Know How... 113 (Transcript)
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On this episode of Know How we are ending our project Predator plus Bryan is going to show you how to load out destiny.
Father Robert Ballecer: Welcome to know how, it is the twit show where we build, bend, break and upgrade. I’m Father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan Burnett: And I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: For the next half hour or 45 minutes,as long as it takes to fill the knowledge hole, we are going to be doing this as long as it takes as to make sure that you are up to date to make all the projects that we are geeky out to. But first, Bryan there was a little story that I covered this last week about how fed ex is upgrading their fleet to make them greener and more efficient.
Bryan: And when you say a fleet, I wasn’t really aware at how all-encompassing it is. They deliver packages all over the world and it is a lot of stuff.
Fr. Robert: It is. When you think about it the Fed acts is basically like a military force. It has 700 aircraft and that is everything from the huge 777 to the little puddle jumpers and they've got something like 47,000 ground vehicles. It is ridiculous. Honestly, if you think about it what you need to move that many packages across the world so quickly. When I can have a package that was sent out from Chicago by tomorrow morning, you've got to have some logistics.
Bryan: It is definitely something that I have been taking for granted. It is just like Amazon prime two day shipping, why isn’t it here yet?
Fr. Robert: I said something with FedEx and I was like seven dollars to send it to you your? This is outrageous! But, they burn 1,000,000,000 1/2 gallons of fuel every year.
Bryan: That is insane.
Fr. Robert: Which is why every little bit helps.
Bryan: You were saying to shaving off a couple percentages is actually…
Fr. Robert: Hundreds of millions of dollars. For example, they changed some of their flights. They dumped some of the older 727’s and are replacing them with 757s. They are dumping their old MD 11’s and replacing them with 777s. Even though they are expensive planes, over the long haul the fact that you get five or six more percentage points per mile and per pound carried is huge. Over the life of a single plane that would be like $30 million. And for example they changed their policy when a pilot powers up their plane they use an APU. they have these auxiliary power units which are essentially small tiny turbines. It provides power to get the other turbine started. But they normally power the planes up with that so when they parked the plane they have to leave it running for 30 minutes or so. And when they do their pre-flight they started up about 30 minutes before the flight. But they stopped that. And said you are going to run off of external power all the way up to the point where you pull back and all the way up to the point when you come in. And then, just doing that across the fleet saves about 1,000,000 gallons of fuel a month. Just that one little thing. And so, they moved from 700 planes and 47,000 vehicles and what they decided is to go hybrid.
Bryan: This is an hybrid in the sense that it is a Prius right? It is an electric motor that is also attached to a diesel turbine?
Fr. Robert: In a Prius you have what is called a parallel hybrid system. So you’ve got a battery that supplies power to an electric motor. The electric motor can typically take you up to 25 or 30 miles an hour.
Bryan: Then after that the gasoline engine kicks in because it needs a little bit more power.
Fr. Robert: That is because the torque curves are completely different on an electric motor. You start with a lot of torque and then it comes down. But with a gas motor you start with no torque and it slowly spools up. So as you get part a certain mile per hour zone it will kick in the gas and the gas engine is physically linked. It has a link in an transmission so that it can add its power to the electric motor and give you the power that you need to drive.
Bryan: But in the FedEx of vehicles it is that turbine engine giving power to the electric motor?
Fr. Robert: There is no physical linkage. There is no transmission connection between the turbine and the electric motor. So what they have done is they have used these teeny tiny small diesel turbines. Which are really efficient when you use them just for that. Remember you want to run an engine in its gold zone. There is always some RPM where it is the maximum amount of power available for the kind of fuel.
Bryan: Peak performance of the air and gas ratio or something like that?
Fr. Robert: Exactly. So what they’ve done is they have taken a truck, stripped it out and put in an electric engine. They put a 39 kWh battery which is not a lot, it will maybe go 30 miles on a charge. But then they hooked it up to a diesel turbine, hooked up to a generator. The generator can provide enough power to that system to both charge the battery and power the motor. Which means you have to run it every once in a while. So if I am driving a 12 hour day, I’m on battery for eight hours of that and I'm on the turbine for four hours. What they found is that it is ridiculously efficient. Like crazy. They have two of these things from Right Speed. It is a company located here that is all about green vehicles. Commercial vehicles. They are not releasing their figures probably because they don’t want us to catch on. But after ordering to and running them in a fleet for a year, the maintenance costs and fuel costs and overall cost of ownership was so low that they have ordered 25 more. And if it matches up, if they use these things for a couple of years they are probably going to replace the entire fleet.
