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Posts Tagged ‘Tech’

ESH Podcast # 314: Will The Death Star Get Big Round Ears

D-E-A-T-H S-T-A-R It is so hard to cover ever awesome thing that happens in the nerdverse, but our lovable sistahs do it with as much class and sass as they can muster. Panda spent some time with real people this week as she wandered again into the world of Table Top Gaming. Cards Against Humanity […]

RIM Shows Off Blackberry 10

RIM opened the curtains on their next gen OS at BlackBerry World 2012 keynote in Orlando Florida yesterday (May 1). The new OS is expected to release later this year with hopes of giving Apple’s rumored October release of iOS 6 a run for its money. Here a some of the highlights, courtesy of Dieter […]

Google’s Project Glass Shows No Minority in This Report

I remember watching Minority Report’s thin air touch screen scenes and thinking, “THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!” Well Google’s Project Glass is a step closer to this (minus the hand gesturing).  Project Glass puts a screen in front of your face with eye tracking . Think of replacing the stylus or finger with your eyeball. The entire […]

Madcatz Cyborg M.M.O.7 Mouse Review

Certified Geek gets a new mouse! Will he like it? Or is it a miniature Deceptacon programed to destroy the human race one mouse hand at a time?

Madcatz is not known for their quality products. Their reputation came from selling cheap replacement console controllers. They still have a rather large presence in that market. In the past few years, they have spun off a couple of subsidiary brands: Satek and Cyborg. These aimed at producing quality, high-end computer gaming peripherals. These brands have attempted to take a fresh look at the high end market and design truly unique products.


The Cyborg series that we are looking at here today tends to be all sharp angles and open areas giving it a fully inorganic and skeletonized look. They look like the T-1000’s of mice and keyboards. Surprisingly they are extremely comfortable proving how much material is wasted on most other products with flowing lines designed to make them look comfortable.

The M.M.O.7 mouse is a spin off of the Rat series of mice also created under the Cyborg name. This is truly a mouse created for gaming. It has an extra scroll wheel which is operated by the thumb.  It also has a mouse specific shift button giving each of its thirteen other buttons the option of serving double duty. The mode button triples that number giving a total of seventy eight total programmable options. There are also lock toggles on the primary left and right mouse buttons which can make those buttons be constantly active, even when not being pressed.

The interchangeable parts include: three palm rests,three pinky grips and five removable weights in six gram increments for a total of thirty grams. Each can be independently removed to tailor the weight to the user. Additionally, the thumb and palm rests can be adjusted higher or lower on the mouse giving even more customization. Personally I like the thumb rest all the way up, the tall palm rest half way up, the wing pinky rest, and all of the weights in.

If that wasn’t enough customization the sensitivity of the mouse can be adjusted from 25 DPI all the way up to 6400 DPI in 500 DPI increments. X and Y sensitivity are independently controllable as well. Four settings for sensitivity can be preset and changed on the fly with the push of yet another button. This is handy for me where I like 6400 DPI in games but prefer a slower 4500 DPI in Windows.

With that being said, it is a total bitch to configure. It works wonderfully after it it configured but it took me five hours to get it that way. It doesn’t come with an installation disk which really wouldn’t be an issue if the web address for the installation files were provided. Once the drivers and the configuration program are installed you can finally read a manual on the mouse, however it is not as clear as it could be. The biggest issue I had was in missing one of the downloads when installing the mouse.  The pre configured settings are really important I couldn’t get the buttons to work inside of WoW without them but on the downloads page they just looked like random links that were not needed.

After the installing issues in this mouse, I love it. It is the most comfortable, and adjustable mouse I have ever owned. I switched from a Razr Naga to a Steel Series WoW Cataclysm mouse to the M.M.O 7 mouse, and each has felt like a significant upgrade.

 

Certified Geek

Nvidia releases a new video card


Nvidia recently released a new video card to the masses. Does it measure up? Does it unseat the previous top dog the AMD Radeon 7970? Read on to find out.

