Computer of the month – January 2018 / Laptops and PCs

The beginning of this year is something like July of the past. In the middle of summer, video cards were also almost completely absent in retail sales. That's why the assembly of a game system unit with a completely new iron in January is still a problem.

The oil replenishes the fire with the fact that the memory continues to go up for a month already. In January the 8 GB module costs more than some processors, motherboards and other components. The most offensive is that the rise in prices for RAM, apparently, will continue. In this situation it is very difficult to give efficient advice on how to proceed: to wait for a price reduction, or to invest in the purchase of a particular set of DDR4 memory?

Since the release of processors generation Coffee Lake has been three months. On the one hand, there is no longer a deficit of 6-core chips Core i5 and Core i7. On the other hand, the new Intel processors do not rush to get cheaper. In addition, the chip maker did not present the younger chipsets of the 300 series to the public, which means that potentially budgetary assemblies based on "coffee" CPUs are still … unbudgeted.

All these troubles, with which we – ordinary users – have collided even last year, suggest some thoughts. Constant readers probably remember that initially the assemblies in the "Computer of the Month" were quite rigidly tied to a specific budget. But to continue to focus on the same numbers now is simply impossible. An elementary example: any system unit, which can be conditionally considered gaming, must have a minimum of 8 GB of RAM. However, RAM continues to grow in price, and even if you ask 10,000 rubles for such a set, you can not get away from it when building a computer. So starting from January, I will more adhere to certain budgets in assemblies in the "Computer of the Month". The main criterion in the presented configurations is the fulfillment of certain tasks.

However, there is good news. Since the new year, there has been a decline in prices for solid-state drives. SSD, by the way, are used in five assemblies of the "Computer of the Month" of six, since in 2018 a solid-state drive is an integral part of a modern and balanced PC.

The second good news is the forthcoming noticeable price reduction for AMD Ryzen processors. This is the logical response of the "red" to the output of Intel Coffee Lake chips. Of course, AMD at the same time wants to sell out a maximum of Ryzen processors before launching the second-generation solutions, Zen +, which is scheduled to be announced in April of this year.

For beginners, who still do not dare to "make" themselves PCs, a detailed step-by-step guide on assembling the system unit. It turns out that in the Computer month a »I tell you what to build a computer from, and in the manual how to do it.

I remind you that the heading shows average prices for "Yandex.Market" (region – Moscow). Depending on the location and the selected trading platform, you can assemble a similar system unit both cheaper and more expensive. The cost of the periphery and software in the calculations is not taken into account, only the components are evaluated.

# Starting assembly

"Entrance ticket" to the world of modern PC games. The system will allow you to play all AAA projects in Full HD resolution at least on average graphics quality settings. Such systems do not have a serious safety margin (for the next 2-3 years), they abound with compromises, but also cost less than other configurations.

The starting assembly
The processor AMD Ryzen 3 1200, 4 cores, 3.1 (3.4) GHz, 8 MB L3, AM4, BOX 7 500 rubles.
Intel Pentium G4600, 2/4 core / stream, 3.6 GHz, 3 MB L3, LGA1151-v1, OEM 4 500 rubles.
The motherboard AMD B350 Examples:
• ASRock AB350M
5,000 rubles.
Intel H110 Express Examples:
• MSI H110M PRO-D;
• ASRock H110M-DGS R3.0;
• ASUS H110M-K
3 000 rubles.
Operative memory 1 × 8 GB DDR4-2400 / 2666:
• Crucial CT8G4DFS824A;
• Samsung DDR4-2400
6 500 rub.
The video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 4 GB GDDR5:
• Inno3D GeForce GTX1050 Ti Twin X2;
• Palit GeForce GTX1050 Ti Dual;
12,000 rubles.
The accumulator HDD, 1 TB, 7200 rpm, SATA 6 Gbps Examples:
• Western Digital WD10EZEX;
• Toshiba HDWD110UZSVA;
• Seagate ST1000DM010
3 000 rubles.
The processor cooler Example for Intel:
• Cooler Master DP6-9GDSB-PL-GP
400 rubles.
The case Examples:
• Exegate AB-221 Black
1 500 rubles.
The power supply unit Examples:
• Chieftec TPS-500S 500 W;
• FSP Group ATX-500PNR 500 W;
• Zalman ZM500-LE II 500 W
2 500 rub.
Subtotal AMD – 38 000 rubles.
Intel – 33 400 rubles.

