Archive for Antony Leather
Posted on 24th Oct 2012 at 07:10 by Antony Leather with 12 comments
I've been a big fan of AMD's recent desktop APUs. While its embedded offerings aren't much to shout about, Socket FM1 was a small triumph for AMD in an otherwise poor showing on the desktop CPU/APU front. I'm not going to mention the 'B' word here, as it's not really relevant but needless to say, it was nice to see an AMD desktop chip actually scoring highly for a change.
Posted on 22nd Oct 2012 at 09:05 by Antony Leather with 100 comments
I've been lucky enough in the last couple of months to have three of the latest IPS monitors sitting on my desk for weeks at a time. They range from several 23in 1,920 x 1,080 models to a 27in screen of the same resolution - all 16:9 aspect ratios of course. However, key to the point of this article is the middle man - a 24in monitor with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 - an aspect ratio of 16:10.
Posted on 20th Sep 2012 at 08:01 by Antony Leather with 34 comments
Anyone who's built a PC themselves or owned one for long enough has undoubtedly had moments that made them question their hobby. Random crashes, complete failure, even smoke and flames are usually part of the course as far as being a PC enthusiast goes (thankfully random crashes are rare these days, complete failure even more so and it's been years since we've smelt the sickly-sweet smell of burned silicon.)
Posted on 16th Aug 2012 at 07:33 by Antony Leather with 36 comments
I have a love-hate relationship with NAS boxes. Part of me adores them. They offer a form redundancy for your data, can perform many functions such as FTP, photo and media servers, Bit-Torrent clients and many more, without the need for a PC. And they’re also smaller than a shoebox. The mere fact they’re designed to carry out a set number of tasks – far fewer than a Windows PC – means they’re very streamlined and usually easy and simple to use.
Posted on 29th Jun 2012 at 09:09 by Antony Leather with 55 comments
In the last couple of years, water-cooling has made some serious leaps in usability and value. Sadly we’re not referring to custom water-cooling kits here, although the number of off-the-shelf components that are available now if you’re building your own system is staggering. No, we’re talking about all-in-one liquid coolers such as Antec’s Kühler H2O 920
and Corsair’s H80
Posted on 22nd May 2012 at 07:31 by Antony Leather with 143 comments
Something that's fascinated me since I became a PC enthusiast in the 1990s is the economy surrounding the hardware industry. It’s incredibly disjointed in some ways, and heavily reliant on other segments of itself in others. For instance, software, such as games or new operating systems, can dramatically drive forward new generations of hardware kit.
Posted on 13th Apr 2012 at 09:02 by Antony Leather with 46 comments
As I know so many of you out there use Dropbox
, I thought these handy little tips to boost your capacity for free would be a godsend - they certainly were for me. If you haven't heard of Dropbox, then let me enlighten you - it's one of those things that instantly makes your life easier. The ability to simply and quickly synchronise your files between PCs within Windows Explorer and have an online backup accessible where ever you are is immensely valuable, especially if you're on the move every day.
Posted on 18th Jan 2012 at 08:36 by Antony Leather with 67 comments
If you're lucky enough to own a modern SSD, then you'll probably have been quite impressed by how much of a difference it made to every day tasks on your PC.
Compared to hard disks, boot up times are reduced, as are game and application load times, while file transfers can see huge speed boosts. Personally I've found Windows 7 and programs I use regularly such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to be much more responsive too.
All these benefits, of course, point to the fact that hard disks are somewhat of a bottleneck in modern PCs - a fact most of us have known for a while. So why are they still around? Surely if SSDs offer such awesome speed boosts (not to mention the fact they're more robust, quieter and produce less heat) the hard disk should have died a long time ago?
Posted on 5th Nov 2011 at 12:26 by Antony Leather with 59 comments
In the 15-odd years I've been building my own PCs, all my main systems have invariably been housed in large towers. Whether this was because they needed to accommodate multiple hard disks when I was experimenting with RAID, or to fit water-cooling hardware inside, my cases have got perpetually larger.
Posted on 13th Jul 2011 at 07:41 by Antony Leather with 142 comments
For me, water-cooling began out of necessity. I water-cooled my first PC nearly ten years ago, when, living in a house with a flat roof, my bedroom got incredibly hot in the summer months. I was already hooked on overclocking at the time and strove to save money by buying cheap, but very overclockable hardware. Unfortunately, the combination of the house's architecture and high system temperatures meant that my PC was intolerably noisy and unstable.
Infuriated, I made the move to water-cooling - not a particularly easy one as there were few guides and even fewer off-the-shelf components back then, which resulted in regular trips to the local DIY store to search for parts. I initially water-cooled my CPU, and my overheating and noise issues were solved instantly - my PC went from a hot, noisy box to a cool and quiet machine of wonder. I had more overclocking headroom than before too.
Every one of my main rigs since then has also seen me spend entire weekends building and leak-testing. In fact, the last three PCs I've built have had a water-cooled CPU and GPU, as well as the various hotspots on the motherboard too. However, a lot of today's hardware simply doesn't need water-cooling as urgently as its equivalent back in the day. People still want water-cooling, but it seems to be a desire that's separate from the need to actually cool the hardware.