> Droves of Drives Monitor Madness Power Options
Hey, Doc. I’ve started ed getting a checkerboard pattern attern on my laptop’s display, either across the whole screen en or limited to certain dialog boxes. I have a 15.3-inch Sager ger notebook with a Core i7-6820HK 820HK processor at 2.70GHz, an n Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics module, a 64-bit operating system, and nd 16GB of system memory. Is my graphics card in its death throes? – John Digilio THE DOCTOR RESPONDS: The issue you’re describing can be caused by software or hardware. Some of the potential problems are easy to troubleshoot and solve; others may be harder to diagnose.
A simple first step is to verify that you’re running the latest drivers for your graphics adapters. Uninstall the existing packages for Intel’s HD Graphics 530 engine and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980M using Windows’ Control Panel. The Doc likes to follow up with a utility called Display Driver Uninstaller, which ensures old files and Registry entries are cleaned up, too. Download the most up-to-date versions for both, and see if they resolve your display corruption.
If they don’t, try digging deeper. Is your integrated
Many Hard Drives
Hi, I’m upgrading my motherboard to an Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming graphics enabled nabled when the checkerboard pattern ttern appears? Try switching to the discrete rete GPU exclusively. Overclocking and overheating are two more potential causes. However, in a properly functioning PC, the Windows desktop doesn’t generate much of a load. Software such as AIDA64 or HWiNFO64 can tell you when thermal readings get too high. If temperatures spike, verify that Sager’s cooling subsystem is operating correctly.
Hopefully, your symptom doesn’t indicate a more serious malfunction. Underclocking your system RAM and the graphics board’s GDDR5 memory may help determine whether a module is failing. with a Core i9-7900X. I als also plan to add 20 to 25 3.5-i 3.5-inch mechanical hard drives drives. I bought a custom Origi Origin PC desktop a while ago, so I’m using its ts Genesis ch chassis, which has a bay tha that can store a dozen 3.5-inch hard drives.
What I can’t figure out is what PCIe-attached SATA cards I can get to connect the hard drives, each with its own dedicated lane. I need at least 12 extra ports, and the best I can find are four-port PCIe SATA x2 adapters. Aren’t those going to reduce the throughput from each disk to less than its maximum? Is there something else I should be looking at that will allow for peak throughput on each drive? I don’t want to create any chance of contention, because I’ll be using software RAID once the disks are installed, and who knows what problems proble I’ll encounter if there are limitations because of the th PCIe SATA card?
–Mike Barylski THE T DOCTOR RESPONDS: Your motherboard features three PCIe x16 slots, one of which accommodates 16-lane devices, and two of which are wired for x8 links. Assuming you plug a graphics card into the top slot, each of the x8 connections offers nearly 8GB/s of throughput in both directions. That’s quite a bit of bandwidth—so far, so good.
Let’s say you can get a max sequential transfer rate of 250MB/s from one hard drive. With 24 disks, you need 6GB/s to avoid bottlenecking, which is less than what’s available from an eight-lane PCIe 3.0 slot. Again, the math is promising.
A host bus adapter such as Broadcom’s SAS 9305-24I or Microsemi Adaptec’s HBA 1100-24i drops right into a x8 slot and supports 24 directconnected SAS or SATA drives through a sextet of Mini-SAS interfaces. Each costs more than $500, but if you’re serious about storage, options abound beyond four-port SATA cards.
Hey Doc, In the June issue, you suggested that Erik
Aukerman wait for next-gen graphics cards and 4K/144Hz monitors. The issue is, those panels don’t display in full 4K at 144Hz with HDR; DisplayPort lacks sufficient bandwidth for those specs. Right now, it would likely be better to dig into where that bandwidth becomes an issue, and purchase a display with the corresponding refresh rate, be it 75 or 100Hz. As he said, super-high frame rates aren’t necessarily important.
–Kurt Colbourne e
THE DOCTOR RESPONDS: Thank you for bringing this up. The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and Acer Predator X27 both claim support for resolutions up to 3840x2160, peak brightness of 1,000cd/m² with high dynamic range enabled, and refresh rates as high as 144Hz over a DisplayPort 1.4 interface. However, DP1.4 only provides enough bandwidth for 3840x2160 at 120Hz at 8 bits per channel color depth (that is to say, without HDR). So, images are encoded with less color information through a process called chroma subsampling, reducing the bandwidth they use. This compromise in picture quality is what makes it possible to run at 4K/144Hz.
