Desktop Computing

By January 16, 2017 Read More →

Adding new fans to a really dirty computer

Installing a couple Artic F12 fans to replace some old, worn out fans is a simple enough task. I thought it might be a nice idea to take you on the trip, through a thick layer of dust.

A look through the innards of my now ageing, but still fairly competent system may be of interest to some.

By January 14, 2017 Read More →

BenQ turn the tables with the Zowie Zone

ZONE_01BenQ today unveils the ZOWIE ZONE — its complete eSports experience.

It has always been the goal of ZOWIE to provide the best competitive gaming experience, enabling players to find their most comfortable settings effortlessly, putting their focus on their own performance instead of setting up.

After providing players with different gaming gear options, ZOWIE ZONE is the next step in the path to deliver the complete package for competitive gamers.

– Stable

The hardware and software that power ZONE are optimized to offer reliable and consistent in-game performance in competitive gaming titles, ensuring the best conditions for serious gamers instead of the highest benchmark scores.

– Comfortable

Serious players practice for many hours, making it important to consider not only the in-game options but also how they sit in front of the computer. ZONE table provides height adjustment and the display is connected to a highly adjustable arm to allow players to pick their most comfortable setting.

– Easy to Use

ZONE maintains the core principle of plug and play from ZOWIE’s previous products as the click of one button turns the whole system on and ready to use.

– Convenient

Preference is important to gamers but so is convenience. ZOWIE ZONE has easily accessible ports for all required gaming gear to ensure the process of connecting and disconnecting them, which happens regularly for serious gamers, is seamless.

ZONE will advance the convenience to a next level as ZOWIE is currently working on an intuitive UI that enables players to fine tune the audio and monitor settings without pushing monitor buttons and, instead, controlling it all using the keyboard and mouse. This feature will be available to the market at a later stage.

ZOWIE ZONE will only be available for gaming centers. You will be able to get the first-hand experience with ZOWIE ZONE in events we support, starting with DreamHack Leipzig and also in gaming centers spread across the world that focus on competitive gaming. Follow ZOWIE social media accounts or stay turned to our website for more information.

Posted in: Desktop Computing, News
By January 9, 2017 Read More →

The Alxum Hi-Speed USB 2.0 4-Port Ultra Mini Hub Unboxing

image25The Alxum Hi-Speed USB 2.0 4-Port Ultra Mini Hub comes in four flavours and priced appropriately. This black version with a 120cm long cable is also available in white and priced at £8.99. Then there is a black and a white version with a 60cm long cable for £7.99. The Hub adds up to 4 peripherals quickly and easily for Plug-and-Play connectivity to your USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices. Especially great for notebooks which come with only a few ports in an era when you need to attach many USB devices at once, such as a mouse, keyboard, card reader or thumb drive, etc. It offers an ideal way to connect on the road, and virtually anywhere you need fast access to your USB devices.

High Speed Data Transfer
Four downstream ports support high-speed (480Mbps), full-speed (12Mbps), and low-speed (1.5Mbps). This USB Hub saves your valuable USB 2.0 quota by consolidate 4 x USB 2.0 interfaces to one USB port so you can have more 4 peripherals connected simultaneously.It maintains backwards compatibility with USB 1.1 devices, so feel free to add more to your Mac, Windows or Chrome devices. To get the full power, the host and the device must have the same version.

Portable Size
With compact size, this 4 port USB 2.0 hub is a perfect lightweight travel tool, and the right companion for your business trip and travel. This compact hub tucks easily into the pocket of your laptop bag. Only take it out when you need to connect additional USB peripherals like, mouse, keyboard, thumb drive, digital cameras, flash drives, iPod etc.

Additional Notes
1.This hub is not meant to serve as a stand-alone charger. Devices connected to this hub should not exceed a combined current of 5V 900mAh.
2.External hard-drives should be connected to an external power source, do not connect it to high power-consuming devices (such as HDDs, certain office equipment, etc). This 4 Port hub will not charge an iPad (it will only sync).

