It’s about to rain happiness for PC geeks

Wow the new hardware these days isn’t so much about the processor as about the peripherals, here’s what’s in store this year in order of what will warm a power geek’s heart in David Letterman style based on real world speed you will get and when:

  1. More out of nVidia. With 4K and 8K monitors we just need more processing power at a reasonable price from Nvidia. Even dual SLI doesn’t really drive 4K gaming fast enough. 
  2. Skylake. Due much later this year, it is mainly focused on low power which is nice, but absolute desktop/gaming performance will be pretty incremental.

  3. 4K (and 8K monitors). Not yet hear but coming are 4K monitors that look good (e.g. IPS not TN). For video work, they have come way down in price but aren’t that great in quality. And the idea of an 8K monitor is wonderful, wonderful. Of course to drive all this you are going to need at least dual SLI GTX-980s, but who’s counting. If you can help it don’t buy a monitor now.

  4. 30 inch 120 Hertz 2.5K IPS monitors. Pretty soon we Finally we are seeing movement on monitors, Monoprice just announced a $800 monitor that is IPS (so looks nice), can be up to 120 Hz for smooth viewing. So you need one monitor for photography and the other for gaming 🙂 And having used a 30 inch monitor I have to say moving from 27 to 30 is worth it 🙂

  5. 4-6GB SAS Drives at reasonable cost now. SAS used to cost quite a bit, but the arrive of near-line SAS plus ZFS makes storing lots of data much more acceptable. You do need a SAS card or SAS on the motherboard, but for secondary rotary storage it makes the most sense. 

  6. Inexpensive but fast 2-lane M.2 SSDs with native NVMe. These are great boot drives and you just need to find a motherboard that has a 4 lane M.2 slot and then the new Samsung which will eventually have 2-lanes. This will give you really amazing read performance in a small form factor. If you remember the SATA 6Gbps drives and can saturate the 500MBps on a single PCI Express lane. The new M.2’s are up to 1GBps but need 2 lanes. 

  7. Reasonably priced 40 lane PCI Express are here. With the need for dual graphics cards to run 4K monitors and also 4 lanes for fast SSDs, the really short resource at PCI Express lanes into the processor. The 28 lanes in the traditional desktop chips don’t cut it. So that pushes you into iCore 7 Extreme and Xeon processors. Fortunately there are quite a few with these now and some even have built in SAS so you save $400 on the controller and of course much memory as well.

  8. NVMe SSDs are here. Wow drives are really getting fast. These new ones require 8 PCI Express lanes, but you get 2.4GBps (think about that) read performance with the new intel 750 drives at a reasonable relatively dollar per GB price. This is really going to make processing fast. They are available now.