Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
AMD APU Athlon 200GE
R3 2200G
Ryzen 3 1200
Ryzen 3 1300X
A6-9500
A12-9800
ROG Crosshair
VI Hero

MSI B350I Pro
for IGP
P1.70 AMD Wraith
RGB
G.Skill SniperX
2x8GB
DDR4-2933
Intel 8th Gen i7-8086K
i7-8700K
i5-8600K
ASRock Z370
Gaming i7
P1.70 TRUE
Copper
Crucial Ballistix
4x8GB
DDR4-2666
Intel 7th Gen i7-7700K
i5-7600K
GIGABYTE X170
ECC Extreme
F21e Silverstone*
AR10-115XS
G.Skill RipjawsV
2x16GB
DDR4-2400
Intel 6th Gen i7-6700K
i5-6600K
GIGABYTE X170
ECC Extreme
F21e Silverstone*
AR10-115XS
G.Skill RipjawsV
2x16GB
DDR4-2133
Intel HEDT i9-7900X
i7-7820X
i7-7800X
ASRock X299
OC Formula
P1.40 TRUE
Copper
Crucial Ballistix
4x8GB
DDR4-2666
AMD 2000 R7 2700X
R5 2600X
R5 2500X
ASRock X370
Gaming K4
P4.80 Wraith Max* G.Skill SniperX
2x8 GB
DDR4-2933
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G (Gaming Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
Corsair AX1200i
SSD Crucial MX200 1TB
OS Windows 10 x64 RS3 1709
Spectre and Meltdown Patched
*VRM Supplimented with SST-FHP141-VF 173 CFM fans

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Hardware Providers
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix
DDR4
Silverstone
Coolers
Silverstone
Fans
The $60 CPU Question Our New Testing Suite for 2018 and 2019
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94 Comments

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  • Ratman6161 - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    One issue is though that at my favored place to buy CPU's (microcenter.com) The 2200G isn't $40 more, its only $30 more. The 200GE is $49.99 and the 2200G is $79.99. Add to that you can get a B450 motherboard for $59.99. So for just $30 more for the total system price and the fact that the 2200G/B450 combo guarantees overclocking capability, I couldn't really see going with either of the CPU's in this review. Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    Fully agree, and, at those prices (2200G at $ 79.99, plus mobo for $59.99), it's even more a closed and shut case. Neither the Athlon nor the Pentium come anywhere near the 2200G, especially if the iGPU is "it", which is likely for a budget system. The only scenario I can see for a builder to chose the Athlon or the Pentium is if they a. are on sale, and b. if it's for one's parents or grandparents, and all they want to do is browse the web and some occasional light office work. But, even there, if one can swing the extra $30, why not get the much more capable 2200G? With the added ability to play some games, maybe you'll visit more often (: Reply
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    I was thinking this throughout - "wow, this review is a great advertisement for the 2200G!"

    Personally I'd like to wait for a chip with AV1 support, Navi and PCIe 4.0, but it seems likely that you'll be able to upgrade to all of that at a later date if you pick your motherboard right.
    Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    Can you put the venerable i5 2500 in the new Bench? With used systems available for $90 it's the price/performance champion. Reply
  • jordanclock - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    On the Overclocking page:

    "In recent weeks, motherboard manufacturers have been releasing BIOS firmware that enables overcooking on the Athlon 200GE."

    I know OCing can increase temperatures, but calling it overcooking might be a little strong.
    Reply
  • mczak - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    Ian,

    I think you might want to rephrase every paragraph which has "AVX" in it. From your wording it sounds like you're surprised the pentium doesn't benefit much from the use of AVX, whereas the truth is it doesn't support AVX at all, hence even if you use avx-optimized binaries it's still going to use an sse-only path.
    This is of course a reversal of the other Core chips vs. Ryzen - intel typically benefits quite a bit more from AVX code, since it actually has simd units which are physically 256bit wide, whereas Ryzen only has simd units which are 128bit wide.
    Reply
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    I agree, I was a little confused when I saw talk of AVX for the Pentium - don't get me wrong, SSE optimizations can provide great benefits (compare 'openssl speed -evp' to 'openssl speed' on a Celeron), and probably they are used by the "optimized" path but it's not going to give the same results.

    As you say, "supports" is debatable on Ryzen. But even if a CPU didn't really support it on a hardware level at all (which is not the case), its use might result in improvements due to the ability to provide a microcode equivalent than is faster than the SSE-based alternatives.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    It's not really debatable in my eyes - it may be half-speed, but there's no AVX offset - as far as I can tell - to worry about. When Zen 2 pops up, perhaps it'll have to behave more like Intel's implementation. Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    Agree. After all, in the Intel universe, the absence of AVX is a key differentiator between the Pentium and the core i3; if you want hardware-supported AVX extensions, you have to fork over the extra $$$ and get at least the entry-level core chip. Reply
  • kkilobyte - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    I'd like to know where one would find the G5400 at 60$, or even at the same price as the 200GE.

    I don't seem to be able to find the G5400 in Europe for less than 75€. On the other hand, I can get a 2000GE at 55-60€.

    For example, Materiel.net - one of the most popular online shops in France and Belgium, has the cheapest Intel i3, the G4900, at 67.95€, while the 200GE is 57.95€. And the G5400? They list it as 'out of stock', at more than 100€ (!)

    If both where at the same price, indeed, the Intel CPU would be more interesting. But if it's either unavailable or 20-50% more than the price given in the article, what's the point?
    Reply

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