Package Contents:
1 x 4 Ports USB 2.0 Portable Hub

  • 4 port USB 2.0 or 1.1 devices to Compact size and portable. Easily expand by connecting up to your Macbook, Laptop, ultrabook, tablet PC and any USB 2.0 capable computer works with USB. Works with USB extension cable and reverse Compatible with USB 1.1
  • Designed with a built-in surge protector to keep your devices safe. Plug-and-Play; hot-plugging; driver free.
  • Designed with a built-in surge protector to keep your devices safe
  • Build in Overvoltage/Overcurrent/Leakage and Short-Circuit protection unit. The connection cable is attached to the hub -no need to worry about leaving it behind or losing it
  • Compatible with Windows XP /Vista/7/ 8 /8.1 (32/64-bit), Mac OS 10.10 or higher, Linux.

Grab one from Amazon here.

By January 8, 2017 Read More →

Benq GW2270H monitor review

p1030421What can £80 get you when shopping for a screen. When you are looking at the Benq GW2270H, it would appear, quite a bit!

Right out of the box you will notice there is a 100 x 100mm VESA mount for attaching to various fixings. This opens many possibilities, for a cheap second screen, a reading panel, security fixing or just a small office PC that needs a no frills screen setup.

The mount included does allow for a little adjustment, a little tilt back and forth, however. you cannot pivot the display into a portrait orientation or to the left or right.

The screen doesn’t have a high-end finish, everything is plastic. However, it does seem to be hard wearing and fairly tough.

Around the back are two HMDI ports and a VGA port. Unfortunately, there are no DisplayPorts or DVI posts.

The sound has also been omitted, GW2270H does not come with a speaker nor is there a headphone jack. This is entirely forgivable as I have yet to see any circumstances that require the monitor to emit sound.

There is an easy-to-use on-screen display, with quick access to brightness, switching input sources, low blue light modes. The main menus have plenty of options, however, there are no professional colour settings, it’s down to the user to tinker with colour balances and gamma, contrast, brightness controls.

The brightness on the GW2270 only manages around 244 nits, this isn’t entirely a deal breaker however it is a little concession that might both some. The 22-inch AMVA panel has a dynamic contrast ratio of 20,000,000:1. The response time is  5ms and its maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 rounds up the more important specifications.

These are not spectacular features yet they are impressive for the price tag. Adding the VA panel makes for terrific viewing angles. There is noticeably good colour accuracy and range too. Whilst serviceable with an improved native contrast ratio we wouldn’t suggest blasting through the latest games expecting a world for realistic colours. The GW2270H performs adequately.

The BenQ GW2270H is impressive value for money. This is an office screen, over a gaming screen offering flicker free viewing over colour representation. A bargain price secures this is a highly recommend screen for sensible computing

You can pick the BenQ GW2270H up from Amazon for aroun £80.

By December 29, 2016 Read More →

Building a computer for £300 – Part 8 – The Test

vlcsnap-00028reichelt have sponsored a challenge to build a computer for £300. With a budget of only £300 I have to source the best bits of computer equipment for a main central processor unit (CPU) to build the most competent computer I can.

In part eight we take a look at how well things run. A little stress test and install of Skyrim Enhanced Edition.

Inter-Tech K-11 midi-tower including SL-500 – £34.17

Desktop hard drive, 1 TB, WD Blue – £44.66

AMD FM2+ A6-7400K, 2x 3.50GHz, boxed – £51.33

ASUS GF GT730 – 2 GB – passive – £55.19

GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XM-D3HP (FM2+) – £60.10

8 GB DDR3L 1333 CL9 Kingston Fury, black, twin pack – £63.61

Added to the computer for testing purposes, however not included in the £300 budget, is a Benq GW2270H 21.5 inch LED Monitor available from Amazon for £79.99

And a Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 3000 costing £12.99

Hit the subscribe button as tomorrow we will be looking at the main board into which this processor slots.

Check out reichelt.co.uk, an online electronics retailer…many products up to 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK!