Bryan: Just try to imagine this fleet on such a scale where just a few percentage saves that much, it is kind of mind blowing for me. But also I like that that that green ideas are being innovated out of this sort of thing. Green for green money. That is the best way to spearhead some of this technology.
Fr. Robert: Turbines have been used in the past, I remember Jay Leno's rocket blast. But that uses a physical linkage.
Bryan: It needs to spool up. And it is like from 1 to 40 mph it doesn’t really make that much power. But then once you get up to a higher speed it goes fast.
Fr. Robert: That is because with the turbine, even more than a piston engine, needs to be spinning at its efficient speed before it can actually make power. So trying to transfer that crazy amount of power through a transmission is just an invitation to break gears and have really expensive heavy stuff.
Bryan: Right, because you were saying the M-1 Abrams tanks are powered with…
Fr. Robert: Diesel turbines. that it is not an electrical linkage. If you have ever heard an M-1 Abrams, they have a very distinctive sound. Because a regular tank with a big diesel engine sounds like a Mack truck. An M-1 Abrams Sounds like a jet aircraft. A high pitched whine and then you see this massive piece of metal just lumbering through the desert.
Bryan: I’m actually all right without having heard that.
Fr. Robert: This might be the tech for the future. Turbines at their most efficient combined with electrical engines…
Bryan: Yeah, I think that is probably the way things will go for a while. It seems also kind of like a stopgap until batteries become more efficient.
Fr. Robert: And I think you actually hit it on the head. Achilles heel of electric vehicles right now is storage power. You could carry more batteries but every time you add batteries, you add weight. As soon as they get us a tiny little thumb sized battery you will be driving 100 miles an hour in your electric car.
Bryan: If they could get it to a point where it is super-efficient to have just a little turbine engine attached to like a battery on a motorcycle or something and you just feel that up every once in a while.
Fr. Robert: I wonder maybe we could make turbines on know-how prime time?
Bryan: We could do that right? We have like a plain segment that we are thinking of doing. I think we’ve got no days without an accident? We need to re-set that again. Here it comes. Whoa.
Fr. Robert: Well folks. We love peeking out over future tech and future vehicles. But let’s take just a small break to talk about the first sponsor of know-how. That is bark box.
Bryan: Speaking of delivering packages.
Fr. Robert: This is the package you will love to have delivered each and every single month. We are both dog lovers. I like dogs more than I like cats. I want to give them everything they want. That little face that they put on? They always look so sad. So I want to give them a treat. I want to give them something to play with. I want to give something that at least makes me feel better that I’m pampering my best friend.
Bryan: But I want it to be healthy and I want them to be entertained. And this is all put together for them.
Fr. Robert: I also don’t have a lot of time so I need something that will be delivered to me each and every month. I want the bark box. Bark boxes a way to get healthy treats, very cool toys, and a little bit of love for your pet each and every month. Bark box is a monthly subscription of high quality fun and healthy toys, treats and goodies for your dog. Each bark box contains 4 to 6 awesome full-sized products. Everything from innovative toys and gadgets to an all-natural healthy set of treats. And more. Each bark box is new and different. Full of great surprises for your dog including unique products that you won’t find in your typical big-box pet store. Your dog deserves the best. All treats are sourced from the United States and Canada. Shoes are made in the USA, Canada, South America, and Australia and New Zealand. So you know you are going to get something that they are actually going to love and that is not going to hurt them. Bark box edible products do not include rawhide or anything processed with formaldehyde. When I think about my little but, I don’t want him chewing on stuff that is going to kill him. Rest assured everything is tested by their office dogs because they love dogs as much as we do. And we know that your dogs will love it because our dogs love it. Here’s how it works. Go to barkbox.com/know-how and select get started. Then select the size of your dog and choose between four different subscription plans. We’ve got a special offer for friends of know-how. You can save 20% off when you sign-up for a new subscription at . Bark box also gives 10% of their revenues to local rescues and shelters across the United States and Canada so that your subscription will help dogs in need. That is barkbox.com/knowhow. And we thank Bark Box for their support of Know-How.
Bryan: I like the spoil him. So that he’ll love me more than someone else. He’s dence. And he’s lopsided. One end of him is way heavier than the other.
Fr. Robert: You brought him here once and he jumps up…
Bryan: He’s way heavier than he looks. Because I give him all those healthy treats.