Nvidia has been teasing their new Kepler architecture for a while now promising something amazing when it finally arrived. Well they delivered. It is priced less than the Radeon 7970, and delivers between 5 and 30 percent gains across the board. At a baseline price of $499, nothing in that price range comes close.

Some of the most interesting tech in this video card is the new GPU Boost system.  What this does is dynamically adjusts the clock speed of the card depending on the demands on it. So it could be clocked at 1GHz and then adjust itself to 1.2 GHz automatically.

AnandTech said GTX 680 gives 5 to 20 percent gains over the HD 7970 in most of the recent games, with “wholly unexpected and completely stunning” gains as high as 28 percent in games like Battlefield 3 and Portal 2. The card even hung with the Radeon HD 6990 and GTX 590, not bad when you consider that those dual-GPU cards sell for about $200 more. Overall, AnandTech says “this is by far the easiest recommendation we’ve been able to make for an NVIDIA flagship video card.”

HardOCP said “We were somewhat amazed at how this NVIDIA GPU does when it comes to gaming, pricing, efficiency, and features.”  “The GeForce GTX 680 is NVIDIA’s current flagship video card with a set MSRP of $499. This puts it in competition with AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 primarily, although you can find some customized and overclocked HD 7950 cards are close to $499 as well. The Radeon HD 7970 is more expensive at $549 but has often been found at even higher prices close to or over $600, again for customized and overclocked models. We have been complaining that AMD has been running roughshod over the consumer in term of pricing due to NVIDIA not providing any competition. Well, all that just ended today. Taking into consideration that NVIDIA’s GTX 680 is simply less expensive in terms of silicon and RAM the lower price may not be surprising. The fact that the GeForce GTX 680 is simply a better video card than the Radeon HD 7970 is bound to surprise many…of those of you that live under a rock considering all of the leaks NVIDIA has allowed in the past weeks.”  This pretty much sum everything up in a single paragraph.

Tom’s Hardware stated “Sometimes, when a new graphics card launches, we really have to put some effort into figuring out whether the performance and features justify the price. It’s not a science, and the right answer isn’t always crystal clear. This is not one of those times.

GeForce GTX 680 is now the fastest single-GPU graphics card, and not by a margin that leaves room to hem or haw. Making matters worse for AMD, the GTX 680 is priced right between its Radeon HD 7970 and 7950. Providing that Nvidia’s launch price sticks, both Radeon HD 7900s need to be significantly less expensive in order to compete. I’d expect to see the 7970 drop $100. The 7950 would have to slide $50 to leave some room between the 7870 and 7970.”

Overall if you’re in the market for a high end video card this is the one to get. Unless of course you have an AMD processor.

 

 

Certified Geek

Episode 286: We Use Highly Technical Terms, Like "Swirly Thing"


We warn you, this week things get nerdy…very nerdy ;)

It is the monday before PAX EAST 2012 starts up, and the sistahs are starting to feel the gravitational nerd pull. This whole show is about PAX EAST! It is calling them to Beantown once again. Around every corner of this week’s ESH Podcast is a tangent more nerdy than the last.

You know it’s too funny when the sistahs can’t even start the sentence, let alone deliver it properly. The girls talk about what they are really looking forward to at this event. They even talk about what Panda has coined “The Great Boston Nerd Schism of 2012”

But here are the titles still hoping to get a 3-day PAX EAST badge (Fat chance fellahs!)

You Are My Faucet to Knowledge

Debating On Which Convention Has the Biggest Breasts

Bye Bye Fan Service! Bye Pedos!

There’s No Positive Way to Say “I’m Sorry You Suck”

The Things You’ve Seen Cannot Be Unseen

Awesomecon? Somebody Else Already Owns That

Wil Wheaton Cost Me a Free Scarf

I Want to Find Love At a Con

Krop Let Me Touch His

It’s a geeky job- and the sistahs are happy to do it! So get your nerd gear ready for ESH Podcast Episode 286: We Use Highly Technical Terms, Like “Swirly Thing”

Certified Geek’s Yay or Nay: PS3 Vita


Yay or Nay? Certified Geek tells us what he thinks about his new toy

First some background about the reviewer. I’m not big on console games, I consider myself a PC gamer. I custom built my computer specifically for gaming, sinking over $3000 into it. I didn’t even own a console system since the N64 until my girlfriend bought a X-box 360 for me 2 years ago. My last portable gaming system was a Gameboy color. The times they are a changin’.

