nVidia continues its dominant GPU rampage, and now they are taking the fight to the sub-$300 segment with the GTX 1660 Ti. I know, I know, nVidia’s naming scheme is as smooth as silk… making the non-awkwardly-named TR 2990WX look short.
AMD’s Radeon VII has arrived! All hail the Radeon VII! But does it belong in our build chart?
If you’re close to the ‘Destitute’ level on our main chart—or even within spitting distance—new hardware prices can seem insurmountable. But what if you didn’t have to pinch pennies waiting for a sale? What if you could have a powerful—if slightly dated—system for a fraction of the cost?
Thankfully for you, there’s a surprisingly huge market for used hardware online! eBay is obvious, but forums like /r/hardwareswap are tight-knit, self-policing communities of enthusiasts eager to swap silicon. It’s also quite safe: PayPal is the most popular payment method, with their Goods and Services option offering buyer protection in the event of fraud.
That being said, not all used components age as gracefully as others. We’ve created this guide so you can shop wisely.
Often, PC enthusiasts will speak of overclocking the way car enthusiasts discuss high-performance engines, with megahertz and voltage taking the place of horsepower and torque. Overclocking is often a relatively simple way to squeeze out extra performance from computer components; however, problems sometimes do arise. Luckily, most problems faced with overclocking are easily fixed with some basic troubleshooting techniques.
For our purposes, we’ll look at issues affecting the components that are overclocked the most: the CPU and GPU.
Christmas is just around the corner, and incredible sales are undoubtedly coming. If you haven’t been following the PC building scene for the past year or two, then some things may seem daunting at first. For instance: What’s up with crazy high RAM prices? And why are some CPUs and graphics cards out of stock?
If you’re planning to build a new PC this Christmas, then there are some important things to know about. Consider this your Christmas 2017 PC hardware shopping guide.
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.
Just two weeks following its official announcement, the GTX 1080 Ti has launched at $700, replacing the Titan X Pascal on the highest end of our graphics card recommendations. Simply put: It is the new king of graphics cards, inching out ahead of the $1,200 Titan X in overall gaming performance. On average, the new 1080 Ti is 2-3% faster than the Titan X, while priced $500 lower.
We have added the 1080 Ti to our GPU recommendations in the Exceptional, Enthusiast, Extremist, and Monstrous tiers on our homepage.
Video RAM: What’s the difference between the types available today?
All graphics cards need both a GPU and VRAM to function properly. While the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) does the actual processing of data to output images on your monitor, the data it is processing and providing is stored and accessed from the chips of VRAM (Video Random Access Memory) surrounding it.
Outputting high-resolution graphics at a quick rate requires both a beefy GPU and a large quantity of high-bandwidth VRAM working in tandem. For most of the past decade, VRAM design was fairly stagnant, and focused on using more power to achieve greater VRAM clock speeds.