buyer and seller I have the opposite perspective on it. I think it is sad and hilarious owners of pre 10th gen Intel i3 and i5s had to suffer being extorted for an i7 that worked in their boards for so long. For those Haswell folks, it was pay up or do a whole platform swap including ram. And if they didn't pay up for a Z board up front they got stuck with pedestrian ram speeds. It's laughable how long it took for Intel to allow XMP on anything but Z. Tick Tock your platform's time is up. THAT as I see it, is what is truly worthy of the sad trombone.

The reason old Ryzens are so cheap, is AM4 is over 5yrs old. You don't have to change boards and/or ram to get a much faster CPU, you just update the bios and drop it in. With the uplift between a1600 or 2600 and a $130 5600, for a 5 minute swap out, do you think we mind letting go of the 1600 or 2600 for $50-$60? ;)
 

DAPUNISHER

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Especially when all pre-8th gen intel CPUs are bound to be ewaste in three years.
I'd personally extend that to 8&9 gen i3 and i5 for CPU heavy gaming. A member here mentioned how their 9600K had issues in BF5 MP. That's an older game. With all the processes and apps running on a daily driver, discord going, those CPUs are overloaded in games that need the threads.

We spend a lot of time talking about keeping a system GPU bound. The catch is, you can always address it aging with res, settings, FSR, DLSS. When the CPU can't handle the job, that, as they say, is that.
 
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