We all know AMD makes damned-fine budget parts, but can Intel compete? This month, we build a $650 Core i5 Haswell rig to find out how it stacks up
It seems like whenever we build a high-end system it’s powered by an Intel CPU, and budget systems always run AMD parts. This month, we’re flipping the script and building a budget-oriented Intel system to see how it compares to AMD’s offerings, and to give people a glimpse of what a $650 Intel rig can throw down. For comparison’s sake, we recently built budget rigs using AMD’s new Richland APU (October 2013) as well as one with a $120 Vishera FX-6300 CPU (“Battle of the Budget Builds,” June 2013), and found that both chips serve their niche quite well. For this Intel build, we knew we’d go withHaswell, and wanted to run a Core i3 CPU, which typically comes with two cores and Hyper-Threading (HT), but those haven’t been released yet. Note: This article was originally featured in our December 2013 issue of the magazine. So, the next-best CPU we could get was the Core i5-4430— a quad-core CPU without HT for $180. That's a third of our budget on the CPU, which forced us to be frugal elsewhere. We also took this opportunity to try out a new microATX case from Cooler Master that retails for $50, which we felt was perfect for a budget build.
Note: This article was originally featured in the December 2013 issue of the magazine.
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