Steam Deck and the first details on Intel Alder Lake and AMD Zen 4 - Assemble that Pass you # 307

Steam Deck and the first details on Intel Alder Lake and AMD Zen 4 - Assemble that Pass you # 307

While we don't expect any new weight announcements until the end of the summer, in this week's appointment with Assembla che ti Passa we have a lot to talk about between the lower prices of video cards, the announcement of the hybrid between PC and Steam Deck console, new rumors about Intel Alder Lake processors and news also for those based on Zen 4 architecture which should arrive at the beginning of 2022.

Video cards, prices down

The prices of GPUs Are Down, Finally In this strange July of this strange 2021, as the world is tossed around by the elements, we are still grappling with a painful pandemic that, according to some, is set to affect our lives for many years to come. But if the danger of COVID-19 has dropped rapidly, vaccines seem to work even with the fearsome Delta variant, the sun is nice and hot and the chip shortage has become less problematic, probably thanks to the decrease in demand linked to this discovery. summer freedom and lower demand for GPUs by Chinese miners.

GPU prices, it must be said, are still inflated, but in Europe they have stabilized at almost acceptable levels, at least in the case of some models, and are finally falling in Italy as well, although they still remain a bit 'too high to be taken calmly into consideration. We are in fact talking about 1150 euros for an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 and prices still too close to 1000 euros for an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070. But considering the evident increase in availability, the figures should drop further in the coming weeks, allowing us to finally look to our local offers.

Nevertheless, our advice is to wait for the arrival of the AMD Radeon RX 5600 and Radeon RX 5600 XT, the two mid-range variants of the RDNA 2 series that could give a further shake to prices by increasing the number of GPUs on the market and offering an alternative to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti. For the memories, however, prices have already returned to interesting levels.

Steam Deck, Valve's hybrid between PC and portable console

A voluminous but powerful portable console equipped with PC capabilities Although the drop in GPU prices is an extremely important event, after months of suffering, this weekend's starring role is undoubtedly Steam Deck, the ultra-portable computer dressed as a Nintendo Switch that combines the advantages of a console designed for mobility with the connectivity and freedom of a PC, showing off, among other things, an avalanche of inputs and keys.

The operating system is SteamOS and Valve's operation seems to resume the Steam Machine discourse, but in this case we are talking about a portable device sold at an undoubtedly competitive price, so much so that it has been defined as painful but necessary by Gabe Newell, who moves in an area where Windows does not have the domain and which goes perfectly with cloud gaming, retro-gaming, use as a compact media center and so on.

All seasoned by a GPU which, releasing together with the CPU an overall power quadruple compared to Nintendo Switch, should guarantee quality gaming in 1280x720 which is the native resolution of the games on the 7-inch and 400 nit screen. luminance.

Of course, speaking of power we must also consider that such a solution cannot aspire to the level of optimization obtainable by developing games for a single machine and we must also take into account the fact that the Proton compatibility layer, necessary to run Windows games on a Linux-based operating system, there is minimal loss of performance, but what we have seen has heartened us.

Three models differentiated by type and size of storage In fact, barring nasty surprises, we are talking about a device capable of running Control in high detail in a perfectly fluid way. In addition, to compensate for the inevitable compromises of a solution that by compressing the hardware of a PC into a small space forgoes detachable controllers and has to contend with a weight of 669 grams, there is the promise of compatibility with the almost entirety of the computer. PC ecosystem between mice, headphones and even docking stations. Enough to make the Valve device, in pre-order since yesterday in three different variants for storage, very interesting.

