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The future of the PC Gaming form factor


No magic, just utilizing the tools at your disposal. And I’m not saying doubling the clock speed wouldn’t always be better, of course it would be, but that should not have to be the only way to get the job done.

Look at Nvidia drivers, they are pushing command lists in dx11 to split sending out draw calls to the gpu on multiple cores, because the developers can’t be arsed to do it, which make nvidia cards faster on dx11 in almost every game, because no one is bothering to utilize AMD’s hardware scheduler either. Basically only games where AMD people have gone to the studio to hold the devs hand and help them utilize it correctly, are performing better on AMD hardware.

As I understand it, Vulkan is natively scaling to multiple cores and should remove much of the hurdles, as long as the developers can be arsed to learn it and implement it efficiently.

Also look at ARM and the mobile industry, there’s some pretty amazing stuff going on there that’s very close, if not beyond the pc, comparatively.

I’m not trying to say take a modern cpu and underclock it 50%, and everything should run just as well. But a modern cpu at 2,5 ghz is lightyears ahead of a 2,5ghz cpu 10 years ago. Hell, a modern ARM cpu at 1,5ghz is lightyears ahead of that, if well enough utilized.
The truth is, we’re already doing way more work with less power, and that’s what I’d like to see more of in the future.


I don’t think so. Most program need performance already can do multithread well. It’s people always fall into the trap to chase performance irrelevant to their target.


Lets be real tho no one is gunna care about pc gaming in 30 years, 40 tops.



in regards to gaming apus, there is a big hurdle to overcome, which is memory bandwidth, really fast dual channel ddr4 can only give u so much memory bandwidth, that isn’t enough to driver great experiences.
and while apus may replace pc gaming with dedicated cards at one point, it certainly can’t be soon, due to many issues besides memory bandwidth:
chip size: a higher end apu would be quite big, which is way more expensive to produce than 2 separated chips, especially on new process notes!

now in regards to your other statements:
ssds replaced hdds.
well i don’t know how rich u are, but i can’t afford 3 x 4 TB ssds…
leaving me to stick with 1.5 TB of ssds and 14 TB of hdd storage.
once good sata ssds hit 0.09 euros/GB, then we’re close enough, until then ssds only replaced boot media and laptop boot media.

also m.2 drives have some downsides, most importantly, the limited size on the pcb, limiting atm maximum sizes of m.2 drives.
one can only fit so many nand chips on an m.2 drive… basically.
also onboard sound only replaced sound cards, for people, that don’t care about sound, which is fine, but dedicated external or internal sound cards are still a thing, hell i’m still using my soundblaster x-fi extreme music atm, because the onboard sound sucks on my mobo and i’m not sure what other sound to get with my next build, as the x-fi is pci only.

YES, i want the expansion slots, i want all the io i can get and most importantly i don’t see any advantage on a desktop system, that i run at home and don’t take anywhere, to be any smaller.
btw there is also the point of silence, getting a very very silent system needs massive coolers, like the noctua nh-d14 same for the graphics card, shrinking down the form factor to limit cooling possibilities size wise will increase noise levels, which is unacceptable for me.

and in regards to amd’s next apus hitting around a polaris 10 chip (200 dollar card)
that could be possible, they could hit rx570 performance with a lot of great work, but amd’s new apus will come after zen 2 and navi and at that point we all hope, that 200 dollar graphics cards will get a massive jump in performance by dollar through the navi consumer graphics cards.

one can also put the tradeoff of apus with amd as following: either get x amount more cores, or get an always “weak” graphics chip inside.
this will apply to zen 2 based designs and i don’t know about u, but i prefer the 16 core am4 zen 2 chips, rather than an 8 core apu, with a graphics chip, that may barely get close to my current rx580, if that makes sense.

btw there is also the driver madness, which until recently meant, delayed apu drivers or apu drivers with issues or compatibility issues etc…
making a dedicated graphics card the safer bet, especially for enthusiasts, which everyone here is gonna be.


this doesn’t make any sense space wise or otherwise, but gosh it looks adorable as fuck!

i have the cooler myself, well worth the size of a full motherboard :smiley:


Thermals are actually already solved, and has largely been proven to be a myth. The reason for this is while a smaller sized box has less air to vent it, it also has less air to push around. Therefore a single 120mm or 140mm fan can easily cool the chassi adequately. It does run slightly hotter, about a 5 to 10 degree difference compared to a full tower, but it is sufficient for non-OC builds for sure. Just make sure there is fresh air to draw from around it. :slight_smile:

The size and cost are valid points, as are the RAM issues. I wonder however if, in the future, we will see dedicated graphics RAM slots on the motherboard.

