Hardware Tech

Consumer Tech roundup

Its been an eventful announcement week. For those who can afford to spend.

AMD detailed the new Ryzen 3 3100 and 3300x. These are both quad core, 8 thread CPUs. Along with the long awaited B550 and A520 chipsets, this brings PCIe gen 4 to the mid and low end enthusiast market. Speak about spoiled for choice.

The total domination move would be to finally release the rumoured Ryzen 3 1200AF.

Canon announced their new high end mirrorless camera, the EOS R5. This time around it looks like Canon aren’t going to break our hearts by deliberately ham stringing their own product.

The EOS R5 will be capable of 8K RAW uncropped up to 30p. 4K uncropped up to 120p. Dual PIXEL AF across the board. 4:2:2 10bit Canon Log (H.265), 4:2:2 10bit HDR PQ (H.265). In body image stabilisation.

It also takes pictures. In case you cared. 12 fps mechanical shutter. 20 fps electronic shutter. I’m going to assume that it has DVI out, audio in and out and it doesn’t overheat. Because these are table stakes at the price Canon are likely to charge for this.

The new iPad Pro Magic Keyboard also arrived with reviewers. So the slew of Youtube reviews were hard to miss. There were plenty of breathless reviews about how wonderful it is.

But I think I’d land at the same point of view that Marques has.

Just as a counterbalance. There have also been a ton of Youtube videos aimed at the budget end of enthusiast / gaming PCs.

The highlight video was looking at the RX480 / 580. A pair of four to five year old GPUs that are still supported by AMD. Both punching well above their weight class in terms of value.

Hardware Software Tech

GPU wars 2020

Nvidia have had a firm grip on the GPU market for some time. Having not had any real competition. They’ve promoted and command huge mind share.

However AMD have been upping their game over the last almost two years. Enough to push Nvidia to fast track its GPU roadmap. Phasing out some of its initial RTX offerings and putting out tweaked “Super” versions of their cards as AMD were bringing out their initial NAVI GPUs.

Nvidia then filling out its low to mid range GPU offerings as AMD announced theirs. What was interesting was that Nvidia felt no shame as what they brought to market was upgraded GTX10 series cards.

Running counter to their own marketing that RTX was the future.

So Nvidia have been playing cat and mouse with AMD for many months. Countering AMD’s offerings just before they’re actually released. Basing their products on AMD’s announcements.

However with this latest round, Level1Tech’s posed an interesting question. “Did AMD purposefully blindside Nvidia through last minute software revisions and pricing to improve the 5600XT.”.

As they’ve said, the only issue is how many customers would actually apply a BIOS update to get that 10%+ performance boost.

Arguably all of this has been great for the consumer. Especially since the bad old days of cryptocurrency mining where GPUs were stupidly expensive. If there was any stock to be had.

On pure price / performance, AMD have a solid range. However Nvidia have done significant work differentiating their GPUs based on use. This does come at a premium though.

Nvidia keep and maintain strong relationships with software companies. Working with not just games but also utilities and productivity.

Everything from ray tracing Minecraft. CUDA technology incorporated into Adobe Creative suite and machine learning acceleration.

My only question would be, “Does the new crop of GPUs really justify the prices?”. Nvidia are arguably artificially keeping prices high as a holdover from the crypto mining days.

All said and done. The PC consumer is in a very good place at the start of this new decade. There hasn’t been this level of competition and choice in some time.