I am making a new category to add to the twenty-seven thousand categories I already have, but here it is. It is called "Sash thoughts", and it basically lets me get out my thoughts on a subject or subjects without going into a full-length Tech Babble.
This one is about two things recently. One made me very happy, one disappointed me, and both are about AMD.
Ryzen 7 2700 eight-core for £128
This made me very happy indeed. I recently bought a Ryzen 5 2600X for £119 and I thought it was an insane deal - this is new from Amazon, by the way. Well, let's be honest. £119 for a high-performance six core twelve thread CPU that has very fast cores, from great IPC and clock speeds north of 4 GHz in most workloads. Well, that is pretty damn awesome. But it gets better, and honestly I think I knew it would.
I picked up a Ryzen 7 2700 eight-core sixteen thread processor for only a little more, at £128, from Amazon - again it was brand new, in box and sealed like from any other retailer. This is an absolutely insane amount of performance for the price. And again, like the other Ryzen CPUs it also doesn't have slow cores (read above link). The 2700 is brutally efficient (second to Zen2 of course) and represents such insane multi-core performance for creativity, productivity, content creation and even gaming that I am just at a loss for words to describe my excitement by this prospect.
Now just imagine if you wanted to make renders, image editing, or video editing and you needed a powerful CPU on a budget. Take this little guy and place him in a ~£60 B450 Motherboard (As I did, more on that maybe soon...) and you have multi-threaded performance in the same league as a CPU that would have costed over a thousand pounds just 3 years ago. I am of course refering to the i7-6900K.
Anyway, I placed my 2700 in a Gigabyte B450M DS3H, that i also bought brand new for £63 and it is running World Community Grid flat out on all 16 threads for about 12 hours so far. This CPU runs so cool and efficient at stock, nothing gets hot. About 70W package power for ~3.3 GHz on all eight cores in what I imagine is FPU heavy work. Fantastic. For Science!
Anyway, I will also use this 2700-equipped PC for photorealistic renders in Stud.io, which I can render concurrently whilst I am editing the image and applying effects in Paint dot Net on my 3700X. Since my Content folder is synced on OneDrive, it's all persistent between all PCs at my workstation. And being able to render the objects on the 2700 means I don't have to wait for the 3700X to finish (even though it chomps them a fair bit quicker), as its full processing power is now reserved for image editing and applying the effects which themselves require a good bit of CPU Muscle to complete. Paralellism is good! Yay!
Radeon RX 5500 XT's pricing disappoints me.
Okay, I won't spend too much time ranting on about why this is, so I will try (lol) and be brief. When I first heard about RX 5500 XT I was excited for, maybe, a true sucessor product to the venerable RX 570 which honestly to this day offers the best value 1080p gaming performance out of any graphics cards available. This apparently isn't going to change after the RX 5500 XT's price was leaked by Videocardz. Now the reviews go live in 1 hour from when I am typing this, so I will reserve final judgement and update this post if necessary if the pricing is changed last minute.
Apparently the 8GB model retails for $199 USD and the 4GB model for $169. This is too expensive on both counts in my opinion, and represents a regression for Radeon's lower end product stack. As I said I won't mouth off too much here, but the 'jist' of it is, with performance likely to be around RX 580 level, it is going to trail the GTX 1660 by a fair margin (up to 10% perhaps) and cost the same. This isn't going win people's confidence especially when Nvidia's GeForce brand is a lot stronger.
Now, I wouldn't even recommend the GTX 1660 because of the 6GB; I myself would say compared to the GTX 1660, the $199 8GB RX 5500 XT is actually a valid option - if no other options at this price tier and below existed. That is to say, I would trade 10% raw FPS for the extra VRAM - as I feel that is important going into 2020 and beyond (read: new console generation).
The problem is, this Navi 14 based chip which honestly succeeds RX 560, is priced up against existing Radeon champions like 8GB RX 570 which are only 10-15% behind, offer the same 8GB of memory but are nearly ~80 USD cheaper. That is a lot of money in the price-sensitive segment. Actually, even RX 580 8GB is a significantly better option. They are perhaps almost the same performance and cost less right now than the 4GB 5500 XT. I've even seen some RX 590s for as low as £150 here in the UK, and this part probably is a tad quicker... So... You might see what I mean.
It's not all bad though, I think. I have heard from my friend, and read a bit about the internet that this pricing is likely inflated to take advantage of the Holiday season (and resultant sales and their discounts afterwards), and to sell off aforementioned Polaris-based product stock which do currently offer superior value to the new RX 5500 XT product. So, hopefully, after Polaris is sold out, we will see the RX 5500 XT 8GB come down to $150-160 USD where I think it belongs. Because right now, the RX 5500 XT 4GB has absolutely no argument against the GTX 1650 Super which is also cheaper.