As a custom computer builder, we get a lot of people asking for help designing high-end computers. Many times they are for media editing, stock trading, or research – but one of the most common uses of such powerful systems is video games. Given how much interest there is in gaming computers, I wanted to provide a guide for how to select what components to use in a modern gaming computer. There are lots of review sites that talk about specific hardware recommendations, but those are outdated quickly – so this article will attempt to focus more on the ideas behind the various parts of a custom gaming computer and what you need to take into consideration when building or purchasing one.
Cooling Solutions for Intel Core i7
The latest powerhouse CPU offering from Intel is here. The Intel Core i7 — a quad-core processor available in three different speed configurations that is really taking the computing world by storm. Several new features have been added to this processor, such as on-chip DDR3 memory controller, smart cache, and HD boost. Of course, with all the extra features and power comes the issue of how to keep it cool. The Core i7 may be powerful, but it is also very hot running. From the stock heat sinks and fans, to liquid cooled solutions, the cooling possibilities are many. Unfortunately we can’t test them all, so in this article we’ll take a look at 4 popular cooling solutions and how they fared.
PC Sound and Speakers: A Subjective Look
When purchasing a new computer, audio is often a peripheral concern or overlooked entirely. Though most audio products are reviewed in great detail by the audiophile community (audiophiles: people who love and make a hobby of audio technology), those outside of it often can’t answer some basic questions – how much difference does a sound card make? Can an average listener tell the difference between an expensive sound card and a basic one? Which should you put your money into, sound cards or speakers? With these questions in mind, we set out to get answers.
The 64-bit Question
One of the things we get asked about a lot here at Puget is 64-bit Windows, and more specifically these days 64-bit Vista. The 32-bit version is still generally considered the norm, but because picking an operating system is an important aspect of configuring a computer, and because of the general confusion about the differences between these versions, it was apparent that an article on the subject might be helpful to both our existing and prospective customers.
A Look at CoolIT CPU Cooling Performance
Peltier cooling has been around for over a hundred years, but have only recently been available to the masses for use in computers. CoolIT is one of the few CPU cooler manufacturer to sell CPU cooling solutions featuring peltier technology. With all the theoretical benefits of using peltiers, we wanted to test CoolIT coolers against our two most popular CPU coolers. We ordered in three of CoolIT’s closed-loop liquid coolers; Pure (does not feature peltiers), Eliminator (three peltiers), and Freezone (six peltiers) to determine if peltier cooling is useful in today’s computers.
Top 10 things you should be doing to maintain your computer
Everyone loves computers when they work. Everyone screams at them when they don’t. Here’s ten ways to keep your computer running smoothly into its old age. While I can’t promise that these tips will keep your computer from ever having problems, it will at least help prevent them, and make recovery easier when they do occur.
Why Vista Isn’t as Bad as You’ve Heard
There has been a lot of talk on the Internet for the past year about how Vista isn’t all its cracked up to be. There are lists of why folks hate Vista, lists of things Microsoft supposedly stole from the Mac OS, and reports of people switching back to XP in disgust. Amidst all of this negativity, I wanted to share my experience with Vista and address some of the accusations folks have leveled at Microsoft’s newest operating system.
Improving Windows XP Performance
Windows XP has the potential to exhibit far greater performance on your machine than is delivered from a clean installation. This guide is intended to show you how to tweak your computer produce the fastest machine possible.
The Dummys Guide to Power Supplies
Though it may not seem important, your computer’s power supply is a primary building block of your system. Ensuring that each component of your computer obtains adequate amounts of power should be of utmost importance. This article is designed to give you a better understanding of how power supplies work and how many watts you need for different types of computer set-ups.
The KillerNIC – Is It Worth It?
In the ongoing efforts to squeeze every possible performance improvement out of their computing rig, most folks focus almost exclusively on the two heavy hitters in their system when it comes to generating frames per second (FPS): CPU and video card. Is it possible that both consumers and hardware manufacturers have been overlooking an untapped area for improvement?