A few weeks ago, we compiled a list of what we think were the worst CPU and GPU purchases in 2017, and that sparked some discussion. Overall, many of you seemed to really enjoy the exchange and requested a best-of version. So here we are, our best CPU and GPU purchases in 2017. So let's get started …
Best Value Desktop CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600
No surprises, the Ryzen 5 1600 is undoubtedly the cheapest desktop processor of the year. AMD hit its cheapest 6-core / 12-thread CPU with a $ 220 MSRP, though you rarely have to pay more than $ 200 for one these days.
The R5 1600 is a real all-rounder. There is no game in which it cannot perform flawlessly, and we expect it to be good for many, many years.
Then when it comes time to get serious, nothing holds a candle for the R5 1600 at this price. It outperforms workloads with impressive efficiency and you want to pay almost twice as much from Intel for similar productivity performance.
To further sweeten the deal, AMD threw in a decent box cooler and offered overclocking support for B350 motherboards under $ 100, making it an extremely inexpensive combination. The only buzzkill this year was the cost of DDR4, but that affects all platforms, and with the R5 1600, which is so cheap, many have taken the price of memory.
Best workstation CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700
As good as the R5 1600 is for productivity workloads, the Ryzen 7 1700 is better with 33% more cores and threads. In terms of value, it's not that good because you pay $ 100 more (50%), but over time, money and everything, you know, the reward is worth it.
At the end of 2017, Ryzen 7 may be much less effective than in March, but it still deserves to be added to our list. When it landed all those months ago, consumers looking for an 8-core / 16-thread CPU had to pay $ 1,000 for the Core i7-6900K. So it's important to take a look back to see where we're from.
The R7 1700 can now be bought for around $ 300 (or currently $ 240 thanks to Black Friday). As a result, the expensive 6900K had to be retired. Now we have the Core i7-7820X for a cheaper $ 600, though we would argue that the Ryzen 7 1700 is still a much cheaper product.
Again, the Ryzen 7 can be combined with relatively inexpensive motherboards, even a nice X370 board is available for only $ 130. Meanwhile, the cheapest X299 boards cost around $ 200. For those who have a lot of work to do but don't want to spend a lot of money on, the Ryzen 7 was the answer to their prayers.
Best HEDT CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
Our AMD appreciation is rounded off by the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. You get 16 cores / 32 threads for just under $ 1,000. Now keep in mind that in early 2017 you would get back $ 1000 with an 8-core CPU and 10 cores were just scary. The Core i7-6950X was priced at $ 1,750, but today Intel cries into bed and remembers the good times.
A Grand now brings you twice as many cores and threads as at the beginning of the year. Intel knew Threadripper was coming and jumped on the X299 platform so they could strike first. The only problem is that their 16-core / 32-thread beast will bring you $ 1,700. Though it's faster than the 1950X, you still have to spend $ 1200 to $ 1400 on the 12- or 14-core models to get 1950X-like performance.
The Threadripper platform certainly has a number of advantages and disadvantages, but we believe that it offers consumers the best for their money and that we would invest our money here if we were after a high-end workstation.
Best budget CPU: Intel Pentium G4560
Let us first point out that this is a sketchy decision due to developments in the second half of the year. Unfortunately, the once so inexpensive Pentium G4560 is no longer available at least in most regions due to the pricing. While the above-mentioned AMD processors absolutely deserve to make this list, it is somewhat doubtful.
The G4560, which we commonly referred to as the only Kaby Lake CPU worth buying, was launched in January. We damn checked it again and awarded it. In fact, we were so obsessed with the value of this Pentium that many readers who tend to side with the red CPUs were somewhat annoyed. Still, we didn't care, how could you not love the G4560?
Before its release, a dual-core hyper-threadable Intel CPU cost at least twice as much. At just $ 64, the G4560 was a bargain and nothing could touch it in terms of value. It was so good that it wiped out the rest of the brand new Intel Kaby Lake Pentium and Core i3 series.
Eventually Intel got wind of it (and though he denied it), the offer began to "limit" in the middle of the year. Cryptocurrency miners have been blamed for the shortage, but Intel still doesn't seem in a hurry to offer the G4560 again for $ 64 today.
Today bargain hunters can find the G4560 at a less desirable price of $ 80. In our opinion, it is better to buy a Ryzen 3 1200 at this price. The last nail in the G4560's coffin was the arrival of the Core i3-8100, which is essentially a Core i5-7400 and offers a 35% discount. Of course, we still need affordable 300 series motherboards, but the writing is on the wall.
For $ 64, the G4560 is still a good buy if you can find one. Stick it on a $ 50 H110 board and you have a killer combo for a smidgen over $ 100. Considering that you can't even get a Z370 board for that price, the combo would have been there despite the lack of an upgrade -Paths still benefits.
Absolutely best desktop CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K
Out of stock, out of stock and out of stock. These are the words of almost everyone Core i7-8700K owners have faced in the past month. It was a frustrating situation that led some to pay too much to get one.
Why is this on our list of the best CPU purchases? Good question! I just hope that these problems will be resolved by next month. Intel is working to bring additional facilities online to improve the supply of Coffee Lake. Hopefully we'll see the result soon.
Aside from the supply issues, the Core i7-8700K is the best mainstream desktop CPU available right now, especially if you're a player who doesn't compromise on performance. The Ryzen 5 1600 or even the Ryzen 7 1700 may be cheaper options for players with medium to high gaming hardware. However, for those with a GTX 1080 Ti looking for maximum frame rates, the 8700K will be available soon when it is in stock.
Best GPU series: GeForce 10 series
The best GPU purchases of 2017 … we admit that we wrote the title for this section in the word processor while staring at the screen for about 10 minutes.
Had this been 2016, we might have said something like …: "The Radeon RX 470 was an exceptional purchase under $ 200, while the RX 480 was a competitive mid-range performance with a nice big 8GB Image storage bot and then talked about how the GTX 1070 and 1080 offer undisputed high-end performance. "
However, 2017 was less eventful in terms of graphics. The Radeon RX 500 series was largely a rebadge job. Vega was, well, Vega is still promising, but like so many AMD products, it will likely be an amazing second-hand deal in a few years. Vega 56 is competitive and would probably have made the list if custom board partner cards were available.
With nothing coming home from AMD this year, the 2017 GeForce 10 series remains one of the best purchases. The GTX 1070 Ti is another solid product that offers great value for overclockers, although it's also a product that we didn't really need.
The 2017 GPU was the powerful GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. It could cost $ 700 and we could complain about the GPU prices all day, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a beast. Vega could become the superior GPU in the coming years, we don't really know, but we know that the GTX 1080 Ti is currently the king.
So it was a kind of laundry. AMD won on the CPU front, while Nvidia won the GPU war this year. If AMD had managed to mass-produce Vega earlier and enable board partner cards to be created, things could be a little different. However, we have to recognize that the HBM2 supply was the main problem here.
If Intel had been able to increase Coffee Lake CPUs earlier and offer their budget chipset range, Ryzen would have been in a narrower position. Do not hesitate to let us know your top CPU and GPU selection for 2017.