PC of the month (September 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

Just a few days ago, AMD introduced the basic desktop processor with the architecture of Zen and integrated graphics Vega – Athlon 200GE . The new chip should compete with the starting models of the main opponent – Pentium Gold and Celeron . AMD traditionally had very strong positions in the budget segment, but for the Socket AM4 platform the level of entry-level chips was closed for long time by Bristol Ridge family models based on the age-old microarchitecture Excavator, which are manufactured according to the standards of the 28-nanometer process technology. The developer actively developed a line of high and middle-class chips, while the most affordable APU based on Zen was the Ryzen 3 2200G, which cost about $ 110. For those who are not ready to pay such a sum, only the A-series processors remained.

The new Athlon 200GE will be a good addition to the budget chips for Socket AM4. This is a dual-core processor with activated SMT technology, which allows processing up to 4 data streams simultaneously. The model is also equipped with integrated graphics Radeon Vega 3, which includes 192 executive units with all the accompanying functional binding for the video family of this family. It's definitely not worth it to rely on the gaming capabilities of the GPU, but in a number of situations the built-in graphics can be very useful.

Like the older processors of the Raven Ridge family, the Athlon 200GE chip is manufactured according to the 14-nanometer process technology. The operating frequency of the CPU-blocks is 3.2 GHz. It would seem an excellent option for self-dispersal. But, this time AMD did not make a gift to the economical enthusiasts, having blocked the processor multiplier. Even in this case, Athlon 200GE, which has a recommended price of $ 55, will be an interesting alternative to Intel Pentium Gold / Celeron processors, especially if we take into account the attractive TDP of 35W in addition to the attractive price.

On the presentation slides, the developer somehow compared the capabilities of the Athlon 200GE with those for Pentium G4560 (3.5 GHz, 3 MB L3), although there are more high-speed chips for sale for the same price – Pentium Gold G5400 (3.7 GHz, 4 MB L3). All points above the "i" will put practical tests. In any case, we will not consider the Athlon 200GE as the basis for the game system of the initial class. Even for the AMD base platform, we still recommend 4-core chips – Ryzen 3 1200 or Ryzen 3 2200G . The Summit Ridge chip is still on the market and at $ 90 it seems to be a very good option in this category. However, we recall that this chip has no built-in graphics, so a discrete graphics card will be an obligatory attribute of the system. On the other hand, you did not expect to have an integrated GPU in the gaming PC?

When choosing a processor for the AMD platform, we recommend also take a closer look at Ryzen 5 1400 (3,2 / 3 , 4 GHz). After lowering the price, this CPU in retail has fallen in price to about $ 125. It is also a 4-core processor, but unlike the Ryzen 3 1200 / 2200G, this model supports SMT technology, which allows the chip to process up to eight data streams simultaneously. And this level of parallelism is needed not only for archivers or rendering, but it will also benefit in games. The starting frequencies for this CPU are low, but by raising the bar to 3.8-3.9 GHz, you can get a vigorous game chip for your money. If you try to keep the price parity of platforms with components of both manufacturers, then Ryzen 5 1400 fits perfectly into the budget of the basic gaming PC. The belonging of the chip to the line of 14-nanometer Summit Ridge in this case absolutely should not confuse. In this category, it's more important not to check it out, but to "go."

Most recently, AMD officially introduced 4-core chips Ryzen 3 2300X which open the Pinnacle Ridge family with architecture Zen +. The novelty has the frequency formula 3.5 / 4.0 GHz and is equipped with 8 MB of L3 cache memory. Apparently, the chip will initially be offered to OEM partners, so the retail price of the CPU is not indicated by the manufacturer.

Dual-core processors, even with HT / SMT multithreading technologies, are already a forced measure in the event of an extremely limited budget. For the same reason, Pentium Gold G5400 processors can also be used only for exceptional cases, despite a pleasant retail price of $ 60-65.

Considering more productive options, we note an unpleasant price increase Core i3- 8100 . The base 4-core Intel increased over the past month by $ 10-15. It is not excluded that a wave of deficit of chips of the initial and average levels has come to our shores, because of which processors have risen in price, including on American online platforms. Some shortage of chips is associated with attempts by Intel to rebuild part of the production capacity for the release of microcircuits at the rate of 10 nm. However, the process is not as smooth as planned, because 10-nanometer crystals are supplied for a very limited number of products. At the same time, the demand for 14-nanometer chips is still great, and Core processors of the expected 9th generation will be produced according to these standards.