To be honest, I only got the PSVita because I didn’t want to be bored waiting in lines at PAX East this year. The screen is AMAZING. The colors are bright and the blacks are deep. The hardware is responsive and I have only seen the slightest lag when 6-7 enemies spawn at the same time in Dungeon Hunter: Alliance.

Hardware
First off, I’m not a fan of the button placement. I don’t consider myself to have huge hands, yet I feel cramped, especially when using the left and right shoulder buttons.  I like the joysticks on both sides of the screen, but I wish they had ether been flush with the device or were touchpads similar to the back. Having the joysticks stick out like they do makes the PSVita even less pocketable than the 7 inch by 3 inch dimensions of the body.  The system responds quickly to control inputs but there are a lot of control inputs. Between the 4 way D-pad, the usual 4 Playstation buttons the two shoulder buttons, 2 joysticks, 2 touch screens, the 6 axis accelerometer, start, select, PS button, and at one point in Uncharted: Golden Abyss even the cameras. I am a firm believer of “choice is good” but this can get confusing quickly. Still with all of the input options,this little system preforms smoothly. I have not had a single hiccup with any of the inputs.

As is typical for anything Sony, it has a proprietary memory card and charging cable. They are a tad overpriced for my taste. Where as a standard 32 GB SD card costs somewhere in the ballpark of $32 or a dollar a gig. The PSVita 32GB memory card costs $99.

Software
Games aside this is a serious mobile device. It has a host of online entertainment options available even without a game in it. The web browser is fully functioning and rather quick. There are a ton of online TV shows and movies to ether rent or buy, and some good apps available right off the bat such as Netflix, and Facebook. Skype is advertised, but I have yet to see it on my system.

The menu screen looks like iOS for young children with large round icons for everything. That’s not exactly my cup of tea considering I use Android phones. It gets the job done and is intuitive to use, but system customization can leave a bit to be desired. The menu is also all touch and will not accept any button presses to access anything. Odd for a video game system but it works.

My favorite thing about the PSVita is the PS Store. From there you can download demo or full games as well as rent or buy movies wirelessly, which is great for when boredom sets in while you’re out and about. The drawback to having a mobile store is the need to put that data somewhere so a memory card (not included) is basically required.

Games
The PSVita may have a lot of cool features outside of games, but it is still first and foremost a video game system. And that is where it shines the most. Sony seems to have learned from Nintendo’s mistake and had plenty of games avalable at launch with plenty more coming in the near future.  All of the games I have played on the PSVita so far have been well crafted and don’t seem thrown together or too stripped down for the sake of being mobile.

Battery Life
The battery life in the Vita isn’t the best in he world, only 3-5 hours of game play. Not a lot of time if your taking it on a flight, but I haven’t had any issues with battery life on my commute to work and back each day. With a hour or so of gaming during my lunch break.

Conclusion
Overall, I am happy with my Vita. It has its flaws, true, but they are more than outweighed by its good parts. The games I have played on it have kept me entertained. When my ADD sets in, there are plenty of other options to take advantage of, conveniently all wrapped into one single device. I think that it can become a huge money sink very quickly but it will provide many hours of entertainment.

Certified Geek

How to build a computer: Motherboards


Need info on motherboards…look no further

The motherboard is where everything comes together. Just about every other part of a computer either plugs into or is in some way attached to the motherboard. The biggest qualification of a motherboard is if it will hold your processor. However, since there are several options for each processor type there are other differences in motherboards which set them apart. After narrowing your motherboard choice down to the socket type for your processor, you want to look for: expansion slots for your video cards, slots for your memory, and ports for your disk drives.