If you look at both monitors’ specifications, you’ll see that Acer and Asus claim native support for 3840x2160 at 120Hz over DisplayPort. They refer to 144Hz as an overclocked setting. But even at 120Hz, you’re limited to 8 bits per channel color depth if you want true YCbCr 4:4:4, or full resolution on all components. In short, they impose some trade-offs to achieve 3840x2160 at 144Hz. Running them at 4K/120Hz and 8 bits per channel may be the best compromise for now. It’s just a shame that such a word is necessary in the context of a $2,000 monitor.
More 4K Madness
Hi Doctor, I have been happily using a Dell U3011 for quite a few years. Once video card and memory prices return to normal, I will be upgrading to a 4K-capable desktop PC. In the meantime, I would like to upgrade my monitor to a 32inch 4K model as well. Neither curved nor wide panels interest me. Are there any displays superior in every way to what I have? What about DisplayHDR? I know there are 400 and 600 models available, but is a 1000 model on the horizon? I don’t mind spending a good chunk of change, since I will be looking at it every day.
THE DOCTOR RESPONDS: Your U3011 was a premium display back in 2010, sporting a 30-inch IPS panel with 10-bit color depth, a native 2560x1600 resolution, and a brightness of 370cd/m². By all accounts, it was a winner, at under $1,500.
There are plenty of monitors that would be an upgrade, but if you filter them down to 32-inch 4K-capable models, Asus’s PA32UC looks like one of the best (as of this writing, it’s not widely available, but previews praise its performance and functionality). VESA does not list the PA32UC as Display HD Rcertified yet, but it does bear an Ultra HD Premium badge, indicating a 3840x2160 resolution, support for 10-bit color depth, and HDR10 compliance. Asus specifies a maximum brightness of 1,000cd/m² and 95 percent DCI-P3 color space coverage. Expect to spend around $2,000 for the privilege of owning one, once supply improves.
If you’re willing to compromise on screen size, Acer’s Predator X27 and Asus’s ROG Swift PG27UQ are both 27-inch monitors that sport 4K resolutions, along with $2,000 price tags. Although gamer-oriented, the pair represents two of the three products currently boasting Display HDR 1000 certifications. The third is Philips’s 43-inch Momentum—a much different beast, with an MVA panel overclocked to facilitate 80Hz refresh rates.
Doc, In the latest issue, you replied to a question from Leon Garfield concerning the installation of a new power supply in his Dell Precision Tower 3620, but your answer didn’t really solve his issue.
I, too, have a Dell Precision Tower 3620 that I wanted to upgrade with a PSU larger than anything Dell offered. After searching around, I found several solutions from companies such as COMeap, Eyeboot, and mod-DIY that were affordable and easy to install. I purchased one, along with a much more powerful 80 PLUS Gold-rated modular power supply. Now I have plenty of juice to drive any component I want to upgrade.
Tier-one manufacturers may continue to produce proprietary parts for their machines to garner a captive audience, but where there’s a will, there’s a way around them.
–David A. Glasser
THE DOCTOR RESPONDS: Thank you for sharing your experiences, David. Based on the t links you sent, it appears there t are several 24-to-8-pin adapters a able to standardize Dell’s D proprietary connector and a extend compatibility to familiar f ATX PSUs.
As mentioned in the Doc’s response r to Leon, stories abound a of DIY efforts to splice cables c together. Some work, others o don’t. Lacking evidence of o a definitive fix, the Doc was not n comfortable suggesting an a adapter with unproven compatibility, c not to mention potential p safety implications. It’s good to know that there are viable ways to make a 24-pin ATX connector work in Dell’s Precision Tower 3620, though.
Please, Don’t Sleep!
Dear Doctor, My PC’s power plan changes on its own, defaulting to sleep mode after 15 minutes every time I boot up. The power settings worked fine under Windows 7, but Windows 10 doesn’t save my preferences, forcing me to select “Never” in the “Power & sleep” menu every morning. I have tried creating custom plans, but they don’t work. I also tried modifying settings in the Registry to no avail. Do you have any ideas? This was a fresh installation of the OS and not an upgrade from Win 7, so there wasn’t any baggage carried over.
THE DOCTOR RESPONDS: It’s probable that some software on your machine is changing the power settings. Intel’s Ready Mode Technology is one offender, though it tries to serve a useful purpose by allowing the receipt of email, messages, social media posts, and so on through an alternative lowpower mode. You can disable it from within Windows or in your motherboard’s BIOS. Various antivirus suites reportedly contain options that alter Windows’ power plans. And motherboard utilities, such as Asus’s AI Suite, are also guilty of manipulating OS options on startup. If a quick check fails to turn up a solution, parse through Windows’ Event Viewer for more evidence.
Attach up to 24 SATA hard drives to Microsemi Adaptec’s HBA 1100-24i without compromising performanc performance.
PA32UC offers ff 4K 4K, HDR HDR, and d accurate t color l reproduction d ti f for $2 $2,000. 000