So you're thinking about buying or building a new computer with Ivy Bridge? And why not? It's the latest generation of processors from Intel and its faster, runs cooler and is likely to make your computer 'future proof'. Most people buy computers with the goal of future proofing which involves buying slightly more expensive components to make the computer last longer before you feel it's too slow and needs an upgrade. But don't jump the gun, I'm going to give you a few reasons why opting for Sandy Bridge is the better option for most computer users.
You don't need the boost in power
Yes, Ivy Bridge is more powerful than its predecessor and there was a time where boosts in CPU speed were incredibly useful for visible performance boosts BUT now we have had reasonably high processor speeds for several years now. Clock speeds have hovered between 2.4 and 3.5GHz and mostly the number of cores a processor has is increasing. What you may notice is that quad core processors have basically become main stream while hex core and 8-core processors are still for the enthusiast market as they were last year. At this point processor speeds are high enough that the average computer user will not notice a difference in performance whether they have a 3GHz i5 or a 3.5GHz i7 and the simple reason for this is that the applications we run DO NOT NEED IT. They are perfectly capable of running on slower processors so adding a faster CPU will do almost nothing to improve how it runs. For this reason, upgrading to Ivy Bridge is not worthwhile. Something I would spend the money on instead is buying a SSD as these have been shown to significantly increase the general responsiveness of computers
Sandy Bridge is much cheaper
As Intel releases each generation of CPUs, the older ones need to be removed from the market. The quickest way to do this is to slash prices. You can get an i7 2600K 3.4 GHz processor for less than $300 while an equivalent Ivy Bridge processor is closer to $350. If you aren't going to get a huge performance boost out of the product, why spend the extra money? This is money better saved or dedicated to other parts of your computer.
Every new product has teething problems. Ivy bridge is a new type of architecture with smaller transistors than the Sandy Bridge counterparts. Issues have been found where they are prone to overheating due to improper heat transfer to the heat spreader and heat sink. This obviously won't be a problem for all people but it is something to consider with newer technologies.
So even though it might be tempting to buy Ivy Bridge, think again. You might be a getting a much better deal buying the previous generation of products with very little difference in performance. For the average consumer small increases in processing power will not help them with future proofing. Where it might be useful is with people who use graphics intensive programs such as AutoCAD and Premiere. It will also provide a bit of an improvement in gaming graphics for those who are willing to spend the extra dough. For those who browse the internet, play the occassional game and view photos; Sandy Bridge is the way to go.
I just recently found some more time to get back into building computers. I realised that my website does not have many pictures available so I took quite a few more. Here's a quick look at some of them before I add them to the 'Build' section of the website.
9. online bingo @ OnlineBingo.com
Its been a while since I last posted in this series but I decided to continue it after finding this. I started this series for those times on a lazy Sunday afternoon when you're browsing the internet and you find there is nothing to do. These 10 websites are a good place to start off exploring sites which you've probably never been to before. This is a pretty cool website you can visit when you're bored. the basic idea is you play the normal bingo you know and love online and instead of the regular balls which bingo uses, this one uses a random number generator. Don't worry though, the concept is still exactly the same as before so it should be pretty easy to get started. There's also heaps of other games to play and a couple of free ones for practice. Like the website on the last part it usually does cost a small amount of money but there is an offer to get US$10 for free when you sign up. This is one of those websites you visit when you think you have 'run out' of things to do on the internet - seems impossible but it does happen!
Websites like these have been increasing in popularity for ages and the awesome thing is that its free to start off, plus there's the potential to win prizes. I did manage to find a coupon code to give you another free $5 which should work. Just enter BONUS5 at the checkout page. So this is an awesome way to get started in a couple of online games which give you a chance to win money.
These sort of games not your piece of cake? Check out the next part where I'll show you another awesome flash game website which doesn't cost anything.
Every year there is endless excitement about new Macbooks, smartphones, Kindles and iPads. Not many people get excited about printers. Ever since the desktop printer became ubiquitous, it seems like printers have changed very little, and printing technology is nothing to get excited about. You may not know that the printing industry is actually changing very rapidly and several innovations are destined to touch your life in significant ways. Here are five that made significant progress in 2012.
- Flexapex While this innovation didn’t make any new headlines, Apex patented and released a new technology for industrial printing. Mostly applicable to large-scale manufacturing, most of us won’t even notice the difference it makes. Over time, however, you will begin to see higher quality images on packaging and products you buy. Hopefully, Flexapex will bring cheaper prices to manufacturing as well.
Ever needed to print a large document, only to be finished with it a few hours later? A few companies are now exploring “unprinting” – the ability to erase type from a page afterwords and make recycling much easier. With a machine smaller than most copiers, your office could eliminate the need for shredding and save yourself huge costs on paper.
- Canon offers a new option to printer cartridges in India
Printer cartridges are typically very expensive, and need to be replaced regularly. Manufacturers sell printers at or below cost on the assumption that they can charge high premiums on cartridges for the life of the printer. Meanwhile, they do their best to promote their quality over the remanufactured or recycled options offered by company’s like inkpal – until now. Epson just released a new brain child with an integrated tank system! Designed for use in India, the system could make color copies less than half a penny each, and black and white less than a quarter of a penny. If the right competition takes hold, maybe you will finally get some relief on your printing costs. Until then, there are toner cartridges out there that perform well, and cost much less than their OEM counterparts.
