Discussion The GN review of the Pentium G7400, is a perfect example of what's wrong with big reviewers.

DAPUNISHER

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Prefacing my remarks: I am a fan of GN. They are the best PC tech journalists for consumer advocacy, hands down. And they are developing into an excellent technical reviewer as well. I have gone as far as to purchase merch to support them.

That said: The aforementioned review strikes me as being out of touch with the ultra budget gamer. The narrative that there is room for a sub 4GHz 2/4 CPU as a budget gamer, in 2022, is bad advice. And a prime example of how bar graphs fail dismally, in fully conveying the problems a user faces. Assets loading slowly or not at all, greatly inhibit a game's enjoyability, and adversely impact its playability. Take that, on top of the frame pacing issues they do mention. Now, add that it is priced against a $85 10100f 4/8 and B560M $90 board, and it makes even less sense.

The place holder argument falls flat for me. It cannot handle the latest demanding titles already. In my mind, that makes it a losing your place holder. :D It is also too closely priced to the 12100f. GN pushes the idea to spend enough on a board that it can handle a beefier CPU later. That money would be better spent on a 4/8 CPU to begin with.

None of this addresses the used market, as that is not a apples to apples comparison. And for value, it would further the argument that the G7400 should not even enter the discussion, for a build that needs to be capable of playing the latest titles.

This review is also a good example of why video reviews can be so helpful, when done correctly. While this is a video review, it never shows actual gameplay with the hardware. I have seen, and experienced for myself, NPCs missing, large parts of the scene missing and/or popping in, weird A.I. behavior, textures taking too long to load, hitching, stuttering, freezing, audio issues; all the things. I have read some here say they only like text and picture reviews. That has probably never been an issue for you, because you can afford hardware that does not experience any of those issues. But those written reviews will never convey the real gaming experience, that a gamer playing on weak hardware can do by streaming or recording.

Some free unsolicited advice for inexperienced DIYers that may read this. Do not let the reputation and warm feels big reviewers may have garnered, overly influence your purchasing decisions. Even the ones that buy the stuff themselves, are greatly limited by time constraints. You are better off finding a smaller youtuber that plays the games with the hardware you are interested in, testing games you want to play, or that have similar levels of demand, at the very least.

I am looking forward to contrary opinions being expressed; that is the best way to improve my own POV and maybe even change my mind on a topic. Provided the points made are compelling and not simply, passive aggressive insults, with no agenda other than to express your dislike of either myself, or my opinions. Though you can do that too. Water off a duck's back baby.

Nearly forgot the review :p

 
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Markfw

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First, I realize I am in a very small group, but video reviews for deaf people are very hard to follow. Give me a nice text review with graphs.

Also, I agree, anything below a quad core in 2022 is a waste for gaming. 6/12 for like $200 (12400) would be my bottom recommendation to anybody.
 

hemedans

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It depend with type of games you play. Pentium G7400 isnt bad for Emulation box and Entertainment. It will perform same or better than i7 or Ryzen 7 from previous generations.
 
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DAPUNISHER

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First, I realize I am in a very small group, but video reviews for deaf people are very hard to follow. Give me a nice text review with graphs.

Also, I agree, anything below a quad core in 2022 is a waste for gaming. 6/12 for like $200 (12400) would be my bottom recommendation to anybody.
For gamers watching actual gameplay vids, they do not have to hear it, to see the problems a weak CPU causes while gaming. Most hardware related stuff is fine in old school format. Budget gaming gear benefits significantly from gameplay videos though. Nothing like seeing the frame pacing issues, missing or popping textures, and other issues for yourself.

A few months ago I would have agreed with you about 6/12 being the minimum for gaming now. But 12th gen i3 made me reconsider. It is as good as a Ryzen 5 or older i5 for the purpose.

I should amend my opinion to state that 6/12 is the best bang for buck. But you can get a board and 4/8 CPU for around what those cost. The ultra budget market is one where every <insert local currency here> matters much more than any other builder's tier.
 
