Random thoughts on 4K Gaming and monster rigs and drones

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Ok, some projects for this year;

55″ Gaming Monitor and nVidia 1080Ti.

Last year, we discovered thanks to rtings.com that televisions are great displays. Ended up buying 40″ 4K Samsung monitors for $600 that are just awesome for showing 4 or even six full windows of code. This year, the discovery is the curved displays and 55″ monitors are going to be amazing for gaming. We used to use multiple screens, but with the modern nVidia processors, a single 4K display is really all you need. Rtings.com recommends the LG 2017 OLEDs if you can afford it. 55″ is $1800. But the Sony X900E is just $1200 (ok everything relative) for an incredible full screen display. Imagine it one foot from your nose playing Call of Duty!
The friend here is an nVidia 1080Ti. That is a monster $700 card that is 2x the 1080 and handles 4K gaming well at 60fps. Of course the coming frontier is going to be 8K monitors and 4K120 monitors, so the race never ends, but this isn’t a bad stop.

Hackintosh Lives for Professional Video and Image Editing

The Hackintosh is alive and well (as long as you use Tony’s hardware and installation guide) and with Apple basically giving up on Mac Pro’s and MacBook Pros, what’s someone to do who uses an all Apple workflow. The answer for right now seems to dual boot your Windows gaming machine (see above).
But the basic idea is to take advantage of the new nVidia Pascal drivers and run your machine. You do need to use the older Z170 motherboards, but that isn’t too much of a problem as the Z270 and Kaby Lake  are pretty marginal upgrades anyway. Then you use Unibeast to create a bootable MacOS on your hardware. You will get a strange error about a volume mounted so you need to look at /Volumes for the errant volume, but it works otherwise. Then you load Multibeast to get the drivers that you need after you do your initial boot.
You then need to twiddle your BIOS settings so that the this USB will boot. Boot your new hardware with the USB key in and hopefully the boot loader called Clover will start. You then add your device drivers and you are done!

Life is not complete without a Drone and VR rig

Well, how can life be complete without being on the bleeding edge. I bought a DJI Phantom 3 more than a year ago and it stopped working and I never fixed it. It needs a huge case and where was I going to put it. Looking at the best drones of 2017 (or myfirstdrone.com, or best drones review and dronesglobe.com),
It’s pretty clear we are reaching an inflection point where the software is maturing (yeah collision avoidance) and prices are crashing. The main thing I would love:

  • Collision avoidance. These things really do crash a lot and so if you are taking photos, losing the drone is just terrible.
  • Water safe to have is something that makes it safe to use over water. Like these gigantic floats. After all losing a $1K is kind of a bummer.
  • Photo quality. The whole point is amazing photos and videos and being able to get close for the shots.
  • Portability. Having something small makes a big difference.

Mavic Pro. The winner at least for this year seems to be the DJI Mavic Pro which fits in a water bottle and has a 4K camera. It’s basically at that magic $1K price point (actually $1.3K with all the accessories from Amazon). It has front facing cameras for collisions and infrared sensors that point below. It’s so small and portable that it can fit into a backpack.
Phantom 4 Pro has got your number if you are shooting for quality , it is way larger, but has cameras at the front and back that look for obstacles and avoid them plus a really great 4K camera with 4K60, F/2.8 Lense and 12 stops of dynamic range. It’s $1800 with the remote. You can also get a backpack so you can carry your drone on the plane or get a hard case and check it in if you dare.
Inspire 2. For true lust, this has a 5.2K camera that writes RAW to an onboard SSD. Drool, drool, drool. $3K worth of drone.
Some runners up are:
The Yuneec Typhoon H UHD ($1300 at Amazon but $1800 with collision avoidance in the Pro version) is pretty cool given it’s Intel Realsense collision avoidance. I guess I’m sensitive to two things, collisions and water 🙂 so it’s a little cooler technology wise, but the DJI Phantom 4 Pro has the advantage with popularity.

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