I know, I know. My Human. I know. You want to build your own pc and the first thing that pops up in your head is what cpu to buy?.

Oh and the dreaded internet ain’t helping, right ?. You ask what cpu to buy and Mr. YouTube is splashing your face with those irritating Intel Vs AMD non-sense.

I know, I know.

I have been through that. Why can’t people be simple right ?. Why can’t guides be simple ?.

And Why does everything needs to be made complex ?.

Well, lets not dwell too much on that topic. Although, I think making things unnecessarily complex makes them feel super smart.

Anyhoo, this ain’t that place.

All we know as fact is, if it ain’t fun, it ain’t tech.

And you know what brings about fun. Clarity.

There’s joy in clarity. You will see that soon.

So that is precisely what the next series of posts are going to be. Apart from fun obviously, that’s a given.

Before we go into everything on CPU,

If you remember we created a post on how to build your own pc a while ago.

That guide is complete by itself.

And just by reading that guide you can get a fair bit of idea as to how you can actually go about whipping up your own PC.

However, I feel I promised somewhere in the post that I am going to create individual guides on how to choose every single part.

So every post in this pc build guide series will henceforth have two essential things,

  1. the necessary knowledge that you essentially need to have to choose the part under discussion.
  2. & I will be unboxing an example part and will use it to build a pc.

So do you understand what I am giving you here guys ?.

I think I mentioned it on my build your own pc guide too.

Other Posts In This Series :

Once you go through these posts, that’s it.

You will be ready to go out there pick your parts, raid through various PC builder forums and the best part – help other people to build their pc as per their needs.

So CPU right, Let’s Go.

Let me reiterate what I just wrote in my previous sentence.

“As per their needs”

This is a very, very and probably the most important part of the whole pc building process.

What happens once you decide to actually build a pc or choose parts.

Internet.

Right.

When I went on to the internet to see what cpu (or any other part for that matter), most of the internet kept telling me what to buy.

As in this is good, that is good.

And I thought to myself.

Huh, but why ?.

ryan reynolds gif

How do you or better yet I know this is the product/pc part that I wanna invest in.

Because what to buy becomes really really easy once you truly understand what is your need really.

In understanding that the conflict disappears.

And you are very sure of your investment.

If none of that made any sense,

It’s okay. Hold on to me.

No, no don’t hold on to me. Hold on to the post. 😛

Understand What You Need

So we are establishing the most important thing before we go pc parts shopping is our need.

But how do we know what we need ?.

It’s not a stupid question?

It’s very wise to ask that actually.

Most of the people we know don’t even know what they want and what is their need.

And they go about trampling the planet.

And in order to understand what we need we need to understand this ill understood term called “Knowledge”.

Have you ever wondered if we set out to gain any knowledge on anything, the knowledge keeps unfolding itself in deeper ways?.

In high school I studied physics, chemistry and Maths.

We all did.

And at that time I thought this dreaded books must be the limit to what is out there right?.

I was hilariously right and wrong about this assessment.

What I read about next in college (electronics) was actually a subset of physics.

And the subset, had other subsets that unraveled itself in a million ways.

And if someone goes ahead with higher education that is again a subset if what you learn right now, unraveling itself in devious ways.

It’s absolutely funny.

So what was the point of all this non sense.

Understanding CPU parameters,

The point is you don’t need to necessarily know everything about everything to come to a wise decision. Right.

Because there is no limit to psychological knowing.

And in many ways, the more you know the more confused you actually get.

So we will be understanding CPU parameters in a sense you that you have a right, relevant and strong basis. Right.

If you want to build up on that knowledge and become a CPU expert, nothing would make me more happy.

So let’s dive in.

If you do the mistake of reading a CPU specs, that thing has a lot of stuff to read. I told you knowledge, right ?.

Does that mean you should not look into it. Absolutely not you need to know what you are looking for and what you are looking for are these terms.

Clock Speeds,

Time when it comes to the silicon world is always determined with clocks.

This clock is a little different from your normal wall clocks. One clock is the time taken by a wave to complete it’s one cycle.

sine_wave

And frequency is 1 divided by the time to complete that cycle.

Do you understand ?.

If time is high, 1/time = frequency will be low and thus the speed at which the CPU operates is low and Vice Versa.

