Over the past months, processors and graphics cards have fallen in price, which allows you to build almost twice as powerful gaming computer than before. Therefore, we offer to your attention the special issue of our permanent rubric dedicated to the selection of optimal PC configurations.
Relatively recently, we have already published articles for the assembly of gaming PCs for $ 500 and $ 800 . Over time, they are not exactly outdated, but have become less attractive in terms of price-performance ratio. The reason for this was the emergence of new processors from Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen , as well as a significant drop in prices for GeForce-series GTX 10 graphics cards.
Our new budget 500-dollar assembly is based on the Intel Pentium G4560 processor with two physical, but four virtual cores. Its cost remained low, as with the purely dual-core Pentium Skylake chips, but the performance increased to Core i3. Having saved on the processor, it became possible to install the graphics card much more powerful – not GTX 1050 Ti (768 microkernels), but GTX 1060 at 3 GB (1152 microkernels). Thanks to this, with the permission of FullHD in the novelties of 2017 you can already play not on medium, but on high graphics settings.
The older configuration of the gaming PC for $ 900 also received a significantly more powerful processor: instead of the quad-core Intel Core i5, there is an eight-threaded AMD Ryzen 5 1400. This chip is already capable of revealing the potential of the GeForce GTX 1070 (1920 micronuclei), which, after the release of the GTX 1080 Ti, dropped significantly. The new version of the assembly, although it turned out to be $ 100 more expensive than the old one, allows you to play already in 2K-screen resolution with ultra-graphics settings and even in 4K at medium settings.
The amount of RAM 8 GB and solid-state drive 240 GB is the same for the younger and older assemblies. For games this is enough for now, but for a personal collection of photos, music and video, everyone can buy an internal or external hard drive of the necessary capacity. The 500 W power supply with one 6 + 2-pin connector for the graphics card is enough for both the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070.
Perhaps, it is the Pentium family that has undergone the greatest changes among all processors of Kaby Lake. Unlike the old Pentium Skylake, which was dual-core and differed from Celeron with only slightly higher frequency and cache capacity, the new Pentium Kaby Lake got support for Hyper-Threading technology and became four-threaded, like Core i3. The youngest and cheapest Pentium G4560 costs only $ 70 and it is now worth starting to count when assembling an entry-level PC.
The integrated graphics accelerator in the Pentium G4560 is the same as the Celeron – Intel HD 610 – it will not be possible to play novelties on it. But if you add a discrete graphics card, the situation drastically changes – the processor copes with average graphics settings without problems even in the newest games. For high settings, four virtual cores are not enough – you need four physical cores.
Even if you do not plan to play on a PC, we still strongly recommend choosing a four-threaded Pentium G4560 instead of a dual-core Celeron. Multithreaded and, as a result, demanding to the number of processor cores are even seemingly simple applications: web browsers, table editors and database management systems.
Despite the release of Intel 200-series chipsets, all motherboards on the 100-series chipsets without exception have received support for new processors Kaby Lake. The only condition is that a preliminary update of the BIOS firmware is required (in some cases, you may need a Skylake processor to use it for the first time running the motherboard). And if the B150, H170 and Z170 chipsets are losing at all to the similarly priced representatives of the 200 series, the younger H110 remained unchallenged due to its minimal price. Most likely, in the near future there will be updated revisions of H110 motherboards with the already updated BIOS.
One of the most affordable and at the same time functional budget motherboards LGA1151 is ASUS H110M-R. By the way, like other ASUS motherboards with the “R” index, it is shipped in a usual white box, not a painted box to minimize the cost price. Unlike similar motherboards with one or two video outputs, the H110M-R has just three – HDMI, DVI and VGA.
To praise the ASUS H110M-R is also for the thoughtful arrangement of PCI-E x1 slots, as a result of which they do not overlap with a multi-slot graphics card. In the end, we get a good budgetary motherboard with the support of modern processors Skylake and Kaby Lake, and DDR4 memory, albeit with a frequency of only 2133 MHz. The best choice for assembling office, home multimedia and even the initial gaming PC.
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 3GT OC is one of the most affordable dual-fan graphics cards on the GTX 1060 chip, which is cheaper than many single-fan models. Recall that the 3-gigabyte version of the GTX 1060 has 1152 microkernels, while the 6-gigabyte version – 1280. However, the difference in the number of microkernels is small and easily leveled by overclocking.
