GTX 950 Launched at $160, Added to Very Good Tier

GTX 950

This week, NVIDIA launched the smallest member of its Maxwell GPU family, the GTX 950. Launch prices range from $160 to $170, depending on manufacturer, landing the 950 firmly in the ‘mid-tier’ GPU category.

After examining early reviews, we have added the new card to the Very Good tier on the U.S. parts list. Looking at its competition, it beats the AMD’s $150 R7 370 and matches the performance of AMD’s slightly pricier R7 270X.

Cards in the mid-tier segment do not typically cause excitement. They’re not the cards you buy to show off. Mid-tier is where you can play all the latest games — at medium settings — or amaze yourself by playing games at full settings… as long as they were released three or more years ago.

The GTX 950 is not an exciting launch, and even NVIDIA are marketing it as a “MOBA card,” even though the vast majority of MOBAs will run on a wristwatch. In powerful games like Witcher 3 or Crysis 3, you will only get 20-30 FPS. The 950 also needs a PCIe power connector, unlike the 750 Ti that came before it.

And yet, despite the lack of excitement, the 950 is a pretty good card. The performance will not wow anyone, but it beats its direct competition. Even though it needs a power connector, the card still uses very little power, and runs cool and quiet. Boring? Yes, but boringly good is still good.

Also worth noting: The mid-tier segment is very overcrowded. Newegg lists some 500 different models of mid-tier cards, of which about 150 can be considered modern. For some, this is good news: You are guaranteed to find cards that are within a few dollars of your budget. The trouble is that most folks would get overwhelmed by having to pick from ~150 choices.

The majority of cards launching in the mid-tier segment start out as overpriced. With good competition, the prices come down a little. We hope that the GTX 950 will spur a bit of a price war, and give a little bit more GPU power for those who want something decent in the mid-tier segment.

So, the Very Good tier welcomes the GTX 950. We’ll be watching (and hoping) for it to cause some price wars with its mid-tier competition!

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Intel Releases Skylake CPUs

intel core i7

Intel’s latest CPU family, Skylake, has just launched with two new CPUs (the i5-6600K and i7-6700K), a new socket (1151), and a new chipset family for motherboard (Z170). These CPUs are on the 14nm manufacturing process, which is not strictly new (their previous generation, Broadwell, was on 14nm dies), but new when it comes to mass-market availability.

How well do these new CPUs perform? After analyzing reviews (linked below), it looks as though, unfortunately, Intel has decided to forgo CPU improvements and focus on the integrated GPU.

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Hiring: Part-Time Community Manager for Logical Increments

logical increments logo now hiring

Greetings!

Logical Increments has grown quite a lot over the years, and our site is now viewed by more visitors than ever, with an expanding audience from all over the world. We are very proud to be considered a helpful source of information to all those who need to buy and assemble their own PC.

Helping people means responding to many varied requests, such as specific questions or comments and feedback. As our web presence expands to additional pages and social media channels, we have to field an increasing number of these requests for help.

We are currently looking to hire a part-time Community Manager to help with this task.

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The Best Sources for PC Hardware News and Reviews

James

CPUSocket

Sir Francis Bacon once famously said that knowledge is power. Then he died from pneumonia while studying the effects of freezing meat. The important thing to remember, however, is that he died on a quest for knowledge.

When it comes to building a PC, knowledge not only brings power (in terms of hardware performance), it brings savings in both cost and time.

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AMD Launches the R9 Fury (non-X) for $550

R9FuryCard

AMD has released its second graphics card to utilize it’s new high-bandwidth memory, the R9 Fury. This follows the release of the R9 Fury X just a few weeks ago.

After reading through reviews and benchmarks (linked below), we can confirm several expectations. The non-X Fury is definitely the “little brother” card to the $650 Fury X, being both slower and cheaper.

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AMD Launches the R9 Fury X

amd fury x

Finally, AMD has released a truly new graphics card. But how does it fare against the competition?

Last week began the launch of AMD’s newest line of graphics cards, the Radeon 300 series. For the most part, those cards were a refresh of the 200 series that came before it, but with some added clock speeds and faster video RAM. While most of those cards are fine and make our list of recommended components, there was nothing particularly thrilling about them.

Today, however, AMD has released the R9 Fury X, a GPU made with technology we have not yet seen. It’s launching at $650 and taking aim at NVIDIA’s new $650 GTX 980 Ti. The first round of benchmark reviews are in (linked below), and we have taken a very close look at them.

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Dear Game Publishers: PC Gamers Will Wait for a Good Port

James

We just want to glide over Gotham at 60 FPS.

Once again, PC gamers have been reminded to never trust a console port on launch day.

Yesterday, Batman: Arkham Knight launched simultaneously on consoles and PC. It should have been a joyous occasion for PC-gaming Batman fans, but it wasn’t.

The problem? Arkham Knight’s PC port is apparently “disastrous,” “garbage,” and “suffering from major issues.” AMD and NVIDIA players are both reporting major framerate and audio problems, the game comes with a default 30 FPS cap, and the textures on PC are allegedly worse than the console versions.

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