To be honest, in this issue of the "Computer of the Month" I was going to finally say goodbye to the platform LGA1151-v1, and the processors Kaby Lake in particular. Initially Intel planned to present the younger sets of logic for the chips of the Coffee Lake generation at CES 2018, but as a result, the announcement of the company's new solutions will take place only in the spring. Some readers in the comments suggest already now to "bury" the budget Pentium processors, but it is they that allow in early 2018 to collect the most budgetary system, which, nevertheless, can be considered a game system. So I decided to wait with "funerals."

So which assembly can be considered a game? This is a system with a minimum of a four-threaded CPU, 8 GB of RAM and a graphics card with a performance that is not lower than that of the Radeon RX 560. Thus, an inexpensive Pentium G4600 is recommended for Intel's starting assembly. This series, since the generation of Kaby Lake, supports Hyper-Threading technology, that is, "hemp" has at its disposal four streams. To use "just" 2-core CPUs, if it is a question of a system for modern games, is contraindicated! Even modern four-threaded chips are far from ideal variants, because in games like Watch_Dogs 2 (so-called sandbox with large open world), the presence of only four threads in the CPU can lead to noticeable visual delays. There are unpleasant drawdowns of FPS in other modern games (GTA V, Assassin's Creed: Origins). Still, Hyper-Threading support in such solutions is a huge benefit. The previously mentioned Watch_Dogs 2 is not elementary "wired" on the system with any Pentium G4500 (generation Skylake), which does not have additional virtual threads.

Compromise # 2 is the use of 8 GB of RAM in single-channel mode. Because the starting assembly uses cheap motherboards with only two DIMM connectors. We do this in a special way so that over time (ideally – within the next couple of months) install one more DDR4-2400 module into the system. To survive in any case is not worth it: when choosing a video card level GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, the performance of the system in games from using RAM in single-channel mode practically does not suffer


Traditionally in the initial assembly, the youngest Ryzen-chip is taken – the quad-core Ryzen 3 1200. You can save about 1 000 rubles and take a cheap board based on the A320 chipset, but in this case the processor will not be able to overclock. And yet, I recommend turning to devices based on the B350 chipset. Even the cheapest cards will allow to overclock the Ryzen 3 1200 to 3,6-3,8 GHz with the use of a regular cooler system. The "native" cooling systems that come with the Ryzen processors, incidentally, turned out to be quite good for AMD (or rather, the partner who took the order for their production). Probably, Ryzen 3 2200G will appear in the initial assembly of "reds" – this hybrid processor with a recommended price of 99 dollars is equipped with four full-fledged cores (SMT technology is not supported) and an integrated graphics core Vega.

All AMD chipsets for the AM4 platform support high-frequency DDR4 memory. Officially, the standards DDR4-2133, DDR4-2400 and DDR4-2667 appear, but with the release of the microcode AGESA (now version is current), theoretically compatible modules with an effective frequency of up to 4000 MHz. Unfortunately, only on paper: in practice, for the AM4 platform, it is advisable to use two-channel sets DDR4-3200. At a guaranteed high memory frequency, along with Ryzen, there are stable sets that consist of two 8-gigabyte modules built on 8-gigabit Samsung second-generation chips (B-die). Using the DDR4-3200 set in comparison with the DDR4-2133 kit increases Ryzen's performance by an average of 15% in games. In the starting assembly – including for the sake of economy – Samsung DDR4-2400 module is recommended. For example, Samsung M378A1G43EB1-CRC quietly accelerates to an effective frequency of 3066 MHz .

There's no point in purchasing Intel's Core i3 processor for the Kaby Lake generation. For the model Core i3-7100, which operates at a frequency of 3.9 GHz, it will be necessary to pay approximately 2,000 rubles. For this money, you will receive the support of a vector set of AVX and AVX2 commands, the ability to work with Intel Optane Memory technology and support for a set of instructions for working with the TSX-NI transactional memory model. In my opinion, without all this in the starting assembly it is quite possible to do, and if you invest in the CPU, then immediately take the Core i5-7400. The younger quad-core Kaby Lake costs 11 000-12 000 rubles. And it's even better to take quad-core Core i3-8100 right away. Interestingly, the bundle of "Core i3-8100 + the cheapest board on the Z370 Express chipset" costs an average of 16-17 thousand rubles – comes out slightly more expensive than the "Core i5-7400 + H110 Express" bundle.

AMD's starting assembly at the moment, of course, looks more promising. Motherboard manufacturers have already released new BIOS versions that activate support for 12-nanometer Zen + processors. We will wait for April, when the "red" presents new devices, but it is already obvious that Ryzen chips of the second generation will have cosmetic improvements and some increase in clock frequencies. In any case, AMD solutions will be faster and more affordable – this fact can not but rejoice.