Fr. Robert: Speaking of guns. I feel like putting my FPS on. You stopped by to help me figure out how I need to load up my character in a brand new game called…
Bryan: Destiny. You could say it is your destiny to play it.
Fr. Robert: I played your character. I died a lot.
Bryan: I’ve set up the 360 in the basement and you’re like oh it’s your character don’t worry about it.
Fr. Robert: He’s actually very good. And so his ranking just keeps going higher and higher and then I play and he’s like I dropped 100 spots!
Bryan: It just plummeted. I like to blame you for that.
Fr. Robert: My debt ratio is not positive what is going on!
Bryan: If you haven’t heard of destiny it is from the company Bungee. Which is kind of hard to believe if anybody that plays video games hasn’t heard of it. But if you haven’t, it is a new game released by bungee. It came out for the PS4 the Xbox 1, the Xbox 360 and the PS3. So it is pretty well spread. We have been playing this a lot. I figured maybe some people haven’t played a first-person shooter MMO. This is kind of the first game has matched a lot of those ideas.
Fr. Robert: You’ve got to explain that. Because the MMO part is kind of new to FPS fans.
Bryan: It is massively multi player online. And basically the way it works in destiny is that there is a story. It is a little convoluted and you have to go to bungee’s website to learn more details. But generally when you go into a large map there will be other people that are playing with you. You can interact with them. Your first question was can I shoot the other people? You can shoot at them but it is more of a co-op experience. There is a separate part of the game, which is specifically for PVP which his player versus player and that is kind of more of you halo death match kind of thing. So, as far as the story goes just know that a giant ball comes to earth 2000 years from now and causes some mischief and then darkness comes. And then you shoot aliens and stuff.
Fr. Robert: What I love about this game is that it has Tiro from Game of Thrones. What is his name? Who is taking the part of Kortana.
Bryan: He is a little companion that floats. Another name for ghost. There are absolutely no similarities to Halo in this game. But if you did enjoy Halo, you will like this. The things that they have added to it which was the MMO part, they have added different colors for different kind of gear. And there are different setups so that when you are playing the environment versus when you are playing the actual human players. So that is the aspect that we are going to take a look at today. We have discussed some of the general staff. This is the greeting screen, you get a ship. This is my character. There is a level. There is level XX and that is about as high as you can go. But then the gear add-ons that you get as you play through the game add to your character’s armor, makes him stronger and things like that.
Fr. Robert: And that is to keep it so that super powerful players don’t just discourage the new players from coming in.
Bryan: This is the one of the more interesting aspects of the game is that your armor stats only work in the environment when you are playing the computer. So if you look at my armor gear and it says 229 is my stat on the armor. That only works when I am playing with the computer. When I go to play other players what they have done is that they have normalized everything so your stats are equal to everyone else’s.
Fr. Robert: Which makes sense. Because you don’t want someone who has been playing the game for a year to just be blowing out every newbie that comes along.
Bryan: Like when you play Halo it is not like anybody has any stat boosts is just that everyone has a different weapon that they might like to use. So when you are playing. VP you don’t have to worry about your armor stats or anything you can be a level I playing with level XX and the only caveat to that is the weapons that you get to the game, you get more familiar with them the longer you play. So I really like to use the pistol. And you can drill down into certain stats. As you go through the game you are able to add to certain weapons so I have built up this pistol the way that I like it. And each gun has its own attributes that are different from other ones. We can get into that later. So the attack is 201 and that is pretty powerful in the environment that when I play other players it will just be leveled off.
Fr. Robert: Unlike most gaming systems it is balanced. In other words if it is more powerful it has a slower reload rate, or a smaller magazine. If it is arranged it probably has decreased damage. But those are attributes that you can power up as you play the game.
Bryan: Yes. The only part that makes a difference when you are playing other players is this. This is your armor rating in your recovery and your agility. Those are all pretty obvious that these are the stats the transfer over when you are playing against other players. There are three different classes in the game and I am playing as a hunter. Which is someone who does a lot of damage but doesn't have a lot of armor. I’m a little on the armor but I am really fast when I am playing other players. And these are the different perks that you get as you go through the game. And you can kind of increase your character’s ability. So this is where you are going to want to change things when you are playing against other players. You get two different kinds of perks. This one is called the gunslinger. This one is set for me for PVP. So I have a swarm grenade. I have better control when I jump and these are all things that you build up over time playing through the game.
Fr. Robert: All these are different ways of building up the character the way that you want to play them. So if you like getting in close you are probably going to pick heavy weaponry and a lot of armor. If you like running and gunning you are probably going to pick the faster character with range weapons that are really powerful primary weapons so that when you do get close you can shoot and then scoot.
