- 26 months ago
So. Before we start, no, I am not paid by either side to voice my views, or otherwise affiliated with them. I do have a minor AMD bias, because Ryzen is a good deal, but I'm going to do my best to set that aside for the purposes of this conversation. Let's get started.
I was looking at PC Gamer recently, and at the article that was the basis of my parts list, the Best gaming PC build guide. I look at the CPU and it's an i5-8400. Now, why? All the PC Gamer build guides are designed to be the most bang for your buck. And the i5-8400 is not the best bang for your buck when comparing it to the Ryzen 5 1600. At a similar price point (R5 at $193, i5 at $199), price is not the issue. But the advantages of the AMD chip easily outstrip the Intel chip. It has SMT, effectively doubling the cores provided, and the motherboards for the AMD chip are cheaper. Not to mention the inherent streaming advantages built straight into the chip with the provided x264 codec, and the fact the Intel chip is rarely in stock for now. Why not? The only Intel advantage is some higher IPC.
I look at the other build guides. It's Intel both up and down - the budget build guide has an i3-8100 in it. A bit more excusable - it's equivalent to the Ryzen 3 at an equal price point. Yet, the Ryzen motherboards still have a price gap. The cheap gaming PC build guide has a G4560, which I cannot argue against. And the top one, the extreme build guide hasn't been updated since the 10-core i9-7900X came out. When it does get updated, I fully expect the Intel i9-7980XE to be in that slot. However, the high-end PC guide is a different story.
The CPU in that guide is an i7-8700k, a 6-core, 12-thread CPU at $380. If you remember, that's the same specs as the Ryzen 5 1600, at twice the price. This is completely unexcusable. You're telling readers to spend twice what they should otherwise - factoring in the motherboard, you could save $250. What can that buy? It's a week's rent on my old apartment, 2 week's groceries for a family of 4, or that new mouse-and-keyboard set you've been eyeing for years now but could never afford.
Now, PC Gamer seems to be the biggest perpetrator of this trend. Everywhere else either just hasn't updated (notably, the slew of websites still recommending Skylake and the one odd one that recommends a Clarksdale i7) or is being fair (Tom's Hardware is all AMD except an ultra-budget G4560 build and an odd i7 one, and several updated places offers builds from both companies), but this bias also has been happening here. It's been almost a year since Ryzen released.
What was the point of this chat, again? I've honestly forgotten.