Exactly one year ago for the starting assembly I offered the video card Radeon RX 470 4 GB. Now the table shows the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. On the one hand, the performance of this accelerator is sufficient for modern games, even at high quality settings. On the other hand, it is obvious that 12 months ago the starting assembly was noticeably faster at a similar price.

A cheaper option is the purchase instead of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti video card Radeon RX 560 4 GB. Yes, we save 2-3 thousand rubles, but only in games the system with such adapter will become slower by 15-20%. Additionally, I note that the variants of video cards with 2 GB of memory have long been not considered in the "Computer of the Month", since many modern projects are not enough and 4 GB of video memory . The same projects on high and maximum graphics quality settings do not even have 8 GB of RAM . Therefore, systems with 3- and 4-gigabyte graphics cards require 16 GB of RAM more than assemblies with GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080.

The performance of the starting assembly is considered in this article .

# Basic assembly

Here we are considering such systems where you can safely play the next couple of years in all modern games in Full HD resolution at high graphics quality settings without the need for an upgrade.

Here you can confirm the accuracy of the information specified in the description.

The basic assembly
The processor AMD Ryzen 5 1500X, 4/8 cores / threads, 3,5 (3,7) GHz, 8 + 8 MBytes L3, AM4 11 500 rubles.
Intel Core i3-8100, 4 cores, 3.6GHz, 6MB L3, LGA1151-v2 8,000 rubles.
The motherboard AMD B350 Examples:
• ASRock AB350 Pro4;
5 500 rubles.
Intel Z370 Express Examples:
• MSI Z370-A Pro;
• ASRock Z370 Pro4;
• Gigabyte Z370 D3
8 500 rubles.
Operative memory 2 × 8 GB DDR4-2400:
• Crucial Ballistix Sport BLS2C8G4D240FSA;
• Samsung M378A1G43EB1-CRC
13 000 rubles.
The video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, 6 GB GDDR5:
• Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Dual;
• Gigabyte GV-N1060WF2OC-6GD;
24,000 rubles.
Stackers HDD, 1 TB, 7200 rpm, SATA 6 Gbps Examples:
• Western Digital WD10EZEX;
• Toshiba HDWD110UZSVA;
• Seagate ST1000DM010
3 000 rubles.
SSD, 120-128 GB, SATA 6 Gbps Examples:
• Transcend 230S TS128GSSD230S;
• Kingston SUV400S37 / 120G
3 800 rub.
The processor cooler Example:
• Deepcool GAMMAXX 200T
800 rubles
The case Examples:
• Zalman Z3 Plus Black;
• Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Lite;
• Thermaltake Versa N26
3 000 rubles.
The power supply unit Examples:
• AeroCool Strike-X 600 W;
• Deepcool DA600 600 W;
• Cooler Master B600 ver.2 600 W
3 500 rub.
Subtotal AMD – 68,100 rubles.
Intel – 67 600 rubles.

The basic assembly is devoid of a number of compromises, which we encounter with less money. In 2018, it has several mandatory requirements – guaranteed availability of 16 GB of RAM, as well as a solid-state drive of small volume, which, nevertheless, is enough to install the operating system, drivers, main programs and one or two favorite games. And of course, the presence of a modern video card capable of "pulling" all modern games in Full HD resolution at least on high graphics quality settings. At this time adapters of the level GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB and Radeon RX 570/580 are suitable for this category.

In the basic assembly of Intel, you can even manage the Core i5-7400 processor and the motherboard based on the H110 Express chipset even in 2018. In terms of performance, this solution will not be far behind the variant with Core i3-8100. However, the platform LGA1151-v2 – more promising, and the proposed motherboards on the Z370 chipset have the best quality and functionality. The option with quad-core Kaby Lake is somewhat cheaper, but, as I said, saving one or two thousand rubles is not worth it. Well, in the spring with the platform LGA1151-v1, we hope, goodbye finally and irrevocably.

You can multiply the performance of the basic assembly of Intel by increasing the cost of buying a processor, that is, instead of the Core i3-8100, you can take the Core i5-8400 (15 500 rubles.). Since motherboards based on the Z370 Express chipset support the overclocking of chips with the letter "K" in the name, the second option for upgrading the Intel system is the purchase of the overclocker model Core i3-8350K which, with an effective cooler, accelerates to 4, 5-4.7 GHz. Now this chip costs about 12,500 rubles, so I think it's more rational to dig up another 3,000 rubles and still take a noticeably more efficient Core i5-8400.

