Maximum PC - How-Tos http://www.maximumpc.com/articles/32/feed en How to set up a RAID 5 array in Windows 8 and Linux http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_raid_5_array_windows_8_and_linux <!--paging_filter--><h3>Striping and parity across three drives, oh my!</h3> <p>Of all the RAID levels that consumers are likely to use on their home systems, RAID 5 is one of the more exotic choices. While RAID 0 and 1 are pretty straightforward, RAID 5 is a little more complex.</p> <p>As we discussed in earlier articles, <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_software_raid_0_windows_and_linux_2015" target="_blank">RAID 0 stripes data across an array of drives</a>, making reads and writes faster, while also sacrificing redundancy. <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_raid_1_windows_and_linux_2015" target="_blank">RAID 1 does the opposite</a>, writing identical data across every drive in the array, creating a redundancy in the event of failure. RAID 5 is somewhere in between.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid5-gigabyte-uefi-intel-rst-crop.png" alt="Intel RST in Gigabyte UEFI BIOS" title="Intel RST in Gigabyte UEFI BIOS" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p>Like RAID 0, RAID 5 stripes data across an array of drives. However, one of the drives is reserved as the redundant copy of the piece of data. As each block of data is written, the stripes and redundant copy rotate places, so that no single drive fills up with redundant copies (this is called distributed parity). For this to work, RAID 5 requires a minimum of three drives.</p> <p>When a drive in a RAID 5 array fails, the data can be located somewhere else in the array. If failure occurred on a drive that held a striped copy, the entirety of the data can be found on the drive that holds the parity copy. If the parity is missing, you still have a copy of the data striped across the other drives. On the flip side, if you lose more than one drive, you’ll lose the entire array because parity is distributed across all the drives.</p> <p>In terms of performance, read operations will be similar to that of RAID 0, as the striped data can be read from several drives at one. Write operations, however, are more like RAID 1, since the parity data is written to only one drive.</p> <p>Drive space is also pooled, but less so than in RAID 0. In RAID 5, it works a bit differently. Due to the way parity works, if you have three drives, the available space will be equal to a RAID 0 array with two drives. In our examples, we used three 120GB SSDs, which resulted in arrays with 240GB of space.</p> <p>If you want install an OS on top of a RAID array, RAID 5 will work fairly well, so long as you’re not trying to use it atop an array of multi-terabyte spinning drives. RAID 5 offers more resiliency than RAID 0, as well as significant gains in read operations for loading programs and games.</p> <h3>Prepare your hardware</h3> <p>If you’ve been following along in our series, you’ll know that it’s always best to use drives of identical make, model, and capacity when constructing a RAID array. Even if you're forced to use different makes and models (as we were in our examples), you have to make sure that the drive capacities are identical. Mixing drives will at best result in an array that will performs as if each drive were the slowest one.</p> <p>When connecting your drives for use in RAID, be sure to use the same interface for the drive. If two drives in your array are using SATA 6Gbps, use the same interface for every other drive you intend to add to the array.</p> <p>It’s also a good idea to make sure all of the drives in your array are using the latest firmware. Firmware fixes can result in better speeds and fix potential bugs that can wreack havoc on your data.</p> <p>If you’re going to use FakeRAID, make sure your motherboard has “onboard RAID.” Most recent motherboards do, but if you’re building a server out of an old machine, this is something you should check.</p> <h3>Windows: Storage Spaces</h3> <p>Creating a RAID 5 array in Windows is just as easy as creating RAID 0 and 1 arrays. It’s important to remember Microsoft uses the name “Storage Spaces” instead of RAID, but the function is pretty much the same.</p> <p>To start, hit Win+S and search for “Storage spaces” and launch the utility. Next, click&nbsp; “create a new pool and storage space.” You’ll be prompted for administrator access. Click <strong>Yes</strong> to continue.</p> <p>You’ll be greeted by a windows showing all of the unformatted disks that can be used. Select all the disks you want in the array and click “Create pool.” You’ll have to select at least three to be able to create a RAID 5 array.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid5-win-create-storage-space.png" alt="Windows 8 Storage Spaces Select Drives" title="Windows 8 Storage Spaces Select Drives" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>In a perfect world, we'd use identical drives, but sometimes you have to use what you've got lying around. Reliability and speed could be negatively affected by using different drives.</strong></p> <p>Next, give the pool a name and drive letter. The name will appear as the drive label. Select NTFS as the file system. For Resiliency type, select “Parity,” which is the equivalent to RAID 5. When you’re ready, click <strong>Create storage space</strong> to create the array.</p> <p><img src="/files/u200840/raid5-windows-storage-space.png" alt="Windows 8 Storage Spaces" title="Windows 8 Storage Spaces" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p>If you want to remove a RAID array for any reason, simply click <strong>Delete</strong> next to the storage space you want to remove. To remove the pool, remove all of the storage spaces in it first.</p> <hr /> <h3>Linux: mdadm and disks</h3> <p>Creating a software RAID 5 array in Linux takes only two terminal commands. In Linux, the program mdadm (we like to pronounce it “madam”) is what we’ll use to set up the array.</p> <p>First things first, you need to get the RAID software. You’ll need to download and install mdadm from your software repository. It’s pretty common, and is included in most software repos. In Ubuntu, type the following command:</p> <p><span style="font-family: courier new,courier;">sudo apt-get install mdadm</span></p> <p>The command will install mdadm for you, along with a dependency called Postfix. Postfix is an SMTP service that sends emails. The reason it’s included is because if a drive fails or something else happens to your array, the system can alert you with an email. That’s great for IT administrators, but Postfix is a PITA to administer. In many cases, you can just set the program to use no configuration if you like. If you do take the time to set it up, it can give you early warning when drives fail.</p> <p>Once mdadm is all set up, all you need to do is use the following command:</p> <p><span style="font-family: courier new,courier;">sudo mdadm --create /dev/mdX --level=5 --raid-devices=[number of drives (3 or more)] [drive name] [drive name] [drive name] [etc]</span></p> <p>The above command will vary based on the size of your array, and how you’d like to name it. RAID devices are generally named <em>/dev/md</em>X where X is the index of the array. Drive names can be any valid Linux device path, e.g., <em>/dev/sda </em>or <em>/dev/disk/by-uuid/[UUID]</em>.</p> <p>If you’re not sure how Linux has identified your drives, you can use lsblk to identify them:</p> <p><span style="font-family: courier new,courier;">lsblk -o name,model,mountpoint,size</span></p> <p>Once you create your array, you’ll have to wait while the drives synchronize, which may take several minutes.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid5-ubuntu-disks.png" alt="Gnome Disks utility in Ubuntu" title="Gnome Disks utility in Ubuntu" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Disks utility is an easy-to-use GUI that allows you to create RAID arrays out of disks and partitions.</strong></p> <p>You can also create RAID arrays in Linux using the GNOME disk utility. In Ubuntu, search for “Disks” and open the utility. On the left side of the window, click the checkbox above the list of drives. Then, select the drives you want to use to create an array and click <strong>Create RAID</strong>.</p> <h3>Using onboard FakeRAID</h3> <p>Onboard FakeRAID is harder to set up, but is your only real choice if you want your RAID array to be accessible to both Windows and Linux. You can also install an OS on top of a FakeRAID array.</p> <p>Once your drives are physically installed, boot into your BIOS by tapping the key prompted on startup. The message will say “Press DEL to enter Setup…” or something similar.</p> <p>Once you’re in your BIOS, look for an option called “SATA mode.” This option is in different places for each motherboard manufacturer, so refer to your user manual if you can’t find it. Once you’ve found the setting, change it from AHCI to RAID. This will let your onboard RAID software know that there are possible RAID devices to be started. When you’re done, save and reboot.</p> <p>On the next boot, you have to get into the RAID software to set up your arrays. If you have an Intel RAID controller, you may be prompted to hit CTRL+I to start the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) RAID software. The software varies by vendor, so consult your motherboard manual on entering the RAID utility. In this example, Gigabyte's implementation let us use the RST tools from inside the UEFI BIOS utility.</p> <p>In Intel’s RST menu, you should see some options and a list of hard drives on your system. Select “Create RAID Volume.” Give your volume a name and select "RAID5 (Parity)" as the RAID level.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid5-gigabyte-uefi-intel-rst.png" alt="Gigabyte UEFI Intel RST interface" title="Gigabyte UEFI Intel RST interface" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Gigabyte motherboard we used allowed us to access Itel RST from inside the UEFI BIOS utility. Each motherboard manufacturer will do things differently. Consult your user manual to figure out how to access Intel RST.</strong></p> <p>Next, select the drives you want to include in your array. Other RST implementations may have you select drives first. Make sure that the drives you select are the correct ones; you'll lose any data saved on the drives that you use in a FakeRAID array.</p> <p>On the next boot, your FakeRAID array will appear as a single disk to the operating system. Additionally, RST may display the status of your RAID disks during the boot process, before the operating system loads.</p> <p>RAID 5 is a bit different and a little more complex than RAID 1 or 0, but it offers a compromise between the two extremes. This special RAID level will give you some wiggle room, just be sure not to ignore a drive failure. If all the drives are identical and one goes down, others may soon follow.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_raid_5_array_windows_8_and_linux#comments linux RAID windows 8 How-Tos Tue, 21 Apr 2015 21:11:04 +0000 Alex Campbell 29763 at http://www.maximumpc.com How to Get 3D Printing Up and Running http://www.maximumpc.com/up_and_running_3d_printing_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3>From out of reach to the next cool accessory</h3> <p><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u99720/image15.png" width="226" height="125" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>We’ll risk putting on our prognosticator hat and tell you that in years to come, the past 12 months will be thought of as the year consumer-grade 3D printing had its coming out party. Of course, there were earlier adopters, and there will also be stragglers, too. But in the past year, we’ve seen the key components that make a thing into “a thing” all come together.</p> <p>We saw the release of many newer brands of consumer-priced and -sized 3D printers. These follow the trend started by industry leaders such as Makerbot. This explosion has led to greater public awareness and accessibility, and even a proliferation of new trade/consumer events, such as the 3D Printer World Expo.</p> <p>Of equal importance has been Adobe's support for 3D printing within their flagship Photoshop application. This year Adobe has both added and enhanced Photoshop's ability to prep 3D models for printing. With a still-limited selection, Photoshop can send your 3D datasets out to either a local printer or a service bureau. This puts 3D printing in the hands of anyone with a $10 monthly Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop membership.</p> <p>But let's put on the breaks for just a moment, because we’re not here to oversell you. While this is touted as the next great thing, it ain't no smart watch that you just slip on your wrist. However simple the developers are trying to make it, 3D is inherently more complex than 2D work. At it's best for the consumer, we should hope to be able to accomplish three main things. </p> <p>The first of these is the ability to take an existing 3D model and print it without too much expertise or strife. Second, we want is to be able to scan in an object without too much effort (which will, in turn, print easily). Third&nbsp; on our punch-list would be the ability to create some basic 3D models from scratch. Again, without too much effort in creation or printing. Now that we know what we want, let’s get to it!</p> <h3>Easy 3D Printing</h3> <p>Adobe Photoshop can play a big role in our first objective. You can import a 3D model from a wide range of sources. Just what you’ll be importing will depend a lot on what your goals are for 3D printing. The hype we read tells us this is the next industrial revolution, and before long we will be printing many of the items we currently buy from Amazon.com (which, of course, was part of the last “revolution”). </p> <p>So, in addition to all of the many long existing online resources for downloading 3D models, we should expect an explosion of readily available sources of household items, replacement parts, and other clever items. Imagine the day when going to an online store to buy a lens cap, chess pieces, candlestick holders, or countless other things will offer shipping options of “Ground,” “2-day,” or “Download Now.”</p> <p>Well, such sites are already online. One notable incarnation is the Makerbot-owned <a href="http://www.thingiverse.com" target="_blank">www.thingiverse.com</a>, which highlights a wide range of member projects, along with download links so you can print the items yourself.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image01.png" width="380" height="288" /></p> <p>There is also a wide range of existing sources online for 3D models of all kinds, both free as well as for a fee. Most of these sites are geared toward the 3D animation and industrial markets, but there's no reason you can't download the range of models to be used as kids toys, props in your Lionel train creations, and many other applications.