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DAPUNISHER

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It depend with type of games you play. Pentium G7400 isnt bad for Emulation box and Entertainment. It will perform same or better than i7 or Ryzen 7 from previous generations.
It is the reason I was specific about a build for playing the latest titles. For example: the GN review used 2077. I can find a use for just about any CPU; I had a good time with a Athlon 3000g. But I would never recommend it for someone on a tight budget that wants to play newer games at the res and settings common for an ultra-budget build. The 10100f is a great sub $100 choice BNIB. Used, as I mentioned, changes the dynamic even more.
 

dullard

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Pentiums are just not good for gaming, at least not for the latest CPU intensive titles. If you can’t afford $23 more for an i3 (current Newegg price premium for the 12100F over the G7400), then you honestly can’t afford the base computer. You may be able to finagle a way to buy one, but that doesn't mean you can afford one. One rule I live by: "I can buy anything I want, any time I want, because I don't". As soon as you save up enough to buy what you really need, then you might be able to afford it.

I do agree that the place holder argument is a bad argument. It is basically telling the poorest computer owners to pay MORE than the rest of us. Think about that. The place holder argument asks the poor to pay for two CPUs when they can’t afford one. That type of place holder logic is often what keeps poor people poor.

But I think you undermined your own argument. You say video reviews are helpful and then you linked one that isn’t helpful. That doesn’t make video reviews seem useful to me. There is no reason that a text review can’t mention stuttering, freezing, and similar artifacts and say how often they occur and say how impactful these artifacts are. Heck, the very act of streaming and recording on weak hardware could impact the results rendering the results useless (unless they stream / record on another computer).

Reputation and “warm feels” should never enter the evaluation. If it isn’t reproducible across the board by multiple reviewers, then it shouldn’t be part of your decision. That is because it might be a fluke, a bias, or a mistake by the single reviewer. One more reason not to trust video reviews, since most people don’t have dozens of hours to watch an array of video reviewers. And if they did have that time, it could have been used instead to raise the $23 to get a CPU to do what they need.
 

DAPUNISHER

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Pentiums are just not good for gaming, at least not for the latest CPU intensive titles. If you can’t afford $32 more for an i3, then you honestly can’t afford the base computer. You may be able to finagle a way to buy one, but that doesn't mean you can afford one. One rule I live by: "I can buy anything I want, any time I want, because I don't". As soon as you save up enough to buy what you really need, then you might be able to afford it.

I do agree that the place holder argument is a bad argument. It is basically telling the poorest computer owners to pay MORE than the rest of us. Think about that. The place holder argument asks the poor to pay for two CPUs when they can’t afford one. That type of place holder logic is often what keeps poor people poor.

But I think you undermined your own argument. You say video reviews are helpful and then you linked one that isn’t helpful. That doesn’t make video reviews seem useful to me. There is no reason that a text review can’t mention stuttering, freezing, and similar artifacts and say how often they occur and say how impactful these artifacts are. Heck, the very act of streaming and recording on weak hardware could impact the results rendering the results useless (unless they stream / record on another computer).

Reputation and “warm feels” should never enter the evaluation. If it isn’t reproducible across the board by multiple reviewers, then it shouldn’t be part of your decision. That is because it might be a fluke, a bias, or a mistake by the single reviewer. One more reason not to trust video reviews, since most people don’t have dozens of hours to watch an array of video reviewers. And if they did have that time, it could have been used instead to raise the $32 to get a CPU to do what they need.
Thanks for the detailed reply. But I did not undermine my argument. I did, however, word it poorly enough, and disconnect the first part from my follow up, that I can understand your confusion.

This review is also a good example of why video reviews can be so helpful, when done correctly. While this is a video review, it never shows actual gameplay with the hardware.
I was implying it was not done correctly, in so far as conveying the real experience. I follow it up later in the post, but again, your confusion at my derpy translation of thought to words is understandable.

