PCPer Mailbag #40 - 4/20/2018

Subject: Editorial | April 20, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

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:

00:38 - Obsession over NUCs?
02:55 - Changing TDPs/power efficiency over time?
04:05 - Router buying tips?
07:46 - AMD StoreMI?
10:15 - Thunderbolt 3 for Ryzen/Threadripper?
12:09 - Mutilating a power supply?
13:50 - Best mobile browsing/writing device for $300?
16:55 - Differences overclocking Ryzen vs. Intel?

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!

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Source: YouTube

Video News

April 20, 2018 | 09:37 AM - Posted by Jim Lahey

Ryan, regarding routers, I'm having similar problems with an Asus RT-68U. It is a high end advanced router, but it has significant difficulty handling multiple devices. However, it might be an issue with Chromecast devices overwhelming the router, almost like a denial of service attack. These devices have been updated by Google to decrease the pinging frequency, but I still have an Android TV that does not get updates anymore so it is still messing up my router.

I would recommend the original question asker to update firmwares on all his devices.

For my router, I have a Nintendo, AndroidTV, two pixel phones, pixelbook, pixel c, two Chromecast devices, two Google homes, one Google home Max. It's just too much pinging for one router, no matter how advanced.

April 20, 2018 | 02:53 PM - Posted by Benjamins (not verified)

I went the Prosumer route. I have a Ubiquity Edge Router lite + their Pro AP. I love their features and speeds, it is a business grade router setup.

April 20, 2018 | 10:36 AM - Posted by ObjectiveMixOfReviewSamplesOrLostTRUST (not verified)

That ZOTAC ZBOX MA551 with AMD's Raven Ridge options(1), needs to be Reviewed as it's the first "NUC" Style Device announced with AMD's Desktop Raven Ridge "APU" options. So that device rates more than just review websites passively waiting for Zotac to maybe send out review samples. Review sites need to be actively seeking out Review samples from ZOTAC/others with Desktop Raven Ridge Inside so folks who want the Vega Graphics tested in a Mini-Desktop/"NUC" like Form Factors can see those devices' performance.

Sure Intel can afford to pepper the market with free NUC/Other review samples look at Intel's market cap. And Intel can afford to assist the device OEMs in marketing their products also.

People like NUC/similar form factor devices and other Bare Bones Mini-desktop SKUs because the laptop/Mini-Desktop OEM's are so terrible with Graphics driver support. So Look at Intel's NUC line of products and those devices get a more direct SOC graphics driver support from Intel. And Intel uses its generic graphics drivers in those NUC SKUs while the laptop/Mini desktop OEMs(HP, Dell, Others) may be making use of some customizied by the OEM Intel Graphics drivers that Intel, the SOC maker in many of those devices, can not directly support because OEM customizied Intel graphics drivers require the OEM's support.

I'm really interested in the ZOTAC ZBOX MA551 with a Raven Ridge AMD Ryzen 5 2400G(Vega 11CU Graphics) Option because that's going to be around twice as performant compered to the Standard Intel NUC Integrated Graphics provided, unless the NUC is using Kaby lake G/with the Semi-Custom Vega Graphics Die or a discrete mobile Nvidia or AMD GPU SKU.

I have given up on Intel SOC Based OEM laptops makers because all they are not trying to produce affordable regular form factor laptops. The OEM's appear to be still to this day fixated on producing Apple like Intel Ultrabook or Thin and light OEM laptop options that are so thermally constrained that they are useless.

I'd rather get that Zotac Zbox with Raven Ridge "APU" and use that as my home system and relegate my laptops to only on the road usage as I'm definitely not interested in current laptop offerings anymore.

AMD really needs to see if It can not Brand some AMD "NUC" like line of products of its own if AMD can not afford to do like Intel does and incentiveize the third party OEM's to produce products(laptops/mini-desktops) with Intel SOCs inside. The entire third party OEM laptop/Mini-Desktop Market has become like the End CAP on the grocery store isle with the store relying on the product's maker to incentivise that end cap product placment via advertising support or even supplier discount/rebate support.

Review sites that only wait passively to get review samples sent out while not trying to ACTIVELY get a proper mix of both AMD and Intel SOC based device review samples risk losing the trust of their readers. And the current way the OEM Laptop/Mini-Desktop markets are constrained unnaturally via incentives is just a damn shame when looking at how well that Zen/"Vega 11 APU" performs relative to the competition's integrated graphics only options.


