PCPer Mailbag #60 - You Touched My Silicone Sensitive Areas

Subject: Editorial | November 9, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag, Allyn Malventano

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our Q&A show where each week a member of the team answers your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

This week Allyn's back for a variety of questions:

00:26 - Samsung has said they are going to slow down DRAM and NAND production to keep prices high. Would Samsung be able to slow production enough to stop prices for the end consumer from falling further than they already have? Bonus question, how low do you think price per gig will go on TLC and MLC?

06:06 - I am building a new home desktop/server for Emby and it needs a new HDD. What’s the most important factor to consider: amount of cache, rotational speed, or SATA type? Regarding the CPU, would a Ryzen 5 or 7 be adequate for streaming up to four videos from the server at 1080p?

12:47 - Does higher L3 cache per core increase single-threaded performance? If so, does this mean for example that the i7-8700K has faster single-threaded performance than the i5-8600K if frequency is same and hyper-threading is off?

15:48 - The Spectre/Meltdown microcode updates hit Broadwell-E processors hard in terms of performance. In Windows 10 1803 you could hide the patch (KB4100347) and everything was fine. Do you know how this will work in Windows 10 1809? Is the microcode update still something that can be skipped, or is it rolled into the 1809 update?

20:21 - Are there any CPUs available now that have hardware-based fixes for Spectre and Meltdown? If not, is there a timetable of when they may be available?

24:28 - What are considered to be “silicone sensitive areas” within a PC or laptop? I’m looking to replace the TIM on my laptop (Lenovo E585) to cut down on fan noise and I saw that as a marketing bullet on some Thermal Grizzly Hydronaut.

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 (usually) each week!

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Source: YouTube

AMD Releases Q3 2018 Financial Results

Subject: Editorial | October 24, 2018 - 09:13 PM |
Tagged: amd, quarterly results, Q3 2018, ryzen, EPYC, Polaris, Vega, 7nm, 12nm, Intel, nvidia

This evening AMD announced their Q3 2018 results. Things were at the lower end of the guidance scale from last quarter, but the company still had some solid results. Q3 revenue was $1.65B as compared to Q3 2017’s $1.58B. It is down from the previous quarter’s high of $1.76B. At first glance this seems troubling, but the results are not as negative as one would assume. GAAP net income was a healthy $102M. Q3 2017 was at $61M while Q2 2018 was up at $116M. Profits did not fall nearly as much as one would expect with a decrease of $110M revenue quarter over quarter.

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Probably the largest factor of the decrease was the negligible sales of GPUs to the crypto market. AMD had expected such a dropoff and warned about it in their Q2 guidance. That particular drop off was sudden and dramatic. AMD looks to continue to lose marketshare in add-in graphics due to their less competitive offerings across the spectrum. GeForce RTX sales of course did not impact AMD this previous quarter, but with no new AMD offerings on the horizon users look to have been waiting to see exactly what NVIDIA would release.

Ryzen sales have been steady and strong, making up some of the shortfall from the graphics market. Desktop chips are moving briskly for the company and continues to be a strong seller historically for the company. AMD is also starting to move more mobile processors, but it seems that the majority of parts are still desktop based. AMD looks to continue moving older inventory with aggressive pricing on those and manufacturing of the new 2000 series parts has been relatively smooth sailing for the company.

Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom had a strong quarter, but with less growth as some analysts had been hoping for. Semi-Custom was weaker this quarter, but IP revenue is up. Console chips are weaker at the moment due to the platforms being relatively mature and not exhibiting the sales of the previous two holiday seasons. To further offset the decrease in Semi-Custom, AMD is reporting that the enterprise products (GPU and EPYC) have seen good growth. Overall this division was down 5% from Q3 2017, but up 7% from the previous quarter.

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Perhaps the most interesting figure of this is Gross Margins. AMD was able to improve margins from 36% to 40%. This 4% increase quarter on quarter is a significant jump for the company. This means that AMD continues to keep costs under control for the company and is able to deliver product more efficiently than in the year before. It is still a far cry from Intel and NVIDIA, which typically have magins between 55% to 65%. AMD has a long ways to go before reaching that kind of level. Part of the margin offset was again due to IP licensing. If IP licensing was removed then we would see 38% margins rather than 40%.

