System Guide: November 2013@ 2013/11/29
AMD unveiled its next-generation GPUs, codenamed Hawaii, back in September. The product promptly topped Nvidia's big guns, sparking price cuts and a surprisingly quick response. You can also add in a not-so-little update to Intel's Xeon product line with Ivy Bridge-E (third generation Core i-series) for the God Box. And to complement all the high-end product news, there was the release of the dual-core desktop versions of Intel's current 4th-generation (Haswell) Core i-series processors, ensuring top-to-bottom product refreshes for the two most critical components inside the System Guide.
As for the rest of the computing industry, at least as far as the System Guide is concerned, it has experienced much more gradual change since the last update.
SSDs (solid state disks), hard disks, power supplies, cases, and even monitors have seen only incremental improvements at best. However, the impact of additional maturity should not be underestimated—particularly now that 4K (3840×2160) monitors have enough video card to drive them for (well-off) mortals.
Today we'll continue to focus more on the tangible benefits for the System Guide: better overall performance and performance for your dollar (aka value) while trying to stay within the average enthusiast's budget for a new system.