This week, we have headlining news regarding AMD research that outlines some security implications regarding Predictive Store Forwarding on Zen 3 CPUs. For the time being, it mostly seems to be a non-issue, unlike the Spectre variants that have hit Intel CPUs hard. Also in AMD news is another patent filed that expands on AMD’s research into GPU chiplets, and is seemingly an improvement over the previous patent we saw earlier this year.
There’s also news regarding a massive haul of smuggled GPUs that were seized in Hong Kong, some discussion on Lenovo using AMD’s PSB feature on its servers and workstations, some commentary on a potential X570S chipset, and more.
At GN, we recently benchmarked Intel’s UHD 750 and UHD 630 IGPs and compared them to the low-end Nvidia GT 1030. We also reviewed the Arctic Freezer 50 CPU cooler, and detailed some of its pressure and assembly weaknesses.
Video embed and article follow below, as usual.
It’s been a busy week, as we have news on several fronts in the industry. There’s news of Steam's hardware survey, the discovery of several GeForce RTX 3090 models making use of a blower-style cooler disappearing from market, and Nintendo Switch 2 rumors.
We also have some news on Intel being handed a massive $2.18 billion bill for patent infringement, TSMC’s 3nm still on track for risk production this year, and reports of Texas semiconductor fabs still idling.
This week, we have a lot of general industry news pertaining to the supply and manufacturing of semiconductors. There’s news on how the drought in Taiwan is affecting chipmakers, Europe looking to establish a certain amount of semiconductor self-reliance, and some discussion on interconnects limiting chip scaling.
We also have news on the AMD RX 6700 XT, Fry’s Electronics ceasing operations, HP acquiring HyperX, and more. At GN, we recently reviewed Nvidia’s RTX 3060, Fractal’s Meshify 2 case, and revisited the GTX 960 in 2021.
As always, video embed and article follow below.
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.
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.
We’re reviewing the NVIDIA RTX 3080 FE today, where new testing methods for pressure analysis, acoustics, and game benchmarks are all in place. We also have a separate upcoming piece involving Schlieren photography of the RTX 3080 FE card, but we can show a short clip of that here as a preview. More on that soon. These cards are so complex -- especially thermally -- that the hardest part was figuring out how to segment the content in a way that’s usable and also possible to complete. Today, our focus is on rasterized games, hybrid rendered games, and path-traced games, alongside basic thermals, acoustics, pressure, power, and coldplate flatness. We have a separate piece going up today for a tear-down of the RTX 3080 (but a quick note that we finished all testing prior to the tear-down, as always). We’ll have more on PCIe generation results, but rest assured that our benchmarks use the best-performing bench, and more thermals.
Note: This is a transcript from our video review of the NVIDIA RTX 3080 Founders Edition card. You can watch that here (or embedded below). We also have a tear-down video coming up.
If you would like to learn about our new GPU testing methodology, we have a video on the channel here.
The AMD RX 5600 XT Jebaited Edition video cards launched yesterday, and the company created a mess by completely changing what the video card was meant to do before launch. Basically, it initially shipped as more of a 1660 Super competitor, but ended up being overhauled to become a 2060 competitor. This is overall a good thing from a price competition standpoint, but a horrible mess for buyers and manufacturers of the cards. The update came in the form of a VBIOS flash that can increase performance upwards of 11%, but not all the shipped cards have the VBIOS applied, meaning customers will be buying cards that perform worse than what reviews show. Worse still, some cards will never have that VBIOS available, with some partners splitting their 5600 XT into two SKUs. It’d sort of be like if the 1660 and 1660 Super were sold under a single name, but with two completely different performance classes. In today’s content, we’re going to help you flash 5600 XT cards to unlock the full performance, assuming your card has made such a VBIOS available. This will also apply to other AMD video cards.
In this hardware news episode, we're announcing our charity drive to support Australian wildlife affected by bushfires, including a special charity auction modmat, and we're also covering notable topics in the industry. Cyberpunk 2077 gets coverage, X670 / 600-series chipsets for AMD Ryzen 4000 CPUs are up for discussion, big Navi rumors are debunked, Microsoft is going carbon negative, and more.
Show notes continue after the video.
Other than the high heat felt by GDDR6 on MSI’s initial Evoke, our criticism over MSI’s poorly positioned and sized thermal pads also started some fires at the company. Shortly after our coverage, a few members of the MSI video card team flew out to us to discuss the issue, decisions that were made, and talk about the best way to fix it while remaining within the logistical confines of manufacturing. MSI had confirmed our testing, but also told us that it was working on solutions. Today, we’re revisiting the MSI Evoke to see if those promises have been met.
The original issue was that MSI used thermal pads which were only about 40% of the size of the top two memory modules, but also had poor mounting pressure and pads located far off-center. Further, the backplate was necessary to this test, as it acted like a thermal trap without any thermal interface between it and the PCB. The MSI Evoke ended up with the worst GDDR6 thermals out of all the partner 5700 XT cards we tested when noise-normalized and was among the worst even when auto. The 5700 XT reference was the only one worse.
The most common component review request from our viewers over the past few months has been the RX 5700 XT Red Devil. Powercolor was never able to get stock to send us one, but we finally sniped one when it popped-up on Amazon. This will likely be the last 5700 XT we review, unless something major comes out – or a THICC III – so we’ll finally have a fairly full picture of how the entire stack aligns compared to the much-praised RX 5700 XT Red Devil from PowerColor. The Red Devil has easily been the most universally recommended in comment threads and for review, and so we’ll be benchmarking it for thermals, noise, and build quality in today’s review.
We bought the Powercolor RX 5700 XT Red Devil for about $440 on Amazon, which puts it into the most direct engagement with Sapphire’s Nitro+ or MSI’s Gaming X variants of the RX 5700 XT GPU. We’ll be looking at the PowerColor card for thermals, acoustics, power budget, and fan/frequency response.
We moderate comments on a ~24~48 hour cycle. There will be some delay after submitting a comment.