test of current platforms AMD and Intel / Laptops and PC

The heading "Optimal Gaming PC" is a logical addition to the series of articles " Computer of the Month ". Not so long ago I studied the possibilities of systems costing 30-35 thousand rubles which are part of the starting assembly. As shown by testing, in the presence of such a budget it is impossible to build a desktop that would "pull" all AAA projects at high and especially maximum graphics quality settings. The PCs discussed in this article will be able to cope with the listed tasks.

# The basic assembly

Game system blocks costing 60-65 thousand rubles fit into the concept of the basic assembly of the "Computer of the Month". Taking into account the indicated budget, I would like to see a full-fledged quad-core CPU, 16 GB of RAM, a video card with 6 GB of memory and more, as well as an SSD with the volume of 120-128 GB.

The basic assembly – the winter-2017/2018
The processor AMD Ryzen 5 1400, 4/8 cores / threads, 3.2 (3.4) GHz, 8 MB L3, AM4, BOX 9 500 rubles.
Intel Core i3-8100, 4 cores, 3.6 GHz, 6 MB L3, LGA1151, BOX 8,000 rubles.
The motherboard AMD B350 5 500 rubles.
Intel Z370 Express 9,000 rubles.
Operative memory 2 × 8 GB DDR4-2400 13,000 rubles
Video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, 6 GB GDDR5 19 500 rubles.
The accumulators HDD, 1 TB, 7200 rpm, SATA 6 Gbps 3000 rubles.
SSD, 120-128 GB, SATA 6 Gbps 4 500 rubles.
The processor cooler mini tower – for AMD 800 rubles
The Corps Midi-Tower 3000 rubles.
The power supply unit ATX, 500-600 W 3 500 rub.
Total AMD – 62,800 rubles.
Intel – 64,800 rubles.

The table shows the average prices for the "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. Therefore, the article stipulates an approximate budget of 60,000-65,000 rubles. The cost of the software is not taken into account in the calculations, only the components are evaluated.

Prior to the release of the processors Coffee Lake in the framework of the basic assembly Intel offered a system with an inexpensive motherboard on the chipset H110 Express and quad-core processor Core i5-7500. As you know, the LGA1151-v1 platform does not support new Intel chips, so the last couple of months in tandem with the Core i3-8100 system uses a motherboard based on the Z370 Express logic set. Unfortunately, in December you will not find alternative variants of motherboards on sale, since the younger chipsets (B360, H310 and H370 Express), the processor giant, will present only in January 2018. Over time, when the listed low-cost solutions appear on sale, the base Intel PC due to the use of the six-core Core i5-8400 will be transformed exclusively for the better. Now the builders are guided by the Core i3-8100.

But we will also consider the potential advantages of purchasing a motherboard based on the Z370 Express chipset. First, over time, you can change the same Core i3-8100 to a chip with an unlocked multiplier (yes, even on a Core i7-8700K) and, as a result, get a much faster PC. Secondly, Z370-boards support the installation of high-frequency memory. The sets of DDR4-3000 / 3200 are now widely distributed. Third, part of the motherboards based on the Z370 Express supports NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire arrays in the x8 + x8 PCI Express 3.0 scheme. It turns out that if you want and need, the basic assembly of Intel can be radically upgraded. Pros because, and potential – just not all users are engaged in an upgrade. Very often the system unit changes with time in its entirety.

By the way, about memory – "operative" every month becomes more expensive. In December, a simple dual-channel DDR4-2400 package with a capacity of 16 GB can be taken at best for 12,000 rubles. The starting assembly uses a budget set, but if desired, it can always be overclocked to an effective frequency of 2933 or even to 3066 MHz. For example, the Samsung M378A1G43EB1-CRC modules with a voltage of 1.3 V and delays of 20-19-19-40 are accelerated to 3066 MHz. We use them in our systems.

If we talk about the volume, then all kinds of tests show that 16 GB of RAM is enough for games on high and maximum graphics quality settings in Full HD resolution. However, the use of a large amount of memory in the system no longer looks like something superfluous.

High-frequency memory markedly increases [1,945,9004] the performance of Ryzen CPUs. In addition, the A320, B350 and X370 chipsets for the AM4 platform support RAM operation up to the DDR4-4000 standard, although officially the memory controller works with DDR4-2133, DDR4-2400 and DDR4-2666. Primarily, at a guaranteed high memory frequency, Ryzen consistently operates sets that consist of two 8-gigabyte modules built on 8-gigabit Samsung second-generation chips (B-die). That's why for AM4-assemblies I offer kits from this manufacturer.

AMD's base assembly uses an inexpensive motherboard based on the B350 chipset. Given that all Ryzen are equipped with an unlocked multiplier, we can independently overclock the CPU. The last issue of the "Optimal Gaming PC" showed that even with the cheapest board and box cooler it's possible to overclock quad-core Ryzen 5 1400 to absolutely stable 3.8 GHz. Overclocking of Ryzen chips on B350 budget cards is an undeniable plus of the AM4 platform in comparison with LGA1151.

