Graphics Card Prices Explained

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A user recently asked the following:

I was looking at the general availability/prices of GTX 1060s in Australia, and I was a little confused. Could you please shed some light on why some GTX 1060s:

  • Are more cheap/expensive? E.g. EVGA is $409, ASUS is $429, and MSI is $489! Your guides say these are all good, reputable brands, so why is there such a price difference? Is this a reflection of quality?
  • This might be a silly question, but… Some GTX 1060s have one fan, whereas others have two fans. Does this make a real difference in terms of heat efficiency?

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The Biggest Challenges of Building a PC (and How to Solve Them)

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You’ve got all your PC parts together. How do you ensure building them is a smooth process? Start by reading this.

Building a PC is generally not too difficult, though it can certainly feel daunting the first time. With a good guide and a screwdriver, it should only take a matter of hours — or even less — to transform a bunch of carefully selected parts into the system of your dreams.

When building a PC, there are definitely certain parts that are harder than others. Here, we describe four of the most challenging aspects of building a PC (suggested by our social media communities on Facebook and Twitter), and then provide some tips for how to avoid them.

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The Best Time to Buy PC Parts

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Recently, a user wrote to us: “Would you recommend waiting until after the holidays to buy PC parts? A friend of mine told me that was the best time to buy PC parts, because that’s when hardware goes on sale.”

Generally speaking, there’s no “optimal” time to buy PC parts. And if you’re looking to capitalize on sales, it’s probably better to buy during the holidays around Black Friday/Cyber Monday, as opposed to waiting for the holidays to blow over. However, even if you wait for the ultimate sale, you can’t guarantee that the exact things you want will get discounts.

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RX 460 Launched, Added to Logical Increments

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AMD’s new budget graphics card, the RX 460, has launched.

The 460 has ~50% the power of the RX 480. This means that it is better than the GTX 750 Ti, but slightly weaker than the R7 370 and GTX 950. In newer games likes DOOM, the 460 has better performance than the 370 and 950, and if most upcoming games utilized Vulkan/DirectX 12, the RX 460 would be a very good replacement card. Unfortunately, even though we are getting closer to Q4 2016, the majority of games are not using Vulkan/DirectX 12. So, in average performance, the RX 460 currently lags behind.

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DDR4 RAM Speeds and How We Recommend RAM

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Recently, a user asked about RAM speeds and why we don’t recommend the fastest RAM possible, or the RAM with the lowest latency. After all, isn’t faster always better?

For all RAM, performance increases when speed increases and when latency decreases. However, the benefit from increasing speed far outweighs the performance loss of increasing latency. (For more information on this, read Crucial’s article on Speed vs. Latency.)

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NVIDIA Titan X Launched, Added to Logical Increments

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NVIDIA’s latest release is the $1,200 NVIDIA Titan X (no “GeForce,” no “GTX,” just “Titan X”).

Yes, that’s one thousand and two hundred American $$$ USD $$$ money-dollars! With a price tag like that, performance expectations should be very high, and the Titan X does not disappoint. I hear you asking, and the answer is: Yes, this card CAN play Witcher 3 at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second! This new card is about 30-40% more powerful than the GTX 1080.

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RX 470 Launched, Added to Logical Increments

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AMD’s new mid-range graphics card, the RX 470, launches today.

This card is roughly 15-20% slower than the RX 480. This makes it, on average, slightly slower than the R9 290. The card is easy on the power consumption and temperatures, but AMD is not releasing any reference cards, so noise is highly dependent on the manufacturer’s cooler. Reading the reviews, the better coolers are excellent, while the lesser coolers are loud.

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Building a PC That Beats the Xbox One S

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The Xbox One S is releasing on August 2, 2016, bringing the power of the original Xbox One into a tiny form factor. Releasing at $399 for the 2TB version, this brings the cost of console gaming back up to budget gaming PC range.

Today, we’d like to find out how powerful of a PC we can build for the same price of the Xbox One S. As it turns out, you can build something surprisingly powerful.

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