So what are the overall lessons of the past quarter? EPYC sales are not as brisk as analysts had hoped for, but they are also not non-existent. It has shown solid growth for the company and has offset shortfalls in other areas of the company. Their IP and Semi-Custom areas are still very solid, even though AMD does suffer from console lifecycles and downturns. GPUs continue to sell, but not nearly at the rate they were due to the crypto market. Their Polaris based options are well suited to compete in the sub-$300 US market. The Vega based products were finally down to MSRP, but they had a harder time going against the mature and well liked GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 products. This will be further compounded with the introduction of the RTX products in those price ranges.

Ryzen continues to be a very good seller across the board. I had hoped that AMD would break down numbers between Ryzen CPUs and APUs, but I have not seen numbers that hint at what ratio they sell at. In retail the Ryzen 2000 series CPUs look to be some of the most popular products based on price/performance. However, retail is only a small portion of processor sales and Intel still holds the vast majority of marketshare here. AMD is competing, but they have not taken significant chunks from their competition over the past year. They have done enough to achieve several positive quarters in a row, but this is not the slam dunk that the original Athlon 64 was back in 2003/2004.

AMD expects further weakness in their results next quarter. Guidance is for revenue around $1.45B, plus or minus $50M. This is still higher than Q4 2017 results, but it is a significant drop from Q3 results. AMD expects strong Ryzen, EPYC, and datacenter GPU growth during this time. It is expected that consumer GPU and Semi-Custom will continue to drop. There does look to be a 7nm GPU introduction this next quarter, but it is probably the long rumored Vega refresh that will be aimed directly at datacenter rather than consumer.

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2018 has so far been a year of solid growth and execution for AMD on the CPU side. Their GPU side has suffered a bit of a slide, but this is to be expected by how much belt-tightening AMD has done in the past several years to get their CPU architecture back on track. The lion’s share of development resources was shunted off to the CPU side while the GPU side had to fight for scraps. I believe this is no longer the case, but when development takes years for new GPUs the injection of new resources will not become apparent for a while.

2019 continues to look better for AMD as they are expecting an early release of 7nm EPYC parts which should compete very well with Intel’s 14nm based Xeon products. AMD is expecting a significant uptick in sales due to the thermals, pricing, and performance of these new Zen 2 based parts. The company also continues to point to the end of 1H for introduction of 7nm Ryzen parts based on Zen 2. These will be showing up quite a few months before Intel’s 10nm offerings will be available. Rumors have it that the new Zen 2 based parts exhibit a significant IPC increase that should make them far more competitive to the best that Intel has on the desktop and mobile markets. Combine these IPC improvements with the 7nm boost in power and clocks for the parts, and AMD could have a very good product on their hands. AMD also is expecting a 1H release of 7nm Navi GPUs which should prove to be more competitive with current NVIDIA products that rely on 16nm and 12nm process nodes from TSMC.

While Q3 was a drop in revenue for the company, their current cost structure has still allowed them to make a tidy profit. The company continues to move forward with new products and new developments.

 
Source: AMD

Beginning of a new journey

Subject: Editorial | October 24, 2018 - 11:00 AM |
Tagged: Ryan Shrout

As a high school senior in 1999, I started a journey that would carry me forward and through the next 19 years of my life, shaping it in ways I could not possibly understand at the time. What began as a website dedicated to the first AMD Athlon motherboard (K7M.com!) and progressed to one of the biggest hardware review websites in the US, brought me access to amazing technology and conversations with luminaries in the PC field.

I wrote hundreds of reviews, recorded weeks of video, and made many of you sit through more than 500 episodes of a weekly podcast! I was able to co-host This Week in Computer Hardware on the TWiT network for nearly as long. Just thinking about the amount of content that I typed or spoke is kind of mind-boggling.

