The quad-core Core i5-7500 is another easy recommendation, since it replaces the Core i5-6500 at a similar price point.
It's quite the opposite. And why choose that $199.99 price point to begin with when it's so close to the next one ($239.99)? In fact it's at less than half the distance compared to the CPU that precedes it ($115.9). Why not choose a lower price point? If the argument is that the $10 cheaper 1500X needs overclocking and needs a "beefier heatsink", why not actually back it up in the 1500X review
they did? Because they didn't. The 65w TDP 1500X comes with a 95W Wraith Spire cooler, but they didn't bother to test anything, let alone overclocking, with it. They went straight ahead and made some general considerations about it (see below) and moved on to test it with third party cooling solutions.
At stock clock rates or under conservative overclocks, it should be ample. Expect more aggressive tuning to require a higher-end third-party cooler, though.
They also add a second requisite in the CPU list in the OP:
but budgeting in a beefier heatsink and 3200 MT/s-capable memory blurs the value proposition
But in their review they couldn't get more than 2933 Mhz out of their sample, so how do they make a 'fake' recommendation based on performance they don't have for a more expensive memory kit that didn't work with their CPU instead of just going for the cheaper 2933 Mhz? Because that would void that part of the argument too?
In the end, why not choose the Ryzen 5 1400 that changes the value preposition by being even cheaper and arguably a much better buy than the preceding CPU on that list, a 2C/4T locked i3?
Also, if this is supposed to be a gaming CPU list, is the i3-7100, with the same 2C/4T core configuration, the same 3 MB of L3 cache (only the 7300 and up have 4 MB) and locked multiplier really worth $38.8 extra for 400 Mhz more speed over the Pentium G4560, when it's going to be bottlenecking any modern game that needs four real cores and potentially even 8 threads?
This list is, well, I have to say it, bullcrap. The i3-7100 is terrible value; in my opinion the whole i3 line-up is terrible value and so is the i5-7500, because they are accounting for the here and now instead of giving advice for the near future. A recommendation for a buy has to bear in mind the lifespan of the CPU and 4C/4T CPUs for $200 are on their way out and fast as more games start to take advantage of 8 threads. At least the i5-7600K can be overclocked to compensate and extend its lifespan, but recommending the slower and locked i5-7500 for $199.99 is as shaky as it gets.
I would remove the i3-7100 from the list, along with the i5-7500, and replace both in the middle, between the Pentium G4560 and the i5-7600K, with the Ryzen 5 1400.
Edit: Oh, and I'd put the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1600X alongside the i5-7600K. The 7600K earns its recommendation in part because it can overclock and that requires a more expensive platform, whereas even the overclock enabled AMD B350 boards have to be able to supply the CPU with at least 128w. Considering how strong the 1600 and 1600X are for the money, it's impossible to overlook them.Edited by tpi2007 - 5/6/17 at 6:56am