Steam Deck data sheet

Processor: AMD Zen 2 with 4 cores and 8 threads, 2.4-3.5 GHz, 448 GFlop FP32 Integrated graphics chip: 8 compute unit RDNA 2, 1.0-1.6 GHz, 1.6 TFlop FP32 Memory: 16 GB LPDDR5 Screen: 7-inch LCD touchscreen with resolution 1280x800 pixels, 400 nits, 60 Hz refresh Resolution: 1280x800 pixel 16:10 screen, native resolution 720p 16: 9 Operating system: SteamOS 3.0 with Proton (for Windows game compatibility) Storage: 64 GB eMCC, 256 GB NVMe PCIe SSD 3.0, 512 GB SSD NVMe PCIe 3.0 Storage expandability: Micro-SD with support for SD, SDXC and SDHC Battery: 40 whr with autonomy from 2 to 8 hours Power supply: External PD3.0 USB-C 45 W Connectivity: 1x HDMI 2.0 , 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x USB-C (DisplayPort alt mode), 1x USB 3.1, 2x USB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack Wireless connectivity: Dual-band Wi-FI IEEE 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0 Controls: D-pad, 4 main keys, 2 analog sticks, 2 32.5mm trackpads, 4 shoulder keys, 4 rear keys, 6-axis IMU gyro Dimensions: 298mm x 117 mm x 49 mm Weight: 669 grams approx Recommended price: 419 euros (64 GB eMMC), 549 euros (256 GB SSD NVMe), 679 euros (512 GB SSD NVMe)

Processors next -gen, new details on Intel Alder Lake and AMD Zen 4

Alder Lake will sanction Intel's transition to 10 nanometers also in the desktop field The forum may have given voice to the first potential cries of Intel Alder Lake processors , according to what we know coming at the end of the year with a 10 nanometer architecture based on two different types of cores. The Intel Core i9-12900K should have, specifically, 8 high-performance ones with Hyper-Threading and 8 high-efficiency ones without Hyper-threading but still capable, according to what emerged on the net, to contribute significantly to the power of the CPU that would be in able, in the current version, to reach 11300 points in Cinebench R20. We are talking about a power of 8.6 percentage points higher than that of an AMD Ryzen R9 5950X, although the latter can count on 32 threads against the alleged 24 of the flagship Intel Alder Lake CPU.

Not bad for a 10-nanometer architecture which, although unprecedented, would already seem to be able to reach high frequencies, at least according to rumors. It is in fact 5.3 GHz of Turbo Boost on two cores, as for the current flagship Intel CPUs, and of 5.0 GHz of frequency, however remarkable, with all cores at full capacity. But we refer to only 8 Golden Cove cores which are, of course, the high-powered ones and equipped with Hyper-Threading, for a total of 16 threads. For the 8 high-efficiency ones, without Hyper-Threading and therefore corresponding to 8 threads, the rumors indicate a maximum speed of 3.90 GHz with 4 cores under pressure and 3.7 GHz all-core. All completed by 30 MB of L3 cache, the possibility of combining the CPU with DDR5 memory and the PCIe 5.0 interface.

But DDR5 memory won't be required. In fact, there are solutions with support for DDR4 memory presumably designed to marry cheaper processors and guarantee more affordable overall prices. In any case, we refer to a powerful processor in the case of the Intel Core i7-12700K, according to rumors capable of touching 9500 points in Cinebench R20 thanks to 8 Golden Cove cores, with 16 overall threads, and 4 Gracemont cores, such as anticipated without Hyper-Threading, for a total of 20 threads flanked by 25 MB of cache.

There are 7400 points in Cinebench R20 reported for the Intel Core i5-12600K, limited to 6 Golden Cove cores with Turbo Boost frequency of 4.9 GHz and all-core frequency of 4.5 GHz, but still equipped with 4 Gracemont cores with a maximum frequency of 3.6 GHz. We are therefore faced with a total of 16 threads and 20 MB of cache, for a budget not unlike that of a high-end gaming processor today. But on the other hand we are talking about a new generation, which will have to deal with fierce competition among other things.

The Zen 3 processors will probably return to the field with a Zen 3+ series, refined and enhanced A at the end of the year, in fact, the processors based on the refresh of the Zen 3 architecture should also take the field, which certainly does not lack room for improvement. It is no coincidence that there is talk of a 15% increase in IPC and, perhaps, the debut of the stacked cache, even if this could only appear with the Zen 4 architecture. In any case, we expect Cinebench R20 scores around 12,000 points from the flagship solution of the new series which should always sport 16 cores and 32 threads. But even with the next series, AMD may have no plans to break this threshold in desktop processors. This was reported by leaker Patrick Schur, who also mentioned 170W of TDP and the use of 5 nanometer transistors, and it is something that definitely makes sense. On the other hand, already with the current 16 cores we have a PC HEDT power, more than enough for the needs of creators, streamers, players and those who belong to all three categories.