So clock speed represents this frequency in GigaHertz.

Higher the GHz, higher the speed and thus faster and beefier will be your chip.

Cores,

If your CPU is a building.

Cores are the floors in the building. Each of these floors are capable of existing and operating individually.

And as you might have guessed correctly, more cores, more floors, more operation.

It comes at a price though.

Modern CPUs have anywhere between 2 to 18 cores.

Yup, that’s right. At this point in time you want at least 4 cores.

cpu_cores_build_your_own_pc

Threads,

So I just described how cores in a CPU are like independent floors carrying out different tasks concurrently.

Now when it comes to thread there is a slight misconception that many people have.

Cores are actual physical processors that exist in a CPU.

A dual core CPU means it has two physical cores (floors) that operate simultaneously and carrying out different tasks.

Threads in a CPU are not actual physical sub-cores to cores as it were. It’s just an intelligent scheduling mechanism that each individual cores use to speed up processing.

Let me make it super simple for ya brain cells.

CPU is fast af. It can churn through data like a mad man. Now let’s say I sent it an instruction to execute and it executes it fast and furious.

And in order to send the next instruction let’s say I take some time.

This time interval is time wasted in CPU world looking at fast how that baby is.

So cores use this very effective technique that these time gaps are filled with churns of instruction so that the processor is never idle.

Hence, making processing faster. So should you get a CPU with threading or not we will get to it a little later.

For now let’s look at,

TDP.

Thermal Design Power/Profile in simple terms is what is the maximum heat that the CPU generates.

So, why is this important ?.

If you know how much heat or power your CPU generates you can then decide what kind of cooling solutions you may be wanting for your CPU.

Heat is an inherent aspect of any moving thing in the cosmos.

Yup I said cosmos.

Any moving thing has energy and in the process of moving releases that energy.

Electrons moving in the beautiful microscopic world of silicon are no different.

There is this incredible equation that describes that.

But let me keep that topic for another post.

But you get the point right for an efficient performing system you need a proper cooling environment for your CPU and that is determined by the CPU TDP.

Generally,  a higher TDP usually coincides with faster performance.

Cache,

Cache is a fast access bucket that a CPU has that it uses to access data and instructions.

Data and instructions are fetched from your RAM and kept in the cache for fast access for the CPU.

These are of three types : L1 is the fastest of the three but has little breathing room.

L2 is a bit spacious but is slow compared with L1.

L3 is the most spacious but is the slowest.

When the CPU isn’t able to fetch what it wants from the cache it fetches it from the RAM. That movement of fetching is very very slow compared with that of CPU and the cache.

So its an important aspect of understanding CPUs, obviously. But should you place too much important to the cache size ?.

Not exactly because most CPU that you will get at the present time will have sufficient evolution to make sure this doesn’t slow down the overall performance of CPU.

Plus, in real world situation it’s quite difficult to assess performance difference just on the basis of cache sizes.

So just know what it is and consider other factors that we are discussing here.

IPC,

So this is one feature that is not listed as spec, mostly.

If two CPUs have the same clock speed and the same number of cores and threads but they are from two different companies they will have different IPC (Instructions Per Cycle).

Not only that if two identical CPUs are built on different architecture, they will have different IPC.

IPC is heavily dependent on CPU architecture so chips from newer generation for example 9 gen Core i5 will have better IPC then 8gen core i5.

As this parameter is not generally mentioned as spec but is unraveled via benchmark testing. So the best way for you to know about it is via looking at reviews.

Translating CPU parameters to understand what we need,

Now that we have the knowledge basis into what are the parameters associated with CPU, let look into how do we need to look into them when choosing a CPU for ourselves.

  • Higher clock speeds means higher responsiveness and program load times.

But you also need to understand program load times don’t just depend on CPU.

RAM and storage type are also an important factor that we need to consider to have an overall improved load times.

Just upgrading RAM will not necessarily improve your PC speed. Because overall system performance is “bottle-necked” by the limited Data Transfer Rate between storage and RAM. So upgrading your storage to an SSD will do wonders for your system.

Almost every PC build (even the budget ones) are suggested to have an SSD now.

And out of good measure. The performance difference is huge. And I mean really really huge.

We at yantraas suggest at least 256 GB Samsung 960 SATA SSD for your build.