Today marks the beginning of a second journey, one that I didn’t know would ever come. I have accepted a role at Intel as the company’s Chief Performance Strategist. In this capacity, I will help influence and drive performance leadership across Intel’s product portfolio. My first day will be in mid to late November. It is a challenge that I am looking forward to pursuing and an opportunity to catalyze Intel’s leadership even further.

As with others in my position that followed a similar path, this was not a simple decision. PC Perspective was my life, my passion, and my pride for these past 19 years. I took joy in the fact that I was able to build this up from nothing, with the help of a dedicated and intelligent team of hard-working reviewers and writers. Those of you that have paid attention will already know that my writing for PC Perspective has dwindled as my time was spent on other pursuits like Shrout Research. In my place, Ken took over the role of primary reviewer and has done an amazing job in the process.

Starting today, I will no longer be involved with PC Perspective or the content that will be posted. In reality, Ken has been managing that already with the help of Allyn, Josh, Jeremy, and the other team members. I am fully relinquishing ownership of the site to the team, removing myself from all aspects of finances and content prior to my Intel start date.

Shrout Research is another venture that closes as this opportunity opens. I am extremely proud of what I was able to create there in a short period, working with some of the largest technology companies in the world on product design, go-to-market planning, message testing, and much more. Contracts and projects have been finalized.

Many of you might want to know the why of my decision to leave behind the independent contracting and self-employment world and shift to working for Intel. For me, this isn’t a move dictated by finances (PC Perspective and Shrout Research were doing well). Nor is it one of external, negative pressure. Our team has weathered worse in both areas, and we would have done so again.

This move represents a new challenge and the chance to influence the direction of a major player in the technology field from within. The opportunity to work at a company with the legacy of Intel and be trusted with the scope of this role is humbling. It’s not often that this is presented, and after 19 years, I found the opportunity seemed like the right one, at the right time.

Not only does this career path provide a new challenge, but it also offers me the chance to create professional progress while allowing for more nights and mornings with my daughter – a significant personal plus for me.

I have dozens of people that I could and should thank for the success and opportunity provided to PC Perspective and Shrout Research over these many years. All of the writers and reviewers that dedicated time and energy to the site, the advertisers that continued to support it through the violent swings of the PC market, and the companies that were willing to take a chance on a young (relatively, at least) analyst trying to shift into a new space; I wouldn’t be where I am or have the life I do without you. Special thanks go to friends like Kyle, Tom, Jon, Bernie, Patrick, and so many others. You have been a sounding-board for more than half of my life, and I can never show my appreciation enough.

As for PC Perspective, I am confident it will continue doing reviews, news, and analysis of the hardware you love for as long as you, the reader, support them. As I said earlier; they have already been running the show without me for some time, and they will continue doing the excellent job that has brought PCPer.com to where it stands today.

As for me, you’ll be able to find my ramblings on Twitter (@RyanShrout), or if you need to reach me through email, you can do so at rshrout@gmail.com.

Finally, I want to thank all of YOU for reading my reviews, listening to the podcasts, supporting PC Perspective on Patreon, and offering valuable feedback that helped to make this place, and me personally, better. 

PCPer Mailbag #59 - Nearly 1 Hour of Storage Discussion With Mr. Malventano

Subject: Editorial | October 19, 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!

Allyn takes the hot seat this week to answer your storage questions:

00:23 - Would you worry about NVMe cooling? If you’re running video editing workloads, should you spend time trimming thermal pads on motherboard heatsinks to avoid overcooling the flash? Also, NVMe or Optane for an editing rig?

10:39 - I recently cloned my Samsung 850 EVO to a new ADATA SX8200. All was well at first, but when I formatted the EVO, Windows refused to boot and gave a BSoD. It would only boot once I removed every other drive from the system except the NVMe. Any ideas why?

13:51 - If I have a 3-year-old SM941 and it works fine, what kind of upgrade path do I have? MLC/NVMe are still good...better than TLC/QLC. So, Optane?

19:49 - What are the developments needed to give us even faster speeds than today’s NVMe? Where is the bottleneck that limits current speeds?