UPD. On the day of publication of the material, the price of Core i3-8100 again increased significantly. Now the most affordable 4-core Intel processor costs about $ 140.

If it's not so difficult to decide with processors for the basic game system, then it's very problematic to choose a video card for this category of systems. When there are many options, it is not always easy to determine which one is best. For starters, we can designate a starting point in the form GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB . The cheapest versions start from $ 145-150, but you can choose from several options, having $ 160-165 on hand. However, this amount can already be enough to buy GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB . Manufacturers of video cards coolly took this novelty NVIDIA, in the corresponding directory hotline.ua while only five models with increased memory capacity. The nuances of this modification we have already considered in a separate material .

When choosing Radeon RX 560 you will not save much. Versions with 2 GB of memory on board are not so many and they cost from $ 135 to $ 160. The assortment of modifications with 4 GB of memory is much wider, and the price range is from moderate $ 150 to excessive $ 190. If the base models can still be considered, then overpayment for top adapters is unnecessary.

GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB now cost from $ 200 to $ 240. And if the lower limit can still be taken for a device of this level, then the tuned models under the current conditions are obviously overestimated. For $ 250, you can count on GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB and this is a very serious enhancement of the basic game configuration. No less interesting option here is Radeon RX 570 4 GB . A very worthy opponent of the 3-gigabyte version of the GTX 1060, and some models can be bought even slightly cheaper. This is to the question of the relevance of the GTX 1050 Ti for the same amount.

AMD-based graphics cards have fallen in price over the last couple of months and it's a good opportunity to get a more powerful graphics card for your system.

In search of an alternative, you can also stumble upon Radeon RX 470 . These models surfaced in 2018 exclusively in the context of mining crypto currency, therefore almost all the models even in the names have a corresponding designation. Some adapters have got incredibly attractive price tags. How do you like the Radeon RX 470 4 GB for $ 185? However, before buying, you need to weigh all the pros and cons. On some "mining" modifications in principle there are no video outputs. It is clear that such versions are in principle not suitable for the gaming system. On other devices, there is only one DVI-D output. There are options when the panel contains several connectors of different standards (HDMI, DisplayPort, …), but only one DVI is available. At the same time, the manufacturer can also implement a full set of functioning video outputs. It is worthwhile to update this information on the manufacturer's website in advance, the data on the trading floors may not always be correct.

A good argument against may be a 3-month warranty period, instead of the standard 2-3 years. Nevertheless, video cards are one of the most frequently failing elements of the gaming system, therefore to be able to replace the adapter during the stipulated period, something worthwhile.

If you are promised a 3-year warranty for " "Modifications of video cards, this is either an error in the description, or the initiative of an online store that is ready to take such risks and provide service support for the specified period.

Another option for buying a video card is the secondary market , which now abounds in the from the disappointed in the bright idea of ​​quick earnings on the crypto currency. Some prospectors are ready to leave the game with considerable losses, selling out the remains of computing farms. Prices for some positions look very tempting, but you take all the risks of buying a used device.

Despite the high-profile antitrust proceedings, the cost of RAM has not changed. Yes, it does not become more expensive, as it was a few months ago, but after a small rollback prices drift at the same level. 8 GB DDR4-2400 / 2666 will still need about $ 85.

Optimal gaming PC

The processor Intel Core i5-8400 (2, 8 / 4.0 GHz, 6 × 256 KB L2, 9 MB L3) $ 215
AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (3.4 / 3.9 GHz, 6 × 512 KB L2, 16 MB L3) [19659031] $ 185
The motherboard
Intel B360 (LGA1151) $ 100
AMD B350 / B450 (AM4) $ 90
Memory 16 GB (2 × 8 GB ) DDR4-2666 / 3000 $ 180
Video card AMD Radeon RX 580 8 GB, GDDR5 $ 300
Hard drive HDD 2 TB, 7200 rpm $ 70
SSD 480/512 GB, SATA $ 100
Case and BP Middle Tower ATX, 550 W $ 110
Amount for PC based on Intel platform $ 1075
Amount for PC on AMD platform $ 1035

With processor positions in the optimal configurations, it's easy – Core i5-8400 for PC on Intel and Ryzen 5 2600 for the platform on AMD. Unfortunately, the increase in the cost of Intel chips also affected the younger 6-core processors. The retail price of Core i5-8400 for the past month increased by $ 10-15. Ryzen 5 2600 on the contrary, somewhat cheaper. This chip can already be bought for less than $ 200.

