Build Advice Possible build: i5-10400 or ryzen 3700X ?

May 11, 2020

I'm looking towards making another machine but this time in the mini itx form. The primary use would be for work which include running MATLAB / octave / python, some software dev, running a couple of VM with guest OS ubuntu and maybe even a dual boot with win 10 and ubuntu. Secondly I also want to experience for VR as well - ok play games on it too - there I said it! For the VR set up I saw the Oculus Rift S for $400 so that is what I was planning on using.

Right now I am working on a Latitude e6540 - it has the i7 4800MQ plus the AMD 8790M GPU. But I don't think it is VR capable and running a single VM with a lite ubuntu desktop really puts it to the test.

For a new build I was considering the Intel route mainly because of the price of the CPU being less than $200. Here is a partial list:
CPU: Intel Core i5-10400 2.9 GHz 6-Core Processor ($179.98 @ Amazon)​
Motherboard: ASRock H470M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1200 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Amazon)​
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($69.98 @ Amazon)​
Case: NZXT H210 Mini ITX Tower Case ($79.99 @ B&H)​

The other route is Ryzen 7 3700X
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($299.99 @ Amazon)​
Motherboard: ASRock B550M-ITX/ac Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard ($129.99 @ B&H)​
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($69.98 @ Amazon)​
Case: NZXT H210 Mini ITX Tower Case ($79.99 @ B&H)​
GPU -- maybe RX5700XT​

Now I've heard there maybe some issues with running MATLAB on Ryzen processors but I think that may have been worked around.

Between the Intel or Ryzen which configuration would have the best bang for the buck and maybe even resale down the line?

Last edited by a moderator:
May 11, 2020
When are you looking to build? AMD are supposed to be announcing their 4000 series CPU’s in early October. These are rumoured to have a good uplift in performance over 3000 series.
After announcement when would the 4000 series be out on the shelfs?

I was planning to build within a couple of weeks but I can wait for a better price especially if going the Ryzen route. The Ryzen 3700X is $300 and I would have to get the GPU at the same time since the 3700X does not have display.

The Intel i5-10400 looked better in terms of cost since the CPU is less than $200 and it comes with and display driver so I don't need to get the GPU right away. Also if down the line I want upgrade and sell the 10400 I am thinking I could recover the cost better than the Ryzen 3700x. Does that part sound right?


The i5 is cheaper because its obviously nowhere near as powerful as a ryzen 7.

A ryzen 3600 would still be a better choice than the i5.

I would actually consider the ryzen 2700x at its current price of $220 for your uses.

Its still a blinding cpu and amazing value now.

I think ryzen will hold resale value way better than Intel nowadays due to the fact that gen 1 to gen 3 can be run on 90% of current motherboards.
Unfortunately we won’t know timeline until the launch event. You would hope it’s within a couple of weeks but that’s no guarantee.

As for price on second hand market my observation of other recent generations is the both.

You have an odd option here. The 10400 is more closely comparable to the 3600. The 3700X has 33% more cores/threads and much stronger for your work. The 3700x is more comparable to an i7.
Love those ITX builds.
I have done several.
I like the case.

My brother-in law does extensive work with matlab.
Performance is always an issue.
We concluded that the app was primarily single threaded.
Your i7-4800MQ is a 4 core/8 thread processor with a passmark rating of 5906 and a single thread rating of 1976. The turbo is 3.7.
By comparison, the i5-10400 is a 6 core/12 thread processor. (i3/i5/... no longer means what it used to. and it differs for mobile chips) It has a passmark rating of12738 and a single thread rating of 2607.
The max turbo is 4.3. All in all, a nice upgrade.
To do better, you are looking at a K suffix processor that can oc or boost to 5.0
The ryzen 3700X can also boost to 4.4 so that is a good competitor to the i5-10400 in performance, but not price.
At a similar price, the i5-10600K would be better.

On your build, the max ram speed supported with your H460 motherboard and i5 is 2666.
Not a big deal since intel does not depend on ram for performance.

OTOH, ryzen is tightly tied to ram so faster that 3200 would be appropriate for that option.
Normally, a 2 x 8gb ram kit is sufficient.
But, ram is cheap and I would opt for a 2 x 16gb kit to be able to nold all of the active vm's and tasks without paging.

Your 8790M graphics is roughly the equivalent of the HD630 graphics that comes with the intel processors.
That is a moot point since you will want something considerably stronger to run
vm. What that is, I have not researched.

Nor, have I researched what used processors go for after two years out.
Look on ebay for a product in used condition.
Then filter on completed auctions and you will see what it actually sold for.
Expect to be disappointed if you have to resell.
Better to buy the stronger product up front if you are thinking of an upgrade soon.