The current standard expansion slot for video cards is PCI-E so most motherboards will have one or more of those slots built in. It may be possible to still find a motherboard with a AGP expansion slot but it is rare. If so that is a board you do not want.

Support for the disk drives fall into two levels at this stage of the game. Those levels are: Sata 3GB/sec or SATA II and Sata 6GB/sec or SATA III. They stand for transfer speed and as is evident the 6GB/sec is twice as fast giving you the data to and from the drive faster. Some ambiguous wording can make the later gen SATA III seem like the older gen SATA II that transferred at 3 GB/sec but a spec sheet will usually clear that up easily. Not all drives need SATA 6GB/sec, such as CD/DVD or blue ray drives. Hard drives do benefit from it though.

Another category to look at for disk drive support is RAID compatibility. A RAID is a set of multiple drives that are set up either for increased speed, increased reliability, or both. Wikipedia has a better explanation than I can give at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID.

Memory support will fall into two categories: clock speed and channels. Clock speed refers to the maximum frequency the memory can operate at, where as channels refers to how many sticks can be accessed simultaneously. More is better, but marginally so. Differences in clock speed and channels will only be evident under the most demanding applications.

Gaming
Generally you will be looking for at least 2 PCI-E slots in a gaming board for dual video cards. Some motherboards come with 3 PCI-E slots for even more video cards so that is something to take into consideration. You also want to make sure your motherboard supports the multi-video card solution you decide on. Some boards can even support both SLI for Nvidia and Crossfire for AMD so make sure you check before you order. Support for 16 GB of memory is pretty much the standard these days. Which is far in excess of what will be needed but the differences that need attention are the memory speeds and number of channels supported.

For that “money is no object” processor from the last article http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131800 is the board of choice. This board supports the LGA 2011 socket type for the newer Sandy Bridge processors, has quad channel memory ports that supports up to 64 GB of up to DDR3 2400 if overclocked. The overclocking can be done on the board. It also has support for 3 way SLI or Quad-GPU Crossfire support. The quad GPU thing is when the video card has 2 graphics processors on one board. There are plenty of SATA ports for hard drives or dvd drives. All 4 of the Sata 3 GB/sec ports are RAID ready and 2 of the SATA 6GB/sec ports are also RAID ready.

For the moderate processor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130583. When I was doing the comparisons for this motherboard I really didn’t find one specific for gaming. This isn’t really surprising as the chip recommended isn’t specific for gaming either. None the less this board will not let you down. It has dual channel memory which is standard for the LGA1155 processor. But it can still hold 32 GB of DDR3 2133 memory. It has dual PCI-E slots and can accept either Nvidia or AMD video cards in a dual card application, which is my main reason for choosing this board above any others. 2 Sata 6GB/sec ports and 4 Sata 3gb/sec ports that are all read ready doesn’t hurt much either.

As far as AMD processors go I would recommend http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131754. There is another ASUS motherboard that does seem a bit better in some aspects but it only has SLI support for multiple video cards. SLI support means only NVIDIA where as if you are going with an AMD processor you should go with AMD video cards as well since they are designed to work together well. There will be fewer potential problems than going with an NVIDIA/AMD hybrid system.

HTPC
For a HTPC what you’re going to look for in a motherboard is more about the size than the performance. It doesn’t have to be amazing to record and playback or stream video. Look for something that will fit in your HTPC case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121430 is perfect for a HTPC. It has plenty of memory support, Dolby 7.1 audio support if you don’t what to go with a separate audio card, and a good amount of SATA connectors for storage. It isn’t a powerhouse, but again, it doesn’t need to be. It just needs to get the job done and stay cool doing it. This board will handle that job easily.

