PCPer Mailbag #53 - Shroud Says

Subject: Editorial | July 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:

00:49 - Proprietary motherboard features for future Intel GPUs?
03:04 - Laptops with both Snapdragon and Intel CPUs?
06:38 - Port monitoring for aggregated network connection?
08:08 - DDR3 on 8th Gen Intel CPU in MacBooks?
09:49 - RAM "tuned" for Ryzen?
11:54 - Combining different GPUs in the same system?
13:55 - Safe to remove a GPU backplate?
15:20 - Using GDDR5 as system memory?
17:32 - DisplayPort over USB-C on desktop motherboards?
19:47 - Ryan Shroud?

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

July 20, 2018 | 09:41 AM - Posted by ItsgettingHotterThanHellInThere (not verified)

What up with laptop OEMs and the new 6 core core i9 mobile processors from Intel and thermals. And what's up with the laptop OEM's insufficient cooling solutions in those Thin and Light form factor laptop designs that are not up to the task of properly cooling the higher performance Laptop SOC/APU SKUs that both Intel an AMD are producing.

Intel's 6 core mobile/laptop SKUs has thermal dissipation issues and is not able to bench as well as a quad core i7 of the previous generation on the new Apple Macbook offerings. AMD's Zen with Vega Graphics is also constrained inside those thermally restricted Thin and Light form factor laptops and that's not giving the Vega integrated Graphcs much thermal headroom also.

Why is the entire OEM laptop industry not addressing these thermal issues and why do they continue to rely on mostly overly thin laptop form factors that do not have the proper amount of cooling to support the processors that they are using?

July 20, 2018 | 11:17 AM - Posted by ColossalCollapse (not verified)

Why? Two words:

Marketing & shit sells.

Okay, i added an additional word for good measure, which is good because there are plenty of suckers out there that think three words are always better than just two... ;-)

July 20, 2018 | 12:40 PM - Posted by NotforAllyn (not verified)

Yeah, the 7.7lb Alienware 15 incher had problems with the same i9 chip. Not much of a surprise the 4lb Macbook Pro struggles! The $450 Xbox One X has liquid cooling so it's scandalous that Apple charges $3000+ for this lemon.

The variability in chips is likely to be very low on such a mature process so a better binned chip isn't going to provide the same out-performance as when we got a regular tick-tock. Waste of money ($200 difference tray price, $300-400 Apple price) buying an i9H over an i7H, they even have the same 12MB L3 cache which is usually the other differentiation between i3/i5/i7.

July 21, 2018 | 09:07 AM - Posted by LaptopsAreSoScrewedByUltrabook (not verified)

Intel is definitely not looking good trying to have any sorts of higher clock rates on Apple's thinnest of the thin and useless for production workloads MacBook SKUs. What should have been done, and still needs to be done is under-volting and under-clocking this SKU and trying to get the highest average all core clock rates for any workloads that may like more cores more than they like higher clocks.

Apple should be setting some software profiles in the OS that can see the CPU/Integrated Graphics Clocks more tuned to whatever clocking profile best suits the application on Apple's MacBook pro SKUs. Apple's thin and light mantra is not really for professional high power users and neither is Intel's Ultrabook thin and light form factor in the non Apple OEM PC market.

The entire non Apple OEM Laptop industry being under Intel's thumb for so many years has become forced to adopt that Ultrabook/Thin and light design mantra that's really only able to cool dual core U series i7s. So over the past 7 or so years the entire non Apple PC market has become devoid of any useful workhorse regular form factor laptop offerings from the laptop OEMs.

Intel's unhealthy market influence over the non Apple OEM Laptop market in the name of the Intel's Ultrabook Initiative is what has lead to this ThrottleGate issue becoming such a widespread problem beyond only Apple's Macbooks. Even AMD's Zen/Vega APUs are affected by this thin and light and ineffective Laptop form factor madness and that sort of marketing driven shortsightedness is what has given many power laptop users no real options in the laptop market.

Where once there was a plethora of regular form factor workhorse laptops with sufficient cooling to sustain longer CPU all core workloads there are now only laptops that are de-tuned for power workloads and are gimped for mostly web browsing and non productive usage.

We have two main Interests to blame with one being Apple's obsession with thin and light over any real functionality and the other is Intel's likewise obsession with that Same Apple sort of special madness that goes by the Trademarked Intel Name Ultrabook(TM). This is what Intel's unhealthy control over the OEM laptop market has resulted in for the current laptop market.

