Recent Posts

Creating a Windows 10 kvm VM on the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X using Qemu 4.0 and VGA Passthrough

Last updated: February 7, 2021

Introduction

I’ve already written a detailed tutorial on Windows 10 kvm VGA passthrough based on QEMU version 2.11. Years have passed and recent distributions like Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20, or Manjaro come with QEMU 4.0, 4.2 or 5.1.

A lot has happened since version 2.11. QEMU 4.0 includes numerous changes and improvements such as trim support in the virtio-blk driver, pcie-root-port with PCIe 4.0 support (with Q35-4.0 machine type), as well as improved audio. Continue reading “Creating a Windows 10 kvm VM on the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X using Qemu 4.0 and VGA Passthrough”

Upgrading my PC to an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X System – Benchmarks

It wasn’t easy this time. Don’t get me wrong – the VFIO passthrough part, though challenging in some ways, went quite well. All in all I’m pleased now with the results. Here the Passmark 9.0 benchmark as uploaded onto their database (for more details, click the frame below):

PassMark Rating

Continue reading “Upgrading my PC to an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X System – Benchmarks”

Upgrading my PC to an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X System

Introduction

I’ve been contemplating a PC upgrade for more than a year (see my post here). At first I considered staying with Intel and getting an i9-9900K CPU with integrated GPU on a Z390 motherboard.

Along came the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X that topped the benchmarks, including the Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop benchmarks (to be precise, it ranked #4 in the Adobe Lightroom benchmark, and a narrow #1 in the Adobe Photoshop benchmark). These good news about the AMD Ryzen 3900X were soon followed by reports about BIOS issues and VFIO incompatibility. At the very least, it looked like VGA passthrough was more challenging.

Then I read Bryan Steiner’s GPU passthrough tutorial for the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and an Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS Linux host. Several users on the VFIO Reddit forum reported successful VFIO VGA passthrough with the AMD Ryzen 9. Continue reading “Upgrading my PC to an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X System”

Hardware upgrade or what’s holding me back?

More than a year has passed since I’ve posted about building a new PC. So what is holding me back from the upgrade? Time and money are considerations, but not the reason.

On paper, the AMD Ryzen 9 has outperformed Intel in most if not all tasks. The Ryzen 9 3900X beats the Intel i9 9900K as well as the Intel i9 10900X in multi-threaded workloads. The Intel i9 9900K can barely hold its ground on single-threaded tasks. Numerous benchmarks have shown that AMD is a clear winner. Continue reading “Hardware upgrade or what’s holding me back?”

Sharpness and the D850

Recently I switched from a 12 MP Nikon D700 to the 46 MP Nikon D850. Along with the 4 times increase in resolution come new challenges. An obvious one is lens sharpness – you’ll be surprised how many “sharp” lenses aren’t that sharp on the D850.

Yet, soft lenses are the least of the problems. If you want to have reasonably sharp photos, you will have to hone your technical photography skills. For any kind of landscape work, the tripod will become your best friend. But often enough you may just want to grab your camera and take photos. Continue reading “Sharpness and the D850”

Impact of Spectre and Meltdown Protection on Virtual Machine Performance

A year ago I wrote about the 2D graphics performance impact of the Windows 10 (1803) update inside a virtual machine. As it turned out, the performance impact was related to the Spectre vulnerability patch that Microsoft had introduced. However, the same patch had practically no performance impact on a Windows 10 bare-metal installation.

Time has passed and I wanted to see if there has been any progress. Right now I’m running Windows 10 (1903) with Nvidia driver release 431.36. Windows 10 is up-to-date, Nvidia however already offers a newer version (431.60). Continue reading “Impact of Spectre and Meltdown Protection on Virtual Machine Performance”

USA Photos

These are some USA photos from our 2010 trip to California and Nevada. All photos were shot with the Nikon D700 and some assorted Nikon lenses. Hope you enjoy.

 

USA 2010

SSD and S.M.A.R.T.

Two years ago I wrote a post on S.M.A.R.T., an acronym for “Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology”. In plain English, I’m talking about technology inside a hard drive or SSD that monitors and reports about the health of the drive. While S.M.A.R.T. can give us clues as to the state of the drive, it’s not always an exact science. Some indicators warrant an immediate drive replacement, others can indicate a higher probability of imminent failure. Continue reading “SSD and S.M.A.R.T.”

Nikon D850 – First Impressions

I recently purchased a Nikon D850 to replace my aging D700. I’ve been very happy with my D700 – see Nikon D700 Review (and D850 Preview). But the 12 megapixel D700 sensor showed its limits, for example when I wanted to crop a photo, or when I was looking for more detail in landscape photos.

In this post I like to share my first impressions of the Nikon D850. I must admit that I didn’t get much use of the D850, so my experience is still that of a newcomer to this camera model (but not to Nikon). The observations I share here are in no particular order of importance, just a list. Continue reading “Nikon D850 – First Impressions”

Nikon D700 Review (and D850 Preview)

Don’t worry – I won’t bore you with yet another camera review with all the nits and bits. This is more a personal farewell, an epigraph if you wish, to a trusted companion that has been on my side on many travels and hikes.

San Francisco
Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco (Nikon D700)

In 2010 I bought my third digital camera, the Nikon D700. It was my first camera with a full-frame sensor. Before this, I had the Nikon D70 for six years. Continue reading “Nikon D700 Review (and D850 Preview)”