</p> <p>Archive (<a href="http://archive3D.net" target="_blank">http://archive3D.net</a>) is a well-known source for free models of all sorts online. And Turbosquid (<a href="http://www.turbosquid.com" target="_blank">www.turbosquid.com</a>) is a longtime resource for high-quality 3D models for purchase.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image02.png" width="411" height="198" /></p> <p>There is also the growing aspect of community in the 3D printing world. For example, we have already helped a friend that had the battery cover to his TV remote crack in two (he stepped on it one night). Since we had the the same TV remote, we scanned the battery cover and emailed it to him across the country. He then printed the model, took a fine sandpaper to it for a few minutes, and it slid right into place! Not only was is very cool, but it also saved him the cost of replacing an entire remote unit.</p> <p>While there are many lists of 3D printing projects to consider, this particular list at Hongkiat.com (<a href="http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/3D-printings" target="_blank">www.hongkiat.com/blog/3D-printings</a>) caught our attention, with its unusual offerings. </p> <p>Wherever you get your 3D models from, it can be important to know the formats that your software accepts for importing. For example, Photoshop accepts the list seen in the screen shot below. While there are conversion applications available, our personal experience indicates that you may find instant success or you may be going down the rabbit hole into a wasted day of futility. If you can find a well-made model in a format your application accepts, you will save a great deal of time.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image03.png" width="218" height="172" /></p> <p>For most of the 3D printing being done today, color and texture map information isn't going to be an issue. This is because most printing is being done in a single color. So basic 3D formats, even those that aren't supporting the color information, are just fine for our needs. But keep in mind that this is likely to change in the near future.</p> <p>For this experiment, I went to archive.net and downloaded a wooden outdoor seat model. Its zip file came with a range of formats to choose from. But I went with the 3DS format, which is a common industry standard and compatible with Photoshop.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image04.png" width="379" height="233" /></p> <p>To import into Photoshop, select 3D &gt; New 3D layer from file... option, and choose your model. Once inside Photoshop, your model will open inside the 3D environment, which will certainly take some getting used to, even if you’ve done 3D work before. Every program is different, and Photoshop's workflow has its own unique procedures to learn. </p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image05.png" width="323" height="220" /></p> <p>Since our ultimate goal in Photoshop is simply to print the model, we can actually bypass most of its controls and head right over to the “3D Printer Settings,” which can be brought up under the 3D menu. The first option, “Print To,” allows you to select the printer you’ll be using. This can be a local printer or a service. Based on that setting, the next option, “Printer” has you select from a range of applicable attributes for that output device. You will also want to set the model's scale, and other attributes.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image06.png" width="160" height="279" /></p> <p>When all the settings are correct, go to “3D Print,” which will prepare the model for printing, with a wide range of corrections to the geometry to ensure a good print job. Though to be honest, experience and trial and error are likely the best ways to ensure a good print job. Adobe has prepared a few videos that may help with the process: <a href="http://bit.ly/mpc_pshelp" target="_blank">http://bit.ly/mpc_pshelp</a></p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image07.png" width="384" height="224" /></p> <p>This is where we ran into a problem, because at this time, Photoshop's selection of 3D printer drivers is rather limited, and does not include a driver for our current printer, XYZ Printing's da Vinci 1.0 AIO (the AIO refers to the “all-in-one” nature of the unit, as it also includes a 3D scanner).</p> <p>We now have two options in order to print our model: We could set Photoshop to export the model in a compatible format, and bring it into the da Vinci printer's own printing software; or we could skip Photoshop altogether and take the downloaded model directly into the proprietary printing application. </p> <p>Which is the best way to go about doing this? Well, some decisions are made for us, since the da Vinci software only imports .3w, .stl and .ntg files, none of which were included with the downloaded model. So, we set the “Print To” setting in Photoshop to “local,” which then offers the option under Printer to “Export to STL.”</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image08.png" width="241" height="324" /></p> <p>Now, when we choose the “3D Print” option, we’re given the option to “export.” Perfect! The added advantage is that Photoshop will clean up any unruly geometry a model may have. And it now opens effortlessly in the printer's software.<br /><img src="/files/u99720/image09.png" width="423" height="277" /></p> <p>As you can see from the da Vinci printer interface screen grab below, the toolset of this 3D printer is intentionally kept simple and easy to use. And while it may be impossible to make any 3D printer truly “easy,” the makers of the da Vinci have created an interface that is no more difficult than your average desktop inkjet.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image10.png" width="245" height="196" /></p> <p>One way to tell we are still at the start of the technology is in learning how long it takes to actually do the new tech. Just like 2D printing used to be painfully slow, so 3D printing is today. I printed the sample “XYZ logo-keychain.stl” model that came with the printer. Its mere 2x3x1/4-inch size took 37 minutes to print. Such slow speeds may limit all those great ideas you came up with for mall booths, and it can be a real downer when you find a problem and need to reprint. But hold tight, it’s bound to get faster down the road.</p> <p>A few nice items to note about the da Vinci AIO unit, is that it is well made, fully enclosed (unlike many), and includes both scanning as well as printing, in one unit. While it is a large unit, it is well worth the trade. My only comment might be that connectivity is only via a USB connection, which limits how far away you can place the printer. But there may have been some technical reasons for not offering either ethernet or wireless options.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Creating Your Own Models</h3> <p>3D modeling is a huge and complex subject. But I want to take a moment to offer some reasonably easy to do options that will give you some alternatives to a life of only printing pre-made models.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image11.png" width="399" height="331" /></p> <h3>Scanning</h3> <p>As mentioned, the da Vinci AIO has a built-in 3D scanner. This is fantastic. It would have been even better if it worked. The issues aren't the hardware, it is the buggy scan software supplied with the unit. I am a firm believer the company will work out the bugs and deliver a solid product.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Photos to Mesh</h3> <p>One of the most popular ways to scan a model is to use software that converts a series of photos into a 3D model. This is nothing new, but the options have become more plentiful. There are even no-cost options that include the “123D Catch” cloud software from 3D industry giant Autodesk (<a href="http://www.123Dapp.com/catch" target="_blank">www.123Dapp.com/catch</a>). </p> <p>While you can use 123D Catch to turn almost any item into a 3D model, it's always tempting to create a cyber version of a loved one, as we have started to do here. The other reason to do this: His head won't fit into the da Vinci scanner! As you can tell, this is still a work in progress.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image12.png" width="289" height="316" /></p> <h3>Simple Models in Photoshop</h3> <p>Yet another thing that makes Photoshop great for the novice 3D practitioner is its ability to make some simple 3D models without too much fuss. In this example, we decided to make a 3D version of the MaximumPC logo. </p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image13.png" width="373" height="151" /><br /><img src="/files/u99720/image14.png" width="521" height="272" /></p> <p>To do this, we first found a similar typeface and got it as close possible to looking correct in 2D. All we had to do then was select the type and in the 3D menu choose “New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer,” which let us create basic 3D text of our logo.</p> <p>But adding five-minutes of fiddling with all the settings gives us a much more pleasing model, as seen below. This model will also need to be placed on some type of base before printing, something that will hold all those separate letters together.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/image15.png" width="422" height="231" /></p> <p>Keep in mind that for most 3D printers, the color isn't going to matter on the software side, as it’s determined by the material you use in the machine. That said, you can always spray paint after printing if you want to.</p> <p>Happy printing!</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/up_and_running_3d_printing_2015#comments 3d printing feature how to How-Tos Wed, 08 Apr 2015 22:12:42 +0000 Lance Evans 29292 at http://www.maximumpc.com How To Set Up RAID 1 For Windows and Linux http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_raid_1_windows_and_linux_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Upgrade your data resiliency with RAID 1</h3> <p>The sound of a dying hard drive can be terrifying. It means a headache, downtime, and replacement costs in the best case. In the worst case, it means sending the drive to a data rescue lab. Using a redundant array of independent disks with mirroring (RAID 1), you can make a drive failure less of a nightmare.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid1_hero0.png" alt="RAID 1 UEFI menu" title="RAID 1 UEFI menu" width="600" height="451" /></p> <p>RAID 1 is one of several RAID "levels," and is the polar opposite of <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_software_raid_0_windows_and_linux_2015" target="_blank">it’s speedier cousin, RAID 0</a>. Where RAID 0 stripes data across drives to attain higher read and write performance, RAID 1 writes the same data across all the drives in the array. Using RAID 1, the chances of losing data to a drive failure is one divided by the number of drives in the array. In comparison, those chances are multiplied in RAID 0.</p> <p>If you’re thinking that RAID 1 is a lazy man’s backup, think again. RAID 1 is not a backup, and is never, ever a replacement for a good backup. Always remember that RAID 1 is a hedge against hardware failures, not malware or corrupted data. If you get a virus on one drive in a RAID 1 array, every drive in the array will have the virus written to it. A proper backup keeps data safe from the system.&nbsp;</p> <p>With all that doom and gloom about RAID 1 not being a backup, you’re probably asking, "Why even bother with RAID 1?" The answer is pretty simple: If one drive in your RAID 1 array dies, the array will happily keep functioning, using one of the other drives for read and write operations. The failure will be nearly invisible to the user, as the RAID software should make the switch automatically. That's a big safety net for systems that simply cannot have downtime due to hardware failures.</p> <h3>Prepare your hardware</h3> <p>Just as with RAID 0, it’s ideal to use identical drives in a RAID 1 array. If one drive is a different make, model, or isn’t in mint condition, the array will only write as fast as the slowest drive. If a file is successfully written to a faster drive, the system will wait for the write to the slower drive to catch up.</p> <p>In addition to using identical drives, be sure to use the same interface for the drive. If two drives in your array are using SATA 6Gb/s and the third is using SATA 3Gb/s, the array will throttle back to 3Gb/s.</p> <p>It’s also a good idea to make sure all of the drives in your array are using the latest firmware. This can be especially important when using SSDs.</p> <p>If you’re going to use FakeRAID, make sure your motherboard supports it. Most recent motherboards do, but if you’re building a server out of an old machine, this is something you should check.</p> <p>Finally, if you're going to be using a disk that has data on it in a RAID array, back up that data before you begin.</p> <h3>Windows: Storage Spaces</h3> <p>Creating a RAID 1 array in Windows is pretty simple, the trick is finding out what the utility is called. Microsoft opted for the name "Storage Spaces" instead of RAID, but the function is essentially the same.</p> <p>To start, hit Win+S and search for "Storage spaces" and launch the utility. Next, click&nbsp;<strong>create a new pool and storage space</strong>. You’ll be prompted for administrator access. Click <strong>Yes</strong> to continue.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid1_storage-spaces.png" alt="Windows 8 create new pool and storage space" title="Windows 8 create new pool and storage space" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Windows 8's built-in RAID utilities are referred to as "Storage Spaces."</strong></p> <p>You’ll be greeted by a windows showing all the unformatted disks that can be used. Select all the disks you want in the array and click <strong>Create pool</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid1_storage-pool-drives.png" alt="Windows 8 storage spaces: select drives" title="Windows 8 storage spaces: select drives" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Storage Spaces will allow you to create a pool with any unformatted drives attached to the system.</strong></p> <p>Next, give the pool a name and drive letter. The name will appear as the drive label. Select NTFS as the filesystem. For Resiliency type, select <strong>Two-way mirror</strong>. This is the equivalent to RAID 1. When you’re ready, click <strong>Create storage space</strong>&nbsp;to create the array.