After months away, some old friends have returned to the US parts guide.
Prices of AMD graphics cards have been on a rollercoaster ride in recent months. The cryptocurrency craze in the US had caused a spike in demand for high-end video cards used to mine Bitcoins, Dogecoins, and the like, especially among AMD cards.
Prices on solid state drives have dropped significantly in recent months, with some brands seeing extremely deep price reductions. Over on Reddit’s r/buildapcsales community, members have been capitalizing on several deals around the $60 range for 120GB drives and $90-100 for 240GB models of some lower-end brands.
The consumption of digital media is the hallmark of the 21st century. Computers have continuously evolved to allow users to consume media with greater ease, transitioning from bulking room-sized machines in the 1960s, to sleek, mobile laptops in the 2000s.
It seems that we are entering a new phase for PC screen resolution, a phase that is several years late. Let us take a look at the latest developments.
Dell has very recently announced that it will be offering a new 24″ screen with a 4K resolution (3840×2160). The shocker? It will be priced at $1400. But that is not all: Dell also announced that in “early 2014”, it will sell a 28″ 4K screen for $1000. If you are not into screens, then you might be thinking that $1400 and $1000 are insanely high prices for a PC screen. Let us put these prices in perspective: Up till last year, if you wanted 4K, you either got a 4K TV ($5000-$6000), or you get a proper PC screen in the form of a $30,000 Eizo.
What’s the cheapest day of the year to buy lots of things?
Black Friday, at least in the US. The only other times that have similar sales are Cyber Monday, the Monday immediately after Black Friday, and the less predictable Christmas / New Years holiday sales.
It was only on October 24 that AMD released the R9 290X, which delivered Titan-like performance for $500.
Today, AMD is releasing the R9 290, which delivers about 95% of the performance of the 290X, for only $400:
Image from VR-Zone’s review of the cards
AMD has released its latest cards, the R9 280X, R9 270X, and R7 260X. While the names are new and complicated, the chips inside are the same chips we have been seeing for the last two years.
The cards that have launched so far: R9 280X == 7970GE at $300 R9 270X == 7870 OC at $200 R7 260X == 7790 OC at $140.
I’ve been playing the Battlefield 4 beta, and it’s definitely taxing my system. We’ll see how things improve by launch time, but it might be time for an upgrade.
Benchmark results have already been popping up, and paint an interesting picture of performance. Battlefield 4 (BF4) appears to be well-threaded, with AMDs 8-core FX-8350 and FX-8150 doing very well, being competitive with Intel’s quad core i5’s and i7’s. It also seems to favor AMD graphics cards this time around. This makes sense, since the new consoles use 8-core AMD CPUs, as well as AMD GPUs.
The Nvidia GTX 760 was released yesterday. It has slightly-below 670/7970 performance, but the price is $250 – $260, making it a steal. It makes the 7870 XT/Myst ($250), 660Ti/7950 (~$280) obsolete at their current prices. The available-for-purchase models of the 760 are only about ~4%-5% behind the 670/7970, while costing $100-$130 less. Logically, that means that above the ~$200 price point, only the 760 and 770 are worthy purchases.