The Ryzen 1800X Parts List

The Ryzen 7 1800X Killer Production Rig Part I: Gathering Parts

I build a new production system every couple of years. This time around, I thought I’d use AMD’s intriguing Ryzen 7 1800X. I haven’t used an AMD CPU for my main production system, well, ever, as far as I can recall. Let’s define what I mean by production system. I work out of my house almost exclusively, so I spend anywhere from four to ten hours a day in front of the system. My main production PC gets used for […]

New Nvidia GPU, Cortana, Net Neutrality, and Lots of Echo on the Improbable Insights Podcast

Welcome to a new Improbable Insights Podcast. Since we’ve been away a bit, David Bryant and I talk about some recent bits in the news, including Nvidia’s GTC, net neutrality, more Amazon Echo, and Microsoft late to the party once again. Tools & Fun David and I talk about the games we’ve been playing: Ghost Recon Wildlands, Mass Effect Andromeda, and Prey. We also discuss recent movies and TV, including Into the Badlands, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

Improbable Insights Podcast: Should You Buy a Game Console?

Game consoles once ruled the roost when it came to AAA game titles. The major console companies vied for exclusive titles and had unparalleled ease of use.  Consoles even offered performance superior to the best PCs of the day. The PC looked like it would be relegated to more complex strategy games, with the big action games and RPGs taken over by consoles. Economic factors, Moore’s Law, and the incredible gains in PC graphics allowed the PC to catch up. […]

Ryzen 5 Budget

Build a Ryzen 5 Gaming PC Costing Just $1200

I confess the title of this article isn’t completely accurate because I don’t talk about a single Ryzen 5 gaming PC, but several different possible options. However, I only build one of these options. Each option differs in cost and configuration somewhat; one even dips below $1,000 while still offering the same graphics hardware. Before I discuss the system I actually built, let’s take a look at the three configurations. I’ll begin first with the list of common component between all three, […]

Playing with the Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 Art Lens

I recently acquired a Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 zoom lens, part of the company’s Art lens series. At first blush, a 2x zoom ratio seems pretty limited, but two things set this Sigma apart from other zooms. The first is the optical quality, which is outstanding. The second is the f1.8 maximum aperture, which can be used throughout the zoom range. As others have noted, this lens effectively replaces several prime lenses, including 50mm, 85mm, and 100mm, plus anything in-between. This […]

Improbable Insights Podcast: What AMD’s Ryzen Means for the Industry and Consumers

Scott Gardner, former industry analyst and tech company executive, joins David Bryant and me on the Improbable Insights podcast to discuss the impact of AMD’s Ryzen CPU release will have on the industry. AMD just began shipping the Ryzen 5 CPUs, which sport four or six cores, with two threads per core. More importantly, AMD has priced Ryzen 5 directly against Intel midrange processors.  Can lilliputian AMD compete with the Intel juggernaut? Can the Ryzen processor deliver the goods for end […]

Ryzen Diary Part II: Fixing a Boot Failure and Reducing Noise

I ended part I of this ongoing Ryzen system diary on something of a cliffhanger: the PC had suddenly stopped booting. I’ve been away from the AMD fold for years when it comes to actual system building, so blaming the Ryzen system for the boot issue was my first reaction. I shrugged that immediate, admittedly biased reaction off and began my normal troubleshooting process. First, I popped the OEM Windows 10 DVD which shipped with the PC into the drive. […]

We Go to Andromeda!

Mass Effect Andromeda Updates the Formula Eric and I bring on a guest host, Ron Talbot, to discuss Mass Effect Andromeda. We all took an afternoon on release day to play single player and multiplayer in the same room. We all came away impressed at the overall mechanics but less impressed with the user interface and numerous bugs. And while the character generation system seemed to need more cooking, we still managed to create some interesting characters. We also have […]