Assemble that Passes # 301

Assemble that Passes you is a weekly column that collects the main news related to gaming PC hardware and offers three configurations, divided by price ranges, designed for those who want to assemble or update their machine. As usual, suggestions are welcome and corrections welcome, as long as the tones are adequate. Another tip is to read the paragraphs presenting the configurations before you do battle in the comments.

The protagonist of the week is undoubtedly the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, an alternative designed for gaming to the GeForce RTX 3090 that gives up 12 of the 24 GB of GDDRX6 memory of its older sister to lower the price to 1199 €. The expense remains very high in relation to the performance gain on the GeForce RTX 3080, but we are still talking about performance close to the top of the range, unless you get to the 8K resolution, for what NVIDIA itself defines as the new gaming flagship. And it was still stormed, as expected, given the palatability of a advised price which, although high, is much lower than those of the market, inflated dramatically by the lack of GPUs powered by a demand that remains extremely high. Hence the disappearance in a few moments of both the Founders Edition, sold precisely for € 1199, and the first custom, some of which surprisingly sold by some stores between € 1250 and € 1350.

Raja Koduri has finally shown the DG2-512 which will end up in the flagship Intel Xe-HPG GPU

The lucky ones, needless to say, have been few, but there will be another occasion, albeit less interesting for those who want the best or almost in gaming, with the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti which will be made available on 10 June. In this case we are talking about presumably higher performance by up to 10% compared to that of a GeForce RTX 3070, but considering that the basic version enjoys similar performance to that of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, we are still talking about a GPU capable of guaranteeing extreme framerates in 1080p, high framerates in 1440p and thanks to DLSS, where supported, satisfactions even in 4K or with ultra-wide screens. It can therefore satisfy different types of players, provided of course that you can buy it at an acceptable price.

In the meantime, there are those who still believe that the cards exist and that the price tussle is all a matter of speculation. But no one has ever denied the fact that cards are produced. The problem, it seems, is that they are sold at great speed and that in all probability a good part of the production is reserved for laptops and pre-assembled. In addition, in the case of AMD, TSMC’s 7-nanometer production lines also work on processors Ryzen 5000, also coming in a version with integrated GPU, and the SoCs mounted on the next generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Enough to make a significant contribution to reaching the billion 7 nanometer chip already packaged and delivered from the TSMC foundries. And it is a number that makes clear the enormity of the demand in a time as complicated as it is glorious for the PC and for gaming in general, both on PC and on consoles.

With the enormous investments of Samsung, TSMC and Intel in the new foundries, however, we expect a net increase in production between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022. As anticipated, this is not necessarily enough to solve the problem, given that the production of a video requires a lot of specific components and not just the GPU, but it should alleviate the situation. Furthermore, at the beginning of 2022 the Intel video cards should arrive as the American company has finally thrown itself with conviction into this segment, immediately aiming at products that are not only professional but also for gaming. The information is still scarce, but in the meantime Raja Koduri, former head of the Radeon team, has shown the first image of what should be the top-of-the-range chip in the series Intel Xe-HPG. We are talking about the DG2-512, a chip presumably designed to compete with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 and perhaps also the 3080, aiming right at the desktop segment which is the one that is registering the highest sales at the moment.

As anticipated, however, DG2-512 he still has a little way to go before he can take the field. From the initial forecast of a launch by the end of 2021, we moved on to the beginning of 2022 while Raja Koduri himself spoke of a lot of work to be done, especially for software optimization. But the premises remain good. The architecture based on 128 execution unit modules should guarantee some savings, together with the use of GDDR6 memory instead of GDDR6X, making it easy to produce the various models that should include, in addition to the top of the range 4 modules with 512 execution unit for 4096 processing core, two variants of 3 modules with 384 execution units and two variants of one module with 128 execution units.

In parallel, Moore’s Law is Dead has fueled enthusiasm for the GPU Intel showing the alleged photo of the PCB designed to house the DG2-512 chip shown by Raja Koduri. In addition, the Youtube channel has revealed some specifications indicating the presence of two 8-pin auxiliary connectors for a consumption of about 235 watts. Let’s be clear, we are talking about an engineering sample and specifications likely to change, but we do not expect a revolution for a card that in this case is given as similar to the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, at least in raster. But it could take another step forward even though the supposed 2.2 GHz peak frequency is already quite high. Furthermore, we know it well, brute power is not the only relevant element, especially today given the use of ray tracing and the arrival of advanced upscaling starting from NVIDIA’s DLSS to arrive at the now imminent FidelityFX Super Resolution of AMD. Intel’s will instead be called XeSS, with a name that seems to want to highlight a similarity in operation with the advanced DLSS, based on dedicated cores. We could therefore find something similar in the hardware of Intel cards, while we already know that there will be hardware dedicated to ray tracing, although according to previous rumors not able, at least in the case of the first immature samples, to rival that of the GeForce RTX family. 3000 from NVIDIA.

The alleged PCB of the flagship Intel Xe-HPG video card

Pursued by AMD on the processor front, Intel will also most likely be the first to adopt a hybrid core philosophy, ARM’s big.LITTLE style, in the field of x86 desktops, with the new series. Alder Lake that finally promises that leap that has long been missing in the field of Core processors. In the meantime, AMD seems willing to launch an evolution of the current series, using the Zen 3+ architecture. But someone already talks aboutZen architecture 4 which promises great things, starting with the use of technology 3D Chiplet designed to stack chips, similar to what happens with HBM memory banks. And it is an interesting technique that allows you to optimize consumption, increase the bandwidth in this case up to 2 TB / s per second and include in a single chip up to 192 MB of memory, with all the advantages of the case for latencies and computational power. .

Budget configuration

The budget configuration is the one oriented to saving but it is not certain that there is no room for the upgrade where interesting prospects arise. The proposals in this range include solutions designed for low-tech games and 1080p-oriented builds.

The price drop of the Ryzen 3 3300X, available again, is not enough to make us prefer it to the Ryzen 3200G, which is weaker in terms of computing power and gaming, but equipped with an integrated GPU superior to a GT 1030. Ed being a Vega 11 it is also clearly superior to the options integrated in the desktop processors of the competition, although it is no longer a recent solution.

Sure, we would have preferred a discrete GPU capable of uncompromising 1080p, but there are currently no next-generation options designed for the budget segment. Furthermore, in this period every solution able to offer gaming performance is at a very high price. For this we are satisfied with an integrated solution, hoping that the situation will improve as soon as possible.

Gaming configuration

In the gaming segment there are usually those components that allow you to face the game on the PC without fear and to hold on for some time. The frame rate showdown is just around the corner but, with a good base, it’s always possible to sell the old GPU before it devalues ​​too much so you can buy a new one just in time to take on the next hardware-smashing blockbuster.

While reminding you that the Ryzen 5 5600X is finally available at the recommended price, this week we’re back on the other side of the fence, giving up PCIe 4.0 lines on the motherboard to save on the price that makes the Core i5-11600K one of the most attractive Intel options for this new, albeit linked to the old production process, CPU generation.

Once the processor has been chosen, we are once again struggling with prices and the limited availability of GPUs. But we make a change anyway, focusing on the Radeon RX 6700 XT which in addition to having more power than the RTX 3060, is available at a slightly lower price and promises to make a leap forward in performance at the end of June, when the upscaling will finally be implemented. FidelityFX Super Resolution.

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