In the case of MSI GeForce GTX 1060 3GT, you do not even have to resort to manual overclocking, because it is overclocked in the factory, as evidenced by the “OS” marking. The power consumption of the graphics card is 120 W, so even with overclocking enough, one 6-pin power connector is enough (BP will fit even a second-rate brand). A pair of fans does a great job of cooling, but it does not work very well. If you need complete silence, take a closer look at similar models of MSI GTX 1060 Armor 3G OCV1 from 6 326 to 6 542 UAH. And MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 3G from 7 225 to 7 669 UAH. .
Worry about a small by modern standards, the amount of video memory GTX 1060 is not worth it: large game textures are transferred to RAM without problems. If the first time after the start of sales GTX 1060 when the amount of video memory exceeded the drawdown of FPS due to the non-aging of the drivers, now everything is working quickly and smoothly. As a result, a graphics card costing only $ 230 can handle even the latest games with FullHD-resolution on high graphics settings.
The most interesting, in our opinion, the representative of the AMD Zen family is the Ryzen 5 1400. This eight-threaded chip is a one and a half times faster replacement for the eight- core AMD FX-8000 , but it is even slightly cheaper than the low-end quad-core Intel Core i5 Kaby Lake 7400.
After manual overclocking to 4 GHz, the Ryzen 5 1400 processor becomes the best for its money solution for a gaming PC with a Gigabyte Radeon RX 480 GV-RX480G1 GAMING-4GD graphics card. GeForce GTX 1060 and even GTX 1070. After all, only one single game – Doom 2016 is able to load more than eight threads.
In addition, all Ryzen 5 processors have a hidden potential. Inside, they are all sixteen-threaded, with the only difference being that a quarter or half of the threads are blocked. Remembering the successful practice of unlocking the cores of AMD Deneb chips, I would hope that in the near future it will be available for Zen as well. Thanks to this 170-dollar Ryzen 5 1400 would play even more vivid colors.
Motherboards with an AM4 processor socket on the smaller A320 chipset, in my opinion, should not be bought. They do not support overclocking of the processor and RAM, while both of these functions are quite important for the Ryzen platform (the kernel groups interact with each other via the RAM). Therefore, the mandatory minimum is the motherboard Asus PRIME B350M-A on the chipset B350.
This AMD chipset is the answer to Intel B250 (motherboards cost the same). They both support the growing popularity of M.2 SSDs (see article “Accelerate any PC: the five best SSD-drives of 2017” ). That’s just overclocking the processor and memory of the Intel B250 does not support, so the Asus PRIME B350M-A looks better.
Made by Asus PRIME B350M-A with an emphasis on reliable and durable work. The power subsystem is protected from power surges, the Ethernet socket – from a lightning strike (from a direct hit, for example, in a private house, of course, does not save), and a printed circuit board – from delamination due to high humidity. Video outputs HDMI, DVI and VGA on the back panel of the motherboard are made with a margin for the future, because so far all the outgoing AM4 processors lack integrated graphics. The Zen hybrid chips will go on sale in late 2017 or early in 2018.
To scold the Asus PRIME B350M-A is possible except for the lack of heat sinks on the CPU power circuit. Because of this, overclocking the 16-thread Ryzen 7 to the limit is unlikely to work. In the rest – a good-quality and relatively inexpensive motherboard for eight- and twelve-thread processors Ryzen 5.
Inno3D graphics accelerators are traditionally overclocked at the plant more than competing solutions (see article “What brand? We are buying the best graphics card from the manufacturer” ). GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming OC was no exception. And in the Inno3D range there is an even higher-frequency version of the GTX 1070 – the Inno3D GeForce GTX 1070 C107V4-1SDN-P5DNX with three large and one small fan.
But for a moderately hot GTX 1070 with a heat output of 150 watts there are two fans, the main thing is that they have a large diameter – 10 cm like the Inno3D Gaming OC.And because massive heat sink made of aluminum fins and copper heat pipes in this simple card generally cooled passively, even without making any noise. In addition, it extends the service life of fans.
