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Archive for Antony Leather

When three storms collide

Posted on 17th Aug 2009 at 15:53 by Antony Leather with 14 comments

Antony Leather
I was at a press event last week and whilst on my rounds meeting and greeting various hardware manufacturers and distributers, it was clear that a storm is brewing in the PC industry. However, in spite of the recession, this isn't a storm that will dampen our spirits further.

In contrast it will hopefully send a bolt of lightning right up the backside of any kind of daemon that has a financial grip on the IT industry. In fact it's what some might call a 'perfect storm' which, if you've seen the film, can only happen when two or more storms collide, the more the merrier really, unless you're a swordfisherman that is.

In this case, these storms are Windows 7, DX11 and Lynnfield and all are coming to an etailer near you before Christmas.

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Epic gaming moments

Posted on 11th Aug 2009 at 07:58 by Antony Leather with 35 comments

Antony Leather
A few months ago after searching for a new game to get my teeth into, I revisited an old friend and was soon hooked on Battlefield 2 again.

It's years since it was first released, but the servers are still teeming and my G36E felt just like it used to. What's more, it's one of the few games I've played that seems to have no problem generating epic moments, which is one of the main reasons why I love it.

One such moment happened a few nights ago. On the map Operation Cleansweap, myself and two other soldiers were defending the shoreline and picking off individual enemies with our sniper rifles when from across a bay appeared an armoured personnel carrier (APC) - Uh Oh!

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What was your first mod?

Posted on 29th Jul 2009 at 10:36 by Antony Leather with 21 comments

Antony Leather
Bit-tech is full of modding. In fact our forums are brimming with countless different types of mods using an even greater number of different materials. Some are simple, with modifications to improve cooling or allow installation of hardware that otherwise might not fit, while others completely transform the look of an entire case or are even built from the ground up.

I bet there are many different reasons people take to modding. Personally, my modding experience began ten years ago with a high end system in a Chieftec Dragon. It's a poor case in terms of airflow compared to modern cases like the Antec Twelve Hundred, and I was finding the temperature inside the case was nearly hot enough for hydrogen atoms to start fusing together. I decided to cut a hole in the roof and mount an 80mm fan which actually worked really well.

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Noise versus performance

Posted on 20th Jul 2009 at 08:59 by Antony Leather with 34 comments

Antony Leather
With the hot but undoubtedly brief summer finally making an appearance here in the UK, I imagine that plenty of bit-tech and Custom PC readers have had to ramp up their PC's fan speeds to keep the machine cool. Maybe you've even had to buy new cooling hardware to keep that shiny new overclocked Intel Core i7 system under control?

In any case, most of us have had to alter our PC's cooling at one time or another but what's always surprised me is how varied noise tolerance is from person to person and how different their goals are when tweaking their PC to enhance its cooling capability.

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iPhone 3GS – the Apple tastes sweet

Posted on 6th Jul 2009 at 10:26 by Antony Leather with 33 comments

Antony Leather
I blogged recently about the fact that while I hate Apple, I was considering acquiring the new iPhone 3GS. The reasons for this was that I wanted something a bit lighter and easier to use than my HTC TyTN II which sported Windows Mobile 6.1. Well, I’ve now owned a 3GS for just over a week and in short, it’s everything I wanted and more.

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Is there such a thing as the perfect PC case?

Posted on 19th Jun 2009 at 10:53 by Antony Leather with 30 comments

Antony Leather
What would your perfect case look like? It's a question I've been pondering ever since I got into water-cooling. I’ve tended to scrutinise every new case I see in terms of how much room there is for pumps, reservoirs and more importantly, radiators. If there wasn’t a viable location for a radiator - for example where two 120mm fans are placed together or a panel big enough for a section to be cut out for a radiator - then I'd lose interest straight away.

