For years, AMD was known as the budget option for those who want to build a capable PC without spending a fortune on it. That said, AMD processors and chipsets have always come with limited performance, which is why more mainstream users are opting for the Intel Core i5 – and even the Intel Core i3 – as their main choices.
The release of AMD’s Ryzen processor has created a big stir in the PC market, especially now that two Ryzen 5 processors, the Ryzen 5 1500x and 1600x, are officially out on the market. Let’s take a look at the details.
Good Price to Performance Ratio
You can’t negate the fact that both the 1500x and the 1600x are capable processors. Based on various benchmarks, the 1600x sits just under Intel’s Core i7 7700x when it comes to multi-core performance. This is mainly thanks to the 6-core, 12-thread combination used in the 1600x. The 1500x, on the other hand, is closer to the i5 offerings from Intel.
The Ryzen 5 1600x is the one I’m particularly interested in. For around $250, you get a very capable processor that can sit well with the big boys. A lot of PC fans are even considering the 1600x as better value compared to the Ryzen 7 1700x and 1800x. For the price, it’s difficult to compete with this particular series of processors from AMD.
DDR4 and More Speed
You can easily pair the Ryzen 5 with either the X370 motherboards or the more mainstream B350 series. The latter is the better option if you’re looking for good value, since most B350 motherboards, including the gaming options from Asus and MSI, are available for less than $200.
All of these boards support DDR4 for amazing RAM speed. Some of them are even compatible with SLI and Crossfire, should you want to upgrade your system into a dual-GPU desktop. Gaming performance for both the 1500x and the 1600x is very dependable; the 1600x is even better than the Intel Core i5 7500 in some instances.
What’s interesting about the support for DDR4 is other tasks you will be able to do on a Ryzen 5-based machine. Image editing, video editing, and everyday tasks will not be a problem at all.
The Perfect Companion for Students
If you’re a student on a budget and you want a capable machine to support your study, a Ryzen 5-based PC is definitely a worthy option to look into. Let’s say you’re taking a masters in gerontology online course and you need to deal with assignments and course materials; you can try even the most complicated task and Ryzen 5 won’t even have to flex its muscles.
You also have the ability to play games in between study sessions. Since the online MAGMASM program from reputable universities such as the University of Southern California is designed to be flexible, there is no doubt that you can squeeze in a couple of hours for playing Overwatch or Mass Effects: Andromeda before you go back to studying.
Is Ryzen 5 the perfect platform for mainstream users, particularly students who need a capable desktop computer? Only time will tell.