Desktops

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Laptop and Desktop Comparison

Several weeks ago I had a choice to change my own desktop to same-cost laptop. I have made my choice and I want to share gathered information with you. This is some sort of review. Several paragraphs were written on my PPC, when I was underground going home, so mistakes can be found. I hope this article will help your choice, like it helped me.

I must warn you – I have made some limits. Desktop’s or laptop’s price mustn’t be over $1000. Also I don’t consider Apple products such as Mac book, PowerBooks, etc. Desktop has installed Microsoft Windows. So laptop has. Nothing extra ordinal in configurations.

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Written by admin on February 19th, 2007 with 1 comment.
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AMD is almost ready to launch R600

Do you remember Ruby’s comparison? Well, according to this post AMD has working model of “new” Ruby. But it’s not the main spot. AMD has working R600 video cards. It’s just working prototypes for manufacturers. If manufacturers are happy, customers will be happy too (I hope). AMD still needs time to make sellable video card. Also card is needed to be reduced in size. But I hope they’ll do it quick enough.
Thinking about R600? You must start saving money, if you want to be in the first flight. Because it launches at the beginning of March

Written by mente on February 3rd, 2007 with 2 comments.
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China has own processors

According to this article China has already manufactured own processor called Godson II. It has frequency 500 MHz and its performance is on Intel Pentium III level. Several days ago Chinese scientists introduced new processor called Loongson 2E. You can call it “improved version of Godson II”. It has 800 MHz frequency and improved architecture. Processor isn’t well spread because there are just several motherboards for them. But I hope Intel and AMD will get new competitors soon. Maybe in next 10 years.

In February 200 laptops with Loongson 2E will be presented. Half of them will be taken by engineers at Chinese Academy of Science. Other half will go to people related to this academy. Its like “test release”. Company, invented Godson II and Loongson 2E is called Sinomanic. If you’ll find official site of this company please comment it

Written by mente on January 28th, 2007 with no comments.
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Electric Protection May Cause Problems

Last week my friends called me. He asked me to check his computer. “It doesn’t boot even”, – he said. Well, thanks god he lives in near house and I went. Took some beer and knock in door. He welcomed me and invited inside. His computer is rather old – Athlon XP 2000+ and GeForce 5200. Others components are rather newer. The PC was already screwed up, so I just looked inside. I must stop here and tell you what is main in troubleshooting:

  1. Ask what has happened with subject.
  2. Try to boot PC and check the symptoms of the victim (PC certainly).
  3. Repeat second procedure several times and check whether it repeats.
  4. Check contacts on motherboard, hard disk, CD-ROM.
  5. Detect defect, which causes problems. Remember – there can be several defects. Defect is detected? Goto 8.
  6. If you can’t detect defect unplug everything, which won’t influence on PC boot: sound cards, hard disks, CD-ROMs. Leave only one RAM installed.
  7. If PC still doesn’t boot you have problem with main component of the PC (I will write about this in future).
  8. Remove the defect.
  9. Enjoy.

These rules are basic. Try to match them and I bet you will find at least defect. Advice – if you can, try to substitute broken component for some time. You can be wrong. In private case you can vary, but in general follow rules.
I have done almost similar these rules in my case. I tried to power on PC, but nothing happened. System didn’t start up, even coolers didn’t work. I thought it was motherboard or PSU. If the motherboard was broken it would at least powered on and coolers work. This didn’t happen. My thoughts was – PSU definitely. So I told my thoughts to my friend. Of course he was upset, but what we could do? He gave me money and I bought new PSU.

Imagine our surprise when we, after PSU was installed, powered on system. Guess what happened? Nothing! Similar symptoms. But this time cooler on PSU turned a little. So it had started and then stopped. At this moment I have realized my mistake. Electric defence on PSU didn’t let desktop working. Using my knowledge and sixth point I found out that it was hard disk. It was rather old as all system. Western Digital with 20 GB capacity (sorry, I don’t remember exact model). I apologized my friend and that time he gave me money for hard disk. Hard disk was bought and now my friend is happy with newly installed hard disk (Western Digital 80BB, not too far from old one).
Conclusions? I made several mistakes. I didn’t check my thoughts. I could change PSU and try one more time. But I was hurry and bought new component. The main conclusion, which I understood from this case – never speed! You never know what is real problem.

Written by admin on January 26th, 2007 with 2 comments.
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Video Sex Symbols

No, I won’t speak about video consoles. I’m going to speak about ATI’s Ruby. Do you know her? The girl who loves red color and skin-tight clothes will be rebuilt in 2007. No, don’t worry; Ruby’s style will be saved. According to HEXUS Ruby will get more polygons and new technologies, such like shaders 4.0. On the picture you can compare Ruby’s lips 2006 and the same in 2007.

Ruby vs Ruby

On the left you can see Ruby 2007. Compare it with Ruby 2006 on the left. When I first saw this picture I thought that on the left is a real woman, from who Ruby was designed. I was wrong.
ATI don’t have working model yet. Waiting for renew Ruby!

