Introducing Hardware Component Pages and the Case Size Visualizer

This update brings specific pages for all hardware known to the recommender. Those component pages hold a bunch of information: The detailed specifications, links to reviews and the manufacturers product page, images and current prices. User can help build this into a complete database, by providing the links and by writing user reviews, and also help by upvoting and downvoting products and provided links.

This for example is the page for the NZXT S340 case:

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One special feature visible in that screenshot is the case size visualizer. Using WebGL, it renders the current case right next to the average mid case and the average small form factor case, as well as a banana. This gives a way better impression of the actual size of a case than just reading the values.

RX Vega 64 added

Almost immediately after Threadripper AMD allowed reviews for their new gpu line, Radeon RX Vega. Again there are two models: The Vega 64 and the Vega 56.

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Those early reviews paint the picture of a very hard to judge gpu line. Let’s start with the Vega 56, as it is the more interesting of the two. Its recommended price is $399 in the US and 405€ in Europe. That pits it against the Geforce GTX 1070. That is a card the smaller Vega can beat, judging by the ComputerBase benchmark and the GamersNexus review. However, it uses more energy, and the reference cooler is loud. It is also uncertain that the price will stay low enough to make the card an attractive option, as it might be a good enough mining card.

The Vega 64 looks so far to be a worse option, but it is the one that is available in Europe right now. It costs more: 649€ in Germany. That makes it more expensive than a GTX 1080, while being slower than that card and using more energy. In the US it is at $599, but at $699 for the version with a liquid cooler, both are out of stock.

Since the Vega 64 is available and benchmarks were released it is listed in the gpu meta benchmark:

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Interesting and almost typical for AMD gpu releases is the talk about future performance improvement. For Vega, it looks like some hardware features are not being used yet. And the driver support seems to be bad. It is quite likely that performance will improve later on. If prices stay low enough the RX Vega 56 could then become a good alternative to the GTX 1070. And the Vega 64 might become a valid alternative to the GTX 1080, if it also gets a small price cut. But of course, one should not buy a gpu based on speculation such as this.

By the way, with regards to price cuts: AMD offers those Vega cards with some bundles. But those are not attractive at all. They contain a price reduction when buying a Ryzen 7 processor, some specific, expensive mainboards, and an additional discount on some Freesync-enabled displays. Gamers do not need Ryzen 7 processors, and almost no one needs those expensive mainboards, while the chosen Freesync displays are too expensive as well. I recommend against those bundles.

If those gpus happen to become more attractive options later on we will surely see that here, as those card would be picked up as options in the hardware recommender. But for now, Vega is not there yet.

Threadripper

AMDs latest processor is a monster. The Threadripper 1950X has 16 cores and 32 threads and a turbo clock of 4 GHz. Its smaller brother, the 1920X, still has 12 cores and 24 threads and the same turbo clock.

Those are not processors for mere gaming, and they are also not particularly suited for games. That is not to say that they fail running them, the new processors just are not better at that than the bigger Ryzen processors or Intel’s alternatives. Accordingly that’s their position in the gaming meta benchmark:

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But Threadripper is a lot stronger in applications that can use those many cores. In the benchmarks we see the big model before the more expensive Intel Core i9-7900X:

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There are still more results to be added, I fully expect the 1920X to beat the i7-7820X in the benchmark with some additional data. But that will have to wait, as Vega got released and is about to be added to the recommender.

Introducing the pc-kombo Meta Benchmark

At the core of the recommender lies a benchmark we created. Collecting benchmark results of several publications over a long time, we have enough data to realistically judge the performance of current processors and graphics cards.

So far that benchmark was used only internally to create the matching set of processor and graphics card when using pc-kombo as recommender. Now we open up that benchmark:

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A useful new way to select the proper cpu and gpu for your next PC.

X299 support is live (Core i9-7900X)

Intel just launched a new socket, chipset and even two processor lines, that both run one the new socket 2066. The new processors range from a new i5, the i5-7640X with 4 cores and 4 threads, to the i9-7900X with 10 cores and 20 threads.

Reviews so far focus on the processors with more cores, especially on the new i9. For pc-kombo that won’t change much - since the new mainboards are pretty expensive, both the i5-7640X and the i7-7740X will not win in price-performance against their Kaby Lake pendants on Z270 boards.

But the new processor line does show up in the system, and is automatically picked when setting the focus to application performance and going to the high end. The i7-7820X and the i9-7900X at $600 and $1000 are the new high end choices for app performance:

pc-kombo shared list

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i9-7900X $999.0 @ Amazon.com
Motherboard Asus TUF X299 MARK 2 $259.99 @ B&H
Memory Corsair Vengeance LED white DDR4-2666 CL16 (32 GB) $229.99 @ Amazon.com
Storage Toshiba DT01ACA100 1TB 32MB 7.200rpm SATA600 (1 GB) $45.99 @ newegg
SSD Western Digital Blue (250 GB) $83.99 @ superbiiz
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GT OC $144.51 @ Amazon.com
Case be quiet! Silent Base 800 Midi-Tower - orange $119.99 @ superbiiz
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA G3 (650 W) $88.99 @ superbiiz
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D15 - 140/140mm $88.15 @ Amazon.com
  Total $2060.60

For games, the system continues to prefer the i7-7700K.