- Printing in 3D
The obvious candidate and the one that got the most media attention in 2012 was 3D printing. This isn’t because 3D printing was invented in 2012. It has existed in some form for over 20 years, but only recently has it gained enough traction to become practical. There are now 3D printers available for as little as $1,000 and the prices are dropping quickly. Once the cost falls a few hundred dollars more, a significant revolution will happen. You could soon find yourself printing small objects or devices in your living room rather than ordering them online. If constructing 3D models was never in your comfort zone, you can always take pictures of the object you want and let the computer create a model for you.
- E-ink and the rise of e-readers
The biggest news in 2012 was a carryover from the year before. E-ink, used in the screen of a Kindle or a Nook, is becoming much cheaper and better. Here, the highest credit goes the Nook, which has added faster refresh times and solved one of the biggest limitations of e-ink – how to read in the dark. Building LEDs around the edges of the display keeps the reading ease of e-ink while also making it possible to read at night. As e-readers and e-ink become more ubiquitous, expect this innovation to blend more with traditional printing until you see both technologies incorporated into the same documents.
Apple has now earned the title of the worlds most valuable company and by looking at the demand for their products you can see why. The iPhone is one of the most popular phones available, they created an entirely new category of products which people didn't really need and it became wildly successful and then they have the Macs. Macs are some of the best looking computers you can buy and for many people in the market for a new computer, purchasing one has definitely crossed their mind.
Some of the reasons why Macs were not a serious option in the past was because their OS was foreign (i.e. not Windows), they were comparatively underpowered and very expensive when compared to competitors. Fast forward a few years and OS X, although not the most popular OS, is very well known and owns about 10% of the market. The appeal is growing with each subsequent release sharing features with iOS (e.g. OS X Mountian Lion comes with a new Notification Centre) which is good for those who know how to use an iPhone (the vast majority of people in developed countries).
Buying a motherboard is a subtle balance between going overboard and buying something which simply doesn't have everything you need it to. You can buy boards ranging from $50 to $500 but whether or not you will need everything that an expensive board has to offer is another question. In this article I aim to find the board which is the cheapest and fulfils all the needs of the majority of people.
First thing to look at is the processor - AMD or Intel? So far Intel has the better range although AMD processors are often cheaper. In terms of a price-performance ratio, Intel is still the way to go due to the raw power you get out of the CPU when compared to similar AMD processors. With new Intel Ivy Bridge processors on the horizon, you will probably want a motherboard which gives you the option of later upgrading to the new generation of processors in order to future proof your purchase.
As well as this, since most of the new Intel processors support integrated graphics (which are quite decent for normal use) a motherboard which uses the Z68 chipset to support these graphics will be advantageous as it can save you money in case you do not want to buy a dedicated graphics card immediately. This chipset also has integrated support for SATA3 so an extra chip is not needed (as it was on older motherboards).
One of the biggest dilemmas for those who have Apple products is the fact that you don't seem to be able to do everything you want to do with it. For example, with the iPad you have a camera connector accessory which allows you to connect your camera to the iPad via USB and copy photos across reasonably easily. So you think to yourself, this should work if I plug a USB stick directly into it and copy photos from my computer across to the iPad. But it isn't as easy as you first think, there is a process which you have to follow before this can be done which I will show you in this article.
The iPad can recognise USB flash drives through the camera connector but can only import photos and videos through it. In order to achieve this you need to trick the iPad into thinking that you have connected a camera directly so as to import the photos.
What you need:
- An iPad
- A USB Camera Connector kit for iPad
- A USB Flash Drive
- A Computer - preferably with Windows (not essential)
- Bulk File Rename Utility
What to Do:
1. First, get everything you need together
2. Now find the photos you want to copy over on your computer and put them in one folder. The iPad will only recognise the photos if the file name is exactly 8 characters which should be fine if the photos are copied from your camera and haven't been renamed. If you have renamed your files to something different, don't panic! A simple utility exists which can rename your files easily. If you open Bulk Rename Utility and navigate to the folder where you kept your photos, you get a screen like this:
We all know that when it comes to prices of technology in Australia, they can often be unreasonable, especially now that the Australian dollar is above parity with the US dollar. So what can you do about these ridiculous prices?
There are several websites which allow you to buy things from overseas at a much lower price than you can get them for here, even after shipping is accounted for. Here is a list of some of my favourite websites to buy anything to do with technology. Just be aware that anything you buy worth more than AU$1000 is subject to a 10% GST charge so some more expensive items such as TVs might not become worth it after accounting for this. There are also some local websites which sell grey import products at very reasonable prices. Some of these may be sourced from overseas and you could be liable to pay tax. For example, JB Hi-Fi has launched their direct import website with grey market SLRs and Lenses however they do mention that the product is shipped from overseas and you are liable for paying GST on purchases over $1000.