Bryan: My advice for people starting out the game it is very frustrating when you first start playing against other people. Because if they have already built up their weapons you kind of get destroyed. Even though all the armor and weapons and everything are normalized you still get destroyed. And that’s because if you start playing with a weapon that you get used to, you can use that against other players and that is more important for your stats.
Fr. Robert: Right. Actually something that I noticed in killing your character a lot was that weapons that work well against the computer players don’t necessarily work well against people players.
Bryan: In PVP I would stick to the fast shooting auto rifles. Don’t try and use pistols because you have to be really accurate.
Fr. Robert: Human players move around a lot.
Bryan: Exactly. But, yeah. I’ve been having a lot of fun playing this game. If you are doing environment stuff then this stats totally matter. If you are just starting out just pick whatever has the best stats. Don’t worry about what your character looks like because that is really superficial.
Fr. Robert: Okay. So that what we’ve got for the novices. Just look at the stats and get comfortable with a couple different ones so that you can choose. You can switch between the ones that are more effective for every mode of play. What would you offer to a more advanced player? Someone who has played this for a while and maybe they know - what is a tip for an advanced player?
Bryan: A tip for a more advanced player is just to understand that when you do get those higher level gear you are going to have to add more stuff to it. So whenever you are out in the world, collect is much little items as you can. You are going to need that for later. Also, get friends to play with. You need other people to play this with. Which is kind of frustrating because I’m on the 360 and Alex has the Xbox one which means we can’t play together. So I have been going through the game and he’s been going through the game that when you link up with your friends there is actually an endgame that they call a raid. But you have to work up to it. And it sounds insane.
Fr. Robert: That is very MMO. MMO is all about raid.
Bryan: You go into a place like a dungeon, you go in with your friends. And you have to coordinate a strike team was six of you. You have to try and get through and if you die you get kicked back to the beginning. So you really have to work together.
Fr. Robert: So, Bryan’s tips: 1) Die a lot. 2) Practice on your guns. 3) Get a couple of friends. 4) Make sure your friends are actually playing on the same platform. That last part kills because I've got people who are playing this on PS4, PS1 and the 360 and the fact that we can’t play with each other….
Bryan: And Patrick has the PS4 so he can’t play with us.
Fr. Robert: There are three people in the studio that are playing the game but they are all on different systems. So forget it.
Bryan: And it’s not on PC which is kind of frustrating too. There is rumors that it might be but I wouldn’t count on it. Although the nice thing about it is if you buy the digital download version for the 360 you can upgrade to one without having to re-buy the game for the next system. Which makes sense but I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility of a game developer saying, You bought the game on that system but now you have to buy it again on the other system.
Fr. Robert: Actually that is sort of the norm. This is the first time I’ve heard of a game developer saying here is your free coupon.
Bryan: And I’ve changed my mentality where I like having the cloud save my games. I download the game, I don’t want to have the physical box. There might be certain games I wish I had. I have too much stuff already. So I just want to save it and then be able to play it on a different system.
Fr. Robert: There you have it. That is your tip if you are just getting started in destiny. Check it out. It is available on PS4, Xbox 360, xbox1, and PS1. It is a fun game and if you’ve played any of the Halo games this will be familiar for you.
Bryan: How many times have you played Halo on legendary the same level over and over? Just because you wanted to master it? It is kind of like that that you do it co-op and you get stuff.
Fr. Robert: It is like Halo but you actually do get to level up.
Bryan: I think their idea is to make this like a 10 year long process. I also feel like that is part of the reason why this story is a little vague at the moment because that is going to be the expansion. But if you do like it they have an app that you can download to your Android device and kind of dig through some of the information that you get going through the game. The story is pretty fascinating and I’m enjoying it a lot.
Fr. Robert: Know when we come back we are going to be telling you how project predator ended. We took a very nice turnkey gaming system and we decided I wonder if we could up the stats. We wanted to give you the information on what was the best bang for the buck. If you were going to have one of these PCs and upgrade it for the next generation of gaming what should you be spending your hard earned money on?
Bryan: It was a lot of work. Not for me. Better for you. Because you had to do it once with a certain configuration and then another configuration.