And again, the Pentium is fine for lots of things, but a modern budget gaming build ain't one of them.
 

DAPUNISHER

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Addressing the comments about the youtubers potentially introducing issues: They do indeed stream/record on a different system for that very reason.

@dullard

The place holder argument asks the poor to pay for two CPUs when they can’t afford one. That type of place holder logic is often what keeps poor people poor.
Vey well put. I don't think I have ever codified it in my mind that way before.
 

coercitiv

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You say video reviews are helpful and then you linked one that isn’t helpful. That doesn’t make video reviews seem useful to me.
The OP is advocating for the (video) format while also criticizing the conclusions of the reviewer. The two ideas can clearly coexist. It's a pretty straightforward presentation from the OP with clear reasoning.

There is no reason that a text review can’t mention stuttering, freezing, and similar artifacts and say how often they occur and say how impactful these artifacts are.
The video format shows the audience how the product behaves in gaming, allowing them to judge whether the tradeoff is acceptable to them. That is something that cannot be easily translated in written form, making the review even more subjective.
 

mikeymikec

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First, I realize I am in a very small group, but video reviews for deaf people are very hard to follow. Give me a nice text review with graphs.
I don't like video reviews full stop. With a text/image review it naturally allows me to take a moment to stop and digest, backtracking is easier, as is quoting.

By all means also have a video review as well; I can hardly imagine that it would be much more work as I highly doubt that anyone plans a half-hour video without also writing down the content they're going to cover and deciding wording and emphasis.

Coming back to the main topic, my experience with my customers (I will admit that they're mostly not gamers) has taught me that the user's expectations are one of the most important points when recommending hardware to them. For example, I had a customer until earlier this year who was still running a Pentium D and Windows XP. The *only* reason why I managed to convince them to upgrade this time was that the website for their utility company refused to load on Firefox 52 ESR. I have another customer with an Athlon 64 s754 box, another with a 1024x768 screen that's got to be twenty years old. Stuff that bothers say @DAPUNISHER does not necessarily bother them.

The reason why the strategy of 'buy a cheap CPU and replace it later' may work for some is because of cashflow issues. @dullard Poor people are completely used to the idea of getting financially screwed due to lack of buying power, why on earth do you think computer hardware finances would be any different? The entire model is unfair. One works with what one has.

I have to laugh though at the idea that someone is thinking of building a budget gaming rig with a very low-end processor and plans to couple it with a GeForce 3080! £880 (UKP) is more than the entire PC spec of my minimum recommended (general purpose) spec plus my fee put together, and my PCs are not cheap. If a customer approached me wanting a gaming PC on a tight budget, I'd likely recommend going for a second-hand on the GPU in the hope that GPU prices eventually return to some kind of sane normal, and just accept that modern AAA gaming is out of their reach for the time being.

One of my in-laws' kids was thinking about a gaming build recently and said what GPU they wanted, and I pointed out to their parents the card alone is £1.5K. How does iGPU gaming sound for the time being? :D I'm just glad I got my R9 380X before this insanity started, and I hope it lasts as long as I need it to.
 

VirtualLarry

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What about the RandomGamingInHD YT vid for the G7400? They showed actual gameplay video, and while it was at times very stuttery, and their overall recommendation, IIRC, was to NOT recommend the G7400 for gaming, it didn't exhibit, nor did he mention, any actual game-breaking bugs (textures/objects not loading, etc.).

Whereas, he did, when testing the dual-core celeron chip, Cyberpunk 2077 couldn't load save games with only two cores (or maybe the saves were created with more cores present).

All in all, the average framerates for the G7400 + RTX 3050 combo, didn't seem all that horrible.

Heck, I am biased here, I went out and built exactly that spec rig for "testing".

