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Tech News Of The Week

Interested in Technology? Want to learn a thing or two about whats going on right now in the world of the computer? Heres some highlights on this week (week of 06/19/2020) in technology!

More Ryzen for your Dollar?

Ryzen 3000 CPUS are now said to launch new XT varients of 3 existing CPUs, this includes the 6 core Ryzen 5 3600 XT, the 8 core Ryzen 7 3800 XT, and the 12 core 3900XT. So what does XT mean? Each of these proccessors are given a boost in their clock frequencies, allowing them to run faster at the same given price as its predicessor and given the same name and model using the same architecture and instruction set that is so loved about the Ryzen series.

More Ryzen for your Dollar? (For noobs)

So some of you maybe be new to the tech world or even just wanting to get started. These “for noobs” sections are designed to help you step your foot into the ever deep pool of technology without falling into its seemingly endless rabbit hole. This is deisgned to assist you in learning so that you won’t need to read these sections later down the line. So what is Ryzen 3000? In the world of computers, everything works around silicon and trasistors. Transistors can store a value of either 1 or 0 and these values are used to do addition at extremely fast paces, allowing for your computer to function properly. Now, these chips of silicon and transitors have to be created before they can be used, and in the computer world there are two main producers of these chips or “CPU’s” as their more formally known (centeral proccessing unit). These two companies are AMD and Intel and the battle for power between these two has been an ongoing struggle for a while. Intel has been the dominant platform for the high end market for the longest time within recent years, while AMD has been picking up it's pace and absolutely destroying Intel in a lot of different tasks. Ryzen is an architecture or set of design rules on how these CPU’s are made. They offer a really high price to preformance ratio and they have really impressed the general market. Ryzen 3000 refers to a series of CPUs in which a very specific architecture is used in order to create them. These CPUS offer the fastest speeds, the 3000 is like a generational mark. Another important part about CPUs is that they have clock speeds and core counts... but what are those? A CPU’s clock speed is how many times it can preform addition in a given time period. Imagine I give you a bucket of water and I say you can poke only one hole. So, depending on the intent, you can make the water drain at a slower rate by poking a smaller hole, or you can make it drain faster by creating a bigger hole. If the intent is to drain the bucket as quickly as possible, you would likely want to create the biggest hole possible. The same goes for a CPU. The water in this case is the tasks that your computer has yet to do, while the holes are the clock speeds. There are limits on clock speeds on clock speeds, based off: heat released, how much electricity the CPU can handle, and etcetera. Due to this, multiple cores exist within a CPU... so wait, now what's a core? If I told you, “you can drill up to 4 holes all of the same size” it would make sense to drill at 4 to empty the bucket as quick as possible right? This is what a CPU does. Instead of just using one core or “one hole” in this exam, they use multipule so that the data can be split up and sorted through even faster even if the hole sizes are smaller. So what has AMD done with the new Ryzen 3000 chips? Well, They have slighly increased the size of those “holes” or in computer terms increased the frequencies of the cores, while keeping the number of “holes” or cores the same and keeping the price tag on these the same. Meaning that people will not receive a better preformance out of the same price as their prediessors.

PCI-E on a Raspberry Pi???

To anyone who isin’t familiar with the raspberry pi, the raspberry pi is a $35-$55 single board computer, used by enthusiasts and smart home technology creators predominately, but it does run linux on it and can be used for a high verity of purposes. As of this week though someone has developed a way to create PCI-E support on the raspberry pi meaning that PCI-E expansion (up to 4 ports) expansion is now avliable. This was obtained by rewiring the USB controller for USB 3 (and USB 2 but less bandwidth) to a PCI-E break out board that is relativley inexpensive. So why would you want to do this? Can you hook up a RTX 2080 OC and run some games? Not yet. You would use this for 2.5Gbp ethernet if you’re running a server or if you need other fast pace internet you could plug in a USB card and use it as an expansion. While the use cases aren’t high yet im sure given due time the hacker community will figure out perfect use cases for these devices.

PCI-E on a Raspberry Pi??? (For noobs)

So you might be familiar with the Raspberry Pi for those who are not, the Raspberry pi was a $35 single board computer. It offered an amazing price/performance ratio offering what would still be a pretty penny worth of technology at $35. Over time they have started to release more and more products including the 2019 Raspberry Pi 4 model, which introduced prices as high as $55 for a raspberry pi, still an amazing deal. So whats with the new price increase? Well in computers there exists a part called the “RAM” which stands for Random access memory, so what is this RAM? In the last headline I talked about how CPU’s work and what they are, if you aren’t familiar with core counts and frequencies make sure you read that before continuing otherwise have fun. So RAM interactes with the CPU directly its where all the tasks the computer is doing, plans on doing, and might intented to do in the case of an Intel CPU. While a raspberry pi uses a different type of CPU one called an “arm CPU” which will be explained more on a later date but for now just note that it takes much lighter and simpiler instructions allowing it to be smaller and preform less intensive tasks. So back to the topic of RAM, your computer has a means of stroage in modern day you will use either a hard drive or SDD (more on another post) but the problem is that for the CPU to pull that data and preform actions to it from the storage medium takes far to long. Due to this the computer has a fast speed means of dealing with this which is the RAM, the CPU will call for data it needs or any information it needs before it needs it, image it like writing a research paper you have to plan out your research before writing the paper. But the CPU needs the fastest speeds possible so in order to do this it tells the RAM and the RAM pulls it from its much slower long term storage device and waits on the CPU’s command to receive the data the CPU can then VERY quickly receive the data with minimal input lag and then output finished data back into RAM while it gets stored away in permanent storage or preforms any tasks. In summary RAM is a short term memory of the computer that is super fast and talks directly with the CPU making for faster speeds of preforming tasks but it can not store anything in the long term so once you shut down your computer everything in RAM is gone. So the raspberry Pi normally is priced at $35 USD but at this price point you get only a Gigabyte of RAM (a Gigabyte is a means of storage referring to the amount of 1’s and 0’s that can be stored) but for some people and some tasks such as emulation, servers, retro gaming, etc. 1Gigabytes (GB) of RAM is not enough and so they offer a 2GB varient for $45 and a 4GB varient for $55. As of recent though they have released a 8GB model dropping the 1GB model completely making the 2GB model $35 4GB $45 and 8GB $55. But the headline talks about “PIC-E” not RAM. This is correct and I brought up RAM only to explain the raspberry Pi but back on topic, PIC-E is a high speed interface “bus” used to transfer large amounts of data in a short period of time. Image it like a normal bus, if you have 1000 people to move from point A to point B and only 1 bus it would be quicker to use a bus that can hold 1000 people then one that holds 10, the same idea applies for PCI-E this bus allows for another quick connection between it and the RAM allowing it to more quickly push data through and get information to the CPU at faster rates. Someone in the “tinkerer/hacker” community work space has found out a way to add this onto the raspberry pi, I won’t get into to much detail on here on how they did it but its important to know that it did happen and this could lead to an opening for many new Rapsberry Pi based projects down the line. This can be important now if you need something like a faster wired interenet connection or even wireless, maybe you need more ports on your computer its a very niche use case at the moment but given time it will find its usage.

Thanks for tuning in to Tech News of the week!

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