What a year we are having so far in the CPU arena. The long awaited AMD Ryzen processors finally making their way onto the scene. It is hoped that these new additions to the market will fire up the competition between Intel and AMD again. And that price cuts and continued innovation in this sector will start to reappear. Think back in 1999 when the AMD Athlon first smashed the 1Ghz limit and ignited the now legendary rivalry between the two companies.
That is the hope, however we have yet to see any cutthroat pricing come through from the Intel camp. Therefore nobody can deny the dominance that Intel has in the market at present, and this is thanks to their Core i3, i5 and i7 range of processors. Moreover this dominance has led to a perceived slow down in innovation from the Intel camp. As a result it has opened the door for AMD to sneak back in with lower costing units.
We’ve gone ahead and gathered together 5 of the best CPUs on the market. Moreover we compiled a few vital statistics for you to take a look at so that you can make the best decision when looking to upgrade or build a new system in 2017.
At A Glance:
- Insanely Cheap
- Very High Clock Speeds
- Dual Core
This may not appear to be the best CPU to choose to start a ‘Best Of’ type of article. It needs to be stated that as far as budget CPUs go, this is a really good deal.
For starters, we have high clock speed right out of the gate, 3.5GHz in this instance. Which is insane when considering the price point that this CPU comes in at. Next we have Hyper Threading support sitting at 4 simultaneous threads. Which is pretty average by today’s standards, but again at this price point it is almost impossible to find this kind of value anywhere else.
The integrated HD Graphics 610 is not a great gaming solution, not by any stretch of the imagination, but you could look at a reasonably priced graphics card from our GPU round up over here, and use your CPU savings from this little chip to go towards your graphics card budget.
At A Glance:
- DDR4 Support
- 6MB Cache
Next on our list is the now very familiar enthusiast favorite, the Intel i5-7500. Seen as the perfect Gaming CPU by many. It has a good price and more than adequate features and performance to validate such a claim. The i5 has been a staple in many a gaming PC builder’s catalog for a few years, and it is easy to see why.
Clock frequencies start at 3.2GHz and can soar up to 3.6GHz when under heavy loads. Temperatures are stable and the stock cooler does an okay job at keeping things running at acceptable temperatures. Recent developments have caused the pricing on the i5 CPUs to drop quite nicely, mainly due to the impact that AMD’s Ryzen range of processors, so deciding on buying an i5 maybe a bit trickier than it was a year ago.
At A Glance:
- 6 Cores
- 12 Threads
- Superb Overclocking Potential
Wow. As far as new product launches go, the Ryzen series was met with many good reviews. This is largely in part to their highly technological approach to their design considerations when creating this product. The core and thread count is amazing, considering it’s price and target market.
While this CPU performs well in a gaming rig, content creation is where this CPU really starts to shine. Things like video editing and 3D rendering are all man handled by this chip’s impressive 6 cores and 12 threads, easily pummeling the likes of Intel’s i5 in these CPU intensive tasks.
For many people the deciding factor when trying to build a new rig will be what purpose the PC will serve, and what motherboard chipset is available to compliment their choice.
At A Glance:
- 4 Cores
- 8 Threads
- Base Clock Speeds 4.2GHz
Intel’s i7 7700K is a beast of a CPU. Due to it clocking in at a whopping 4.2GHz at stock frequencies. Optionally with the added bonus of Turbo Boosting to a whopping 4.5GHz. This means that in single core operations that there isn’t much out there that can touch the 7700k. Which is good news for gamers that don’t need anything too fancy in the multithreaded arena.
Intel has been criticized for not innovating their platform further by adding more cores and threads to their i7 range at a more affordable price. Even though this is about to change with AMD’s Ryzen that launched earlier in the year.
But if you want a no-nonsense, high performance CPU then you don’t need to look anywhere else, the i7 7700K will hold off the competition for some time yet.
At A Glance:
- 8 Cores
- 16 Threads
- 16MB L3 Cache
Ryzen strikes again with it’s upper tier CPU, the 1700. While not able to topple Intel’s top of the range i7 offerings. it packs a punch. Therefore it manages to beat the i7 7700k in multithreaded benchmarks and in some synthetic tests as well.
Unfortunately for the 1700, the raw power of the i7 7700k’s CPU in single threaded mode and is able to outperform it in the gaming side of things. Moreover this is due to it’s much higher base clock speeds.
But when comparing apples with apples we need to remember that Intel’s i7 7700k only has 4 cores and 8 threads. Or about half of what the Ryzen is packing under the hood. If you were to buy a comparable CPU from Intel then you would be spending about three times more than what you would on the Ryzen 7 1700.
As we saw before with the AMD Ryzen 5 1600, AMD appears to have created a really special CPU range here, and their multithreaded handling is excellent and the overall feel of the CPU experience is a good one.
For anything multithreaded then this is a solid choice indeed and is a content creator’s dream.
Therefore, this is a good time to be alive for a PC enthusiast! Moreover there are so many great products coming at us all the time. There is something to suit everybody’s budget and taste. From entry level go-getter CPUs the G4560 from Intel, to the multi threaded muscle from AMD. There are options out there for everyone.
For those that don’t have an awful lot of money, a budget friendly CPU such as the aforementioned Intel G4560 is a great place to start. I have no qualms with recommending this highly clocked dual core CPU. If you aren’t looking to do anything too thread intensive such as 3D rendering or video editing then this little CPU would make an excellent choice as a media PC or a light gaming system.
For my money, I can’t see anybody going wrong with a Ryzen 7 1700. Furthermore if given the choice I would definitely look at building my next system around this ground breaking architecture. My only word of warning, and it’s one that I bring up whenever there is a new product release. Is to wait it out for a little bit while the bugs are ironed out on the new motherboards for this CPU.