A G7400, an RTX 3050 EVGA GAMING XC model, and 16GB of DDR4-3200 DC.

I have yet to play any actual games on it, however. I was planning on pawning it off on one of my gamer friends, and gathering feedback on the config from them.

They have rigs with say, i5-6400 and GTX 1650 4GB in them. For them, it probably is a real step up, although 2C/4T (even as advanced as Intel's 12th-gen ADL CPUs), may still not cut it entirely for modern gaming compared to an older Skylake-core quad-core.

I don't think that it's some kind of super-horrible config, and I personally do advocate for the "placeholder" theory, having installing a Z690M board, allowing them to drop in a 12600K, 12700K, or 12900K at their leisure, while being able to take advantage of PCI-E 4.0 for the GPU.

 

DAPUNISHER

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@mikeymikec

I wouldn't say things old or weak CPUs do, bother me. I use FX 6300 and 8350, Athlon 3000g, and until last year, Phenom X4+DDR2 stuff.

What bothers me is a reviewer that big calling the G7400 a cheap budget gaming CPU in the title. Their 2077 number were abysmal. And they don't cover MP games that will crush it either. I love their technical and advocacy content. But their reviews of gaming stuff don't do it for me. Meanwhile, many inexperienced viewers rely on them and other big reviewers to make purchasing decisions.

And if anyone thinks warm feels don't play a part in it, read the comments. If you can take that level of torture. :p
 

Thunder 57

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It is the reason I was specific about a build for playing the latest titles. For example: the GN review used 2077. I can find a use for just about any CPU; I had a good time with a Athlon 3000g. But I would never recommend it for someone on a tight budget that wants to play newer games at the res and settings common for an ultra-budget build. The 10100f is a great sub $100 choice BNIB. Used, as I mentioned, changes the dynamic even more.
All one has to do is look up the minimum specs for that game see they list a 3570. 4C4T. Sometimes minimum specs are stupid or a suggestion, but in this case there is no way anyone should be recommending anything less than that for this game. I wouldn't want to use a 2C/4T CPU on any Windows computer these days for any reason.
 
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mikeymikec

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@mikeymikec

I wouldn't say things old or weak CPUs do, bother me. I use FX 6300 and 8350, Athlon 3000g, and until last year, Phenom X4+DDR2 stuff.

What bothers me is a reviewer that big calling the G7400 a cheap budget gaming CPU in the title. Their 2077 number were abysmal. And they don't cover MP games that will crush it either. I love their technical and advocacy content. But their reviews of gaming stuff don't do it for me. Meanwhile, many inexperienced viewers rely on them and other big reviewers to make purchasing decisions.

And if anyone thinks warm feels don't play a part in it, read the comments. If you can take that level of torture. :p
I completely agree that a reviewer suggesting a piece of hardware for gaming should qualify their comments to what kind of gaming (agreeing specifically with your MP point on the assumption that you're correct, I have heard that some MP games are extremely CPU intensive), however the CP2077 figures have 28FPS *minimum*. I've hit far lower momentary lows (probably 15FPS) in gaming and not rage-quit. I find Witcher 3 perfectly playable on my setup and yet I bet that on my preferred settings I still get the occasional frame rate drop that I wouldn't tolerate if it was the average.
 

DAPUNISHER

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@VirtualLarry

I don't expect yo to understand my POV brother. You are not a serious gamer. But frame pacing issues, texture pop-in, missing NPCs. the inability to use discord and other apps while gaming, and other tasks, are a big deal for many gamers. Particularly younger ones.

Someone came at me here a while back about discord and the other apps I pointed out, being so light on resources that it stupid to mention them. But they missed the entire point, When the CPU is riding the struggle bus just trying to play the game, any extra load crushes it.

