bit-tech.net

Archive for Antony Leather

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Left 4 Dead Survival Mode and new stats system

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

Antony Leather
Part of the reason some individuals get slightly hot-headed online is teamwork, or lack of it. In Left 4 Dead, this primarily involves staying together and helping team mates that have been pounced by hunters or tongued by smokers. If you stray too far ahead or don’t keep up, you’ll usually end up dead and will be pretty unpopular with your team mates.

It could be argued that if you want to take the game this seriously, you should join a clan instead of endlessly calling people noobs and hurling other insults at strangers who are just on for a bit of zombie bashing fun. However, there has been quite a shift in gameplay following the release of the new survival mode update on 21st April which has, if anything, made working as a team even more rewarding and might just change things for the better.

Read more

The Downside to Digital Distribution

Posted on 30th Apr 2009 at 10:27 by Antony Leather with 22 comments

Antony Leather
Joe and Clive both wrote about digital distribution recently. In fact, this was actually going to be a post solely dedicated to the new survival mode in Left 4 Dead, however seeing as the game has developed some gremlins and I can now barely run the game at all, my enthusiasm has waned somewhat.

Read more

Custom PC Issue 125

Custom PC Issue 125

Our latest issue is bursting with premium PC goodness, as we enter the land of dream PCs, full of expert customisation and modding, as well as gorgeous water-cooling loops.

Get 3 Issues for just £1

Browse articles by company