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New Hardware

Intel Core i7-11700K $400

The i7-11700K is the second fastest CPU in Intel’s Rocket Lake-S lineup. It is scheduled for release on March 30th 2021 but some retailers have (accidentally?) released them early. Rocket Lake brings increased native memory speeds (DDR4-3200 up from DDR4-2933), higher IPC (early samples indicate a 19% IPC gain) and 50% stronger integrated graphics using Intel’s new Xe architecture. There are also several 500 series chipset improvements including: 20 PCIe4 CPU lanes and USB 3.2 Gen 2x2. Rocket Lake’s 19% IPC uplift translates into a 15% faster Effective Speed than both Comet Lake (Intel's 10th Gen) and AMD’s 5000 series. Despite Intel’s performance lead, AMD will probably continue to outsell Intel with focused social media marketing. AMD have progressively improved thier marketing since the initial launch of Ryzen back in 2017. Towards the end of 2021, Intel’s Alder Lake (Golden Cove) is due to offer an additional 20-30% performance uplift. At that time, with a 30-40% performance lead, Intel will likely regain considerable market share, even without making any meaningful changes to their passive (lame?) marketing strategy. [Feb '21 CPUPro]

Nvidia RTX 3060-Ti $400

The RTX 3060 Ti is Nvidia’s latest 3000 series GPU. Assuming it (ever…) comes into stock at $400 USD, it will take the crown as the best value for money graphics card. Nvidia’s new Ampere architecture, which supersedes Turing, offers both improved power efficiency and performance. The 3060 Ti features 4,864 CUDA cores, 152 Tensor cores, it has a boost clock of 1.665 GHz, 8 GB of memory and a power draw of just 200 W. Nvidia’s entire 3000 series lineup offers once in a decade price/performance improvements. The 3060 Ti beats the previous generation’s 2060 Super by 35% in terms of effective speed at the same MSRP. Given the widespread issues AMD users are facing with 5000 series GPUs (blue/black screens etc.), AMD’s 6000 series GPU’s will have to see substantial price cuts and a huge marketing effort in order to gain any traction. Meanwhile, Christmas has come early for PC gamers who can look forward to an unparalleled gaming experience in class leading titles such as Cyberpunk 2077. At ultra settings, with ray tracing enabled, Cyberpunk 2077 redefines the boundaries of immersive gaming. It makes GTA5 look like Tetris in comparison. The combination of RTX+DLSS delivers stunning graphics that are several tiers higher than both AMD's best discrete GPUs and the upcoming consoles. In terms of real world performance, Nvidia’s 3000 series has more or less put AMD’s Radeon group in checkmate. Nonetheless, AMD’s marketers are capable of delivering elaborate BS albeit whilst struggling to keep a straight face. Their marketing infrastructure outsold Intel in the CPU market despite a 15% performance deficit. Without an appropriate social media strategy, Nvidia may still lose considerable market share, for all the wrong reasons. [Dec '20 GPUPro]

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X $370

The Ryzen 5 5600X is both the entry-level and best value for money 5000 series CPU. The 5600X is a hex-core 12 thread processor with a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz boosting to 4.6 GHz. It has 35 MB of cache and a TDP rating of 65W. A cooler is included in the MSRP of $300 USD, but cheap after-market coolers (such as the $20 GAMMAXX 400) are far more effective and therefore worth the upgrade. Notably, AMD’s new Zen 3 architecture has vastly improved single-core performance and lower memory latency, which leads to a significant effective speed advantage over its predecessor, the 3600X. Last year, AMD’s marketers secured significant sales of the 3000 series CPUs despite a 15% performance deficit against lower priced Intel parts. The games, specific scenes, software/hardware settings and choice of competing hardware were often cherry picked, undisclosed, and inconsistent from one product to the next. Now that AMD have actually achieved both top tier performance and market share, their marketing machinery is focused on price hikes. Users that do not wish to pay a marketing premium should investigate Intel’s $190 USD i5-9600K, which, when paired with a 2060 Super, delivers higher EFps in four out of five of today’s most popular games. Allocating the savings to a higher tier GPU will result in an unquestionably superior gaming PC. [Nov '20 CPUPro]
1290 Processors Compared

