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Here are the best gaming CPUs for the money. These processors offer the best performance at their price and are suitable for overclocking.

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  1. Quote:
    Then there are folks who believe the Athlon X4 880K is worth an extra $25 for its higher clock rate and beefier cooler. For some, it might be. But the 95 W thermal solution you get with the 860K is already an improvement over the old OEM heat sink

    If you don't plan on doing ANY overclocking (or you're building the machine for someone else who is a neophyte and you don't even WANT them overclocking), get the Carrizo-based 845 instead. It uses less power, performs at least as well, and costs a few bucks less. Unless you're using an older board with questionable BIOS support. If you're doing very light overclocking, with AMD now including the new Silent 95W cooler, I would agree the Kaveri-based 860K is the better buy than either the 845 or the 880K.

    But if you plan on touching voltage even a tiny bit, you're MUCH better off just buying an 880K. For starters to get an equivalent aftermarket cooler you're going to spend at least as much money. Stock clocks are higher and it's Godavari-based (or Kaveri refresh, if you prefer). I have been told that original Kaveri (and possibly it's predecessors?) used thermal compound/epoxy for the heatspreaders, while Godavari-based chips have soldered lids. This seems to be supported by numerous reports of them hitting better clocks without having to throw as much voltage at it.

    So the heatsink and possible better binning aspect makes it worth it if you are going to boost the voltage. But I really want more confirmation about the soldered lids. For the longest time I thought the Kaveri chips all had soldered lids too... now I'm not so sure.
  2. OK, I just found a reliable article that verifies the claims of FM-based chips using thermal paste for the heatspreader TIM. I guess I never paid attention.

    https://www.ekwb.com/blog/what-is-delidding/

    Here's one of the posts talking about Godavari being soldered.

    http://www.overclock.net/t/1560598/apu-amd-a10-7870k-godavari-heatspreader-soldered

    If all Godavari chips use soldered heatspreaders, there's no point in using 860K over 870K/880K (both are Godavari) for voltage-tweaked overclocking purposes. Otherwise yeah the price differential favors the 845/860K options. Just depends on what you're doing.
  3. I see now we've dropped the " gaming cpu's for the money" part. I find that quite unfortunate as the 8300 stands nowhere near the 6100 as far as gaming goes, frankly suggesting anyone purchase a AM3+ for any reason comes off as absurd and merely a way to calm the fanboys.

    Keep the price low and the ZEN benchmarks honest Ill join the party. Until then the 8300 stinks out loud.
  4. Until Zen came out, the FX8300 is like the best value options for AM3+ with much more tolerable TDP as icing on the cake.
    And Tom is right. Considering FX8300 potentials at such price, no Intel CPU can get near it.
  5. Broadwell-E processors excluding Xeon have up to six more cores not four.
  6. Wow those US prices. Must be nice. Have a look at Newegg.ca some say - the difference in the dollar doesn't equate to the crazy prices in Intel and Nvidia stuff... AMD seems really reasonable though, hence the disappointment with the others...
  7. @ 1991ATSERVERTOWER, from what I found using a currency conversion calculater for current exchange rates, intel cpu's are actually cheaper in Canada than the US. Not by much, for instance the i5 6500. Lowest price with shipping included in the US is $205 usd. That works out to $270.37 cad. However when looking at Canadian prices, the lowest price shipped from ncix is $269.99 cad. Meaning the 'high' price in Canada is due to currency exchange rates, you're not really paying more than the US.

    You could take your $270 cad and exchange it for US dollars across the border and still have the amount needed to buy that cpu with nothing left over. If you had money left over it would indicate overall prices being higher in Canada.

    Same thing when I checked prices for the 6600k, they're even across the exchange rate. When considering the i3 6100, if Canada's pricing were equal across the exchange rate then the i3 6100 should cost $151.67 cad and yet it can be had for $145 cad shipped from amazon.ca so it's a few dollars cheaper in Canada. By contrast, the fx 8350 going by the exchange rate should only be $197.84 cad and yet the lowest shipped price I could find for it was from amazon.ca and it costs $211.50 cad shipped.

