After some very brief relief around the 2017 holidays, graphics card prices continue on the path of going absolutely insane.
We had a cryptocoin-induced inflation back in late 2013, but it was somewhat mild, and only lasted a couple of months. We had a second inflation in 2017, where the price hikes were higher, and lasted more than half a year. When this ended in December 2017, I thought: “Thank goodness that is over. Nothing could have been as bad as that!”
I was so naive, so wrong.
In short, there is not much we can do about graphics cards prices other than continue to recommend the best graphics cards at each price point. However, we want to be realistic about how bad the situation has gotten.
The PC hardware world is exploding this week over news that the last 10 years of Intel CPUs all contain a massive security flaw, forcing a redesign of the kernel software in Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. This issue is more serious than most security flaws, because it is connected with how the hardware talks with the OS, which means that patching it may impact performance.
Reports have been stating that Intel CPUs may suffer a 5-30% drop in performance after the major OS manufacturers issue their patches. A drop of 5-30% certainly sounds both large and scary. But is it really going to be that bad in real-world situations, or is this alarmist sensationalism? Let’s find out.
A few weeks ago, NVIDIA released the GTX 1070 Ti for $450. As you might expect, its performance and price fall between the GTX 1070 ($400) and GTX 1080 ($500), though it’s thankfully much closer to the 1080.
Long story short: At $450, this graphics card is a logical purchase and we are happy to recommend it. We have added it to our GPU recommendations in the Excellent and Outstanding tiers, as upgrades to the standard recommendations.
After months of dealing with graphics card shortages and price spikes due to unsustainable demand from cryptocurrency miners, some very welcome headlines have recently come our way:
In early October, Intel launched its new Coffee Lake lineup of CPUs. In many ways, it’s a very exciting launch, with the entire range of CPUs receiving a core count upgrade for the first time since 2009.
However, the launch has also been plagued with some issues. Namely, availability has been extremely limited, with the most desirable CPUs selling out faster than most people can snag them.
As a result, we have been intentionally slow to add the new CPUs to the main computer parts list on our homepage. We don’t like recommended hardware that people cannot reliably buy.
That said, we are past due for addressing Coffee Lake, so this post should fully inform you of our thinking. Read all the gory analysis below:
AMD has launched a huge amount of disruptive hardware recently. Here’s the official Logical Increments™ analysis you have all been waiting breathlessly to absorb.
Intel’s new Skylake-X CPUs have taken over our top two tiers, Extremist and Monstrous. They have effortlessly dethroned Intel’s previous line of high-end CPUs, Broadwell-E.
The new additions to our highest-end CPU recommendations are the i9-7900X (10 cores; $1,000) and i7-7820X (8 cores; $600). They replace last generation’s i7-6950X (10-cores; $1,700), i7-6900K (8 cores; $1,100), and i7-6850K (6 cores; $600).