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Self-assembling a budget PC, the most difficult thing is to buy an inexpensive processor (“stone”). This design element must have high performance and excellent performance.

We can say with confidence that AMD is now the leader in this segment. The Reds have been able to find the perfect balance between price and performance that buyers are increasingly liking. Intel here remains in the role of catching up and periodically responds to new products from AMD, supplying its devices with simple but tricky technologies.

Top best budget processors

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

The best choice on the market today, but with a number of caveats. Firstly, this is a pure office worker, so the built-in graphics core will not allow you to run modern games, although something average in terms of requirements will start almost without problems. Secondly, you won’t be able to seriously indulge in overclocking the chip, the potential here is not so great, and the integrated graphics are chasing much more efficiently than the processor itself. But in any case, this “stone” has a good ratio of price, quality and performance (4 cores up to 3.7 GHz in boost), plus thanks to the GPU it will save on a video card, the cost of which is currently flying into the stratosphere.

Briefly about the characteristics, the chip is based on the Raven Ridge architecture with a 14-nanometer process technology. The AMD Ryzen 3 2200G is single-threaded, has a 65W TDP, and supports dual DDR channels. The CPU entered the market at the beginning of 2018, i.е. remains quite fresh for the budget segment, especially with an eye to assembling an inexpensive office PC.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600

AMD Ryzen 5 2600

The Ryzen 5 2600 is one of the hottest processors today. It is up to you to decide whether to take the 2600X or not, but there is not much difference between them, because the 2600X is just a model overclocked from the factory. The Ryzen refresh brought more IPS, faster clocks, lower power consumption, and a thinner manufacturing process to make the 2600 more than competitive.

As a legacy from the FX series, the processor has good overclocking and can be overclocked to 3.9 GHz. The new architecture uses 6 cores and 12 threads, and although Ryazhenka loses to Intel competitors in terms of frame rate, the 2600’s frametime graphics in games are much smoother. Do not forget about the vital – the processor loves high-frequency memory, 2933 MHz will be the most for it. If you want to save money, you can take the regular version without a cooler and buy something to your liking, because the TDP here is extremely low at 65 watts. We recommend to buy, because in terms of performance and price there is nothing like it on the market.

AMD Ryzen 3 1200

AMD Ryzen 3 1200

4 cores, 4 threads, processor frequency 3.1 GHz with the ability to overclock to 3.5 or more. For a graphics card like GTX 1050 Ti or GTX 1060 3 GB or lower, it is the most. He will pull out his Full HD, although not always at ultra settings. 1200 will be a good option for the future to switch to Zen 2. If desired, “ryazhenka” can be overclocked to 4 GHz at a voltage of 1.38 Volts. When overclocked with a budget tower with 2 heat pipes, you will get 64 degrees under load, and if you do not skimp on a turntable with 3 or more pipes, temperatures will become even lower.

When you first start it may pleasantly surprise you, as it often starts at 3.6 GHz, but here a lot depends on the motherboard. Remarkably, AMD did not save on the younger model and supplied it with solder. Recommended for installation in budget gaming systems with an emphasis on future improvement. Another important point is the availability of the model in stores, while AMD Ryzen 3 1200 has not fallen into the category of shortage.

AMD Athlon X4 970

AMD Athlon X4 970

Sufficiently productive 4-core processor, which is not subject to excessive heat even under heavy load. This is one of the best budget processors for an office machine – the ratio of price and quality is amazingly favorable. Its performance is enough even to work in simple graphic editors – in the reviews, users write that they do not experience discomfort, but there is no outstanding “quickness” from the CPU either.

The heat dissipation is 65 watts, which is not enough for an AMD processor. The chip works stably at a frequency of 4000 MHz, no throttling is observed – at 100% load it heats up to 53 degrees and does not slow down the frequencies. The model was released in 2017, but even now it is often bought to build an inexpensive PC for home use, study and light gaming scenarios. At the same time, we note that there is a problem of compatibility with fresh motherboards, the Athlon X4 970 is most successfully launched on the A320 chipset.

AMD Athlon 3000G

AMD Athlon 3000G

If the task is to assemble the most inexpensive office PC, then AMD Athlon 3000G will be the best solution. We especially emphasize that we are talking about a budget computer for work, although this chip also has a built-in Vega 3 graphics core. This will allow you to refuse to buy a video card, but running games on a 2-core “stone” is futile. But with surfing the net, working with various documents, this processor will cope with a bang, since its clock frequency is 3.5 GHz, plus multithreading is supported. Among other “goodies” we note the work with two channels of DDR4 memory (2667 MHz) and very low heat dissipation (35 W).

According to user reviews, the performance of the chip is fully consistent with its price, it is energy efficient and has a low percentage of factory defects. Moreover, in conjunction with a discrete graphics card, some craftsmen managed to run World of Tanks at FullHD settings, i.e. Athlon 3000G can act as a temporary plug for an entry-level gaming system.

Intel Celeron G5905

Intel Celeron G5905

From what is on the market today in sufficient volumes, the Celeron G5905 is clearly the best option for building a budget computer used as an office work machine or home station for studying and surfing social networks. The chip entered the market in 2020, has a pair of Comet Lake-S cores with a 14-nanometer process technology and a frequency of 3.5 GHz. There is a built-in UHD 610 graphics, so it will be possible to launch simple browser games without problems, and it is unlikely that friendship will be possible with more advanced ones.

The Celeron G5905 processor differs from AMD analogs by a slightly higher TDP of 58 W, a reduced GPU frequency, as well as the absence of a free multiplier and multithreading support. At the same time, the Celeron G5905 will cost a little less and for the same price you can grab a boxed version with standard Intel cooling, and when buying an OEM version, you can save a lot by spending money, for example, on a memory chip.

Intel Core i5-10400F

Intel Core i5-10400F

The performance is the best among all participants, so it is suitable for building a gaming system. On the other hand, against the backdrop of increased demand, the price of a chip in the current conditions is frankly overpriced, so you will have to overpay. For this reason, the processor received a slight decrease in the rating, because it will also have to buy a video card, since there is no built-in GPU, which is a big minus if you plan to assemble an office PC.

Users are satisfied with the “stone”, it lives up to expectations in terms of performance, is not prone to overheating, is good enough for its level in games, plus it starts up easily on almost all motherboards. The only tangible gripe is the standard cooler in the BOX version, which is recommended to be replaced with something more efficient.

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

A chipset that is ideal for those who have a limited budget for building a PC, but want to get maximum performance and not be too lazy to deal with the processor. The model lends itself perfectly to overclocking – there are detailed instructions on YouTube. The processor is relatively new, so sometimes you need to suffer to run it on an old motherboard. It does not heat up above 60 degrees – they write about it in the reviews.

There is a “plug-in” that, after overclocking, shows itself perfectly when gaming, including, for example, “Metro” in Full HD resolution and FPS 30-39 with low graphics settings, Jedi Fallen Order in HD, as well as classic Dota, TES, CS:GO and PUBG. This is one of the best processors to ride out the hard times and then buy a decent reference.

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