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. 

Loyd Case

In Which Loyd Meets a Surgical Robot But Forgets About It

Sometimes you get all ambitious about writing and blogging. Then life happens and you encounter a surgical robot instead. I was diagnosed with relatively early stage prostate cancer in March. This would normally be a nuisance more than an issue of concern. In most cases, men die of old age long before prostate cancer could kill them. The biopsy analysis included a worrying bit about a relatively small amount of grade 4 cancer, which can become more aggressive over time. […]

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, […]

Ryzen Diary Part III: Gaming on the Ryzen 7 1800X

When the first reviews emerged of AMD’s Ryzen 7 processors, benchmarks suggested solid multithreading performance in high-end applications, good multitasking performance, and surprisingly anemic Ryzen 7 gaming performance. But to understand Ryzen gaming benchmarks, you need to understand several things: Ryzen is the first really new x86 architecture variant in years. PC game benchmarks for testing CPUs run at low resolutions with low detail levels. Games developed with Ryzen in mind perform better. That Ryzen is new, yet still manages […]

Mass Effect Andromeda is Mass Effect Redux

I’ve been playing through the Mass Effect Andromeda single player campaign, though my initial excitement has been tempered a bit. For awhile, I thought of the game as the Inquisitioning of Mass Effect. In other words, Bioware built an open world with a lot of pointless resource gathering in the pursuit of making their game bigger and longer. Certainly many of the quests under the quest tab “Tasks” turn out to be pointless. As I’ve played more — I’m probably […]

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 […]