Best Bang for you Buck CPU+MB + RAM for Gaming

Juvion

Commendable
Mar 9, 2016
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Hey guys,

My intel core i5 3450 has done me a good service for 5 years but now it reaches 90% - 100% CPU load in CPU-heavy games like Battlefield 1 or Witcher 3.
I also have severe temperature problems(Up to 90°C and then the CPU throttles!) and the new Noctua NH-D15S cooler I bought doesn't fit. (my mainboard is a Foxconn 2ADA...) It seems like a good time to upgrade now.
That means that I need a new CPU and thus also a new mainboard and DDR4 RAM.
The problem: While I don't really have a cap for my Budget, I'd rather try to get to the sweetspot of bang for your back and futureproofness instead of being hit hard by the law of diminishing returns.

Which components would you recommend ? The mainboard needs to be compatible with the Noctua NH-D15S and I'm not sure about the amount of RAM that I need.
Due to the cooler, I'd like to have the possibility to overclock, but I probably won't do it until the CPU starts to bottleneck.

My components right now:

AMD Sapphire R9 390 Nitro
Intel Core i5 3450
12GB DDR3 RAM
Seasonic 620W PSU
Sandisk 480GB SSD and WD 1TB HDD

Thanks in advance from Germany.
 

feelinfroggy777

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Dec 13, 2016
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I would go with this. For gaming, Intel CPUs are better than AMD. If you do workstation task, then you should look at AMD. The 8600k is a beast of a gaming chip and should be able to handle anything you throw at it for the next few years. The 8700k cost about 30% more for 5% performance jump. You could move down to a 8400, but it is a locked CPU and since you already have a good CPU cooler, I think it would be worth the extra $50 or so to move up to the 8600k.

PCPartPicker part list: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/bBWnYr
Price breakdown by merchant: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/bBWnYr/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel - Core i5-8600K 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0) ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($180.89 @ OutletPC)
Total: $590.87
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-03-13 11:34 EDT-0400
 

skywalkerqq

Prominent
Nov 5, 2017
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Bang for your buck performance...

CPU: Ryzen 1600
RAM: Gskill Ripjaws sell pretty cheap for ram today, get at least 16gb
Mobo: I can't tell you what you need, do you wanna overclock? how many chassis fans do you have? etc.
 

mcconkeymike

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Dec 31, 2007
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Well I think for some sort of futureproofing (which is very tough for computers) you'll probably want to go with AMD which has said it will be sticking with the AM4 socket for at least a few more years. With that in mind I would probably go with the 1600 or 1700 and use your CPU cooler that you have now and overclock the heck out of whichever you get. For RAM, most people typically only need 8gb, but I personally go with 16gb in all of my systems. With AMD you should get as fast of RAM as you can afford that is properly compatible with the motherboard you choose. If you are planning on gutting and selling the old parts then you'll be fine using your current SSD and HD. If you are planning on keeping it somewhat intact, then look at the Samsung 960 EVO for a boot drive and then whatever you prefer for a spinner HD. The R9 390 should still be alright for 1080p gaming, but if you could afford it one of the new Vega GPUs or a 1070, 1070ti, 1080, or 1080ti would be where I would try to be.
 

antonio.parrot

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Jan 17, 2018
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First, a comment about the cooler. According to the specifications of noctua it is compatible with socket 1155 so it would have to work with your MB. This cooler is not natively compatible with the AM4 socket that Ryzen uses, but there is an adapter that you will have to buy if you choose AMD.

At same level price, Intel CPU is far better than AMD CPU in gamming. Maybe AMD is slightly better than intel in other task as zip/unzip, rendering etc. But the difference in gamming can mean playable or not playable and the difference in zip/unzip can mean 32 sec vs 30 sec in unzip a file. is not the same.

About RAM. you need 2x8 GB. If you buy a AMD Ryzen, you need a 3200 speed RAM special for Ryzen as FlareX due to infinit fabric problem. If you buy a Intel 8600K or 8400 you only need a 2666 speed RAM. Of course you can use a 3200 speed RAM but not worth it because the profit es very small and because 2666 uses 1,2 volts and 3200 uses 1,35.

In real world I5 8600K is the bestr cpu for gamming. I5 8400 is good but unlocked and it would be a waste use it with your cooler and a Z370 MB.

Finnaly you need a Z370 mobo with I5 8600K. If you plan soft O.C., you can buy the cheapest mobo that fit your requirements about USB, M2, Sata etc... If you plan hard O.C. better choose high level (asrock fatal1ty, asus ROG...).

 

feelinfroggy777

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That is not really true,. The 8400 will give around 10-20% more fps in games to a stock 1600. With an overclocked 1600 the difference is less that 10%. We at talking about single digit fps differences. That is not a difference between playable and not playable.

If you have a 1600 and a game does not have playable fps, that is not because of your CPU, it's because of a GPU or RAM limitation. The 1600 will meet the recommended requirements (let alone minimum requirements) of any game on the market today.

I prefer Intel for gaming. But saying AMD's Ryzen CPUs are not playable is completely inaccurate.
 

antonio.parrot

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Jan 17, 2018
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I have explained wrong. Of course Ryzen 1600 is a very good CPU and can support a R9 390. But 10% or 20% fps maybe a better play in some games.
 

Juvion

Commendable
Mar 9, 2016
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Thanks for all of your replies and I'm sorry for my late answer.
I had to put money aside, so I wasn't sure anymore whether I should actually upgrade but it looks like it will work now.

