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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  • kkilobyte - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    s/i3/Pentium. Obviously :) Reply
  • freedom4556 - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    I think you messed up your charts for Civ 6's IGP testing. That or why are you testing the IGP at 1080p Ultra when all the other IGP tests are at 720p Low? Reply
  • freedom4556 - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    Also, the 8k and 16k tests are pointless wastes of time. Especially in this review, but also in the others. Your low/med/high/ultra should be 720p/1080p/1440p/4k if you want to actually represent the displays people are purchasing. Reply
  • nevcairiel - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    The Civ6 tests are like that because thats when it really starts to scale like the other games. Look at its IGP vs Low, which is 1080p vs 4K. The values are almost identical (and still pretty solid). Only if you move to 8K and then 16K you see the usual performance degredation you would see with other games. Reply
  • AnnoyedGrunt - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    I second this motion. Please have settings to cover the various common monitor choices. 1080P is an obvious choice, but 1440P should be there too, along with 4K. I don't think you need to run two 4K versions, or two 1080P versions, or whatever. I have a 1440P monitor so it would be nice to see where I become GPU limited as opposed to CPU limited. Maybe Civ6 could use some extra high resolutions in the name of science, but to be useful, you should at least include the 1440P on all games.

    Thanks.

    -AG
    Reply
  • eddieobscurant - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    Another pro intel article from Ian, who hopes that someday intel will hire him Reply
  • PeachNCream - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    The numbers in the chart speak for themselves. You don't have to acknowledge the conclusion text. It's only a recommendation anyway. Even though I'd personally purchase a 200GE if I were in the market, I don't think there is any sort of individual bias coming into play. Where the 200GE is relevant, gaming on the IGP, Ian recommended it. In other cases the G5400 did come out ahead by enough of a margin to make it worth consideration. The only flaw I could tease out of this is the fact that the recommendation is based on MSRP and as others have noted, the G5400 is significantly above MSRP right now. It may have been good to acknowledge that in the intro and conclusion in a stronger manner, but that means the article may not stand up as well to the test of time for someone browsing this content six months later after searching for advice on the relevant CPUs via Google. Reply
  • kkilobyte - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    Acknowledge "in a stronger manner"? Well, it is actually not acknowledged in the conclusion at all!

    The title of the article is: "The $60 CPU question". One of those CPU is clearly not being sold at $60 on average, but is priced significantly higher. I think the article should have compared CPUs that are really available at (around) $60.

    So maybe there is no personal bias - but there is clearly ignorance of the market state. And that's surprizing, since the G5400 price was above its MSRP for several months already; how could a professional journalist in the field ignore that?

    I guess it could be objected that "MSRP always was used in the past as the reference price". Granted - but it made sense while the MSRP was close to the real market price. It doesn't anymore once the gap gets big, which is the case for tbe G5400. Nobody gives a damn about the theorical price if it is applied nowhere on the market.

    And the 'numbers of chart' don't 'speak for themselves' - they are basically comparing CPUs whose retail price, depending on where you get them, show a 20-40% price gap. What's the point? Why isn't there a price/performance graph, as there were in past reviews? The graphs could just as well include high-end CPUs, and would be just as useless.

    If I want to invest ~$60 in a CPU, I'm not interested to know how a ~$90 one performs!
    Reply
  • sonny73n - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    +1

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.
    Reply
  • cheshirster - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - link

    Yes, 5400 is priced nowhere near 60$ and reviewer definitely knows it, but fails to mention this in conclusion. Reply

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