Best Entry-level rig using "modern" parts?

Aug 25, 2001
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#1
Is it a Coffee Lake i3-8100 for $129.99 + Z370 mobo ($105 for GA-Z370-HD3)

OR

Ryzen 5 1600 (MC price $169.99), combo with ASRock AB350M Pro4 for $200 (maybe AR) @ MC.

Either way, hard to go wrong. I'm personally leaning towards the R5 1600 for productivity and content-creation, but the CFL is possibly better for 1080P gaming.

If anyone see the R5 1600 for $149.99 or less this BF season, please let me know! Likewise, the i3-8100, for $99.99 or less.
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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#2
For most people who want a base entry-level rig (especially for non-gaming use), I would point them towards a prebuilt with a warranty.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#3
In that case, Coffee Lake-based rigs would have an advantage there, in the OEM space, because nearly every Ryzen-based rig that I've seen for sale by OEMs is premium-priced. Which, I guess is for good reason, it is a powerful CPU, but I think the real reason, is that it is a lower-volume product. (Although, those mindfactory.de sales graphs seemed to indicate that AMD was selling more than Intel, very recently.)

This might all change once Raven Ridge for desktop comes out, that would seem to be ideal chip for both laptops and entry-level desktops. Imagine, Vega-class graphics, without having to pay for a dGPU! OEMs should LOVE that.
 

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
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#4
For now, I will pick i3-8100. Because for a "budget" build, having gpu is a bit on the premium side and currently Ryzen doesn't have that option. Intel igp itself is more than enough to fulfill "budget" user needs. And also, its 4 cores is nothing to be ashamed of.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
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#5
Prebuilt. The i3 wiil get $40-50 cheaper next year with new low-end chipsets.

I've had an Acer i3-2100 mini-ITX for my music jukebox for 5-6 years now and it's been a solid little PC.

Acer seems to care about noise: only recently has it started to get a tiny bit louder (but still quiet) as the thermal paste has probably dried out and the heatsink could use a good cleaning.

I also have an Acer i7-7700 system at work and it is inaudible under normal loads, including the GTX 1060 3GB. It has a good-sized "flower" style cooler instead of a tiny Intel-style heatsink.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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#6
Actually for the vast majority, the hyperthreaded Pentium at less than a hundred bucks is more than sufficient.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#7
Actually for the vast majority, the hyperthreaded Pentium at less than a hundred bucks is more than sufficient.
I think I would still go with the i3-8100 instead as it will be more "Future Proof" then a Pentium for a Basic build.
 

bbhaag

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2011
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#8
What methods are you using to define a best entry level rig with modern parts? My i5-7200U is a commendable chip and has a lot of modern parts. I also appreciate the portability it affords over the i3-8100 and r5 1600 you mentioned. I am wondering if it fits into your definition of a best entry level rig with modern parts. I don't believe it will.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#9
What methods are you using to define a best entry level rig with modern parts? My i5-7200U is a commendable chip and has a lot of modern parts. I also appreciate the portability it affords over the i3-8100 and r5 1600 you mentioned. I am wondering if it fits into your definition of a best entry level rig with modern parts. I don't believe it will.
When I started the thread, I had building in mind, so desktop parts. If you want to nominate a laptop, though, feel free, I guess.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#10
When I started the thread, I had building in mind, so desktop parts. If you want to nominate a laptop, though, feel free, I guess.
I thought it was pretty clear that you was referring to desktops Larry as laptop fill another role entirely.
 

turtile

Senior member
Aug 19, 2014
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#11
When I started the thread, I had building in mind, so desktop parts. If you want to nominate a laptop, though, feel free, I guess.
I my opinion, a laptop is the only way to go if you are on a budget for a new computer. It comes with a monitor/keyboard/touchpad/wi-fi/bluetooth etc.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#12
I my opinion, a laptop is the only way to go if you are on a budget for a new computer. It comes with a monitor/keyboard/touchpad/wi-fi/bluetooth etc.
Depends on your use case(s). Since I use Linux and unless I buy something from someone like System76, it a PITA to buy a laptop that works without any issues with Linux.
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
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#13
I would go with the 1600 for almost all usage cases, with perhaps the exception of a strict gaming build. Even then, pairing an i3 8100 with a Z370 mobos just doesn't make sense to me.

The 8100 only really makes sense as a budget gaming CPU when paired with the upcoming H or B series mobos, running (relatively) cheap DDR4-2400/2666 memory. That would make it approximately $50 - $100 cheaper than a Ryzen 1600 setup, considering the need for Ryzen to use more expensive low latency DDR4-3200 memory to extract maximum performance, especially in gaming.

