Card, video, graphics.

RTX 2080 Coming Soon – What will you do?

With the RTX line of graphics cards coming soon, everybody is flipping out. Can you really afford a brand new graphics card? I can’t! So WTF am I posting for? I’m posting to see who else is hoping the RTX line will drop prices of last line graphics cards. I see the 10 series being relevant for quite a while longer, I’m going to be keeping an eye on Amazon 1080 prices for price drops. After all, the 1080 is still going to dominate the market for a long time.

Card, video, graphics.

Are you patient enough to wait for prices to drop?

As a gamer, and most likely a millennial, we all want the shiniest and newest GPU. Most of us can’t afford it, though! Most of us don’t have patience either! What are we to do? I, for one, do have the patience. I’m going to wait for price drops, watching every place I can to hopefully get a new one. I’m not looking for used, because – mining. There’s too many used GPUs out there that have been beat up for months, then resold. You’ll not be happy if you get a new-used GPU, and it craps out on you in 3 weeks.

What can you do to satisfy the urge?

I just got a new SSD to satisfy my urge. A couple hundo got me the Samsung 970 Pro 512 GB, and it did not disappoint. What if you want to bring the price down, while you wait? How about Intel Optane? Heard of it? You can boost your existing hard drive’s performance with wicked caching voodoo magic, and Intel Optane Memory. I haven’t tried Optane Memory yet, personally, but it’s been in my cart about a hundred times now.

Upgrade SSD Drive

Are your pockets overflowing with cash, and you’re buying the new GPU?

Can I get an application for wherever you work? Just kidding, but seriously. What are your plans with the new GPU? Are you going to be number one on a benchmark site, do some CAD/3D modeling, or just poop on everybody in Roblox? I’m excited for the new cards to drop, and I can’t wait to hear about everybody’s experience with them!

Surface Book 2 15 Inch – In a mobile design environment

Current Setups

I take a TLDR approach to my reviews here, I don’t want to bore you with 15 pages of junk, that you’ll never read. If you don’t want to read all the juicy stuff, skip to the bottom part, labeled “The TLDR Part”. So here’s the scoop!

I’ve been using the Microsoft Surface Book 2 15″ lately, as a machine that I work on projects when I’m not in the office or at home. I have a design machine at work with a Quadro P5000 and an i7 7700k, and one at home with SLI GeForce1070s and an AMD FX 8350. These machines are great for what I do in Unity 3D, and many other applications. I can say the 1070s are slower in light baking, but I paid personal money for that – so it’s going to stay that way until the RTX Quadros release, and prices drop for other GPUs.

Enough about me, what about the Surface Book 2 15″?

Specs:

Display – 15” PixelSense™ Display with up to 3240 x 2160 resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio, 10 point multi-touch, and ink

Storage – 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe SSD

CPU – 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8650U quad-core processor, 4.2GHz Max Turbo

GPU – NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 discrete GPU w/6GB GDDR5 graphics memory

Usability:

  • General Feel
    • Keyboard is about as good as it gets, for a laptop – amazing feel to it.
    • Touchpad is great, you get more gestures than you’d expect, and the size of the touchpad is about perfect.
    • Weight is a little much, but if you look at teardowns, it has batteries to justify the weight.
    • Size is magical, very slim machine, doesn’t feel huge like a 17″ mobile workstation.
    • Noise, when you’re under heavy work loads with the CPU, noise isn’t too bad, GPU is another story – sounds like a jet engine taking off
    • Battery life, is amazing! Just as advertised, and I’m impressed.
    • Speed, surprisingly good! I did notice going from a desktop 7700k, or 8350, to the 8650 laptop i7, light baking is a little slower, but not bad.
  • Peripherals
    • Mouse, I’d recommend a Surface Precision Mouse, the other options are not awesome for a design(or gaming) environment.
    • Dial, Have you heard of the Surface Dial? It’s pretty cool, but I’d wait until the gen 2 dial comes out, it will have a 3D joystick feel to it.
    • Pen, I didn’t think I’d have a need for a pen on a computer, what for? But when I use tablet mode, I use the Surface Pen for sure, I love it.
    • Dock, this is less of a mobile experience thing, but the Surface Dock is nice for connecting 2 screens super fast.
    • THE BEST PART! They all match. This is super satisfying for the OCD, thank the gods of Microsoft for matchyness!

The TLDR Part:

So the conclusion? I have used the Surface Book 2 15″ for a few months now, and I can say that the experience is much different than I expected. Normally you try to look past the marketing stuff, because they’re just trying to make it look good, but it is good. Mind blown by the 1060 in the Surface Book 2 15″. I imagined that anything less than a 1070 would have been garbage for the torment that I put my computers through, but man was I wrong! Between the Gen 8 i7, and the 1060, you have enough power to do pretty much anything you’d like, without lag ruining your day.

If you’re looking for an extremely portable, workstation worthy, consumer grade, super laptop, get the Surface Book 2 15″. You will not be disappointed!

Creating apps is easy

Unity – Simplified Application Development

How can you make application development more simple?

This is not a game. Have you considered finding a more simple approach to developing your apps and programs? Unity 3d(Free for Personal) compiles applications for a very wide variety of platforms including Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and the web. As a primarily Java programmer, with a PHP backend, I’ve done a lot of other projects with other languages.

Let’s simplify the logic.

My favorite so far has been visual scripting with PlayMaker for Unity. Visual scripting is something that I used to think wasn’t anything special. Why? Well it’s not actually “scripting”, right?

Scripting simplified with PlayMaker

Wrong. Visual scripting contains all of the same logic that a normal programming/scripting language contains. You need to set your variables, interact with objects, set hooks and interrupts to trigger actions, etc. Everything is the same, but it’s more readable, and easier on the eyes. You can visually understand how the code is flowing, without having to read through all the code. Look at the above picture, how much code would this take? It’s a simple script that fades the camera in, waits, then fades it out. Well, you’d have to write a function that fades the camera, with some arguments that handle the fade in/fade out and sets a variable for original position right? 30 lines of code? 50? How about 3 code blocks instead? Debug that if something’s not working right, 2 clicks, not 2 hours of sifting through your code. AMAZING what PlayMaker can do to speed up coding, and simplify troubleshooting.

Playmaker

Let’s simplify the design

Obviously, as a 3d development application, Unity does 3d well. What about 2d? Just a regular app, not a game? Right now I use a deadly combination of WordPress for Unity and Next-Gen UI to make the best looking applications out there. These two plugins provide a seamless, and simple, approach to designing interfaces for applications. It’s a drag and drop, zero code, approach to your users’ interactions. I use these two along side PlayMaker to develop some of the most complicated applications I’ve worked on. I consider myself lucky to be alive, in a time where we have so many tools like this coming out to simplify our every day work. You need to understand, these tools are not just creating user interfaces and simplifying them, they’re giving you a simple way to animate them, put them to action, compile them for multiple platforms, and monetize them.

WordPress for Unity
NGUI: Next-Gen UI

Endless opportunities

The Unity Asset Store has endless amounts of free, or paid, assets for your projects that make it a whole lot easier to make money! No matter who you are, you can develop something extraordinary, with zero knowledge up front. The design/development of applications is coming together, and becoming easier, making it one simple platform – no longer two separate skill sets. One single person can now develop and design an amazing creation without having to do a whole lot of learning. It’s time for you to dive in.