[SOLVED] What would be the barest minimum for gaming (discussion-ish)

exploding_psu

Commendable
Jul 17, 2018
110
14
1,595
2
Morning everyone,

In my neverending quest to provide a better gaming experience for my cousin, I'm thinking of building him a bare 'gaming' PC, with the cheapest part available that still allows for decent 1080p gaming (I know 1080p gaming itself is a spectrum, but hear me out). Which means going deep into the realm of older CPUs. I know, the newer i3s are quad-core now, and something like 1600 is an incredible proposition, but with the extremely limited budget I have now, we'll have to get off our high horses and well, see things from a 'cheapskate' perspective.

I'll go straight to the point, what is the barest, most 'minimal' CPU, that is still viable for 1080p 60 fps gaming? My cousin currently plays on an ULV / MX150 laptop so pretty much any CPU (within reason) will be an upgrade. For years, I always thought it's the i5-2400. But I gave mine a try yesterday and man, that thing was slow (I'm not really a 'gamer' so my game choices are limited, tried it with Mirrors Edge and Destiny 2, that thing struggled). Sold it for $30 as an extra towards this new PC.
Now, what about the i7-2600? Or maybe the i5-3470? Are those two CPUs still viable? Or even better, how about the old i7-860? Checking around comparing cinebench scores seems to show the old i7-860 to be not that far away from my Ryzen 3 1200, which is impressive.

I'll do a price comparison for a bit. Let's say I'm building the everyone's go-to 1600 build.
$150 for the CPU (couldn't find it for anything less than that, going used),
$60 for A320 motherboard,
$50 for 8 GB of DDR4 RAM.
$260 for the core build.

If I were to build an i5-3470, as an example, it'll be something like
$50 for the CPU,
$35 for the H61 motherboard,
$40 for the 8 GB RAM (what's going on with RAM prices anyway?).
$125 for the core. That's like half the price (and of course with all the repercussions of old platform and slower performance). Throw in a RX 470 for $120, a SEASONIC YEAHHH PSU for $60, and an 1080p monitor, hard drives, case and standard peripherals for $150. $455 for a full build.
Of course, 3470 is no match for 1600, but hey if it does 60 fps in the games he play I don't see any reason to go any higher, am I right?

Anyway, back to the main question, so what's the 'lowest' CPU still viable for 60 fps 1080p gaming? What about from the AMD side (I've seen some FX series like FX-6300 go as low as $40, but I'll be brutally frank I have no idea about the motherboards and the likes). Then there's these Xeons, X3450 for $20 with "comparable" performance to the i7-870. I mean, there's so many choices.

Sorry if this post looks like just a wall of text filled with the ramblings of a madman, I'm not good when it comes to expressing my intent. I'd really appreciate any inputs
 
I'll do a price comparison for a bit. Let's say I'm building the everyone's go-to 1600 build.
$150 for the CPU (couldn't find it for anything less than that, going used),
$60 for A320 motherboard,
$50 for 8 GB of DDR4 RAM.
$260 for the core build.

If I were to build an i5-3470, as an example, it'll be something like
$50 for the CPU,
$35 for the H61 motherboard,
$40 for the 8 GB RAM (what's going on with RAM prices anyway?).
$125 for the core. That's like half the price (and of course with all the repercussions of old platform and slower performance).
Just do yourself and your cousin a favor and go for new stuff,spend the few bucks more and get a system with a ryzen 3 1200 if you want amd or the g6400 if you want intel,you will get a base system that will play games decent enough and that you will be able to upgrade with a second hand CPU whenever you have money.
 

exploding_psu

Commendable
Jul 17, 2018
110
14
1,595
2
All in AUD, sorry for not putting that in.

MSI Mobo
Ryzen 7 3700X
Hyper X RAM 2x2 =16GB (XMP Enable)
WD Black 750
PSU 650W
GPU Vega 56
Man, I'm doing lowest-of-the-low, bargain-bin, barest-minimum standards here. I appreciate your input, but there's no way in oblivion I'm getting a Ryzen, let alone a 3700X. I mean, I'm Ivy-bridge and earlier level here...
 

egda23

Upstanding
Jun 14, 2020
428
76
290
15
Il think that one of you problems is that you have not defined a clear-cut budget. That would make everything easier, especially that you seem to need everything including hard disk, a screen, PSU and all
 
I'll do a price comparison for a bit. Let's say I'm building the everyone's go-to 1600 build.
$150 for the CPU (couldn't find it for anything less than that, going used),
$60 for A320 motherboard,
$50 for 8 GB of DDR4 RAM.
$260 for the core build.

If I were to build an i5-3470, as an example, it'll be something like
$50 for the CPU,
$35 for the H61 motherboard,
$40 for the 8 GB RAM (what's going on with RAM prices anyway?).
$125 for the core. That's like half the price (and of course with all the repercussions of old platform and slower performance).
Just do yourself and your cousin a favor and go for new stuff,spend the few bucks more and get a system with a ryzen 3 1200 if you want amd or the g6400 if you want intel,you will get a base system that will play games decent enough and that you will be able to upgrade with a second hand CPU whenever you have money.
 

Flayed

Honorable
Lowest CPU that is still viable for 1080p/60? There are some games that really punish older CPUs now. I was having really low minimum fps running Far Cry 5 on a 3570k. Rockstars new cowboy game is even worse.

With that in mind I'm going to say a Haswell 4970k is the lowest viable CPU for modern AAA gaming. The problem with this is that they are expensive on the used market so you may as well build something more modern.
 

mdd1963

Champion
The reviews on the R3-3300X showed it to be quite impressive, offering about 95% of the performance of the also excellent R5-3600. perhaps as it's 4c/8t design was ll on one CCX.

I'd abandon consideration of all 5-8 year old (or older) 'has-beens'.
 

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