Processors

Ängström is a New Word for Processor Size

Ängström

Episode 1815

"Ängström" is a word that represents 1/10,000,000,000,000th of a centimeter. That's pretty small. Why do we care? Leo says it's because it's the new measure of the latest processors, known as 20A processors. So when you upgrade your PC, you're going to be hearing that term. The more transistors you can get on a processor, the more powerful they become. Up until recently, processors had been plateaued due to Moore's Law (which stated that transistors would double every 18 months). That had caused chip makers to put multiple processors on a chip. But we're at the end of Moore's Law now.

Is Intel Still a Good Processor For PC Building?

 Intel 11700K

Episode 1788

Steven from Bloomington, CA

Steven wants to build a new computer.  He wants to get an Intel 11700K, but he's a bit nervous because reviews are disappointing. Leo says it largely depends on what he's using it for. AMD may be a better option. The Ryzen 7 5800X is great if you can find it. The bigger challenge is going to be video cards. What Leo recommends is doing a virtual build through Dell. That way he'll have support in case something goes wrong. 

Google and Samsung Developing a New Chip for Mobile Phones

Mobile Processor

Episode 1785

Google and Samsung are in the midst of developing a new chip for their mobile phone platforms. Qualcomm has dominated the mobile phone processor category for years, but Apple began to move away in favor of their own iOS-based processors, which became the foundation for the M1 design. Now Google and Samsung are making the same move, taking mobile processor development in house.

Sam Abuelsamid and the Electric Path

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1748

Sam joins Leo to talk about new processors for Hyundai electric vehicles. Using Nvidia Parker SOC chips, Hyundai will put them in all their future cars with 14" displays for powering their infotainment systems. Sam says that Nvidia has some amazing SOCs available with 30 trillion operations per second: 8 core ARM chips drive the whole thing with machine learning: 10GBit per second ethernet bus. It's a practical supercomputer for the road.

Why's Apple Moving Away From Intel?

silicon

Episode 1737

Dave from Los Angeles, CA

Dave wants to know why Apple is switching away from Intel. Leo says that Apple is moving on from Intel because they can't provide low power, high performing chips that Apple wants. The reason is that the development of processors by Intel has been stalled at 10nm, while Apple has gotten very good at developing ARM chips that are just as powerful for their mobile platforms (they are 5nm now).

What is a Good Source to Help Me Build a Medium/High-end PC?

PCper

Episode 1578

Chip from Corona del Mar, CA

Chip is looking to build a new computer and is looking for current guides to building medium/high-end PCs. Leo recommends PCper.com and their hardware leaderboard. The leaderboard will help recommend all the right components and is a great place to start one's research. AnandTech and certain subreddits can also help with additional note-taking.

Should I get an AMD or Intel processor for my home built PC?

Processor

Episode 1534

James from Escondido, CA

James wants to be able to upgrade his computer to a new processor and motherboard. Should he go with Intel or save money and go with AMD? Leo says that AMD has kept Intel innovating and the prices down. However, for the last few years, Intel has surpassed AMD. But AMD is bouncing back with the Ryzen processor platform, which is very affordable. So it comes down to what's more important, price or performance?

Intel Hits Wall in Making Processors Smaller

Processor

Episode 1515

Intel has run up against a wall in Moore's Law that said that the number of transistors in a processor would double every 18 months. In the last few years, Intel has been up against a wall, not being able to double the speed. But a recent breakthrough has created a transistor using a single atom! That will enable processors to become faster and smaller, using very little energy.

Is hard drive speed more important than processor speed?

Apple iMac

Episode 1268

Henry from Riverside, CA

Henry wants to buy a new Mac and wants to know if it's true that processor speed isn't as important as hard drive speed. Leo says that's true. Processors are really fast now and there's only a dimes worth of difference between them for every day use. It's better to get an i5 and then spend more money on a faster hard drive and better screen. Leo says that a 21" iMac with an SSD is best for speed, but a Fusion Drive would give him more space plus a speed boost.