Within the budget, we fit into the purchase of GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of video memory. Depending on the model, the cost of this accelerator varies in Moscow retail in the range from 18 000 to 22 000 rubles. The same cost 4-gigabyte Radeon RX 570 4 GB. Unreferenced versions of Radeon RX 580 8 GB at an adequate price at the time of writing this article was unrealistic – the most affordable option with 8 GB of video memory in early December was worth 23,000 rubles. That's why testing was done on NVIDIA components.

In my opinion, you can do without a solid-state drive in the basic assembly. As the tests show, if there are 16 GB of RAM in the system, the lack of SSD basically does not affect FPS in games. However, I advise you to take such a step only in case of acute shortage of funds. Nevertheless, the solid-state drive significantly speeds up such processes as data archiving, photo processing and video conversion. Faster loading and levels in your favorite games.

True, a 128 GB SSD is not enough to accommodate a large library of games. The drive for 256-512 GB can not cope with this task either. So, 11 of the tester's friends – AAA projects used in the tests – took up almost all the free space on the terabyte hard drive. Therefore, in the base assembly of Intel as a possible alternative to SSD 120-128 GB, you can consider the Optane Memory drive (32 GB, 5 500 rubles), which will revive the configuration with the hard drive due to caching of hits. With the results of testing of such a subsystem, you can see in this article . The given variant is good because the user does not have to choose which programs to put on fast media, and which ones to slow HDD. Optane Memory will speed up the most frequently used files automatically.

In the basic assembly I propose to use a power supply unit with a power of 500-600 W. In games, the system with overclocked Ryzen 5 1400 and GeForce GTX 1060 in peak consumes only 160 watts. The choice of models with a power of 500-600 watts is due to several things. First, the difference in price between devices with a power of 400, 500 and 600 W is insignificant. Secondly, any power supply unit works with maximum efficiency at loading in the range of 40-60%. In this mode, the BP components are warmer, and the fan runs at a lower speed. Thirdly, when using a 500-600 W unit, we can replace with time with a 120-watt GeForce GTX 1060 adapter with TDP 200+ W. Fourthly, such models in the set immediately go all the wires.

# Saving and additional fee

The options to improve the basic assembly or, on the contrary, save a few. Attempts to maximally reduce the cost of the system can lead to the fact that the basic assembly will simply turn into a starting one. For example, instead of Ryzen 5 1400 you can take Ryzen 3 1200 or Ryzen 3 1300X – "treshki" do not support SMT technology. Some savings options are given in the table.

The economy
The main components The economy Ryzen 3 1200 Ryzen 5 1400 Ryzen 5 1400 Ryzen 3 1200 Available Options Ryzen 5 1400
16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400
GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB
B350 B350 B350 B350 B350
HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB
The price is 51 000 rub. (-23%) 57,800 rubles. (-9%) 58 300 rub. (-8%) 60 000 rub. (-5%) 62,800 rubles.
The main components Intel Core i5-7400 Intel Core i3-8100 Intel Core i3-8100 Intel Core i5-7400 Intel Core i3-8100
16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400
GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB
H110 Z370 Z370 H110 Z370
HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB
The price is 53,300 rubles. (-22%) 59,800 rubles. (-8%) 60 300 rub. (-7%) 62 300 rub. (-4%) 64,800 rubles.

So, instead of Core i3-8100 and a motherboard on the Z370 chipset, you can take a bundle of "Core i5-7400 + H110 Express". In terms of performance, these chips are comparable, they have similar frequencies (only Core i3 does not support Turbo Boost), and the same volume of the third level cache – 6 MB. Plus, in architectural terms, there is no fundamental difference between Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake. Savings, according to my calculations, will amount to just over 2,000 rubles. Only in return you will receive a noticeably less qualitative and functional board, as well as a half-dead platform. I do not like this option.

Another questionable option is the purchase of GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB instead of GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB. This amount of video memory is not always enough in modern games. Then it will only get worse. The Radeon RX 570 version of 4 GB is worth as much as the 6-gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060.

Instead of Ryzen 5 1400, Ryzen 5 1600 or Ryzen 5 1600X will perfectly fit. To overclock the processor or not to overclock it is your right, but in any case the motherboard will be used based on the B350 chipset. As for the platform LGA1151-v2, then instead of the quad Core i3-8100, you can safely take a six-core Core i5-8400. Slightly cheaper is Core i3-8350K (12 500 rubles) – this processor has an unlocked multiplier. However, the six-core looks more preferable and in resource-intensive tasks, and in games. So, when you load all six cores, the Core i5-8400 runs at 3.8 GHz, which is quite enough for GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards.

