What a time to be alive! Inexpensive CPUs from AMD, which were already great value productivity chips, are now (thanks to the Zen+ announcement at CES 2018) even cheaper! Let’s get into it!
Ryzen back to the top?
Oh man, just when you thought I was done with all the Ryzen puns…
In all seriousness, this is a very smart and sensible move by AMD. Ryzen had been struggling at the normal RRP ever since the release of the 8th-generation Intel CPUs; this was showcased when discounts happened during Black Friday. So, in anticipation of the new Zen+ (the second-generation Zen architecture) as well as Threadripper 2nd gen, AMD has reduced its last-gen prices.
So of course, I had to see what this did to the cost of all my various build guides I’ve released over the course of 2017! 12 builds in all, including Threadripper—because yes, there are reductions all over! Threadripper as a range isn’t completely reduced. I suspect this is down to T2 (come with me if you want to render) not releasing until much later into the year. However, let’s break things down with the Ryzen CPUs first!
So, because of the impending release of the Ryzen APUs (keep an eye out for the article on that!), Ryzen 3 hasn’t been touched. The new R3 2200G is the new entry model at $99, with R3 1200 staying at $109 and R3 1300X remaining at $129. They are essentially giving entry-level builders the option between going for different-speed 4-core/4-thread CPUs or getting the same with a Vega GPU also built in. So, the variety is good here for the entry level. And it goes a long way above the performance of Intel HD graphics, making the new APUs an ideal choice for gaming on a budget.
These are essentially unchanged. As can happen, some parts (like the GPU in these builds) are no longer available, but you can get things like the Asus version here which can be purchased for $10 less right now at $170.
The biggest loss here in 2018 is the RAM. Prices have continued to be all over the place, so much so that back when we released these builds we had a 3000MHz kit for $90. The best we can get now is a single stick of 2666MHz for the same price. Sad times.
Total Build Price: All told, these are still really nice builds for only around $650 and nothing is currently out there to compete against them for the same price from Intel. However, for the difference in price, I’d jump up to Ryzen 5 on these builds specifically.
Now, this is where the shifts start to happen. Again though, this is a smart move by AMD as this space was starting to get very busy with Intel 7th- and 8th-generation CPUs. There is a new R5 2400G as the APU model in this range now, which is the 4-core/8-thread CPU with Vega GPU on die for $169, coming soon. As such, the rest of the R5 range have been shifted down.
Ryzen 5 1400
- Ryzen 5 1400 – (was $170, now $155): What was a $170 chip at launch now being at $155 just makes the Intel models look even further off, price-wise. Keep in mind, at full retail this is a CPU we have kept on our main build chart simply as it was already good value. So that little discount goes a long way, especially when you look at the whole range: this means there’s only a $25 price difference between the 4-core/4-thread R3 and this option where you’ll get MultiThreading.
For the good ol’ RX 470 in my older version of the build, I’d probably substitute in a GTX 1050 Ti as they’re the same price.
As with the above, the savings we make on the CPU are now gobbled up in the RAM costs. Best we can do here is a straight swap to a Crucial 8GB single stick 2133MHz for $85, or the previously mentioned 2666MHz stick for $90.
Total Build Price: ~$680
Like back at launch, the Ryzen 5 1400 comes in at essentially the same price as the Ryzen 3 builds. So you really can pick your poison here and frankly the i3-8100 struggles to match these thanks to the lack of hyper-threading. The i5-8400 is a viable match with 6-cores, but it is also more expensive, retailing around $200.
Ryzen 5 1500X
- Ryzen 5 1500X – (was $190, now $175): again, the savings on the motherboard and CPU here are completely wiped out by the RAM. At the time, I gave the build 16GB of 3000MHz for $115. What a time that was! That exact same kit is $210 today. I think people have it wrong: we should be investing in RAM, not bitcoin. Anyway, the closest I can get to this is a 2400MHz kit for $175. Alternatively, consider dropping back down to 8GB for now if you know you don’t need a lot of RAM for what you’re doing.
As with the above, consider switching to the GTX 1050 Ti for the graphics card.
Total Build Price: ~$990
So yes, as you might imagine: consider changing out the RAM and graphics card with either some of the examples I’ve shown above or using our primary build recommendation chart.
Ryzen 5 1600
- Ryzen 5 1600 – (was $220, now $189): We’re slowly building up to the larger discounts here, as AMD reworks the range to beat out Intel’s 8th-gen releases. Outside of the existing issues here with RAM prices, I’d use the savings and switch out the original GPU for a GTX 1060 3GB for $230.
Total Build Price: ~$925
The RAM cost increase really hurts, but it does hurt Intel equally. Their new i5 CPUs are still more expensive to build with, making this the more affordable option.
Ryzen 5 1600X
- Ryzen 5 1600X – (was 250, now $220): The XFR-enabled chip gets the same discount here. The biggest problem I have with this build now is the GTX 1070. Remember the good times when they were below $400? Your options here are to either drop down to a GTX 1060 6GB for $280 or up to the equally pricey GTX 1070 Ti… yet choosing between the normal 1070 and the Ti when both have been inflated thanks to miners is an awful decision to make right now.