  • Higher clock speeds also mean high performance in single threaded workloads.

That means tasks such as audio editing, photoshop, web browsing and most games will benefit from higher single core clock speeds.

Although games designers are now moving on towards how to optimize the games to use multiple threads.

But as of now most games are lightly threaded.

  • Tasks such as high res video editing and rendering benefit tremendously from lots of cores and threads.

What this means is if you are looking for deploying your newly built beast for apps such as premiere pro, after effects and light room.

Productivity, in other words. You would want CPU that features lots of cores and threads.

Single core performance in this situation is something that you would want to look at secondly.

I hope you followed that.

If you are paying attention, you will realize within yourselves that you are slowly seeing how to go about choosing your CPU.

There is little more that I need to tell you before I send you off.

Let’s enter into something even more interesting.

For the vast majority of gamers and general-purpose computer users, a clock speed ranging from 3-4 GHz with four to eight cores is plenty.

Investigating them Brands,

Are you still here ??.

Really ?.

Why ?

Lol.

I am just kidding. Let me just recollect everything for ya.

We started with how picking the right parts is a very crucial step to the pc building process.

Then we established how before we go into buying anything it is very important to know what our needs really are.

Just going out there and picking up “the best” or something that someone out there suggested is “good” can lead to buying decisions that do not have a relevant basis to the buying process.

And then we went into the essential knowledge that we absolutely need so that we are well aware of the what and the how in this whole process.

Now we are getting into the real juice.

Intel Vs AMD,

Oh, if I only had a nickel for the fights and arguments that goes on in forums, YouTube videos and places like that over this topic.

I would have been a millionaire by now.

Let me bring to your attention this very essential awareness about this very important topic.

Trying to choose which is the best is just a foolish way of wasting your energy.

Stay away from that discussion or anyone that wants to prove you how one is better than the other.

Because people’s idea of what is good is really very limited.

As we talked in the beginning. People have this thing where they convince themselves about what is good. And it doesn’t stop there.

Oh no sir !!.

Now they want to convince you why what they think is good.

Because the thought that what they think is good maybe irrelevant makes them very insecure.

And you will find those people everywhere.

So what should I do,

Its very very simple you identify what your need is and pick up that which fulfills it.

We discussed just now as to what CPU parameters and how do those parameters translate into real world performance.

And how is that performance to be seen to meet the needs we have.

I feel it is most important for me to lay down in an holistic sense what is that something special or the downside that both these sides present.

AMD what you got ?.

Till 2017, if you anyone wished to build a PC for themselves, the problem of choice in terms of which brand was virtually non-existent.

It was almost always Intel. Unless, you were very specific and well aware of what you want. And in that case you might want to look at AMD.

This was bad, because if you have only just one Lion in a jungle. He decides everything isn’t it.

And unless, the Lion isn’t an enlightened being he will invariably want things to happen the way it wants not the way things are supposed to be or needed to be.

So, in mid 2017, the second Lion that was asleep decided to go out for a hunt.

And the bait it decided to use was Ryzen.

And oh boy was it successful.

AMD with its Ryzen processors offered almost double the performance of its competitor’s price at almost half the price.

Things changed and for the better.

And to this day, Ryzen chips for its price to performance ratio is a go to for gamers and video editors alike.

AMD definitely gave Intel a run for money. To the extent that they had to launch their coffee lake processor line up much before they wanted to.

In no way, I am implying that AMD is just the best and you should just go for it.

All I am saying is the CPU market is lush green with options now and this industry disruption has been incredible for consumers like you and me.

PROS:

I feel I have pointed out the pros in my description above but just so that we are clear.

  • AMD offers lower price per logical core, which means your wallet will still remain happy and heavy.
  • All current gen consumer CPU’s are overclockable.

Ooh, that’s a new word isn’t it.

I will bet you might have heard of it though.

Its not that big of a deal to understand actually. It just means that you can get some extra performance out of your CPU by doing some tweaks.

Should you overclock though ?

Well, I would say you don’t necessarily want to do that if you are building your PC for the first time. But it is something that you should look to ease into.

I can’t suppress that curious little monster within that wants more out of everything.

Pushing your CPU to a higher spec than what is supposed to out of the box is a very enticing aspect that many enthusiasts like to do.