As many as 8 GB of graphics memory allow you to play on the 1070 GTX not only in FullHD (for this permit it, perhaps even excessive), but also in 2K and 4K-resolution. In addition, a large amount of video memory allows to do just 8 GB of RAM without problems. Game textures will definitely miss the video memory and they will not occupy RAM.
HyperX Fury – junior series gaming memory from the company’s Kingston. The epithet “gamer” should not be taken literally, this memory will not increase the FPS in games compared to non-gaming, it only has a higher overclocking capability, and impressive appearance.
HyperX Fury series includes the RAM as the old standard, DDR3 and DDR4 new. The first may be useful to upgrade existing PCs, while the second – to build from scratch. Optimal for new PCs, in our opinion, is the DDR4-2400 MHz. For Intel Kaby Lake processors without unlocked multiplier – this is the maximum. For AMD Ryzen 2400MHz memory chips can be overclocked to 2666 personally or even higher.
It is useful in the case of the acceleration will be a memory metal radiators. Fortunately, they have HyperX Fury low profile and does not interfere with the installation of tower CPU coolers. As a result, recommend to buy HyperX Fury, we can absolutely everyone, because it costs only a little more expensive than modules DDR4-2133 MHz without radiators.
Last year the most popular SSD-controller on the market was Phison PS3110-S10. This year, he was replaced by an updated PS3111-S11. It would seem, on the basis of its wheels were to be fast. But first, to increase the speed of linear reading is simply nowhere to go, because it has long been limited by the capacity of SATA III tires. And secondly, the main trend in the SSD market is the total depreciation. As a result, Goodram CX300, one of the first drive with S11 controller, get even easier previous model CX200.
Built CX300 15 nm planar flash memory Toshiba TLC. Its bunch with S11 controller used in other popular SSD, e.g. Kingston A400 SS37 / 240G and Patriot Spark PSK256GS25SSDR from 2410 to 2755 USD. By the way, the claimed storage capacity of 240 GB at the CX300 and A400 instead of 256 GB at the Spark is not a disadvantage. Just the company Goodram Kingston and specify the amount of disk backup without regard to 16GB inaccessible to the user, and Patriot – based. The real capacity of the three discs is the same.
Unlike SSD on a bunch of SMI-Hynix, Goodram CX300 and similar drives have a buffer memory. However, its only 32 MB and it is built directly into Phison S11 controller. For comparison, the SSD controller to S10 was from 128 to 512 MB ultrafast buffer. Virtual SLC-CX300 in the cache and also has on its end of the recording speed is also significantly reduced – from 460 to 80 MB / s. However, TLC-memory Toshiba still one and a half times faster than SK Hynix. That is why we advise Goodram CX300 to build entry-level PC gaming.
Find in selling more or less decent computer case at a low cost is not difficult. If only the metal was too thin to not rattled by vibration hard drive, but the front panel would not have been out of glossy plastic is easily scratched. The rest is secondary.Much more difficult to find cheap housing with a high-quality power supply included. But we are still able – Frontier Darth Vader with PSU 500 Watts.
Frontier Darth Vader – is a full-size FullTower-body, which fit motherboards up to the ATX form factor (seven expansion slots). Seats for the 3.5 and 2.5-inch drives on the two pieces, and one more for the 5.25-inch. Fan is not supplied: cheap buildings is typical, blowing hot air through the overlying power supply. If desired, the front can be placed 12 cm propeller and rear – only 9 cm. Also, the housing has a window of transparent plastic for fans to enjoy and brag to your friends filling PC.
The main advantage of the body is supplied with it to complete the power supply. Though he is labeled as Frontier, but is built on the circuitry of CWT. Ready-made solutions are used by the same company in the junior models of PD such world famous brands like Chieftec, Corsair and be quiet !. By line 12 in the PD outputs 450 watts which is more than enough power for even the most voracious CPU and GPU 8-pin power (GTX 1070, RX 470, RX 480). PD deficiency in Frontier, only one – call it quiet so no way.
As a result, due to the high power of the complete power supply, to recommend Frontier Darth Vader we can to build not only primary, but also advanced gaming PCs. In addition to Darth Vader, commercially available and other Frontier models, differing only in the design of the front panel: Jedi , Yoda , Qui-Gon and Warlock . Perhaps some of them looks like you more.