2016 is a big jump in the tech world. From the new GDDR5X interface, the PCI-Express 4.0 socket, and not to mention the more affordable price range of some Pascal architecture chips, this year has given us a year of new horizons.
We learned much from this year’s innovations, and we ought to point them out in this article. In this article, we’ll try to make the most powerful PC for 2016.
1. Graphics Card
In June 29, 2016, AMD released a competitor against the Pascal flagship GTX 1080: the AMD Radeon RX480. AMD, while being known for extreme heat, is also known for extreme overclock. The Radeon RX480 is formidable and has amazing benchmark results. If you can afford to have good cooling for overclock, use the AMD Radeon RX480.
NVidia released its marvelous GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It has lower specs compared to the earlier released GTX 1080 (which is a terrifying powerhouse of the Pascal architecture), but NVidia wanted to make things a little different by offering as much ability as the 900+ series but at a lower cost. Its entry-level sisters, the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050Ti, come at lower cost, but nonetheless, if you want to use your budget wisely, go for the NVidia GeForce GTX 1060.
2. Central Processing Unit
AMD promises us the AMD Ryzen to be released in the first quarter of 2017, and Intel will soon release Kaby Lake microarchitecture processors.
Intel’s Skylake microarchitecture this 2016 provided us amazing performance. After the i7 6800 (which is a Broadwell), we’re expecting a Kaby Lake processor for 2017, but for 2016, we have the i7 6700 as the latest Skylake processor. An improvement of the (Broadwell) 6600 processor, it has a downclock (6700S), a base (6700), and an overclock version (6700K). If you want more choices, try one of the i7 6700’s versions.
On AMD’s corner, on the other hand, are chips that generate more performance but generate more heat. The AMD FX 9370 has a stunning 8 cores, with 8 threads, a big jump from competitors, earlier or at present. It is also cheaper. However, as an AMD, expect greater heat — it pushes to a massive frequency of 4.7 GHz (the i7 6700K only has 4 GHz) but runs at greater temperatures, so much so that AMD added the Wattman™ software in it, a temperature customization feature. If you want to customize from within the software, try the AMD FX 9370.
3. Power Supply Unit
As with all computers, power supply is a question to consider.
This year isn’t too different. The roster has 80PLUS certifications ranging from 80PLUS Bronze to 80PLUS Platinum as always. Take into account the fact that the computer needs as much as it requires, and not too much, as you’d have an overly expensive PSU sitting on a bare motherboard. But if you want the very best power supply unit, choose an 80PLUS Platinum PSU.
4. HDD or SSD
The choice in hard drive is a new skyline in 2016. Ever since SSDs were released, users now have to choose what kind of storage they want to use, not just the brands that the hard drives come in. More and more SSDs are being added to the list of drives as time passes, some being entry level, some being power user-friendly. SSDs are known to be faster, while HDDs are known for their bulk. As for best, however, choose a 2TB Internal SSD, which has this year’s best size coupled with the best speed.
Put it simply, bigger is better. However, things have to fit. More slots mean more expansion, but more expansion means greater energy consumption. Remember to balance things out.
One thing to note is the Socket. Socket 1151 CPUs will only fit in Socket 1151 motherboards (such as those of the Z170 chipset). Another is the RAM memory interface. Remember: DDR4 RAM cannot fit in lower interfaces. For the very best in 2016, use Z170 (for Intel CPUs) motherboards or Socket AM3+ (for AMD) motherboards, with DDR4 RAM interfaces.
6. Random Access Memory (RAM)
Without memory, the computer is useless. The first models of the computer incorporated the RAM with the CPU, but today, the RAM is a different chip altogether. Today, more RAM chips mean more memory bandwidth.
Different RAM cards come in different memory interface. Put it another way, some computers simply cannot accommodate some RAM chips. For the best of this year, choose a 16GB RAM chip with DDR4 interface.
7. What if I want a laptop?
If you ask me, I’ll go for the Omen by HP laptop series that was released in the 4th quarter of 2016. It has the year’s newest available NVidia GPU, a powerful Intel CPU, and has a widescreen 4K display. Not just that — the red design makes it perfect for nighttime gaming. Of course, if you have the capacity to build your own, do so — but remember the things that I pointed out above.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Remember, each year brings new horizons, and in 2017 we ought to get a much better list of things to choose from.