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 […]

How to Get the Improbable Insights Podcast

The Improbable Insights Crew Three people sit down every two weeks to record the Improbable Insights podcast. Eric Klein works in early-stage venture capital, focusing on companies developing a variety of hardware for consumers and businesses. As a venture guy, he keeps his eyes open for cool new tech before most people hear about it. Eric also began his career in gaming, working for Bungie back in the day. He also spent time at Palm and Apple. David Bryant works […]

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. […]

Shooting Wondercon 2017 with the D500

Jan and I headed down to Wondercon in Anaheim for a lovely weekend of panels, cosplay-watching, geek shopping, and more. I took along my Nikon D500, along with several lenses, and had a field day shooting cosplayers. I certainly loved the energy and enthusiasm that went into these designs. And the ages ranged from small children to people clearly older than me. I mostly shot with the 16-80mm f/2.8-f/4, but also used the 70-200mm f/4 to good effect. I pulled […]