Total Build Price: ~$1500
Probably the worst hit of the bunch, really. At this sort of price though, there’s a lot of back and forth between this CPU and the i5-8600K, so pick according to your purpose. The Intel would still be the superior choice for gaming, for example.
Woe is me for not waiting on these discounts. Who am I kidding, I needed to build my editing rig for the start of university anyway. Yet it is here where AMD starts to get very aggressive. The reason I went with AMD for my editing build still applies right now: if you need a CPU with a high core/thread count, Intel cannot compete on price. They are still very competitive for gaming, where you’re not really going to need more than a highly clocked 6-core/12-thread CPU to be fair. But believe me when I say I notice when all my 8-cores/16-threads go to work on rendering a project!
Ryzen 7 1700
- Ryzen 7 1700 – (was $330, now $300): I’m not going to lie: I wanted to see a bigger discount from AMD here. If they had managed to get this somewhere closer to $250 vs $300, Intel would have had a lot of trouble with these price drops. Plus, it would have gone a good way into covering the awful RAM price increase, as well as the GPU issue.
Total Build Price: ~ $1500
Honestly, this could end up at a wide variety of prices depending on what GPU you decide to snag. This has been the biggest issue with the Ryzen 7 range. It’s not so much the CPU; it’s getting a good GPU to match it without blowing all your budget. At this price, it’s also a toss-up for why you want to build a PC, as for gaming you can get an Intel build for a similar price.
Ryzen 7 1700X
- Ryzen 7 1700X – (was $400, now $310): now we’re talking serious discounts! The $90 off the original RRP goes a long way for covering the RAM and GPU cost increase, making this one of the more closely priced builds from the original.
Total Build Price: ~ $1800
Again, I could probably argue as to why we don’t re-add the 1700X back onto the main parts page, especially as that exceptional tier is looking awfully out of place now… yet I feel my growing reputation as LI’s resident AMD fan would become too much! We’ll see what happens with Zen+ though. Just wait.
Ryzen 7 1800X
- Ryzen 7 1800X – (was $500, now $350): yes, you did read that correctly. $350 for the flagship Ryzen CPU, which is perfect for gobbling up those RAM and GPU price hikes! Which is sad when you think about it… Anyway, the original RAM ($278) is now $477 so we’re not really going to want to commit to that $200 increase. The best available alternative is a Patriot 2400MHz kit for $320.
Total Build Price: ~ $2200
TO THE FRONT PAGE!!! Honestly though, thanks to the large discount from AMD, this is the closest to what it was back at launch, and is genuinely a competitive price right now.
The big benefit of all these Ryzen reductions is the price drop on the Threadripper 1900X. This only really adds to the general theory that this is just an unlocked version of the R7 1800X, but still I can’t complain. I was a little baffled as to the use of this CPU at its launch, and it has never been on our parts page (whereas the larger Threadrippers have always been there). However, if you look at the current Enthusiast tier on the parts page, you will notice a certain i7-7820X which is a $600 CPU. So how much is the AMD competition with this reduction? $449. So that’s $150 for the same number of cores/threads but with a huge 64 PCIe lanes, making this a bit of a no-brainer if you’re building a workstation.
The bigger brothers here do still remain at the same price, but to be honest there’s nothing really that competes with them without switching into silly money on the i9 chips or going all the way over into Xeon ranges which is a whole different can of worms.
Ryzen Threadripper 1900X – (was $549, now $449): At the time, I really built this to be a bit of a beast. Due to price increases, I personally would switch out the two GTX 1080 cards in SLI (for what is now a cost of $1100) for a Titan Xp at $1200, as after all there’s no way you’re getting the 1080 cards for less. As with the above, you can go for the Patriot 2400MHz kit for $320. The good news here is Threadripper motherboards are much cheaper! $70 cheaper to be exact, for the one I originally used in the build. The HAF X is struggling for stock too (it’s a little old now too), yet the Silverstone RV02 is on offer for $160 right now.
Total Build Cost: ~$3000
Realistically, you could technically save yourself even more here by dropping down onto a cheaper motherboard. Either way, thanks to the price decreases, this is one of the only builds which technically comes in cheaper than the original build. So yay for savings!
Some of these price drops bring the Ryzen CPUs back to being seriously competitive with Intel. Will they be enough to bring them back onto the main parts page though? Only time (and analysis from the rest of our team) will tell. I am only one seat at the table, after all…
As mentioned at the start of the article, there are extras that you might need to finish off these builds:
- A copy of Windows. If you are a student or work for a big business, you might be able to get a copy for free or at a significantly lower cost. If not, we recommend Windows 10 on DVD ($90) or USB ($120).
- An optical drive—critical if you are wanting to install Windows 10 via DVD. Good thing here is DVD-RW drives are cheap these days (here’s one for $21).
We also have general recommendations for:
If you want to see other builds with even higher performance, check out the main page at Logical Increments.
There you have it, one huge guide to all the price drops across the whole Ryzen lineup!
If you have any questions or suggestions about the builds or price drops, then let us know in the comments.