The AMD boards that I have seen are a bit tricky. Generally I like to purchase a separate video card to go in a motherboard instead of purchasing a motherboard with an onboard video card. The reason is simply for practicality. If you purchase them in one unit and something goes bad, you need to replace the whole unit. Separately you don’t have that issue. Unfortunately I cant find a micro ATX motherboard with an AMD processor that doesn’t come with an onboard video card. That being said I would recommend http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130269 if you want to go that route. I chose this card because of the two PCI-E ports on the board. They will not necessarily need to be filled since there is onboard video, but if it fails you have backups. The video card on it isn’t all that bad in itself so it isn’t like you will be wasting money on a feature you will not use. I would suggest using the onboard video card unless it goes bad. Other than that it has support for 16 GB of memory a ton of SATA 6gb/sec ports and is overall pretty bad ass. Its more expensive than most of the micro ATX board out there but the peace of mind is worth it.

Server

Going off our previous assumption of a file server, what we are looking for in a motherboard here is simply stability. Stability in this sence however means stability of the hardware and the data. Since we are looking at a file server the intention is that everything will be stored there. If that is the case a failure of a hard drive could mean thousands of pictures, music and movies being lost. Where as keeping non volatile backups is always advisable there are steps that can be taken on the hardware end for safeguards as well. The biggest step is to internalize the backups. A RAID array in a file server is pretty much a no brainer for this reason. However unlike the gamer RAID array where we aren’t too worries about redundancy we just want to go fast, here it is the opposite. In this implementation a RAID 1 is all that is necessary but a raid 10 is possible to bring performance improvements as well. Personally I don’t think a RAID 10 would be cost effective in any iteration of a home file server but I’m here to inform not judge.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131665 This board will fit a LGA 1366 processor which I recommended in the processor section. It has the ability to run RAID 1,5, and 10 depending on what you are in the mood for has 2 SATA 6GB/sec and 6 SATA 3GB/sec ports. Personally I would run the OS off a drive in the sata 6 GB/sec port and have the storage drives in the SATA 3 GB/sec ports. As least 2 storage drives for the backup but preferably more for more storage space. The board itself doesn’t have too many frills which is perfect. The less there is to break the less that can go wrong down the line.

If you choose to go with a LGA 1155 processor you will be more limited on the amount of SATA ports but not on RAID technology. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131702 gets my vote because of the additional SATA ports available on the board. Other than that its pretty much like the other motherboard in all the aspects that matter.

On the AMD side of the world I like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131735. I chose this motherboard over two other much cheaper boards for the simple reason of stability. Regardless of the lower price of a motherboard if you have to replace it several times it will end up being more expensive. Also the cost of downtime can’t be measured. However, this is a gaming board with a lot of features that you flat out will not use. 3 way SLI\Crossfire is a waist for this application, as is the overclocking options but it is well worth it for the stability of the board.

As I said previously I don’t see Optitron processors being used, however if you choose to do so http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182230 would not be a bad board to get. This is a fully dedicated server board, and as such offers some things that would never be expected on a desktop model such as 8 memory slots with the capability of holding up to 128 GB of ram. Of course that’s just stupid for a home file server but he possibility is there. Standard RAID options are built in but the ports are only SATA 3 GB/sec.

Studio
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121534 is a good deal when considering the type of computer being built. Like I said earlier, for a studio computer, processing power and memory are the chief specs to look at. There are a few other specs that need attention, but don’t skimp on the processor or memory to fulfill them. The performance gain of the other parts doesn’t add up. That being the case, this motherboard can support the fastest processor out to date, and can hold up to 64 GB of memory. These two things are the backbone for a great studio computer. This motherboard only has 2 SATA 6GB/sec ports and 4 SATA 3 GB/sec ports none with onboard RAID controllers, however with a studio computer the large majority of the work is not focused on the transfer of data to and from storage, as much as the compiling of data once it is in memory.
For the more economical choice of Intel processors http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131701 will get the job done nicely. It is a little different than the server board I chose earlier with less thermal shielding and more overclocking support. Overclocking isn’t a bad idea on these systems to eek out more performance. It is a bad idea on a server because of the reliability needed, with less emphasis on performance.

