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. […]

Ryzen Diary Part I: The Unpackening

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 […]

The State of the PC: 2017

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 […]

Hard Drives in the SSD Age

If you’re a PC performance enthusiast without severe budget constraints, you’re probably running an SSD in your system. Solid state drive prices continue to plummet, dropping below $0.22 per gigabyte on some 1TB models. While older systems may continue to run a secondary hard drive with rotating platters, newer systems, most users can get by with a single 1TB SSD. Alas, I’m not “most users”. I just bought a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive, which spins at 7,200RPM and […]

Podcast: The Inevitable March of Tech

It began with a Tweet from Leslie Carhart about buying Windows 2.0. In that tweet, she included an image of a receipt ca. 1988: Back in 1988, a 40MB hard drive costs a cool $699. Today, you can buy a 2TB SSD for $699 — 50,000x the capacity, and vastly better performance. Meaning That got me thinking about how we perceive technology advances. We tend to think of tech advances as both inexorable and linear; think Moore’s Law. In fact, technology […]