This is an excellent point, but I do see three things that mitigates the problem somewhat:

  1. A separate NAS-box. If you are running mechanical drives you are not that interested in read/write performance, so why not this?
  2. External harddrives over USB-C, same reasoning.
  3. Game size. Current AAA take up around 70GB for 4k resolution. If we leave 200 GB for the OS + other programs (50 if you run Linux) on a 2TB drive, this leaves space for around 26 AAA titles installed simultaneously (and lets not forget many games are much smaller than that). Do you truly need that many titles installed at once, unless you are say, a reviewer?

Of course, once upon a time a not so wise man said 640kb of RAM should be enough for everyone :laughing: so I will refrain from saying you’ll never need > 2TB of storage, but I do think for most people building a modern system, 2TB is plenty for their needs. For streaming / video needs, of course you will need more though.

As for price, I can currently get an m.2 2TB for roughly 0.09 Eur/GB (with proper conversion rates), check out Intel 660p Series M.2 2280 SSD 2TB. So, SSDs are more or less there price wise.

Yes, the m.2 form factor does have flaws, currently 2TB seems to be the biggest storage offered, and if you care about R/W, prices are not too kind. But it’s getting there, and in the future more m.2 slots will probably be added to the motherboard. Currently 3 seems to be the maximum, but it can probably grow beyond that.

As for the APUs, it’s a tradeoff for sure, but the GPUs are starting to reach the point of diminishing returns, and I think each subsequent GPU release from here on out will give less and less reason to upgrade. A card that performs 300% better than the old one, it’s a no-brainer. A choice between an APU or a 25% increase GPU card, though, that is not as clear cut.

This will be an interesting field to watch, for sure. :slight_smile:


Progress… slightly less boxy, better FOV, etc.


It looks a lot better balanced and streamlined than the VivePro.
Now they just need a dimming glass element behind the screens to make it into a VR headset on demand :smiley:


You could do that with a simple visor that slides down in front of it, and/or attaches. I’ve got a motorcycle helmet with a second tinted visor internally, just make it black or solid white or whatever colour required for the screen to work.


I use laptops. I hate how they all need to be thin now! The clog up faster, they get hotter, you cant replace the CPU/GPUs anymore. All because people think thiner is better, when its not.
NVidia can still put full desktop GPUs in laptops, so could AMD if they stopped all this console/Apple BS!


atm i am staying far far FAR away from qlc ssds, on another continent if possible…
i’ve seen the 840 evo “fun” in regards to early tlc and who knows how qlc actually performs or what issues it holds also i would need to check how much the slow down is once u write on the naked nand, once u run out of slc caching.
i actually got a 850 pro 1 TB for 440 euros (a lot LOTof money for me), because the 850 evo slowed down on big writes so much, dropping to 100 MB/s.
my boot ssd for windows is a 500 GB 850 evo, so i’m not a “only mlc” insane person, i just already send back hardware on tlc slow down ground, so i won’t risk anything buying new tech, which qlc is without a good reason.

personally i’d be looking at a crucial mx500, but those are still just 2 TB models and i don’t know if i mentioned it, but not having value 4 TB models, means u run out of sata ports or m.2 ports real… quick.

oh btw i also wouldn’t buy any intel product if i can help it, due their ongoing support of israel having fabs for their chips in israel directly, and to be clear it’s about not supporting the israely psychopathic child murdering government and it’s programed insane military and not the israely people, a lot of which are against the government and even demonstrate against it.