Fr. Robert: 75 different benchmarking tries to get all my averages. But what is not a pain in the back is finding a one-stop shop on the Internet. Someplace where you could easily publish your ideas. Your pictures. Your portfolios are your pictures. Someplace to get noticed. Now in the past if you wanted to do this you had to have a little bit of programming experience. You probably want to choose the best vendor for your domain and then for your hosting and you needed to find the right package so that your website would look right and probably need either programming experience or someone who has programming experience to customize the template that you’ve chosen from WordPress or Google to make it look right. That is a headache and there is no reason to do that. Because there is Squarespace. Squarespace is your one stop shop for all your content distribution needs. If you want to start a website, to show off your photography, or your videography, or if you’ve got that great idea that you think is going to change the world Squarespace makes it easy for you to get it out into the public, onto the Internet. Squarespace is constantly improving their platform. It is one of the reasons why a like them so much. They are not content to stay with what they’ve got. They’ve got 25 beautiful templates for you to start with and they have recently added a logo Creator tool. This is all part of their movement to give their customers ever increasing value. They allow you to choose from these gorgeous templates that they have created to customize them to your liking. And they give you that fool like the logo Creator so you can create your online branding. It is really that simple. It is also easy to use. If you need some help Squarespace has life chat and email support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But you are not going to me that because there is a completely redesigned customer help site for easier access to self-help articles and video workshops. They also give you e-commerce which is now available for all subscription plan levels including the ability to accept donations, which is great for nonprofits and it means that you can set up cash wedding registries and school fund drives. It is also inexpensive, starting at just eight dollars a month. And it includes a free domain if you sign up for a year. Now if you have ever designed something for the web you know that there is a problem when you try to look at it on a mobile device. Well you don’t have to worry about that with Squarespace because Squarespace has that built in to their backend. Therefore the iPhone and iPad allows you to check site stats like page views, unique visitors and social media. And with the blog app you can make text updates, tap and drag images to change layouts and monitor comments on the go. All whilst Squarespace customizes your sites look for each device that may look at it. Even their code is beautiful. This is important for me because I actually have a show here on the twit network called Coding 101 so I look at the code. I need to make sure that it is going to deliver the kind of code that I would actually write myself. And if you take a look at it it is gorgeous. It is beautiful. It is well done. It has attention to detail. Squarespace also includes hosting so they take care of it, which means you don’t have to. You don’t have to pay a separate subscription fee to have someone hold all your files. Squarespace does it all for that one low monthly fee. So here is what we want you to do. If you’ve got that next great idea, that next great portfolio, if you’ve got that wonderful project that you think everyone needs to see, try Squarespace with a two week trial that requires no credit card. Start building your website today. When you decide to sign up for Squarespace make sure to use the offer code know how to get 10% off and to show your support for know-how. We think Squarespace for their support of Know-How. A better Web awaits and it starts in your new Squarespace.
Bryan: Squarespace has made it so easy is that the hardest part for me is remembering to put stuff up on it.
Fr. Robert: They can’t help you with that! Squarespace is good at many things, but writing for you? Not so much.
Bryan: I need to be on top of that. So what we have next padre?
Fr. Robert: What we’ve got right is Project Predator. We started with Acer Predator AG3 Gaming Desktop. We reviewed this thing on Before You Buy. A nice desktop. Great price-performance. We haven’t sent it back yet, we’re really sorry Acer but…
Bryan: Just don’t send us such great stuff.
Fr. Robert: Send us the junk and we’ll send it back right away. that we wanted to see I wonder what we could do to tweak it. A lot of times he buy that pre made system and you think I wish we had change this or I wish we could change that. So we did that. We went in and we changed out the memory, the video card, and the SSD. We replaced the hard drive to see where the best performance points are. We’ve already gone through the memory, we’ve already gone to the video card, and now here is the SSD.