So should you look to overclock or not ?

Well, I like to look at it this way. Firstly, you need to understand the pre-requisite to overclocking.

Overclocking means you are inputting more power into the processor to gain more power, right ?.

More power means more heat. Now you need special coolers in most cases to dissipate that heat for effective performance of the CPU in the environment.

Not just that you will also need to look into the motherboard with right chipset and the right VRM heatsinks that let’s you again overclock your CPU with ease.

If you are building a PC with very specific tasks and would not like to mess with it and will be content with what you get. It isn’t worth to invest in overclock.

If you want a my personal perspective on this.

See, any Ryzen chip (if you decide to go with Ryzen) is overclockable out of the box.

And seeing how building a PC is a big investment in itself I like to build my system that all my options are open.

I may not want to overclock immediately of course, but with time you bet I am going to tinker things I should not be doing.

I am naughty like that.

So the choice is yours. How to actually overclock, don’t worry you will get the tutorial here at yantraas.

  • Easy upgrade path at least till 2020. 

AMD in its infinite wisdom has promised that the socket type that the Ryzen chips will be using will continue to be AM4 till 2020 atleast.

This means once you have taken up the pain for the initial upfront cost that comes with building a PC for the first time, the upgrade path is going to be sweet.

All you need to do is just get the latest greatest CPU offered by AMD and voila, see the smoothness overflow.

CONS:

So with they way we have looked into AMD it seems that it must be the invariable choice for new builders or someone who wants to build a pc for themselves.

Well Yes and No.

  • When core to core performance comparison is done between the two sides. The Blue team still win that battle. So

I want you to understand that fortunately or I think its really unfortunate that companies today in general operate in a competitive environment.

Some argue that it is good for consumers and we get things at competitive price.

Well, yes that is one way to look at it.

However, one fundamental fact that happens with this outlook is all of the company’s energy and resources are targeted at being better than the other. At creating better prices than the other.

I somehow can’t put my back on the perception that all of this still feels like a very basic survival instinct just taking the form of a company.

Well, then you must be asking me;

How do you think companies should be operating smarty pants ?.

Innovation and Collaboration, isn’t it.

I ask you how do you think will the genpop get newer incredible products. Just by two companies fighting each other on who’s better ?.

Or through continuous, innovative & collaborative evolution.

But of course, in order to have that one needs to evolve out of this unreal reality of “me”, “me” and just “me”.

Isn’t it ?.

That is of course the hardest thing to do now isn’t it ?.

So my point is let’s not take sides just because something looks good today. In this limited spirit of competition that is exuded by companies at large we don’t know who rules tomorrow.

The most wise step for us would be to still stick with the understanding of our needs. And whoever fulfills our needs is the one we go with.

NEVER TAKE SIDES. NEVER EVER TAKE SIDES.

AMD Product Overview:

Ryzen

CPU’s from AMD that at the point of writing this blog post, ruling the mid to high tier segments are as follows.

  • Ryzen 7: Mid-High End 8 core CPUs with multi-threading i.e., 16 threads in total.
  • The Ryzen 5: Essentially mid-tier CPUs with 6 core and 4 core with multi-threading therefore 12 and 8 threads respectively.
  • Ryzen 3: low tier 4 CPU cores without multi-threading so 4 threads only.

The tier categorization is done to represent segments of these processors. In no way it is to be interpreted as one better than the other.

They are incredible in the segment they belong to.

For workstations and servers AMD has additional processor lines on a different platforms:

  • Ryzen Threadripper: 8, 12 and 16 core CPUs with multi-threading that means 16, 24 and 32 threads respectively.

This segment offers additional PCI-Express lanes (up to 60) and memory channels (up to 4 channels ) over consumer grade Ryzen for expansion.

  • EPYC: 8 – 32 core CPUs designed to take on Intel’s Xeons in servers.

The APUs

AMD also offer a  CPU lineup with onboard GPU referred to as their A-series APUs.

They offer up to 4 CPU cores and are built on AMD’s last generation Excavator architecture. There are currently 2 CPU’s being launched.

  • Ryzen 5 2400G: 4 core 8 thread cpu running at 3.6 Ghz base and 3.9 Ghz boost, with Vega 11 integrated graphics.

Imagine this combo to be almost but not completely equal to an overclocked 1500X with a RX 550 integrated.