In AMD’s neck of the woods I am going to go with the same board I recommended for a server http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131735. This is a gaming motherboard and as such has some features that are overkill for a studio set up, however it also has the best options for a studio set up as well. This board has good overclocking abilities which should be taken advantage of, and can support up to 32 GB of memory. The 3 PCI-E ports are not needed, but can prove useful later on.
General

I compared 5 other motherboards before settling on http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121527. Having a LGA 1155 socket means it can go with a wide variety of good, practical processors perfect forevery day computer use. A maximum of 32 GB of ram means it has plenty of room to upgrade later down the line if needed. A pair of SATA 3GB/sec and SATA 6GB/sec ports means flexibility in what you use for a hard drive. I will be honest and say I cant figure out why there is a HDMI and a DVI port on board since I don’t see any internal video hardware but compaired to the other boards I looked at this one stood out.

I was supprised at how nice http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131657 was for an AMD processor. This board has everything that is needed for a good solid general use desktop build. 6 SATA 3 GB/sec ports a PCI-E port if you want a separate video card, a good built in video chipset if you don’t, 16 GB memory capacity, Its is a good solid board. Not top of the line, but the system it is designed for is not supposed to be.

Certified Geek

How to Build a Computer: Processors

Originally I had planned this segment to be about motherboards. I got to thinking about what to look for in a motherboard and realized that it all depends on the socket type for the processor.

So here is the processor guide instead. In their infinite wisdom, Intel decided to release several different socket types at the same time. Then there is AMD, who have their own set of processors and sockets just to make it even more fun.

The AMD vs Intel debate has been going on for decades and both have good arguments. Historically, AMD’s offerings ran cooler while Intel’s ran faster. Now they are pretty much on par in the mid range processor arena as far as performance with marginal difference in price. At the high end Intel leaves AMD in the dust. The recent Bulldozer processor group from AMD was intended to be an Intel killer but ended up being a miserable disappointment. While Intel recently announced the I7 3960 X processor based on Sandy Bridge technology which is blowing away all of the competition.

Cases and power supplies aren’t really specific and one can work pretty much as well as another similar one.

Processors are specific, so I am going to do my recommendations a bit different. With processors, and pretty much every other part in this guide, I am going to list recommendations for the pieces themselves instead of generic advice. Again I am going to link all my recommendations from Newegg.com but please don’t feel that you need to buy your parts from there

Gaming
For the gaming system there is a need for a strong high end processor, It does some of the work of rendering for the video card which affects the frame rate you see on the screen. And when it comes to gaming computers everything revolves around the frame rate. It is important to note that AMD purchased ATI which makes video cards. By doing that, AMD was able to fine tune the processor and graphics to work extremely well with each other. While an AMD video card will still work perfectly fine with an Intel processor there is a performance boost when both are used together. It has been rumored that Intel and Nvidia have a similar deal but it has not been confirmed.

There are 3 main choices here for processors and there are reasons behind each one.
Firstly there is the “I don’t care what it costs it has to be the fastest” .
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116491 Nerdgasm in a chip, this processor is the best of the best right now and it has a price to match. With 6 cores and hyper threading it has a logical 12 cores of power all pushing nearly 4.0 GHz stock. This is completely unnecessary but it will make the other geeks at that LAN party drool. This processor runs on a LGA 2011 socket. That will be important when deciding on a motherboard later.

Next there are the processors that perform well without forcing you to take out a second mortgage. I will be featuring both Intel and AMD in this category for those who like choice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072 is the Intel offering. It is a quad core processor that runs at 3.3 GHz and is unlocked. Being unlocked is important because that means it can be over clocked till your heart’s content. This runs on a LGA 1155 socket.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103960 is the AMD offering with 8 cores of 3.6 GHz of power. This is the Bulldozer based processor that was supposed to be the Intel killer. It was disappointing in that it could not beat the higher end Intel processors, but for the price it is still a good chip that will easily power anything tossed its way. Here we have a Socket AM3+