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid1_create-storage-space.png" alt="Windows 8 Storage Spaces create space" title="Windows 8 Storage Spaces create space" width="620" height="620" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>For RAID 1 functionality in Storage Spaces, select "Two-way mirror."</strong></p> <p>If you want to remove a RAID array for any reason, simply click <strong>Delete</strong>&nbsp;next to the storage space you want to remove. To remove the pool, remove all of the storage spaces in it first.</p> <p>Next, we're going to cover <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_raid_1_windows_and_linux_2015?page=0,1">setting up RAID 1 in Linux, and using your motherboard's onboard FakeRAID</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3> <hr /></h3> <h3>Linux: mdadm and Disks</h3> <p>Creating a software RAID 1 array in Linux takes all of two terminal commands. In Linux, the program <span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><em>mdadm </em></span>(we like to pronounce it "madam"), is what we’ll use to set up the array.</p> <p>First things first: You need to get the RAID software. You’ll need to download and install <span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><em>mdadm</em></span> from your software repository. It’s pretty common, and is included in most software repos. In Ubuntu, type the following command:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">sudo apt-get install mdadm</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid1_install-mdadm.png" alt="Installing mdadm and Postfix in Ubuntu" title="Installing mdadm and Postfix in Ubuntu" width="620" height="397" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Unless you're planning on running an email server, don't worry about installing all of the extras for Postfix.</strong></p> <p>The command will install <span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><em>mdadm</em></span> for you, along with a dependency called Postfix. Postfix is a SMTP service that sends email. Postfix is included so that if a drive fails or something else happens to your array, the system can alert you with an email. That’s great for IT administrators, but Postfix can be a bit of a bear to set up, so you can just set the program to use no configuration if you like.</p> <p>Once <span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><em>mdadm</em></span> is all set up, all you need to do is use the following command:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">sudo mdadm --create /dev/md<em>X</em> --level=1 --raid-devices=[<em>number of drives</em>] [<em>drive name</em>] [<em>drive name</em>] [<em>etc</em>]</span></p> <p>The above command will vary based on the size of your array, and how you’d like to name it. RAID devices are generally named <em>/dev/mdX</em> where <em>X</em> is the index of the array. If you only have one array, it's a good idea to use <span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;"><em>0</em></span> or <em><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">1</span></em>. Drive names can be any valid Linux device path. Common examples use <strong>/dev/sda</strong> or&nbsp;<strong>/dev/disk/by-uuid/[UUID]</strong>. Once you create your array, you’ll have to wait while the drives synchronize, which may take several minutes.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid1_gnome-disk-utility.png" alt="GNOME Disk Utility with RAID" title="GNOME Disk Utility with RAID" width="620" height="468" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>GNOME's Disks application (gnome-disk-utility) will display information about your RIAD array once it's created.</strong></p> <p>If you’re not sure how Linux has identified your drives, you can use <span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><em>lsblk</em></span> to identify them:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">lsblk -o name,model,mountpoint,size</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid1_lsblk.png" alt="Ubuntu lsblk" title="Ubuntu lsblk" width="620" height="397" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The command <em>lsblk</em> will show you the drives and storage devices you have connected to your system, and what device names Linux has assigned to them. The drives we used for our RAID array are outlined in red.</strong></p> <p>You can also create RAID arrays in Linux using the GNOME disk utility. In Ubuntu, search for "Disks" and open the utility. On the left side of the window, click the checkbox above the list of drives. Then, select the drives you want to use to create an array and click <strong>Create RAID</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid1_gnome-disk-utility-create-raid.png" alt="GNOME Disk Utility create RAID" title="GNOME Disk Utility create RAID" width="620" height="468" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>While it's faster to create a RAID array from the terminal, you can create RAID arrays from GNOME's Disks application as well.</strong></p> <p>Software RAID 1 offers an advantage to Linux users who set up an array with <em>mdadm</em>: If you read more than one file at once, each drive can fetch a separate file, giving a net boost to read operations. The caveat is that this boost will only really show up in multi-threaded applications like web servers, and won’t apply to most desktop use cases. Still, it’s a nice perk for Linux users.</p> <h3>Using onboard FakeRAID</h3> <p>Onboard FakeRAID is harder to set up, but is your only real choice if you want your RAID array to be accessible to both Windows and Linux. You can also install an OS on top of a FakeRAID array. However, if you're only planning on using the RAID array from one OS, you're better off using the OS-based software solutions described above.</p> <p>Once your drives are physically installed, boot into your BIOS by tapping the key prompted on startup. The message will say "Press DEL to enter Setup…" or something similar.&nbsp;</p> <p>Once you’re in your BIOS, look for an option called "SATA mode." This option is in different places for each motherboard manufacturer, so refer to your user manual if you can’t find it. Once you’ve found the setting, change the setting from AHCI to RAID. This will let your onboard RAID software know that there are possible RAID devices to be started. When you’re done, save and reboot.</p> <p>If you're trying to enable FakeRAID with Windows already installed, Windows won't like that the SATA mode has changed. The OS will get grumpy and prompt you to reinstall Windows. You can, however, get around Windows' termpermental nature with a few steps. If you already changed the mode from AHCI to RAID and got the error, boot into the BIOS and change it back to AHCI. From inside Windows, open a command line using cmd and type in the following:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal</span></p> <p>Then, reboot back into the BIOS and make the change. Once you've booted back into Windows, open up a command line again and type the following:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot</span></p> <p>Reboot once again, and Windows should be satiated.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid1_uefi-bios-sata-mode.png" alt="UEFI BIOS SATA mode" title="UEFI BIOS SATA mode" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>In your BIOS, change the SATA mode from AHCI to RAID. Every BIOS is different, so the option may not appear as it does here.</strong></p> <p>On the next boot, you have to get into the RAID software to set up your arrays. If you have an Intel RAID controller, you should be prompted to hit CTRL+I to start the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) RAID software. The software varies by vendor, so consult your motherboard manual on entering the RAID utility.</p> <p>In Intel’s RST menu, you should see some options and a list of hard drives on your system. Select "Create RAID Volume."&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_intel-rst-noraid.jpg" alt="Intel RST without RAID drives" title="Intel RST without RAID drives" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>When you first start Intel RST, you disks will all be Non-RAID Disks.</strong></p> <p>On the next screen, give the RAID array a name and hit Enter. In the next field, use the up and down arrow keys to select the RAID level labeled "RAID 1 (Mirror)"&nbsp;and hit Enter again.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_intel-rst-create-raid1.jpg" alt="Intel RST set up RAID" title="Intel RST set up RAID" width="620" height="390" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>When creating your array, select "RAID1 (Mirror)."</strong></p> <p>Hit Enter again to create the volume. Confirm that you’re OK with wiping everything off the disks in your array by typing <span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">Y</span>.</p> <p>Back on the home screen, you'll see a RAID volume, with the status of the disks used in the array changed from "Non-RAID disk" to "Member Disk." Use the down arrow to select Exit to save and exit the software.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_intel-rst-withraid.jpg" alt="Intel RST with raid array" title="Intel RST with raid array" width="620" height="393" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>After creating your array, you'll see the array name and the disks listed as "Member."</strong></p> <p>On the next boot, your FakeRAID array will appear as a single disk to the operating system. Additionally, RST will display the status of your RAID disks during the boot process, before the operating system loads.</p> <p>While RAID 1 isn’t a replacement for a backup, it is an excellent addition to any data resilience strategy.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_raid_1_windows_and_linux_2015#comments HDD linux maximum pc RAID RAID 1 ssd Windows Features How-Tos Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:14:32 +0000 Alex Campbell 29679 at http://www.maximumpc.com How To Use YouTube’s Built-In Video Editor http://www.maximumpc.com/how_use_youtube%E2%80%99s_built-_video_editor_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">Split clips, adjust brightness, and add filters with ease</span></h3> <p>We’ve covered some of the <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/best_free_video_editor_roundup_2014" target="_blank">best free video editing software</a> available for the PC, but sometimes all you need is a quick brightness tweak or audio adjustment, and YouTube’s built-in video editor is more than capable. It’s not the most complicated software, but we’ll run you through the basics in case you wanted to use something in a pinch.</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="/files/u162579/1.png" alt="YouTube Editor" title="YouTube Editor" width="620" height="445" /></span></h3> <p>Unlike most video editing solutions, YouTube’s editor doesn’t work with local media. Every single clip, video, and still image has to be uploaded to YouTube before it can be added to the editing timeline. There’s also the fact that YouTube doesn’t accept uploaded audio files. Fortunately there’s a huge library of royalty-free music available through the editor, but if you want to use your own audio, this isn't the editor for you.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/2.png" alt="Individual Video Editor" title="Individual Video Editor" width="620" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Editing individual videos is easy and even includes a side-by-side effects preview.</strong></p> <p>There are two separate editors. One for single video manipulation—for fairly simple editing, for uses such as lightening a video that's just a bit too dark—and one with a full-on timeline view with support for multiple clips. The former offers rudimentary control over videos with “Quick fixes,” “Filters,” and “Special effects.” YouTube even includes an “Auto-fix” option that’s surprisingly good at taking care of obvious problems. There’s also some simple stabilization, clip trimming, and a “Blur All Faces” option that does its best to blur the faces of everyone in your video. Head to your YouTube Video Manager and click the edit button to get started.</p> <p>If you’re looking to actually edit separate clips together, the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/editor" target="_blank">YouTube Video Editor</a> is what you’ll want to work with. All of the videos you’ve uploaded to YouTube—unlisted, private, and public—should be visible in the videos tab. Click and drag videos to the timeline to insert them into your project. The timeline is magnetic, so videos will automatically split and snap when you drag them around. There’s no way to insert gaps (unless your source footage has some) so don’t worry about accidentally inserting flash frames. Click the camera icon to upload still images—this is useful if you're creating a slideshow or montage.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/3.png" alt="YouTube Splitting Clip" title="YouTube Splitting Clip" width="620" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Splitting clips is a cinch.</strong></p> <p>Click anywhere along the timeline or the video progress bar to move your cursor. Tapping the scissor icon will split the current clip at the indicated point. Select videos by clicking on their thumbnails in the timeline to access the individual video editing controls that we talked about before. The YouTube Video Editor actually offers fine control over stabilization, brightness, contrast, and even audio settings like pan, bass, and treble. The editor also includes rudimentary transitions that are entirely drag-and-drop. Stick a crossfade or wipe between clips if you’re not comfortable with standard cuts.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/4.png" alt="YouTube Text" title="YouTube Text" width="620" height="442" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Enter Text Here! Just don’t try to do anything too complicated.</strong></p> <p>The biggest problem with the YouTube Video Editor is how it handles text. It’s easy enough to add a title. Just click the “Text” tab, drag your text animation of choice to the front of your timeline, and tweak it to fit your needs. It gets a lot more complicated when you want to add text to specific sections of videos. There’s no separate layer for text, so the only way to overlay text is to tie it directly to a clip. It’s a lot of work, but by splitting a video into multiple clips you can add text to individual sections. Of course, you can always use annotations to make things easier, but some people disable them.</p> <p>When you’re satisfied with the results, give your video a name and click the “Create Video” button to publish the finished product on YouTube. It’ll take a while for it to process, but once it’s done you’ve got a fully edited video, ready for sharing.