Alright, back to "business":
The i5 8400 already is out because I can't overclock it.
While I'm sure that the 8600k is a pretty good CPU right now, I kinda feel like I should avoid it as well though..
Isn't it going to cause bottlenecks a lot earlier than an i7 because of the lack of hyperthreading ?
(And even if it is just a difference of one year: It'll be one year more that I can keep my rig without getting a new CPU+motherboard and potentially RAM.)

The ryzen cpus are also pretty cheap right now (257€ for a Ryzen 7 1700x, just 4€ more than for a 1700) but the new cpus are probably going to released next month anyways, so....

Urgh, I hate decisions.
 

feelinfroggy777

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Dec 13, 2016
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The 8600k is a 6 core CPU. It is not the quad core i5 of older generations. Games don’t scale well with a lot of cores. This is why the 8600k, the 8700k, and even the 7700k all get the same fps in games despite having different thread counts.

While games will gradually start to take advantage of more threads in the future, it takes years to make a AAA game. Quad core CPUs have been mainstream for a decade and games are just now starting to use those cores.

The point of this is, one day the 8700k will get better fps in games than the 8600k. But, by the time that happens both CPUs will be virtually obsolete for gaming.

Compare the i5 750 and the i7 950. Are either of these CPUs adequate for modern AAA games? Those CPUs were released 9 years ago. So if you owned a i5-750 today would you be kicking yourself for not getting the i7-950? Probably not, because both of those CPUs are seriously underpowered compared to modern CPUs.

With that being said, the 8700k is a great CPU (I have one myself) and if you can afford it, then go for it. But, all I’m saying is there are better ways to spend you money and get better performance
 

Juvion

Commendable
Mar 9, 2016
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Thanks for your answer.
I will just look for deals in the next days and if I see that either the 8600k or the 8700k is on sale, I'll just get the one that is on sale first. Otherwise I'll decide spontaneously. But I'm pretty much set on one of those 2 now.
Now, let's talk about the mainboard: You recommended the Gigabyte - Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 Mainboard which has a price of ~190€.
Mainboard prices in general seem to start pretty low and go up into the expensive territories.
When I checked mainboards shortly after the release of coffee lake, the MSI Z370 Gaming Pro was recommended to me by multiple people (The price is ~115€).
Would that be a good option as well (or other mainboards in that price range)?
I'm not really sure what I miss out if I get a less expensive mainboard.

Thanks in advance.
 

mdd1963

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Jan 14, 2006
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+1 with above!
Bingo!

(I'd compare above MB to Asus' Z370A Prime for features....)
 

Juvion

Commendable
Mar 9, 2016
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The prices are different here though.
In Germany, the same mainboard costs 197€ (~$242, taxes included).
I already read the specs but the problem with reading specs is that often features are not as important as I think they are (or the other way around) which is why I prefer to read posts about experiences from other users additionally. :)
 

feelinfroggy777

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The main difference in motherboards is overclocking features. Higher end motherboards have better VRM and power delivery which equates to better overclocking. In the end, you are usually only talking about a couple hundred mhz difference in clockspeed. So unless you are a really hardcore overclocker, then you should not get a really expensive board.

I chose the gigabyte gaming 5 because it is a good midrange board and was not a bad price. The prices I selected are US prices, so 190 in your region seems a little high. I have a slight bias to gigabyte because I have had several of their boards and know their bios well. With that being said, money talks and the Gigabyte Gaming 5 is not light years better than the MSI Gaming Pro Carbon or the Asus z370A Prime as said below. I have also hear really good things about the Asrock z370 Extreme4. I do not have the Asrock board, but it is well received and liked by the community.

The truth is, most of the mid range motherboards have very similar features and all do about the same thing. So find one in your price range and go for it.. But, if you are going to overclock, I would avoid the budget z370 boards. These boards will make overclocking more difficult. To me, it is worth $50 extra to get a mid range board, but not worth $200 more to get the ultra highend.

 

Juvion

Commendable
Mar 9, 2016
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Thank you, I looked both the Asus z370A Prime and the Asrock z370 Extreme 4 up.
Both seem to be good, so I will just choose the one that will be cheaper at the time of buying.
The mainboard and CPU options are settled then, for RAM I will probably choose the 16GB G.Skill RipJaws V rot DDR4-3000 DIMM CL15 Dual Kit ( https://www.mindfactory.de/product_info.php/16GB-G-Skill-RipJaws-V-rot-DDR4-3000-DIMM-CL15-Dual-Kit_1013795.html )
because it is much cheaper than the 3200MHz version at the moment.
What's left then, is the case. What pricepoint should I target there?
I have heard that the Bitfenix Shinobi is a great affordable case for ~50€ but it does look rather plain.
 

feelinfroggy777

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You are building a decent system, so I would not go with a cheap case. I have not had a Bitfenix product, but they are not known for having cheap cases. A lot of it depends on what you are looking for because beyond the quality of the case, there is also the looks.

I really like Phanteks and Fractal Design's cases. They make some really good cases that make building the system and cable management much easier. The Phanteks Eclipse 400S Tempered Glass is a good looking mid tower case. The Phanteks Enthoo Pro is another good case, but is larger if that is what you are looking for.

I have the Fractal Design R6 and it is a really nice case. But it is kinda pricey and there are other cases out there that will do the job just as well.
 

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