It's also clear with the video cards: instead of the GeForce GTX 1060, GeForce GTX 1070 or even GeForce GTX 1070 Ti asks. Radeon RX Vega 56 costs significantly more, and to find non-reference versions on sale still need to try hard.

Supplement
The main components Available Options Ryzen 5 1400 Supplement Ryzen 5 1600X Ryzen 5 1400 Ryzen 5 1600X
16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400
GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GeForce GTX 1070 8 GB GeForce GTX 1070 8 GB
B350 B350 B350 B350
SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB
The price is 62,800 rubles. 68 300 rub. (+9%) 73,300 rubles. (+ 17%) 78,800 rubles. (+25%)
The main components Intel Core i3-8100 Intel Core i5-8400 Intel Core i3-8100 Intel Core i5-8400
16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2400
GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GeForce GTX 1070 8 GB GeForce GTX 1070 8 GB
Z370 Z370 Z370 Z370
SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB SSD 128 GB + HDD 1 TB
The price is 64,800 rubles. 70,800 rubles. (+9%) 75 300 rub. (+16%) 81 300 rub. (+25%)

I will compare the ones presented in the configuration tables with each other.

# Example of a gaming PC

Tables with a list of components – this, of course, is good, but not everyone can imagine how the game PC actually looks like for 60-65 thousand rubles. Especially for this edition of the "Optimal Gaming PC" I collected two stands. The set of iron is as follows:

The basic assembly
AMD Intel
The central processor AMD Ryzen 5 1400, 4/8 cores / threads, 3.2 (3.4) GHz, 8 MB L3 Intel Core i3-8100, 4 cores, 3.6 GHz, 6 MB L3
Cooling Complete with the processor
The motherboard MSI B350M MORTAR, mATX, B350, AM4 MSI Z370 GAMING PLUS, ATX, Z370 Express, LGA1151-v2
Operative memory Samsung M378A1G43EB1-CRC, 2 × 8 GB DDR4-2400
Video card MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Aero ITX 6G OC, 6 GB GDDR5
The accumulators Toshiba HDWD110UZSVA, 1 TB + Kingston SUV400S37 / 120G, 120 GB
The power supply unit Thermaltake Smart RGB (PS-SPR-0500NHSAWE-1), 500 W
The Corps Thermaltake Versa N27

The parts shown in the table are fully compatible with each other. The process of building the system blocks passed without any delays and complications. For those who have never collected a PC on their own, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with with a detailed step-by-step guide on assembling the system unit.

About RAM and drives used in the optimal PC for 60-65 thousand rubles, I have already told. At the heart of the basic assembly of AMD is the motherboard MSI B350M MORTAR form factor mATX. The power converter of the device consists of six phases. Four channels are responsible for the CPU, two more for NB / SOC. As shown by testing, such an element base was enough to disperse the 4-nuclear Ryzen 5 1400 and 6-nuclear Ryzen 5 1600X to a stable frequency of 3.8 GHz. The components necessary for powering the CPU are additionally cooled by a small aluminum radiator.

Сердцем системы стала видеокарта MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Aero ITX 6G OC. Обзор этой модели уже выходил на нашем сайте. При небольших размерах (длина устройства составляет всего 175 мм) адаптер оказался достаточно холодным и тихим, а разгон GPU и памяти позволяет увеличить быстродействие ПК в играх на 8-11 %.

   

Thermaltake Smart RGB (PS-SPR-0500NHSAWE-1)

Блок питания Thermaltake Smart RGB (PS-SPR-0500NHSAWE-1) удовлетворяет всем требованиям базовой конфигурации. Да, модель имеет неотстегивающиеся кабели, но во время сборки они ничуть не мешаются. Длина проводов — приличная, проблем с прокладкой я не испытал. При этом устройство Thermaltake способно без всяких переходников запитать видеокарту с двумя 8-пиновыми коннекторами.

Thermaltake Smart RGB (PS-SPR-0500NHSAWE-1) оснащен подсветкой, которая управляется при помощи кнопки, расположенной с внешней стороны. Пользователю доступны 10 цветов. Производитель заявляет, что модель оснащена бесшумным 120-мм вентилятором. Действительно, под нагрузкой БП работает достаточно тихо.

Согласно техническим характеристикам, блок питания поддерживает стандарт 80 PLUS, то есть его КПД при любой нагрузке не падает ниже 80 %. При этом по 12-вольтовой линии БП способен передать до 420 Вт электроэнергии. Именно на этот показатель необходимо смотреть при компоновке системного блока. Для стабильной работы систем, которые рассматриваются в статье, заявленных 420 Вт более чем достаточно. Мощности такого БП хватит при установке Core i5-8400 и видеокарты вплоть до уровня GeForce GTX 1080. Если же модернизировать систему оверклокерскими чипами Core i5-8600K или Core i7-8700K, а также видеокартой c TDP 200+ Вт, то нужен блок питания с большим количеством ваттов, передаваемых по линии 12 В.

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