PCPer Mailbag #37 - 3/30/2018

Subject: Editorial | March 30, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag, Allyn Malventano

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, Allyn is back to tackle your questions:

00:32 - Speed vs. timings for Ryzen memory?
05:35 - Usage "chronometer" for GPUs?
11:58 - SanDisk Ultra 3D vs. Samsung 860 EVO for boot drive?
12:48 - 3:2 aspect ratio monitors like the Surface Studio?
17:05 - Optane 800p vs. Samsung 960 EVO vs. 960 Pro?

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!


Video News

March 30, 2018 | 11:56 PM - Posted by brisa117

Any idea why we haven't seen a G-sync/Freesync combo monitor? Seems like that kinds of flexibility would sell. Possibly an Nvidia licensing issue? I understand this would be more expensive, but sure someone would buy it.

March 31, 2018 | 07:45 PM - Posted by James

An Nvidia g-sync monitor is using essentially an Nvidia made TCON (the g-sync module). Therefore to make a FreeSync enabled display, Nvidia would need to support FreeSync. Display makers probably aren’t going to make a display with two TCONs to support both. That would be expensive and a massive kludge. They really should make adaptive sync a not optional part of the standard, then the issue would go away, since there would be no reason to us an expensive Nvidia TCON. Nviidia would have to support it on their cards, or they would not be able to claim standards compliance. That probably won’t happen though.

March 31, 2018 | 12:18 PM - Posted by onelonedork

What was that gaming music cover site you mentioned?

March 31, 2018 | 08:03 PM - Posted by James

I have a 2560x1600 display (Dell U3011). Images look great on it but text isn’t the best. I want a much higher dpi display to replace it. It uses a CCFL backlight, which makes it a bit of a space heater. It needs very narrow color filters to get very accurate color. I had though of getting a monitor or two to put along the sides, but I wanted something with the same vertical resolution and roughly the same size. Some of the old 20 inch 1600x1200 displays might have worked well; with the display rotated, it would be about the same height and the same 1600 pixels tall. Those size displays are uncommon now though.

I don’t know what I will get next. I would like higher pixel density and possibly higher refresh; the old display is 60 Hz only. It would be great to have HDR and 120 Hz at 4K. It would be great to have OLED level blacks also. I guess I may jus have to waiti for a micro-led display, or until the U3011 dies. There was the Samsung Wall, and Apple is rumored to be working on micro-led. OLED seems to still have some issues with how much static content is on a computer display.

I don’t like these ultra wide displays though. Most of them are just 1080 tall or maybe 1440. Perhaps if they made an ultra wide at 2x4k, but that would be monstrous display.

March 31, 2018 | 08:12 PM - Posted by James

If you are doing video editing, then it seems like it would be better to buy multiple smaller SSDs and raid them for the highest sequential speeds.

April 2, 2018 | 10:34 AM - Posted by HaveGivenUpOnLaptopOEMsMiniMicroDesktopsFTW (not verified)

Here are a Few questions: Why is it that laptop/mini desktop PC OEMs have such trouble with introducing products with AMD's Raven Ridge APUs inside.

AMD's RR Integrated Vega Graphics is better than Intel's Integrated graphis, so much so that Intel has taken to using a semi-custom discrete Vega/Mobile oriented die in their newest NUCs and on some laptop SKUs in order for Intel to offer a Better than Raven Ridge with Vega integrated graphics options. But Why are laptop/Mini-desktop OEMs so slow to begin offering RR mobile/Mini-Desktop PC with RR options?

Are Laptop OEM's so accustomed to the incentives that some CPU and GPU makers have offered over the years that most laptop OEM can not produce laptops on their own without incentives/direct assistance from some CPU and GPU makers and even OS and bloatware makers provide?

It looks like the entire Laptop/Mini-Desktop PC market is so dependent on theit parts suppliers(CPUs, GPUs, OS/Others) for assistance that the Laptop/Mini-Desktop OEMs can not by themselves software/hardware engineer their own products anymore, or even Fully finanence their OEM Laptop and Mini-Desktop PC offerings.

Should AMD maybe begin to think about creating a Mini/Micro-Desktop PC In-House design/brand in the same Manner that Intel Has done with Intel's NUC? Most of the Mini-Desktop SKUs with the bare bones sort of options are much more appealing than laptops and AMD appears to be engineering geat CPU and GPU products again but maybe AMD should try at least to have an Intel/NUC sort of In-House designed and branded competition so AMD can have a competing product line to Intel's NUC as well as trying to get more than Zotac on board with mini/micro Desktop PC types of similar designs.

