If you’re looking to build yourself a budget PC then there are many choices in the CPU department and this can cause a lot of confusion as the CPU is arguably the most important component in a PC. Both Intel and AMD offer many options in the range of Rs 5k to 11k. The most popular ones are AMD Ryzen R3 2200G and Intel i3 8100 and Pentium Gold G5400 some other lesser-known CPUs are worth considering are i3 9100F and Ryzen R3 1200 and R5 1400 and R5 1600 but we will talk about these separately, later on, to not overcomplicate things. They are all good CPUs but one might be the best option for your requirements as each shines in different departments. Let us compare them in these different departments –
The Pentium Gold G5400 is the cheapest option out of these as it costs around Rs 5200 and is a good option for a cheap and basic build for general usage but it is least powerful of the bunch as it is a dual-core CPU which is very low end in today’s age where a quad-core is considered to be bare minimum for a CPU. (If you’re not familiar with what the number of cores in a CPU signifies then, in short, it represents the ability of the CPU to be faster and be better at multitasking as one core can do one task at a time, so more cores mean a better CPU.)
The R3 2200G is the best value for money quad-core CPU as it is priced at Rs 7100 has a good range features which we learn as we go further.
The i3 8100 is the winner here as it has highest scores in CPU benchmarks compared to the other two, it is around 10% faster than the 2200G andaround 55% faster than the Pentium Gold G5400 in tasks like heavy multitasking and general quickness of the system.
In Gaming, the results are similar, with the i3 8100 coming out on top with more than 10% higher FPS than the Ryzen 3 2200G and about 20 to 40% higher FPS than the G5400.
But we haven’t considered Overclocking yet. Out of the three, the R3 2200G is the sole CPU that can be overclocked which means manually increasing the operating frequency of the CPU so that it can work faster. This requires a B350/B450 or better motherboard as they support overclocking and lower models like A320 don’t (that’s why they are cheaper). When overclocked most R3 2200G CPUs can reach 3.9 GHz while some can even reach 4.0 GHz. This increases the performance so much that it is slower than the i3 8100 only by less than 2.5% and also the gaming performance receives a big boost as the R3 2200G becomes equivalent to the i3 8100 in the majority of games within the margin of error.
The Ryzen 3 2200G is the winner here by a mile, it has the Vega 8 iGPU while the i3 8100 and Pentium Gold G5400 have the UHD 630 and the UHD 610 iGPUs respectively. The Vega 8 iGPU is about 2 times faster than the UHD 630 and 2.5 to 2.75 times faster than the UHD 610. Also, the Vega 8 iGPU can be overclocked.
Due to its great integrated GPU, the R3 2200G is the best choice if you want to do light gaming on a budget and if you wish to upgrade your PC with a GPU later on as it can play a vast array of high-end games (like GTA 5, Fortnite, Apex Legends, PUBG Lite etc. unfortunately not PUBG) at low settings and can play almost all the eSports titles (like CS:GO, DOTA 2,Rocket League etc.) with ease so you will definitely not feel left out from the world of gaming even on a budget or while you save up for a dedicated GPU.
RAM requirement and support
The Intel CPUs i3 8100 and Pentium G5400 both support only 2400 MHz DDR4 memory and while the Ryzen 3 2200G can support from 2400 MHz up to 2933 MHz DDR4 memory.
If you plan on using the Vega 8 iGPU effectively (as the iGPU uses system RAM as its VRAM which needs to be very fast) and to improve the overall speed of your system then you should pick a high-frequency memory. Although higher frequency RAM is pricier there is not much difference between the price of 2400 MHz and 2933 MHz DDR4 RAM (around Rs 500).
Power Consumption and Temperature
The Pentium Gold G5400 consumes the least power and is a very efficient CPU, the i3 8100 comes 2nd and is also efficient for a quad-core CPU while the R3 2200G consumes the most power even though its CPU performance is lower than i3 8100. When the R3 2200G is overclocked it consumes even more power and becomes very power inefficient. So if Power Consumption is a bid deal for you then Intel is the way to go.
On the contrary, the average temperature of the Intel CPUs is higher compared to the 2200G but overclocking either the CPU or the GPU on the 2200G causes the temperature to increase significantly and go past the Intel CPUs.
On the Intel side, the H310 motherboard is a bargain(it costs around Rs 4000) but a good option as it pairs nicely with both the CPUs. For memory, 2400 MHz of at least 8 GB DDR4 is recommended which costs around Rs 3100.
For the 2200G, the most basic motherboard is A320 which does not support overclocking, it costs around Rs 3800. The other option is B350/B450, these support overclocking of CPU, GPU and the RAM. They cost around Rs 6500 to Rs 7000. For memory, if you plan on using the full potential of the Integrated GPU then higher frequency DDR4 RAM is recommended (around 3000 MHz or at least 2666 MHzwhich costs Rs 3600 or more)
Other Alternatives (without iGPU)
These are some alternatives that can be a great option if you plan on getting a discrete GPU as these CPUs don’t have an integrated GPU. They can be used to put together a great build.
i3 9100F- It is very similar to i3 8100 as it is also a quad-core processor and is one of the successors from the next generation. It is around 12% more powerful than the i3 8100 and also has Turbo Frequency of 4.2 GHz. Also, it costs less at around Rs 7500 which makes it a great option for a budget gaming build.
Ryzen 3 1200- It is an older generation CPU and is a good alternative to the Pentium G5400 as it costs almost the same at around Rs 5200 but it is a quad-core CPU so it is around 30% more powerful than the Pentium!. Paired with a cheap low-end GPU, it can make a good economical entry-level gaming build. Ryzen 5 1400 is similar but has SMT(Simultaneous Multi-Threading) so its a good option as well.
Ryzen 5 1600- It is also an older generation Ryzen CPU and is a Hexa-core CPU that costs about Rs 11500 but is about 50% faster than i3 8100!. It is the most powerful out of all the CPUs mentioned today and can even be overclocked for even more performance. This CPU can be used for gaming, productivity and even for some video streaming to Twitch, Youtube etc.
- If you are looking for a good CPU that also has an adequate iGPU for some light gaming then Ryzen 3 2200G is a good choice.
The new Ryzen 3000 series offers a slightly more powerful successor to 2200G ie. Ryzen 3 3200G which should be just as good an option as it is on par with the i3 8100 and offers a little better iGPU performance. This also means price reductions for the 2200G which makes it even more budget-friendly and it remains a solid option.
- If you want to build to a basic and cheap PC then consider Pentium G5400.
- If you want to build a PC with a good CPU and you plan to buy a discrete GPU then i3 9100F and R5 1600 are great options.