PCPer Mailbag #30 - Josh Walrath, So Hot Right Now

Subject: Editorial | February 9, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag, Josh Walrath

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show, we find out how much Josh you can handle:

00:47 - PCIe 4.0 availability?
03:39 - GPU driver updates improve game performance?
05:37 - Hard drive recommendation for Steam games?
08:16 - Activating Windows 10 after motherboard upgrade?
11:00 - 16-thread mobile APU?
13:55 - XPoint memory temperatures?
17:26 - Memory shortages?
21:37 - Multi-Rail vs. Single-Rail PSU?
24:12 - Mining-specific GPUs?
25:44 - The return of sane GPU prices?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos each Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube

February 9, 2018 | 11:30 AM - Posted by qwer38456

I have done a good bit of research and can't figure out why no one has made an arcade style multiplayer race sim. It seems one could be built for a few grand. Seats 350 x 2 same for wheel and pedals. 500 x 2 TLC 55" TV. Now how to power it. 2 X game console (Xbox, playstation) or good computer. Why isn't this a thing? I have a friend that is about to spend 10 grand on one from an Arcade store and this seems so much better. Please help I want to go play.

February 9, 2018 | 12:31 PM - Posted by brisa117

What is preventing Intel from pulling their x86 license from AMD when it expires? I understand in the past there definitely would have been a government intervention for any number of anti-competitive/monopolistic reasons, but with the rise of ARM and other architectures, I think Intel has more competition than just AMD.

February 9, 2018 | 03:06 PM - Posted by AMDsOwnsthe64BitX86ISAnotIntel (not verified)

What's preventing Intel from Pulling its x86 32 bit ISA license from AMD is that fact that the 64 bit x86 ISA extentions to Intel's x86 32 bit ISA were created by AMD and are AMD's IP that Intel has to cross-license back from AMD. So the x86 64 bit ISA/ISA extentions are AMD's IP not Intel's.

AMD and Intel will forever be joined at the x86 32 and 64 bit ISA hip and that's the way that goes.

Now Lisa Su, if she decides to not go forward with AMD's custom ARM K12 cores, a project that was also done under Jim Keller alongside AMD's x86 Zen project, will be making a big mistake as the x86 CISC ISA takes more transistors to implement on silicon than the ARMv8A RISC ISA! So any custom core that is engineered to run the ARMv8A ISA is going to use less power.

Lisa Su needs to take AMD beyond being dependent on only the x86 ISA as there will be that low power ARM server market to consider and AMD needs to at least Keep K12's blueprints(Loads of verilog and other automated layout design work) handy because AMD will not have any x86 options for mainstream tablet SOCs/portable gaming console SOCs should AMD ever want to get into that market. The x86 ISA may be used for high end tablet/laptop combos but mainstream tablets use ARM ISA based CPUs to get the battery life metrics that x86 can not match.

That ARM server market is not going away so AMD needs to be more than just another Intel-Lite and continue with that K12 at some later time. 2018 is the time frame that AMD pushed back K12's release date to and K12 is not showing up on any AMD roadmaps the last few business quarters. So 2018 is when AMD will have to report to its share-holders and the SEC on K12's actual status.

That Samsung Exynos M3(1) is as wide order superscalar as the Apple A series designs and AMD really needs K12 for the Cromebook market and even windows 10 on ARM based devices.
The Samsung Exynos, custom ARM core design, is as wide order superscalar as some x86 designs but is still lacks SMT capability but AMD's K12 may even be wide order and like Zen AMD's K12 may even support SMT. Cromebook and Windows 10 on ARM sales are still needing some busines quarters to judge that makret's impact, So MD needs to at least hold onto K12's blueprints.

(1)

"The Samsung Exynos M3 - 6-wide Decode With 50%+ IPC Increase"

https://www.anandtech.com/show/12361/samsung-exynos-m3-architecture

February 9, 2018 | 03:10 PM - Posted by AMDsOwnsthe64BitX86ISAnotIntel (not verified)

Edit: So MD needs
To: So AMD needs

February 9, 2018 | 02:59 PM - Posted by golscamp (not verified)

I recently acquired a second R9 Fury X.
My system will not post with:
2 R9 Fury X's
Samsung 960 EVO 250GB PCIe M.2
Sound Blaster Zx PXIe
It will post with any 3 of the above.
Why?
ASUS Prime X370-Pro
AMD RYZEN 7 1800X
1000W PSU

February 9, 2018 | 06:25 PM - Posted by Alamo

hello josh,
about windows 10, you don't need to buy a new copy, or call M$, you just link your windows to you microsoft account ( like hotmail acc ), your windows login will share the same psw as your mail, so if you change the hardware just reinstall windows and link it again.

