A Good Under $750 i5 vs Ryzen 5 Gaming Computer Build 2017
Finding the right parts to use with a $750 budget can get you the 1080p ultra gaming machine you're looking for. To help you along the way we've put together two builds at this price point using Intel's Kaby Lake i5 processor along with a Ryzen 5 option from AMD.
There are benefits to both builds, which we'll get into in a minute, but overall we think you'll like both. They're capable of 60 FPS and more in even today's most demanding titles.
A Good Processor for Gaming Around $200
i5-7500 vs Ryzen R5 1600
For the $750 build, we've got around a $200 budget for the processor. So we're looking at the i5-7500 and the Ryzen 5 1600 here. The Ryzen 5 1600 is a 6 core 12 thread overclockable processor while the i5-7500 has 4 cores, no hyperthreading, and can't be overclocked. That being said the i5-7500 has faster IPC overall.
So, in terms of pure gaming performance, even though it has fewer threads, the i5-7500 is the better overall performer. That being said, the Ryzen R5 1600 performs admirably in games that can take advantage of the additional threads. In addition, it's performance is superior in many other tasks you may find yourself doing on a daily basis.
For Ryzen, Overclocking is a Must:
If you do go with the Ryzen R5 1600, you'll definitely want to overclock it and get some decently fast DDR4 memory. The performance improvements that come with it are substantial.
Below, you can see the type of difference that you can expect in a variety of games. Most of it is minimal with a card like the RX 480, 580, or GTX 1060. I only had an i5-6600k to test but as Skylake and Kaby Lake are similar in IPC this is a very comparable test to what you'd get with the i5-7500.
GTX 1060 6GB vs RX 580 8GB vs GTX 970
If you're looking in this price range, then most likely you're going for one of these three graphics cards. Without getting into too much detail, is the better performer overall in DirectX11 games and similar in DirectX 12 games. That being said you can't use an SLI configuration of the 1060 and the RX 480 has similar performance. the GTX 1060 6GB
For a good value purchase, you could also consider a used GTX 970. I've seen them for as low as $180 used and it is very similar in performance to the RX 480 and GTX 1060.
For more thoughts, here's a good discussion of the best graphics cards under $200.
Ryzen and Kaby Lake Motherboards around $100
Intel Kaby Lake and Ryzen processors aren't compatible. So, we'll give you two options here that we really like at the around $100 price point.
Intel $750 Build Motherboard:
For the $750 Intel Build, we're going with the Gigabyte GA-Z270P-D3. As this is not an overclockable CPU you could certainly go with something cheaper. However, this board is still inexpensive and has a ton of options.
AMD Ryzen Build Motherboard:
For the Ryzen build we're going with an inexpensive B350 motherboard in the Gigabyte GA-AB350 Gaming 3. I've written about the best AM4 X370 motherboards here; however, I really don't think you need to spend that much. Instead, get a motherboard like this, and try to use your wraith cooler to get you to 3.7 or 3.8GHz.
Getting a Good Power Supply Pays Off
While i don't really like to spend more money than is necessary on components that will have a minimal impact on gaming performance, I think it's that you go with a power supply that will last you a long time.
A tier 1 power supply in the EVGA SuperNova will keep your expensive components safe and be useful in future builds to come. In addition, it'll be more power efficient as well.
How Much Power Do You Need?
Speaking of power, this build shouldn't use more than 300 Watts. Over the past few years power requirements for computers continue to decline. I see this as a good thing. So, ultimately even if you plan on expanding you're not going to need a huge power supply.
Even with these lower requirements we're going with a 550W power supply. This is mainly because it's one of the better quality and cheaper gold rated power supplies available. It'll also gives you just about the right room for expansion. For the 550W model you'll pay between $70 and $90 so look for sales and rebates.
If you want to go cheap here, try your hand at EVGA's 430W Bronze Certified Power supply. I've been able to find them as low as $25 after rebate recently. I use these power supplies regularly on budget builds. They aren't as good of quality, but ultimately they should do the job for a few years.
At this price point I really like the Corsair Carbide 200R as a good $50 case. It's available in a standard version for around $50 and a windowed for just around $60.
The Carbide 200R has a lot of features you'll find in cases twice it's price and it's sturdy and easy to build with. Of course, there are certainly other options you can go with here, this is just the one I prefer.
Other Hardware and Final Impression
8GB of Gaming Ram
8GB is enough for our PC build and going with 16 will stretch our budget.
Ryzen performs well with fast ram and especially ram that posts correctly and simply works right. For that reason, I'd recommend G. Skill Ripjaws V series 3200MHz memory.
We can go with something cheap and fast here and it won't make much of a difference in game. So, the Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-2666 works great.
Solid State Drive or Hard Drive
You could get a 2TB Hitachi Deskstar Hard drive for this build or a 240GB solid state drive. Both cost around $60. I'll leave the decision up to you; however, I personally wouldn't build any gaming rig in 2017 without a solid state drive. It's just too much speed to pass up.
For additional capacity, consider moving an older hard drive or using an external drive for excess files.
Ultimately you want to build a gaming PC that not only plays the latest games but also has long-term sustainability and the functionality you need in a PC. I feel like we've achieved that with this build but would love to hear your thoughts and questions on the matter. Please feel free to use the comment section below as an open forum for discussion.
60 FPS Good Enough? Not for Many Gamers.
I see a lot of sites talking about how you want to get your game to an FPS of 60 to play. Ultimately, my personal opinion is the more FPS the better. I try to aim above 100 when it comes to shooters or RTS games and if I can't on high resolution settings I usually will sacrifice a bit of eye candy in order to get what I feel is a bigger competitive advantage.
*To get the most performance out of your build, allocate just about 60% of your overall budget to our CPU and Graphics card.
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© 2013 Brandon Hart