New PC hardware releases (and falling prices on older hardware) have caused a lot of small updates to our PC parts recommendations. This update focuses on improving our recommendations in the mid-range tiers. There are a lot of small updates, so let us take them category by category.
- GTX 950 replaces the GTX 750 Ti as the second recommendation in the Fair tier. As new GPUs stabilize and older GPUs decrease in price, the older cards will slowly be phased out.
- The Minimum tier now recommends two Intel Celeron options, the G1820 or G1840.
- The Entry tier now recommends two Intel Pentium options, the G3250 or G3258.
- The Skylake Pentium G4400 is now our CPU recommendation for the Modest tier.
- The AMD X845 has been added to the Fair tier. This newer CPU is slightly cheaper than the X4 860K, but offers very similar performance.
- AMD FX-6300 moved up to the Good tier, replacing the X4 860K.
- Intel i3-6100 moved up to Great tier, replacing the FX-6300.
- Intel i3-6300 added as an alternative to the i3-6100 in Great and Superb tiers. The i3-6300 is only 100 MHz faster, but it’s still a good alternative.
- We’ve added Socket 1151 motherboards to the Modest tier to be compatible with the G4400.
- We’ve added cheaper motherboards to the Good tier. Better options have become available since we last updated this tier.
- The Great and Superb tiers have also been updated with newer, cheaper motherboards.
- Our Superb tier 120GB recommendation has been replaced with a 250GB choice. Prices of 250GB SSDs are now so low that 120GB options aren’t very logical once you reach this tier.
- “Fast” 250GB SSDs have been replaced by 480GB models in several tiers. With SSD prices continuing to fall, we value larger storage sizes over SSD speed. Relatively speaking, all SSDs are very fast.
- To reflect the addition of the G4400 in the Modest tier, that tier now features 4GB DDR4 RAM.
- We’ve now upgraded DDR4 RAM to a minimum of DD4-2400 in all tiers except Modest. Previously, many of our RAM recommendations were DDR4-2133.
- Our RAM recommendation for Enthusiast, Extremist, and Monstrous is now DDR4-3000. Recent reports have demonstrated that RAM speed has a greater performance impact with DDR4 than it had with DDR3.
And there you have it! If you have any questions about our updates or our process for updating the parts list, please let us know in the comments.