Best CPU bang for buck with PC Gaming? G4560? i5? Ryzen?

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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Curious what you all think.

I've got a couple of rigs, one my friend is buying, and I'll likely keep the other one. (Unless a different friend wants to buy it off of me, and I can actually make some money off of it, then I'll build a Ryzen rig for myself.)

One has an i5-6400 @ 4.2Ghz, 16GB DDR4-2400, RX 470 4GB. (Used to have a 4GB RX 460.)
The other has a G4560 @ 3.5Ghz, 16GB DDR4-2400, and the same model RX 470 4GB. (Used to have a 2GB GTX950.)

Both rigs, with the new RX 470 4GB GPUs, now bench to 60+FPS in Unigen Heaven ("Extreme").

Just wondering which rig has the best bang-for-buck, either with the old or new video cards. (New cards cost $150 ea.)

Or if Ryzen is going to be better, and I should try to sell both rigs, and build a Ryzen rig?

I have a few additional "gaming rigs" with G4560 CPUs in them, that have older and in one case no GPUs. They only have 8GB DDR4 though.
 
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BSim500

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Depends what games you're running. In absolute $ terms for a budget build, the G4560 + RX470 is going to be as "bang per buck" as you can get, whilst the i5-6400 would maybe run heavier AAA games a little smoother. If you already own both of them though, if both already have 16GB RAM, and if you're already happy with the performance in actual games (rather than Unigine benchmarks), I simply don't see the point in selling them to buy a $300-$500 CPU and new motherboard for a "budget" build vs keeping your existing motherboard (of the other rig) and picking up an i7 (or even keeping the i5 if it's good enough for your choice of games)?

As usual, I suspect a lot of advice you'll be getting is the old "Why does VirtualLarry have like 12x budget PC's instead of 1x really good one" (just kidding). :D
 
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VirtualLarry

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As usual, I suspect a lot of advice you'll be getting is the old "Why does VirtualLarry have like 12x budget PC's instead of 1x really good one" (just kidding). :D
LOL. Yeah, it's basically true, though, I guess.

Only, I finally got around to building an i5 rig for gaming, and now I'm selling it to a friend for a tiny bit less than I paid for it.

To ask another question, is Ryzen 7 1700, or a potential Ryzen 5 6C/12T, going to be faster than an i5-6400 @ 4.2Ghz, for 1080P gaming? (I have 4K UHD screens, but don't have quite the GPU grunt to drive them @ 4K60 for gaming.)

Edit: Speaking of keeping rigs, the i5-6400 OCed is in a ASRock B150 K4/Hyper (only overclocks locked Skylake CPUs, not Kaby Lake, nor unlocked CPUs other than by BCLK), while the G4560 in this example is in an ASRock Z170 Pro4S ATX, which could be upgraded and then subsequently overclocked using an i7-7700K (if they ever get cheaper, due to Ryzen. I've seen them on ebay frequently for $310.)
 
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Flapdrol1337

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To ask another question, is Ryzen 7 1700, or a potential Ryzen 5 6C/12T, going to be faster than an i5-6400 @ 4.2Ghz, for 1080P gaming? (I have 4K UHD screens, but don't have quite the GPU grunt to drive them @ 4K60 for gaming.)
In tests it might be. But I don't think you'd notice much difference since the well threaded games will be gpu limited.

If you're buying new the 6 core ryzen seems great value though, slightly better gaming price/performance, massively better price/performance in applications.
 

BSim500

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Jun 5, 2013
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To ask another question, is Ryzen 7 1700, or a potential Ryzen 5 6C/12T, going to be faster than an i5-6400 @ 4.2Ghz, for 1080P gaming? (I have 4K UHD screens, but don't have quite the GPU grunt to drive them @ 4K60 for gaming.)
I honestly have no idea about predicting Ryzen. As usual when comparing CPU's of different brands, the only sane advice is ignore the fanboyism / pre-release overhype / "guesstimations" over on the often over-emotional CPU forum, and wait for the release benchmarks (preferably from 6-7 different sites and ideally including some who actually take the time to include how different mid-range CPU's perform when matched with mid-range GPU's like RX470-480 / GTX 1060 (which may significantly reduce the i3/i5 vs i7 or Ryzen 4C/8T vs 8C/16T gap vs testing the CPU's on a GTX 1080 and make the cost difference of replacing a motherboard as well not worth it unless you have a high-end card to match).