Intel Core i5-9600K $200

The hex-core i5-9600K is third in Intel’s line-up of 9th generation Coffee Lake CPUs. It has a TDP of 95W and requires an aftermarket cooler (such as the $20 GAMMAXX 400). The 9600K was designed to be overclocked. Once this is enabled in the BIOS (requires a Z-series motherboard), the 9600K runs 10% faster. In terms of performance, the i5-9600K is almost unbeatable for desktop users and it has sufficient multi-core performance to handle all but the most demanding workstation tasks. For CPU encoding (Cinebench, Blender, Handbrake etc.) the Ryzen 3000 series offers great 64-core performance. For example the overclocked Ryzen 3600 is approximately 13% worse for gaming, desktop and normal consumer workloads but it is 27% faster for 64-core processing. CPU encoding is akin to using hair clippers on a lawn, encoding tasks are far better performed by dedicated hardware such an NVENC or QuickSync. At stock clocks the i5-9600K is around 8% slower than Intel’s flagship i9-9900K but when both are overclocked, the 9600K closes the gaming gap to within two or three percent. Considering that the 9900K is the fastest gaming processor available, and almost twice the price of the 9600K, this is no small feat. The i5-9600K is aimed squarely at gamers who are not willing to compromise on performance but don't want to pay more than they need to. [Oct '18 CPUPro]

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 $200

AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 is a 6-core, 12-threaded processor which succeeds the Ryzen 5 2600 improving upon it by 13% in terms of overclocked performance. The 3600 is in competition with Intel’s 6-core i5-9600K. AMD continues to push the multi-core performance envelope: benchmarks show that the 3600 has a 27% overclocked 64-core lead over the 9600K but that the i5-9600K leads by 14% on single to hex core workloads which translates to 10% higher EFps in most of the today’s top games (e.g. PUBG, GTAV and CSGO). Additionally, the 3600's memory controller, although significantly improved over previous Ryzen iterations, still has limited bandwidth and high latency which adversely impacts gaming. Weaknesses in memory architecture are not readily picked up by CPU benchmarks but they are apparent whilst gaming. Cheaper CPUs such as the 9400F deliver better gaming performance in nearly all of today’s popular games. At $190 USD, the 3600 offers good value for purely workstation tasks such as film production but streamers should look elsewhere. Streaming with dedicated hardware such as NVENC or a separate stream PC will nearly always result in fewer dropped frames. The masterfully hyped Ryzen 3600 may well be the best CPU for multimedia producers on a tight budget but in today's market there are faster and less expensive alternatives for gamers, streamers and general desktop users. [Jun '19 CPUPro]
658 Graphics Cards Compared

Nvidia RTX 3070 $500

Nvidia’s 3070 GPU offers once in a decade price/performance improvements: a 3070 offers 45% higher effective speed than a 2070 at the same MSRP. Given the widespread issues AMD users are facing with 5000 series GPUs (blue/black screens etc.), it is unlikely that AMD would have posed a rational threat to Nvidia’s market share this year. Nvidia’s price cuts are likely related to upcoming console updates. The seven year old hardware in both the Xbox One and Playstation 4 is due an update later this year. Whatever the motivation behind Nvidia’s price cuts, Christmas has come early for PC gamers who can look forward to an unparalleled gaming experience in class leading titles such as Cyberpunk 2077. At ultra settings, with ray tracing enabled, Cyberpunk 2077 redefines the boundaries of immersive gaming. It makes GTA5 look like Tetris in comparison. The combination of RTX+DLSS delivers stunning graphics that are several tiers higher than both AMD's best discrete GPUs and the upcoming consoles. In terms of real world performance, Nvidia’s 3000 series has more or less put AMD’s Radeon group in checkmate. Nonetheless, AMD’s marketers are capable of delivering elaborate BS albeit whilst struggling to keep a straight face. Their marketing infrastructure outsold Intel in the CPU market despite a 15% performance deficit. Without an appropriate social media strategy, Nvidia may still lose considerable market share, for all the wrong reasons. [Oct '20 GPUPro]

