AMD Ryzen 3 1300X $130

Maximum PC - - BEST UPGRADES - www.

AS AN UP­GRADE, a bud­get chip is a tricky con­cept. We’ve been rec­om­mend­ing the In­tel Pen­tium G4600 for our bud­get build for the best part of a year, but when it comes to an up­grade, we can’t re­ally rec­om­mend a last-gen CPU that slots into a last-gen moth­er­board. So in­stead of ty­ing our­selves in knots try­ing to pre­dict which plat­form you’re up­grad­ing from, we’ve picked a chip that of­fers strong per­for­mance at a great price point. The Ryzen 3 1300X may not have the head­line-grab­bing thread count of the top-of-therange 1800X, but this is still an un­locked quad-core chip for not much cash.

Talk­ing of cost, you’ll need to buy an AM4 moth­er­board to use it, and pos­si­bly some DDR4 me­mory to go with it, if your cur­rent sys­tem is a lit­tle long in the tooth. So that $130 price tag isn’t the whole story, but this is still a good value propo­si­tion, with a de­cent up­grade path of its own, which is al­ways worth con­sid­er­ing at the bud­get end of the scale. The re­tail chip comes with the Wraith cooler as well, which does a fine job of keep­ing it cool while hit­ting the 3.7GHz turbo, so no im­me­di­ate need to grab a sep­a­rate all-in-one to get the most from this chip.

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