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I have multiple systems to build - need ideas on budget builds.

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I am reading and researching, spending time looking for deals. I'm not in any major hurry to buy, I have until Christmas - just hard not to pull the trigger.

I got a fully and finally approved budget of $3k for all three machines.

Looking at matched machines for my folks, so there is no jealousy, lol. Yeah, for real.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600
Gigabyte B550M DS3H AC
G.Skill (2x8GM) Ripjaws V DDR4 3200 CL 16
Asus 1650 Ti 4GB Phoenix
Fractal Designs Focus G Mini MicroATX case
Seasonic S12III 550W
WD Blue 500GB SSD M.2 2280 PCIE 3.0
Seagate Barracuda 2T 7200rpm 256MB cache SATA6 HDD
Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo
Total is ~717 per PC

I would suggest looking more into an R5 3600 and not waste time with the 2600. I would also spent the few bits more and get a 1660ti of possible.

Any thoughts on these two setups?[/QUOTE
Yeah. I'd absolutely recommend going with the R5 3600 (or newer) and with a 1660 Super or 1660 Ti. That said, I myself own a 1650 Super 4 GB, and for someone who doesn't game a lot (me) it was an incredible value. I was absolutely blown away seeing how Far Cry 5 looked on a ~ $200ish card.

That said, the 1660 seems to be a nice little boost over the 1650. But, it all comes down to the price \ performance... so, get what makes sense for the prices available.
I understand the above points, here's how it breaks down:

R5 2600 - $149 (6-core 3.4/3.9GHz) 16MB L3, 12nm, DDR4 2933, 65W
R5 3500x - $179 (6-core 3.6/4.1GHz) 32MB L3, 7nm, DDR4 3200, 65W (no dual threading?!)
R5 3600 - $263 (6-core 3.6/4.2GHz) 32MB L3, 7nm, DDR4 3200, 65W
R5 3600x - $249 (6-core 3.8/4.4GHz) 32MB L3, 7nm, DDR4 3200, 95W
R5 3600XT- $249 (6-core 3.8/4.5GHz) 32MB L3, 7nm, DDR4 3200, 95W

I could see stepping up to the 3500x for $60 (these are doubled, as I need to build 2 machines like this), but adding $200 for the 3600x/xt probably not. No dual threading... I just noticed that. For non-intensive applications in simple home use with light to moderate gaming, is dual threading really a big deal? From what I have researched, HT/SMT is kind of a wash except in benchmarking.

Giga 1650 Super 4GB $169 (OOS)
ASUS 1650 Super 4GB $169 (OOS)
In stock start at $220+

ASUS 1660 6GB $199 (OOS)
Giga 1660 OC 6GB $229 (OOS)
In stock start at $254+

Giga 1660 Super 6GB $229 (OOS)
ASUS 1660 Super 6GB $249 (OOS)
In stock cards start at $319+

ASUS 1660 Ti 6GB $269 - single 1-star review, refurb, single cooling fan
Giga 1660 Ti 6GB $279 - ITX model, single cooling fan

Ok, I've spent 2 hours on this post. Time to get some coffee and breakfast. I need a break. lol
I just remembered, I think my step-dad's computer is using a Radeon HD7950. So that gives you an idea where he's coming from. lol
I just remembered, I think my step-dad's computer is using a Radeon HD7950. So that gives you an idea where he's coming from. lol

I'm still using an old Sapphire HD 7950 in my general purpose rig. No gaming on it though but it still works.
I'm still using an old Sapphire HD 7950 in my general purpose rig. No gaming on it though but it still works.

Sure, for general purpose browsing/video/household stuff I am sure it is fine. He tries to game on it, though. He tells me he is impressed how it can still perform, but I think he just don't know what he is missing, honestly.

