TechSpot PC Buying Guide - Early 2021

VitalyT

Posts: 6,028   +6,392
  • I disagree on the account of Extreme Workstation:

* AMD 5950x is sufficient and far better value than Threadripper 3970X today to satisfy a very demanding workstation
* Sabrent makes a better choice when it comes to SSD-s, they are faster and cheaper than Samsung drives.
* When buying a high-performance workstation, you should get 128GB of RAM, not 64GB.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,457   +6,251
If you are buying a workstation, you're probably OK. Easiest to simply buy a prebuilt with your corporate credit and have it shipped directly to your house.

If you want a GAMING PC, then this is probably the worst possible time to build one if cost is a concern.

-Intel 11th gen CPU are in stock.
-SSD are bigger than ever and in stock.
-PSU are in stock.
-Motherboards for those 11th gen CPU are in stock.
-RAM is in stock.

Your only real problem is the GPU which are pretty much unbuyable due to scalpers and crypto miners.

You can get a prebuilt from HP or Alienware. People complained how expensive prebuilds are, but when you compare their systems to the prices of scalped GPU cards, the prebuilt is actually cheaper.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,334   +2,607
This list feels incomplete, but mostly because AMD wasn't able to have enough chips ready for their integrated graphics offering with consumer 5600g

Because realistically, assuming someone just doesn't has another older GPU lying around, that would be the best first gaming PC you can put together today: It can already play many older titles and e-sports type games at 1080p without issues and that is basically something like 1995-2015 games which is most of PC gaming history that just works great on AMD APUs and then anything AAA and newer than that gets a bit compromised at too low res but it's still technically playable at 720p 30 FPS

So for someone who has nothing, riding out the GPU supply issues with a 5600g as your only rig means you can still play the vast majority of games available on PC and you can even emulate up to the PS3 as well.

And while it's understandeable they don't put this on the list, I would still recommend people would just hunt down a 4650g or in a month or two a 5600g for someone's first PC gaming rig and just leave that pci-e slot open for the future.
 

RagePizza

Posts: 10   +34
To be fair I think the current PC component climate makes any of these "Guides" mute. As a commenter above noted that in the current time period you are essentially upgrading everything other than your GPU if you have a current build and unless your current system is rocking an old or dead-end platform then you might aswell suck it up and deal with it for the next year at least.

As much as it hurts me to say, if your PC is on the lower end then you might aswell focus on securing a new gen console or a half decent pre-built.

I was able to get a decent deal (£110) on a sealed R5 3600 on eBay the other day but that was searching for a few weeks to find one that wasn't ending over MSRP for a second hand unit. Having build guides for mainly current components is literally just filler for a lack of content IMO.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,881   +2,202
Staff member
And while it's understandeable they don't put this on the list, I would still recommend people would just hunt down a 4650g or in a month or two a 5600g for someone's first PC gaming rig and just leave that pci-e slot open for the future.
Since a Ryzen 5 4650G is essentially just a 3600 with a basic GPU bolted on, the question one has to ask is whether or not paying $260 to $330 is a sensible decision, especially given that the Core i5-11400 is a better CPU and has an MSRP of $182.

I've not seen anyone benchmark the UHD Graphics 730 against the Vega 7 yet, but I don't suspect it will fair all that well, since it only has 24 EUs, compared the Vega's 7 CUs (although it does have more texture units and ROPs). If one is willing to put up with the mediocre graphics performance, then the i5 seems to be a more financially prudent choice.

And if the 4650G is $100 more than the 11400, then heaven only knows how much the 5600Gs will be.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,334   +2,607
Since a Ryzen 5 4650G is essentially just a 3600 with a basic GPU bolted on, the question one has to ask is whether or not paying $260 to $330 is a sensible decision, especially given that the Core i5-11400 is a better CPU and has an MSRP of $182.

I've not seen anyone benchmark the UHD Graphics 730 against the Vega 7 yet, but I don't suspect it will fair all that well, since it only has 24 EUs, compared the Vega's 7 CUs (although it does have more texture units and ROPs). If one is willing to put up with the mediocre graphics performance, then the i5 seems to be a more financially prudent choice.

And if the 4650G is $100 more than the 11400, then heaven only knows how much the 5600Gs will be.

Also to your point, there's additional costs involved: It's not much but you kinda need 3600mhz ram for an APU to deliver reasonably.

The interesting part is that I've been watching some benchmarks and assuming you don't actually have fast memory and stick to the standard 3200mhz memory the 3400G outperforms the 4X50g chips if those have similar memory speed constrains so I would expect the 5600g to face very similar issues since the graphics cores aren't changed.

However the situation it's extremely specific to well, right now: Even these price premiums are way better than paying 300 USD for a 470 or a 1650 if you can even find such cards (Which is easier, but still difficult) so I would rather pay a little bit more for an APU right now than a lot more for an entry level GPU.
 

Daniele 00

Posts: 133   +108
We... should be content to play 1080 games with a 24 inch monitor, instead of following the trend to raise resolution to 4k and beyond and fps to 240hz and beyond.

We can wait... and meanwhile all games can still be played.

The shortage first or later will end, and hopefully videocard maker will realize it is not worth to increase the price too much.
 

fadingfool

Posts: 240   +245
  • I disagree on the account of Extreme Workstation:

* AMD 5950x is sufficient and far better value than Threadripper 3970X today to satisfy a very demanding workstation
* Sabrent makes a better choice when it comes to SSD-s, they are faster and cheaper than Samsung drives.
* When buying a high-performance workstation, you should get 128GB of RAM, not 64GB.
Depends on your PCIe needs. Not all workstation based work is just CPU focused - having more lanes available for those NVMe RAID setups is essential when moving data. Whilst 20 lanes of PCIe 4 sounds like a lot of total throughput (40 gbps) - you still only have a small number of lanes you can assign.