Edit : Just noticed your monitor, if you have 4K (far from a budget build), and if you intend to play AAA games, honestly I'd upgrade that GPU to at least a GTX 1070 before even thinking about swapping an i5 for a $300-$500 CPU, as you have to be very GPU bottlenecked even with a G4560 (something like 25-45fps on average, Skyrim SE, etc, with 100% GPU load at native res, etc, and probably lower in newer games)? A better CPU will make the 60Hz vs 120Hz difference, but 1080p / 60 -> 4K / 60 is almost entirely on the GPU and for 4K + RX470 you could blow $500 on a new CPU yet still be stuck with 35fps from a GPU bottleneck.

Just to reiterate, if you do not plan to upgrade your GPU, make sure you find a CPU review that tests whatever CPU you're looking at, at 4K resolution on a RX470 card rather than the usual GTX 1080 as you're going to end up very disappointed spending $350-500 or more swapping out a CPU + motherboard that sits 10-20% idle waiting on the GPU to render 35fps for a new CPU and motherboard that now sits 40-60% idle waiting on the GPU to render 35fps.
 

VirtualLarry

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but 1080p / 60 -> 4K / 60 is almost entirely on the GPU and for 4K + RX470 you could blow $500 on a new CPU yet still be stuck with 35fps from a GPU bottleneck.
Good point. I guess I'll hold off on Ryzen (at least for gaming duty) for now. Not really planning on replacing the RX 470 with a GTX 1070 or higher, unless I see a REALLY good sale price on them. Like $250-280 or so.
 

Stg-Flame

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Mar 10, 2007
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Why settle with the i5 generation when the i7 aren't that much more?
 

escrow4

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Feb 4, 2013
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An i5 7600 currently or the highest clocked locked i5 as I have never been interested in overclocking. The 7600 non K hits 3.9GHz all cores without touching anything and can peak at 4.1GHz for single core when Chrome thrashes it. Match it to the standard Home chipset (H270) currently as it has a few more USB ports and slots and likely better build quality (VRMs/phases) for longevity as opposed to a frisbee H110 board (Kaby Lake has no ultra dirt cheap mobo chipset no wonder). B250 also does have COM ports though vs H270 which has Type C. Match all that with a 16GB slab of RAM and you are set.

My own setup - i5 7600 | H270M Pro 4 | 16GB DDR4 2400MHz 14-16-16 RAM - works fine pushing Andromeda to 1080p60 with slight areas dipping to 50s which is more engine and patches than hardware grunt. My default choice for a desktop for anyone is an i5. It has no flaws nor does it excel anywhere but it is a reliable workhorse.

EDIT: I would not recommend anything less than an i5 for a desktop or i5 mobile for a laptop if you want something to last. Software and the web has just gotten fatter and fatter.
 

guachi

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Nov 16, 2010
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We are so close to R5 release this is one of those rare times where "wait" is probably the correct answer.

I suspect that R5, in 4 or 6 core guise, will be a great buy, especially any version with a cooler, for gaming. All will be unlocked, as you know, and for that reason are probably a better buy than a locked 7400 (for example).

If an R7 1700 can do 3.6-3.7 easily on the included cooler, I have no doubt the 1500X and 1600 with the same cooler (sans RGB) can do the same.Though it will be interesting to see what the 4/8 1500X can do with the spire and if the 1500X with the spire is worth the $20 premium over the 1400.

It's entirely possible (and I hope we see this tested) that being able to OC R5 puts it ahead of the non-K Intel versions. It should be very close.
 
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Smoblikat

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Nov 19, 2011
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I can regularly find I5 2500K's for $80
Pair that with an 80 - 100$ P67/Z68/Z77 board and some (cheaper) DDR3 and youve got a rig fast enough for any game under $250, minus GPU.
 

daveybrat

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Jan 31, 2000
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Or just finally buy an i7 cpu Larry.....i'll give you a great deal on a new i7 6700 if you're interested. ;)
 

aigomorla

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i5 is IMO the most solid performer if your looking for a pure gaming cpu with headroom.

I dont know much about ryzen other then its more meant for a broad spectrum of things with gaming, however it loses to an intel in pure gaming aspects.
 

local

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I generally go for the high end CPU and lower level GPU. I have been on a 6 year cycle for a while now and it is much easier to upgrade the GPU if needed than replace the CPU and MB.
 

zinfamous

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Jul 12, 2006
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Ryzen 5 is out tomorrow. Hold on to your butts!

My prediction: i5s and below will be pretty much irrelevant for any use when compared to the 1600X down to the 1400.

And, the roughly $100-120 value in price difference between the 1600X and the i7 6700k/7700k will stir intriguing debate regarding the best pure gaming chips. Now, that depends on the actual 1600X performance, if it somehow scales better with single threading compared to 1700 and the 1800s, but I guess we shall see. Going forward, it will very likely beat any i7 in modern, multithreaded games that are starting to trickle out.
 

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