Assembla che ti Passa è 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.

Budget configuration

The budget configuration is 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-profile games and 1080p-oriented builds.

Solutions with integrated graphics capable of guaranteeing valid performance in 1080p are on the rise again and this leaves us with the classic alternatives. Among these, for the moment, we continue to prefer the Intel Core i5-10400F, currently available at the lowest price from May 8 to today.

The absence of new graphics options for the band and the still too high price of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 leave us once again in company with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030, a limited card but if not enough for disengaged gaming to make the PC work while waiting for news on the price front and new budget models.

BUDGET Component Price PROCESSOR Intel Core i5-10400F 2.9-4.0GHz 145,00 € MOTHERBOARD MSI B460M-A PRO 75,00 € VIDEO CARD KFA2 GeForce GT 1030 OC 100.00 € RAM Crucial Ballistix 2x8GB 2666MHz CL16 80.00 € POWER SUPPLY EVGA 450 BR 80+ Bronze 40.00 € HARD DISK Kingston A400 480GB SATA III 45.00 € CASE Corsair 110Q Mid Tower 40.00 € TOTAL 525 , 00 €

Gaming configuration

In the gaming range usually there are those components that allow to face the PC game 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.

Another price drop for the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X which slips to about 275 euros and returns to captain a rather performing mid-range configuration, both in terms of brute power and in terms of gaming. It also benefits from PCIe 4.0 lanes, useful in view of potential upgrades despite the configuration includes a PCIe 3.0 unit for budget reasons.

Italian GPU prices are finally adjusting to international ones, not yet arrived to those recommended but still decreasing. In our market, the price increases are high, so much so that we look elsewhere, but the availability is finally sufficient to allow the purchase of a new generation GPU without having to wait months to receive it.

GAMING Component Price PROCESSOR AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 3.7-4.6GHz 275.00 € MSI X570-A PRO MOTHERBOARD 140.00 € EVA VIDEO CARD GeForce RTX 3060 XC Gaming 12 GB 490.00 € RAM Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 2x8GB 3200MHz CL16 100,00 € POWER SUPPLY be quiet! Pure Power 11 600W 80+ Gold 80,00 € HARD DISK Crucial P2 1 TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 100,00 € CASE Empire Gaming Onyx ARGB Mid Tower 85.00 € TOTAL 1270.00 €

Extra Configuration

The pushed configuration makes sense only for those who aim for high resolutions, aware that luxury often does not go hand in hand with rationality. On the other hand, let's face it, who doesn't like having a nice engine under the hood even if you have to respect the speed limit?

This is why we remain on the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, despite a small increase that does not compromise the price / power ratio of an undoubtedly expensive processor, but among the best for gaming performance and equipped with 12 cores that place it above the typical gaming processor, providing an edge with heavier workloads.

Like the mid-to-high-end GPUs, the high-end and extreme ones have undoubtedly increased in terms of availability, they are falling in price, but are slow to adjust to international prices. Let's look at those, then, hoping that in the next two or three weeks our prices will finally reach attractive levels.

EXTRA Component Price PROCESSOR AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 3.7-4.8GHz 570.00 € DISSIPATORE ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II ARGB 360 120,00 € MOTHERBOARD ASUS ROG Strix X570-E WI-FI 315,00 € VIDEO CARD EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 BLACK GAMING 8 GB 905,00 € RAM G.Skill Trident Z RGB 2x16GB DDR4 3600MHz CL16 230.00 € PSU Corsair RM850x 80+ Gold 150.00 € HARD DISK Samsung PRO 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 Memory 195.00 € CASE Phanteks Eclipse P500A Mid Tower 185.00 € TOTAL 2670.00 €

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