Fr. Robert: The last component on our list for the upgrade of an already pretty darn awesome gaming PC series is the hard drive. The biggest complaint I had of the predator during our review of the system is that in this day and age there isn’t a really good reason to use a rotating drive. Using a hard drive and a high-performance system can have major negative consequences for a performance machine. You may remember from a previous know-how segment that we replace the hard drive in the Toshiba Tecra desktop replacement with the midrange Kingston KC 300 SSD. We saw a 150% performance increase. A clear indication that the high performance CPU, GPU, and memory were being held back by slow storage. We wanted to see if we could get a similar performance bump out of the predator. As before, follow the upgrading protocol. Unplug the external power, tap the power button to make sure that the power supply is discharged, strap up, open the case according to your manufactures instructions and behold the naked glory of your PC. In choosing your SSD you will have to consider performance, price, and longevity. The market is flooded with dozens of the low price value addition SS Steve that typically use aggressive compression algorithms with slower memory and controllers to make it seem as if they are achieving top level throughput at a bargain basement price. There are also high-end units that have a terrible tendency to stumble in performance after only a few terabytes of data writes. You will have to wade through reviews that you trust to find the model that you need. I chose the 240 GB Kingston hyper X3K SSD. Mostly because my personal experience with their mid and top tier units has been excellent. This monster is rated at 555 MB per second read and 510 MB per second write. It can be found online for less than $120 with a three year warranty. That places it in the upper echelon on performance but the lower tiers of price. As with opening the case, upgrading the drive is a manufacturer specific process that you will need to dig through your manuals to find out. Or you could just start jiggling things until the drive’s fallout. And our PC the upgrade process starts by pulling the drive cage from its rails so that we can access the drive mounts. As long as we cleared the space take a look at how many SATA ports to run your motherboard and how many are being used. In a system like the predator there are four SATA ports. with one being used by the existing hard drive, one being used by the optical drive, and one being used by the removable hard drive caddy. This leaves one port open for our SSD upgrade. Also make sure there are enough SATA power cables to power the SSD in addition to your existing devices. This is important because we want to be able to leave our existing drive in the case to facilitate the benchmarking process. And eventually to use it as storage for data and programs that I don’t want cluttering the valuable high-performance space on the SSD. Quick note, any modern SSD that you buy will be rated for SATA revision 3 capable of transferring 6 Gb per second. What many will call SATA 6. if your desktop is a little older, it may not support SATA 6, instead it will be limited to SATA revision to which tops out at 3 Gb per second. The faster drives will work just fine in your SATA revision to an lower systems but you won’t get top speed. In fact, with the Kingston hyper X3K SSD performing near the practical maximum uncoated transfer rate of SATA revision 3 dropping it into a SATA 2 motherboard will cut its performance by about 40%. Now that we know we’ve got the power and the SATA ports to work with let’s get mounting. I know there are some builders out there who will think about skipping this step and instead just plugged the SSD into power and a SATA cable and maybe put a single screw through the side. But don’t do it. It is probable that nothing bad will happen but you just bought a performance part and it deserves a decent amount. In other words, don’t be that guy. Most modern PCs have mounting systems for both 3.5 inch and 2.5 inch storage units. So you don't need any additional hardware. However, some older systems don’t have 2.5 inch mounting points. If that is the case with your PC make sure you get an SSD kit that includes a bracket to adapt the 2.5 inch unit for a 3.5” mount. It is possible to clone your installation onto the SSD, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Cloning a drive may be faster than a fresh installation but you will get all the junk from the original install. It is better to start fresh with your brand-new SSD. This means that you are going to need the install media. And you are going to have to go through the long boring process of Windows install and upgrade. With a fresh installation of Windows 8.1 installed we ran PC Mark eight once again. Remember that our baseline benchmark scored 3934 with the SSD upgrade but everything else the same the predators scored 4264. That is an 8.7% increase over baseline performance and a cost performance ratio of .072% performance increase per dollar spent. By far this is the highest performance boost of the three upgrades we attempted and the biggest bang for buck.
Fr. Robert: So the question was whether we could get more performance out of our predator and we could. In its best case scenario we increase the performance by 21.84%. That is not bad especially since the price was actually decent. But I think there is one thing that you can say about turnkey gaming systems like the predator. Which is Acer obviously did their homework here be because unlike when we did the Toshiba and got 150% boost, there was no single component that we could replace that would give us that massive boost. Which means, that all the components are pretty close as far as what they could provide to the system.
Bryan: So for that want to hire my assistant that if they had to make it in pretty efficient. If this was Fed Ex that percentage is pretty good.
Fr. Robert: You are exactly right. Which is what you don’t want to see is what we saw on the Toshiba where when you replace the hard drive with an SSD and suddenly you get 150% performance boost? That means it was a poorly designed system. No single component should be able to drag everything else down.
Bryan: The price that it would have been to put an SSD in there was so minor versus bad performance.
Fr. Robert: So you’ve got to the end of the design process and you said we need to chop $60 off of this, let’s just put a hard drive in it.
Bryan: The way I think of it is like you just bought a sports car and they put like really crummy tires on it. This thing is great…
Fr. Robert: Except it won’t get to the ground. So again, looking at this project. A couple things we can say about it. First, the obvious winner is the SSD. If you are only going to be able to replace one thing, it got the biggest boost.
