Aside from Black Friday, Christmas and the holiday season is typically the next best time of year to buy PC hardware. Between Christmas sales and retailers selling off end-of-year loss leaders, there are ample opportunities to score on upgrades or new builds.
With that in mind, we want to provide some insight on what’s a good purchase for Christmas 2015, and what you should hold off on purchasing.
AMD has just released the R9 380X, a mid-tier graphics card priced at $229.
The short story is as follows: We have read the reviews (linked below), and the 380X is identical in price and in performance to last generation’s R9 280X.
The long story is a bit more interesting. The R9 280X was released in October 2013. The R9 280X was a rebadge of the 7970GE, which was released in June… 2012. Yes, there are people who bought a graphics card in June 2012 who are seeing an identically performing card launched in November 2015.
The post-apocalyptic future is bigger and prettier than ever. Fallout 4 is out, and we have a brand new game build guide to help you build the best PC for Fallout 4.
Here it is: Building the Best PC for Fallout 4
If you want some spoilers, here are the graphics cards we recommend for running the game at 50-60 frames per second on Ultra at various resolutions:
3840×2160 (4K): 2x GTX 980s
Read our full guide for all the gory details.
We recently posted a new video on our YouTube channel about CPUs and how to find a good one. It’s the first video in a series explaining the various components of a PC. The goal is to give people a slightly deeper understanding of each component, and give some practical advice on how to pick out the right components for you.
Here’s the video:
AMD has launched its Radeon R9 Nano, a very tiny, yet very powerful graphics card. The Nano uses the same chip that is in the Fury X, but heavily binned and carefully power-controlled in order to bring down power consumption and thermals.
So, how is the card?
Monday was a terrifying day to browse the web as the owner of an NVIDIA graphics card. News hit early this week that the company’s latest series of Maxwell GPUs, the GTX 900-series, could have a design flaw that compromises performance compared to AMD graphics cards when performing asynchronous compute in DirectX 12.
In short: A few weeks ago, Oxide Games released a benchmark demo of an upcoming game called Ashes of the Singularity, the first demo for DirectX 12, the soon-to-come update to Microsoft’s popular gaming API. Many Ashes benchmark reviews found that while NVIDIA graphics cards ran the game quite well with DirectX 11, AMD cards showed an enormous performance jump when upgrading to DX 12. NVIDIA cards, on the other hand, showed no performance improvements with DX 12, and in some cases, actually took a slight hit to performance compared to running the game with DX 11.
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.
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.
Finally, AMD has released its new 300 series of graphics cards, with 5 cards available as of June 18th: The Radeon R7 360, R7 370, R9 380, R9 390 and R9 390X.
If you take the time to view benchmarks and read through reviews (linked below), you will find that AMD did not really release any new cards in the 300 series, but has only refreshed the 200 series. They have taken the same GPUs from the 200 series, slightly raised the clock speeds (by ~5%), and added slightly faster RAM. The result is very similar performance to the 200 series.