PCPer Mailbag #44 - 5/18/2018

Subject: Editorial | May 18, 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:

00:59 - PCPer audience age?
02:39 - HDMI 2.1 on next-gen GeForce?
05:08 - Motherboard power connector pin count?
06:11 - StoreMI configuration for speeding up HDD?
09:53 - 12nm vs. 10nm vs. 7nm?
11:42 - 14nm++ i7 vs. 10nm i7?
14:15 - SSD free space and read performance?
15:34 - Modern SSDs and overprovisioning?
16:38 - Discrete Vega mobile GPUs?
18:30 - ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 on Threadripper motherboard?

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

May 18, 2018 | 05:06 PM - Posted by WhereAreMiniDesktopPCsWithRavenRidgeG (not verified)

Where are the Mini Desktop PCs with AMD's Raven Ridge G series "APUs" Inside? The Zotac ZBOX MA551 Mini-PC with Raven Ridge G series options was announced at CES 2018 in January and is still nowhere to be found.

So can PCPer at least begin to start asking the respective Mini Desktop PC/Mini Barebones PC makers what is holding them up from producing any any offerings with AMD's Raven Ridge GE/G series Zen/With Vega Integrated Graphics(APUs) at 35 watts and 65 watts.

PCper if these makers are not going to quickly start offering any Mini-Desktop Raven Ridge G series based options could you maybe do some home system Builds using Raven Ridge G(65W)/GE(35W) SKUs with a stress on getting the most in the smallest form factor PC case.

I'm very interested in Raven Ridge Zen/Vega integrated graphics being used with say Vega 56 discrete graphics. And There are some rumors going around on Reddit currently(5/18/2018) that have to do with folks having some success(1) in using Raven Ridge Integrated Graphics with AMD discrete graphics with the latest driver update from AMD.

Will PCPer be testing out the PowerColor Radeon RX Vega 56 Nano Edition that is expected to launch at Computex?


[News] (GPU)Thank you AMD, newest 2200G/2400G driver makes it possible to use iGPU and an AMD GPU at the same time without driver conflict"


May 19, 2018 | 01:34 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

see also:

May 19, 2018 | 03:54 PM - Posted by SoStabilityOnLinuxIsNotFullyThereYet (not verified)

I see that but what about any testing of Desktop Raven Ridge's integrated graphics with a discrete AMD GPU to see how well they play with the latest AMD Driver Update.

I guess that AOS used as a benchmark could be used as Ashes supports DX12 explicit multi-GPU adaptor in the game.

I have read(r/Amd) that until the latest AMD driver arrived that Raven Ridge Desktop "APUs" were having issues with the Integrated and Discrete deivers functioning without driver conflicts.

I'm also interested in more non Phoronix Linux testing of Raven Ridge desktop APUs on different Linux OS Distro builds as I'd like to see more results that are reproducable by others.

Currently Vulkan supports explicit GPU Multi-adaptor if the GPUs are of the same maker/micro-arch but DX12's(explicit GPU Multi-adaptor) supports any paring of GPU micro-archs.

I guess it will be another 3-6 months before AMD's APU's will see better and more stable results across OSs with Linux support taking more time than Windows or MacOS(Maybe), and I'd love to see an AMD APU Option on some future Mac-Mini.

May 19, 2018 | 01:23 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

Re: ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 on Threadripper motherboard?

I did a very quick test yesterday with an aging HP ultra-slim desktop computer that I use as a media center. I have enabled a 1GB ramdisk on that PC, using the Dataram freeware, and moved the Firefox cache to that ramdisk.

The DRAM in that PC is 4GB of DDR3 running at 533 MHz. Although that memory will run faster, there is no way in the BIOS to change the speed that was set at the factory.

It's very interesting that the raw speed of that DRAM is almost exactly the same as the READ speed of a modern Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD -- 3,431.8 MB/second.

Using HD Tune 2.55, here's the result of that quick measurement:


Here's the SPD tab in CPU-Z 1.84.0:


May 21, 2018 | 12:19 PM - Posted by brisa117

My current PSU only has four SATA power plugs, but I'm considering adding several more HDDs (FreeNas server). Which would you recommend, and why:

- Molex to Sata adapters
- Sata (power) to multiple Sata (power) splitter
- Buy a different PSU with enough native Sata power cables

May 22, 2018 | 11:46 AM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

A lot depends on the current draw from your existing PSU:
we use battery back-up units that report wattage,
which tells us how close we are to using PSU capacity.
The "engineering" approach to your question is to
pinpoint the amperage rating of each "rail" and
to act accordingly. That approach will require you
to have PSU documentation with a schematic, or
at least an amperage rating on each of the
SATA and Molex cables. If you are not presently
using your Molex connectors, my best guess is
"Molex to SATA adapters". Also, there should be
a UL label on your PSU, which may provide some
of the answers you seek. Another factor to consider
is "staggered spin-up": at power ON, a spinning HDD
draws more power as it comes up to rated rpm.
If all of your HDDs are spinning up in unison,
their aggregate amps could exceed the rated max
output of your existing PSU. Good server systems
typically support staggered spin-up, for that reason.

May 21, 2018 | 12:25 PM - Posted by brisa117

Sorry for posting two questions in the same week, but I am curious: With the incredible increase in memory prices, why have we not seen SSD and flash drive prices soar as well? Are NAND and DRAM not fighting for the same fab space?

May 21, 2018 | 06:22 PM - Posted by David Thor (not verified)

Question: How come we are not seeing more than one hardware threads on Intel and AMD CPU's? If you take a look at IBM Power8 processor, it is a 12 core CPU with 8 hardware threads for a total of 96 parallel threads. The SPARC M7 is the same, with it's 32 cores and 256 threads. Granted, these are server CPU's but wouldn't EPYC and Xeon lines of processors potentially benefit?

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