Which brings me back to the real world usage. My kid is a college sr. and he never is just gaming, discord and other stuff are always open. Almost EVERYONE he hangs with irl and online is the same way. This is the crowd here in the states likely to need a low budget gamer, and the Pentium is going to soil the bed trying to handle how they use a PC. A 10100f is a far better choice for a super cheap BNIB build. The 12100f if they can stretch it a little more, is the clear choice, head and shoulders above everything else in the price range for the moment.
 
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VirtualLarry

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I don't expect yo to understand my POV brother. You are not a serious gamer.
You're right, I'm not a "competitive gamer" any more. No slight taken.

But frame pacing issues, texture pop-in, missing NPCs. the inability to use discord and other apps while gaming, and other tasks, are a big deal for many gamers. Particularly younger ones.
OK, if experiencing these things, are they strictly down to the CPU? Or are they using only 8GB of RAM (NOT ENOUGH, these days), or a plan-jain HDD rather than a cheap bulk-storage SATA QLC SSD for game assests? (Or better yet, a 2TB NVMe.)

Basically, I consider texture pop-in to be a mild annoyance more than anything. But missing NPCs? If that's somehow DIRECTLY attributable to the 2C/4T CPU, then sure, you've got a legitimate gripe. But if it's something specific to your configuration, or a slow storage / DRAM-caching sub-system holding things up, then while a better CPU might improve things, I wouldn't label it principally responsible.

How many of these things did you test, with, say, a RTX 3050, versus a RX 6500XT or RX 6600?

Or a higher-end GPU with more VRAM?

A 10100f is a far better choice for a super cheap BNIB build. The 12100f if they can stretch it a little more, is the clear choice, head and shoulders above everything else in the price range for the moment.
I agree with THAT whole-heartedly. The reason that I picked up the Pentium Gold chips, was that the 12100F was basically unavailable for a time. (It just recently became available again in qty.)
 

DrMrLordX

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When the CPU is riding the struggle bus
I need to start my own tour bus company to compete with Lamers:


I'll call it Struggles, and I'll have a G7400 installed on every vehicle. Here comes the Struggles bus! Toot toot!

Seriously tho, I'm pretty biased even against 4c CPUs, despite the fact that some current-gen 4c chips seem to do okay. When you bring 4c/8t to the table, somebody pipes up and is like . . . is my 7700k good enough for games if I overclock it? And the answer is mostly "no" or "expect to be disappointed". But 2c? Nah. Not unless all you want is a Starcraft box.
 

DAPUNISHER

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@VirtualLarry

I would never intentionally offend you, hope you know that by now.

All the other factors resulting in poor gaming performance, can not be denied. But none of those stop a 2/4 from getting over saturated by certain CPU demanding games, particularly when also using other apps, or even just windows going full HAM in the background.

Here is an example of a i3 7100 failing to run SotTR properly. No amount of bar graphs, unattended or automated bench tests runs, will reveal the issues in this example. The G7400 may be able to do it, but this is a older game at this point. How will it do with new ones? With discord and such running? Yeah, tough sell, convincing me the G7400 has a place in a gaming box intended for CPU heavier games. Plenty it can run, but if I have very limited funds and I'm Jonesing for a gaming PC, it ain't even on the list of CPUs to consider.

 
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blckgrffn

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Addressing the comments about the youtubers potentially introducing issues: They do indeed stream/record on a different system for that very reason.

@dullard

Vey well put. I don't think I have ever codified it in my mind that way before.
I've also found that folks almost never actually do the in place upgrade, or wait too long and the drop in CPUs that would be an improvement are three generations old at that point, already slow and are now priced at a premium and used. People on a budget overspending on a i5 half a decade later? Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Buy a CPU that does what you need it to now and be done. Don't over invest in a board - take that money and put it into the CPU because it actually matters up to some level (diminishing returns and all that). As others have point out, if you get a 12400 or a new Ryzen 5500 now you are just done for quite some time. I still would push any gamer/productivity focused person doing a full build, no matter their budget, to 6c/12t minimum. My mother and in-laws are likely to be getting new 12th Gen i3 builds as I feel like that's the best all around budget build out now with no real focus outside of Internet and Office app usage.