For a long time, the quad-core Ryzen 5 1400 was in the base assembly of AMD, but in January I propose to pay attention to the model Ryzen 5 1500X whose clock frequency is higher by 300 MHz, and the cache of the third level twice more. For those who do not plan to overclock anything, this chip will be very handy overpayment in the region of 1,500-2,000 rubles is quite justified. In addition, the Ryzen 5 1500X is about to fall in price by almost 1,000 rubles.

The DDR4 memory continues to go up, and the simplest set of the DDR4-2400 standard costs an average of 12-13 thousand rubles. High-frequency sets of RAM are much more expensive, so the starting and basic assemblies use budget memory. For the AM4 platform, I recommend purchasing Samsung Mxxxxxxxxxxxx-CRC modules running at an effective frequency of 2133 and 2400 MHz. They quietly accelerate to 2933 and even to 3066 MHz with some increase in delays and timings. Overclocking memory is noticeable increases the speed of Ryzen chips : using the DDR4-3200 set in comparison with the DDR4-2133 set makes the system faster by an average of 15%. For the LGA1151-v1 and LGA1151-v2 platforms, any DDR4-2400 sets are suitable.

Since June, only GeForce video cards are present in the "Computer of the Month" tables, although earlier versions of Radeon RX adapters have been recommended within the framework of the start and base assemblies. Unfortunately, due to the mining boom, the price of the "red" accelerators will still not fall to an adequate value. В январе так и вовсе надо очень хорошо постараться, чтобы найти в продаже Radeon RX 570 или Radeon RX 580 даже по завышенной стоимости.

Начиная с базовой сборки, в конфигурациях рекомендуются блоки питания мощностью от 600 Вт. Очевидно, что для систем с 65-ваттными процессорами и 120-ваттной видеокартой GeForce GTX 1060 достаточно и устройства на честные 300 Вт. Однако мы приводим в качестве примера модели на 600 Вт — и не просто так. Во-первых, разница в цене между устройствами мощностью 400, 500 и 600 Вт несущественная. Да, при покупке менее мощного БП мы немного сэкономим, но со временем, например если соберемся приобрести действительно мощную видеокарту с TDP под 250 Вт, придется брать новую, более мощную модель. Во-вторых, любой блок питания работает с максимальной эффективностью при загрузке в диапазоне 40-60 %. В таком режиме компоненты БП меньше греются, а вентилятор работает на сниженной частоте. В-третьих, у моделей мощностью 600 Вт и выше элементарно больше кабелей с необходимыми разъемами.

Уже давно наличие твердотельного накопителя является обязательным условием для базовой сборки. Альтернативным вариантом организации дисковой подсистемы для платформы Intel в то же время считается использование кеширующего накопителя Intel Optane. Наши тесты показываютчто применение такого варианта хорошо тем, что пользователю не надо самостоятельно выбирать, какие из программ ставить на быстрый носитель, а какие — на медленный жесткий диск. Optane ускоряет работу с наиболее часто используемыми файлами автоматически. А вскоре в продаже появятся накопители Intel большего объема.

Производительность базовой сборки рассмотрена в этой статье.

#Оптимальная сборка

Система, которой по силам в большинстве случаев запустить ту или иную игру на максимальных настройках качества графики в разрешении Full HD.

Оптимальная сборка
Процессор AMD Ryzen 5 1600X, 6/12 ядер/потоков, 3,6 (4,0) ГГц, 8+8 Мбайт L3, AM4 16 000 руб.
Intel Core i5-8400, 6 ядер, 2,8 (4,0) ГГц, 9 Мбайт L3, LGA1151-v2 15 500 руб.
Материнская плата AMD B350 Примеры:
• Gigabyte GA-AB350-GAMING 3;
• ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming K4
6 500 руб.
Intel Z370 Express Примеры:
• ASRock Z370 Pro4;
• Gigabyte Z370 D3
8 500 руб.
Оперативная память 2 × 8 Гбайт DDR4-3200:
• Patriot Memory PV416G320C6K;
• Corsair CMK16GX4M2D3200C16
15 000 руб.
Видеокарта NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, 8 Гбайт GDDR5:
• Palit Dual (NE51070015P2-1043D);
• MSI GeForce GTX 1070 AERO 8G OC
36 000 руб.
Накопители HDD, 1 Тбайт, 7200 об/мин, SATA 6 Гбит/с Примеры:
• Western Digital WD10EZEX;
• Toshiba HDWD110UZSVA;
• Seagate ST1000DM010
3 000 руб.
SSD, 120-128 Гбайт, SATA 6 Гбит/с Примеры:
• Transcend 230S TS128GSSD230S;
• Kingston SUV400S37/120G
3 800 руб.
Процессорный кулер Примеры:
• Deepcool GAMMAXX 400;
• Scythe SCTTM-1000A Tatsumi
1 500 руб.
Корпус Примеры:
• Zalman Z3 Plus Black;
• Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Lite;
• Thermaltake Versa N26
3 000 руб.
Блок питания Примеры:
• AeroCool Strike-X 600 Вт;
• Deepcool DA600 600 Вт;
• Cooler Master B600 ver.2 600 Вт
3 500 руб.
Итого AMD — 88 300 руб.
Intel — 89 800 руб.