Home Theater
These processors don’t need to be powerhouses like the gaming systems. Because of the size restriction of the HTPC case it may not be a good idea to toss one of those chips into this type of system but if you went with a liquid cooling option it wouldn’t hurt anything.
For an Intel system http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115221 is a good choice. Low power consumption means low heat output which is nice for a system with limited room for heat sinks. Its still a dual core 3.0 GHz processor so you can actually use the computer for computer stuff as well. This uses a LGA 1156 socket.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103846 is a little more powerful than the Intel above at 3.2 GHz and it has a lower price. This is a really solid processor that is under taxed in a HTPC but for this price is well worth the addition. This one uses a Socket AM3

Server
Servers are a different animal all together. It’s hard to recommend a server processor without knowing its purpose. Domain controllers have different requirements from file servers and virtual servers open a whole new can or worms. I am going to generally assume the server will be used as a file server for this guide. That way I have a bit of direction and a file server can generally serve for other purposes as well in a pinch. Also a home server is generally a file server so files can be transferred between multiple computers inside the home easily. With that specification being made, on with the show!

Intel and AMD both make server specific processors Xeon for Intel and Opteron for AMD. These server specific processors are made of a higher quality because they are intended to run for decades. They are also priced like they are intended to run for decades. A general home server doesn’t need one of these processors but I’m going to throw them in there just in case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211 is a completely viable choice from Intel. Unlike the newer Sandy Bridge processors it doesn’t have built in graphics but that’s not needed in a server anyway. This chip also allows for triple channel memory to be used. I’ll get into that a little more in depth later, but for now suffice it to say more channels is better. LGA 1366 socket
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115083

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113026 8 cores at 2.6 GHZ seems a little weak to me but the alternatives are either too expensive or even more underpowered. This uses a socket G34 Studio Studio computers will tax the processor more so than any other home system. The power needed to edit audio, video or even images is insane. Unlike gaming, where most of the burden is on the video card, there is no other part to take the majority of the burden off of the processor. Therefore the processors need to be extremely beefy.

No processor is excessive for these systems. Keep in mind this is for professional level editing. Any system can toss a YouTube video up. Here is where http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116491 would not be uncalled erfor. This thing was practically custom built for video editing. Massive power and the option for quad channel memory will definitely make a difference. The processor is expensive, but you will appreciate the time savings after your first movie. LGA 2011 again, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070 is a good choice of the part of the world that doesn’t blow their nose with 100 dollar bills. It’s plenty fast, faster than most processors on the market, and can be over clocked extremely well. The built in graphics will also help a little. LGA1155 socket this time. As for AMD I would go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103960. 8 cores at 3.6GHz each are perfect for this application. It has a good price and should outperform its Intel counterpart easily. This is a Socket AM3+ General I see a general computer as something that will not be obsolete in 10 minutes. It should be able to handle playing a game or two with a frame rate that doesn’t give you a headache and edit a picture without having time to take a shower before it’s rendered. From Intel I would go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072.

Intel does make a I3 processor, but I am not a fan of the performance. That along with the price of an I5 there really is no need in goin with the lower processor. This sucker can rock, especially if it is over clocked and will not be outdated any time soon. LGA 1155 From AMD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727 is all the processor you need. Good over clocking with an unlocked chip if you want to do so, but if not its still a 3.4 GHz quad core processor which is plenty fast. Socket AM3 A note on over clocking Over clocking is when more power is pushed through a processor so it runs faster than advertized. Computer enthusiasts have been doing this for a very long time and it has become so mainstream now that many motherboard companies now offer over clocking tools built into their motherboards. Doing so is safe for the most part however heat is a concern. Processors shut down if too much heat is built up in them. If it gets too bad the processor can burn up. So if you are going to over clock your system, please be careful! Certified Geek”> is a pretty good Xeon option if you want to go that route. This has Sandy Bridge technology here but without the graphics so it is really nice. This chip employs the LGA 1155 socket.
From AMD we have http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103961. 8 cores, 3.1 GHZ and will definitely get the job done. Again these processors didn’t deliver on their promise but that doesn’t make them bad. This is designed to be a desktop system but will fully deliver in a home server where it will be utilized a little more probably bringing out more of its potential.