    It appears that intel cpu's are costing the same in Canada when taking into account the exchange rate. Amd aren't reasonable, they're costing more in Canada even with the exchange rate applied. Maybe something to consider but that's going by the current exchange and current pricing via pcpartpicker. Maybe it used to be the other way around but not anymore from the looks of it.
  8. Ordinarily Synphul I would agree with you but you forgot to include sales tax, which all Canadian provinces have - to varying degrees - and most US States don't. So add another 10% at least and in some cases 15%. The only saving grace is the occasional sale.
  9. Correction. Most US States have sales tax but usually to a lesser degree than Canada.
  10. True, it depends on the location for taxes. Some pay higher tax rates than others, whether it's a state sales tax, not sure how Canada's taxes work. US taxes are a bit odd, if buying locally then local and state sales tax apply. If buying online like off Amazon, there isn't a sales tax. If buying from an online vendor/company who has a brick and mortar location within your state, you pay state sales tax.

    Taxes have been an issue for online purchases in the US because it's a new concept and they're not sure how to iron it out. Some think the state where it was purchased from should get the tax, others think the state in which someone lives should get the tax money which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Either way it's confusing.

    Vat taxes can be pretty high depending where someone is at, but the tax isn't the fault of the company whether amd, intel or nvidia. Taxes are beyond their control and if taxes make one item high priced it will likely make all items that are taxed higher in price. That's a local/national issue. It wouldn't be fair to expect intel or nvidia or anyone else to sell their products heavily discounted to a particular country because that country has high tax rates.
  11. I said to look at Newegg.ca, not to scour the internet to find specific items that match your contrary agenda. The exchange rate cor the Canadian dollar has fluctuated from 0.59 all the way to 0.84 in the last few months, from my casual observation. Using a single retailer, Newegg in this case, and comparing many of their products (as I tend to do out of boredom and curiosity), you absolutely will find that Canadians pay a $5 to $100+ premium even after factoring in the exchange rate.

    Canada closed the tax loophole on internet purchases a while ago. You pay the provincial tax and recycling fees of the province associated with the billing address. However, I wasn't even considering that.

    Anyway, we Canadians need to wait for "deals" much of the time in order to get prices that are not gouging us. It's not like we're sitting here earning considerably more money per hour than Americans, the average wages are about the same. Yet, we're expected to pay more for the same things. In the case of the book industry, they admitted Canadian prices are higher, because "the market will bear it", not because they need to be higher (in some cases double...). That's the kind of thing that is disappointing to say the least. Nvidia products appear to be the worst for this in the computer industry, as it's almost impossible to find current and ast gen at anywhere near MSRP, even refurb in a lot of cases.

    The R9 270 I bought a few years ago was $50 cheaper than the Nvidia 750 non Ti, for example. That's insane, but that's what I was faced with at the time and not much has changed since.
  12. At least the start of the article says "gaming machine." There are plenty of uses for a CPU more powerful than an i5-6600K, but by sneaking "gaming machine" at the start it's easy for the author to reject those as not fitting for their intended audience.
  13. joex444 said:
    At least the start of the article says "gaming machine." There are plenty of uses for a CPU more powerful than an i5-6600K, but by sneaking "gaming machine" at the start it's easy for the author to reject those as not fitting for their intended audience.


    This particular monthly article has always been for gaming machines. Why gaming was not kept in the article title, I am unsure.
  14. I'm going to have to go with a i7 4790K for this one, it's a great processor, good for overclocking too!
  15. The Best CPUs is still gaming focused. We just wanted to simplify the title for presentation purposes, and to make it easier for people to find via search (more people search with that term -- and yeah, we care about that, as you can imagine). It also gives us some future flexibility in case we might want to add non-gaming focus at some point.
  16. ".. The recommendations we made last quarter still make a lot of sense. So, let’s talk a little bit about why...." what followed was the best part of the article. Hope you continue to include (and update) this section each month.
  17. I kinda wish you could include like say the i3-6320 as a "if you have more than $120, but less than $200" as an addendum. And maybe also add the FX-9XXX series as a "not recommended even though it's in this price range because of reasons 1, 2 and 3."
  18. "Even if you think you only care about single-threaded performance, a quad-core/threaded host processor is the smarter baseline."
    Quoted from the Author.
    Can anyone advise how single-threaded performance is not the top indicator of processing speed in games like World of Warcraft that are known to be CPU and single thread intensive? Any comments welcome.
  19. Not sure why anyone would bother wasting money on the K series Skylakes when you can overclock all of them.
  20. 1991ATServerTower said:
    I said to look at Newegg.ca, not to scour the internet to find specific items that match your contrary agenda. The exchange rate cor the Canadian dollar has fluctuated from 0.59 all the way to 0.84 in the last few months, from my casual observation. Using a single retailer, Newegg in this case, and comparing many of their products (as I tend to do out of boredom and curiosity), you absolutely will find that Canadians pay a $5 to $100+ premium even after factoring in the exchange rate.

