We’re back for our annual “Best Of” series. We’ve already published a buyer’s guide for the Best CPUs of 2020 (for gaming, workstation tasks, video editing, and more), and now we’re back with the Best & Worst PC Cases of 2020. This coverage provides a flyby overview of the best cases we’ve reviewed or worked on in the past year, but keep in mind that cases don’t age like CPUs or GPUs -- many good cases from 2019 are still available, and in some instances, the pricing has improved. We’ll talk about some of those, too, like the Phanteks P400A.
Each case will be accompanied with a link to our review and to the product listings. We often earn a commission from the retailer (not from the manufacturer and not from your purchase) if you click on the links. This does not influence our decision to choose one case over another -- we’re choosing based on our empirical testing data from the last year or so.
We’ll embed a few charts occasionally, but to get the full charts, you’ll want to check the individual case reviews for each enclosure. The target audience for this piece is either people returning to PC building for the first time in a while -- those who might be out of the loop -- or people who haven’t had time to watch or read every single one of our case reviews over the past year. We don’t blame you, if so.
Hardware news this week has been busy, once again, slotting right in between silicon product releases. Our AMD Ryzen 5000 coverage is mostly done, but we're now ramping into RX 6000 GPU coverage. While preparing work for the RX 6800 XT (and subsequent) GPU launches, we opened a dialogue with NVIDIA to ask about a potential PCIe resizable BAR implementation as a counter to AMD's SAM. That's our leading story for this one, followed-up by some coverage of the Zen 3 delidding work done recently, Intel's add-in GPU for servers, and more.
This past week was slammed for us. We posted reviews of the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 9 5900X, and Ryzen 9 5900X, all available on our YouTube channel. In the time since, we’ve been working on Ryzen memory benchmarks, including an upcoming piece featuring Wendell of Level1Techs and Buildzoid of AHOC. That piece will focus on ranks, channels, and Zen 3’s newly exaggerated behaviors with regard to interleaving and scaling. More on that soon. For hardware news this week, the big story is a GN-exclusive about NVIDIA MSRP targets and BOM cost suggestions for an RTX 2060-style replacement.
HW News - Intel Xe GPUs Progressing, Partner RX 6000 Release Timing, More Intel Rocket Lake-S DetailsBy Steve Burke & Eric Hamilton Published November 02, 2020 at 1:35 am
Hardware news this week leads into a major launch sequence from AMD. We've been busy covering GPUs for about a month now, but that'll soon switch over to AMD Ryzen 5000 CPU coverage as the 5950X, 5900X, 5800X, and 5600X come to market. More on that in a few days. For now, we'll be covering Intel's Xe GPU progress updates, AMD RX 6000 partner GPU timeline expectations, some additional Rocket Lake-S details, a Corsair water block launch, and more.
The show notes follow the video embed, as always.
This hardware news episode was filmed prior to the AMD news update, which we covered in full depth on the YouTube channel over here: AMD RX 6900 XT, 6800 XT, & 6800 Specs. We won't be going back over that announcement in this content, so you can check out the full RX 6000 details in that fully dedicated piece with additional AMD Q&A. In this one, we'll be talking RTX models being canceled or pushed back, AMD supercomputer pushes, Intel selling off part of its business, and more.
It’s been something of a busy week in hardware and enthusiast related news this past week, even with Apple’s iPhone event and Amazon’s glutenous Amazon Prime Day sales seemingly dictating part of the news cycle. Still, we’ve got a few stories worth talking about, and as ever, we’ve been busy with other coverage here at GN.
It looks like EVGA is among the first vendors to attempt to address the power limit issue for overclockers looking to push the RTX 3080 ever further, as the company has released a new beta VBIOS that raises the power target. Additionally, there are the usual rumblings in the memory market about price drops, a China-designed 7-nm class chip, an interesting vector supercomputer headed for Japan, and Gundam parts branded by ASUS.
At GN, we’ve been continuing our RTX 30-series coverage with a review and teardown of the ASUS RTX 3080 TUF OC, and we looked at Nvidia’s Reflex suite, including its Latency Analyzer and Reflex Low Latency Mode.
As usual, find the news recap and video embed below.
We’ve been sent three cases for review by Corsair: the 4000D, the 4000D Airflow, and the 4000X. Today we’ll be covering the two 4000D variants, since they’re entirely identical other than the “front bezel” plate that ships with the enclosure. Companies like Phanteks and Cooler Master have sometimes handled situations like this by sending us multiple front panels, but Corsair is fighting hard to eliminate our last few square feet of storage space--we have all three. As of this writing, all 4000D SKUs are available for sale for $80.
Hardware news this past week has been busy, with the main coverage being AMD's Zen 3 CPUs (5000 series, like the 5950X, 5900X, 5600X, and 5800X), which we covered in a news piece previously. Following that, for this news recap, we've been updated on the MSI "scalping" story, RTX 3080 and 3090 inventory numbers for a European retailer, and how EVGA is still getting through day-one orders for the RTX 3080. Additional stories include Intel's quasi-announcement of Rocket Lake's timelines, NVIDIA's A6000 and A40 GPU specs, and Razer's cringe-worthy credit card.
At GN, we’re slowly emerging from our RTX 30-series coma, where we’ve pushed our testing and coverage perhaps as far as we ever have. We’re getting ready to slow down for a week or so to revamp and improve processes internally and get ready to do it all again with Zen 3, RDNA2, and the RTX 3070.
As ever, there’s plenty to cover outside of our reviews and testing. This week, we have news regarding NVIDIA delaying the RTX 3070 launch window to the end of October in an effort to avoid the previous RTX 3080 and 3090 catastrophe. There’s also a credible rumor suggesting that Zen 3 will come in under the Ryzen 5000-series banner, which would probably be for the best, given how convoluted CPU naming is getting.
Elsewhere, we discuss Intel’s Omni-Path being resurrected under the new Cornelis Networks, leaked Windows XP source code, an interesting new HPE-Cray built supercomputer, and more. Check out the article and video embed below.
It’s been busy here, but we finally have a brief window to talk about something other than GPUs. Today, we’re reviewing Lian Li’s Lancool 215, internally nicknamed the “P400A killer” despite a design that visually takes more inspiration from Cooler Master’s H500-whatever cases, as we’ve seen some other cases do recently. We’ve been very interested in this design since we first saw it during a visit to Lian Li’s headquarters back in March, when they showed us around several of the factories they work with. The design was made public back in July, but some (understandable) production delays have prevented it from hitting the market until now, with preorders currently open for an October 12th release date. The nickname comes from the 215’s airflow-focused design at a target price of $70, which directly competes with the two-fan P400A, currently $71 on Amazon and Newegg. The four-fan P400A Digital, the one which we reviewed highly last year, is currently more in the $80-$90 range in the stores where it’s actually in stock. The Lancool 215 has addressable RGB LEDs and three stock fans, two of which are 200MM intake fans that cover the entire surface of the front panel, making it potentially a very strong competitor to Phanteks’ offerings. As we’ve already reported, Lian Li has been able to keep the price low by contracting out case production rather than making the 215 in-house (as they would for their more expensive aluminum cases).
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