</p> <p>There’s not really all that much else to the editor. It’s not the most beautiful piece of software, but it gets the job done and works perfectly fine on nearly any machine since none of the source material is stored locally. Use this for quick editing projects like stringing together vacation footage, but stick to dedicated software for serious projects.</p> <p>Already a YouTube Editor master? Drop some tips in the comments below!</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_use_youtube%E2%80%99s_built-_video_editor_2015#comments cut edit editing insert tips TRIM YouTube Video Editor Features How-Tos Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:09:38 +0000 Ben Kim 29338 at http://www.maximumpc.com How To Set Up Software RAID 0 for Windows and Linux http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_software_raid_0_windows_and_linux_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Up your speed by linking two or more drives in RAID 0</h3> <p>For serious PC builders, speed is the name of the game. Too often, storage becomes a bottleneck that holds back even the beefiest CPU. Even with the advent of SSDs, leveraging a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) can drastically reduce boot and loading times. RAID 0 is the easiest way to get more speed out of two or more drives, and lets you use a pretty cool acronym to boot.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_samsung-840evo.jpg" alt="Samsung 840EVOs in RAID 0" title="Samsung 840EVOs in RAID 0" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>In our test rig, we used a pair of Samsung 840EVOs with the latest firmware.</strong></p> <p>RAID has several “levels” that use drives in different ways. Level 0 (RAID 0) spreads or “stripes” data between two or more drives. The problem with striping data across drives is that when things go wrong, they go really wrong: If a single hard drive in a RAID 0 array fails and cannot be recovered, the entire RAID array is lost.&nbsp;</p> <p>On the plus side, RAID 0 combines the drives into a single larger logical drive with a capacity that is the sum of all the drives in the array. We found in our test rig that write cache stacked as well, which resulted in faster writing for large files. The data stored on the drives are read or written simultaneously, resulting in greatly reduced access times.</p> <p>There are three ways to implement RAID: hardware, software, and FakeRAID. Hardware RAID is faster, but it’s also more expensive due to the need for specialized hardware. Software and FakeRAID use the CPU in lieu of a dedicated RAID chip.</p> <p>&nbsp;Creating a software RAID array in operating system software is the easiest way to go. Windows 8 comes with everything you need to use software RAID, while the Linux package “<a href="http://www.linuxcommand.org/man_pages/mdadm8.html" target="_blank">mdadm</a>” is listed in most standard repositories.&nbsp;</p> <p>The problem with software RAID is that it only exists in the OS it was created in. Linux can’t see a RAID array created in Windows and vice versa. If you’re dual booting both Linux and Windows and need access to the array from both operating systems, use FakeRAID. Otherwise, stick to software.</p> <h3>Prepare your hardware</h3> <p>To ensure the best RAID performance, use identical drives with the same firmware. Mixing drive makes and models may work, but will result in faster drives being slowed down to match the slowest drive in the array. Don’t mix SSDs and mechanical drives in a RAID array; the SSD is faster on its own.</p> <p>RAID 0 doesn’t protect you from drive failure, so use new drives whenever possible. When connecting your drives, make sure they’re all using the same SATA version as well.</p> <p>Before a drive can be used in a RAID array, it must be clear of filesystems and partitions. If you’re using old drives, make sure you get everything of value off of them first. &nbsp;You can remove any partitions with Disk Management on Windows or “gparted” on Linux. If you’re using FakeRAID, the motherboard’s RAID utility should warn you before it wipes partition tables and the filesystems on them.</p> <p>In your operating system, you’ll need to have elevated permissions to create a RAID array. For Windows, you’ll need to be an Administrator. In Linux, you’ll need either the root password or sudo access.</p> <p>If you want to use FakeRAID, make sure your motherboard supports it. Be warned though: Installing an OS on top of a RAID 0 array can be really risky if your system data is critical.</p> <h3>Windows: storage spaces</h3> <p>Creating a software RAID 0 array on Windows is really easy, and relatively painless. The thing is, Microsoft doesn’t call it RAID in Windows 8, opting for “storage spaces” and “storage pools” instead.</p> <p>Hit Win+S and search for “storage spaces” and open the utility. Next, click <strong>Create a new pool and storage space</strong>. You’ll be prompted for administrator access. Click <strong>Yes</strong> to continue.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_storage-spaces.png" alt="Windows 8 Storage Spaces " title="Windows 8 Storage Spaces " width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Windows 8's built-in RAID software goes by the name "Storage Spaces."</strong></p> <p>You’ll be greeted by a windows showing all the unformatted disks that can be used. Select all the disks you want in the array and click&nbsp;<strong>Create pool</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_create-pool.png" alt="Windows 8 storage pool" title="Windows 8 storage pool" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>To create a storage pool in Windows 8, the disks need to be unformatted.</strong></p> <p>Next, give the pool a name and drive letter. The name will appear as the drive label. Select NTFS as the filesystem. For Resiliency type, select <strong>Simple (no resiliency)</strong>. This is the equivalent to RAID0. When you’re ready, click <strong>Create storage space</strong>&nbsp;to create the array.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_create-storage-space.png" alt="Creating a storage space" title="Creating a storage space" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>While a simple storage space technically only requires one hard disk, you need at least two for it to be a true RAID setup.</strong></p> <p>If you want to remove a RAID array for any reason, simply click <strong>Delete</strong>&nbsp;next to the storage space you want to remove. To remove the pool, remove all of the storage spaces in it first.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_manage-storage-spaces.png" alt="Manage Windows 8 storage spaces" title="Manage Windows 8 storage spaces" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>When you're all done, you'll be able to manage your storage spaces, check capacity, and monitor usage.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">See? Told you it was easy. &nbsp;Next up, we're going to cover <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_software_raid_0_windows_and_linux_2015?page=0,1">creating RAID 0 arrays in Linux and in FakeRAID</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Linux: Excuse me, mdadm</h3> <p>Creating a software RAID in Linux is faster than Windows because it only requires a couple of console commands. In our example, we booted from a live Ubuntu 14.04 LTS USB stick.</p> <p>First, you need to <a href="http://packages.ubuntu.com/trusty/admin/mdadm" target="_blank">download and install mdadm</a>&nbsp;from your package manager. In Ubuntu, use aptitude to install the program:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">sudo apt-get install mdadm</span></p> <p>Once mdadm is installed, you can create your array by typing the following command as root or using sudo:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">mdadm --create /dev/mdX --level=0 --raid-devices=[number of drives] [drive name] [drive name] [etc]&nbsp;</span></p> <p>The above command will vary based on the size of your array, and how you’d like to name it. RAID devices are generally named <span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">/dev/mdX</span> where <span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">X</span> is the index of the array. Drive names must be valid Linux device paths, e.g., <span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">/dev/sda</span> or <span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">/dev/disk/by-uuid/[UUID]</span>. In our example, we used the following:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">mdadm --create /dev/md0 --level=0 --raid-devices=2 /dev/sda /dev/sdb</span></p> <p>To take apart the RAID array, use the following commands:</p> <p><span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">umount -l /dev/mdX<br />mdadm --stop /dev/mdX<br />sudo mdadm --zero-superblock /dev/sdX<br />sudo mdadm --zero-superblock /dev/sdY …</span></p> <h3>Using onboard FakeRAID</h3> <p>Onboard FakeRAID is harder to set up, but is your only real choice if you want your RAID array to be accessible to both Windows and Linux. It also offers the advantage of letting you install Windows 8 on top of it. Linux can the installed on a FakeRAID array as well, but requires use of the dmraid driver.</p> <p>Once your drives are physically installed, boot into your BIOS by tapping the key prompted on startup. The message will say “Press DEL to enter Setup…” or something similar.&nbsp;</p> <p>Once you’re in your BIOS, look for an option called “SATA mode.” This option is in different places for each motherboard manufacturer, so refer to your user manual if you can’t find it. Once you’ve found the setting, change the setting to <strong>RAID</strong>. This will let your onboard RAID software know that there are possible RAID devices to be started. When you’re done, save and reboot.</p> <p>On the next boot, you have to get into the RAID software to set up your arrays. If you have Intel RAID onboard, you should be prompted to hit <strong>CTRL+I</strong> to start the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) RAID software. Software varies by vendor, so consult your motherboard manual on entering the RAID utility.</p> <p>In the RST menu, you should see some options and a list of hard drives on your system. Select <strong>Create RAID Volume</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_intel-rst.jpg" alt="Intel RST" title="Intel RST" width="620" height="465" /></strong></p> <p><strong>Any disks attached via SATA in RAID mode will show up in Intel RST. Disks that aren't included in an array will be shown as a "Non-Raid Disk."</strong></p> <p>On the next screen, give the RAID array a name and hit Enter. In the next field, use the up and down arrow keys to select the RAID level labeled <strong>RAID 0 (Stripe)</strong>&nbsp;and hit Enter again.</p> <p>In the next field, you can set the size of the striped data, but the default size should work just fine. Hit Enter to save the strip size and capacity to their default values and hit Enter again to create the volume. Confirm that you’re OK with wiping everything off the disks in your array by typing “<span style="font-family: 'courier new', courier;">Y</span>.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_create-fakeraid.jpg" alt="Creating a FakeRAID volume" title="Creating a FakeRAID volume" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Creating a RAID volume in Intel's RST software is pretty straightforward.</strong></p> <p>Back on the home screen, you will see a RAID volume, with the status of the disks used in the array changed from “Non-RAID disk” to “Member Disk.” Use the down arrow to select <strong>Exit</strong> to save and exit the software.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u200840/raid0_rst-member-delete.jpg" alt="Intel RST with RAID members" title="Interl RST with RAID members" width="620" height="465" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>When you return to RST's main screen, you'll see that the drives will have been added as members to the RAID array. You can also remove disks from the array or delete the array altogether.</strong></p> <p>On the next boot, your FakeRAID array will appear as a single volume to the operating system. Additionally, RST will display the status of your RAID disks during the boot process, before the operating system loads. From there, you can partition and format the RAID array as you would any other disk.</p> <p>Setting up RAID 0 is a little more work than just slapping in some hard drives and booting up, but the speed benefits are undeniable.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_set_software_raid_0_windows_and_linux_2015#comments array build it how to set up RAID 0 intel linux ssd windows 8 Features How-Tos Wed, 25 Mar 2015 20:50:15 +0000 Alex Campbell 29637 at http://www.maximumpc.com Build It: A Little Devil's Canyon PC http://www.maximumpc.com/build_it_little_devils_canyon_rig_2014 <!--paging_filter--><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--></p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <mce:style><! st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } --><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <mce:style><! st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } --><!--[endif] --><!--[endif] --><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} --><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} --><!--[endif] --><!--[endif] --></p> <h3>We outfit the compact Corsair 250D with Intel’s new Core i7-4790K CPU and a dual-rad closed-loop cooler</h3> <p><span style="font-style: italic;">Length of Time: 2–4 hours | Level of Difficulty: Intermediate</span></p> <p><img src="/files/u187432/mpc102.rd_buildit.beauty.jpg" width="250" height="141" style="float: right;" />The mission is simple: We wanted to take Intel’s Devil’s Canyon CPU as far as it would go in a compact chassis. For those who don’t know what Devil’s Canyon is, it’s Intel’s newest line of Haswell-K CPUs, which are specifically designed to be overclocked. Intel reengineered the thermal interface material (aka paste) and packaging used in Devil’s Canyon to dissipate heat better than last year’s Haswell-K CPUs. We should mention Devil’s Canyon CPUs are technically only supported by a limited number of 8-series mobos, but will work in all new 9-series boards.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Intel’s Haswell CPUs were introduced almost a year ago now, leaving those always on the hunt for the next big thing with nothing to do but twiddle their thumbs. Let the thumb-twiddling cease, at least for the moment, as Intel’s new Core i7-4790K aka Devil’s Canyon has been hyped as the second coming of the Celeron 300A. With rumors saying the chip would easily hit 5GHz on air, enthusiasts everywhere are expecting this chip to finally get us to that sweet 5GHz overclock mark that hasn’t been seen since the days of the original Sandy Bridge CPUs. Was the wait worth it? We grabbed a freshly minted Core i7-4790K to answer the question. Could we get our Core i7-4790K to our desired overclock? Read on to find out!