As if a deadly pandemic, rising sea levels, AND a botched Cyberpunk 2077 launch are not enough, today’s gaming-PC buyers are faced with an additional unpleasant situation: Product unavailability! When will it end?!
Oh, and… Greetings.
AMD has released a new flagship graphics card, and it is good.
For more on the RX 6900 XT, and details concerning other GPU changes in our chart, read on.
If you missed this launch, it is perfectly understandable; the big stars from nVidia (xx80/xx90 cards) get the royal media treatment. But their mid-tier cards (xx60/xx50 cards) that launch with less fanfare are the ones that get the most sales.
Now, let us take a look at this new $400 card from nVidia.
Prices for various PC parts often have a huge range, depending on items quality, performance, and availability. Some CPUs are $100, some are $1000, and some cannot be bought for love or money. Some other items have a much smaller range of prices, and this can be seen when we look at PC memory and storage (including RAM and hard drives). Memory and storage are offered by a large number of sellers, and thus the options are competitively priced. Most options that are similar in speed and capacity tend to be close to each other in price, making it easy to track and compare.
With time, long-term and short-term computer memory always sees a downward trend in price, with the only exception being when a factory is burned or flooded or something. Once certain items (or capacities) can be reliably found for a particular price, we overhaul our memory recommendations to recommend better/larger components, for the same price.
Along those lines, let us take a look at some recently changed recommendations:
AMD makes both CPUs and GPUs. We have followed AMD’s CPU journey, from competitive, to underdog, and back to competitive. Now, with the launch of the RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT, it looks like AMD wants to get back to being competitive with GPUs as well.
AMD and Intel have been the desktop CPU duopoly for as long as we can remember, with the mantle of “best CPU manufacturer” having been worn by both. From about 2005 to 2017, Intel was king. AMD’s Ryzen series began stealing the multi-threaded marketshare with the launch of a large number of high-core-count CPUs at a moderate price. These CPUs did not make AMD the “best CPU manufacturer” though, since single-threaded performance was still behind.
Numerically, 2017 was 3 years ago, but the numbers do not match the emotion: 2017 feels like it was in the Dark Ages. Many centuries have passed since the year 2017, and AMD has been improving. With each revision to the Ryzen family, AMD’s multi-threaded superiority was extended, and Intel’s single-threaded lead was diminished.
With Intel stubbornly refusing to abandon the 14nm process that has been (reportedly) in use since the times of Genghis Khan, this day had to come. Intel’s single-threaded dominance is over, for no king can rule forever.
Over the years, nVidia has gotten better and better at GPU launches. Each new card performs well, runs cool and quiet, and is better than what it replaces… and no exceptions to this come readily to mind.
nVidia’s sole (and rare) issue with modern launches is the pricing, which can sometimes feel like highway robbery: $1800 for a graphics card? Want my firstborn with that, too, nVidia? Or just an arm and a leg?
This year, though, it is a bit different.
Last month, we announced our intention to make a donation to The Turing Trust as a share of our September profits.
We are proud to say that the donation drive is finished, and we are donating $1000 to them. Yeah! We’d like to extend our thanks to everyone that used LI in September; we (literally) couldn’t have done it without you.
The 3080 was launched to much fanfare, and the performance was really good. The price is high ($700!), and availability has proved to be a nightmare, but it is still the card to get if it’s in-stock and fits your budget.
With the RTX 3090, things are a bit different.
The RTX 3080 is nVidia’s latest, and the first release in the 3xxx line. If you want the tl;dr straight away: It is good, and we recommend buying it if the price fits your budget.
If you want the slightly longer list of pros and cons, without reading reviews for hours (we do that for you), then you have come to the right place.