  • Ryzen 3 2200G: 4 core 4 thread cpu running at 3.5ghz base and 3.7ghz boost, with Vega 8 integrated graphics. Imagine an Ryzen 3 1300X with a Geforce 940MX integrated.

AMD’s last generation of CPUs consisted of their FX and Phenom lineup. These are several years out of date and I don’t feel there is any point is discussing that lineup.

Anyhoo,

Intel : What’s Up Bro ?

So what are the spaces where Intel carries the mantle.

PROS:

  • As we discussed this at a previous point in time, Intel still is ahead of the competition when it comes to IPC. This makes Intel an ideal choice if what you want your build to do is execute lightly threaded tasks flawlessly.
  • Most consumer grade CPUs come with an integrated graphics processor.
  • Power Management:

If you look over to the Intel CPU designs from a cumulative perspective. The Intel CPU have shown good power management over the course of their releases.

This means with more performance per degree Celsius provided you have decent cooling in place.

CONS:

Points where Intel is taking a hit at the moment.

  • Higher price point.

If you want to build a high end pc and you decided to go the Intel route depending on your needs.

You are going to take a hit on your wallet when compared with if you went with the red team.

  • Lower multi-core performance

If by this time you have discovered within yourselves that you want to build a pc for productivity, video editing or rendering purposes. I want you to just not look over onto the Intel side as of now.

AMD is where its at.

  • No overclocking capacity out of the box.

Unlike AMD, not all Intel CPUs can be overclocked out of the box.

You will have to pay extra premium for the K-series processors that feature overclocking.

  • Integrated graphics are mediocre.

Well, on one hand you do get the integrated functionality of a graphics processor along with the CPU but understand it’s not something that will let you play games at high or ultra settings.

Intel Product Overview:

Intel has a wide array of CPUs for the budget, enthusiast and professional markets. There are six main tiers with Intel’s CPUs in ascending order of price/performance:

  • Celerons: Two core processors without multi-threading. Very low power consumption. Their integrated GPU makes them popular buys for HTPCs or basic workstations.
  • Pentiums Two core CPUs with multi-threading (as of 7th Gen KabyLake). This means 4 logical threads total.
  • i3: Two core CPUs with multi-threading. Similar to Pentiums, they offer slightly higher clockspeeds and access to AVX instructions. As of 8th Gen CoffeeLake these have become four core processors without multi-threading.
  • i5: Four core CPUs without multi-threading, therefore 4 threads total. As of 8th Gen CoffeeLake these have become six core CPUs without multithreading.
  • i7: Four core CPUs with multi-threading, therefore 8 threads total. As of 8th Gen CoffeeLake these have become six core processors with hyperthreading (therefore 12 threads total).

For server and workstation PCs:

  • i7 Extreme and i9: A processor lineup serving as a bridge between the consumer market and professional market. They offer CPUs with core count ranging from 4 up to 18, mostly with multi-threading capabilities (for up to 36 logical threads). They offer additional memory channels (up to 4) and additional PCI-Express lanes (up to 44) over the consumer CPU lineup. The most current lineup is on the socket LGA 2066.
  • Xeon: Intel’s workstation CPUs. The Xeon moniker covers a large assortment of processors using both the consumer LGA1151 socket (requires boards with either C232 or C236 chipsets) and the server LGA3647 socket. They range from 4 core processors without multi-threading to 28 cores with multi-threading. Most lack integrated graphics. They add support for ECC memory. Xeons are usually not recommended for consumer use cases given the often higher platform cost, however Xeon E3 CPUs may occasionally be a viable alternative to i5 or i7 CPUs depending on sale pricing and use case.

Intel’s -K and -X series i3s, i5s, i7s and i9s can be overclocked when used on supporting motherboards (Z series chipsets for consumer boards, X series chipsets for i7 Extreme and i9 processors).

Understanding CPU Nomenclature,

When I first set out to look for a CPU for my build this was indeed the most confusing thing I had to face.

So many freakin models too choose from wasn’t a cakewalk and they kept throwing all these weird ass names on me.

So in this section we are going to discuss how these CPUs are actually named.

This becomes very important not only to choose a CPU but comparing on the surface what chip is newer/better than the other.

