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What's the best Bang for buck budget build?

slag

Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
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Currently have a 6600k but my teen son is really wanting a desktop to game on. Couple years ago I would have bought a 90 dollar Celeron and cheap motherboard and been good. What's the best bang for buck gaming cpu/motherboard right now that wont break the bank? I already have the ram. If there's something that will blow my overclocked (4.5 ghz) 6600k away that isn't too bad, I'll give him my rig and build something new for me. Cheap is king right now but needs to run games reasonably well. Already have a decent ATI video card, so just motherboard/processor please.
 

Indus

Diamond Member
May 11, 2002
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What Ram you have? Unless you state that, its hard to give you an answer.
 

epsilon84

Golden Member
Aug 29, 2010
1,045
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Currently have a 6600k but my teen son is really wanting a desktop to game on. Couple years ago I would have bought a 90 dollar Celeron and cheap motherboard and been good. What's the best bang for buck gaming cpu/motherboard right now that wont break the bank? I already have the ram. If there's something that will blow my overclocked (4.5 ghz) 6600k away that isn't too bad, I'll give him my rig and build something new for me. Cheap is king right now but needs to run games reasonably well. Already have a decent ATI video card, so just motherboard/processor please.
For gaming, I would say an i5 8400 / B360 build would provide the best bang for buck:



Not that far off a 8700K, and faster than every Ryzen CPU, for about $180 for the CPU and $80 for the motherboard that's a pretty good deal for gaming.
 

B-Riz

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2011
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I am digging the Ryzen 2000 series, but no B450 chipset right now.
 

epsilon84

Golden Member
Aug 29, 2010
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I am digging the Ryzen 2000 series, but no B450 chipset right now.
Ryzen really only performs well in gaming when paired with high frequency, low latency memory, which is expensive and not suitable for a budget build. And even then, it takes an overclocked 2700X to match a 8400.
 
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B-Riz

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2011
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Ryzen really only performs well in gaming when paired with high frequency, low latency memory, which is expensive and not suitable for a budget build. And even then, it takes an overclocked 2700X to match a 8400.
I read the reviews, I have a 2700X, I know what it is and what it does. A 2600 is viable option.

Low clocked memory can still have timings tweaked down.

https://www.techspot.com/review/1614-ryzen-2600/

OP wants cheap and runs games well. They can get that and SMT with a 2600.
 

epsilon84

Golden Member
Aug 29, 2010
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I read the reviews, I have a 2700X, I know what it is and what it does. A 2600 is viable option.

Low clocked memory can still have timings tweaked down.

https://www.techspot.com/review/1614-ryzen-2600/

OP wants cheap and runs games well. They can get that and SMT with a 2600.
i5 8400 + B360 + DDR4 2666 seems like the best value combination to me for gaming purposes.

The OP specifically mentioned gaming on a budget, so if you want to recommend the slower, more expensive chip, that requires more expensive memory, then by all means. I stick with my original recommendation of the i5 8400 being the best value for gaming CPU right now.

I'm not knocking the R5 2600, for what its worth. Its the better all round CPU. But its not the better gaming CPU.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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i5 8400 or Ryzen 2600x, with a small edge to the 8400 for gaming. Still not sure if the cheap motherboards are available yet for the 8400, but if they are, that would be the way I would go. The 8400 is cheaper than either the 2600/2600x and at least as fast in gaming. Either is a good choice though. If you wanted to go bottom of the barrel, you could go i3 8100 or whatever quad core Ryzen you want, but the six core cpus are worth the extra hundred (or less) bucks imo. Quad core intel or ryzen would be very similar to your 6600k.

What is your gpu?
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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Hard to say without an actual budget. And other info, like monitor resolution and refresh for instance.
 

epsilon84

Golden Member
Aug 29, 2010
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i5 8400 or Ryzen 2600x, with a small edge to the 8400 for gaming. Still not sure if the cheap motherboards are available yet for the 8400, but if they are, that would be the way I would go. The 8400 is cheaper than either the 2600/2600x and at least as fast in gaming. Either is a good choice though. If you wanted to go bottom of the barrel, you could go i3 8100 or whatever quad core Ryzen you want, but the six core cpus are worth the extra hundred (or less) bucks imo. Quad core intel or ryzen would be very similar to your 6600k.

What is your gpu?
B360 motherboards have been available for a few weeks now. To be honest, even low end Z370 mobos aren't that expensive, but when you are on a budget, $10 saved here, $20 saved there, the savings all add up. Which is why I recommended the 8400, its about $20 cheaper than the 2600, plus still performs well with gaming using budget DDR4 2666, whereas AMD takes a much bigger hit in performance when paired with slower memory.

My point is that to reach the same levels of gaming performance as a 8400, you would need a heavily overclocked Ryzen 2600 paired with 3200/3466 LL memory. The 2600 comes with the Wraith Stealth so isn't really suited for heavy overclocking, the 2600X comes with the Wraith Spire which should at least enable it to hit 4GHz, but then its $230 compared to $180 for the 8400.
 
