Tag Archives: Hardware

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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New MacBook Pros and USB C (and Thunderbolt and video, and network, and power)

The new MacBook Pros announced October 27 2016 have taken the plunge that we guessed was coming: All USB Type C ports, all the time.  (for a refresher on Type C, see our article here) Following on after the opening … Continue reading

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I have lousy WiFi reception – what can I do?

I can’t get good WiFi reception in my living room, my router is in the basement on the opposite side of the house In order to achieve reliable WiFi performance, you have to get a strong radio signal from the router … Continue reading

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USB 3.1 and USB Type C: What *is* that port?

The latest iteration of the USB standard is making its way onto motherboards and into notebooks.  With USB 3.1 Type A connectors and USB C (or Type C) connectors, 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps, we have a bit of ‘splaining … Continue reading

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Can I build a gaming computer under $1000? (Apr 2015 edition)

It’s April 2015 and we are revisiting our exercise in budget computing: Can we build a computer that will give acceptable gaming performance for under $1000 (In our 80 pound weakling Canadian dollars)? In the past year we have seen DDR3 … 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. What is a NAS drive and how would I use it?

NAS stands for Network Attached Storage.  It means any stand-alone hard drive or storage unit that is connected to an Ethernet network, and can be shared by the devices on that network. This is distinct from a USB or Firewire … Continue reading

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Can I build a gaming computer for under $1000 (Feb. 2014 edition)

Feb. 2014 An exercise in budget computing is to build a computer that will give acceptable gaming performance for under $1000.  In the past year we have seen hard drive prices skyrocket, then come back down to near normal pricing, … Continue reading

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Installing hard drives in an Apple iMac

Note: Installing hard drives in an iMac requires disassembling the machine and should be attempted only if you have experience. If you are not confident, please refer the work to a competent technician. Intel iMacs  require the glass LCD screen … 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. Is a Quad Core processor better than a Dual Core?

While the answer might be obvious, it is not as straightforward as “more cores are better”. First of all, we need to be on the same page when comparing CPU (Central Processing Unit) technologies. There are big differences in computing … Continue reading

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Western Digital sees Red, releases new line of NAS storage hard drives

Western Digital has made an addition to their drive line up, adding a Red series of 3.5″ SATA hard drives to complement their Blue (standard), Green (low power consumption) and Black (high performance) series. At the same time, they are … 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. Can I replace the drive in my 2012 or earlier MacBook / MacBook Pro?

The MacBook and MacBook Pro Mid 2012 and earlier models (excluding all MacBook Airs and the Late 2012 and later Retina MacBook Pro) have hard drives that can be replaced with a larger, faster 2.5″ SATA hard drive or upgraded … 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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