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January 2024's tech news


Nvidia launches the RTX 4080 Super, 4070 Ti Super, and 4070 Super GPUs

The Supers are (collectively) based on the same AD103 and AD104 dies as their non-Super counterparts. Binning changes and moving the 4070 Ti Super up to AD103 from the 4070 Ti’s AD104 make this a bit more of an improvement than Nvidia would probably have made by simply adjusting prices.

GPU4080 Super40804070 Ti Super4070 Ti4070 Super4070
US price($1000?)$1200$800$750$600$550
boost clock2550 MHz2505 MHz2610 MHz2610 MHz2475 MHz2475 MHz
L2 cache64MB64MB48MB48MB48MB36MB
VRAM interface256-bit256-bit256-bit192-bit192-bit192-bit
VRAM GT/s2322.421212121
VRAM capacity16GB16GB16GB12GB12GB12GB

(I try to use prices that things can actually be bought for, not MSRPs, but it hasn’t been long enough since the 4080 Super’s launch and its availability hasn’t stabilized. The $1000 MSRP looks much more likely to be representative than the $1500+ that it’s typically selling for at the moment.)

The 4070 Super is around 15% faster than the 4070. At current pricing, this lands it very close to AMD’s performance per dollar (interpolating between the 7800 XT and 7900 XT since the 4070 Super lands in the middle of the gap between them). It’s unusually aggressive pricing for Nvidia and a solid value for us.

The 4070 Ti Super looks around 4-8% faster than the 4070 Ti (with unusually high card-to-card variance), about the same as the current price gap between them. There’s some performance per dollar progress happening here, but it’s more visible in long-term 4070 Ti price drops than in this launch. It’s also not enough to catch up to the 7900 XT’s performance per dollar; 7900 XT and 4070 Ti pricing have been dropping roughly in sync with each other, and the 7900 XT is currently priced about the same as the 4070 Ti while performing more like a 4070 Ti Super.

The 4080 Super’s performance gain over the 4080 barely stands out above card-to-card variance, but (assuming $1000 is accurate) a $200 price drop is a pretty big deal, reducing the 7900 XTX’s performance per dollar advantage from about 25% to about 5%.

AMD launches the RX 7600 XT GPU

The 7600 XT is based on the same Navi 33 die as the 7600, but with higher clocks and 16GB of VRAM instead of 8GB. The performance improvement is bigger than expected, as if the extra VRAM is helping in some way beyond just capacity. Aside from VRAM capacity, its performance per dollar is around 10% behind the 7600’s and 6700 XT’s, roughly in line with the 4060’s and 4060 Ti 8GB’s, and ahead of the A770’s by an ambiguous amount (the A770 has some factors that make ballparking this difficult).

GPU6700 XT7600 XT7600
US price$340$330$270
dieNavi 22Navi 33Navi 33
boost clock2581 MHz2755 MHz2655 MHz
L3 cache96MB32MB32MB
VRAM interface192-bit128-bit128-bit
VRAM GT/s161818
VRAM capacity12GB16GB8GB

The 7600 XT would be much more interesting if the 6700 XT didn’t exist.

If 6700 XT stock runs out without any other major changes in the market, the 7600 XT will offer the best performance per dollar of the three halfway cheap ways (7600 XT, 3060, and A770) to get more than 8GB of VRAM. I’m generally skeptical that 8GB of VRAM is a serious problem at this performance level (some games use more than 8GB when its available but are fine on less, and if you do get into a gaming situation where 8GB isn’t enough you probably won’t have to tweak game settings much to fix it up), but one way or another the VRAM capacity will probably sell a lot of cards.

AMD launches the R7 8700G, R5 8600G, R5 8500G, and R3 8300G CPUs

The 8600G and 8700G bring AMD’s beefiest integrated GPUs to desktops, they come with some very different memory performance tradeoffs than the 7600 through 7700X, and the 8500G is now the cheapest socket AM5 CPU you can buy. The 8300G is OEM-only.

The integrated GPUs in the 8600G and 8700G are approaching (still a bit below) the level of the RX 6400, GTX 1650, and Arc A380, and this is very cool, but the value proposition of leaning on them is usually iffy. In practical gaming they’ll almost always get thoroughly outrun by similarly-priced or cheaper builds using dedicated GPUs (along these lines, $479 as I write this). The integrated GPUs are definitely strong enough to be useful, they’re just niche at this price.

CPU-side, the 8600G and 8700G have a few things going on:

It would be fun to see just how fast an 8600G or 8700G could go via RAM overclocking, but at these prices, when pairing them with dedicated GPUs, they look very unlikely to meaningfully compete with the 7600 through 7700X.

The 8500G is the cheapest socket AM5 CPU you can buy, but it’s still much more expensive to build with than many socket AM4 options and comes with some serious compromises. Four of its six cores are Zen 4c (specced for a maximum of 3.7 GHz in this case where the others are specced for 5.0 GHz) instead of full-clock Zen 4 and it appears to only have four PCIe lanes available for a dedicated GPU. It might get more relevant as AM4 phases out (and hopefully its price will drop a bit).

More CPU launches

AMD has also launched the 5700X3D, 5700, 5600GT, and 5500GT, and Intel has launched lower-power 14th gen CPUs.

The 5700X3D is very much like the 5800X3D, but clocked 400 MHz lower and selling for $250 instead of $310+. At $250, its total CPU + motherboard + RAM cost can be more meaningfully lower than a 7600’s, which might give it a more solid niche to work in for new builds.

On the Intel side, filling out the 14th gen lineup means a lot of new names, but not a lot of new tech. If you know what 13th gen was like you’ve already got most of this. Clocks are up a bit across the board, the 14700 gets 12 E-cores (up from 8 in the 13700), and the 14600 gets the upgrade to 2MB of L2 cache per P-core (previously reserved for the 13600K and above).

Component pricing and availability updates

GPU performance per dollar has improved a bit in the $500-800 range, thanks to the 4070 Super, 4070 Ti Super, and AMD’s related price adjustments to the 7800 XT and 7900 XT. The 7800 XT drifted up to $530+ (from its $500 launch price) for a bit there, but now looks solidly back down to $500.

Stock of the 6700 XT is starting to look a bit shaky, like it may not be available at an appropriate price for much longer. It will be missed; it may be from the previous generation, but for the moment it does a very good job of filling a hole in AMD’s current-generation lineup.

In the RDNA 3 era, 6600 XT availability has mostly stayed decent and 6650 XT availability has been patchy. That’s reversed right now, at least in the US. Several 6650 XTs and only one 6600 XT are in stock at prices below the 7600’s.

SSD prices have risen quite a bit over the past couple of months, and rumors are that they’re not done rising. SSD prices oscillate a lot, and last year’s pricing was unusually cheap (out of proportion with production costs), so this is unfortunately no big surprise.