Weekly Roundup and Preview: RDNA 3 Custom Designs and a Festive SSD Raffle

Last week, custom designs of the new Radeon RX 7900 XTX, a Kingston SSD with component lottery, OS optimization and finally Christmas dominated the topics on ComputerBase. The fact that the weekly review is published with a one-day delay this time is also due to public holidays.

Four graphics cards with differences in volume

Although the test of an NVMe SSD at 6 cents per gigabyte was a day before the comparison of four specially designed Radeon RX 7900 XTX, the graphics card test ultimately navigated to first place in the most read tests and reports of the past week. At least three of the models offer big advantages over AMD’s reference design with the right profile (BIOS), especially in terms of volume. And two models stand out particularly positively. It is the Asus Radeon RX 7900 XTX TUF, equipped with an almost gigantic cooler, which is almost inaudible with the alternative Quiet-BIOS. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound from PowerColor is only slightly higher. The XFX Radeon RX 7900 XTX Merc 310, on the other hand, at least has difficulty with the factory settings: It is simply too loud or not quiet enough – unless users intervene manually in the fan curve, because there are definitely reserves available.

The fact that the Sapphire Radeon RX 7900 XTX Nitro+, as a community favorite, does not receive a recommendation at the moment, despite being the fastest factory custom, remains silent despite a relatively compact design and with high-quality optics and lavish RGB lighting , this is solely because there are software issues: due to the lack of hysteresis, the constantly changing speed is acoustically negative.

Only 91 percent of the Kingston NV2 can convince

The test of the Kingston NV2 also met with great interest. The SSD available to the editors knew how to please – a SATA-level write weakness with a high fill level could be ignored in light of the performance in other workloads, especially those relevant to everyday life. Although the low-cost NVMe SSD is far from the high level of current PCIe 4.0 flagships, it costs only half as much. In itself a good conclusion – if there wasn’t a notch: A buyer is not guaranteed to actually get exactly the combination of components that is the basis of the test on ComputerBase.

Kingston uses two different controllers as well as different NAND flash. The former is less serious because the Silicon Motion SM2267XT used in the test and the Phison E21T also used are both at a comparable level in terms of performance. But if the Kingston NV2 then only has QLC-NAND instead of TLC-NAND, it becomes problematic: Then not only does the writing performance drop drastically after the SLC mode, but the durability of the memory modules is also lower. Which variant the customer gets in retail can only be seen when you have opened the packaging and looked under the sticker. In a survey of nearly 200 NV2 owners, about 9 percent of ComputerBase readers said they had gotten a model with slower QLD NAND.

In terms of reports, the news of a wave of warnings from website operators due to “Google Fonts” and the report of AtlasOS and other potentially or only presumed superior Windows 10 alternatives were neck and neck. Not least because of some updates, the latter message prevailed. It all started with the AtlasOS project, which raised a few questions and is not recommended by the editors due to the sometimes serious security risks unless the affected computer is operated exclusively offline. The slightly less risky Ghost Specter project then came out of the forum as a proposal, where some community members also told about their favorite tools for system optimization.

After all, about a third of readers stated in a survey that they had optimized their own system at the operating system level. But only about one percent use optimized Windows versions such as AtlasOS or Ghost Specter for this purpose.

A few tests and a lot of Christmas

Between Christmas and New Year, things are probably a little quieter at ComputerBase – but the editors have already prepared some content. Among other things, readers can look forward to testing the Kindle Scribe e-book reader and the Pico 4 VR glasses. The current tracker Tibber Pulse as well as a self-build from Raspberry Pi and IR read head are also investigated. Apart from that, of course, the report on the year’s hardware and technology topics should not be missing, which will also be released in the next few days. But first is this year’s community survey, where the editors, as always, want to know what hardware and IT products are in use in the ComputerBase community.

The Christmas puzzle runs until the first day of the new year, when readers who are particularly keen on puzzles can try nine questions that could have driven the local community to the Berlin office with pitchforks and torches if they entered St. Nicholas competition would have found. But this time there is no high-end PC as a prize, but something for real geeks.

With this reading material in your luggage, the editors wish you a relaxing and festive Boxing Day!

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