    Canada closed the tax loophole on internet purchases a while ago. You pay the provincial tax and recycling fees of the province associated with the billing address. However, I wasn't even considering that.

    Anyway, we Canadians need to wait for "deals" much of the time in order to get prices that are not gouging us. It's not like we're sitting here earning considerably more money per hour than Americans, the average wages are about the same. Yet, we're expected to pay more for the same things. In the case of the book industry, they admitted Canadian prices are higher, because "the market will bear it", not because they need to be higher (in some cases double...). That's the kind of thing that is disappointing to say the least. Nvidia products appear to be the worst for this in the computer industry, as it's almost impossible to find current and ast gen at anywhere near MSRP, even refurb in a lot of cases.

    The R9 270 I bought a few years ago was $50 cheaper than the Nvidia 750 non Ti, for example. That's insane, but that's what I was faced with at the time and not much has changed since.


    There are two ways of looking at it, one is that someone may be buying from only one source. If comparing newegg.ca to newegg.com there may be a difference. That's on newegg though, they're the retailer. It's not intel's fault, far as I'm aware there's no Canadian only version cpu with a higher price.

    The other way of looking at it is the price comparison I did was using pcpartpicker and choosing the lowest offered price with shipping included. If people aren't willing to shop around they can't very well complain if they're overcharged because they were too lazy to look beyond a single source. That's true of anything.

    I didn't really have to go digging too far, took less than 2min to look at the site. Not entirely sure how it works in Canada, maybe there's an issue ordering from a different vendor or something for someone. I do know there's more than just newegg in Canada, there's amazon, ncix and others. If it's a matter of newegg not having the best prices around that's pretty much old news. There was a time when they used to but anymore many places offer better prices so it pays to look around.

    It's entirely possible that books and other things cost more, I was referring strictly to cpu's and using the exchange rate it shows the cpu's to cost the same, amd at times to be more expensive in comparison between the two currencies and intel is sometimes cheaper in Canada. If there's a disproportionate wage gap or any other factor that's a separate issue. If the average wage in one state is $12/hr and $8/hr in another, the same $200usd product is still $200 and doesn't become more expensive based on varying wages. More expensive for the person making $8/hr maybe, but that's a situational issue. The product itself isn't to be faulted when the pricing is so similar.
  21. damric said:
    Not sure why anyone would bother wasting money on the K series Skylakes when you can overclock all of them.


    Intel sorts the CPU chips before choosing which chips get lowest frequency, which become K and all the different SKU in between. They all come off the same wafers, some are good, some are great.

    A K sku Skylake chip is apt to be stable at lower voltage at stock frequency and OC easier than a non-K. Because intel wants a product mix to optimize profits, there are apt to be K sku capable ships shipped as lesser chips -- thus the chip lottery concept.

    Same thing with video cards. If a company makes 3 different video cards for the GTX 1060, they sort the chips they get from nvidia and use the best chips for their highest OC card and use the worse chips for the stock clock. Yes you can overclock all those video cards, but the highest factory OC card is on average going to get a better OC than the stock clock card. The difference here is video card makers are less apt to care about product mix, the base cards are ones they could not get to run reliably at higher OC at stock voltage.
  22. I'm not a fan of the FX-8300 recommendation for much of anything right now, especially if you're overclocking it. The extra cost of getting a better motherboard and aftermarket cooler push the total platform cost of the 8300 close to, if not above, that of a locked i5 on a basic B150/H170 board. Unless you absolutely NEED the eight integer cores for the absolute lowest cost, I don't think it's worth it to be stuck on such old technology.
  23. RedJaron said:
    I'm not a fan of the FX-8300 recommendation for much of anything right now, especially if you're overclocking it. The extra cost of getting a better motherboard and aftermarket cooler push the total platform cost of the 8300 close to, if not above, that of a locked i5 on a basic B150/H170 board. Unless you absolutely NEED the eight integer cores for the absolute lowest cost, I don't think it's worth it to be stuck on such old technology.