</p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">Overclocking Goodness</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">We used Corsair's 250D case as the frame for our overclocking escapade. The cube-shaped 250D is one of the few SFF boxes compatible with dual-rad closed-loop coolers. We opted for Enermax’s Liqtech 240 to cover our cooling needs; it’s an impressive cooler and kept our Core i7-4790K at an acceptable 69C under multi-threaded workloads. We then grabbed an ASUS Z97I-PLUS Mini ITX mobo, which sports Intel’s newest Z97 chipset, and despite its diminutive size, supports a plethora of overclocking features. For RAM, we decided to go with a pair of 4GB ADATA DDR3/2400 modules. Although RAM clocks haven’t made huge differences before, using higher-clocked modules with Haswell does aid performance. The GPU duties were covered by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 780, which is fast, quiet, and runs on the cool side. On the storage front, we opted to use a single Seagate 600-Series 480GB MLC SSD. That’s enough space to live on, so the rig’s hard-drive population is zero. The box has plenty of room for multiple SSDs and HDDs, though. Finally, we supplied the juice through Corsair’s RM 650 PSU, which gives us 650 watts of power and modular cabling.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u187432/benchmark.png" width="450" height="360" /></p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">1. Toss out the odd bay.</h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc102.rd_buildit.1.jpg" width="620" height="350" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">To get the 250d ready for our build, we needed to first remove its ODD bay. To do this, we removed the top panel to expose the case’s innards. Next, we unscrewed the ODD from its perch at the top-front—just four small screws, not a problem. From there, you just have to slide the bay toward the rear a tiny bit and lift it out. We’re not using an ODD in this build, as there’s little use for one in 2014—with a speedy Internet connection and an 8GB fl ash drive, you can do almost everything that an ODD does. Plus, we needed the space to install the full-size cooler.</p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">2. Install the CPU and RAM.</h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc102.rd_buildit.2.jpg" width="620" height="350" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The installation of our CPU and memory here is pretty standard stuff. You’ll fi rst line up the pins of the processor with appropriate ones on the socket and then clamp it into place. There are two notches cut out of the CPU at the top of the die to help guide you. Line up the CPU’s notches with the ones on the socket and then fasten the CPU into place with the mobo-CPU latch. Remember to mind the pins: If you bend the pins on the mobo, you’ll kill it. To install the RAM, we unlatched the RAM slots, then lined up the DIMM’s notches to fit properly into the RAM slot and pushed down gently but firmly on the module until we heard it click into place.</p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">3. Install the cooler's block.</h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc102.rd_buildit.3.jpg" width="629" height="355" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Installing the cooler was similar to most other closed-loop liquid-cooler installations we’ve done. We first mounted our backplate onto the motherboard with screws and rubber washers. Next, we secured the water block to the CPU by fastening it with four mounting screws. Here’s a quick PSA on screw tightening: Always make sure you don’t overtighten the water block when installing it, as you could crack your motherboard if you’re overzealous about it. We generally recommend tightening the screws in an X-pattern, which should make it easier to mount the block evenly onto the CPU and motherboard. The X-pattern should be used whenever you’re installing a heatsink or a closed-loop liquid cooler.</p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">4. Install the mobo and radiator.</h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc102.rd_buildit.4.jpg" width="620" height="350" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Installing the Enermax Liqtech 240 was a bit tricky, to say the least. To get things started, remove the 120mm side case fan. The next step is to install the motherboard into the case, using four motherboard screws. Now comes the hard part, you’ll have to wedge in the Liqtech 240 cooler at a 45-degree angle. Once the radiator is safely inside the case, secure it with eight mounting screws. The cooler’s clearance above the motherboard wound up being less than 1cm, so it’s a very tight fit. We don’t recommend newbie system builders attempt an installation of the Liqtech 240 inside a SFF case, as it may be too frustrating. We actually threw around a few expletives ourselves during the cooler installation, so it was definitely a challenge.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">5. Toss in the GPU.</h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc102.rd_buildit.5.jpg" width="620" height="350" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The GeForce GTX 780 slid into the 250D with ease. To get started on the installation, unscrew the thumbscrews that hold the video card bracket into place. Once the bracket is free, slide the video card into the PCIe lane. Once in, you’ll need to secure the card in place with its bracket. We like the design of the 250D, as it positions the GPU to exhaust its heat directly out of the chassis. Most cases trap the GPU exhaust heat inside, which can cause thermal issues or disrupt airflow. We should mention that one downside to the 250D is that it only supports two-slot video cards, so if you have a massive three-slot card, it won’t fit in this box. Another thing to be aware of is that extra-long video cards won’t fit into the 250D, either. According to Corsair’s website, the maximum GPU length for a 250D is 11.4 inches.</p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">6. Wire up the system.</h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc102.rd_buildit.6.jpg" width="620" height="350" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">To install the PSU, we removed the PSU backplate of the case by unscrewing two thumb screws. We then slid the unit into place and screwed it in securely. Next, we wired up the motherboard for power and plugged in the case’s front-panel connectors. Lastly, we wired up the rest of the motherboard connections for front-panel USB 3.0, audio, and finished up by plugging in our fans. The downside to our 250D is that there’s little room for us to hide any of our cabling. In a standard midtower, most of the cabling can easily be routed and concealed. That said, we are impressed with the size of the 250D; we love it’s short height of 11.4 inches. And we can’t really complain about the cable-routing, but hope that some future SFF cases will offer better routing options.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="/files/u187432/mpc102.rd_buildit.gutshot.jpg" width="620" height="350" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>1.) The Enermax Liqtech 240 cooler comes with two 120mm fans and a ton of cooling capacity. 2.) This Asus motherboard measures just 6.7x6.7 inches, and it’s packed with some high end features. 3.) Corsair’s 250d provides us with a front 140mm fan and (amazingly) will take a good sized liquid cooler. 4.) The GeForce GTX 780 still offers awesome performance while running cool and quiet, and even fits in our case, to boot.</em></p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">Devil’s Canyon Brings the OC Heat -- But Not Enough</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">Frankly, we weren't very blown away with the overclocking performance of the Core i7 4790K. After hearing tales of 5GHz on air using a busted heat sink from a Pentium III, we expected more.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We were able to get the chip stable at 4.7GHz using 1.35 core voltage, but anything beyond that was BSOD heaven. In November 2013 we tested the Falcon Northwest Tiki, which sported an Intel Core i7-4770K overclocked to 4.7GHz, so our 4.7GHz overclock isn’t a spectacular accomplishment. Since that was the limit, we backed it down just a notch at 4.6GHz to try to tame the somewhat loud noise the cooling was making.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Our Devil’s Canyon box beat out our Zero-Point in a few benchmarks, producing wins in ProShow Producer 5.0 and Stitch.EFX, which it did by an average of 18.5 percent. In multi-threaded workloads such as Premiere Pro and X264 HD 5.01, even the ancient Sandy Bridge-E part with six cores could beat out the Devil’s Canyon part.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We also compared our rig to Digital Storm’s micro-tower Bolt II, which sports a Core i7 4770K overclocked to 4.5GHz. It was pretty much a tie in the CPU tests, but the Titan Black in the Bolt II trounced our GeForce GTX 780 big time. In 3DMark 11 and Batman: Arkham City we took a beating by 25 percent and 54 percent, respectively. We won’t even mention the Falcon Tiki Z reviewed this month, with its dual-GPU Titan Z. Of course, our entire build cost about two-thirds what just the GPU in the Tiki Z sells for, so you might want our Devil’s Canyon rig, after all!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u187432/benchmarks_2.png" width="550" height="260" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Our goal for this build it was to get a Devil’s Canyon part up to 5GHz, but didn’t achieve this overclocking feat with our rig. Not that anyone with a Core i7-4770K would likely be considering an upgrade, but news fl ash: Don’t bother. If you’ve held onto an Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge part for the past few years, and you’re looking for good time, Devil’s Canyon is a good fit for you. The Core i7-4790K currently has the highest base and turbo boost clock speeds of any i7 desktop part, and it costs the same as a Core i7-4770K, so new builders should rejoice.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>This article was taken from the December issue of the mag.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/build_it_little_devils_canyon_rig_2014#comments 4790K Build computer corsair i7 intel pc Rig Features How-Tos Tue, 24 Mar 2015 18:05:27 +0000 Chris Zele 29377 at http://www.maximumpc.com How to Overclock Your Graphics Card http://www.maximumpc.com/how_overclock_your_graphics_card_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="/files/u162579/314023-nvidia-geforce-gtx-titan-angle.jpg" alt="Titan" title="Titan" width="250" height="245" style="float: right;" />Learn how to wring every last bit of performance out of your video card</span></h3> <p>Overclocking a graphics card used to be more trouble than it was worth, but things have changed. EVGA Precision X and MSI Afterburner are just two of the most popular choices for software overclocking. AMD even bundles its own overclocking solution—AMD OverDrive—with its Catalyst drivers. Wringing more performance out of your graphics card is now as simple as moving a few sliders and testing for stability with a benchmark.&nbsp;</p> <p>That’s not to say that the best overclocking practices are obvious. We’re here to help with a guide on how to overclock your graphics card. Be forewarned—even the most basic overclocks can end in tragedy. Although we’re willing to walk you through the steps, we can’t be responsible for any damaged hardware or problems arising during the overclocking process. If you’re willing to take the risk, read on to learn how to overclock your graphics card. Keep in mind that the procedure for each video card can be slightly different. If any part of the guide doesn’t make sense, ask for help in the comments or spend some time on Google.&nbsp;</p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">1. Gearing Up</span></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/afterburner.png" alt="MSI Afterburner" title="MSI Afterburner" width="500" height="338" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>MSI Afterburner is capable overclocking software that works with most AMD and Nvidia cards.</strong></p> <p>Our favorite overclocking software is <a href="http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm" target="_blank">MSI Afterburner</a>. Your other options include <a href="http://www.evga.com/precision/" target="_blank">EVGA Precision X</a> for Nvidia cards, and for AMD Cards, AMD OverDrive, but to keep things simple we’ll be working solely with MSI Afterburner.&nbsp;</p> <p>You’ll also need a benchmark like <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/223850/" target="_blank">3DMark</a>—download the demo—or <a href="http://unigine.com/products/heaven/" target="_blank">Unigine’s Heaven Benchmark</a> to make sure your overclocks are stable enough for daily use. They’re also useful for quantifying just how much more performance you’re getting out of your hardware.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/" target="_blank">GPU-Z</a> is the final piece of the puzzle and although you don’t technically need it, it’s super helpful for checking your GPU and memory clock speeds.&nbsp;</p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">2. Getting in the Know</span></h3> <p>Before you even start overclocking, it helps to know what sort of overclocks you can expect from your hardware. <a href="http://hwbot.org/" target="_blank">HWBOT</a> is the easiest way to look up what overclocks other users are achieving. Our test bench included the <a href="http://hwbot.org/hardware/videocard/geforce_gtx_650_ti/" target="_blank">GTX 650 TI</a> and <a href="http://hwbot.org/hardware/videocard/radeon_hd_7850/" target="_blank">7850</a>, which have average overclocks listed on the site.&nbsp;</p> <p>It also helps to know how much real-world performance you’ll be getting out of your overclocks. Although you probably don’t need to run through an entire suite of benchmarks, having a baseline to refer to is useful. Run through 3DMark or Heaven Benchmark once to get your base scores.&nbsp;</p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">3. Core Speed Overclocks</span></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/heaven2.jpg" alt="Unigine Heaven" title="Unigine Heaven" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Unigine’s Heaven benchmark looks good and is packed with features.