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Buying guide: PC Components (motherboard and processor)

Buying guide: PC Components (motherboard and processor)

December 30, 2014 5:45 am0 comments

We know that many of our readers will resort to PC components as a gift or, why not, as “self-gift”, and so we wanted to make a guide to help you choose the best market options according to your budget.

We will divide this guide by categories and ranges, so it’s easier and quicker for you to seek information, plus we will indicate also the price of each component so that it will serve as a reference.

amd-intel

In this first installment we will discuss basic motherboards and processors, while in the following section we will be talking about other components such as HDDs, SSDs, power supplies and graphics cards, among others.

You should be aware that in the techie scene, specifically in the world of PC components, prices are extremely changeable, so it is possible that the price we list today is different in a few weeks, though generally the value of the products that we have chosen often keep pretty much or less the same price.

This means that they will be a good choice even when some time passes, so you can be calm and confident that you will have made a good purchase.

Well, let’s get through this right away, and as always I encourage you to leave your opinions and questions in the comments.

Motherboards

We will focus on the most popular platforms that exist today, leaving aside minor options such as the AM1 range of AMD and the LGA 2011.

FM2 + Socket: This platform enables the use of AMD APUs, ideal for mounting multimedia PCs, maintaining a controlled price, as they integrate CPU and GPU with a power level that is quite acceptable.

Basic Range: GIGABYTE F2A55M-DS2

It offers an excellent price/quality relation value and integrates all the functions you need, while providing high support in extensions, AMD Dual Graphics and Ultra Durable 4 design.

Medium range: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4

A plate full of possibilities with a price that compared to what it offers it is ridiculous. It supports Quad CrossFire X settings and Dual Graphics, and also integrates a very solid design.

High Range: MSI A88X-G45 Gaming Assassin’s Creed Limited Edition

One of the most complete motherboards for FM2 + platform. It integrates everything that gamers dream of, incorporating power in many key aspects, such as overclocking, lag reduction and it maintains a solid construction, thanks to its Military Class 4 design.

LGA1150 Socket: Intel’s overall consumption platform, where we can mount high-performance processors thanks to the significant progress achieved by this gigantic manufacturer through IPC levels.

Basic range: ASUS H81M-K

A very affordable solution that nevertheless offers a good level of performance and a high degree of reliability, and it is accompanied also by various additional features to get the most of your PC. You can’t ask for more at that price.

Medium range: GIGABYTE GA-Z97P-D3

It integrates the Intel Z97 chipset, which allows the use of CPUs with an unlocked multiplier, and also integrates support for AMD CrossFire (two GPUs) graphics settings, which along with its DDR3 to 3 GHz support and UltraDurable construction makes it one of the best marketed motherboards in its category.

High Range: GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming 5

A high-level motherboard with a highly competitive price. Its build quality is high, something that can be appreciated in numerous details like its Ultradurable fabrication, protection against noise and gold plated connectors. Definitely the best option within its range, as it integrates even more than any gamer could want.

AM3+ Socket: It is the top AMD platform and it represents a very interesting alternative for those who want to mount a powerful but economic PC, especially for the great price-performance relation of its processors.

Basic range: ASRock 960GM-VGS3 FX

It is an option with an excellent price-performance ratio, as despite its range it integrates advanced security and protection functions, besides others to squeeze more performance.

Medium range: ASRock 970 Extreme4

A true wonder that stands in all its aspects, thanks to a solid and unquestionable quality construction and high performance. In short, a high-end motherboard with a mid-range price.

High Range: ASRock 990FX Extreme3

The best price-performance relation found in a motherboard in its category and socket, as it offers a world of possibilities, allowing for example the installation of four NVIDIA or AMD GPUs, and has a really good quality, all with an extremely affordable price.

Processors

FM2+ Socket: a series of AMD APUs that integrate CPU and GPU. The CPU uses a modular structure that follows the outline of a complete module for every two integer cores. This means that by indicating that it has 4 cores we are referring that it has two floating point cores (FPU) and four integer cores (ALU), or two modules, which is the same, anyway. The letter K indicates an unlocked multiplier.

Basic Range: A6-6400K

A chip with dual core CPU that it is still able to offer a good level of performance, as it operates on a frequency of 3.9 GHz-4.1 GHz. It integrates a GPU HD 8470D.

Medium Range: A10-5800K

It has a quad-core CPU 3.8GHz-4.2 GHz, which enables it to offer a high level of performance even in demanding applications. Its GPU is an HD 7660D.

High Range: A10-6790K

It offers a small performance increase compared to the latter, as it also features quad-core 4 GHz-4.3 GHz CPU, and its GPU is an HD 8660D. We recommend this model because the upgraded models do not really justify the price difference.

LGA1150 Socket: This socket provides access to processors with up to four cores and eight threads, but that still are able to offer very high performance thanks to its IPC, and also maintaining low power consumption levels.

Basic Range: Intel Pentium G3258 20th Anniversary Edition

An amazing processor with two cores and two threads running at 3.2 GHz, it comes with the unlocked multiplier and can exceed 4 GHz smoothly. It offers great performance for the money.

Medium range: Intel Core i5 4440

It comes with four real cores at 3.1 GHz-3.4 GHz, both in normal and turbo modes. It is limited because it doesn’t have an unlocked multiplier, but its performance per clock cycle is very high and it doesn’t blanch at anything.

High Range: Intel Core i5 4690K

This model keeps the four real cores and a frequency of 3.5 GHz-3.9 GHz, but it comes with the unlocked multiplier, allowing the allocation to more than 4 GHz with no problem. The performance difference between it and the Core i7 4770K is negligible in most cases, but the price difference is about 90-100 euros, so it’s not really worth it.

AM3+ Socket: The AMD general consumption and high performance line is grouped on this socket. The Sunnyvale firm conducted a gamble with its modular structure that did not come out quite well, but it offers very competitive solutions.

Basic Range: FX-4300

An equipped quad-core processor running at 3.8 GHz-4 GHz, able to deliver excellent performance for the price. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best options within the low range processors.

Medium Range: FX-8320

It integrates eight cores at a frequency of 3.5 GHz-4 GHz, enabling it to outperform much more expensive processors in multithreaded tasks. Its quality/price ratio has no competition today.

High Range: FX-8350

It’s not AMD’s most powerful option, such as the FX-9590, but this mode does not seem advisable due to its huge 220W TDP and the price. With the FX-8350 you get eight cores but also at 4 GHz-4.2 GHz, which adds a performance plus without increasing too much the consumption or the price too.

Read More:
Building a gaming PC for 300
Custom Build a Gaming PC for under 500
Gaming Laptops under 1500

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