Good news: if you were looking at building a budget gaming rig, AMD just came out of the great with some real great options. The Ryzen 3 3100 and 3300X just launched in Australia, along with a string of entry-level B550 motherboards.
There's no official launch date on the CPUs yet, although two Australian retailers had had their listings live at the time of writing. Kotaku Australia also understands more listings should begin appearing locally from next week.
The Ryzen 3 3100 will sell in Australia for $169 inc. GST, while the Ryzen 3 3300X will retail for $205 inc. GST. Here's the basic specs for both chips, although it's the 3300X that you'll really want to pay attention to.
|Ryzen 3 3100||4/8||65W||3.6GHz/3.9GHz|
|Ryzen 3 3300X||4/8||65W||3.8GHz/4.3GHz|
What's staggering about these chips is that the 3300X is basically as good in gaming as AMD's higher end Ryzen processors, such as the Ryzen 5 3600, 3700X or 3900X. Outlets that got access to the 3300X found that it even stacks up favourably against Intel's i7-7700K, one of the previous all-round gaming CPU kings a few generations ago.
In some games, like Red Dead Redemption 2, the 3300X returned almost a identical average FPS result as the 3600, 3700X, 3900X and 3950X, although the 0.1 percent and 1 percent low frame rate results differed between the CPUs. Intel's higher-clocked CPUs still had a significant advantage in games that prefer higher frequencies, but it's worth remembering that even Intel's 8-core 9700K costs anywhere between $599 to $699, while most Aussie retailers are selling the 9900K for $899. Intel does have a rival offering with the upcoming 10th gen i3 and i5 chips, but official pricing in Australia hasn't been announced yet.
The best rival Intel has right now is the 4 core/4 thread Intel i3-9100, but at $215 with half the threads, you'd be insane to consider that as an option over the 3300X right now. Buying into the B550 motherboard platform means you also have the option to upgrading to the 4000 series Ryzen desktop processors down the road.
Of course, this conversation could change in a week or two when benchmarks start leaking for the new Core i3 and i5 CPUs. But right now? AMD's offering a gaming CPU for $200 that plugs into decent entry-level motherboards that cost between $100 and $200.
After dropping another $180 on a decent 3600MHz 16GB stick of RAM, another $250 for 1TB of storage, $70 to $100 for a PC case that doesn't suck and reusing your old graphics card, and about $320 on a GTX 1650 Super ... you've basically built a great little gaming/productivity PC with enough storage, memory, performance while also having plenty of capacity to expand in the future. That's a really good deal, especially for those looking to build a second PC or just getting a cheap tower for kids/family members/partners.
Your move, Intel.