</strong></p> <p>Once you’ve got some averages in hand—for the 650 TI: 1,179MHz GPU and 1,687MHz memory—you’re ready to start overclocking. Start by maxing out the Power Limit slider—this isn’t the same as overvolting, the power limit is simply how much power your card can draw. Then grab the Core Clock slider and move it forward at 20MHz increments. After applying your changes, crank up the settings on Heaven Benchmark—quality at ultra, tessellation to extreme, anti-aliasing to 8x, and resolution at system—and run through it at least once by pressing F9 or clicking the “Benchmark” button. &nbsp;Keep an eye out for weird graphical artifacts—visual glitches that range from colorful lines of light to random off-color pixels across the screen—and for crashes. If the benchmark crashes to the desktop, seems to slow down dramatically, or gives you a lower frame rate or score upon completion, drop the clock speed by 10MHz until you can run through the benchmark without any problems.</p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">4. Memory Speed Overclocks</span></h3> <p>When you’ve found the highest stable clock speed for your card, repeat step two with the memory clock slider. Your memory clock speed generally won’t affect your frame rate or benchmark scores as much as the core clock speed, but it’ll help, especially if you’re running at a higher resolution.&nbsp;</p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">5. Stability Check</span></h3> <p>Lock in both of your increased clock speeds, run through Heaven a final time, and you should be seeing higher frame rates and a higher score. Go wild and test out your overclocked card in your favorite games to make sure that it’s stable enough for daily use—if it isn’t, step down your GPU and memory clock speeds until it is. To be extra safe, you can leave Heaven running for a few hours to make sure you won’t run into any problems during an extended gaming session.</p> <p><em>Read on for information on overvolting, special situations, and the results of our overclocks.</em></p> <hr /> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">Overvolting</span></h3> <p>If you’re not satisfied with your card’s overclocking performance at standard voltages, some cards let you crank up the voltage to squeeze even more performance out of your hardware. Before you do anything, spend a few minutes on Google to look up what other users are reporting as safe voltages for your specific graphics card.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/afterburner_voltage_control_settings.png" alt="MSI Afterburner Properties" title="MSI Afterburner Properties" width="350" height="628" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>If you're feeling frisky, unlock voltage control and monitoring.</strong></p> <p>You have to dig into Afterburner's settings to gain access to your card’s voltage. Increase your voltage by 10mV at a time until your overclock is stable, your temperatures exceed 70 degrees Celsius, or you reach your card’s maximum safe voltage.&nbsp;</p> <p>Even if you’re operating within the maximum safe voltage, overvolting a card can have severe consequences, including general instability, decreased part lifespan, and unsafe temperatures. It’s usually a good idea to stick to stock voltages unless you really need every last bit of performance from your card.&nbsp;</p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">Special Situations</span></h3> <p>Each and every video card overclocks differently. These differences aren’t limited to just how much you can push the card. Some cards like the GTX 670 and 680 utilize GPU boost to ramp up graphics performance when you need it. Those cards unlock special sliders in Precision X to manage when the boost is active. If you’re working with a card that has GPU boost, you’ll want to play around with the Power Target slider, which determines when the boost is applied. Pump up the boost and your card won’t downclock as often—unless you’re temperatures are getting too high.</p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">The Results</span></h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/overclocked_650ti.gif" alt="Nvidia GTX 650 Ti Overclock" title="Nvidia GTX 650 Ti Overclock" width="393" height="485" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>We haven’t won any records, but we do have a respectable overclock.</strong></p> <p>In our Nvidia test system with an i5-3570k running at 3.4GHz and a GTX 650 Ti, we managed to overclock the graphics card to 1,161/1,600MHz from a stock 941/1,350MHz. That’s a 19% increase in GPU clock speed and a 16% increase in memory clock speed.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/overclocked_7850.png" alt="AMD Radeon HD 7850 Overclock" title="AMD Radeon HD 7850 Overclock" width="393" height="485" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>This 7850 didn’t play nice with memory overclocks, but a 190MHz increase in core clock speed isn’t bad at all.</strong></p> <p>Our AMD test system with an i5-3570k running at 3.8GHz and a 7850, generated comparable results with a default 860/1,200MHz pushed to 1,050/1,225MHz. That’s an 18% increase in GPU clock speed and a less impressive 2% bump in memory clock speed.</p> <div style="text-align: left;"> <table class="MsoNormalTable" style="width: 615px; border-collapse: collapse;" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <thead> <tr style="mso-yfti-irow: 0; mso-yfti-firstrow: yes; height: .2in;"> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: .2in;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">&nbsp;</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: .2in;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">Stock GTX 650 Ti</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: .2in;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">Overclocked GTX 650 Ti</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: .2in;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">Stock 7850 </span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: .2in;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">Overclocked 7850</span></p> </td> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr style="mso-yfti-irow: 1; height: 9.75pt;"> <td style="border: none; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">3DMark Fire Strike</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">2,990</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">3,574</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">4,119</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">4,706</span></p> </td> </tr> <tr style="mso-yfti-irow: 2; height: .2in;"> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: .2in;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">Unigine Heaven 4.0 (fps)</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: .2in;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">15.6</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: .2in;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">18.7</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: .2in;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">20.5</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: .2in;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">23.8</span></p> </td> </tr> <tr style="mso-yfti-irow: 3; height: 9.75pt;"> <td style="border: none; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">BioShock Infinite (fps)</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">36.6</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">42.1</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">42.4</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">48.44</span></p> </td> </tr> <tr style="mso-yfti-irow: 4; height: 9.75pt;"> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">Tomb Raider (fps)</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">25.2</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">31.5</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">31.3</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #E7E7E7; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">33.2</span></p> </td> </tr> <tr style="mso-yfti-irow: 5; mso-yfti-lastrow: yes; height: 9.75pt;"> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">Core/Memory Clock (MHz)</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">941/1,350</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">1,161/1,600</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">860/1,200</span></p> </td> <td style="border-top: none; border-left: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid #CCCCCC 1.0pt; border-right: none; mso-border-left-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; mso-border-bottom-alt: solid #CCCCCC .75pt; background: #EDEDED; padding: 6.0pt 11.25pt 6.0pt 11.25pt; height: 9.75pt;" valign="bottom"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: .75pt; margin-right: .75pt; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 14.25pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #666666;">1,050/1,225</span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_overclock_your_graphics_card_2015#comments amd. graphics card gpu how to overclock nvidia overclocking performance Video Card Features How-Tos Fri, 06 Feb 2015 23:28:34 +0000 Ben Kim 27083 at http://www.maximumpc.com How to Make Your Own GIFs http://www.maximumpc.com/how_make_your_own_gifs_2014 <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><img src="/files/u170397/how_to_make_gifs.gif" width="250" height="188" style="float: right; margin: 10px;" /></strong><strong>Make your own GIFs with Photoshop, or a free app</strong></p> <p>GIFs (or JIFs, depending on who you ask) are the bread and butter of a good Internet conversation these days. While it’s easy to find reaction GIFs with a simple Google search, sometimes it's impossible to find that exact GIF you want. With this in mind, here are two simple ways to make your own animated images.</p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Our first step, of course, will be to download the video clip you want to make into a GIF. One of the simplest solutions is downloading clips using <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/download-youtube/">Download YouTube Extension for Firefox</a>. Alternatively, users could also use a web tool like <a href="http://keepvid.com/">KeepVid</a>.</p> <p><img src="/files/u170397/keepvid.jpg" width="620" height="342" /></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> Next, you’ll want to cut your clip to length to make it easier to work with and convert. <br />I recommend <a href="http://www.freevideocutter.com/">Free Video Cutter</a> for a simple and free solution.</p> <p><img src="/files/u170397/free_video_cutter.jpg" width="620" height="471" /></p> <p><strong>Step 3: </strong>Now that we’ve got all that done, its time to actually make GIFs. We’ll start with launching Photoshop CC, our GIF creator of choice, and load the clip. Do this by going to File &gt; Import &gt; Video Frames to Layers.</p> <p><img src="/files/u170397/import.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p><strong>Step 4:</strong> Photoshop will prompt you with a dialog box. If you haven't already cut the clip to length, you can do so here, too. Additionally, users can limit the number of frames Photoshop uses to create a GIF to lower the file size, but at the cost of a choppier animation.</p> <p><img src="/files/u170397/create_gif.jpg" width="620" height="260" /></p> <p><strong>Step 5: </strong>After a bit, your video should be split into multiple layers. Next, we’ll select File &gt; Save for web.</p> <p><img src="/files/u170397/save_for_web.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p><strong>Step 6: </strong>There are multiple settings in this new window. Here is where you can cut your file size (it should be below 2MB) by tweaking these following three settings.</p> <ul> <li>Dimensions: The size of your GIF just as it is with still images. Lowering this will dramatically reduce the size of the file. Unless you need a 1080p GIF, this should be your first stop.</li> <li>Dither: Effectively, this setting changes image quality. The higher the number, the better your GIF will look, and with it a bigger file size as well. </li> <li>Lossy: This pretty much sacrifices image quality in favor of smaller file size. Balance is the key!</li> </ul> <p><img src="/files/u170397/photoshop_settings.jpg" width="620" height="458" /></p> <p><strong>Step 7: </strong>Now just hit save and you’re done!</p> <h4>The simpler (and free!) route</h4> <p>OK, not all of us have Photoshop or want to use such a complicated image editor. Luckily for everyone, there’s a simpler, free solution called the <a href="http://www.giffingtool.com/">Giffing Tool</a>. Download, install, and start the app.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u170397/giffing_tool.jpg" width="374" height="130" /></p> <p><strong>Step 1: </strong>Upon opening the Giffing Tool, you'll find a multitude of ways to record video. You can also open GIFs to edit them. We’ll stick to simply recording YouTube clips for now. Click the drop-down next to <strong>New</strong> and select <strong>YouTube 640 x 350</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Step 2: </strong>This option will give you a box to hover over your video, and can record up to 10 seconds of footage.</p> <p><img src="/files/u170397/frame_select.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p><strong>Step 3: </strong>Once that’s done, a new edit window will appear with your recorded footage. The first thing you’ll want to do here is cut your GIF to length by selecting and dragging the tabs on either side of the blue time bar.</p> <p><img src="/files/u170397/cut_to_length.jpg" width="620" height="534" /></p> <p><strong>Step 4: </strong>After that, it’s just a matter of reducing the image size and quality to ensure your file isn’t too large. Of course, you can get as in-depth as you'd like by adding captions, effects, or cropping the GIF more.</p> <p><strong>Step 5:</strong> Once you’re done, simply save and keep on giffing.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u170397/elmer_season.gif" width="500" height="273" /></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_make_your_own_gifs_2014#comments gif Giffing Tool How to make a GIF how-tos image editing Photoshop CC How-Tos Wed, 21 Jan 2015 20:37:34 +0000 Kevin Lee 28432 at http://www.maximumpc.com How to Use Adobe Premiere Pro http://www.maximumpc.com/how_use_adobe_premiere_pro2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Productive video editing in less than 60 minutes!