    I agree with this. Even an i3-6100 is better for straight up gaming in over 99% of titles. The only reason to get the FX-8300 at this point would be streaming/recording ect.
  24. ^ I digress, its for people who stuck at AM3+ platform and simply has no plan for total overhaul which means cost them extra to pay for OS too. Plus, considering its a 95watt TDP CPU, meaning all AM3+ motherboards would able to accommodate it from the get go.
    Unlike its bigger and higher TDP variants which further constraint compatibility to a more robust power delivery boards.

    Yes, an i3 6100 is better nearly by every aspect as opposed to FX8300. But that would require additional cost as I mention above.
  25. rush21hit said:
    ^ I digress, its for people who stuck at AM3+ platform and simply has no plan for total overhaul which means cost them extra to pay for OS too. Plus, considering its a 95watt TDP CPU, meaning all AM3+ motherboards would able to accommodate it from the get go.
    Unlike its bigger and higher TDP variants which further constraint compatibility to a more robust power delivery boards.

    Yes, an i3 6100 is better nearly by every aspect as opposed to FX8300. But that would require additional cost as I mention above.


    Microsoft will let you use Windows 10 indefinitely without a key. Just select "I do not have a key" when installing. Skylake is even backwards compatible to DDR3.

    Chances are that if you cheaped out with a really low end AM3 or AM3+ processor, then you probably also have a terrible motherboard, and you will want to be rid of both, but if you have something older but high end like a 1090T then and FX-8300 isn't much of an upgrade anyway and in many cases is worse.
  26. Not everyone have that luxury.
    Far too often I encounter AM3+ people who desperately need better CPU helplessly budget limited. Heck, many of them still at X2 or X3. Those CPU are also 95watt TDP.
    Not only that, chances are, their OS are still Windows 7. Even I still at Windows 7. Who am I to tell them?
    Could be even worse with them insisting to stay at that platform for whatever reason.

    So the FX8300 pretty much the best top dog for AMD AM3+ right now. 95watt, $110, trade blow with an i3 6100(which is expected for stuff at the same price range) and still use old platform for people I mentioned above.
    What's not to like?

    Also, ScienceStudio did some nice video about this on Youtube.
  27. Hmm... I kinda dislike that they OC'd both of them, because that's "unrealistic" even if it kind of even's the playing field.

    Regular people don't OC, and they definitely won't OC an non-unlocked CPU. Not only that, the money spent on the hardware that would allow you to OC an i3 could be better spent just getting an i5.

    Also... there are still way more commonly used single core applications and games that people will use more than the multi core applications and games.
    I wish CSGO, LoL, Dota, OW and the like had benchmarks in them. Cause that's what people play, and people at the i3/8300 budget level are going to be looking for the best performance in those games for their money.
  28. James Mason said:
    Hmm... I kinda dislike that they OC'd both of them, because that's "unrealistic" even if it kind of even's the playing field.

    Regular people don't OC, and they definitely won't OC an non-unlocked CPU. Not only that, the money spent on the hardware that would allow you to OC an i3 could be better spent just getting an i5.

    Also... there are still way more commonly used single core applications and games that people will use more than the multi core applications and games.
    I wish CSGO, LoL, Dota, OW and the like had benchmarks in them. Cause that's what people play, and people at the i3/8300 budget level are going to be looking for the best performance in those games for their money.


    I agree. The purpose of it really was how much you can get out of those chips and compare them.
    At stock, of course the i3 would fare better in most tasks, if not all.
    But the FX8300 would not left too far behind either. After all, both chips are within the same price range.

    Besides, realistically, people who bought an i3 is very unlikely purchase it along with boards like Z170 class, perhaps a Z150 or even 110. While people who decided to buy the FX, quite possibly ranging from every AM3+ class they already own. From both perspective, the total cost to accommodate the i3 is not very pretty to these people. DDR3 or not.

    Heck, the fact that the FX8300 price-performance still comparable to the i3 6100 alone is enough for recommendation for people who still stuck or no plan to change platform. With only 95watt TDP, effectively removing FX6300 from recommendation along with its higher clock brethren.