In the beginning I thought of creating a whole table of naming convention.

But after writing 5000 words, I am starting to feel a little lazy.

Oh yeah !, you just read 5000 words.

Applaud on your patience.

Anyhoo, I will make things super simple. And if I don’t feel super lazy some day I will update this post with a “very neat” nomenclature table.

Scratch that, I will update this post with a nomenclature table.

The Good, Better And The Best.

Both Intel and AMD as we just discussed a little earlier divide their CPU lineup in three categories.

The lineup starts with Intel i3 / Ryzen 3 stepping up to over Intel i5 / Ryzen 5 in the mid tier to Intel i7 / Ryzen 7 in the high end segment.

We discussed some of their features in the previous sections.

Intel introduced a premium segment above it’s i7 segment not a long ago and termed it i9.

AMD matched the higher end segment by introducing the flagship Threadripper, God I love that name. Thread-ripppper. Anyways, threadrippers are have been many enthusiasts go to CPUs for workstation and rendering stations.

If you look beyond the i9 series in Intel, there is also Intel X – Series which falls into the premium high end extreme segment of Intel CPUs.

Although, truth be told for the vast majority of users, these chips are unnecessary and well out of most people’s price ranges.

But if you got them monies hun and fulfills what you want, buy away. But please always, always, always read a few reviews from good sources like yantraas 😛 (I will list some more resources down below) before you hit that money hungry Add To Cart button.

What Do The Numbers Mean,

So let’s consider two models from both sides.

Core i7-9700k and Ryzen 5 1600.

What the bejesus do those numbers mean ?.

Let’s look at i7-9700k first.

We know what i5, i7 and i9 describe categories of Intel lineup.

The first digit in the next number i.e., 9 in 9700 represents the generation of processors.

Wait, Rajput. Wait in the name of silicon Gods do I know what generation to choose.

Holy Molly, here we go.

Almost every year both the big boys bring in new shiny new chips for the gen pop to use.

There are many new up-gradations that come through new generations obviously. Mostly, not always there is new architecture that is introduced. Sometimes, a new generation just features a slight upgrade over the previous generation and its is called a refresh generation. But always the newer generation is faster and more efficient than it’s previous generation.

So, almost always try to go for the newer generation.

Yup, I used the word almost always.

So what are the exceptions ?.

See almost everywhere in the world people suffer from this shiny object syndrome. Whatever is newer must be better so let’s just waste our bucks in the new.

My Sacrifice For You,

Newer is better , yes of course that is why it’s new right.

However is it better for you ?. This is now a subjective question isn’t it.

I sacrificed something for you.

Yup, you read that right. You might be wondering why on earth in January 2019 where the Ryzen 5 2600 is rocking away and not just that.

Ryzen 3rd generation series is in the winds. Why is this fool going for Ryzen 5 1600.

Oh, I am a fool alright, but a sensible fool I remain.

You know I am not denying myself of something good.

But I want you to get this perspective from me that choosing a CPU must not in any way be an exclusive sort of decision.

We started with looking at our needs and moving from there, isn’t it ?. We didn’t say oh this is the best, go for this.

So here is the thing when it comes to building this PC that I am building for myself I need this for video editing and rendering purposes primarily.

I want to create awesome videos for you on this blog.

There is a chance by the time you are reading this there is already a video attached to it. If it is, it was created on this system under discussion :).

So any sane man or woman would either wait for the Ryzen 3000 series or get a Ryzen 2600 if it’s an emergency that you just need a PC now.

But that ain’t me.

So I gave myself a challenge. Budget was not an issue for me but I consciously constrained myself in a certain budget so that I can emulate an average newbie going out to build a pc for himself.

This is what my need is.

I want a computer that,

  1. renders 1080p videos flawlessly,
  2. lets me do some graphics editing in after effects, illustrator and other related adobe products
  3. and plays all current gaming titles at high or ultra with ease.
  4. Is quite speedy ya know i.e., has good loading times for my games and frequently used apps.

All points are priority based. I wish to have a workstation not just a gaming beast.

In other words, a work station that games good.

With all that we have discussed here there are a few things that we are very sure of.

  • I need a discreet CPU that doesn’t have an integrated processor. I need all its power directed at processing not rendering graphics.
  • The tasks that I need to accomplish will require lots of core and threads.
  • Overclocking wouldn’t hurt.

