Reviews - Updated on April 12, 2022

The Year of the Yellow Dog is already very close, and the outgoing 2017 has seriously shaken up the market for computer components. In the spring, AMD finally gave birth to a new platform. In the summer, due to the cryptocurrency fever, the prices for video cards flew into the stratosphere, but still went down closer to the ground in the fall. And all the same fall, Intel for the first time in many years seriously updated the line of Core processors, thereby giving an excellent kick to the conceited Ryzen.

As a result, amazing things happened throughout the year. At first, AMD FX processors were still relevant, then they were first pushed by the new Intel, and then the budget Ryzen 3 was displaced. In parallel, popular tech bloggers argued which was cooler – Skylake or Kaby Lake – and as a result, in October, Coffee Lake swooped down and shot everyone with a bazooka .

If you didn’t understand much from the previous two paragraphs, now I’ll explain in order how to competently approach the assembly of a new system unit after the barely subsided fighting between Intel and AMD.

Note: all prices below correspond to the minimum offers among all major electronics stores and are valid for the middle – end of December 2017.

Gaming PC for 2018

Decide what resolution you want to play

Back in 2016, two wonderful graphics cores were released: Radeon RX 480 (now it is equivalent to RX 570) and GeForce GTX 1060. Video cards based on these cores drag absolutely any games with stable 60 fps at a resolution of 1920 x 1080. That is, if if you don’t have a 4K TV (3840 x 2160) or a QHD monitor (2560 x 1440), then you will have enough hardware of this level for many years to come. At least until 4K becomes the accepted standard (and not a marketing gimmick from Sony and Microsoft).

The 8 GB RX 570 and the 6 GB GTX 1060 will cost 20,000 rubles or more, depending on the brand. The brands themselves now play a significant role only in the upper price segment, since the cores of the latest video cards are quite cold and stable, which means that sophisticated cooling systems are not always needed.

Too expensive? Then you can take the Radeon RX 560 with 4 gigabytes of video memory for 8,700. The GTX 1050, which is equal in power and price, has only 2 GB on board, and now this is already very small. RX 560 is enough for a stable 30 frames in Full HD in any blockbusters of our time.

Gaming PC for 2018

Don’t Buy Expensive Processors

Now even professional streamers do not really need a video card more powerful than the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, which costs about 34,000 rubles. If earlier such a “crumb” required some kind of Intel Core i7, now you can take one of the latest generation Core i5 – full-fledged six cores with a high frequency in games turned out to be no worse than four physical and four virtual ones (eight threads). Yes, and it will cost much less. But in pair with the previously mentioned GeForce GTX 1060, you can generally take a fresh i3-8100 for 7,500 rubles.

Also a few words about coolers. Now everything is very simple: do not overclock – the complete or the simplest one is enough, overclock – take the time-tested DeepCool Gammaxx 300 for 1,100 rubles. For most modern processors, the power dissipation does not exceed 70 watts, and the Gammaxx 300 is designed for as much as 130. And taking something like the elite Noctua is worth it only when assembling a PC, the heart of which will be one of the older multi-core versions of the Core i7.

Gaming PC for 2018

Don’t skimp on the motherboard

With “motherboards” in December 2017, the situation is rather ambiguous. Coffee Lake has seriously reduced the cost of assemblies due to additional cores and frequencies, but so far only the top-end chipset has come out – Z370. Budget Z300 should catch up in the first quarter of 2018. Therefore, a situation is now possible when a “coffee” motherboard is more expensive than a compatible processor.

On previous generations of Intel, it makes sense to build only something at the entry level, such as Asrock H110M and Pentium G4560. This combination will cost approximately the cost of just one board for Coffee Lake – about 10,000 rubles. Add there the same 4 GB Radeon RX 560 for 8,700 rubles or a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti for 10,500, plus about 10,000 – 12,000 more for the case, memory, hard drive and power supply. As a result, for about 30 000 “wooden” will get a gaming machine that will pull all the new items at quite comfortable 45 frames on average.

But as for AMD products, here, as at all times, it is undesirable to save money: every second “mother” on the B350 has serious problems with overclocking through the BIOS or the element base used, and all A320s can “boast” of a weak power system, which suitable only for Ryzen 3 (analogues of the old Core i3 that replaced AMD FX) and makes you forget about any flirting with frequencies. So, firstly, forget about the “fufiks”, and secondly, take some Asus Prime X370-Pro for 9,800 rubles – and you will be happy.

Gaming PC for 2018

Get fast memory only for AMD

There are only a couple of nuances with memory – Ryzen processors are not friends with all brands and are very fond of high frequencies. Therefore, to tame the Ryazan shrew without unnecessary overpayments, many recommend taking Samsung or Corsair trims for 2,400 or 2,666 megahertz and overclocking to 3,200 through the BIOS.

But for any processors from Intel, as always, you can take the cheapest “RAM”.

Gaming PC for 2018

Ignore MLC SSDs

In addition to the market for processors and motherboards, the realm of solid state drives has been seriously updated. More recently, SSDs based on MLC memory were considered the most balanced option, and the budget alternative, TLC, frightened many away with fragility. However, in the middle of the year, first Samsung, and then other manufacturers switched to a 3D NAND bulk structure. This technology has improved the reliability and reduced the cost of all types of controllers.

So the updated TLC with the addition of 3D NAND got rid of its main drawback, while maintaining a low price. So, they have become a new standard. We can recommend you to buy the good old Samsung 850 Evo, which, although it acquired a new circuitry, retained its former name and appearance. The 250 gigabyte version will cost about 6,000 rubles.

Gaming PC for 2018

Forget about cheap power supplies

This is surprising, but at the end of the year, many still treat power supplies without due respect – they are not even interested in the element base or the presence of a varistor. Instead, they come to the store and ask for the one that is cheaper.

Only premium class units are completely trouble-free – like SeaSonic products for 12,000 rubles and more. And with cheaper ones, it often happens that completely different models assembled at different factories are sold under the same label (and in the same case). Therefore, before buying, carefully review several reviews of the PSU you like on specialized resources and pay special attention to these shortcomings.

Of the proven inexpensive models, we can recommend the following: Zalman ZM500-GVM for 500 watts for 3,400 rubles and Fractal Design Integra M 450W for 450 watts for 4,200. A power of 400 – 500 watts has long been enough for almost any gaming PC, and the blocks themselves have necessary range of protections.

Gaming PC for 2018

Take a closer look at cases from DeepCool and NZXT

A great alternative to the popular (and ugly) Zalman Z3 Plus is the DeepCool Kendomen with cellular dust filters and five built-in fans of shameful quality. The building turned out to be nice, quiet, spacious and quite inexpensive – about 3,000 rubles.

And for those who want something stylish, we can recommend the trendy NZXT H440 Black/orange for 8,000 rubles – its matte black body with orange stripes looks noble and modern at the same time.

Gaming PC for 2018

***

We have a very exciting year ahead of us. In January, many predict a collapse of bitcoin, and it is difficult to predict what will happen to computer hardware and game prices. But the main trends are as follows: dual-core processors will remain only in the most budget lines like Athlon or Celeron, AMD will finalize the curved Ryzen, and Intel will again release a new platform, blocking backward compatibility.

So it’s best to wait for the release of budget “motherboards” for Coffee Lake and use them to build a system on Intel Core i3 or i5 with GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 Ti video cards, respectively. The first build, as mentioned above, is suitable for uncompromising gaming in Full HD, and the second one is suitable for QHD and even a little 4K. In terms of money, this will have to cost 40,000 rubles for the first option and about 80,000 for the second.

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