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Archive for Antony Leather

Intel should simplify its CPU naming policy

Posted on 29th Nov 2012 at 07:51 by Antony Leather with 55 comments

Antony Leather
Something happened the other day that made me realise just how complicated Intel’s naming regime is. It’s been a bone of contention for years now, and we regularly pass jokes in the office about whether the average consumer really knows the difference between Core i3, i5 and i7 and where Pentiums and Celerons fit in to all this as well.

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Thoughts on AMD's new APUs

Posted on 24th Oct 2012 at 07:10 by Antony Leather with 12 comments

Antony Leather
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.

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16:10 vs 16:9 - the monitor aspect ratio conundrum

Posted on 22nd Oct 2012 at 09:05 by Antony Leather with 100 comments

Antony Leather
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.

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What to do when hardware goes wrong

Posted on 20th Sep 2012 at 08:01 by Antony Leather with 34 comments

Antony Leather
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.)

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Combining a PC, media streamer and NAS box

Posted on 16th Aug 2012 at 07:33 by Antony Leather with 36 comments

Antony Leather
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.

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Have expensive heatsinks had their day?

Posted on 29th Jun 2012 at 09:09 by Antony Leather with 55 comments

Antony Leather
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.

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How old is your hardware?

Posted on 22nd May 2012 at 07:31 by Antony Leather with 143 comments

Antony Leather
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.

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Triple your Dropbox capacity for free

Posted on 13th Apr 2012 at 09:02 by Antony Leather with 46 comments

Antony Leather
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.

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Is it time for the hard disk to die?

Posted on 18th Jan 2012 at 08:36 by Antony Leather with 67 comments

Antony Leather
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?

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Is the Age of Massive PCs at an End?

Posted on 5th Nov 2011 at 12:26 by Antony Leather with 59 comments

Antony Leather
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.

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The best of Multiplay i55

The best of Multiplay i55

A quick look at some of the best things hardware and modding-wise from...
Mod of the Month July 2015 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month July 2015 in association with Corsair

Read and vote on six of the best new PC modding projects from our forums

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