If for some of your tasks you need the maximum multithreading at a very reasonable price, you can also look at Ryzen 7 1700 . The most affordable 8-core AMD chips with SMT support are now offered for about $ 220. Excellent price for the CPU, which cost six months ago about $ 350. Yes, the starting frequencies can also unseen, but the unlocked multiplier allows you to decide on the frequency formula yourself, if only the cooling efficiency is sufficient.

Ryzen 5 2600 will be preferable for gaming in stock mode. Nevertheless, the difference in actual frequencies is noticeable, and the configuration of 6/12 is sufficient for all relevant projects. In turn, Ryzen 7 1700 even without overclocking will look more interesting in multithreaded tasks. Here, one must take into account personal priorities and tasks.

For optimal configurations, next-generation video cards are still expected. NVIDIA does not yet disclose the timing of the announcement of the successor to the GeForce GTX 1060. Even according to the most optimistic forecasts, middle-class adapters on the GPU with Turing architecture can be expected only closer to the beginning of the Christmas holidays. Moreover, there are prerequisites that for the solutions of this level simplified graphics processors will be used without hardware support for ray tracing and tensor cores, and the increase in performance in the usual raster rendering will provide an increased number of calculators, higher frequencies and faster memory. If the assumptions are confirmed, then there is no particular reason to take a wait-and-see attitude. Devices based on Pascal now have attractive price tags, so when choosing graphics for an optimal system, you can easily focus on current offers.

The GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB will be an excellent starting option for mid-range PCs class. Over the past month, these adapters have also dropped in price. Not bad options can already be found on sale for $ 320-330, and if you look carefully, some models with this amount of memory can be bought even for $ 300. At some positions, the cost has decreased almost to the level of two years ago.

It should be noted and a noticeable decline in the cost Radeon RX 580 . Versions with 4 GB of memory can already be found for $ 250, and modifications from 8 GB are offered from $ 300. Excellent alternative and very worthy opponent for GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB. And in a number of heavy games it is the solution with the AMD chip that will look preferable. To maintain the competitive spirit, in the recommended configuration we include the Radeon RX 580 8 GB. Recall that in versions with this volume, except for twice the capacity of local RAM, GDDR5 chips operate at an effective frequency of 8000 MHz, whereas for models with 4 GB it runs at 7000 MHz.

At a too tempting price , pay special attention to the indices of "MI", the mention of MINING in the name of the model and other similar signs of specialized devices with an emphasis on the production of crypto-currencies. We already spoke about the peculiarities of such devices.

The decrease in the miner's interest in game video cards significantly influenced the market situation. According to analysts from Jon Peddie Research (JPR) on an annual basis in the second quarter of 2018, discrete graphics card sales volumes were down 5.7%. If you compare with the first quarter of this year, the supply of adapters decreased by 28%. In the second quarter, NVIDIA actually returned its share in the segment of discrete adapters to the level of a year ago – 69.1% against 30.9% for AMD. In the first quarter of 2018, the demand for Radeon was higher, although the overall advantage of NVIDIA remained unchallenged – 65.1% vs. 34.9%. I'd really like to see new AMD solutions that will keep intrigue in all segments of discrete graphics.

Returning to the optimal gaming configuration, we note that here it would not hurt to strengthen the graphics subsystem, although with rational options for replacing the starting models is still difficult. It seems logical to use the GeForce GTX 1070 8 GB but the cost of these devices is higher than we would like. Base versions are offered from $ 475-500. The video card will provide a performance gain of 30-40% and if this difference in price with those for the GTX 1060 / RX 580 is not too embarrassing, you might consider buying a faster adapter. It will also be relevant to look at GeForce GTX 1070 Ti . The "titanium" version is about 15% faster than the GTX 1070 and only slightly inferior to the GeForce GTX 1080, but the most affordable version of this line will most likely have nuances with efficient heat dissipation and noise levels during operation.