Written by mente on January 24th, 2007 with 2 comments.
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Processor wars: AMD vs. Intel

LogosPreamble. Several months ago AMD announced Fusion processor. It’s a multicore processor with integrated graphics core. It doesn’t mean that processor will be just dual-core or quad-core. It will be many-core. Every core will be specialized in its own task. Seems to me they want to integrate chipset and simple video in processor. Nice decision I tell you. The cost of the entire system will be lowered and the speed rises dramatically. Everything in one box, nothing outside. Of course if you want to have powerful videocard you always can buy it. It will be better than integrated.But all of this was just lyrics. The main plot why this post has been written – Intel’s answer. It’s called Visual Computing Group (VCG). But Intel’s aim differs from AMD’s. AMD tries to improve performance. Intel’s main aim is:

We are focused on developing discrete graphics products based on a many-core architecture targeting high-end client platforms.

It means Intel wants to integrate graphics. No special core for specialized tasks. No integrated chipset. Just integrated graphics. But further they will expand it for CPU specializations. That’s why they’re looking for good specialists. I think their VCG will be developed faster than AMD’s Fusion processor. Fusion is perspective future and VCG is realistic technology. But I believe in AMD. Don’t say I’m AMD fan. Intel can surprise us too.

Written by mente on January 23rd, 2007 with 1 comment.
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Disaster?

Time changes everything. IT market is changing frequently than others.But basic tendency stays the same – development and new achievements. Financial side of IT market was the same for last years. There were losers and winners, geniuses and idiots.

Even IT market had a stable time. When nothing revolutionary was invented or introduced. Just developing of existing achievements. This development has one big disadvantage – once it will stop. Now it happens with financial side of IT market. Resellers don’t know what to do. They don’t have anything new, extraordinal. The best they can offer is big sweet box, in which your new video card is (for example). No new functions, gadgets. How can you differ Sapphire from Gigabyte on the graphics card market? Except box there are no differences, I bet. Resellers exist just for financial purposes. The worst is that resellers can’t do anything. They depend on company-manufacturers. If company-manufacturer can’t invent anything else, what will you do? Several resellers decide to make new own products. For example, notebooks, like TheInquirer said. Bad tendency, but what can you do? If you won’t provide something new you are eaten by competitors. Cruel world, but it is real world

Written by admin on January 19th, 2007 with no comments.
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PCI-Express Now Outside the PC

Do you remember XG-Station? Asus will have to share its profits with others. XG-Station still isn’t launched (in Q2 2007), but other companies decided to unify external video card. They’ll do it with the help of PCI-Express bus. They have just approved PCI-E 2.0 specifications and soon PCI-E will become external technology. PCI SIG has specifications, but don’t want to share with anyone. This standard will be popular between graphics companies, such as ATI or Nvidia. External technology will be used to create a cable connecting computer with some device. Imagine external graphics card. No limits for developers. Size, thermal care, power source don’t matter. Now you have one box and soon there will be 2: computer and graphics card :) . Thanks to Molex and the Inquirer we have some pics of cables. I share one with you.

PCI-E Cables

Cables are shown from PCIe x1 (left) to PCIe x16 (right). Interesting that specifications still not available, but we have already working cables. And when external graphics cards will be released? Nobody knows. Don’t think that external PCI-E will be used just for graphics cards. Also it has a potential to be used in bridge between media devices and computers. HDDs, DVDs (HD-DVDs and Blu-rays in future) and I even don’t consider server segment, where is huge number of RAID massives.

Written by admin on January 9th, 2007 with 1 comment.
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Microsoft and Nvidia may Become Enemies?

I like slashdot.org. Awesome portal. Tonns of information, many visitors, discussions. Browsing hardware.slashdot.org today I’ve found that Nvidia ignores users’ asks for working drivers for Windows Vista. Nvidia says their hardware don’t work on Vista. And I recommended Michael Hainsworth. After reading a post on inquirer I’ve apologized. I hope Nvidia will apologize for their customers too. Or they can lose big number of them in next years, when users upgrade to Vista (but I don’t think so)

Written by admin on January 6th, 2007 with no comments.
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Difficulties in the work of computer engineer

You can think that the job of computer engineer is easy. Doesn’t boot? Unplug all useless and check again. If works – unplugged device is a key, if not – better buy new computer. Only two ways of solving problem.

This technics work only if computer doesn’t boot. But what if it boots? What’s next? How can you trace bugs? This time you would use your head and experience, if you have. No experience? Ask specialists in this case. But we’re ubnormal users. Imagine that computer specalist is far away. For example, you’re on the desert island. How you would change details is another question. However you don’t have access to any human resource. Where would you ask? Of course internet! So this post is a question to all of you.

Desperate EngineerFew months backward. I completed for 13 computers. Reminder: twelve simple computers and one power computer for chief of the company. Everything was fine, computers worked their money, I earned good reputation and some money. But last week boss of this company has called me. He asked me to check his computer, because computer didn’t work right. When I came, first I asked him what’s wrong (remember?). He said computer rebooted several times. I checked all cables and than powered on system. All seemed normal, but I had to believe him because he was smart boss. My opinion was that memory had errors. I changed memory and went away. Next day he called me and said bug remained. I came again and this time I changed PSU. But it didn’t help. On a next day I received new call from boss. Detail, which was broken as for me, was motherboard. I switched it. Computer worked fine for several days and then I received new call. This time I was really annoyed. What it could be? I won’t explain all what I switched, but I can tell you what is left untouched. Processor and hard disk were the same all the time. Now I don’t have any access to this computer. But I still want to solve this problem. Has anybody met this? How have you solved this problem? I’m desperate now. This is my first unsolved problem.

Written by admin on January 5th, 2007 with 1 comment.
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