We recently noticed some information regarding the poor availability of AMD’s Radeon RX Vega GPUs that we’d like share with you by way of conjecture. Before we get going, as a reminder, AMD released the Vega 56 and Vega 64 graphics cards back in August, some five months ago. At the time they sold out in seconds and since then supply has been unable to meet demand with miners being mostly to blame for this. Despite the poor availability, a good many of you have been asking us to review custom RX Vega graphics cards from one of AMD’s partners. This request likely comes at least in part due to my comments openly bashing AMD’s reference design, claiming that it’s hot, loud and that you simply shouldn’t buy it. Many custom models have been announced, but getting your hands on any one of them is next to impossible — I can’t even get one, despite AMD saying that it’s willing to support me directly. I’ve heard for months that the cards are coming, until last week when two of AMD’s board partners told me that they wouldn’t be coming after all. This had me confused and after making a few more inquiries it was confirmed by one exclusive partner and one massive partner that the custom cards have been effectively canceled as the companies are no longer receiving Vega 56 and 64 GPUs from AMD, and its reference models weren’t being supplied either. No Vega graphics cards were being sold by these partners. That didn’t seem right to me, so I dug a little more. First I went to check Newegg to see who has RX Vega cards in stock and specifically what models/brands, but I found nothing! Newegg did list some custom Gigabyte models at insane prices with no stock along with a single PowerColor model, also out of stock, as well as a reference model sold by XFX which was likewise unavailable. What was in stock was the ‘ Vega Frontier Edition ‘ and I’ll come back to that shortly. Every other US retailer I checked also showed zero stock for the Vega 56 and Vega 64. It’s the same story for Australian retailers. In fact, PC Case Gear now list just a single Vega 56 model, which is of course out of stock. I also tried the AMD shop on their official website and checked all the links they provide to various retailers — none of them had stock for either model. I also decided to have a look at pre-built systems, though there are almost none that feature RX Vega graphics cards. That said I do know of one, a CybertronPC packing an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X with a reference RX Vega 64 graphics card at Best Buy, who has more than two dozen system to choose from yet only with an RX Vega card inside. And guess what? It’s the only PC out of stock. There’s one exception to the Vega’s availability and that’s Apple. AMD obviously wouldn’t want to upset the apple cart, so you can still buy a horrendously overpriced iMac Pro to get a Vega 56 or Vega 64 graphics card. It’s only $8,260 for the Vega 64 version with an eight-core Xeon CPU, 32GB of memory and a 1TB SSD. At this point, I realized two things: there didn’t appear to be a single Vega 56 or 64 card in stock anywhere in the US or Australia. That’s not completely unusual for Vega, but I was intrigued by that detail knowing that AMD’s partners told me the company isn’t currently […]
This article discusses the various CPUs and GPUs that you want to stay away from. This is a type of computer hardware that you don’t see written about as much. Lately SSD is the latest craze. They are by far a superior hard drive. Sometimes the best computer tips are bits of advice of which products to stay away from. Windows 10 and Dell computers still top my list of items to stay away from.
If you want to learn about what graphics card you should buy (despite the horrible pricing), what’s the best CPU or are building a new system, then check out our Best Of series and PC Buying Guide for all the info you need. Today we’re discussing something else. What we feel were the worst CPU and GPU purchases of 2017. Some were just bad from the get go while others started life as viable options that sadly proved poor choices before year’s end. Kick starting 2017, Intel released the new ‘Kaby Lake’ series which actually didn’t turn out to be all that new. Apart from a small factory overclock these were basically Skylake parts and when matched clock-for-clock we found zero IPC gain. So if you owned 2015’s 6700K there was no need to buy the 7700K . A shame because the same could be said if you owned either a Haswell or Broadwell Core i7 CPU, and even arguably a Sandy or Ivy Bridge i7 as well. Still if you were coming from an AMD FX series or maybe a Core i5, something along those lines, then the 7700K offered noteworthy gains for those rocking a fast graphics card and was therefore a viable option. Unfortunately those that invested $340 in a 7700K (or heaven forbid the 7740X) ended up getting completely hosed by Intel. Roughly 9 months later for about the same price, Intel’s brand new 8700K is essentially the same CPU but with 50% more cores and threads. The 7700K is still a very capable gamer but the 8700K will no doubt prove to be a significantly better investment down the road. I should note that while I’m focusing on the 7700K, the same really applies for all Kaby Lake Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3 CPUs. They’ve all been heavily upgraded with the arrival of Coffee Lake. The only CPU that still remains a worthwhile investment is the G4560 as there is nothing better for less than $100, that said stretching the budget to the Core i3-8100 would be a smarter choice now. If you bought a 7700K in Q1 2017 you’re probably not as upset, otherwise not only has the 7700K’s resale value plummeted after the release of the 8700K, but you can’t even upgrade without a motherboard change and that brings me to part 2 of the Intel roll job. Z270 Motherboards, Intel’s lack of backwards compatibility… This is a continuation of the Kaby Lake CPUs, but it has to be said compounding the issue is Intel’s decision to remove backwards compatibility for the new Coffee Lake CPUs. Despite using the same LGA 1151 socket, Intel has changed the configuration in a way that they say the 8th gen CPUs can’t work on 100-series or 200-series motherboards while Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs also won’t work on the new 300-series motherboards. Whether or not it was necessary for Intel to eliminate compatibility, I honestly don’t know. I can just tell you this is a massive inconvenience for consumers. If I had to guess I’d say there is no legitimate reason for Intel to drop support for 200-series motherboards, I said this before even reviewing the Coffee Lake CPUs and Intel fans shot me down. However bit-tech interviewed the product manager for ROG motherboards at Asus, Andrew Wu and he said a few interesting things. When asked, if Intel let them could they make Z270 motherboards compatible with 8th Gen Core processors Andrew said ‘yes’, it would only require a BIOS update but Intel somehow has locked the compatibility. In the end it […]