    All that said, I disagree to choose the Athlon as a baseline for entry level. While its true it has where it takes, it doesn't have much of it. I'd go with G4400 instead.
  29. A lot of things I don't agree with in that video. James hit most of them, so I don't need to repeat. However, his final recommendation that the 8300 has staying power is almost laughable. At the beginning he's complaining that its uArch Is five years old, but then he says it will have staying power for five more? If you're going to build a new computer, why go for Pile Driver when Zen is on the horizon? I don't find it impressive that an FX-8 can still hang with a Skylake i3 when product history and pricing is considered. How much did these chips cost and what market segment did they target when they first came out? It's no different than saying it's "impressive" that a Sandy Bridge i5 can still slightly outperform a new i3 in certain tasks.

    As for the rest, yes, it's a 95W chip instead of 125W of the higher 8000 SKUs. I wasn't talking about CPU compatibility with the mboards. I was talking about overclocking. Any AM3+ board can handle this chip at stock speeds, but you'll need to spend extra if you want any meaningful overclock. And don't forget the cost of a third-party cooler in that as well.

    The idea of "upgrading" to an FX-8000 for the people still stuck on AM3(+) doesn't make any sense either. Sure, let's say someone is still using an FX-4100 or 6300, or even an older Phenom as you say, for the past four years or more. They want to upgrade their system. What does moving to an FX-8000 net them? The older Bulldozer chips get an ok upgrade in moving to Pile Driver uArch, but that's it. It's arguable the Phenom uArch is superior to either BD or PD. Everything else stays the same. You're still using the same old mboard with its likely limited connectivity ( no PCIe 3.0, no USB 3.0, no M.2, and crappy RAM controller ). If your platform itself is old, upgrading the CPU doesn't solve your problems.

    If you're on an aging AM3 system and want to get the most meaningful upgrade for as little as possible, you tell me what's better: spending $120 for a new CPU, or spending $180 - $200 on an i3-6100 and basic DDR3 LGA1151 board that gets you a number of new features aside from CPU speed.
  30. triangle2234 said:
    Can anyone advise how single-threaded performance is not the top indicator of processing speed in games like World of Warcraft that are known to be CPU and single thread intensive? Any comments welcome.
    WoW is an ancient pile of... code and will run fine on any of the options. So if it runs equally great on the quad-threaded CPU OR the dual-threaded CPU, get the 4-thread chip in case you play something else that is properly threaded and needs the horsepower.

    James Mason said:
    there are still way more commonly used single core applications and games that people will use more than the multi core applications and games.
    I wish CSGO, LoL, Dota, OW and the like had benchmarks in them. Cause that's what people play

    CS GO and LoL would run on a toaster oven. I ran them on a socket 939 dual core back in the day. Why would anyone worry about performance of old engines? DOTA 2 is a tiny bit more modern. Maybe "toaster oven plus some old clocks and EDO sticks and a Banshee". So if they run perfect on the 4-thread chip and the 2-thread chip, get the 4-thread. It's got more staying power in case you load up a newer eSports title that uses more than 2 threads, like a good semi-modern game engine. Not to mention that there are people out there playing games outside of your circle. There are even some people playing games outside of Steam/b.net.

    Oh and Overwatch uses multiple threads. I've personally seen it using 4 threads quite effectively. Might be able to use more. Though I think that's pretty unsurprising for a multi-platform title that is also on the 8-core consoles. Hopefully the overwhelming majority of demanding titles in the future use at least 4 threads well. For less demanding titles (retro, for example) it's not an issue either way as they'll run fine on any old thing.
  31. I think they should have started with the first option being the pentium g4400 for 50 bucks. First of all, Coteau to most people's opinion, this chip will run any game you got. Unless there is one I haven't seen yet. Yes it's a dual core but it is a badass dual core so I say put the extra money towards the gpu and ram. Then later on when you get more cash, upgrade to i5 or i7. I own all these chips and a bunch of fx processors as well and the g4400 is the most impressive cpu I've seen yet. We all know the i5 and i7 are great so it's no surprise but I was blown away by what the pentium can do for 50 bucks. That's my 2 cents. As for amd I really like the 8320e. I got one for 90 bucks. It's 95w aND runs like a champ in my sabertooth 990fx board.
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