I think this point often gets overlooked in value comparisons - the cost of RAM. The cheaper B350 platform suddenly doesn't look so cheap when you have to include a LL DDR4-3200 kit into the pricing equation, especially with the current inflated DDR4 prices. Sure, you can use lower end RAM kits, but you are severely bottlenecking a Ryzen setup if running DDR4-2400 or 2666, for example.

The same can't be said for an i3 8100, which runs well enough with DDR4-2400. It just needs a budget oriented mobo to make it a sensible buy.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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#14
Larry didn't specify a gaming build, so I would stick with my earlier suggestion. For a gaming build I would move up the recommendation to an i5 8400. Very similar in price to the 1600 and overall faster in gaming.
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
884
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#15
Larry didn't specify a gaming build, so I would stick with my earlier suggestion. For a gaming build I would move up the recommendation to an i5 8400. Very similar in price to the 1600 and overall faster in gaming.
Yeah I was just saying that gaming would be the ONLY exception where perhaps the 8100 might make more sense than a R5 1600, and even then, I have my doubts how well a 4C/4T chip will hold up in upcoming AAA titles.
 

Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
1,415
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#16
Right now, Ryzen5 is the better deal overall I think. Cheaper would be the Intel because you can use lower speed and thus cheaper ram but not much using the MC prices quoted.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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#19
Good except I'd take the money from the SSD, and put it into a HDD and better video card instead.
That's certainly an option. I just gotta have the SSD though. ;-)
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#20
Good except I'd take the money from the SSD, and put it into a HDD and better video card instead.
I rather keep the SSD as you can always buy a better GPU later.
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
7,363
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#21
Is it a Coffee Lake i3-8100 for $129.99 + Z370 mobo ($105 for GA-Z370-HD3)

OR

Ryzen 5 1600 (MC price $169.99), combo with ASRock AB350M Pro4 for $200 (maybe AR) @ MC.

Either way, hard to go wrong. I'm personally leaning towards the R5 1600 for productivity and content-creation, but the CFL is possibly better for 1080P gaming.

If anyone see the R5 1600 for $149.99 or less this BF season, please let me know! Likewise, the i3-8100, for $99.99 or less.
CFL is better in games to what extent? On a budget build, you don't get to benefit from the main thing the intel chips have. Being able to push high refresh rates.

R5 is the better choice, it's really not a contest to me.

i7 is the only worthwhile intel chip at this point.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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#22
CFL is better in games to what extent? On a budget build, you don't get to benefit from the main thing the intel chips have. Being able to push high refresh rates.

R5 is the better choice, it's really not a contest to me.

i7 is the only worthwhile intel chip at this point.
i7 is the only worthwhile intel cpu?? You cant be serious. The i5 Coffee lake cpus have six cores and are definitely a viable option to any ryzen below the 8 core variants. In fact for gaming or anything but highly threaded workloads they are the better option. Even the 8400 overall is faster in gaming than *any* ryzen chip. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I strongly disagree. In fact for my uses, I would pick the i5 8400 over the ryzen 1600 all day, every day, without a second thought.[/QUOTE]
 
Mar 24, 2017
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#23
Honestly if I was going to build a budget PC for someone right now my choice would be a i7/i5 based Dell Business PC which can be found on craigslist\ebay for next to nothing. The machines can usually take a 1050/60 class card without issue and offer better value than anything new. In my opinion if buying new the i5 8400 appears to be the best overall CPU for the price when it can be obtained at MSRP. I have built 6 i3 8100/8350 based machines and they have been rock solid. The i8350's do 4.7-4.8ghz all day on inexpensive air cooling and I think make the best gaming budget choice especially since they can be paired with used\re-purposed ddr4 2133 memory. The biggest pain in the ass building new machines is the DDR4 memory cost and coffee lake CPU's don't really need faster memory.
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
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#24
i7 is the only worthwhile intel cpu?? You cant be serious. The i5 Coffee lake cpus have six cores and are definitely a viable option to any ryzen below the 8 core variants. In fact for gaming or anything but highly threaded workloads they are the better option. Even the 8400 overall is faster in gaming than *any* ryzen chip. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I strongly disagree. In fact for my uses, I would pick the i5 8400 over the ryzen 1600 all day, every day, without a second thought.
Explain how a budget user benefits from the speed of the i5 in gaming on a 1080p/60hz screen.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#25
Explain how a budget user benefits from the speed of the i5 in gaming on a 1080p/60hz screen.
The i5-8400 has higher IPC then the Ryzen R5 does. Good gods, don't you read the benchmarks?
 

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