Nvidia GTX 1660S (Super) $240

The GTX 1660 Super has a launch price of just $230 USD with comparable performance to the $280 USD 1660 Ti. The 1660 Super has 14 Gbps GDDR6 (versus 12Gbps GDDR6 for the 1660 Ti and 8Gbps GDDR5 for the 1660). The 1660 range of cards sit in the sweet spot for many gamers because they offer superb 1080p EFps in popular titles and they are relatively hassle free in terms of noise, compatibility and stability. The 1660S also features Turing NVENC which is far more efficient than CPU encoding and alleviates the need for casual streamers to use a dedicated stream PC. Shop prices will determine which 1660 series card represents the best value over time but at today's prices the 1660 Super effectively undercuts the 1660 Ti by $50 USD thus challenging the RX 590 in terms of overall value at 1080p. The next step up from the 1660S would be to the $325 RTX 2060[Oct '19 GPUPro]
1053 Solid State Drives Compared

Crucial MX500 250GB $48

The MX500 is Crucial’s current flagship consumer SATA SSD featuring their latest second generation 64-layer 3D TLC NAND. It’s available in 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB capacities in a 2.5-inch form factor. All but the 2 TB version will also be available in M.2 (2280) form in the future. The MX500 features a Silicon Motion SM2258 controller which is a change from the Marvell 88SS1074 controller featured in the MX300 (it’s nearly two year old predecessor). Performance is around 30% better than on the MX300 which currently retails at the same price. The MX500 has an SLC cache which increases with drive capacity. Consequently, the larger capacities are better able to sustain high sequential write speeds. The 250 GB version has 250MB of SLC cache, the 500 GB has 512 MB, the 1 TB has 1 GB and the 2 TB has 2 GB. Extended sustained write performance tests show that even though speed does drop off after the cache has been exhausted, it is still maintained at very respectable levels. The MX500’s five year warranty is in line with Samsung’s 850 Evo and exceeds it in terms of endurance (just 75 TBW for the 250 GB 850 Evo versus 100 TBW for the 250 GB MX500). It doesn’t quite match up to the Samsung’s 850 Evo’s performance (effective speed 8% slower), however at current prices it is about 20% cheaper, and on balance offers better value for money. [Mar '18 SSDrivePro]

Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe PCIe M.2 500GB $80

The 970 Evo Plus offers excellent sustained write performance both in and out of cache. This results in consistent performance even when the drive is nearly full. Samsung also have a great track record for reliability, this drive will likely last a lifetime. The larger capacity drives (1TB+) offer even better write performance and may be more appropriate for some users. We use this drive (and its larger siblings) extensively in our EFps Lab at UserBenchmark. [Feb '20 SSDrivePro]
1015 Hard Drives Compared

Seagate Barracuda 3TB (2016) $85

The new 3TB Seagate Barracuda 2016 (ST3000DM008) replaces its hugely successful predecessor, the 3TB Barracuda 7200.14 2011 (ST3000DM001). Comparing performance between the two models shows that the newer drive has 12% faster sequential speeds, comparable 4K speeds, improved mixed sequential speed and reduced mixed 4K speed. Overall, the effective speed is 12% faster on the 2016 model. Since there is normally little price difference between the two models the 2016 version is the clear winner especially for use as a backup drive with its impressive sequential read and write speeds of nearly 200 MBps. See the current value leaders here[Feb '17 HDrivePro]

Seagate Barracuda 1TB (2016) $40

The 1TB Seagate Barracuda 2016 (ST1000DM010) has an impressive performance profile. With Sequential read/writes averaging 173 and 159 MBps respectively, the Barracuda can make short work of even moderately large backups. The small file (4K) performance profile is less impressive but still adequate with average read/writes coming in at 0.87 and 1.53 MBps respectively. For use as OS drives, rotational disks are quickly loosing market share to SSDs which offer orders of magnitude faster 4k read/write speeds. On the other hand cheap TLC based SSDs often have slower sustained write speeds than their rotational counterparts. Reasonably good overall performance can be achieved by using a TLC SSD to host the OS and a larger rotational drive such as the Barracuda for backups and media files. Larger capacity variants of this drive offer both better performance and better value for money. [Feb '17 HDrivePro]
40,429,139 PCs tested.

