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Cost Effectiveness of Ryzen vs CFL

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
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The last year or two I haven't followed tech as closely as I have historically, which is not to say I haven't been following Ryzen's release and Intel's response at all.

I understand now isn't a great time for a PC refresh for a few reasons, including but not limited to: DDR4 prices are high; there are no lower-end chipsets which work with CFL CPUs; flash/SSD prices are high; GPU prices are high.

If I were to refresh my PC, I wouldn't be replacing my video card. I'd probably go with a 256GB or maybe 512GB NVMe SSD (960 EVO), but I might also just buy an mSATA to SATA adapter and reuse my current SSD for a while longer. RAM prices are discouraging, as is the motherboard situation.

For my specific use, I'd probably be aiming again for i5 / R5. My processing needs have declined (relatively) over the years, and mostly I'd consider upgrading just to have something new to play with. Power efficiency is important to me in an abstract way; I spent many hours playing with undervolting my CPU, but found that the increase in idle power consumption due to needing to disable certain C-states more than offset any savings I could get with reduced voltage, considering my machine is effectively "idle" most of the time. So, while I appreciate having the option to adjust multpliers and voltages, in practice my CPU has been left stock most of its life.

Looking at the i5 8400 vs R5 1600, by most metrics it looks like the i5 is a better deal. It even seems you can get them at MSRP now.

30% better gaming performance in a game that scales well with higher thread counts:


37% better minimum framerate in a game which scales well with performance per core:


Effectively tied in highly parallel tasks such as rendering:


The Intel chip idles at lower power:


The Intel chip draws 17% more power while gaming for 30%+ more performance:



Mind you this is a limited set of data, but most of the reviews I've read tell a similar story.

Normally I'd say that the lack of a chipset below Z370 would be an issue for Intel, since I don't particularly need overclocking or some of the features native to the higher chipsets, but AM4 is sorely lacking in ITX options, such that the cheapest B350 motherboard which has what I want would be within $10 of an equivalent Z370 board, and the CPUs are the same price.

So, what's the case for Ryzen? I don't mean this as a troll thread, I'm really just looking to get the best deal.
 

Burpo

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Sep 10, 2013
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Yuriman

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Jun 25, 2004
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Full ATX is irrelevant to me. I have an ITX case.

Frankly for a while I was considering replacing my i5 with a newer generation, higher clocked i3. I mostly play casual, MOBA and Steam games, web browse with <10 tabs, and the extent of my multitasking is usually music and web pages left open while I game. On rare occasion I'll do audio or video conversion, but I can probably count on my fingers how often this happens in a year.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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Full ATX is irrelevant to me. I have an ITX case.

Frankly for a while I was considering replacing my i5 with a newer generation, higher clocked i3. I mostly play casual, MOBA and Steam games, web browse with <10 tabs, and the extent of my multitasking is usually music and web pages left open while I game. On rare occasion I'll do audio or video conversion, but I can probably count on my fingers how often this happens in a year.
That is a tough call as either the R5-1600 or i5-8400 will do what you want. What are you running now?
 

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
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System is in my signature. Most of what inclines me to upgrade is to have something new to play with, and to have more modern connectivity. USB C would be nice, and I'd enjoy tinkering with NVMe drives.

EDIT: So it looks like the i5 is faster and more efficient for most real-world tasks, in addition to having better ITX options, and the CPUs are the same price. Am I wrong?
 

fastamdman

Golden Member
Nov 18, 2011
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System is in my signature. Most of what inclines me to upgrade is to have something new to play with, and to have more modern connectivity. USB C would be nice, and I'd enjoy tinkering with NVMe drives.

EDIT: So it looks like the i5 is faster and more efficient for most real-world tasks, in addition to having better ITX options, and the CPUs are the same price. Am I wrong?
Personally, I would go with the i5 all day long. If you enjoy overclocking, the 8600k is a beastly cpu. However it is over kill for your system, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you want to play more demanding games in the future, or start doing more intensive work loads, it might not be a bad idea to splurge for a better processor. Regardless of what you choose to do, I would go with the intel side of things personally.
 

repoman0

Diamond Member
Jun 17, 2010
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I'd try to hold off until Ryzen 2 in a few months unless you really want something to play with. Intel is in the middle of patching Meltdown, so probably worthwhile to see how performance is affected before buying. It will likely be minimal for many home workloads but still, it eats away into any performance gained by upgrading. Looks like nvme drives will take a pretty good hit in random reads and writes (~40% last I saw). Additionally, if you tend to keep your platforms for a long time, AM4 will supposedly be around for drop in CPU upgrades through Ryzen 3.

All that said, the latest Intel 8xxx chips are basically faster than current gen Ryzen and probably will be after patching. Depends if you feel like waiting and/or how important platform longevity is to you. You could probably overclock your i5 to get some free performance for the wait, or drop in an older i7 to get hyperthreading in the meantime.
 

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
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Is it possible/reasonable to just decline the security update pushed out by Microsoft? I mean, at least until it's all rolled together in the yearly update? As I understand, the vulnerabilities are only local.

EDIT: And my current CPU should be affected anyway.
 

repoman0

Diamond Member
Jun 17, 2010
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I'm guessing you're on 7 if you can decline updates :rolleyes: I've read that 7 is hit a lot harder, but haven't seen any benchmarks, so could be BS. The most likely attack vector for unpatched vulnerabilities is probably sketchy javascript. Who knows if anybody will even bother with attacks considering the massive patching and mitigation campaign.

I always seem to randomly want to upgrade my pc for no reason in the winter months as well. Two winters ago I went from 2600k -> 6700k, last winter 6700k -> Ryzen 1700x, this winter I'm wiring my house with cat6 and setting up a Xeon server. The only noticeable change is going to be the server.

I guess somewhere in there I upgraded GPUs to a 1070 which was also noticeable.
 
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fleshconsumed

Diamond Member
Feb 21, 2002
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Personally I'm super happy with my 1800X. Zero regrets. I run VMs and occasionally reencode video (come to think of it I'll probably be ripping a bunch of DVDs and BRs soon). Just this weekend my 1800X was 50% CPU busy and 40GB RAM taken, and that's just from running VMs. 4 cores don't cut it for me anymore.

But, you know, get what works best for your workloads. If you don't need lots of cores and want maximum single thread performance, get Intel, if you don't care about single thread and want more cores, get AMD. Sounds like your workload favors intel, so get that. The only caveat is that AMD platform is supposed to be more upgradeable, you can go up to 8 cores now, and if AMD holds true to its word about AM4 platform you'll be able to get even more cores and better single thread in the future.
 
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Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
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Makes sense. I believe AMD promised at least one more generation before they abandoned AM4? I wonder how much headroom the Zen architecture has with IPC.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
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If you're not planning to overclock, then I'd try to wait for the cheaper intel motherboard chipsets, and look again at that point. Maybe DDR4 prices will be less crazy by then too.

In a little ITX case I'd prefer intel for better power efficiency = less waste heat = less noise.

For using your SSD, just plug it into a SATA port, I doubt you'd gain anything from using an adapter.
 
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