in regards to keeping games installed, i am out of game space size with having 1 TB of installed games, i have to uninstall a lot and keep them in compressed installer form on the hdds, i wish i could keep all games installed on my ssd storage and not have to find and backup the savegame file, before uninstalling the game, but oh well.

i mean for a lot of people 2 TB of ssd storage will be more than enough forever, but for a lot not, and well let’s all cross fingers together, that ssd manufacturers push out 0.09 euros/GB TLC quality 4 TB ssds, because that’ll be better for everyone.
until we get at least there, the spinning rust has to spin a few more years onwards for people with an average media library on the budget.
<dreams of 16 TB reliable consumer ssds…:drooling_face:

in regards to nas btw, eh i’d love to setup a ZFS system to have my data on, BUT that would cost me a shit ton of money, building a 2nd system with ecc, getting enough hdds to set things up properly, like 4 drives probs and also learning the basic stuff about zfs, not to fuck things up…

i wouldn’t want to get a basic nas, that to me seems like a box of the cheapest possible components with proprietary psus and other shit, so i either want a proper trustworthy long term network storage with zfs, or i keep the current sad reality.
do it right, or don’t do it mentality, especially as i love zfs for what it can provide.
and in regards to external hdds, well, i already know the garbage, that manufacturers pull on internal hdds, and i KNOW they are putting the worst garbage in their external hdds usually and price it even higher than internal hdds often, so oh dear, no thank u.
in regards to garbage examples: western digital green hdds, SMR drives, suicidal load/unload cycles, no vibration protection…
a friend came by recently with 2 samsung t3 external ssds, both showed 0 GB, or won’t get recognized at all anymore, he also got an SMR 2.5 inch external hdd, which i had the pleasure of copying 1 TB of backup i made for him onto, that thing went down to 20-30 MB/s.
let’s just say i’m scared of garbage hardware and rightfully so :smiley:
buying a good internal hdd or ssd and throwing it in a rugged external enclosure could be nice, but why bother if u never move it? i remember the days of carrying around an interal hdd to friends and install it fully everytime in the old days… :smirk:
however i believe this reply is kinda really long now… so sry for the rambling and may cheap reliable ssds bless our future :pray:


Sometimes you gotta weigh in price vs performance. Having 97% reliability vs 99.99% for a quarter of the price is worth it provided you get adequate backups.

As for a SFF NAS build, I’d probably go for three 5.25" Icy Docks combo combined with a case like the iStarUSA S-35 mini ITX case. That would be around $230 for the case itself. Add in a motherboard with GBit ethernet, a low-power CPU, 4 GB of RAM, a RAID controller card (because when it breaks you do not want to replace the entire motherboard) and a good small system m.2 drive (32 GB is more than plenty for Linux). This of course would cost me around $600-$800 in total for a NAS box capable of storing 14 discs + m.2 system drive, and that is not including the drives. So, a bit pricey, but doable.


i was at about 20 euros on my bank account last month :smiley: ,
and i got stuff to save up for already like hopefully the librem 5 ( if it doesn’t suck), as i really wanna get rid of my android spying device
and hopefully the asus xg438q. (curse u wendel making me desire 43 inch 4k uhd displays)
600-800 dollars is a lot of money for me, especially still running a 5.5 year old system atm.

i wish shity intel would have consumer ecc support, then i could have turned my oced sandybridge system back to stock and run at as a zfs system, but nooooo… we intel… we need to cut features wherever possible :confused:


Not really pricey at all (povided you have the need for such a box). My two bay QNAP with a x86 CPU and 2GB RAM was 400€ already. Without drives. I looked at things like diy’ing it or the HP Microservers, but got QNAP in the end for the low maintenance, everything just works software.
If i’d do it again, i’d certainly add another hundred to build a diy solution. Only after getting it i realized how limiting 2 drive bays is.

So yeah, if all you need as a External Harddrive on the Network for some Music and weekly backups, it might be overkill. If you actually plan on doing more with your NAS (Plex, External Access, Containers, Webserver, Owncloud) then going with a DIY Solution is worth it really fast.