Of course, having the sum of $ 500 it would be possible to dream about the future GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB . The indicated price of non-reference adapters for the US market is just $ 499. But, we will remain realists. If the recommended cost of Founders Edition for Ukraine is almost 20 000 UAH (~ $ 700) then the starting prices for the original GeForce RTX 2070 models are unlikely to be lower. In addition, the initial version of RTX will be on sale later than older models – at the end of October. Is it worth waiting for a novelty? It will be possible to talk about this in detail after practical tests of video cards, as well as comparison of results and cost. Of course, you will have to make an amendment to support Ray Tracing and the presence of tensor cores for fast matrix calculations.

Progressive gaming PC

Processor Intel Core i7-8700K (3,7 / 4,7 GHz, 6 × 256 KB L2, 12 MB L3) $ 375
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X (3.7 / 4.3 GHz, 8 × 512 KB L2, 16 MB L3) $ 350
The motherboard
Intel Z370 (LGA1151) $ 170
AMD X370 / X470 (Socket AM4) $ 140
Memory 16GB (2 × 8GB) DDR4-3200 $ 200
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB, GDDR5 $ 620
Hard Drive SSD 960 GB / 1 TB, SATA $ 260
HDD 3 TB, 5400-7200 rpm $ 85
Case and power supply unit Middle Tower ATX, 650 W $ 180
Amount for PC on Intel platform $ 1890
Amount for AMD-based PC $ 1785

For the progressive gaming configuration on the Intel platform, we recommend using the top 6 -nuclear processor Core i7-8700K . As it is not surprising, but perhaps this model is in this position for the last time. In October, Intel should introduce a new generation of desktop processors. О будущих новинках мы уже знаем практически все, кроме точных дат анонса и начала продаж.

В контексте мощной игровой платформы наибольший интерес из линейки Coffee Lake Refresh представляет 8-ядерная модель Core i7-9700K (3,6/4,9 ГГц). Очень спорным выглядит решение производителя не использовать для Core i7 9-ой серии технологию многопоточности Hyper-Threading. Нам еще предстоит выяснять соотношение сил ожидаемого Core i7-9700K с функциональной формулой 8/8 и нынешнего флагмана Core i7-8700K с конфигурацией ядер/потоков – 6/12. Судя по первым утечкамновая модель выглядит несколько предпочтительнее, но отрывочные сведения недостаточны для объективной оценки. Наверняка найдутся задачи, в которых возможность обрабатывать большее количество потоков окажется приоритетнее.

Бескомпромиссным чипом для платформы LGA1151 окажется Core i9-9900Kимеющий 8 ядер, 16 потоков (поддержка HT), частотную формулу 3,6/5,0 ГГц и 16 МБ L3. Неизвестной остается рекомендованная цена. Очень не хотелось бы, чтобы стоимость превышала $500, но, глядя на ценник юбилейного Core i7-8086Kэтого нельзя исключать.

А вот чем процессоры Coffee Lake Refresh наверняка порадуют, так это припоем под теплораспределительной крышкой. Утекшие слайды презентации производителя это подтверждают. По крайней мере такой интерфейс будет использоваться для чипов с разблокированными множителями. Долгожданная замена термопасты на припой должна снять очевидные проблемы с отводом тепла и эффективным охлаждением CPU.

Последует ли какой-то ответ от AMD на громкий анонс основного конкурента? Этот вопрос остается открытым. Любители «хайпануть» уже распространяют слухи о возможном появлении 10-ядерных процессоров Ryzen, даже прилагая скриншоты с результатами тестов. Технических предпосылок для появления таких чипов сейчас нет. Кристаллы нынешних процессоров Ryzen имеют 8-ядерную структуру без каких-то скрытых резервов. При необходимости AMD может корректировать стоимость уже представленных моделей, реагируя на выпады оппонента. Такая практика успешно практикуется производителем. Конечно, интересно было бы увидеть от AMD нечто особенное, но разработчик сейчас наверняка занят подготовкой 7-нанометровых чипов с архитектурой Zen 2, которые должны появиться в следующем году. Надеемся, что отказ GlobalFoundries от перехода на 7 нм и перевод контрактного заказа AMD тайваньской компании TSMC не повлияют на планы выхода будущих чипов Ryzen.