</h3> <p>We’re going to venture a guess that not all of Maximum PC’s readers will know the history behind Adobe Premiere, which was the first commonly available digital video editor when released in 1991. The best you could expect from it at the time was postage stamp–size videos of 160 x 120 pixels, but at least we were off and running. Or so we thought. Because the original Adobe Premiere (without “Pro”) had years of problems around synching audio to video. This limited its professional use, and opened the door for Apple's Final Cut to take over.</p> <p>Premiere Pro, released in 2003, was a rewrite of the program and fixed most of the issues. It's since been used for both offline and online editing of major motion pictures, commercials, and broadcast TV shows. And yes, it's still easy enough for us amateurs to use to edit the footage from either your toddler's second birthday party or your last debaucherous frat party (but do us all a favor and don't upload the latter to Youtube, OK?).</p> <p>Here’s a primer for anyone interested in using Premiere Pro to put together their next digital masterpiece.</p> <h4>Launch Adobe Premiere / Start New Project</h4> <p>You’ll see the now-familiar Adobe start menu that lists options for recent files, new files, and other helpful choices. Click “New Project...” to get started.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_01.png" alt="Premiere image 1" width="203" height="140" /></p> <p>The New Project dialog comes next. You can just click OK to proceed if you’re raring to go, as all the setting can be changed later. However, you may wish to fill in a project name and choose where it save it. The other options are mostly application preferences that you will set once and leave alone. You can mod these later if the need to do so arises.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_02.png" alt="Premiere image 2" width="165" height="165" /></p> <p>On to the workspace! By default, Premiere is divided into four tabbed/windowed sections. Clockwise from top-left they are: &nbsp;<br />Source Window (top-left) Displays selected source clips, i.e., original camera footage clips. Trimming and other work can be done in this section before placing the clip into the timeline.<br />Program Window (top-right) Displays the edited footage, with cuts, effects, and transitions.<br />The Timeline (bottom-right) This is the area where all the parts are put together, in chronological order.<br />Project Window bottom-left) This displays the source material, like the original camera footage, audio clips, and art. This window is sometimes referred to as the “bin,” a reference to the editing days of yore.<br />Note that both windows on the left also have tabs, allowing for other content and data to be displayed within those windows.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_03.png" alt="Premiere image 3" width="498" height="290" /></p> <h4>Import Content</h4> <p>Begin by bringing in your content. In this case, WEgrabbed a few video clips of the brilliant silent-era actor Buster Keaton (let's save Keaton vs. Chaplin debates for another time!), Scott Joplin’s classic song “The Entertainer,” and a title slide WEcreated in Photoshop. WEprefer to just drag all items from their desktop folder into the Project Window to import files (note the “Import media to start” line that is displayed in that window prior to content being added). Alternatively, you can use the various Import options found in the File menu.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_04.png" alt="Premiere image 4" width="196" height="142" /></p> <h4>Pre-Roll</h4> <p>Before we begin dropping clips into the Timeline Window (bottom-right), take note of how you can move your mouse over a video clip in the Project Window and see the clip animate as you mouse left and right. Then you can double-click a clip to open it in the Source Window (top-left). In this window, you can “scrub” (move the “Time Thumb” back and forth) or click the play button to get a feel for the video content, its timing, and hear its audio track. </p> <p>You can also set the Mark In and Mark Out points, which determine the clip's start and end times when dropped into the Timeline. Do this by moving the Time Thumb to the start frame desired, and then simply click the Mark In button at the bottom of the window. Next, move the Time Thumb to the desired end frame, and click the Mark Out button. Like all actions in Premiere, this is a non-permanent edit and can always be changed later. Now when you drag this clip from the Project Window to the main Timeline, it will be dropped in pre-edited for its In and Out points.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_05_0.png" alt="Premiere image 5" width="230" height="252" /></p> <p>This is a good time to look at some of the other tabs in both the Project and Source windows, and use the tools found there to make other modifications to the clip. The default interface of the Source Window contains these tabs:&nbsp; Source, Effect Controls, Audio, and Metadata. </p> <p>The Project Window tabs include:&nbsp; Project, Media Browser, Info, Effects, and Markers. Aside from the Project tab, the second most-used tab is Effects, where you will find video and audio filters and effects, as well as editing transitions that you’ll use later in the main Timeline. Effects for both video and audio can be drag-and-dropped over the clip in the Source Window to apply them (or later, over any clips in the Timeline). After an effect is applied, click in the Effect Controls tab to set the controls. Keep in mind that effects are not static, and can be changed over time, i.e. animated, using a smaller Timeline in that window.</p> <p>Animated effects are created by first activating the mini timeline by clicking any attribute's “stopwatch” icon at the left side of the window. You then create keyframes along the way, as needed. This is like having a mini After Effects within Premiere, and is very intuitive once you play with it a bit. Keyframes are automatically created at the frame the Timethumb is currently sitting on, anytime you modify an attribute. </p> <p>In order to see what changes you’re actually making, you will need to drag the Effect Control tab out of that window stack. In our example, we simply dragged it to the Program Window at the upper-right. Clip's effects can be further refined later after they’re placed in the main Timeline.</p> <p>So, if the Timethumb is on frame 00:01:05:11, the “stopwatch” icon had been made active, and you change the value of an attribute, a keyframe will automatically be created and show up as a diamond on the mini-timeline.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_06.png" alt="Premiere image 6" width="458" height="242" /></p> <p>Effects can be stacked, so you could apply a few different effects and have them all do their thing to a single clip. Fast computers, efficient software design, and graphics-accelerated cards (Adobe uses the “Mercury” engine) all make for real-time playback of clips with effects applied. At least to a point. Add too many effects and your playback performance will suffer. You can adjust for this by lowering your preview playback expectations.&nbsp; Do this in the Program (i.e., the playback window), using the Zoom and Resolution playback popup menus. A smaller playback image size, or lowered resolution will give a better playback efficiency.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>Putting It All Together</h4> <p>Now comes the fun part: dropping the video clips and other elements into the main Timeline Window. This can be done by dragging one—or many—items from the Project Window, and dropping it/them in the Timeline Window. Dragging one item at a time gives you more control over where it’s placed. If you drag multiple clips at one time, they will be dropped into the Timeline sequentially along a track, in one clip after another. You can also drag the current clip open in the Source Window to the Timeline.</p> <p>Before you start all this dragging, be aware that if you simply drag a clip into the Timeline, Premiere will automatically create what it calls a Sequence. Any Premiere project can have multiple Sequences, which are great for advanced work (although we won't be covering advanced topics here). But this automatically created Sequence will inherit that first drag/dropped clip's name and specifications, which you may not want to happen. To avoid this, go to File &gt; New &gt; Sequence (or Ctrl + N) and choose the specs you want. This newly created Sequence will now appear in the Project Window, along with the other content items.</p> <p>In our example, WEcreated a Sequence with settings for HDV 30fps, progressive. With that in place, when the first clip containing different specs is dropped into the new Sequence, you will be asked if you would like to change the Sequence specs to match the clip. Generally, we would instead prefer the clip to be modified to match the Sequence we just created.</p> <p>When you begin to drag items into the Timeline, you’ll see that Premiere places the elements around a center horizontal line. Video/visual items stack above the line, and audio items stack below. Video clips with an audio track will show up with two timeline elements, one for the video content, and another for the audio content. These can be placed on V1 and A1, or V2 and V2, etc. Though locked together when first placed, once placed, the two elements can be treated independently and moved around to better suit your editing needs. You can even Unlink the two item completely, which would allow one to be deleted while keeping the other (either right-click, or use the Clip menu to get to Unlink option).</p> <p>Like all timelines, it starts at zero time at the far left, and moves chronologically as you progress to the right. As you drop items in, you may find it easier to change their Label Color, so that each clip visually stands out from its neighbor (right-click or use the Edit menu for Label options).</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_07.png" alt="Premiere image 7" width="498" height="166" /></p> <p>As seen in the screen grab above, we can both stack items next to one another on the Timeline across time (left to right), as well as on top of each other to create various transparent and multiplied effects. With the basic elements in place, we now want to start massaging these elements into something worth watching.</p> <p>We’ll start by working on our main title art. Note that while WEcreated this title in Photoshop and imported it, titles can also be created right inside Premiere Pro by going to the Title menu. These can be static or animated. Obviously, use the method that best fits the needs of your situation. Photoshop can create a much wider range of imagery and effects, and quite beautiful typography. When creating any kind of art in PS that is destined for video use, you can start your project by using one of the Film &amp; Video presets in PS's New... dialog.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_08.png" alt="Premiere image 8" width="208" height="152" /></p> <p>The Timeline Window allows an item's In and Out points to be set, though it is done a bit differently than in the Source Window. The Timeline Window has 12 tool options, which can be selected in a vertical bar just to the left of the Timeline. We’ll just work with the default tool for now, the Selection Tool.</p> <p>When you roll over the left or right edge of any item in the Timeline, the cursor will change into a red bracket (facing left or right, depending on which edge), with an arrow. Simply clicking and dragging will modify the clip's In or Out point.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_09.png" alt="Premiere image 9" width="232" height="208" /></p> <p>For the title art, WEwanted the In point to be flush left, and the Out point to be a about five seconds later. The next step is to set its opacity so that it fades in at the start, and fades out at the end. There are a few ways to do this in Premiere, but for this clip I'm just going to use the Effect Controls. Double-click the clip in the Timeline, and it will become active in the Source window.</p> <p>Once inside the Effect Controls tab, you will see Motion, Opacity, and Time Re-Mapping. All of these are default effects for clips with visual content, so we won't actually have to add any additional effects.&nbsp; Here's what we need to do:</p> <p>1. Turn the rotating arrow in front of Opacity, to open its attributes.<br />2. Click the Stopwatch to activate animation.<br />3. With the time set to zero, also set the opacity to zero. A keyframe diamond will appear.<br />4. Move the time a few frames ahead, perhaps 10 frames. (TIP:&nbsp; Use the arrow keys to advance the frame one at a time.)<br />5. Now, change the opacity a second time, to 100 percent, and another keyframe will appear.<br />6. Move ahead to about 4.5 seconds, where we want to put another keyframe at 100 percent opacity. Since this doesn't actually change anything, it is referred to as a “holding” keyframe. And since you are not changing anything, you need to force its creation by clicking on the Add/Remove Keyframe button, which can be found to the right. It looks like a diamond, sitting between a left- and right-facing arrow.<br />7. Now, move the Timethumb another 15 or so frames to the right, and bring the opacity down to zero.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_10.png" alt="Premiere image 10" width="232" height="136" /></p> <p>That’s it. You can scrub or play the segment now and should see a quick fade up, a hold, and then a slower fade out. One thing you will also notice is that the video clip sitting further down is at the start of the timeline. This is easily fixed by either dragging the clip to the right and tucking it away, or by clicking the edge of the clip—its In point—and editing the intruding frames out.</p> <p>By default, the Timeline is rather dull to look at. It's better to work with it set to show more information and controls. This can be done clicking on the Wrench icon menu, part of five such icon menu items near the top-left of the Timeline window. Select the Expand All Tracks option, and you will see the Timeline change. </p> <p>Now for a quick run through the audio. Since we don't want to use the audio tracks that are part of the videos, we can simply click the M icon at the left of the Timeline, which stands for mute. We could also click on the audio items, Unlink them from the video sections, and delete them. Either option will work. But leaving the audio in the file will let us add some sound from them back in later, if we decide we want to.</p> <p>Next, we drag “The Entertainer” clip in and place it, and we’re set. More tweaking is always possible, and there are many audio filters that can be used to make this track sound better. We leave these more advanced treatments to you to play with on your own.