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Indus

Diamond Member
May 11, 2002
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Umm guys.. the OP said he already had ram from earlier. It may be DDR3 or DDR2 for all we know. No point selling him z370/b360 which only takes DDR4.
 
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Aug 11, 2008
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But what are the prices of KL or SL quads? I definitely would not recommend getting a previous gen i5. And a high clocked i7 is still over 300,00, more than 100.00 more than the 8400 or 2600x. I dont really like the "future proof" argument, but both those are very good gaming chips now and most likely will have longer life than a hyperthreaded quad. I know ram is terribly expensive now, but it could well be that the OP would be better off in the long run to get the 8400, and put the 100,00 plus saved toward new ram.
 

Tup3x

Senior member
Dec 31, 2016
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Already have a decent ATI video card, so just motherboard/processor please.
There's no such thing as decent ATi video card. All those are obsolete.

(Okay, okay I know... You meant that you have recent enough Radeon.)

Another vote for i5 8400 + B360 + DDR4 2666 from me if budget is tight.
 

epsilon84

Golden Member
Aug 29, 2010
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https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Ryzen_5_2600X/13.html


My point is that it's not that hard to find a combination of games that favours the 2600X/2700X more and voila, it 'matches' an 8400. But if you look at enough sources, or different combination of games, its obvious to see a trend, and that is an i5 8400 is slightly faster than a stock 2600X / 2700X for gaming.

At the end of the day, I should mention the cost of the CPU since this is a 'bang for buck' gaming build.

(Prices from Newegg)
i5 8400 - $179
R5 2600 - $200
R5 2600X - $230
R7 2700X $330

It's obvious which one is the better value for gaming, and it's not the Ryzens. Even if we take your link as the 'correct' gaming aggregate score and disregard the other 3 that clearly shows the 8400 with a slight edge, a 2600X only matches a 8400 whilst costing $60 more. Also, I haven't even factored in the extra cost of aftermarket HSFs that you need in order to hit 4.1 - 4.2GHz on these chips, as the stock AMD Wraith coolers aren't enough to max out these CPUs.
 
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cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
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Best bang for the buck is going used from someone upgrading to the latest. It also depends on what your expectations are for this build.

Give us some details about what memory you have and that will narrow it down.
 

epsilon84

Golden Member
Aug 29, 2010
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PCgamers is BS....


How is it that the 7900X :



Obviously tested at different settings, considering the much higher avg fps numbers on PCGamers. How do you conclude it's 'BS' though? Because it beats Ryzen?

What about techspot or techpowerup, are those charts BS as well? Is hardware.fr the only credible source around here?
 

USER8000

Golden Member
Jun 23, 2012
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As usual,more useless graph wars,without asking the obvious questions. What games will be played?? What graphics card will be used?? How long does the build need to last?? Is an upgrade path in a few years an advantage?? I would prefer a Core i3 8100 or a Ryzen 3 2200G with a GTX1060 3GB or RX570 4GB over a Core i5 8400/Ryzen 5 2600 with a GTX1050 for instance.

If you are on a tight budget,and have DDR3,look for a used Haswell CPU,or even a Skylake CPU with a DDR3 board(will mean lower performance than in reviews with DDR4).

People on forums are the only people who care about a few percent here and there - unless you are running a £400+ card you are not going to notice the difference in most games with a Ryzen 5 1600/1600X/2600/2600X and a Core i5 8400/8500. I would even say compared to a Haswell Core i7.

I am still using an ancient Ivy Bridge Core i7 3770,and in almost all games at 2560X1440 I am still GPU limited with a GTX1080!

2666MHZ to 3000MHZ DDR4 is much of a sameness in price:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007611 600561668 600561669 600561671 600052012&IsNodeId=1&Description=2666mhz 16gb&bop=And&PageSize=36&order=PRICE

One of the cheapest 16GB kits on Newegg now is a 3000MHZ kit. Same even in the UK.

Very few games actually need fast RAM - most tests are done at lowish resolutions using fast cards,and if you look at normal resolutions its not really noticeable in most games:

https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Ryzen_Memory_Analysis/9.html
https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Core_i7_8700K_Coffee_Lake_Memory_Performance_Benchmark_Analysis/9.html

Also regarding overclocking - the AMD CPUs have significantly better stock coolers,and the overclocking capable B350 boards start at £60ish and X370 ones at £70ish anyway,and even then it really does not do much as Ryzen overclocks poorly,so for many people its not worth the effort beyond what you could achieve on the stock cooler. That is from actual experience of doing some recent Intel and AMD builds myself,and they all ran fine with 3000MHZ and slower RAM,as again in the realworld it was worth spending the money saved on fancy RAM and coolers,on a faster graphics card,and even an SSD for specific games.
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
5,002
358
126
G5400, i3 8100, i5 8400 I think are the best value for gaming,
also the H310 chipset is enough, you don't even need B360.

8400 would be a OK upgrade over the 6600K for some games, but not all
 
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