28:01 - Will NVMe SSD pricing ever catch up with SATA SSD drives?

30:33 - Will QLC replace TLC on lower-end SSDs?

32:42 - Can you overclock SSDs? If so, what kind of positive and negative impacts would it have?

37:20 - Does regularly TRIMing an SSD extend its life? If so, how often should I run a TRIM command on my drives?

43:57 - Is there any negative impact on an SSD from leaving it connected to power at all times even when idle compared to only powering it up when I need to use it? I use an SSD for my wireless Samba server in my semi-truck to stream videos in my off time but most of the day it sits there doing nothing.

46:55 - Allyn, have you and Steve Gibson ever done a podcast or talk together?

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 (usually) each week!

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

PCPer Mailbag #58 - 'Better Late Than Never' Edition

Subject: Editorial | October 11, 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!

So, yeah, we missed a few weeks. We're going to blame it on Jim and his lack of pneumonia-proof lungs. What a loser. But, hey, they say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Turns out that's not true at all.

Without further ado, the role of Ryan Shrout in today's performance will be played by plucky young up-and-comer Josh Walrath:

00:56 - Do you think we'll see AMD GPUs with ray tracing capabilities in the next few months to compete with NVIDIA?

06:06 - Has NVIDIA changed the yardstick for measuring GPU performance? The metrics until now have been higher frame rates at higher resolutions, but it seems we’re about to start prioritizing ray tracing performance instead. Would a gamer playing today at 4K or 144Hz consider it a downgrade to switch to 1080p with ray tracing? Will consumers who invested in 4K and high refresh rate displays feel cheated by the shift to ray tracing, even though there are only a handful of supported titles scheduled for the near future?

11:46 - Would you rather see companies push to truly achieve mainstream 4K HDR 60fps performance with better textures and polygon counts instead of this new shift to ray tracing?

14:11 - I recently added a Samsung 970 EVO to my system, but I wasn’t able to install Windows on it unless I disconnected all of my other drives first. What could have caused this?

17:01 - Is anyone else unable to map a network drive in Windows 10 after upgrading to version 1803? Did Microsoft kill off HomeGroup without sufficient testing? Help!

18:48 - Why do different types of RAM work better on Intel or AMD platforms?

20:57 - Do you expect the new Intel HEDT refresh parts to hold the higher frequencies at the same power level as before? And if so will that be down to the soldered IHS or more of the actual improvement in the cores/chip? Will the “optimization” provide an IPC increase?

23:16 - Do you think Zen 2 / Ryzen 3 will bring memory controller performance into parity with their Intel counterparts?

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 (usually) each week!

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

PCPer Mailbag #57 - How Many Rays Would a Ray Tracer Trace If a Ray Tracer Could Trace Rays?

Subject: Editorial | September 7, 2018 - 10:03 PM |
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:

00:51 - NVIDIA 7nm GPU plans?
03:57 - NVIDIA vs. AMD for older CPUs?
06:33 - Threadripper workstation boards?
08:43 - Jensen Huang?
10:19 - Ray tracing performance drop?
12:50 - Ray tracing quality vs. performance slider?
15:10 - Updates for RTX AI breaking games?
17:13 - PCPer interviews with game developers?

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

Intel Gamer Days! Win a $6,000 Falcon NW Tiki!

Subject: Editorial | September 1, 2018 - 12:00 AM |
Tagged: tiki, intel gamer days, giveaway, falcon northwest, contest

Guys and gals, we have quite the event for you this September. PC Perspective is partnering with Falcon Northwest and Intel to support the Intel Gamer Days promotion, and with that, you get the chance to win a Tiki PC worth about $6,000.

Yes, $6K.

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Falcon Northwest Tiki  (configuration as reviewed)
Processor Intel Core i7-8086K (Coffee Lake)
Motherboard ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING
Cooler Asetek 550LC 120mm AIO Water Cooler
Graphics NVIDIA TITAN Xp 12GB
Memory 32GB (2x16B) G.SKILL RIPJAWS V DDR4-3000
Storage

Intel SSD Optane 905P 1.5TB U.2

Power Supply Silverstone SFX-650W 
Dimensions 4" Wide x 13.5" Deep x 13.25" Tall. (715 cubic inches)
OS Windows 10 Pro
Price $6,242 (as configured) - Falcon NW

This is the exact same Tiki machine that we reviewed here at PC Perspective in July, and now it can find a home in YOUR home.

