We all get four transistors! (11 Sep, 2020)

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We all get four transistors! (11 Sep, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:47 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2020/0911.shtml

It's hard to believe that I've gone from holding what was at the time a very valuable single transistor in my hot little 8-year-old hand to now contemplating the purchase of a GPU that has 28 billion of the damned things on a single die.

The scale of today's LSI chips is totally mind-boggling, as is the power they can deliver.

It's times like this that you just want to take a step back and say "wow!"

Are you going to be upgrading your GPU in the near future and if so, what takes your fancy?

Will AMD's RDNA2 bring anything to the party or has NVIDA completely destroyed any chance of them having a significant impact?
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Re: We all get four transistors! (11 Sep, 2020)

Postby Hiro Protagonist » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:07 am

Your mention of the OC71 made me wonder how long it will be before we see audiophiles pining for the good old days of germanium sound.
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Re: We all get four transistors! (11 Sep, 2020)

Postby Ossified Location » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:38 am

I'm not a top end gamer, I prefer strategy games (I'm still playing a game I played in the 90s originally designed for BBS, although it has been adapted for the internet at https://planets.nu ). I dont even have a gpu, i'm using onboard video. But I have started tinkering with videos. I'm videoing my elderly parents in law reminiscing about their lives for posterity. And I am on a very low budget, so I'm not going to rush out and pay a fortune for a 28billion transistor chip. but if I was looking at adding a budget GPU to my system does anyone have any suggestions for the best value for money GPUs?
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Re: We all get four transistors! (11 Sep, 2020)

Postby hagfish » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:47 am

Ossified Location wrote:I'm not a top end gamer, I prefer strategy games (I'm still playing a game I played in the 90s originally designed for BBS, although it has been adapted for the internet at https://planets.nu ). I dont even have a gpu, i'm using onboard video. But I have started tinkering with videos. I'm videoing my elderly parents in law reminiscing about their lives for posterity. And I am on a very low budget, so I'm not going to rush out and pay a fortune for a 28billion transistor chip. but if I was looking at adding a budget GPU to my system does anyone have any suggestions for the best value for money GPUs?


It's possible that your PC does not have a suitable power supply (with six-pin power connectors) to run a thirsty graphics card. Something like this GTX 1650 might be suitable - as far as I can tell, it doesn't need a six-pin connector, and requires only a 300 watt power supply. For the best value, you might consider a second-hand GTX 750 on TradeMe.

If you do have a more powerful PSU with the requisite six (or even eight) pin power leads, a second-hand RX 480 or GTX 1060 could be a solid choice.
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Re: We all get four transistors! (11 Sep, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:38 am

Ossified Location wrote:does anyone have any suggestions for the best value for money GPUs?

I bought a GT1030 but it performs worse than the onboard CPU-based GPU on this system (under Linux) when displaying video such as YouTube :-)

I ended up pulling it out but you can have it if you want to try it.
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Re: We all get four transistors! (11 Sep, 2020)

Postby Malcolm » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:53 am

Were you using the proprietary binary driver? Or the opensource one?
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Re: We all get four transistors! (11 Sep, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:24 am

I tried both... neither were very successful. With the proprietary driver it would fail to boot. With the open-source one it would crash after a while and performance was awful.
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Re: We all get four transistors! (11 Sep, 2020)

Postby jo2lo » Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:22 pm

Just as well silicon is one of the more common elements that make up our earth, else the next step would be to start mining humans to make transistors.
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