2016: get you pc overdose by learning about BIOS, UEFI, M.2, SATA, SAS, CPU vs GPU, extreme gaming rigs

2015 was full of IT/computer stuff and 2016 awaits the ZEN CPU architecture from AMD. Although Intel won’t reduce the prices for its processors even if AMD catches up, maybe we’ll finally see AMD CPUs being on par with Intel ones. Long history between those two, you know.

First, let’s start by learning with TechQuickie about the tech in our computers. You don’t need to remember everything said in the videos, but it will help you in the future. Nothing worse than listening to guys talking pc stuff and you being a complete noob about pretty much everything.

What is BIOS? Why was UEFI invented? BIOS is the Basic Input Output System, a software built into the motherboard itself (on a ROM chip aka flash chip) which is able to detect the components of the computer and let you run some diagnostics. It does basic stuff and can handle drives up to 2TB. This is why UEFI, Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, was created.

UEFI can use an actual graphical interface, inclusing mouse usage, will recognize drives way bigger than 2TB and is faster. Linus explains more in the video from below:

Now, what about video editing? In the era of the film you would need to physically cut and then paste a part of the film into another part. A tedious process prone to human error. After video casettes became a thing machines that could stop a video and then record a part of it onto another casette were created. Learn more about video editing and about the difference between film and video:

But what is film really? Let’s learn more about film in the video from below:

But how are CPUs made? Well, it is pretty much like 3D printing with etching combined. The factory creates a layer of silicon, then uses lasers to cut into it and create transistors this way and then another layer is setup to insulate from the next layer of silicon based transistors. A process that is impossible to do without robots and a very clean environment:

In order to make the computer faster the M.2 connector has been invented. This allows you to have flash drives installed in your computer and increase the write/read speeds up to 4 GBps, which is a huge increase. Also, M.2 drives are significantly smaller than hard drvies or SSDs.

Usually the M.2 drives use the PCI E 3.0 X4 port in order to connect to the computer. There are many types of devices that can use the M.2 port, like WiFi or Bluettoth, so you need to be careful at dimensions, usage and drive sizes.

Now, whats the difference between SATA and SAS. SATA ports allow you to transfer data from your drive in speeds up to 600MB/s, but SAS can reach up to 12 Gbps. SAS is Serial Attched SCSI and can deal with incoming and outgoing data at full speed at the same time as SATA can deal with only one type of data at a time.

SAS also uses drives that have up to 15000 RPM, but cost more and are usually used for servers, not for home usage. SAS is tipically used when you need a lot of people to access you hard drive at the same time. So, the general advice is to stick with SATA or M.2 or PCI E or with RAM drives for home usage.

Now, let go into the pc gaming realm once we’ve feasted on tech knowledge in regards to all these shiny ports. Lets see what Newegg has to say about Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming graphics cards like this 629 GBP video card:GeForce GTX 980Ti Xtreme Gaming.

If you ask me, in terms of performance Intel beats AMD in the processor world and Nvidia beats ATI in the GPU world. If you have the cash, then Intel + Nvidia is a good choice, if not, then AMD + ATI will bring you almost the same performance, but with at least 10-30% in price reduction.

When I look for a new computer, be it laptop or gaming rig, I usually look at the newest generation of i7, which is Skylake now. But each generation of CPUs has its own i3, i5 and i7 version with each having different subversions. It is crazy. Learn about these difference from PC Advisor.

Also, did you ever wanted to know the difference between a CPU and GPU? GPU is more prone to graphics and triangle calculation whereas the CPU is more prone for general works, like video processing, browsing. GPU is a specialist CPU which handles the way pixels are displayed based on the 3D model. When fewer calculations are needed a CPU can be faster, but when millions of floating point calculations need to be done, then a GPU will use parallel calculations to solve the issue much faster than a regular CPU:

Also, what is the big fuss about DirectX 12 which runs only on Win 10? Well, DirectX 12 will let you use all the cores in the CPU while in-game so this will increase the life of your processor. This is the biggest change, but will also allow you to save on power usage and offer better effects. When gaming you need to be able to use any extra performance to have a better experience.

Now that you use a DX 12 compatible video card, would gaming laptops with GTX 980 video cards worth the money? It seems like yes, they are worth the money:

Finally, I like what Jay has done with his extreme rig and with all that liquid cooling in there. I won’t go overkill like that, but it is a good to know what you can do with your gaming rig:

Learn more about liquid cooling from Maximum PC.

Bonus: what can you go with a 30 000 USD gaming rig? Well. you can allow 7 people to play with this single machine. Linus explains:

In the mega gaming rig they use two Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2697 v3 processors with a cost of 2700USD each. Other parts:
– motherboard Asus Z10PE-D8 WS, allows 7 video cards on it and two Intel Xeon processors
– 256 GB or RAM from Kingston, 32GB each
– seven AMD R9 Nano video cards
– 1600W power supply

Happy 2016 😀

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