For this hardware news recap, we're starting out with an update of our recent charity PC build we did for Cat Angels, a local-to-us cat shelter, then moving on to the Ampere Computing 80-core CPU. Other news topics include the LGA1200 socket and Z490, demand for GDDR6 potentially inflating video card prices for 2020, an auction for a Nintendo "PlayStation," and NVIDIA insists that it's better than consoles. Show notes continue after the video embed.

Hardware news is still rolling into the holidays, as one might expect, because this industry doesn't let its occupants sleep. We're also leading into CES 2020, which means leaks abound. Coverage today includes a few rumor topics -- the RX 5600 XT and Intel Z490, mainly -- with some other industry topics mixed-in. Kioxia (Toshiba) is developing new NAND, motherboard makers can't get rid of X299 fast enough, and Microsoft is talking about its Xbox Series X. Again.

Back when Ryzen 3000 launched, there was reasonable speculation founded in basic physics that the asymmetrical die arrangement of the CPUs with fewer chiplets could have implications for cooler performance. The idea was that, at the root of it, a cooler whose heatpipes aligned to fully contact above the die would perform better, as opposed to one with two coolers sharing vertical contact with the die. We still see a lot of online commentary about this and some threads about which orientation of a cooler is “best,” so we thought we’d bust a few of the myths that popped-up, but also do some testing on the base idea.

This is pretty old news by now, with much of the original discussion starting about two months ago. Noctua revived the issue at the end of October by stating that it believed there to be no meaningful impact between the two possible orientations of heatpipes on AM4 motherboards, but not everyone has seen that, because we’re still getting weekly emails asking us to test this hypothesis.

We're always sort of surprised when hardware news steamrolls right through major holidays. It doesn't slow down. As we approach end of year, Microsoft dropped a major bombshell with its Xbox Series X console announcement, Intel has committed to making more 22nm CPUs, Plundervolt threatens CPU security, and more.

As always, show notes continue after the embedded video.

Our latest GN Special Report is looking at sales data to determine the popularity of both AMD and Intel CPUs amongst our readers, with dive-down data on average selling price, popularity by series (R5, R7, R9, or i7, i9, and so on), and Intel vs. AMD monthly sales volume. We ran a similar report in April of this year, but with Ryzen 3000 behind us, we now have a lot more data to look at. We’ll be comparing 3 full years of affiliate purchases through retail partners to analyze product popularity among the GamersNexus readers and viewers.

This year’s busy launch cadence has meant nearly non-stop CPU and GPU reviews for the past 6 months, but that also gives us a lot of renewed data to work with for market analysis. Intel’s supply troubles have been nearly a weekly news item for us throughout this year, with a few months of reprieve that soon lapsed. With Intel’s ongoing supply shortages and 10nm delays, and with its only launch being refreshes of existing parts, the company was barely present in the enthusiast segment for 2019. Even still, it’s dominating in pre-built computer sales, and ultimately, DIY enthusiast is an incredibly small portion of Intel’s total marketshare and volume. AMD, meanwhile, has had back-to-back launches in rapid succession, which have managed to dominate media coverage for the better part of this year.

There's nothing quite as validating as finding out that your hobby is featured in a political misspending and wire fraud case and, for many hardware enthusiasts, that day came when a US politician was found guilty of illegally spending campaign money on over $1300 of Steam games. In the meantime, though, we've got news on AMD RX 5500 XT listings in China, AMD CPU marketshare growth via Steam Hardware Survey, NVIDIA saying that more FPS = more kills, and more.

The Lian Li Lancool II is another budget case effort from Lian Li--budget relative to the rest of Lian Li’s past cases, at least. It’s the successor to the identically MSRP-ed $90 Lancool One, a case that we were mildly pleased with at the time but lacked the wow factor of Lian Li’s O11 line. The white version is $5 more, but Lian Li wisely sent the black one for review. The Lancool II has already gained a few points in our book just by being a “sequel” case that doesn’t look the same or worse than the original. In 2018, the year the Lancool One launched, our award for Best-Worst Case Trend went to pointless refreshes.

There were some fit and finish issues with our review sample, but let’s cover the features of the case first to provide some context. 

We filmed this hardware news episode before Thanksgiving, but ended up holding it and adding to it once we saw some of the hardware sales that went live (we didn’t want to film a dedicated hardware sales video). There have been plenty of hardware sales guides on the site, as you’ve likely seen, but now it’s time to re-focus on the news. The headliner is Apple joining the fight against SoftBank with Intel, both alleging the behavior of a patent troll.

Show notes will continue after the embedded video.

We’ve covered a variety of sales this Black Friday, including a wide range of components like best monitor sales, best GPU and CPU sales, and an overall deal roundup. We’ve also written some guides that build upon a year of testing data, including our best CPUs of 2019, best cases of 2019, and best GPUs of 2019 round-ups.

Today, we’ll be focusing on the best motherboard discounts presently available on both Newegg and Amazon for both AMD and Intel. Remember, this isn’t a “best motherboard roundup,” but rather a best motherboard sales listing. You can reference our best Z390 boards video for Intel’s top-performing boards or our best motherboards for Ryzen 3000, and we have another of those on the way tonight. Every sale we list here is a motherboard that’s at least decent or recommended and that actually has a real discount, not just the fake markdowns that we see all the time. Some of these have individual reviews/analysis videos we’ve done that will be linked with them.

PC hardware sales for Black Friday are typically good. The consumer space always gets good prices cuts, but some industries just don’t offer much in the way of sales or margin during peak buying season. Computer hardware, though, is fortunate enough to be a fiercely competitive space, and so we’ve found plenty of worthwhile discounts for consideration. AMD’s Ryzen lineup -- including the brand new Ryzen 3000 series -- has big sales across the board. The R5 3600X, a CPU we previously recommended against as it was economically wasteful as compared to the R5 3600, is marked down to the same price as the R5 3600. That makes it actually worthwhile. The Sapphire RX 5700 XT Nitro+ is also marked down, surprisingly, and previous-gen AMD Ryzen CPUs are down to new prices or discounted prices.

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