PC
Score 

PC
Status
0 secs agoMicrosoft Surface LaptopDestroyer41%
1 sec agoAcer Aspire ES1-572Gunboat71%
1 sec agoDell G5 5000Tree trunk72%
3 secs agoB450I GAMING PLUS MAX WIFI (...Aircraft carrier22%
7 secs agoAcer Nitro AN515-55Nuclear submarine77%
8 secs agoDell XPS 15 9560Aircraft carrier71%
9 secs agoHP ENVY x360 ConvertibleBattle cruiser50%
10 secs agoMPG B550 GAMING EDGE WIFI (M...Aircraft carrier51%
14 secs agoAsus TUF Z390-PRO GAMINGUFO63%
14 secs agoAsus ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMINGTree trunk34%
15 secs agoAsus PRIME H310M-K R2.0Nuclear submarine93%
20 secs agoB450 GAMING PLUS MAX (MS-7B8...Aircraft carrier36%
24 secs agoAsus PRIME B350M-ABattleship48%
24 secs agoUser SystemBattleship29%
25 secs agoMSI MEG Z390 ACE (MS-7B12)Tree trunk69%
26 secs agoAsus PRIME X570-PROUFO83%
29 secs agoAsrock AB350 Gaming-ITX/acAircraft carrier69%
30 secs agoGigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 7Tree trunk56%
30 secs agoAsus ROG STRIX B550-I GAMINGUFO66%
32 secs agoAsus PRIME Z390-AUFO86%

VOTES

  Nvidia GTX 1050-TiAUS-User, 36 secs ago.
  Intel Core i7-10700KUSA-User, 3 mins ago.
  Nvidia RTX 3060AUT-User, 7 mins ago.
  Nvidia RTX 3070DEU-User, 7 mins ago.
  Nvidia RTX 3090TUR-User, 7 mins ago.
  Nvidia GTX 1660-TiDEU-User, 11 mins ago.
  Nvidia RTX 2060S (Super)DEU-User, 11 mins ago.
  Nvidia GTX 1650ALB-User, 17 mins ago.
  Nvidia RTX 2060USA-User, 17 mins ago.
  Nvidia RTX 3070USA-User, 20 mins ago.
  AMD Ryzen 5 3600USA-User, 21 mins ago.
  AMD Ryzen 5 2600XSRB-User, 24 mins ago.
  Intel Core i7-4790KDEU-User, 26 mins ago.
  Intel Core i7-11700KDEU-User, 35 mins ago.
  Nvidia GTX 1060-6GBRUS-User, 37 mins ago.
  AMD RX 550BRA-User, 41 mins ago.
  Nvidia RTX 3080USA-User, 42 mins ago.
  Intel Core i9-10900KROU-User, 43 mins ago.

NEW PRODUCTS

›  Intel Core i7-11700KCPUPro, 2 days ago.
›  Nvidia RTX 3060GPUPro, 6 days ago.
›  Publisher Optimum TechBenchPro, 16 days ago.
›  Publisher PCGamerBenchPro, 16 days ago.
›  Publisher Hardware UnboxedBenchPro, 16 days ago.
›  Publisher KitGuruBenchPro, 16 days ago.
›  Publisher TechpowerupBenchPro, 16 days ago.
›  Publisher AnandtechBenchPro, 16 days ago.
›  Publisher Tom's HardwareBenchPro, 16 days ago.
›  Publisher AMDBenchPro, 16 days ago.
›  Publisher Gamers NexusBenchPro, 16 days ago.
›  Publisher LinustechtipsBenchPro, 16 days ago.
›  Samsung 870 Evo 250GBSSDrivePro, 26 days ago.
›  AMD RX 6900-XTGPUPro, 2 months ago.
›  Nvidia RTX 3060-TiGPUPro, 3 months ago.
›  AMD RX 6800-XTGPUPro, 3 months ago.
›  AMD RX 6800GPUPro, 3 months ago.
›  AMD Ryzen 9 5900XCPUPro, 3 months ago.
›  AMD Ryzen 9 5950XCPUPro, 3 months ago.
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The Best.
CPUGPUSSD
Intel Core i5-10600K $224Nvidia RTX 3060-Ti $400Crucial MX500 250GB $48
Intel Core i5-10400F $145Nvidia RTX 3070 $500Samsung 850 Evo 120GB $78
Intel Core i7-10700K $327Nvidia GTX 1660S (Super) $240Samsung 860 Evo 250GB $50
HDDRAMUSB
Seagate Barracuda 1TB (2016) $40Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 C16 2x8GB $79SanDisk Extreme 64GB $72
WD Blue 1TB (2012) $38Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3000 C15 2x8GB $73SanDisk Extreme 32GB $28
Seagate Barracuda 3TB (2016) $85G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 3200 C14 4x16GB $649SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB $16
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