"If you made a significant hardware change to your device (such as replacing the motherboard), Windows 10 might no longer be activated and you might see the activation error codes 0x803f7001 or 0xC004C008. If you're running Windows 10, version 1607 or later, and added your Microsoft account and linked it to the digital license on your device, you can use the Activation troubleshooter to reactivate Windows. For more info, see Using the Activation troubleshooter. "

"If you're unable to activate Windows 10, the Activation troubleshooter could help. To use the troubleshooter, select the Start button, select Settings > Update & security > Activation , and then select Troubleshoot. You must be an administrator to use this option."

February 10, 2018 | 07:03 PM - Posted by CNote

I can confirm this works. Also installing Windows 10 on a motherboard for a 2nd or more time it might register itself.

February 9, 2018 | 09:33 PM - Posted by Tt78 (not verified)

Don’t hold your breath on DRAM dropping in price. NAND will, but not extremely fast, and NAND is estimated to be in shortage again in 2H18.

The correct answer for why TSMC and GloFo don’t enter the DRAM and NAND market is they lack the IP and this is why no one is entering the memory market and consolidation is effective - it concentrates the IP into a few entities that controls the market. Just watch how China fails to produce latest gen NAND and anything resembling competitive DRAM (without stealing IP, anyway)

February 10, 2018 | 12:07 AM - Posted by DamnDRAMPricesDamnHIGH (not verified)

Well steal away China because the DRAM makers are sure in need of more competition. And that price fixing among DRAM producers has happened in the past. Apple for one could very well design its own DRAM, Apple's P.A. Semiconductor engineers designed some damn nice Apple A series CPU cores and DRAM would be a walk in the park for them. Apple could very well afford to purchase one of the smaller DRAM producers the very same way that Apple purchased P.A. Semi and Jim Keller was P.A Semi's Vice President of Engineering at the time that Apple acquired P.A. Semi.

DRAM cost are too damn high and that's affecting the entire computing industry adversely!

February 10, 2018 | 06:01 AM - Posted by WhyMe (not verified)

DRAM cost are too damn high and that's affecting the entire computing industry adversely!

Indeed it is, i just wish something was being done about it, either from the big three or someone else entering the market.

February 10, 2018 | 04:34 PM - Posted by Tt78 (not verified)

Designing DRAM isn’t that difficult, it’s fabricating it at latest gen densities that’s difficult. There is necessary IP owned by 3 companies (which account for ~95% of production, the remaining production is mostly by Nanya, which licenses Micron’s IP) and tens of thousands of man hours of experience (the industry vigorously defends against employee poaching). Apple could indeed afford to purchase SK Hynix or Micron, certainly not Samsung. SK government would probably balk at a sale of SK Hynix, so Micron would likely be the only candidate, but then there would be regulatory concerns over Apple, already a behemoth, buying almost 25% of the world’s DRAM manufacturing capability. It would probably cost Apple over $100B as well, and Apple doesn’t make big acquisitions like that. I also think a bidding war would erupt should an offer be made with Amazon and maybe Microsoft.

I personally think it would be a great move for Apple as it not only guarantees them supply at cost, drastically cutting costs and increasing margins, it diminishes how much they depend on Samsung for components as well as locking in exclusive access to new memory tech for mobile devices (e.g. 3DXP in a phone will be a game changer from a cost and power use perspective). As it stands now, Micron will earn $11-12B this year, so an acquisition at $100B would be immediately accretive AMD raise AAPL’s EPS even if they do the deal with stock (Apple earned $48B in FY2017)

What definitely will not happen is Apple developing and fabbing DRAM on their own. Again, watch China’s progress, they’ve been throwing tens of billions at the problem for the last couple of years and will continue to do so for the next couple of decades and their results will be laughable compared to Samsung/Micron/Hynix, though substantial when considered on its own.

As for cheering for China to steal IP and trade secrets, that is juvenile; grow up.

February 10, 2018 | 05:08 PM - Posted by Tt78 (not verified)

Also note that Apple (or any non-memory company) buying Micron or any other memory company would not help the consumer much, if at all; it would be in the acquirer’s best interests to keep memory prices as high as practicable, hurting their competitors and maximizing profits on externally sold product.

February 10, 2018 | 05:30 PM - Posted by HaHaStealThemBlueprints (not verified)

Steal it steal it all, China, and make DRAM affordable again! Steal whatever trade secrets you can because the DRAM makers are a bunch of gangsters anyways. China, the US, any country, Steal that DRAM IP and let the Big 3 DRAM makers Know that their IP is not really their IP if they continue that DRAM racketeering!