Personally I have never seen an Opteron chip used. In my opinion they are overpriced for their specs however if I had to choose I would go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113026 8 cores at 2.6 GHZ seems a little weak to me but the alternatives are either too expensive or even more underpowered. This uses a socket G34.

Studio
Studio computers will tax the processor more so than any other home system. The power needed to edit audio, video or even images is insane. Unlike gaming, where most of the burden is on the video card, there is no other part to take the majority of the burden off of the processor. Therefore the processors need to be extremely beefy. No processor is excessive for these systems. Keep in mind this is for professional level editing. Any system can toss a YouTube video up.
Here is where http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116491 would not be uncalled erfor.

This thing was practically custom built for video editing. Massive power and the option for quad channel memory will definitely make a difference. The processor is expensive, but you will appreciate the time savings after your first movie. LGA 2011 again.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070 is a good choice of the part of the world that doesn’t blow their nose with 100 dollar bills. It’s plenty fast, faster than most processors on the market, and can be over clocked extremely well. The built in graphics will also help a little. LGA1155 socket this time.
As for AMD I would go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103960. 8 cores at 3.6GHz each are perfect for this application. It has a good price and should outperform its Intel counterpart easily. This is a Socket AM3+

General
I see a general computer as something that will not be obsolete in 10 minutes. It should be able to handle playing a game or two with a frame rate that doesn’t give you a headache and edit a picture without having time to take a shower before it’s rendered.
From Intel I would go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072. Intel does make a I3 processor, but I am not a fan of the performance. That along with the price of an I5 there really is no need in goin with the lower processor. This sucker can rock, especially if it is over clocked and will not be outdated any time soon. LGA 1155
From AMD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727 is all the processor you need. Good over clocking with an unlocked chip if you want to do so, but if not its still a 3.4 GHz quad core processor which is plenty fast. Socket AM3

A note on over clocking
Over clocking is when more power is pushed through a processor so it runs faster than advertized. Computer enthusiasts have been doing this for a very long time and it has become so mainstream now that many motherboard companies now offer over clocking tools built into their motherboards. Doing so is safe for the most part however heat is a concern. Processors shut down if too much heat is built up in them. If it gets too bad the processor can burn up. So if you are going to over clock your system, please be careful!

Certified Geek

How to build a computer Bonus Round! Power Supply.


Power Up!

I am adding power supplies in with the case review for 2 simple reasons. There isn’t much to say about them and in a lot of cases they are sold pre assembled in the case. Power supplies are used for supplying power (incredible right?). Computers use DC or direct current electricity but the electricity out of the wall outlet is AC, alternating current. Power supplies act as converters with different ratings based on what the manufacturers say. There is no standard used between companies and it’s based on what they want to say. Being as such, I like to go with numbers a little higher than what is absolutely needed just to be on the safe side. My recommendations reflect that.

For a gaming power supply you are going to want something big enough to push your video card (or cards). They drain a lot of juice so your power supply needs to be beefy enough to handle the demand. I would generally recommend something in the 800+ watt variety with modular cables. That should give you enough uumph to power anything you could throw at it. The modular cable design is extremely handy when trying to hide all those wires for a clean looking case. Personally, I have a 1350 watt power supply but that is just plain overkill to a ridiculous level.

Anything standard should do as far as power is concerned in a Home theater computer (HTPC). Look for something around the 600 watt area so it can push a video card strong enough to play a game or two if the mood strikes.

Servers are more concerned with stability rather than video systems. Still the power supply needs to be big enough to push several hard drives. Most dedicated server cases have room for 2 power supplies for redundancy which is pretty useful. The size of the power supply you need for a server is really dependant on the amount of drives you have in it. Anything under 8 can safely be run in a 500 watt unit, bump it up to 700 if you have more.

Studio computers can go with a power supply in the ballpark of 500 watt since they don’t have anything special or too power draining to work on.

For a generic computer, 500 watts will do everything you want it to, 600 watts will be a bit of overkill but not without precedent.

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