" ZOTAC at CES 2018: AMD Raven Ridge APU in a ZBOX MA551 Mini-PC"


April 20, 2018 | 11:07 AM - Posted by ObjectiveMixOfReviewSamplesOrLostTRUST (not verified)

For Linux and "StorMI" like usage there is Bcache that's similar.

"bcache (abbreviated from block cache) is a cache in the Linux kernel's block layer, which is used for accessing secondary storage devices. It allows one or more fast storage devices, such as flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs), to act as a cache for one or more slower storage devices, such as hard disk drives (HDDs); this effectively creates hybrid volumes and provides performance improvements.

Designed around the nature and performance characteristics of SSDs, bcache also minimizes write amplification by avoiding random writes and turning them into sequential writes instead. This merging of I/O operations is performed for both the cache and the primary storage, helping in extending the lifetime of flash-based devices used as caches, and in improving the performance of write-sensitive primary storages, such as RAID 5 sets.

bcache is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and Kent Overstreet is its primary developer. " (1)




April 20, 2018 | 12:43 PM - Posted by Cache_Or_Credit (not verified)

[Storage Question] I have the Seagate 4TB SSHD (ST4000DX001). The drive spins at 5900RPM and the caching SSD is ~8GB. I use it primarily for my Steam Library. Is it viable/possible/reasonable to purchase the upcoming 64GB OPTANE Caching Drive and place it in the spare M.2 Slot of my Z370 motherboard and cache that drive? Or will there be conflict between the 8GB SSD Cache and the 64GB OPTANE Cache? NB: My boot drive is a Samsung 960 Evo.

April 20, 2018 | 06:34 PM - Posted by brisa117


I'm trying to set up my first RAID array. I have four Hitachi drives at 3TB each and want to set them into a RAID5 array, but after I successfully set it up in the pre-OS system, it still appears in the OS as four separate drives. Am I missing a step or could you point me in the direction of a good resource for RAID beginners? This is all on an old ASUS Sabertooth 990FX board. And before you ask, I promise I'm not trying to treat this RAID as a backup for anything and have a dedicated backup plan for its contents.

April 20, 2018 | 10:16 PM - Posted by Sean (not verified)

I'm going to have to disagree with you regarding your suggested router criteria. MU-MIMO is NOT a must-have feature. You shouldn't spend any more money on an all-in-one router/AP for it. Everything I read (even in 2018) of testing in real-world residential and small business environments says that there isn't any noticeable performance difference with MU-MIMO enabled or disabled.

This may change in a couple of years when 802.11ax is finalized and compatible APs and other devices really start to come on the market, but for now, it's not really needed outside of many-client, high-density situations.

April 21, 2018 | 12:09 AM - Posted by notadeveloper (not verified)

Hi x399 ROG Mobo has thunderbolt3 port although its one only.

April 26, 2018 | 01:08 AM - Posted by Dark_wizzie

Is there a better way for the average person to figure out transfer sizes requested by a video game than HD Tune? The transfer size listed maxes out at 2048k.

Also, how much empty space should I leave on my drive for performance reasons with a modern drive? Does it only affect write performance and much less so read?

April 25, 2018 | 09:38 PM - Posted by darthzyvox

Question for the mailbag:

Thoughts on delidding my 8700K? I need 1.4V to hit 5Ghz (lost the lottery on that one), and my temps are in the high 90s. Folks online boast 10-20 deg temp drops after replacing intel's stock thermal paste with a liquid metal interface. Have you heard anything about adverse effects on the longevity of the chip after doing this, and if thermal paste is so inefficient why is Intel using it? Thanks!

April 26, 2018 | 01:11 AM - Posted by Azhar (not verified)

Question for Allyn ( Re-Posted ).

How do we measure queue depth for single thread. Isn't disk IO blocking i.e. a requesting thread must wait until it has received acknowledgement? I get confused when I hear QD16-T1. I do not understand how its possible. The way I understand it, a thread can only make one IO request "At a given time", wait for ack and then make another. What am I missing?

Thanks in Adv.

April 26, 2018 | 01:46 AM - Posted by SayMyName (not verified)

Question for the mailbag:

Whats the difference between sequential and random disk IO. Say I have 10 threads each has opened its own file in append mode and writes to it in 100 iterations with 8k data buffer each iteration. Is it still considered sequential write since each files was being written sequentially ?


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