My viewpoint has changed somewhat now that I’m reviewing all kinds of cases and with good reason - not every one of our readers is into liquid cooling. Besides, good air cooling is a must in any case, even if you're water-cooling, as you still need to maintain a good degree of airflow to cool hardware such as hard disk drives and hot spots on the motherboard.

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The iPhone 3GS - You can't beat them, so join them, but you can still hate them...

Posted on 10th Jun 2009 at 07:56 by Antony Leather with 48 comments

Antony Leather
So the iPhone 3GS is here. And with it, a host of new features that promise to make it even better and faster than the iPhone 3G.

Combined with the latest version of the OS (which will also add quite a few features to the existing iPhone 3G), it's without doubt a force to be reckoned with. Naturally, within a team with four iPhone owners, there's been a bit of a debate about whether it's worth an upgrade. And even I'm feeling tempted.

Now, I hate Apple - so I never thought I'd see myself checking the Apple Store for news on prices and contracts minutes after reading the closing snippets of information from the keynote at WWDC 2009.

I don't own an iPhone, or an iPhone 3G for the simple reason that when it launched, I already had a fairly capable smartphone that played music and videos, could surf the net and unlike the iPhone 3G, could also run any one of many true turn-by-turn sat nav apps such as Tom Tom - something I use quite regularly despite having a BSc degree in navigation. I also hate the hype surrounding Apple products, so if I do buy an iPhone 3GS it will be the first Apple product I've ever owned.

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Summer’s coming - have you water-cooled your PC?

Posted on 3rd Jun 2009 at 10:53 by Antony Leather with 9 comments

Antony Leather
It was a hot summer six years ago that resulted in me doing the crazy thing of mixing water with some expensive electronic components in my PC. I’d overclocked my AMD Athlon CPU and it had a massive effect on my system, boosting frame rates considerably. Unfortunately, the hefty vcore meant my system started overheating in the 30 degree+ temperatures of my room and I had to downclock.

Clearly that sucked, so I looked into more exotic forms of cooling and two months later I had water-cooled my PC and I had my CPU overclocked even further. Parts were pretty scarce back then but these days there are shops popping up all the time. Which brings me on to two exciting bits of news for those of us in the UK.

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Can I Go Solo With Windows 7?

Posted on 27th May 2009 at 12:25 by Antony Leather with 27 comments

Antony Leather
Have you tried Windows 7 yet? One of my plans for the bank holiday was to do one of my bi-yearly reinstalls of Windows to clear out the crap and maybe try a different RAID setup. I'd been running XP for a while after I gave up on dual booting it and Vista, dumping the latter because I didn't really play any DX10 enabled games, got thoroughly peeved with its clunky interface and interfering antics compared to XP, even after SP1, and, well XP was all I needed really. I guess I'm just set in my ways when it comes to operating systems.

However, given that the recently announced Windows 7 RC1 will stay operational till next year, I thought I'd give it a stab hearing glowing reports and also the fact I could get a 64bit version to make use of my new 4GB of RAM to help with the pretty demanding photo editing I've been doing recently which saw my 2GB RAM all used up. The question is, could I get away with using it alone or would I need to dual boot with XP again? Maybe I'd even be sick of it within 30 minutes like I was with Vista. This is a bit of a risk too as it's a release candidate but I was inclined to believe the glowing reports it had received and went for it.

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Graphics Bargains Ahoy

Posted on 19th May 2009 at 11:15 by Antony Leather with 8 comments

Antony Leather
Are you in the market for a new graphics card? Well, for the first time in quite a while, there are some great deals to be had. While the ATI Radeon HD 4770 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 275 are good deals, in the past I've rarely bought new hardware as soon as it’s released. What I've tended to do is wait for new releases and then look at older, high-end hardware, as prices tend to tumble.

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Bit-tech Modding Update - July 2014 in association with Corsair

Bit-tech Modding Update - July 2014 in association with Corsair

We take a look at a few of the best projects to be completed this month
Mod of the Month June 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month June 2014 in association with Corsair

We've got six of the best mods and scratchbuilds for you to drool over

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