PC of the month (January 2018) – ITC.ua

Three configurations, three price categories, three best options to spend money on buying a PC. We offer the initial platforms, focusing on which, you can collect well-balanced gaming systems, complementing them in accordance with their requirements, capabilities and preferences.

For convenience, the items presented in the table are active links to specific components, categories or pages with search results for devices with specified criteria that are located in the catalog hotline.ua .

Basic gaming PC

According to the leak from the Austrian online site, in mid-February Intel expanded t range of desktop chips Coffee Lake. The updated processors of the Celeron and Pentium lines will be on sale, and the Core i3 / Core i5 series will be added. Here there were no surprises. Celeron remains the most affordable dual-core processor manufacturer. Pentium will also be 2-core, but with support for Hyper-Threading. Of the actual differences from the predecessors of Skylake – slightly increased clock speeds and work on motherboards with chipsets of the Intel 300 series. If new processors of the initial class actually begin to be sold in February, then for a period of time they will have to buy a pair of motherboards based on them the top Intel Z370. We hope that Intel will still be able to exclude such an absurd situation. For basic Coffee Lake, as an air, we need affordable boards based on the Intel H310 / B360, but the manufacturers do not promise such models until at least March.

While the new processors are not yet officially presented, the basic game configuration on Intel will still have to be collected using , or a bundle of the most inexpensive Pentium (Skylake) and motherboards on the Intel H110 / B250, or by combining the new Core i3-8100 with the available boards on the Intel Z370 . With the last obvious strained. Despite the fact that boards appeared on the market for a long time, in our latitudes the most inexpensive models are offered from $ 140-150. This is frankly expensive and redundant for the base Core i3, but given the high popularity of Intel's most affordable 4-core, many have to make such financial sacrifices.

If the $ 260-270 per CPU + pay bunch looks unbearable or seems to be unjustified, it remains either to wait for the appearance of more affordable Coffee Lake chips and motherboards on the Intel H310 / B360, or look towards the already available low-cost solutions. On the market again in abundance Pentium G4560 . It again costs slightly cheaper Pentium G4600 offering the opportunity to save $ 5-7. But, even for the base system, such amounts do not play a significant role. Here already at your discretion – either Pentium G4560 (3.5 GHz) for $ 70-75, or Pentium G4600 (3.6 GHz) for $ 80.

Judging by the fact that in the popularity rating of processors on hotline.ua for the last the first place took off Celeron G3930 worth $ 40, there is no doubt that the crypto-currency epic not only did not end, but it got a second wind.

February 14, AMD starts selling desktop processors of the Raven Ridge family for the Socket AM4 platform. Recall that we are talking about hybrid chips with relatively powerful integrated graphics. At the start, the APU lineup will include two models – Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G . The younger chip can turn out to be quite an attractive solution for the basic gaming system. The recommended price of the Ryzen 3 2200G is $ 99, which is $ 10 lower than that of Ryzen 3 1200 . In this case, the new APU offers 4 computational units with the Zen architecture and a graphics core Radeon RX Vega 8, which includes 512 stream processors. Kernels x86 have the frequency formula 3.4 / 3.6 GHz, instead of 3.1 / 3.3 GHz in Ryzen 3 1200. Even taking into account only the frequency difference, we can say that in a number of tasks Ryzen 3 2200G will be more productive than Ryzen 3 1200. This theory is confirmed also by the manufacturer, who presented during the announcement of novelties a diagram with test results in multithreaded problems. However, the chips differ not only in the base frequencies and the availability of the GPU. Ryzen 3 2200G has 4 MB of cache memory of the third level, while in Ryzen 3 1200 the L3 cache is twice bigger – 8 MB. It will be interesting to assess the effect of L3 capacity on gaming performance in a particular case. We will do it as soon as new processors are available.