Riding the struggle bus for years to save ~$50-$80 now is brutal.
 

DAPUNISHER

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I completely agree that a reviewer suggesting a piece of hardware for gaming should qualify their comments to what kind of gaming (agreeing specifically with your MP point on the assumption that you're correct, I have heard that some MP games are extremely CPU intensive), however the CP2077 figures have 28FPS *minimum*. I've hit far lower momentary lows (probably 15FPS) in gaming and not rage-quit. I find Witcher 3 perfectly playable on my setup and yet I bet that on my preferred settings I still get the occasional frame rate drop that I wouldn't tolerate if it was the average.
Their testing is inadequate to reflect the actual gaming experience. If you are in downtown areas that G7400 will be a bad time. You can fully turn down all the settings to improve the frames, but then we get to what you are referencing. That being that the experience is subjective. I can't and won't argue that. What I will debate all day, is that a 10100f cost the same and is a better CPU for almost anything. Some very IPC and few core heavy stuff being the exception.

And subjectively, I will use GTAV as an example. Not the online, which is a hot mess of trolls. If I turn down all the crowd settings and diversity it is a much less enjoyable experience. And 15 fps, would make my cheese start falling off my cracker. PC Master Race rhetoric or not. ;)
 

Thunder 57

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I wonder, IF the G7400 was clocked higher, would it still have these issues? Say, BCLK OC'ed to 4.5Ghz.
Are cheap BCLK mobos even a thing? I know you love value, but come on, at some point just pay the $23 to jump to the i3, don't bother. You'll (not you, but you know what I mean) be screwing around trying to get something to run like poo when you can just assemble and be done with it.

Above you mention RAM and SSD. You really think some genius trying to save $23 on a CPU that can still run CB2077 is going to have 16GB of decent RAM and enough space on an SSD to pair with it? Put in some overtime, cut back somewhere else, find something you don't need and sell it on Craigslist or eBay.

I have never understood the point of putting together a computer that can't do everything you want it to on day one just to be able to upgrade it to do what you want down the road. Therefore I will never understand reviewers who can say with a straight face to do the same. The only exception has been very recently with GPU prices. A lower end or used dGPU or a good iGPU until a better card cooled off in price made sense.
 

DAPUNISHER

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There is simply no scenario where the G7400 makes sense to me for the N.A. market in 2022. There are better BNIB CPUs in the same price range. Which results in my having trouble with why that review was not dunking on it?

I think it is important to distinguish AM4 as standing apart from the upgrading CPU roast. It is the one platform where upgrading CPUs later turned out to be a legit strategy.
 

Ranulf

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While I love HUB and GN, they both among other tech tubers etc. often spend too much time in their graphs and numbers. The place holder argument has its...place but for most people is just not a good idea. In my experience it requires buying a quality mobo to be safe and then buying the upgrade cpu within 1-2 years tops. There are just so many variables to consider, sometimes it works out great, others not so much. Those on such a tight budget are better off with refurbs and a cheap gpu that can run in them.

It reminds me of people who bought an i5 k model to overclock it and then spent $100-150 on top end air or water coolers for it completely missing the point that if they bought the i7 and a cheap air cooler they would get a better deal now and could always buy a water AIO later.

Techtubers have pushed that idea for many years now, even during the Intel 14nm++++ era. At least today, the mid range makes more sense. The only downside being that 6/12 cores/threads might not be enough long term but that doesn't matter so much when the cpu is $200 or so. Certainly not when Intel and now AMD think their 8 cores are worth $400-450.

Anyway, I guess given the economy and hardware market currently the best we can expect at $86 is a silly 2c4t Pentium that makes no sense given left over 10th/11th gen i3/i5, or new 12th gen stuff. Long gone are the $85 1600AF days of glory.
 

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