Memory. Every Super User knows that they need it, and if you’re like me, you can never get enough. I know I somehow find ways to use up all 16 Gb of my memory on my desktop. In fact, back in Nov 2010 Tom’s Hardware suggested that the minimum system RAM should be around 8Gb!
But what’s really frustrating is buying memory. There are so many factors to consider that it can get overwhelming. This is the same issue that Super User nathpilland had:
This is the one area of computer building that still has me in the dark, and I think a lot of people are with me… There are many different types of RAM, with each company having high and low end sticks. What is the difference between the high and low end? Also, what do the numbers in the latency mean? What is the speed rating (I know 1600 MHz is about normal) and how much is too much? What’s the difference between dual channel and single channel? Can you overclock/overvolt? Is there even a point to do so if this was possible? As you can see, I’m thoroughly confused here. I tried doing some research, but I can’t find this information anywhere on the internet. I’m not actually buying RAM, I’m just trying to get a better picture as to how all this works so I can be more educated on the hardware in computers.
So here we go. This blog post is a stab at defining the basics you need to know about RAM.
A quick look over at NewEgg there were a few major categories that advertising threw at me:
- Type (DDR, DDR2, DDR3)
- Speed (typically in terms of 1066, 1333, 1600, etc)
- CAS Latency
Most of us don’t give our keyboards (or mice, I suppose) a second thought. Most of my keyboards tended to be budget logitechs, which while decent lack a certain something.
I preferred the ThinkPad keyboards on my laptops, but when I need to, and tend to write at a single sitting, essays that are a few thousand words long, I needed something better.
If you want a shorter version of this whole blog post,I’d advice that you look at the layout(ergonomic vs standard, and number of keys), the switch type ( membrane/scissor vs mechanical (switch or buckling spring) and Key style (full sized concave, low profile or flat).
Personally, I’m not a fan of split keyboards, or ergonomic ones. They work for some people, by putting the hands in a more natural position while typing. The split keyboard tends to separate the standard QWERTY keyboard in two (though there’s no reason you cannot use Dvorak or Colemak or your local keyboard layout with them).
Microsoft natural keyboard Pro source
A variant of that theme is the ‘bowl’ keyboard, which splits the keys into two bowl shaped depressions, popularised by the matron and kinesis advantage keyboard. The bowl keyboard design allows for fingers to reach keys with less movement, by fitting around the natural reach of a hand at rest
And finally, the Datahand, which is a pretty extreme case of ergonomic keyboards, with nearly no hand movement. It is very sci-fi looking, and supposedly incredibly comfortable once you get used to it.
Yesterday, after two of my family members in turns tried to fix a video card driver installation error for 2 – 3 hours, they couldn’t get it to work. Trying it over and over, each time it stopped the progress bar somewhere before the middle, to finally throw up this screen:
Yeah, this is exactly the moment where you would freak and pull out your hair; especially to plan on finishing the day with some casual gaming. So, their next step was to fire up the device manager in an attempt to manually update the drivers by feeding the devices with the directory full of INF files. But apparently, the devices weren’t so hungry:
Well, this is the final post in this 3-parter!
In the previous picture at the end of part 2, there are a couple of clearly visible mistakes in cabling that I didn’t notice at the time. I didn’t notice them because they weren’t the type of mistakes that cause breakage, but just were unnecessary. The first was that I used both Crossfire bridges with the graphics cards. Only one gets used between two cards anyway, so I was able to remove one of them (the second one is if was going to hook up a third graphics card). The second mistake was that I ran a PCI-e power cable to the motherboard’s PCI-e power connection. This power connection is useful if the PCI-e cards don’t have external power and aren’t getting enough power from the PCI-e rails as it is. But since my graphics cards do already draw external power,
So, at this point, I had a usable computer. Since I was pretty burned out by the hours I spent working on it already, I didn’t want to dive right back in and started using it a bit more. Besides, I didn’t know I wasn’t done yet (aside from knowing I was missing a multi-card reader, which I need). There was also the fact that the hard drive cage was laying out on the floor and it was somewhat annoying. But that was stuff I was willing to deal with in the short term, as I wanted to get working on setting up the software in my newly built PC. After using it for a few days and discussing the project with friends and coworkers, I started thinking about things I could do to improve it.
So, earlier this year I decided that I would build a PC for the first time. Previously, I had only done component upgrades on prebuilt computers. This got me familiar with working inside a computer case, but I never had built one from scratch, so I had to figure out what is involved with choosing components, matching things together to make sure everything is compatible, and what it’s like to do all the subsequent tweaking and troubleshooting when the inevitable problems arise.
After reading a review of the Drobo FS, I became obsessed with network attached storage (NAS). I realised that a NAS device would neatly solve a couple of long-standing problems I hadn’t got around to fixing: data backup and data organisation.
This post will explain how I picked the hardware and software for my NAS.
As you have probably heard, HP evaluated alternatives for its Personal Systems Group; which includes the exploration of separating their PC business into a separate company through a spin-off or other transaction.
However, they recently unveiled a new all-in-one Elite business desktop which integrates the power of Intel’s second-generation Core vPro technology; delivering up to 40 percent better performance, 15 percent faster hard drive access, and reduced downtime via remote IT management.