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…Continue reading The Ryzen 7 1800X Killer Production Rig Part I: Gathering Parts
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,…Continue reading Build a Ryzen 5 Gaming PC Costing Just $1200
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.…Continue reading Ryzen Diary Part II: Fixing a Boot Failure and Reducing Noise
I’ve been reviewing fewer products recently, so when AMD let me know they’d ship me a Ryzen system, I jumped at the chance. A few weeks passed, a couple of false starts and a box appeared on my doorstep from CyberPower PC. Built around a Ryzen 1800X and an Asrock X370 Killer SLI motherboard, the system also included 16GB of fast Corsair DDR4 memory, an Enermax power supply, a PowerColor R480X graphics card, and a 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2…Continue reading Ryzen Diary Part I: The Unpackening
The personal computer evolution seems to be slowing. Apple seems to be ignoring high-end customers, 2-in-1 designs are proliferating, and the desktop PC stagnates. On the OS side, MacOS seems to be stagnating and Windows continues to be overly intrusive. What’s going to happen to the PC going forward? Eric, David, and I discuss happenings in the Mac arena, what’s going on with Windows, the slowdown in CPU progress, how displays have been evolving, and how storage has become the…Continue reading The State of the PC: 2017
My younger daughter surprised me when she asked for a desktop PC prior to heading off to graduate school. She had been using an HP Omen, which included reasonably decent graphics (mobile GeForce GTX 960) as well as a quad-core processor. I’d often see her online playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, Fallout 4, and other PC games. Apparently, though, trying to play Rise of the Tomb Raider convinced her that her laptop no longer handled games well. So I built her…Continue reading A Gaming PC for Emily
Recently, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions related to buying or building gaming PCs. What goes around, comes around, I guess. At the recent E3 Gaming Expo, Microsoft announced the Xbox One S, a more svelte, more powerful Xbox One capable of 4K output. The company also mentioned it would develop an even more powerful Xbox One, code-named Project Scorpio. Oh, yeah, and all Xbox One consoles run a flavor of Windows 10. That feels somewhat… familiar. Oh, yeah,…Continue reading The PC Wins the Console Wars
Eric needed a new PC to run his spiffy HTC Vive VR kit, so we built one. The parts list impresses: Core i5 Skylake, GTX 980, 16GB DDR4. Eric, David Bryant, and I got together and tackled assembly chores. Along the way, we experience one of the worst case designs I’ve seen in a long time. The Bitfenix Prodigy micro-ATX case may look like its mini-ITX sibling, but it’s an abysmal design internally. Eric discovers PCPartpicker, a nifty tool…Continue reading Eric’s Excellent VR PC Build, More Nikon, and Kublacon!