Maybe AMD should also begin to think about creating an API sort of Graphics Driver abstraction layer for all of AMD's laptop OEM partners where AMD can provide its Generic Graphics drivers to all its laptop OEM partners and the Laptop OEMs can make use of that API/ABI abstraction layer to customize for their laptops specific hardware. Folks are having issues with AMD's Raven Ridge mobile APUs and Laptop OEMs not providing Graphics Driver Updates or Graphics Driver fixes in a timely manner.

Why do AMD's Laptop OEM partners continue with that practice of treating AMD's Zen/Vega Raven Ridge offerings like they are somehow very inferior to the competitions similar to AMD's APU offerings. Laptop OEM's are not paying much attention to RR's Vega Graphics and is that the result of some sort of excessive dependency on AMD's CPU and Graphics competition over the years and will AMD have to start Brand their own Mini Desktop sorts of NUC competition if AMD can not get sufficient OEM designs wins from more than Zotac. The Laptop OEMs are sure dependent of CPU, GPU, OS, and Bloatware makers over the past decade and longer.

When will the ZOTAC ZBOX MA551 with Ryzen 65W Raven Ridge be available for purchase?

April 2, 2018 | 03:23 PM - Posted by PrimitiveConfusionOfShaders (not verified)

A Question Regarding Primitive Shaders and the total confusion surrounding just what is the Difference between Implicit Primitive Shaders as opposed to Explicit Primitive Shaders on AMD's Vega GPUs.

So according to TechPowerUp, and other websites, Implicit Primitive Shaders are so complex a software/compiler undertaking that AMD has chosen to only focus on the Explicit Primitive Shader code path for new games where games/gaming engines can code Explicitly for Vega's primitive shaders. But my question relates to the waiting for AMD to create an API to target Explicit primitive shaders.

Do Game/Gaming engine developers actually have to wait for AMD to develop an API for Explicit Primitive Shaders or is it that Explicit Primitive Shader support is already in the Vega Hardware and if there is driver support for Explicit Primitive Shaders then the Games/Gaming engine developers can go ahead and use Vega's Primitive Shaders Explicitly, or maybe it's more complicated than that?

I keep seeing these questions asked again and again at r/AMD and other online blogs/forums and no one from AMD is attemting to clear up matters so that just adds to the confusion. Even most of the Technology Websites are not sure also and AMD's silence on the matter is not helping.

Has anyone at PCPer been able to get any answers on Vega's Explicit Primitive Shaders in Vega's hardware and have the gaming engine developers produced any demonstrations of their Using Vega's Primitive Shader IP Explicitly? I'm confused as to why there has to be an API or are they confusing API support for Driver support for Explicit Primitive Shaders and that support that may already be there in the Vega Drivers. Maybe the Games/Gaming engine companies want AMD to develop and API so the Games/Gaming engine developers can save money on their end.

AMD appears to be pulling out all the stops to support Ray Tracing Acceleration on its GPU's shader cores but what about That Primitive Shader IP in Vega's Hardware being Explicity made use of in New Games Titles?

If the Next generation of gaming consoles make use of Vega Graphics, I'm thinking that maybe Microsoft or Sony will mame use of Vega's Primitive Shaders Explicitly for any new games and they may even be the ones to get the Inplicit Primtive Shader code/API working if that allows for better console performance on older titles also.

It looks like for PC gaming that the PC games makers and GPU makers would rather throw more powerful hardware at any PC gaming problems than try and go through the extra expense of Optimizing there older/existing gaming titles like the console makers do with optimizing games to run better on consoles. So is Vega's Primitive Shader IP something that only the console makers will be interested in once the next generation of MS and Sony gaming consoles arrive that will more than likely be making use of Vega Graphics?

According to TechPowerUp:

"Game developers will still be able to implement primitive shaders on AMD hardware, using a (yet to be released) explicit API path. The implicit driver path was the more interesting technology though, since it could have provided meaningful performance gains to existing games and help cut down a lot of developer effort for games in development. AMD didn't state the reasons behind the move.

To explain the delay, some people were speculating that the Primitive Shader feature was broken unfixable in hardware, which doesn't seem to be the case, now that we are hearing about upcoming API support for it, so this can also be interpreted as good news for Vega owners" (1)


"AMD Cancels Implicit Primitive Shader Driver Support"


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