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I'm looking for a temporary & budget PC for software development (JS with VS Code).

I found attractive and comparable in terms of price used PC models with i7-4790 (HP 800 G1 SFF) and i5-6500 (HP 800 G2 DESKTOP). Both of them seem to meet my requirements.

i7-4790 has higher clock speed (3.6-4.0 GHz vs 3.2-3.6 GHz), more threads (8 vs 4), more cache (8MB vs 6MB) than i5-6500. The only parameter it seems to be worse in is supported RAM which is DDR3 vs DDR4 of i5-6500. But this seems od little importance for my use case. Also in various benchmarks i7-4790 seems to visibly surpass i5-6500, eg, but not only: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-4790-vs-Intel-Core-i5-6500/2293vs3513

The upgradebility seems to be not a factor, because the motherboard for 4790 will not support 4790k and the one for 6500 will only support i7-6700 which seems to be on par with 4790 in benchmarks while being more expensive. ​

I'm inclined to buy i7-4790. Is there any reason why all the above factors might be misleading and it would be better to choose i5-6500 after all?

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I would highly advice not using pre-built models from big brands.

Usually the upgradability is either limited by the UEFI/BIOS or by the Power Supply (non standard, with low wattage).

Go for AMD Ryzen CPU's based machines from custom assemblers (check reviews on Internet) which offer the best bang for buck currently. 3XXX compatible (2020 cpu's) motherboards are usually 5XXX (2021 CPUs) because they are shipped with the last BIOS version.

Edit: after comment : I'll recommend going for a 6XXX Intel platform for two reasons :

  • Support for faster RAM that may help with daily usage.
  • Lower power consumption and upgradability to i7 6700 CPU's (vs 4790 already maxed out CPU configuration). ps: K cpu's most likely wont work (or will be equivalent to their non-K counterparts due to lack of OC), in such low power business machines.
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  • I am aware of lack of upgradability. I wanted to get Ryzen, but even a cheap configuration turns out to be 2x the price. And I really want to go as budget as possible just achieve the minimum requirement, because there's a chance that in a few months I will not need it.
    – Eggon
    Aug 31 at 10:26
  • Well In that case i'll edit my answer adding the choice between the two CPU's platform you are suggesting.
    – Neil
    Aug 31 at 12:16
  • Thanks! So you think that faster RAM will outweight or equalize the performance despite slightly less powerful CPU? Indeed the "K" CPUs are not compatible with this rig.
    – Eggon
    Aug 31 at 13:38
  • Having 8 threads will help with multi tasking but slower RAM + overall power constraints may counter balance that because that hungry and rather old CPU will downclock if too much power is needed to run its current load.
    – Neil
    Aug 31 at 13:54
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Both are wrong choices. The AMD Ryzen 3 3300X is €40 cheaper and a bit faster than the i7 according to that site. You can pair it with any B550 motherboard and 16GB of ram. Add a cheap gpu and some overclocking and you have a good pc to go write some code.

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  • Prices on that site are from the release date I think not current ones. A complete rig with 3300x would cost me 1.5-2 x more than that i7-4790 one being only slightly better in performance.
    – Eggon
    Aug 31 at 9:50

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