Same for my, my old GTX580 is still going strong, but I don't do much with it but drive a 50" display.
Take into account that not only being faster (1660 vs 1650) by a fair margin (seems around 22%), but the 1660 also has 6gb of ram. That alone may allow the use of the card for newer games as they come out. It seems that your parents dont mind keeping a gpu for several generations. My guess would be that the speed difference and the extra ram should allow for an "extra" generation of use for a small amount if money.
On the CPU side, I would want something with at least 3rd gen Ryzen if gong AMD as they are faster and more efficient
The 3500 is an OEM only chip. Looks like people are selling them direct to consumers though... I can't offer advice on that one. :shrug:

I'd say go with the 3600, with or without the "X" or "XT" suffix. They're the same chip but simply have been binned higher and set to run slightly faster at stock. If you can grab one for a minimal price difference, it can't hurt.. but personally I wouldn't spend too much more. Maybe go with the 2700 (again, with or without the X, etc) if you can find it at a substantial savings.

Are you in the USA? Here is a 3600 selling for $204. I know nothing about this site, but just showing an example of a more fair price.

In July I bought my R5 3600. I paid $174.99. I sure as heck wouldn't pay $250 for it now almost 6 months later. That said, $175 was a bargain for this performance, seriously. $200 is fair... but sucks that the world-wide situation is messing up prices for everybody.
This is all the kind of good inside information I need. Especially about the CPUs. That is my major decision to make now, which CPU/GPU pair for best budget performance.
System76 Meerkat mini pc running Pop OS 64bit encrypted (ubuntu optional) $950
i5-10231OU 4.2ghz 4c/8t, the 4.7 is $245 more and the 4.1 is $159 less the 950
16gb dual channel ddr4, intel uhd graphics
500gb nvme os drive 3500/3200
1tb ssd storage
2× USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 / Thunderbolt™ 3 (Type C),
HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort (1.3) over USB 3.1 Type C, 1 x SDXC card slot
Gigabit Ethernet, Intel® Wireless-AC, Bluetooth
7.1 channel (via HDMI, USB Type-C on rear), 3.5mm headphone/mic jack

1yr parts/labor
no intel me and open source bios and firmware
System76 provides it's own 'mobo' updates and Pop OS has it's own optimized portal for soft, People REALLY like the OS btw.
19V PS, I doubt there's even a fan
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That's an interesting box. I don't think it's really what we're looking for, though. Thanks!
Ok, I pulled the trigger.

Just ordered:

From the Egg
(2) R5 3600 @ $219 ea

From EVGA direct:
(2) 600W "white" series PSU @ $35 ea
(2) GTX 1660 SC ULTRA GAMING 6GB @ $239 ea

This is going to carry me just slightly over my budget for these two when I add everything else in, but it should be good, as I've saved a good bit on my son's machine buying used. And my folks will be set for many years, assuming they don't do something stupid to these machines. lol
Argh, they canceled my CPU order - well, one of them. Only one per account/household/etc. So I had to go make another account with my business address and email and use a different card, so now I have 2 on the way again.

I've got all the other stuff picked out to order, just kind of holding off to see if anything pops up today or tomorrow on sales that catches my eye.

Also keeping an eye out for a smoking monitor deal for my son. Currently thinking of getting him a pair of 24" 144Hz, but I don't know.

Here's what I've got picked out for the rest of the system(s):

DEEPCOOL MATREXX 30 Micro ATX Case $35 ea
GIGABYTE B550M DS3H AC $110 ea
G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) $63 ea
Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 Internal SSD High Performance Solid State Drive $110 ea
LG Internal 24x Super Multi with M-DISC Support SATA $18 ea

With R5 3600, 600W PSU and EVGA 1660 SC Ultra -

Total per system comes out to $829 per system, not including shipping and taxes.

Not bad, I suppose, more than I planned, but should be one helluva lot nicer system than I'd originally thought, too. (edit - now that I think about it, it is head and shoulders above MY main rig)

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Looks fine. My only input:

Could try and find some lower latency RAM

*may not matter for a family member* but figured I'd add this, you could find a MB with 2.5 GB lan vs GB lan for not too much more money. If you use wifi, the don't worry at all. And of course, 10 gig lan is only a PCIE card away.
Yeah if it were for me, I probably would look for slightly better RAM timings. Not gonna matter to them in the least, though. Same with the LAN, I may look around, but I'm 90% sure they're gonna use the WiFi.
Looks solid. Moved out of low-end budget system to mid-tier performance machine. Keep watching for deals especially Monday. Should help them last much longer. If you had more time to wait the lower end 3000 series should be coming early next year and will likely be massive improvements over 16xx series.