"What definitely will not happen is Apple developing and fabbing DRAM on their own"

Apple is almost a Trillion dollar market cap company with enough cash on hand to rival the combined market caps of Intel and AMD combined, That's just the cash in the Bank for Apple. So Apple could buy up a smaller DRAM Maker and be done with any DRAM issues. Apple does not need to touch any of the top 3 DRAM makers there are smaller companies making DRAM. These big 3 DRAM suppliers need to be put in their place and Apple has the dosh to do just that.

Every Country steals trade secrets they just are not allowed to sale any products to the majority of the outside world. China, the US, everybody is looking at the blueprints. Ha ha there is no stopping that.

Keep up that crap DRAM makers and see where that gets you! DRAM makers should be forced to add capacity and DRAM makers should be slapped with price controlls until they can get that production up there and stop price gouging.

February 10, 2018 | 05:59 AM - Posted by WhyMe (not verified)

I would've thought DRAM and NAND was a common principal, a bit like how we get different keyboard switches, that everyone knows how they work so it's just a matter of developing your own version, either way there's obviously many reasons TSMC and GloFlo don't enter the DRAM and NAND markets.

When i asked the question it was intended to be asking about what the industry is doing to increase supply in the long term, IIRC AMD said they'd be making more GPUs but their restricted by GDDR supply, DDR4 prices have rocketed because of lack of supply, and IIRC NAND prices have also been going up recently.

And while this has been happening the big three have seen profits skyrocket so i would have thought, as the demand is obviously there, why it seems nothing is being done on the supply side.

February 10, 2018 | 04:13 PM - Posted by Tt78 (not verified)

Demand has exploded and will continue to increase rapidly from emerging markets of IoT, AI, autonomous driving, cloud services, data center growth, mobile devices, etc. DRAM used to have pricing cycles due to the cyclical demand of PC’s which is now only about 20% of the DRAM market.

Consumers and industrial customers love to vent and yell accusations of price fixing but the real bottom line is that it has become prohibitively expensive to increase output. Now, they are increasing output at 20% for DRAM and 40% for NAND, but the increase in demand for DRAM exceeds this bit growth and the demand increase for NAND isn’t far behind (and expected to surpass it second half of this year).

This is not price fixing (this time), it’s good ol’ supply and demand.

February 10, 2018 | 05:54 PM - Posted by HaHaStealThemBlueprints (not verified)

It's still price fixing if the big 3 DRAM makers get together and collude to not increase production sufficiently and the DRAM makers have been convicted of that in the past.

If the BIG three do not increase production and do so quickly enough then the entire computing industry can fund some other makers to do so. Apple for one has the cash on hand all by itself to buy up a smaller DRAM maker and provide the financing for the equipment and that same DRAM equipment can make NAND also.

This is not CPUs and GPUs that require time no matter the amout of money to bring out a new design. DRAM is NOT at that level of complexity to justify not being able to be more flexable with bringing new production capacity online.
The same lines that make DRAM can be used for other parts also but I do not buy that for DRAM that is not that hard to ramp up compared to other technology.

The DRAM makers need to be watched closely all of the time least they become repeat offenders. Those DRAM makers once convicted can never be trusted again! And they can not just play dumb and claim that they knew nothing about future demand! there is a whole subdiscipline in busines supply economics dedicated to properly estimating demand a good few years in advance at a low margin of error.

I call bullshit on the DRAM makers, DRAM is not that hard to design and bring to production relative to more complex IP like CPUs, GPUs and other processors.

February 11, 2018 | 09:16 PM - Posted by Tt78 (not verified)

Instead of crying about businesses operating in their own best interests, maybe ask for extra shifts at Wendy's so you can afford that extra 8GB of RAM.

Good luck prosecuting a case when the cost for adding more capacity than they already are is in the tens of billions USD, wouldn't come online for at least two years, and has a good chance of crashing memory prices making their new investment (and existing operations) operate at a lost for several years, possibly consolidating the industry into even less players. The DRAM manufacturers are already spending almost $50B/year in capex.

Learn something about the memory industry before comment on it, rube.

February 11, 2018 | 11:10 PM - Posted by NoWindysNeededCanWaitForDRAMsPricesToGoDown (not verified)

Hey RUBE calling others RUBE! The DRAM industry was cought red handed doing that nonsenes before. So I can Reduce My DRAM intake simply by keeping my smartphone for a good 3 or more years so Im no RUBE.

DRAM is not a costly product design and to produce and certify like GPUs and CPU/other processors. The DRAM producers are crooks and had to pay fines in the past for all that collusion so they can never be trusted ever again.

Gamers and PC Buliders have the power of their wallets and can with no sufferung involved put off any purchases of new Smartphones for years. My flip phone lasted for 5+ years and the only reason that I had to replace it with a smartphone in the first place is that the old Samsung Flipphone/feature phone's GSM radio would not work in my building anymore and most of the carriers are EOL-ing their GSM service. Now PC Buliders and Gamers can reign in their yearly smartphone upgrade purchases and put some hurt on the suppliers of smartphone DRAM, as that's where most of the DRAM demand is currently.

