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1184 Processors Compared

Intel Core i5-9600K $238

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 ($30+). The 9600K was designed to be overclocked. Once this is enabled in the BIOS (requires a Z-series motherbaord), 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 Heavy workstation users the Ryzen 3000 series offers great 64-core performance at a very competitive price. For example the overclocked Ryzen 3600 is approximately 13% worse for gaming and desktop (sub octa-core tasks) but it is 27% faster for 64-core processing. 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 $195

AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 is one of five new processors based on the latest Zen 2 7nm microarchitecture. This 6-core, 12-threaded processor is priced at $199 USD and succeeds the Zen+ Ryzen 5 2600 improving upon it by 18% in terms of average effective speed and 12% in terms of overclocked performance. The 3600's base / boost clocks of 3.6 / 4.2 GHz match the previous gen hex-core Ryzen 5 2600X and therefore indicate an 11% clock for clock (IPC) improvement over the previous generation. The Ryzen 5 3600 is in competition with Intel’s hex-core i5-9600K. AMD continues to push the multi-core performance envelope: benchmarks show that the 3600 has a 27% overclocked 64-core advantage over the 9600K but that the i5-9600K leads by 14% on single, quad and hex core workloads which translates to 14% higher fps for gamers. Additionally, the 3600's memory controller, although significantly improved over previous Ryzen iterations, still has limited bandwidth and high latency which can impact gaming. The Ryzen 3000 processors all include coolers and although they will be launched alongside the new mainstream X570 chipset (which is PCIe 4.0 enabled), they are backwards compatible with 400 and even the 300 series motherboards. At $198 USD, the 3600 offers reasonable value for workstation users. [Jun '19 CPUPro]
621 Graphics Cards Compared

Nvidia RTX 2070S (Super) $550

The RTX 2070 Super replaces the RTX 2070 in Nvidia’s line-up of ray-tracing high performance GPUs, yielding around a 10% performance improvement at the same $500 USD price point. The 2070 Super has been upgraded to use the same GPU die as in the RTX 2080, and now has 2560 CUDA cores, up from 2304 in the 2070. It has a base and boost clock speed of 1605 and 1770 MHz respectively and a 215 W power draw compared to the 185 W per the original 2070. The launch of the RTX 2070 Super comes at an exciting time for those in the market for a new graphics card, who can also choose from AMD’s latest first generation RDNA RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT. Some swift maneuvering on price by AMD prior to launch date means that the RX 5700 XT is currently $100 USD cheaper than the 2070 Super. An RTX 2060 Super has also been launched. Also, an RTX 2080 Super is set for launch in the near future which will replace the 2080 offering at the $700 price point. [Jul '19 GPUPro]

Nvidia GTX 1660 $210

NVIDIA's GTX 1660 follows hot on the heels of last month's release of the GTX 1660 Ti. As the name would suggest, the 1660 is a slightly scaled back version of the 1660 Ti. Both feature NVIDIAs's new TU116 Turing based die, have 6GB of VRAM, are without RTX cores and have a power draw (TDP) of 120W. The main differences arise from the number of CUDA cores: the 1660 has 1408 whilst the 1660 Ti has 1536, and memory bandwidth: the 1660 can deliver 8 Gpbs using ubiquitous GDDR5 (as featured in the GTX 1060 3GB and 6GB) versus the 1660 Ti which can deliver 12 Gpbs using newer, faster and dearer GDDR6. Early benchmarks show that the GTX 1660 has about a 20% lower effective speed than the 1660 Ti, but with an entry price of $219 USD, the 1660 is also about 20% cheaper. Further, the 1660 has a 12% effective speed advantage over the ~$230 USD 6GB 1060 and a similar real world effective speed to AMD's $265 USD RX 590. NVIDIAs strategy of offering great value Turing products at all price tiers can only be good for competition and consumers. [Mar '19 GPUPro]
1011 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]

Adata XPG SX8200 NVMe PCIe M.2 240GB $65

Adata’s XPG SX8200 offers NVMe PCIe SSD performance at SATA SSD prices, thereby offering outstanding value for money to casual and power PC users alike. Adata have combined two high performance commodity components: a Silicon Motion controller (SM2262) and Micron’s second generation 3D TLC 64 layer flash memory. The XPG SX8200 also includes a generous SLC cache and a DRAM cache buffer. Adata have not specified the exact size of the SLC cache in each model but it’s clear from our 60 second sustained write tests that the buffer is sufficient for more than 60 seconds of continuous writes which equates to over 60GB (60s x 1 GB/s) for the 240GB model and over 90GB (60s x 1.5 GB/s) for the 480GB and 960GB models. Unlike many other drives with SLC caching, the SX8200 has a large enough cache to ensure that consumers will almost always operate the drive within the cache and therefore experience no write degradation at all. Adata offer a 5 year warranty and a limited TBW warranty (160 TBW for the 240 GB version, 320 TBW for the 480GB and 640 TBW for the 960GB) on these SSDs, which is in line with other premium manufacturers. The NVMe PCIe SSD consumer market has been dominated by Samsung in recent years but the 240GB SX8200 beats Samsung’s 250GB 970 Evo hands down on both price and performance (the 250GB 970 Evo is let down by a relatively small SLC cache which allows for less than 10 seconds of writes before saturation after which the write speed on the Evo drops to mere sub SATA 300 MB/s). The SX8200 is the new value leader and heralds a new era of competition for the mainstream segment of the NVMe SSD market. [Jul '18 SSDrivePro]
1015 Hard Drives Compared

Seagate Barracuda 3TB (2016) $83

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]
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The Best.
Intel Core i5-9400F $140Nvidia GTX 1660 $210Samsung 850 Evo 250GB $55
Intel Core i5-9600K $238Nvidia GTX 1660-Ti $270Samsung 850 Evo 500GB $107
Intel Core i7-9700K $288Nvidia RTX 2060S (Super) $430Samsung 850 Pro 256GB $200
Seagate Barracuda 1TB (2016) $40Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3000 C15 2x8GB $65SanDisk Extreme 64GB $88
Seagate Barracuda 3TB (2016) $83G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 3200 C14 4x16GB $603SanDisk Extreme 32GB $48
WD Blue 1TB (2012) $37Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 C16 2x8GB $70SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB $14
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