Bryan: And you’ll see that over a broader spectrum.
Fr. Robert: It was like 8.4% boost just in replacing the SSD alone.
Bryan: Whereas if you replace the video card you are just going to see an improvement in video editing and gaming.
Fr. Robert: So the video card alone got us a boost of 6%. The boost from the SSD was about 8%. The boost from the memory was about 1.5%.
Bryan: Because you hit that threshold where it doesn’t make a difference.
Fr. Robert: But here is the thing. If you were to buy one component you would buy the SSD. You would think that if you were to buy two components you would buy the SSD and the next highest component which was the video card. Which is not true. This is the average of about 75% benchmarks that I did over the course of a month. I am very thorough. Showing you what it would be. For example if you were to buy everything so the 32 GB of memory, the video card, and the SSD it would cost you $825 and it would only get you up to 4256. But, if you take a step down and you look at what the highest performance boost was it is also the best spy. Which would be 16 GB of memory plus the Nvidia 770+ SSD. That gives us 21.94% performance increase, $615 of cost which means a .063% performance increase per dollar spent. Now look at the second best performance. It is that 16 GB of memory plus the SSD that gives us a 9.45 performance increase, $285 which means .033% increase per dollar spent. So it is not what you expect. You would think that the video card, since it was the second highest performing would always be in there, but no. If you want the best bang for buck without spending more than $300 it is not SSD and a new video card. It is SSD +16 GB of memory. We are going to make all these numbers available to you can actually take a look at it. But it is pretty clear that when you are dealing with a balanced system like a turnkey gaming system in which the manufacturer has already done its homework to make sure that all the components are pretty much at equal levels, there is nothing that is dragging down the numbers too much. You are going to have to look at increasing all the components for the boost. Not just a single one.
Bryan: Bravo Padre. You did a lot of work.
Fr. Robert: It was fun. I got to play with the Predator.
Bryan: What If you were to do a hybrid drive instead of an SSD?
Fr. Robert: That is actually a very good question. There are a lot of people in the chat room asking that. Hybrid drives are less expensive, more memory. The idea is you have a spinning drive with a bit of a hybrid memory. For example I think the newest one has up to 16 GB of SSD on top of a 1 TB rotating platter. Which is a great idea. It does speed things up. Here is my thing. It is actually just a tiny bit more expensive to get a high performance 240 GB SSD plus a 1 TB rotating drive. And it is a crazy boost. So if you are running a desktop which means you’ve got the space, I would not recommend a hybrid drive. They are great. They are fine but you will always be thinking why am I putting up with this? If you’ve got a laptop and you need a lot of space and you’ve got a laptop that has only one drive that is where I think the hybrid drives make the most sense. Because 240 GB or even 212 GB just may not be enough. And it is kind of pricey to get a larger SSD drive. Versus a hybrid drive of 500 GB that will cost you $70 that will give you decent halfway to the max of an SSD performance with all that extra space. That is where I think it makes sense. But in a desktop? No.
Bryan: You don’t need to compromise when you have that much space.
Fr. Robert: If you aren’t space limited just use two drives. Have your speed drive and have your storage drive.
Bryan: That is what I did. I have a big drive for all my photos and videos and then I have a smaller drive that I just load my games and my OS on.
Fr. Robert: We've got someone in the chat room that says I only want a drive with the benefits of both. But that is the problem if you’ve got a laptop that is space limited you can only replace one drive that totally makes sense. In a desktop you are not going to be paying a whole lot less and performance boost is going to be quite large. You can't compare an SSD to a hybrid. The hybrid will lose each and every time. Especially once you get out of the benchmarking cases. Benchmarks might write just a little bit of data so that it stays within the cache but once you get into real-world applications where you are going to be reaching all over the drive for the different programs you see the performance just plunge.
Bryan: So the sacrifice for being the jack of all trades is that you are not the master of one.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. And again, I would say my personal advice is unless you’ve got a laptop don’t consider a hybrid drive. If you’ve got a desktop get an inexpensive SSD and a large hard drive and you will pay less than a hyperdrive and it will be faster. So that is the end of project predator. What I’m thinking is that we’ve got older parts… hey Acer, I don’t know what happened to the Predator!
Bryan: That’s weird. This case is full of candy.
Fr. Robert: I’d like for them to send me a non-gaming system. A desktop that you might just have bought at Costco or Best Buy. Something that is not a gaming device and then see if maybe we could get a performance boost. That sounds a lot more fun.