Возвращаясь к нынешней прогрессивной платформе на базе AMD, мы решили сменить процессор, используя топовую модель Ryzen 7 2700X. Дело в том, что за прошедший месяц количество предложений Ryzen 7 2700 несколько снизилось, а розничная стоимость заметно возросла. При минимальной разнице в цене флагман линейки выглядит предпочтительнее. Ryzen 7 2700X изначально имеет высокие рабочие частоты – 3,7/4,3 ГГц, вместо 3,2/4,1 ГГц у младшей модели. Топовый CPU фактически не нужно разгонять, об этом уже позаботился производитель. Кроме того, в комплекте с Ryzen 7 2700X предлагается пусть не самый эффективный, но очень эффектный кулер Wraith Prism c комбинированной RGB-подсветкой.

Без преувеличения знаковым событием прошедшего месяца стал анонс игровых видеокарт NVIDIA серии GeForce RTX. Калифорнийский разработчик подготовил в рамках игровой выставки GamesCom масштабную презентацию новых видеокарт, рассказав об особенностях архитектуры. Мы также побывали на этом мероприятии и по завершению сроков NDA поделимся впечатлениями о новых разработках NVIDIA.

Для новых адаптеров используются GPU с графической архитектурой Turing, которые, кроме CUDA-вычислителей, получили аппаратные блоки для просчета трассировки лучей, а также тензорные ядра для матричных операций. Компания представила сразу три видеокарты новой линейки – GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, GeForce RTX 2080 и GeForce RTX 2070. Для всех моделей обещан заметный прирост производительности в сравнении с предшественниками, однако большую ставку разработчик делает на новые визуальные эффекты и возможность использовать элементы так называемого искусственного интеллекта для улучшения картинки.

GeForce RTX 2080 Ti и GeForce RTX 2080 появятся в продаже уже с 20-го сентября. Самые нетерпеливые любители поиграть наверняка уже могли обнаружить в каталоге hotline.ua соответствующие предложения. Расторопные онлайн-площадки уже в ожидании официального старта продаж. Видеокарты пока нельзя купить, а вот сориентироваться по стоимости – вполне. Ценники откровенно бодрят. За оригинальные версии GeForce RTX 2080 просят порядка $1000–1100, тогда как за GeForce RTX 2080 Ti будут стоить примерно в полтора раза больше – до $1500. Насколько оправданы такие ожидания, покажут практические тесты. Первые обзоры старших моделей серии появятся 19 сентября, за день до начала продаж. Отгрузка GeForce RTX 2070 планируется в октябре, потому подробности о возможностях этой модели будут позже.

До этого времени заполнять собой прогрессивные игровые конфигурации будут GeForce GTX 1080. Представленные в мае 2016 года видеокарты еще повоюют. Базовые модели серии уже стоят от $500, хотя при желании купить тюнингованную версию с эффективной системой охлаждения, лучше рассчитывать на $600. Видеокарты на базе чипов с архитектурой Pascal никуда не исчезают и будут оставаться в продаже. Схлынувшая волна криптомайнинга оставила после себя горы нераспроданных видеокарт. Впрочем, это продукт не скоропортящийся, потому даже после анонса новых решений, возрастные устройства наверняка найдут своих покупателей, вопрос лишь в цене.

При большом желании сэкономить сейчас также можно посмотреть в сторону GeForce GTX 1070 Ti. На рынке есть привлекательные предложения из этой серии за ~$450. Хотя в мощной платформе экономия на видеокарте в первую очередь сказывается на игровых возможностях системы.

C топовыми видеокартами на AMD пока все сложно. В нынешних условиях Radeon RX Vega 56 за $600–650 не вызывают особого энтузиазма, равно как и Radeon RX Vega 64предлагаемые за $650–750. Компания обещает еще в этом году представить новые адаптеры Vega c GPU, изготовленными по нормам 7 нм, но речь идет лишь о специализированных вычислителях, а не игровых видеокартах.

Чтобы закончить очередной «ПК месяца» на позитивной ноте, напомним, что компания EA с 12-го по 18-е сентября бесплатно раздает Premium Pass c четырьмя дополнениями к игре Battlefield 1. У любителей масштабных сетевых шутеров есть хорошая возможность восполнить коллекцию. Для игры на всех картах понадобится стартовая версия Battlefield 1, которую сейчас можно купить дешевле $3. Ну, что же, такое извинение за месячную задержку с выходом Battlefield V принимается.

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