Hard Drive vs. RAM: Which Boosts Speed More?

Posted by admin on Nov 30, 2010

Taken from PC World Magazine, October 2010 Edition

Your system is due for a hardware upgrade, but your budget won’t bear the burden of both a blazing new hard drive and an extra injection of RAM.  So it’s decision time: If you’re looking to improve general performance on the cheap, do you shell out for a high-end drive or more memory?

PCWorld Labs analyst Thomas Luoung has an obsession with optimization that borders on clinical, and during a recent day off he found himself idly running performance tests on his home PC just to see what would happen.

The results Thomas brought in to work the next morning were surprising.  When he examined the results, he found virtually no appreciable performance difference between his old Velociraptor setup and the superfast Samsung SSD drive.  What was more startling was the comparatively drastic performance improvement afforded by a RAM upgrade that cost about the same as a new drive.

Thomas has always had the need for speed, and his after-hours optimization tests prove that adding more RAM has the potential to shave the time you spend on workday tasks such as slinging spreadsheets and editing video.  In the eternal battle between performance and price, upgrading your rig with 8GB of DDR3 RAM garners far more bang from your buck than trading up to a boutique high-speed drive like the 128GB Samsung SSD.

IPv6 Is Coming – What you Need to Know

Posted by admin on Nov 26, 2010

Taken from PC World Magazine, September 2010 Edition

The internet promises unlimited connectivity, but the current addressing plan, in place since the late 1970s, is running out of addresses, and a new scheme called IPv6 is being put into place to power the Net’s next stage of growth.

For small businesses that plan ahead, the shift can enhance computing security, reliability, and performance.  But waiting now may mean costly equipment upgrades to avoid outages.

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), created almost 30 years ago, formats internet addresses in a quartet of numbers such as (this 32-bit address space allows around 4 billion possible addresses – a number we are rapidly approaching).

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Ink and Toner Costs: Do The Math and Don’t Get Reamed

Posted by admin on Nov 23, 2010

Taken from PC World Magazine, September 2010 Edition

Before you buy a printer, it makes sense to look not only at its price tag and reviews, but also at its cost of operation.  For many printers – especially inkjet models – the price of replacement ink or toner can quickly outstrip the machine’s initial cost.  Here’s how to find out what you’re in for before you buy.

A little shopping: Get the current price of each cartridge from the vendor’s own Web site, or from your favourite reseller.

A little research: All printer vendors publish yield data for their ink and toner cartridges – how many pages a cartridge can print before it runs dry.

A little math: For each colour, divide the cartridge’s price by its page yield to get the cost per colour per page.  The resulting costs per colour per page will give you an idea of how much the printer is going to cost you ink ink or toner.

Based on current prices, the cheaper inkjet printers and MFPs should have a cost per page of 20 cents or lower.  For a colour laser, the ideal cost per page should be 12 cents or lower.

For an even better comparison, find out the lifespan of the machine (in total pages printed) from the manufacturer’s website, and divide that by the price, and add that to your cost per page.  You may find that a good inkjet is more cost effective than a cheap laser.

New Technology Could Repalce HDMI Cables

Posted by admin on Nov 19, 2010

Taken from PC World Magazine, September 2010 Edition

Are HDMI’s days numbered?  They might be if a new audio/video (A/V) cable standard developed by four tech companies catches on.  The recently finalized cable technology, known as HDBaseT, transfers both audio and video signals over ordinary RJ-45 ethernet cables.  The standard is the result of an effort – by LG, Samsung, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Valens Semiconductor – that started more than six months ago.

While HDMI has several advantages over other sorts of A/V cables, it does have his problems.  The technology frequently suffers from switching delays and is known for its limitations on cable length – problems that HDBaseT could solve.  In addition, HDBaseT will be able to delivery full HD video, audio, Web connectivity and power over one cable simultaneously.

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