In any case, the Ryzen 3 2200G seems very promising for the starting category. Of course, for the gaming system, the capabilities of the integrated video core Radeon RX Vega 8 will not do, but if it is 2-3 times more productive than the "build-in" of Intel, then at least, with the limited budget, to wait for the situation that now exists in the market of discrete graphics cards.

Raven Ridge chips will work with all motherboards with socket AM4, you just need to update the firmware. Like all Ryzen processors, new APUs will be unlocked with multipliers, so if you want, you can experiment with overclocking. Moreover, you can overclock the graphics core. Of the nice features, you can note the startup support for DDR4-2933, which gives reason to expect improved performance with high-speed memory modules.

If you do not plan to wait for the Raven Ridge, the variant with Ryzen 3 1200 also looks good. However, with some regret, it can be noted that the recent decline in prices did not affect this model. In the price of the company, it still costs $ 109, and in retail, this chip can be bought for $ 115.

Returning to the question of choosing a suitable video card, we can state that graphical madness continues. Our hopes that in the basic configurations it is necessary to roll back to GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB for which they asked $ 140-150, were completely vain. Against the background of the fact that just a month later the purchase of the same video card will cost $ 170-180. Not cheaper are the simplest versions of Radeon RX 560 2 GB, and for 4 GB versions ask about $ 200. Once our budget favorites – GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB – are already worth $ 250-300. It is unlikely that there will be many people who want to increase the budget to build an initial class system. GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB for $ 400 + even hypothetically do not shine for the base gaming PC in the near future.

It should be noted that over the last month, prices for the most affordable discrete graphics cards have also been tightened. In particular, the cost of GeForce GT 1030 2 GB increased from the standard $ 80-85 to $ 100-105. At the same time, Radeon RX 550 2 GB practically disappeared from the sale, and the price history charts show an increase from $ 100 to $ 140 in conjunction with the explosive growth in the popularity of devices in this line. No, they are not used for mining (although even this can not be fully assured). With a sharp rise in price of older models in the course went and video cards to which many previously treated with slight disdain.

RAM for the past month also increased in price. Purchase of a simple kit DDR4-2400 of 8 GB for $ 100 can be considered a great success. Often, it will take $ 105-110.

Optimal gaming PC

The processor Intel Core i5-8400 (2.8 / 4.0GHz, 6x 256KB L2, 9MB L3) $ 275
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (3,2 / 3,6 GHz, 6 × 512 KB L2, 16 MB L3) $ 225
Intel Z370 (LGA1151) ] $ 150
AMD B350 (AM4) $ 90
Memory 16 GB (2 × 8 GB) DDR4-2666 / 3000 $ 205
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB, GDDR5 $ 500
Hard drive HDD 2 TB, 7200 rpm $ 70
SSD 240/256 GB, SATA3 $ 90
19659028] Total Tower ATX, 550 W $ 110
Amount for PC based on Intel platform $ 1395
Amount for PC on AMD platform $ 1290

It's hard to believe, but yes, four months after the official start of sales of Intel Coffee Lake processors, it's still problematic to buy the most affordable 6-core chips Core i5-8400 . We will not even say that the price tag of this CPU is much higher than the recommended price ($ 182). The retail version can hardly be found for $ 270, and the OEM version in a transparent blister and with a one-year warranty will cost $ 240. However, even in this case, it still remains an appropriate option for its category.

The very successful chip for the optimal gaming system Ryzen 5 1600 fell under a large-scale price reduction program, falling from $ 219 to $ 189. Good intentions of the manufacturer in the local retail have not had any special effect so far. Optimally make a discount to the fact that the official price list of AMD was updated only on January 15th, because the markdown wave has not yet reached us. And it would be very handy, especially against the backdrop of the continuing increase in the cost of other components.

