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I was worried Mass Effect: Andromeda would not run particularly well on my five-year-old AMD FX-8120 processor, but the reality was that it was playable, just a bit choppy.  But why deal with chop when I can browse the Passmark CPU Single-threaded Performance Chart and see that I can more than double my performance by getting an Intel i7-7700K for just $350? 
https://www-ssl.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/processors/core/i7-processors/i7-7700k.html
...Plus a good quality overclock-capable motherboard.  And we're going to need some of that newfangled DDR4.  Oh, and lets not regret our choice of heat sink!  Overall, it ran closer to $900... but that's what credit is for!

Amidst being assaulted by impromptu child care responsibilities, I had a chance to give my new processor a spin and, frankly, I'm embarrassed.  If any game exists that requires more processor power, I feel I can blame the game and not the system.  The ones I own play remarkably well.  For that matter, Windows 10, Firefox, and Unity are actually running fast enough to keep up with me.  It's... weird.  I am too used to the idea that my computer will take time to do things.

I had the option of getting a Ryzen, but turned it down because I decided that, for all the promise there is in multiple core operations, the greatest bottleneck of performance is a single thread in most applications.   Programmers the world over have been given ample time to adjust their coding methods to multicore but, with the exception of certain kinds of productivity software, it has generally proven too difficult a balancing act.

In terms of the choice of CPU, I believe shooting for a single-thread superstar is the wiser outlook.  Unless Moore's Law makes a surprise comeback, I think I can say I'm comfortably well off in terms of CPU capabilities for a very long time.  However, in terms of motherboard, RAM, and heat sink, my frugality failed.  I probably could have got away with options that cost a fraction as much, but perhaps this will pay off with additional component longevity?  For the price, it had better.

But maybe this was never going to be a frugal choice.  I can't think of anything I want to do with these new computer innards that I wasn't able to do $900 ago.  Everything is very fast and snappy now, but so what?  This is, at best, a form of futureproofing... at least until the next bit of hot hardware comes out.

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