By December 28, 2016 Read More →

Building a computer for £300 – Part 7 – The Build

image24reichelt have sponsored a challenge to build a computer for £300. With a budget of only £300 I have to source the best bits of computer equipment for a main central processor unit (CPU) to build the most competent computer I can.

In part seven, we throw the parts together and hope for the best. Here is a summary of the parts, prices and links used in the video.

Inter-Tech K-11 midi-tower including SL-500 – £34.17

Desktop hard drive, 1 TB, WD Blue – £44.66

AMD FM2+ A6-7400K, 2x 3.50GHz, boxed – £51.33

ASUS GF GT730 – 2 GB – passive – £55.19

GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XM-D3HP (FM2+) – £60.10

8 GB DDR3L 1333 CL9 Kingston Fury, black, twin pack – £63.61

Added to the computer for testing purposes, however not included in the £300 budget, is a Benq GW2270H 21.5 inch LED Monitor available from Amazon for £79.99

And a Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 3000 costing £12.99

Hit the subscribe button as tomorrow we will be looking at the main board into which this processor slots.

Check out reichelt.co.uk, an online electronics retailer…many products up to 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK!

By December 26, 2016 Read More →

Building a computer for £300 – Part 6 – Storage

image23reichelt have sponsored a challenge to build a computer for £300. With a budget of only £300 I have to source the best bits of computer equipment for a main central processor unit (CPU) to build the most competent computer I can.

In part six, we grab some storage. A Western Digital Blue 1000GB, 64MB Cache, SATA3 and costing only £44.65 incl. VAT will do the job cheaply and reliably.

Cool, quiet and fast. WD Blue drives offer superior performance and reliability. This makes them ideal for business or private desktop computers.

WD Blue WD10EZEX – hard drive – 1 TB – SATA-600
• Type: hard drive – internal
• Capacity: One TB
• Form factor: 8.9 cm x 1/3H (3.5″ x 1/3H)
• Interface: Serial ATA-600
• Data transfer rate: 600 MBps
• Buffer size: 64 MB
• Spindle speed: 7200 rpm
• Features: IntelliSeek, NoTouch ramp load technology
• Dimensions (width x depth x height): 10.16 cm x 14.7 cm x 2.54 cm
• Weight: 440 g

Hit the subscribe button as tomorrow we will be looking at the main board into which this processor slots.

Check out reichelt.co.uk, an online electronics retailer…many products up to 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK!

By December 24, 2016 Read More →

Building a computer for £300 – Part 5 – Graphics Card

image22reichelt have sponsored a challenge to build a computer for £300. With a budget of only £300 I have to source the best bits of computer equipment for a main central processor unit (CPU) to build the most competent computer I can.

In part five, we pick a graphics card. The Asus GT730 is a low-end passive card designed for silence and costing only £55.17 incl. VAT.

GT 730 is the fantastic new graphics card from ASUS. Engineered with a highly-efficient 0 dB thermal design, it dissipates heat in complete silence — making ASUS GT 730 the perfect choice for your slimline home-theatre PC (HTPC) build. Advanced EMI shielding reduces electromagnetic interference by up to 66% for a stable signal, pin-sharp images and safer and healthier computing. Users who love to customise can enjoy the integrated GPU Tweak software, enabling them to control video memory, voltages and cooling fans and even stream live gameplay in real time!

Details:
• Chip: GK208-301-A1 “Kepler”
• Chip clock: 902 MHz, boost: N/A
• Memory: 2GB DDR3, 900 MHz, 64 bit, 14.4 GB/s
• Shader units/TMUs/ROPs: 384/16/8
• Processing power: 693GFLOPS (single), 58GFLOPS (double)
• Process technology: 28 nm
• Power consumption: 23 W (TDP), not specified (idle)
• DirectX: 11.0
• OpenGL: 4.4
• OpenCL: 1.1
• Shader model: 5.0
• Interface: PCIe 2.0
• Design: Dual-slot
• Cooling: passive
• Connections: VGA, DVI, HDMI
• External power supply: N/A
• Dimensions: 137 x 69 x 30 mm
• Special features: low profile

Hit the subscribe button as tomorrow we will be looking at the main board into which this processor slots.