Intel's Ultrabook Initiative has resulted in a entire OEM PC laptop market supply chain that only has the economy of scale to generate Ultrabook/Thin and light laptop case parts and associated under powered cooling solutions. So the entire OEM PC market’s economy of scale is now wedded to the Ultrabook/Thin and Light production that even affects AMD’s products and Nvidia's mobile laptop offerings(Folks remember Nvidia disabling GPU overclocking on gaming notebooks because of thermal constraints on those overly thin “Gaming” Laptop SKUs). We all have Intel to than for the OEM Laptop market being wedded to that god awful thin and light Ultrabook/Apple like laptop form factor!

Thanks to Intel we are all made to suffer from the Apple Obsessively thin and useless Mantra of Laptop Design that's not really good for any productive workhorse laptop workloads.

July 24, 2018 | 06:23 AM - Posted by NotforAllyn (not verified)

PC makers loved going from 35w to 15w CPUs in mainstream laptops. It reduced the cost of most other parts of the system allowing for smaller capacity batteries, less pronounced cooling solutions and reduced power delivery. Along with mobile chips becoming more SoC-like, simplifying the supply chain (and of course created more reliance on Intel) this was a commercial boon for the likes of HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, Acer, et al.

Intel needed a way to fightback against the Macbook Air but it was the PC makers who then used the u-series CPUs, not just in 12"-13" laptops, but also cheap and fat 15.6" laptops with low-res displays which had been using 35 watt parts before.

There's still plenty of big powerful machines if you want to spend a lot - be that gaming PCs or a Thinkpad P52 or Dell Precision 7530/7730.

Good power in the mid-priced laptop market hasn't been much of an option in the past five years. However, Intel unleashing the extra cores & threads in 8th gen laptop CPUs (thanks AMD!) does give computer makers quite a lot of extra flexibility in using u-series parts at 25w. i5 branded laptop CPUs going from 2 core, 4 threads to 4 core, 8 threads is a huge difference that I don't think Intel should be catching flak for. If Apple or Dell can't use this extra power smartly they're responsible, not Intel, imho.

July 20, 2018 | 11:12 AM - Posted by GuessThisisforAllyn (not verified)

What are PCPer's thoughts on the plethora of cheap SSDs using DRAM-less, 2 channel, controllers (e.g. PS3111-S11)? For casual use in old laptops is the cost saving (20-30% compared to Samsung/Crucial) a reasonable trade-off for the downsides (e.g. poor sequential write-speeds). How is durability with no DRAM caching?

July 20, 2018 | 03:33 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

We had a quick chat about that on the podcast this week ... 507.

July 21, 2018 | 06:48 AM - Posted by GuessThisisforAllyn (not verified)

Thanks Jeremy. The Toshiba RC100 discussion was interesting but doesn't really apply to the usual AHCI/SATA 2.5" SSD replacement for a laptop HDD. Most laptops can't take advantage of the NVMe feature the Toshiba drive uses to get around its DRAM-less nature.

July 21, 2018 | 04:48 AM - Posted by djotter

Sounds like new content for the merch store, Ryan Shrouds. I'm sure Ken could 3D print a PSU shroud with Ryan's face on the side!

July 23, 2018 | 11:42 PM - Posted by SillyRabbitsThoseLaptopOEMsAndThoseBrownEnvelopes (not verified)

Why are AMD's Raven Ridge APU based laptops that ship with actual Dual Memory Channels/Slots designs being shipped with only one of their 2 memory Channels/Slots populated with DRAM. And why are some laptop review websites not even attempting to populate the second DRAM slot and benchmarking the Raven Ridge based laptops with both memory slots populated?

It's looks awfully suspicious that Laptop OEMs are up to something at the behest of a larger than AMD competitor that most laptop OEMs have a very dependent incentivised relationship with.

Really things are getting more competative in the CPU market once again and that old bag on nefarious market tricks is being used once again.

July 25, 2018 | 06:16 PM - Posted by Sha'ul ben Avraham (not verified)

I do all of my PC gaming from the couch with a 1080 TV and I'm thinking of buying a 40" monitor so I can use DisplayPort to replace my TV because my local HD service comes through HDMI and do not need coaxial anymore for watching shows. Is there any reason I shouldn't buy a large monitor for switching between DP and HDMI inputs for gaming and TV shows?

For HDMI 2.1 having VRR, I'm waiting to buy a RX 680, so would 2.1 nullify the need for DisplayPort thereby using a TV or monitor wouldn't matter?

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