Category Archives: Performance

Questions and answers about computer performance and speeding up machines and software

Can I build a gaming computer under $1000? Sept 2019 edition

Posted on March 15, 2018 by quill It’s September 2019 and we are revisiting our exercise in budget computing: Can we build a computer that will give acceptable gaming performance for under $1000 Canadian? There’s a whole lot of new to look at … Continue reading

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RyZen and DDR4 Memory – what to look for

AMD’s RyZen and RyZen third generation (Zen2) CPUs have rewritten the conventional wisdom around computer processors, the one that goes “Intel is the performance and innovation leader, and AMD follows behind with lower performance chips for the budget market”. The … Continue reading

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Can I build a gaming computer under $1000 March 2018 edition

It’s March 2018 and we are revisiting our exercise in budget computing: Can we build a computer that will give acceptable gaming performance for under $1000 Canadian? Here’s what’s new: DDR4 RAM has doubled in price, and dragged SSD pricing higher along … Continue reading

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What is the state of Thunderbolt drives? (October 2014 edition)

Thunderbolt drive news Apple has left Firewire and adopted Thunderbolt as their recommended high speed connection for external hard drives (and monitors and other devices). With the Late-2013 “tubular” MacPro, Apple is making it quite explicit that there is no longer any … Continue reading

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Q. Will my computer run games on the highest settings?

The answer is, it depends. It depends on the graphic card:  Gaming is 90% about the performance of the video card (GPU). As long as you have adequate RAM and a reasonably modern CPU, then the video card Graphic Processing … Continue reading

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Q. Should I upgrade the power supply in my computer?

If you are installing a new graphics card, you may be considering upgrading the Power Supply Unit (PSU) of your computer to support the card. Graphic card manufacturers provide recommended minimum power supplies. These minimums already include their assumption of … Continue reading

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Q. What does it mean when a video card is bottlenecked by a CPU?

Short answer – it doesn’t mean anything.  Read on for the longer answer: What is bottlenecking? The concept of bottlenecking is that a program will only run as fast as the slowest component that it uses in the computer. When … Continue reading

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Q. My Macintosh is slow in all programs – what’s the problem?

There can be a variety of problems that can slow a machine down. If the performance is poor in only one program, the first approach would be to delete and reinstall that program.  For slowness across all programs and OSX, … Continue reading

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Q. Can I upgrade the processor or the graphics card in my laptop?

The short answer is No. The longer answer is that many laptops have the CPU soldered into the motherboard. Even where the CPU is socketed, the motherboard chipset and BIOS would have to specifically support the new CPU, and laptop … Continue reading

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Q. How do I make my notebook battery last longer?

First of all, how old is your battery?  Batteries last from one to three years on average, and it would be expected that the capacity is down by 40 – 50% after three years.  So if you have an old … Continue reading

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Q. Can I upgrade the video card in my machine?

You can upgrade the video card in a desktop Windows machine as long as 1) The motherboard has an available PCIe x16 slot, 2) There is physical space in the case for a full length, double width card (most modern … Continue reading

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Q. Can I build a gaming computer under $2000? (Dec 2011 edition)

Updated December 2011 A few things have changed since our last article.  Hard drives are way up in price, and SSD drives and RAM have come down in price.  Let’s see how this affects our sub-$2000 gaming machine build.  Once … Continue reading

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Q. Can I build a $1500 – $2000 gaming computer?

See the previous article on building a sub-$1000 gaming computer Once we get to a $1500 – $2000 budget for a gaming machine, we can look at a better-appointed case and some serious graphics power. We’ll start with the over-clockable … Continue reading

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Q. How can I make my machine run faster?

Actually, this isn’t about making a machine faster, but about removing the things that are slowing the machine down. Before we get started, make sure you have a current backup of all of your data files. First step is to … Continue reading

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The Best Of: Video Cards

Here is an ongoing collection of highly rated and best value video cards and reviews, last update May 2011 Video card performance is not critical for office-based software or web browsing, the built in graphics in any machine made in … Continue reading

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