Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dispelling some misconceptions about Redshift

Over the past few days of contacting more individuals than companies, I've ran into some constructive criticism about the project. I decided to make this post to answer some questions about Redshift, as well as highlight some of the comments that I would consider to be downright hateful.

I'd also like to take the time to thank some folks on Techtronix as well for giving me advice, especially pitastrudl for his advice on seeking sponsors and behavioral-type things. That being said, let's continue into the post.

Purpose

First off, I'd like to clarify the purpose of Redshift. Redshift is for production work on Techman's World. I think it's important to clarify that because some are led to believe that Redshift is simply a gaming PC, and that's all there is to it.

Redshift has the aesthetic of a gaming PC, because that's how I have designed the machine. I've decided to make Redshift personal to me. As in, make it something more than just a bunch of hardware encased in a black-painted steel box.

Redshift can be used for gaming, as it will have a powerful GPU installed. I intend to dip my toe into the idea of producing video game content, but that's a very shallow dip. My main focus is to produce tutorials and other content for resource-hungry applications. My first order of business would be virtual machines.

Integrity

It being the internet, a lot of folks (especially Redditors) do not trust people easily on the internet. Quite frankly, I couldn't blame them. I'm sure that a lot of people have been burned by the bad apples of the internet.

However, I do not believe that it is fair to completely trash Redshift and Techman's World entirely, just because I'm trying to seek sponsors to help complete the project. /u/ubern00by left a pretty hateful comment in reply to something that I said on /r/AMD (now removed due to karma).



Not entirely sure about what anyone else thinks, but I've always been raised with the idea that personal integrity is very important. Heck, even Gwendolyn makes it a point in the film Becket. (I wonder who is really into British literature)

If I give my word when I say that I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it. Other people might not believe what I say, and that's fine.

Parts justification

A lot of user have called to question the choice of parts that I've requested to be sponsored. Most notably, the choice of an i7 6700K and a R9 390. Some argue that these parts are currently "mainstream", and thus are less likely to be sponsored except for the largest media outlets out there.

In reality, I could settle with a 6600K and a R9 380 for the build, if I end up having to foot the bill of the project. I'm not even sure if I actually can finish this project anytime soon, though.

The idea behind the i7 is due to its hyper-threading technology. 4 physical cores are split up into 8 "virtual" cores, which is supposed to improve multitasking on multi-threaded workloads. It's not a true 8 core chip like some of the ones AMD has, but it's still good nonetheless. I'd like to have the best CPU possible (in the Z170 platform) to have the utmost potential to produce any content that I want, and at great speed. A 6600K would probably sufice just fine, but then I miss out on hyper-threading, and 2 MB of cache. This would be even lesser an issue had Intel kept the cache sizes the same between the i5 and i7, but they've changed it up.

The R9 390 is often referred to the "price to performance champion" due to the sheer amount of power you get out of the chip, for the amount of money you spend on it. It trades blows with the GTX 970 (NVIDIA's competitor), but contains a full 8 GB of VRAM and it has better proven longevity (just look at how useful AMD's older cards still are). The R9 380 is also a good price-to-performance option, but it's not as good as the 390. I want the 390 because it presents the greatest value for the amount of money invested, and it will no doubt last me for many years to come.

As for the other parts in the build, I haven't been questioned on those. I believe that most people understand my desire to have an SSD in my project, but even those who are willing to sponsor a SSD are still reluctant to do so. They simply don't have enough trust in me (at least for now) for them to consider a sponsorship worthwhile.

It's not really reflected in the PCPartPicker list, but eventually I also plan to dive into mechanical keyboards. This is more of a personal thing, so I'm not including it in Project Redshift. I'm perfectly fine on my rubber dome from HP (it has function keys and dedicated volumn keys), but one day I do want to try something better. I've contacted G.Skill about one of their KM780s with Cherry MX Browns, but I haven't heard back from them.

In conclusion, I've picked the i7 and the 390 because I believe they provide the most potential and value to the project, and will last for many years to come. The i7's price is currently inflated beyond MSRP, but once it comes back down I definitely believe that it's something to consider. At the current ~$400 price point, though, the i7-5820K paired with an X99 motherboard seems like a more cost effective approach if people are in the market to buy a new system.

Additional Questions

As additional questions arise from potential sponsors, I will continue to make posts that address these concerns. It's all in the effort to attract sponsors to help complete the project, so I can get back to making the content that you folks deserve.