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Thread: The best CPU below $100

  1. #1
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    The best CPU below $100

    If the last WCG challenge showed anything then it was that we need more cores/threads in the team.
    There are two ways of achieving that.
    1. Blindy buying ever more CPUs, till the power company cuts you off due to unpaid bills.
    2. Buying CPUs that need just as much -or less- juice, but have more cores/threads.

    The latter approach is of course the only sensible one. What can you do with your older mobos, per platform?

    • AM2: Your socket supports at most dual-core Athlon 64 X2 CPUs. If you still are running with a single core, try to replace it with a dual core of the same -or less- tdp.
      You must ask yourself if it is economically sustainable to run such an old board/CPU combination.
    • AM2+: Your socket supports at most quad-core Phenom X4 CPUs. If you still are running with a single-, dual- or triple core, try to replace it with a quad core of the same -or less- tdp.
      Quad-core Phenom X4 CPUs are only offered 2nd hand, but for an AM2+ system they're a decent upgrade.
    • AM3: Your socket supports at most hexa-core Phenom II X6 CPUs. If you still are running with a single-, dual-, triple- or quad core, try to replace it with a hexa core of the same -or less- tdp.
      Hexa-core Phenom II X6 CPUs are only offered 2nd hand, but for an AM3 system they're a decent upgrade.
    • AM3+: Your socket supports at most octo-core FX CPUs. If you still are running with a single-, dual-, triple-, quad- or hexa core core, try to replace it with a octo core of the same -or less- tdp.
      THey are dumping their last FX-es, so be quick
    • FM1: Your socket supports at most quad-core A8-3870K CPUs. If you still are running with a dual- or triple core, try to replace it with a quad core Athlon or A8 of the same -or less- tdp.
      An A8 has as advantage that it has a IGP running along too and it can be combined with cards up to HD7500.
    • FM2: Your socket supports at most quad-core A10-6800K CPUs. If you still are running with a dual core, try to replace it with a quad core Athlon or A10 of the same -or less- tdp.
      An A10 has as advantage that it has a IGP running along too and it can be combined with cards up to HD7500.
    • AM1: Your socket supports at most quad-core Athlon CPUs. If you still are running with a dual core Sempron, try to replace it with a quad core Athlon of the same -or less- tdp.
      The CPU to go for here is the Athlon 5370. When you are using an AMD onboard system with a single- or dual core CPU I can advice you to try and buy a 2nd hand AM1 system with an Athlon 5350 or 5370 as replacement.
    • FM2+: Your socket supports at most quad-core A10-8750 CPUs. If you still are running with a dual core, try to replace it with a quad core Athlon or A10 of the same -or less- tdp.
      An A10 has as advantage that it has a IGP running along too and it can be combined with cards up to HD7500.


    When I checked our local prices for new CPUs today, I saw that an AMD FX-8350 goes for just 73 Euro's. The 125Watt tdp is a bit of a worry though, running 24/7/365
    If local prices around your residence at at the same level upgrading won't have to cost you an arm and a leg.

    But keep in mind that a decent AM4 board can be bought for as little as $60, and that an up-to-date Ryzen 5 will give you 8 threads too...and a Ryzen 7 even 16!
    Last edited by Dirk Broer; 10-15-2018 at 03:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    maybe Phenom II X6 at the oldest? you want to at LEAST come close to a Nehalem, otherwise you're probably just wasting electricity... if you're DEAD SET on an FX, maybe undervolt and underclock it to under 120-150 watts full draw...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by plonk420 View Post
    maybe Phenom II X6 at the oldest? you want to at LEAST come close to a Nehalem, otherwise you're probably just wasting electricity... if you're DEAD SET on an FX, maybe undervolt and underclock it to under 120-150 watts full draw...
    Phenom II X6 as oldest means you say goodbye to anything older than AM3 altogether -which in the long run certainly is the right approach. If possible, one should try to go for the TR4 platform, and if that is out of reach the Socket AM4 6-core Ryzen 5 and 8-core Ryzen 7 are a good alternative. For AM4 APUs nothing beats the Ryzen 5 2400G at the moment. The non-hyperthreaded Ryzen 3 2200G APU can already be bought slightly above 100 Euro's at he moment here.

    And mind you: the Phenom II X6 1100T might draw just as much juice out of the wall as a FX 8350...here they are compared by CPU-World
    Last edited by Dirk Broer; 10-16-2018 at 09:34 AM.