Check out reichelt.co.uk, an online electronics retailer…many products up to 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK!

By December 23, 2016 Read More →

Building a computer for £300 – Part 4 – Memory

image21reichelt have sponsored a challenge to build a computer for £300. With a budget of only £300 I have to source the best bits of computer equipment for a main central processor unit (CPU) to build the most competent computer I can.

In part four, we look at the Memory. The Kingston HyperX FURY schwarz Kit 8GB, DDR3-1333 costing £54.41 incl. VAT. Great memory, that takes the pain out of picking the correct clock speed for your motherboard. This stuff overclocks itself to match up with the frequency of the board.

Score with the HyperX FURY. Fury recognises its host platform automatically and overclocked and automatically overclocks to the highest specified frequency of up to 1866 MHz1. This gives you power for your next punch and lets even beginners get up to speed.
The FURY’s asymmetric heat sink makes it stand out from standard designs. It is available in the colours black, blue, red and, for the first time in HyperX history, white with a black PCB. Now, you can show off your stylish equipment at a really reasonable price. Fury is 100% tested, LAN-capable and comes with a lifetime warranty and free technical support.

Details:
• Modules: 2x 4GB
• DDR3 DIMM 240-pin
• 1333 MHz
• JEDEC: PC3-10667U
• Non-ECC
• CL9
• Voltage: 1.50V
• Unbuffered

Hit the subscribe button as tomorrow we will be looking at the main board into which this processor slots.

Check out reichelt.co.uk, an online electronics retailer…many products up to 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK!

By December 22, 2016 Read More →

Building a computer for £300 – Part 3 – Motherboard

Building a computer for £300 – Part 3 – Motherboard

reichelt have sponsored a challenge to build a computer for £300. With a budget of only £300 I have to source the best bits of computer equipment for a main central processor unit (CPU) to build the most competent computer I can.

Part three, we look at the Motherboard. A Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3HP costing £54.15 incl. VAT. A fine motherboard with some of the newest tech, specifically a USB 3.1 type-C connector! The AMD features the following:

The GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XM-D3HP is based on the AMD-A88X chipset and supports AMD APUs with integrated graphics. It has four DIMM slots and supports up to 64 GB of DDR3 RAM in dual-channel operation. Depending on the APU, the µATX mainboard GA-F2A88XM-D3HP provides high-performance graphics with DVI, HDMI and VGA connections. Other features of the GA-F2A88XM-D3HP include a Gigabit LAN connection with Realtek chipset, an 8-channel sound chip (Realtek ALC887), eight SATA3 connectors, two USB 3.0 type-A ports plus a USB 3.1 type-C port and a USB-3.1 type-A port.

Details:

    • Chipset: AMD A88X
    • Memory: 4x DDR3 DIMM, dual PC3-19200U/DDR3-2400 (OC), max. 64 GB (UDIMM)
    • Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4), 1x PCIe 2.0 x1, 1x PCI
    • External ports: 1x VGA, 1x DVI-D, 1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.1 (type A + type C, ASM1142), 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, 1x Gb LAN (Realtek), 3x jacks, 1x PS/2 combo
    • Internal ports: 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, 8x SATA 6 Gb/s (A88X), 1x CPU 4-pin fan, 2x 4-pin fan, 1x serial, 1x parallel, TPM header
    • Audio: 7.1 (Realtek ALC887)
    • RAID level: 0/1/5/10 (A88X)
    • Multi-GPU: AMD 2-Way CrossFireX (x16/x4)
    • Power connections: 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin EPS12V
    • CPU phases: 6
    • Graphics: IGP (via CPU/APU)
    • Special features: µATX, all solid capacitors

Hit the subscribe button as tomorrow we will be looking at the main board into which this processor slots.

Check out reichelt.co.uk, an online electronics retailer…many products up to 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK!