Issue 1244 - Friday 6th November, 2020

In Today's Issue

The News

Unrelated embargos lift on AMD Ryzen 5000 CPU and Xbox Series X reviews

AMD's Ryzen 5000 CPUs have been let loose from embargo, which means Anandtech can publish their benchmarks! I'm so used to incremental performance gains from new CPUs, it's great to see some real performance gains. In certain benchmarks relevant to me (Civ6, video encoding, browser performance), these new AMD CPUs dominate Intel's best even with fewer cores. AMD's CPUs even use a crapload less power and generate less heat than Intel's CPUs when running at full load. Also free of embargo are reviews of the Xbox Series X, the more powerful of the two new Xboxes. Anandtech has a very deep look at what's going on inside the big black box. I don't know what people expected, but it's the Xbox you know and love, just faster. In the rare game that is optimised for the X|S platform there's a noticeable improvement in texture quality and more stable 4K 60fps gameplay due to the power increase. Game Pass seems to be killer Xbox feature over the PS5.

Big arse Tesla battery coming to Geelong late next year

Victoria is partnering with Tesla to build a very large battery at the Moorabool Terminal Station near Geelong. It'll be funded by Neoen, the same company that built what was at the time, the world's biggest grid battery in South Australia. The Victorian one will be more than twice the size and able to store 450,000,000 watt-hours of energy and discharge that capacity at up to 300,000,000 watts. The battery's primary role "will be to participate in Victoria's System Integrated Protection Scheme, which like the Hornsdale battery will put it at the front line of providing grid security, thanks to the battery's speed and flexibility, and allow for an increase in operating capacity on the main transmission link between Victoria and NSW". This battery is about a 30 min from my place, I might drive to the Tesla battery in my Tesla car when the setup is complete late next year.

Miscellaneous news

Something I Saw On The Internet

It is significantly cheaper to buy your iPhone outright and go pre-paid than a plan

I'm buying my first iPhone in 3 years tonight/tomorrow morning (128GB iPhone 12 Pro Max, Graphite, for those wondering), which made for a good opportunity to double check if 365-day pre-paid plans and buying the handset outright is still the cheapest way to get a new iPhone in 2020. I can confirm that yes, if you don't need number sharing between your Apple Watch and iPhone or a shitload of data (like more than 20GB/m), you can save around $1,000 over 24 months by fronting up the cash for an iPhone instead of paying for it per month. Yeah there's a few edge cases that might trip people up, but for me who uses a relatively small amount of data and doesn't care for any of the fancy add-ons, using an Optus MVNO like Coles or Catch Mobile is a huge cost saving with no sacrifice in data speeds or network coverage compared to Optus.


The End

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