Bryan: I can see a lot of that being a situation for a lot of people. If we do that I am worried about power supply. Because a lot of the time power supply is the first thing we would have to switch out.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. You go to those budget machines and they have like 230 W power supply.
Bryan: It is the bare minimum.
Fr. Robert: The video card alone is going to pull more power than that. Now before we go we want to give you a tease on the next segment. We announced a while back that we are actually heading into our project quad copter. This has been much requested and people have been asking us how they can build a quad copter from the ground up. We are going to teach you. The project has grown. It was originally going to be like a four-week thing. And then I was thinking six weeks.
Bryan: And then you got really into it.
Fr. Robert: And then I got really into it. And it is going to be a 12 week project. We are going to show you each and every thing that you need to know in order to fly a quad copter. Because it is not just a toy. You are dealing with some serious technology especially the life of battery. So if you don’t treat them right it is not just that it’s not going to work you could die.
Bryan: And don’t fly it over any national parks.
Fr. Robert: Don't do that. But before we get into that in two weeks we need to teach you some of the basics of flight. A quad copter of course is not a plane. It is a very different type of vehicle. But the principles of flight are the same for this vehicle. Why planes work, why propellers work and how you generate lift is going to be very important when we start talking about Quad copters.
Bryan: Isn’t a quad copter just four propellers?
Fr. Robert: Yes, but no. There is a lot more electronics but what we are going to be doing next week as we are actually going to show you how planes generate lift. Because once you understand that, it makes it easy for you to understand how quad copters work.
Bryan: And you think you might know how the lift works but then you…
Fr. Robert: I was kind of totally bummed out about this. I was doing all the research for this and I’m sure it’s going to hit some of you, I don’t want to spoil the surprise here, but essentially if you are older than 20 years old what you learned about how planes fly in school is completely wrong. And I'm bummed out about that.
Bryan: I know. It’s one of those foundations that…
Fr. Robert: Why did you lie to me? It doesn’t change the fact that it does work. And actually what you have been taught still does apply, it is just not the reason why planes stay in the air.
Bryan: We’ll figure that all out later.
Fr. Robert: Now we know it has been a lively automation voucher initiative in getting a nice handle an organized way. So if they check here for the tip that Brian had about destiny to project predator, if you want to see where we bought our parts, how much they cost, and what kind of performance we got out of each we will show you all the data. Just make sure to go over to our show notes page which, Bryan is where?
Bryan: Twit.tv/kh and past episodes, ways to subscribe and after this Predator project that you did some good show notes and graphics. You stepped it up Padre.
Fr. Robert: That’s how we roll man. You inspire me. You make me complete.
Bryan: You are just making more work for me now. This is the armor that you need if you want this percentage…. that is where all that stuff lives. There is a way if you want to communicate with us.
Bryan: The google plus community. Go to google plus and search for Know How. This is a place that now we have over 7000 members and people Are always posting questions that they want to see on the show which they promptly get answers a lot of the time.
Fr. Robert: And it’s not from us. That’s what I love about that group. There are people with great questions and all the other experts just jump in. In fact there are some really active members of the knowhow group. We need to give them a little reward somehow. We need to have a know-how meet up. Get all the members of the group over something.
Bryan: We could do like a hang out or something.
Fr. Robert: That would be kind of fun.
Bryan: Why haven’t we done? We’ll do that.
Fr. Robert: You know why? Because we need to more predators to be able to do that.
Bryan: All know what a shame. I guess if they happen to show up here we might have to do that.
Fr. Robert: That is like a lot of whoring. Don’t forget that is not the only place you can find us on the socials. You can find us on /padresj. If you go there you’ll find out what I do in between shows. I actually do four shows here on the Twit TV network. I’ve got This Week in Enterprise Tech on Mondays at 2:30, I’ve got Padre’s Corner at 7:30 on Tuesday and now on Thursday I have two shows. Know How and Coding 101 at 1:30. Actually you are part of that team as well.
Bryan: I’m on the other side of the screen. Actually where Alex Gumple is sitting behind right now.
Fr. Robert: Speaking of Alex Gumple he is sort of our resident expert in flight right? So why isn’t he doing stuff?
Bryan: I don’t know. We’ll have to bring them on for that.
Fr. Robert: He’s shaking his head at us. Where can they find you on twitter?
Bryan: You can find me @cranky_hippo.
Fr. Robert: If you want to find out what kind of grief we give Alex make sure to follow him on Twitter @anelf3. Until next time, I’m Father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan: I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: And now that you know…
Bryan: Go do it!