The information about the upcoming update of Ryzen processors is gradually trickling down. We already know for sure that these will be the first AMD chips produced by the standards of the 12-nanometer process technology. Who would have thought a year or two ago that the company would be able to get ahead of its main competitor in this respect. Of course, the question with nanometers is very voluminous and multifaceted. Let it be formal, but AMD still sooner than Intel will have mass products with technological norms of less than 14 nm. Recall that the crystals for AMD processors are produced by GlobalFoundries.

The developer does not promise radical architectural changes. Improved technical process will increase clock speeds, and Precision Boost 2 technology optimizes the mechanism of dynamic acceleration. Probably improve and stability with high-speed memory modules. The total increase in productivity is unlikely to exceed 5-10%. There are not so many details about the upcoming lineup. It may be noted that the recent appearance in the database of SiSoft Sandra of references to Ryzen 5 2600 . According to the leak, the frequency formula of the future model will take the form of 3,4 / 3,8 GHz, instead of 3,2 / 3,6 GHz, typical for Ryzen 5 1600. Perhaps the main intrigue is the effect of the technological process change on the frequency potential. The nominal frequencies may be slightly different, but who knows what horizons for overclocking the 12-nanometer process technology opens. It is expected that the updated line of processors will be presented in April.

Against the backdrop of the current situation with video cards, all our attempts to economize, rationally selecting the remaining components, do not look very convincing. Yes, yes, graphics adapters have risen again. Strong. GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB is almost impossible to find cheaper $ 500. And in this case, you still need to try to buy a video card, they are almost physically not on sale. It is curious, but now there are almost more offers Radeon RX 580 4GB / 8GB, but also the price corresponding – $ 550-650. The price antirecords that we observed in June are beaten. The air diggers left no chance for the players to assemble a combat-ready system for reasonable money.

The developers of graphics chips create the appearance of anxiety about fates and wallets of amateurs to play, simultaneously calculating additional profits from the increased demand for video cards and watching the increase in the value of own shares. AMD and NVIDIA certainly do not want to lose the trust of the players. This is a very large audience, bringing a good stable income, and therefore the most attractive in the long term. But their interests are not taken into account now

Because of the fabulous prices, someone will postpone the upgrade, someone will change their mind about buying a powerful video card or choose a device one or two steps lower. For sure there will be those who completely abandon the idea of ​​assembling a gaming PC, preferring a game console. GPU developers would have to think about some more effective measures, because calls to retail networks not to let more than one video card in one hand look too naive.

Progressive gaming PC

Processor Intel Core i7-8700K (3.7 / 4.7 GHz, 6 × 256 KB L2, 12 MB L3) $ 440
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (3.0 / 3.7 GHz, 8 × 512 KB L2, 16 MB L3 ) $ 325
The motherboard
Intel Z370 (LGA1151) $ 175
AMD B350 / X370 (Socket AM4) $ 140
Memory 16GB 2 × 8 GB) DDR4-3200 $ 230
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB, GDDR5 $ 900
Storage Device SSD 480-512 GB, SATA3 [19659021] $ 160
HDD 3 TB, 5400-7200 rpm $ 85
Case and power supply unit Middle Tower ATX, 650 W $ 180
Amount for PC on Intel platform $ 2170
Amount for PC based AMD $ 2020

Initially planned for the progressive configuration Core i7-8700 (3,2 / 4,6 GHz) is also actually still not appeared on sale. Single offers to buy such a chip for ~ $ 420 seem a mockery of crooked entrepreneurs. In this case, the only logical option for a PC on the Intel platform remains Core i7-8700K (3.7 / 4.7 GHz) – a model with initially higher clock speeds and an unlocked multiplier. This year, we do not expect key desktop innovations from Intel, so you can choose the most suitable chip from an affordable assortment and do not worry about the imminent future updates. The manufacturer promises the first 10-nanometer processors in the second half of the year, but it's only about models for mobile systems.