So let the gamers and PC builders speak with their wallets and give those smartphone makers notice that they better ask the DRAM makers to lower their PC/Laptop DRAM pricing least the smartphone makers begin to loose that smartphone yearly upgrade business. That will really get their attention both the smartphone makers and the big 3 DRAM makers that PC/Laptop DRAM pricing is too high and PC buliders and gamers are also smartphone purchasers and really can live without yearly smartphone upgrades.

Let Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron, get some demand curve hurt on that smartphone DRAM, and Even Smartphone NAND front. Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron are free to give PC/Laptop users a break on DRAM prices and charge more for their Smartphone DRAM/NAND to make up the difference! Or gamers and PC builders just may keep their smartphones for 3+ years or more and the DRAM makers will see lots of smartphone DRAM demand vanish.

I do believe that most Gamers and PC buliders can do without a new smartphone update on a yearly basis if that means they will Put the hurt on the big 3 Laptop/PC DRAM makers and it's just too bad that the smartphone OEMs have to suffer but that's some pissed of group of consumers that are gamers and PC builders first and new smartphone customers on a 3 to 5 year basis instead of a yearly basis.

Let the PC builders, and laptop DRAM customers, and Gamers close their wallets and easily live with less often than yearly smartphone upgrades! So the ball is really in the consumer(PC Bulider/Laptop Owners) court now and most PC builders, laptop owners(Gamin/Otherwise) and PC gamers want that lower DRAM pricing.

Gamers that are PC builders also along with the PC builders and laptop users: Well Big three DRAM makers it's a damn shame that we had to spend our yearly smartphone upgrade money on your overpriced DRAM DIMMS! We do hope your smartphone OEM clients will understand when their sales start do decline, But you do Know that's how the ball bounces!

February 12, 2018 | 02:41 AM - Posted by WhyMe (not verified)

Why do you always have to spoil what are sensible discussions with your conspiratorial clap-trap, insults, and walls of text.

February 12, 2018 | 09:08 AM - Posted by DevolvingWithEachNewGenerationOfYourDNA (not verified)

It's just to get WhyMe pissed off! How about those childranewts of yours there, Cletus Delroy Spuckler, you Slack-Jawed Yokel! And apologest for the DRAM racketeers.

How's your Swife Brandeen, and them childranewts of yours are getting a ltttle parched around the gills is time to get them down to the swamp.

February 12, 2018 | 12:02 PM - Posted by WhyMe (not verified)

That you even think it pisses me off pretty much shows how much of an overinflated ego you have, at most you're an annoyance on the same level as a prepubescent teen who thinks the more they talk the smarter people will think they are.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

February 11, 2018 | 03:39 PM - Posted by PassThisMessageAlongToFolksThatBuildTheirOwnPCs (not verified)

Everybody hold on to your smartphones and do not upgrade so often! That will reduce the demand for DRAM and hit Samsung/the other 2 of the big 3 DRAM makers in their wallets.

Keep those smartphones longer and put off updating that smartphone hardware and let the Smartphone makers suffer also, until they get the price of PC/Laptop DRAM down to resonable levels.

This will also work for NAND pricing and that will get some attention for those DRAM/NAND makers.

Gamers and PC buliders/laptop owners, would you rather have lower cost DRAM or a new smartphone every year! Hit them right in their demand curve and that will bring down pricing.

They will have no "Fab Capacity" excuses if demand falls for smartphones and the DRAM/NAND makers try and reduce production further. They will get in trouble with the Regulatory angencies that already have the DRAM/NAND makers in their crosshairs!

Do you really need the latest smartphone or do you want lower DRAM/NAND pricing. hitting them in their wallets hurts more and will really get their attention!

It's time to get all GrassRoots on their A$$ and pass this message along on other Blogs and Forums, Keep your Smartphones Folks for a good few years and DO NOT Update to any new Smartphones until PC/Laptop DRAM prices go down a whole lot!

February 10, 2018 | 07:04 PM - Posted by CNote

Can we get a new video series of Josh giving BS answers to questions kinda like This Old House "What is it".

February 11, 2018 | 03:27 PM - Posted by Reznor (not verified)

I was wondering, back in the day of Socket 7 we had clone processors such as Cyrix and Amd pin compatible along with the Intel processors. Usually just a bios update was needed to make it work. What changed so this doesn't happen anymore ?:)

February 13, 2018 | 07:33 AM - Posted by DontPanic! (not verified)

Now the Zen+Vega APUs are out. Do they support HSA introduced with Kaveri? If so is it theoretically possible to mitigate GPU bandwidth limitations with this technology assuming application is HSA optimized? Is it possible to improve performance in games?

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