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Archive for Antony Leather

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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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.

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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.

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I need something to get my teeth into

Posted on 11th Apr 2009 at 12:33 by Antony Leather with 17 comments

Antony Leather
So PC gaming isn’t dead. To be honest I’ve known that for a while. Even though previous reports had it supposedly well behind console gaming (mainly because they forgot a little genre called MMO, duh), those of us who are lucky enough to have a half decent PC with a broadband connection are usually aware there are things like Steam, and free online games like Desktop Tower Defence that more often than not, occupy way too much of our time to even think about giving any of the current generation of consoles a second glance.

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Two decades of innovation and we still get sore fingers

Posted on 19th Mar 2009 at 11:06 by Antony Leather with 6 comments

Antony Leather
I'm often asked how to build a water-cooled PC and what components are compatible with what. Mainly what frightens people is the assumed complexity of the cooling system compared to air cooling.

Having just completed the labs test for Issue 69 of Custom PC involving numerous CPU coolers, I can honestly say that mounting a waterblock like the D-Tek FuZion V2 is an awful lot easier than many CPU coolers I've seen.

In fact, the FuZion V2 costs a lot less than most air-coolers too. Alright, I'll concede that you need to fork out for pumps, radiators and reservoirs too, but the fact remains.

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The perfect netbook

Posted on 14th Mar 2009 at 17:36 by Antony Leather with 10 comments

Antony Leather
I’m sure most of us have had to lump an old heavy laptop around at some point or another. For those of us who commute a fair distance to work, something that weighs in at more than 2kg can be a royal pain in the backside to carry around, especially if you have a case, power brick and other sundry hardware too.

My old 1.6GHz Pentium M laptop has certainly seen better days but it’s relatively nippy and handles XP and video playback fine. Also, because our lab is five floors away from our desks here at Dennis, I was able to start writing up reviews between benchmarks whilst still in the lab tweaking things. However at nearly 3kg, I felt I’d run some dreaded army marathon with a ton of gear on my back by the time I’d got to work.

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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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