With the advent of Coffee Lake, this is not to be regretted. We hope that Intel will manage to eliminate the deficit for some popular positions. Although, of course, the company now has many worries and without expanding the model range. With the consequences of the chip, it will take a long time to sort it out, although, of course, this has affected not only Intel. By the way, the financial indicators of the latter are very good, and after the announcement of the results of the year the share price has risen to record values ​​for the last 15 years.

From the curious desktop announcements at the recent CES 2018, we note the presentation of NZXT, which unexpectedly introduced the motherboard NZXT N7 based on chipset Intel Z370. Of course, we are not talking about our own production, the well-known ECS acted as the OEM contractor here. In accordance with the personal idea of ​​the beautiful, NZXT has developed its own concept, with a protective shield and heat dissipating covers with a different color scheme. It looks spectacular. Having received the first reviews even before the official start of sales, the developers decided to reduce the price of NZXT N7 from the originally announced $ 299 to $ 249, simultaneously increasing the warranty period from 3 to 4 years. Not a bad start. Although, with the motherboards on the Intel Z370 and without that the full order, but we were already waiting for more affordable models.

The recent drop in prices for AMD processors also affected the 8-core Ryzen 7. The leader of the line – Ryzen 7 1800X cheaper from $ 499 to $ 349. Model Ryzen 7 1700X will now be offered for $ 309 instead of $ 399, and the recommended starting chip Ryzen 7 1700 now costs $ 299, not $ 329. But so far these are just figures in the company's price list, which do not reflect the retail reality. Moreover, as can be seen on the Ryzen 7 1700 price chart, the CPU has even risen slightly in price lately. The 20th position in the popularity rating suggests that buyers for their assemblies often prefer to use 6-nuclear models, as more versatile and affordable. However, for a progressive gaming configuration, it is still better to acquire a full-fledged CPU with the maximum available number of cores. Over time, the benefits of additional cores will be greater even in games, not to mention multithreaded applications.

AMD will probably begin updating the Ryzen line from top models. It is for these CPUs that a new chipset will be prepared – AMD X470 . Information about this PCH while the minimum. The manufacturer is only announcing the optimization for the Ryzen 2 generation (Pinnacle Ridge) processors and reduced power consumption. On the other chipsets of the AMD 400 series, there are no mention at all.

In the segment of high-end video cards everything is not just bad, but it's really disgusting. GeForce GTX 1080/1070 Ti went up to $ 800-900 and is almost not available for purchase, even if you are willing to pay almost double the price. Radeon RX Vega if it does, it's $ 1200 +.

With an amount of $ 1300, it's not easy to get the original GeForce GTX 1080 Ti . The number of proposals is vanishingly small. Some cunning traders set price tags at $ 1500 and wait for the winter "bite."

Even the manufacturers of video cards can not predict the further development of the situation. Of course, companies are pleased to increase the volume of their products, but here, too, there are pitfalls. If previously the main profit from the soaring prices was received by the "transportation" participants of the whole chain, now the producers had to raise the selling cost of the video cards. Memory chips and other items are expensive. Companies already need to initially pawn in the cost of increasing the cost of service. Yes, fire miners are often denied guarantees, but the effects of the 24/7 button with maximum overclocking can not always be detected by visual signs, so the financial load in any case increases.

Despite the high demand, video card manufacturers are in no hurry to radically increase production volumes. The situation in the market of crypto-currency is very unpredictable. Today, demand can be huge, and tomorrow new video cards will not be sold, because the market will pour streams of devices from farmers leaving the game. A full cycle of production and delivery takes time, because there is a risk of not being able to deal with a large warehouse of products accurately before the announcement of discrete graphics of the next generation. Никто не хочет попадать в подобную ситуацию, потому мы видим пустующие прилавки и ценники, вызывающие лишь желание, как минимум, отложить покупку мощной игровой системы. А здесь еще и эти акционные PS4 за ~$300 с набором из трех топовых игр и трехмесячной подпиской PS Plus. Соблазн и настоящее испытание для истинных ПК-бояр.

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