Entry information is below. A HUGE thank you goes to Falcon Northwest and Intel for supporting our readers and fans with this opportunity. Get in there and enter!

Intel Gamer Days with Falcon Northwest and PC Perspective!

PCPer Mailbag #56 - Ray tracing, Raytracing, Ray-tracing!

Subject: Editorial | August 31, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our (mostly) 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:

00:40 - AMD ray tracing vs. NVIDIA?
03:00 - RTX tensor and RT cores?
04:55 - DirectX Raytracing vs. NVIDIA RTX?
08:18 - Ray tracing vs. Raytracing vs. Ray-tracing?
09:22 - HDMI 2.1 missing from RTX?
10:52 - Isolating drives in a dual-boot PC?
12:47 - Underclocking Ryzen for lower TDP?
14:37 - Cooling M.2 NVMe and Optane?
16:01 - Tariffs and PC hardware prices?
17:18 - RIP optical media?

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

PCPer Mailbag #55 - Under Negative Pressure

Subject: Editorial | August 17, 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!

Yeah, OK, we missed a few weeks. It's all Jim's fault. Anyway, Ryan's back to tackle these questions:

00:22 - SATA cable failures?
01:54 - Tiered storage for consumers? Windows Storage Spaces vs. StoreMI?
04:29 - Low-end PC gaming vs. future consoles?
07:11 - Ryzen cores on future consoles?
10:34 - GPU for 1440p HDR ultrawide?
12:25 - TR4 socket issue?
13:26 - Why doesn't Intel make RAM?
14:40 - Negative pressure PC case?
16:05 - Normalizing RAM 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
Author:
Subject: Editorial
Manufacturer: ARM

Aggressively Pursuing New Markets

ARM has had a pretty fascinating history, but for most of its time on this Earth it has not been a very public facing company. After the release of the iPhone and ARM’s dominance in the mobile market, they decided to push their PR efforts up a few notches. Now we finally were able to see some of the inner workings of a company that was once a little known low power CPU designer that licensed cores out to third parties.

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The company was not always as aggressive as what we are seeing now. The mobile space for a long time was dominated by multiple architectures that all have eventually faded away. ARM held steady with design improvements and good customer relations that ensured that they would continue into the future. After the release of the original iPhone, the world changed. Happily for us, ARM changed as well. In previous years ARM would announce products, but they would be at least three years away and few people took notice of what they were up to. I originally started paying attention to ARM as I thought that their cores might have the ability to power mobile gaming and perhaps be integrated into future consoles so that there would be a unified architecture that these providers could lean upon. This was back when the 3DS and PSP were still selling millions of units.

This of course never came to pass as I had expected it to, but at least ARM did make it into the Nintendo Switch. ARM worked hard to quickly put faster, more efficient parts out the door. They also went on a buying spree and acquired several graphics startups that would eventually contribute to the now quite formidable Mali GPU family of products. Today we have an extensive lineup of parts that can be bundled into a tremendous amount of configurations. ARM has a virtual monopoly in the cellphone market because they have been willing to work with anyone who wants to license their designs, technologies, and architectures. This is actually a relatively healthy “monopoly” because the partners do the work to mix and match features to provide unique products to the marketplace. Architectural licensees like Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung all differentiate their products as well and provide direct competition to the ARM designed cores that are licensed to other players.

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Today we are seeing a new direction from ARM that has never been officially explored. We have been given a roadmap of the next two generations of products from the company that are intended to compete in not only the cellphone market, but also in the laptop market. ARM has thrown down the gauntlet and their sights are set on Intel and AMD. Not only is ARM showing us the codenames for these products, but also the relative performance.

Click here to read the entire ARM Roadmap Editorial!