Ryzen 5 1600

So looking at all of this and what we have learnt. All of our needs are inclining us towards AMD.

See our needs. Not what we think is good.

So what I did was fix the budget for myself which is around 60k INR which is approx. 800-850 $.

I could have gone higher but as I mentioned previously I want to emulate an average first time builder.

Do not worry I will be doing an enthusiast grade PC build soon too. You know picking the best parts out there “sensibly” and creating fireworks.

Now these are the choices that lay infront of me.

We are going with AMD that’s clear.

We have Ryzen 5 2600, Ryzen 7 1700 & Ryzen 5 1600 in our bucket of choices.

Why not the X-Versions ?

It’s a good question.

Looking at the benchmarks and the performance comparisons of the X and the Non-X versions what I have found is the the extra performance that I will be getting for the price premium that I am going to pay is not great.

It’s good but not that great that I will miss out something in my use case and needs.

If budget is not an issue for you by all means go ahead with the X version but truth be told you will be fine with the non-x versions.

But do not take my or anyone’s word for it. Go look at benchmark comparisons yourself and arrive at an understanding.

At the time of writing this the Ryzen 5 2600 and the Ryzen 7 1700 are available for the same price.

Now, what would you say I should pick ?. By keeping in mind what I taught you.

Ryzen 7 1700. More cores, more threads more speed.

Right ?

.

.

.

.

Wrong !!.

Considering Wholesome Factors

Whist with logic you ain’t wrong. But logic is fragmentary and limited.

I mentioned a little but very crucial point 4 in my needs.

My PC needs to be snappy and pull out my apps fast.

That’s important. Very very important for any computer that you may be building.

And in order to do that you most definitely need an SSD.

Now looking at the budget that I have chosen and a very slight estimate into what parts will take up the most budget, these are the options that I have.

  1. Ryzen 5 2600
  2. Ryzen 5 1700
  3. Or Ryzen 5 1600 + Samsung EVO 250 GB SSD.

So what should I choose ?.

So now do you sense my sacrifice ?. Lol :D.

See choosing CPU is not important. Choosing anything is not important for that matter.

What is important is do you have the capability to look at the whole of things. If that can happen choice is something that happens automatically.

General Guidelines To Picking A CPU,

Although I have told you everything that you need to know in order to pick a CPU, I don’t wish to leave any stones unturned.

Here I will be telling you what is the general approach that you can be using to approach buying a CPU.

Elementary Tasks

If you are looking to build a light productivity PC that lets you watch videos, browse and do word and spreadsheet tasks with ease, you do not need to touch very high number of cores.

Anything like a Ryzen 3 1300X or Ryzen 3 2200G would be fine.

Truth be told you can even manage with a two core processor from the Intel side and you would be wise to do that if that fulfills your need.

But human predicament is such it always wants a little more.

So, why not choose such that there is a bit of headroom or breathing space as it were.

Looking To Game

If the primary priority that you are coming into the market with is gaming.

It would be wise of you to consider an Intel CPU. They have mastered the IPC over the course of time and it aids in the single core performance of the chip.

Anything like an i5 (i5-8100) or above on the blue side or Ryzen 5 or above on the red side would be enough to do the job.

Again benchmarks are something that you must always check to see which particular chip will carry out your specific tasks in the best possible fashion.

Creative Works ?,

Well if you are in it for creative works, video editing, graphic designing and the likes more and more cores and threads are something that you will be needing.

An Intel Core i7 or above or Ryzen 7 or above on the AMD side are the ones you must be eyeing.

Talking more about this section would be redundant as we have talked about it in elaborate details in the whole post.

Heavyweights,

If you want to build a pc for everyone’s agony and envy you look here in this segment.

Task that you are aiming to handle with these CPUs are in the likes of hardcore 3D animation or rendering long 4K clips and gaming at 4k or high frame rates (although that will primarily depend on your GPU but you also need a powerful CPU for a healthy combo).

You get the feel. Gaming, editing and streaming all at once like a freako you get the Threadripper or the Intel X-Series.

And since you obviously have the monies how about donating a little bit of that to Yantraas 😛 so that we can build awesome posts like these for you 😀 :D.

The Socket Conundrum,

You are not thinking just getting a good CPU will solve all your problems now are you ?.

