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AMD CPU Zen, CPU vs GPU, SD cards

In sweet preparation of my dream gaming pc I am looking left and right in order to see what are the best computer components to get into that gaming machine. Later in the summer I’ll have the new gaming rig at home and I’ll enjoy some fine gaming with the newest games from 2015 and on.

Until I’ll get all those coins in one place I’m spending my time playing games like Skyrim or watching the X Files, the old series. And also learn as much as I can about computer parts. And also blog from time to time about random stuff, like IT/tech and science.

Now, should we wait for the AMD Zen architecture from their CPU line? My thought on this: don’t wait. Buy something good enough now, wait for the Zen architecture to mature 1-2 years and then see if it is worth it to use it. For now Intel makes the best CPUs, but AMD makes the most affordable ones.

Good question: why do we need GPUs when we already have a central processing unit, the CPU? Well, the GPU is a special purpose CPU and this is why it is used to process graphics. The CPU is a general purpose processor which is able to handle any program, not just graphics.

And to finis, here is a short history lesson about the SD cards: quite small, they pack the storage punch really hard. Small and cute:

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CRASH: The Year Video Games Died

Ahoy has a great new video about the video game history. In 1982 Atari died and along with it many other games and clones. Everyone in the US thought that was it, but Japan and Europe still had games.

After a while the Japanese entered the US market with NES and other games and the video games have started to grow again. Since then the video game industry has grown year by year and the games are becoming increasingly interesting and beautiful.

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Solar System in an amazing 360 video

The guys at Crash Course have created an amazing 360 video animation where we can learn more about our solar system. What’s a 360 degree video, you ask? It is a video in which you can rotate around and see other perspective while the video is still running.

If movies would have such a 360 degree video, then you may be able to see the cameras rolling while the actors do their thing. Just kidding. A great concept applied to a science video. Neat.

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What would happen if all the planets would align?

Nothing. Almost nothing. No earth quakes, no tidal waves. The influence of other planets on Earth would be so small that that they would be impossible to see. The Moon has more influence over our tidal waves than even the Sun.

Actually, the Moon has 3x more stronger tidal force than the Sun and tens of thousands of time than Jupiter or Saturn. Due to the high distance to the planets an alignment cannot influence anything on Earth. The last question in the video is quite interesting: what if you replace the Moon with Jupiter. Then the tidal forces would be so high on Earth that we would have volcanic activity and tidal waves like it crazy and it is doubtful we would have a nice life in here.

Mystery solved.

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What f the Moon where at the distance the ISS is?

The Moon is at about 384000 km distance from Earth. That’s a pretty big distance and it tidaly locked with our planet so that it will alwyas show the same face to our planet and, because of this, the time it takes to revolve around itself is equal to the time it takez to amke one turn around Eart.

If the Moon would be at the distance the IS is, which is about 340 km high, then the video from above would display how the Moon looks like just before it would be shredded to pieces. At that distance or even more, an object the size of the Moon would be shredded to pieces by Earth gravity. We would have quite a lot of rings because of this.

Via Presurfer.

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Why does the Earth keep spinning?

The answer can be simple: because things in motion stay in motion. First law of motion from Newton. It is all about inertia: hen you set things in motion, if there are no forces acting upon an object, that object stays in motion.

Once an object is moving you do not need a force to keep that object moving. On Earth the friction with ground or air will stop the object from moving, but not in space. The same holds true for spinning objects. Get a spinner spinning and put it in a vacuum room and levitating using some magnets and you will see that spinner spinning for a long time.

Nick Lucid explains it more intelligently and with formulas too. What’s not to love when it comes to physics? Nothing.

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Can you see molecular bonds? IBM says yes.

IBM is mostly interested in finding new ways to build a processor or a storage medium instead just pure physics knowledge. They were able to image the bonds that can be seen in molecules and were also able to steal electrons from the molecule in order to change its type.

In the papaer publicshed in Nature Cemistry under DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.2438 IBM researchers, in collaboration with CiQUS at the University of Santiago de Compostela, have observed the rearrangement reaction known as a Bergman cyclisation – which was first described in 1972 by American chemist Robert George Bergman.

The abstract says:

“Here we demonstrate a reversible Bergman cyclization for the first time. We induced the on-surface transformation of an individual aromatic diradical into a highly strained ten-membered diyne using atomic manipulation and verified the products by non-contact atomic force microscopy with atomic resolution.”

Which simply means that they were able to manipulate atoms in order to change the configuration of a molecule. Simply put, this is awesome. It is not the first time, but it has one of the simplest explanatory videos out there. Good on you, IBM.

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Video games history – RetroAhoy: Doom [video]

Say what you want, but what Ahoy does given meaning to the life of a gamer. It puts you in a spot where you can understand games like never before, where you can take a glance at the history of games, at the ever evolving process of level creation, at techniques used to immerse you in a virtual world which contains more real life elements than you’d like to know.

Ahoy it is.

In the video from above you will learn why the video game called DOOM beat Wolfenstein to the punch when it first came out and why DOOM has so many elements of our real life like music styles, ideas, tropes, minor suggestions here and there. Or you can look at it from the technical standpoint where you see more colors being used, needing a 386 machine with at least 4 MB of RAM, and having nicer texture and a better 3D experience.

No matter on what side of the gaming spectrum you are, watching Ahoy’s videos will make you an informed gamer. It will teach you why games are art and how you are enjoying art without even knowing you do that. Watch the full documentary and then go over to his channel and watch the other videos. Gaming will not be the same again. It will be better!

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Crazy machines: the Stirling Engine

What you see in the video from above is the Stirling Engine, a simple engine in which hot air moves a piston in ways you never knew possible. As you see, the piston is smaller than the cylinder it’s in. When the lower metal place is heated, the air that is at the bottom will heat up and then push the piston while going up.

Then the cool air from above the piston will be pushed down and heat up. The cycle begins again. While such an engine isn’t extremely practical, it serves quite well as an example of what engines are: devices that transform energy into mechanical work. That’s all there is to know about engines. Way for the Stirling Engine.

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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 😀