  4. #4
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    Platform Max Cores/Threads Max Speed Latest Instruction Sets Memory Bandwidth Dream CPU Below $100 2nd hand?
    AM3
    6/6
    3700 MHz
    SSE3, SSE4a
    DDR3 1333 MHz
    Dual Channel 21.3 GB/s
    Phenom II X6 1100T
    If better than your present one, buy!
    FM1
    4/4
    3000 MHz
    SSE3, SSE4a
    DDR3 1866 MHz
    Dual Channel 29.9 GB/s
    A8-3870K
    If better than your present one, buy!
    AM1
    4/4
    2200 MHz
    SSE4, AES, AVX
    DDR3 1600 MHz
    Single Channel 12.8 GB/s
    Athlon 5370
    Only if you had a Sempron
    AM3+
    8/8
    5000 MHz
    SSE4, AES, AVX, FMA3
    DDR3 1866 MHz
    Dual Channel 29.9 GB/s
    FX-9590
    If better than your present one, buy!
    C32
    8/8
    3800 MHz
    SSE4, AES, AVX, FMA3
    DDR3 1866 MHz
    Dual Channel 29.7 GB/s
    Opteron 4386
    If better than your present one, buy!
    G34
    16/16
    3500 MHz
    SSE4, AES, AVX, FMA3
    DDR3 1600 MHz
    Quad Channel 51.2 GB/s
    Opteron 6386 SE
    If better than your present one, buy!
    FM2
    4/4
    4400 MHz
    SSE4, AES, AVX, FMA3
    DDR3 2133 MHz
    Dual Channel 34.1 GB/s
    A10-6800K
    If better than your present one, buy!
    FM2+
    4/4
    4300 MHz
    SSE4, AES, AVX, FMA3
    DDR3 2133 MHz
    Dual Channel 34.1 GB/s
    A10-7890K
    If better than your present one, buy!
    AM4
    8/16
    4300 MHz
    SSE4, AES, AVX, AVX2, FMA3
    DDR4 2933 MHz
    Dual Channel 46.9 GB/s
    Ryzen 7 2700X
    Ryzen 3 2200G
    TR4
    32/64
    4200 MHz
    SSE4, AES, AVX, AVX2, FMA3
    DDR4 2933 MHz
    Quad Channel 93.8 GB/s
    Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX
    Nope
    SP3
    64/128
    2500 MHz
    SSE4, AES, AVX, AVX2, FMA3
    DDR4 2933 MHz
    Octo Channel 187.6 GB/s
    EPYC (TBA)
    RU Kidding?
    Last edited by Dirk Broer; 10-16-2018 at 10:42 PM.

  5. #5
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    Cheap alternatives

    And that's cheap in the sense of operationally cheap

    Platform CPU Cores/Threads Tdp Below $100 2nd hand? Below $100 new?
    AM3
    Phenom II X6 1065T
    6/6
    95 Watt
    Sure
    Don't think so
    FM1
    A8-3820
    4/4
    65 Watt
    Sure
    Don't think so
    AM1
    Athlon (any)
    4/4
    25 Watt
    Sure
    Don't think so
    AM3+
    Opteron 3380
    8/8
    65 Watt
    Perhaps
    Don't think so
    C32
    Opteron 4365 EE
    8/8
    40 Watt
    Perhaps
    Don't think so
    G34
    Opteron 6366 HE
    16/16
    85 Watt
    Perhaps
    No
    FM2
    A10-6700
    4/4
    65 Watt
    Sure
    Don't think so
    FM2+
    A10-7860K
    4/4
    65 Watt
    Sure
    Don't think so
    AM4
    A12-9800E*
    4/4
    35 Watt
    Yes
    Yes
    TR4
    ?
    -/-
    180 Watt min.
    No
    No
    SP3
    ?
    -/-
    120 Watt min.
    No
    No
    *=Would have been a Ryzen 3 2200GE, if they were sold...
    Last edited by Dirk Broer; 10-18-2018 at 01:40 AM.

  6. #6
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    Cheap alternatives, revisited

    And that's cheap in the sense of operationally cheap, your daily running costs -if you're interested

    Platform CPU Cores/Threads Tdp Below $100 2nd hand? Below $100 new?
    AM3
    Phenom II X6 1065T
    6/6
    95 Watt
    Sure
    Don't think so
    FM1
    A8-3820
    4/4
    65 Watt
    Sure
    Not anymore, no
    AM1
    Athlon (any)
    4/4
    25 Watt
    Sure
    Not anymore, no
    AM3+
    Opteron 3380
    8/8
    65 Watt
    Perhaps
    Don't think so
    C32
    Opteron 4365 EE
    8/8
    40 Watt
    Perhaps
    Don't think so
    G34
    Opteron 6366 HE
    16/16
    85 Watt
    Perhaps
    No
    FM2
    A10-6700
    4/4
    65 Watt
    Sure
    Don't think so
    FM2+
    A10-7860K
    4/4
    65 Watt
    Sure
    Don't think so
    AM4
    Ryzen 7 1700
    8/16
    65 Watt
    Yes
    Soon?
    TR4
    Threadripper 2990WX
    32/64
    250 Watt
    No
    No
    SP3
    EPYC 7551
    32/64
    180 Watt
    No
    No
    Last edited by Dirk Broer; 04-02-2019 at 12:23 PM.

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