If only things were that simple my friend.

The seat where CPU sits on a motherboard is called a socket.

Socket in terms of CPU lingo also signifies what socket or”pin-pattern type” that particular CPU uses.

So when you go motherboard shopping, which you should immediately after selecting your CPU this you will have to look for motherboard that features the same socket.

You understand.

If you don’t do that bad things happen in the universe that you won’t be able to comprehend.

You know what the good news is after completing this post. Do not worry it’s almost done, I am immediately jumping into creating a choosing a motherboard guide after this.

It’s almost 10 O’Clock now. I am gonna eat my dinner after this and start writing that guide.

Do you see how much I love you guys. Beyond my comforts.

That shit is rare dude.

So in short, you ought to look for a mobo that features the same socket as your CPU.

Now once you have locked in a mobo that features the same socket as your CPU the trouble begins.

And it’s name is chipset.

In simple terms, chipset of a motherboard represents what features is the motherboard going to offer. We will talk about it in elaborate details in the next post and the link for the same is here.

What you need to know as per current situation is just this.

AMD is on a roll. With its current-generation Ryzen and Athlon parts (except Threadripper), AMD has declared a universal single socket known as AM4 and has promised support for that socket until 2020.

You know what that means. If you decide to go the AMD way.

The upgrade path is sweet.

Which means you should, with a BIOS update, be able to put a first-generation Ryzen chip into second-generation (and possibly third-generation) Ryzen motherboard, and vice versa.

Ain’t that heavenly.

Intel has been a little naughty in these past few years, ain’t gonna lie when it comes to chipset and well a few other things :P.

Intel has exuded a tendency in recent years not to support backward compatibility with its newer chips and older motherboards, even if the socket is effectively the same.

Even though the socket is effectively the same.

Yikes.

As an example, this happened when Intel’s 8th gen coffee lake came out.

LGA 1150 and LGA 1151 differ by a single pin. The new version of 1151 which was designed specifically for the 8th gen CPUs is physically the same as that made for previous 6th and 7th generation core processors.

But get this, the older version of 1151 doesn’t work with the newer 1151 socket 8th gen CPU.

This made a lot of people sad.

I still remember when it happened. Oh the chaos it unleashed.

The reasoning behind this made by Intel was the newer chips have a differnt power management subsystem in place that needed the change.

Hmmmm.

But it’s fine ya know. Things like this always happen with companies.

I urge you to not form any conclusion.

No good, no bad. No right, no wrong just look into what you need and act.

CPU Socket-Chipset table,

Believe it or not my guys. We are the end of this hugely entertaining post.

I am sorry if it was not entertaining for you.

I loved every moment of writing every single word of it. Learnt a lot, a lot about myself. I am not even joking.

So I am leaving you with this table that depicts what are the compatible chipsets for each CPU socket currently.

I will keep this table updated frequently do not worry about that.

After the table I will list some resources that I think you can use to choose a cpu, build a pc and so on.

 Intel MainstreamAMD MainstreamIntel HEDTAMD HEDT (Threadripper)
Current CPU SocketsLGA 1151AM4LGA 2066TR4
Compatible ChipsetsChipsets Z370
Z370
Q370
H370
B360
H310
X470
X370
B350
A320
X300
A300
X299X399

My Frequent PC building Resources :

  1. r/buildapc : One of the best places on the internet for any help regarding building a pc or any computer related problem in general.
  2. AnandTech Bench : incredible resource to compare different CPU’s based on benchmark results. Remember never take anyone’s word on anything. Look for what gives you what you need and act accordingly.
  3. Intel Ark : The go to place to look at any and all CPUs created by Intel.
  4. AMD website : For a closer look at AMD’s current and upcoming products and news
  5. Tomshardware : Incredible blog filled with guides, reviews and discussion that any pc enthusiast should check out.
  6. r/IndianGaming : Incredible subreddit especially if you are from India like me. PC parts situation in terms of pricing and people’s inclination towards pc building is quite different from other countries say US and Canada. The zeal and urge to build computers to game or otherwise is incredible but it get’s toned down due to high price of pc parts here due to customs and other factors. A great topic to cover in some future post. But this community is incredible and the people are really helpful. They helped me with suggestions on my first build.