Оптимальные сборки AMD и Intel традиционно выглядят как планомерный апгрейд базовой конфигурации. При увеличении бюджета на 15-20 тысяч рублей мы можем смело взять заметно более производительные центральный процессор и видеокарту. Считаю, что в прошлом году официально началась эпоха 6-ядерников, и оптимальная конфигурация — своеобразная золотая середина без явных, «выпирающих» слабых мест. Если же ПК вам нужен в том числе и для работы, то есть смысл увеличить бюджет и взять чипы уровня Ryzen 7 1700/1700X или Core i7-8700.

В базовой и оптимальной сборках Intel используются самые недорогие материнские платы на базе чипсета Z370 Express. Плюсы таких устройств неоспоримы: платы имеют возможность разгона центрального процессора, а также поддерживают высокочастотную оперативную память. Однако, повторюсь, использовать Z370-платы нас вынуждает отсутствие альтернативных вариантов. Тот же Core i5-8400 все равно не имеет разблокированного множителя, а потому никак не пригоден для разгона. Поэтому со временем в рамках оптимальной сборки будут предлагаться материнские платы попроще (на базе чипсета B360, например) и оперативная память DDR4-2666.

Оптимальная конфигурация на базе платформы AM4 за последний месяц тоже не изменилась. В принципе, тем, кто планирует разгонять CPU от AMD, нет смысла брать более дорогие модели. В сборку отлично впишется Ryzen 5 1600, который стоит примерно на 3 000 рублей меньше и без каких-либо проблем разгоняется до стабильных 3,8-3,9 ГГц. Правило «если я буду разгонять процессор, то возьму младший чип в серии с желаемым числом ядер» актуально и для Ryzen 3, и для Ryzen 5, и для Ryzen 7. Старшие модели процессоров в некоторых сборках «Компьютера месяца» рекомендуются потому, что разгоном занимается абсолютное меньшинство пользователей. А Ryzen 5 1600X в сравнении с Ryzen 5 1600 имеет неплохую прибавку в 400 МГц.

Разгон чипов Ryzen полностью оправдан, так как увеличение частоты чипа до 3,8-3,9 ГГц и использование быстрой оперативной памяти DDR4-3200 увеличивает быстродействие системы в среднем на 20-25 %. Такая прибавка, как говорится, просто так на дороге не валяется.

Перечисленные в таблице материнские платы досконально изучены. Качества этих устройств достаточно для разгона любого чипа Ryzen до 3,8-3,9 ГГц. Как я уже отмечал ранее, если в вашем распоряжении есть восьмиядерник, который стабильно работает на частоте 4 ГГц, то лучше взять более качественное и дорогое устройство. Например, один из вариантов, указанных в продвинутой сборке.

Наступил январь, а нереференсные модели Radeon RX Vega в продаже в России появились в очень ограниченном тираже. А ведь та же Radeon RX Vega 56 отлично смотрелась бы в оптимальной сборке, но на момент написания данного материала эталонная версия этой видеокарты стоила в районе 50 000 рублей. Так что, по всей видимости, GeForce GTX 1070 придется находиться в одиночестве и далее.

Варианты по экономии или, наоборот, дополнительным тратам кажутся вполне очевидными. Так, вы можете взять более качественные охлаждение и корпус. Это касается всех конфигураций, на самом деле, так как сборка любого системного блока — это всегда творческий процесс. Также в оптимальной сборке применяется простенький SSD в 2,5-дюймовом исполнении объемом 120 Гбайт. При желании вы всегда можете взять вместо такого накопителя либо более объемный вариант, либо еще более быстрый NVMe-накопитель: например, модель Samsung 960 EVOкоторая в новом году заметно подешевела.

Если вы заметили ошибку — выделите ее мышью и нажмите CTRL+ENTER.

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