So, theoretically AMD is "getting serious about desktop gaming CPUs again"... which is hilarious to me, since they haven't BEEN serious about any kind of desktop or consumer performance for 10 years now.
But it got me thinking about the current state of desktop gaming, and what the current price performance optimums are...
And I was actually kind of surprised...
Because it looks right now, that the "sweet spot" is right where it was about 18 months ago... only it's cheaper...
Right now, the sweetspot in gaming GPU price/performance is still the GTX970... which has been out since the middle of 2014.
You can get a really good gtx970 for $300-350 right now... The lower performing Radeon r9 290x is still over $400, and as high as $500, and the even lower performaing r9-290 is just touching $350.
And GTX980s, are still $500.
On CPU's the price performance equation is certainly more complicated...
First question for CPU is actually not about CPU, it's about RAM... and then motherboards.
Do you want a DDR4 machine or not... 16gb ddr4 runs $85 to $100 right now for 2400mhz or 2700mhz, and more like $115 to $125 for 3000mhz. 16gb of good high performance DDR3 is more like $85 flat for 3000mhz.
More importantly though, the best ddr4 mobos are a bit more expensive, and the best performing DDR3 is actually faster in some ways than DDR4... and more overclocking stable, with more options of overclocking motherboards etc... though that won't be the case for long, and the very best mobos are now DDR4.
I'd probably go for DDR4 to futureproof... but really, the price performance right now isn't definitive. And if you want to overclock, DDR3 may still be a better choice.
For DDR4 gaming boards... basically you've got three price points... $170 $270, and $370.
So... you've got options for socket 1151, and socket 2011... the socket 2011 options obviously being the more expensive, and taking the more expensive CPUs.
Right now, I'd still go with an 1151... Though a lot of people are doing Xeon gaming right now, I still think your best option and best value is with an i7, and the skylake based Xeons are now on the 1151 anyway.
For DDR3, you can still go for LGA1150 boards, and basically pay whatever you want. $50 to $400, with really good boards in the $150 to $200 range.
And the best value for performance in an i7, is actually probably still an older i7 like a 4790 or 4790k from 2014... at $300-310ish and $330-340ish respectively.
If you want the new skylake, the i7-6700 will run about 50-60 more and a 6700k unlocked will run $420ish.
.. but guess what... clocked the same, on the same speed RAM... they benchmark out at about the same... with the 4790 actually slightly edging out the skylake in some things.
... and overclocked to their maximum, the 4790k will out perform the 6700k in a lot of benchmarks... though some of that is simply that the boards and ram are better worked out.
So, to my mind, the gaming sweetspot right now is:
cpu: i7 4790k $330
Board: any decent gaming 1150 board $150
RAM: any decent 3000mhz gaming ram $85
GPU: any decent gtx970 $300
That's $865 for the core components, that would be variable among gaming builds. The rest... case, psu, ssd... is all the same, and based on personal preference more than anything else.
Oh and before you ask, no, there is no AMD option worth bothering with at this point, unless you're trying to build a much cheaper system.
If you want to be more current and future proof
cpu: i7-6700k $420
Board: decent gaming 1151 board $170
RAM: decent 3000mhz gaming ram $125
GPU: any decent gtx970 $300
$1015... about $150 more than the DDR3 system.
Is it worth the difference... ehhhh.... Performance wise, probably not... But getting into a DDR4 platform with an 1151 socket... Especially if you're thinking about going higher end on the board, with an NVME-SSD... yeah, probably.