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_11.png" alt="Premiere image 11" width="498" height="196" /></p> <p>We’re ready for the final two adjustments. The first one is something that falls under the heading “Creative Accident.” This is when you happen upon something that may be more creative and interesting than you originally imagined. The trick with this type of creativity is to be open to it when it happens.</p> <p>For some reason, our first clip is showing very small in the frame. At first, we were just going to enlarge it to a reasonable size. But then we thought that it might actually be more visually interesting to allow it to start small and then enlarge it a little while later, which a zooming move.</p> <p>After playing the footage once through, with the music in place, we found the perfect place to do the zoom effect, right when the music changes directions around the eight second mark. This zoom is done in the Motion effect, using the keyframing as we did before, but this time on the Scale property.</p> <p>As part of our Creative Accident, we decided to fill the entire HD frame, which required some cropping of the original 4:3 ratio. After all, we’re not doing archival work here, and the cropping didn't adversely effect the material (sometimes it might).</p> <p>The last step is now to edit the last clip onto the end of the project. This last clip was never pre-trimmed in the Source Window, so we just scrubbed through some of it in the Timeline and found a part that would be good to start with. Going to the vertical toolbar, we selected the Razor Tool, used for cutting a clip into two parts. This is done very easily with a single click at the point you want the split. (One click will do this to both the video and audio sections.)</p> <p>We then went back to the selection tool, selected the new clip to the left of the split-point, and deleted it. Then we selected the remaining part of the clip and slid that over to abut our first video clip. What we have now is a hard cut edit, in other words, no transition effects. </p> <p>Many productions use hard cuts all the time, but for this we will drop in a cross-fade transition. This is done by opening the Effects tab and then the Video Transitions folder. There are many transition effects here, but the cross-fade that WEwant is found in the Dissolve folder. Click and drag it to insert right in between the first and second clips. As you prepare to drop the transition in place, you will see you have three options: to have the fade execute only on the first clip, only on the second clip, or across the two, which is usually our preferred option.</p> <p>This last clip also came in with the video smaller. But unlike the first clip, enlarging the material in this clip to fill the screen would not work well, so we simply made it as large as possible and will live with two black letterbox bars along the left and right of the screen.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_12.png" alt="Premiere image 12" width="497" height="263" /></p> <p>Obviously, more clips can be added, and a host of additional effects can be used to do a wide range of treatments. We can preview the&nbsp; project by simply hitting the spacebar to start and stop play in the Program Window. Or, we can hit the Enter/Return key to render the previews first before playing. This is a better option in many situations, but of course, takes longer.</p> <h4>Rendering</h4> <p>The very last step in making a movie is to render it out. This is done by either rendering a Sequence directly out of Premiere, or by sending the project out to Adobe's Media Encoder. Either option is done by opening File &gt; Export &gt; Media…. The details of compression and encoding can and have filled many books. But sending the file to Media Encoder by choosing the Queue button, offers quite a few presets that can make your work easier—though still not always “easy,” simply because there are so many preset options it is often hard to decide.</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/premiere_13.png" alt="Premiere image 13" width="391" height="267" /></p> <p>Rendering, even on a fast computer, is anything but instant. And the more effects you add, the longer it will take. High-def resolutions also take a big toll, so if you don't really need 1080, why render it?</p> <h4>It's a Wrap</h4> <p>Adobe's Premiere isn't a two- or three-button solution like some consumer-editing options. But with a little bit of effort, almost anyone can learn to use it. There is no need to learn it all, just learn what you need, at least for now. You’ll get your clips done, and can always add more as you go.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_use_adobe_premiere_pro2014#comments Adobe Premiere Pro beginner's guide crash course how to tips video editing Features How-Tos Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:19:15 +0000 Lance Evans 28990 at http://www.maximumpc.com Getting Started With KODI(XBMC) http://www.maximumpc.com/getting_started_xbmc_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="/files/u154082/splash1-600x336.png" alt="kodi" title="kodi" width="250" height="140" style="float: right;" />Get the most out of your HTPC with KODI</span></h3> <p>It may have started as a media center for the original Xbox, but KODI (formerly&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/xbmc" target="_blank">XBMC</a>) </strong>has since evolved into a full-fledged application with a huge library of add-ons generated by diehard fans and users. Available on pretty much every platform you’d want to install it on—Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, and more—it’s a stellar way to get all of your content onto a big screen without having to deal with a mouse and keyboard, unless you want to.</p> <p>Before you get started, it’s important to realize that KODI might not be the best option if you rely heavily on streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, or Amazon Instant Video. Most services aren’t officially supported and have flaky implementations that don’t always work. The point of an HTPC, after all, is to make it easier for you to consume media.&nbsp;</p> <h4><span style="font-weight: normal;">Installation and Setup</span>&nbsp;</h4> <p>The first step is getting&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;downloaded and installed. Head on over to the KODI<a href="http://xbmc.org/" target="_blank">&nbsp;website</a> and <a href="http://xbmc.org/download/" target="_blank">download</a> the version that’s appropriate for your hardware.</p> <p>If you don’t have old hardware lying around to use as an impromptu home theater PC (HTPC), building or buying a dedicated HTPC isn’t a bad idea. With options like the&nbsp;KODI-compatible <a href="http://www.raspberrypi.org/" target="_blank">Raspberry Pi</a> starting at only $25, you can get a decent system up and running without breaking the bank—<a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/velocity_micro_raptor_multiplex_xl_review" target="_blank">unless you want to</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ideal HTPC is small, quiet, and suitably fast. You don’t need the latest and greatest hardware, but having a processor capable of playing 720p or 1080p video is essential. Hard-drive space is another key component if you aren’t going to stream content online or over your local network.&nbsp;</p> <p>Alongside the computer, you’ll want some sort of remote control. If you’ve got one lying around, you’ll probably be able to get it working with&nbsp;KODI. You’ve also got the option of using your smartphone to control&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;remotely. Official&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;remotes are available on both <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/official-xbmc-remote/id520480364" target="_blank">iOS</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.xbmc.android.remote&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">Android</a> and are a great way to control playback without resorting to a keyboard and mouse.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/yatse.jpg" alt="Yatse" title="Yatse" width="288" height="512" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.leetzone.android.yatsewidgetfree" target="_blank">Yatse</a> isn’t an official remote, but it does support streaming to your Android device.</strong></p> <p>That’s not to say that a keyboard and mouse aren’t useful, because a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Keyboard-Built-In-Multi-Touch/dp/B005DKZTMG" target="_blank">good wireless keyboard</a> with an integrated track pad can be a lifesaver. Having said that, the&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;interface is designed to be navigated with d-pad controls and works best with a remote.&nbsp;</p> <h4><span style="font-weight: normal;">Audio and Video Settings</span></h4> <p>KODI does a great job of setting itself up when you first start it up, but you’ll want to make sure that all of your audio and video settings are correct. Scroll over to the System tab of the home menu and select Settings. &nbsp;Once you’re in the Settings menu, drill down into the System tab on the left to access&nbsp;KODI’s basic settings.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/system_settings_page.jpg" alt="XBMC Settings" title="XBMC Settings" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p>Make sure that&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;is set to an appropriate resolution for your monitor or TV. If you’re running&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;on a system hooked up to multiple displays, you can set&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;to blank other displays and select which screen&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;should be displayed on. Move onto the Audio output tab to fiddle with your audio settings. Here you can choose your audio output, what your speaker setup is, and whether or not your setup supports various technologies—Dolby Digital, DTS, TrueHD, DTS-HD, et cetera.</p> <h4><span style="font-weight: normal;">Importing Your Content</span></h4> <p>Now that you’ve got&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;up and running, your next step should be to make all of your content available on your HTPC. It could just be a matter of copying over the terabytes of movies and music you’ve collected over the years, or installing an add-on or two to access online streaming services.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/add_music_source.png" alt="XBMC Add Music Source" title="XBMC Add Music Source" width="620" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>KODI may not find all of your media automatically, but adding new sources is a cinch.</strong></p> <p>If you’ve got all of your media stored locally, the process is really simple. Drill down into the Music or Video menus and click Add source, browse for the folder containing your music, and add it to the list as a source. With the default skin, click the play button on the bottom-left to access detailed playback controls.</p> <p><em>Read-on to learn about our favorite add-ons, services, and skins.</em></p> <hr /> <h4><span style="font-size: 1.17em;">Add-ons and Services</span></h4> <p>It’s more than a little surprising just how many add-ons are available on&nbsp;KODI. They range from things like CollegeHumor, to the TWiT network, and even Khan Academy. Download and install an app—usually from inside&nbsp;KODI—and you’ll be presented with basic menus that let you navigate a staggering amount of video and audio content. The only problem with&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;add-ons is that some of them aren’t regularly updated and many popular services aren’t supported.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/list_of_add-ons.jpg" alt="Cherry Music" title="Cherry Music" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>We don’t know what CherryMusic is, but it’s proof that&nbsp;<span style="font-weight: normal; text-align: start;">KODI</span>&nbsp;has a huge library of add-ons.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=178693" target="_blank">NetfliXMBC</a> is absolutely essential if you’re a heavy Netflix user. Installing this add-on isn’t as easy as the others and requires a bit of work. Start off by downloading <a href="http://code.google.com/p/addonscriptorde-beta-repo/downloads/list" target="_blank">AddonScripterDE’s repository</a>. Launch&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;and go into the Settings menu, Add-Ons, and click Install from ZIP File. Find the ZIP you just downloaded and the repository should now be installed. Click Get Add-Ons and select AddonScripterDE’s Beta Repo. Now when you check under Video Add-Ons, you should see NetfliXBMC. Install it, enter in your Netflix information, and then switch the Win Browser from Chrome to IExplorer. If you’re not using a keyboard, you’ll also need to set up alternate controls for your remote.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/netflixbmc_controls.png" alt="NetfliXMBC Controls" title="NetfliXMBC Controls" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Add-on:YouTube" target="_blank">YouTube</a> add-on is great if you spend a lot of time on YouTube. Navigating the add-on can be a bit tedious if you aren’t using a mouse and keyboard, but it’s manageable and gives you a chance to catch up on the latest cat videos without leaving your couch. We particularly love the ability to easily view official YouTube feeds—most viewed, trending videos, top rated, et cetera.</p> <p><a href="https://github.com/mazkolain/spotimc" target="_blank">Spotimc</a> is an easy-to-install Spotify add-on that’s currently in beta. It’s not available in the official&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;repository, but installing it is simply a matter of downloading the latest release and going to Home &gt; System &gt; Settings &gt; Add-ons &gt; Install from zip file and selecting the zip that you downloaded. It’s a little slow, but it gives you an easy way to get Spotify onto your TV.</p> <p>This unofficial&nbsp;<a href="http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=121023" target="_blank">Hulu add-on</a> gives you full access to Hulu in&nbsp;KODI. Download <a href="https://code.google.com/p/bluecop-xbmc-repo/downloads/detail?name=repository.bluecop.xbmc-plugins.zip" target="_blank">BlueCop's repository</a> to get access to it. It works as you'd expect and even has the added benefit of semi-skippable commercials—fast forward through them with no penalty.</p> <p><a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.leetzone.android.yatsewidgetfree" target="_blank">Yatse</a>’s our favorite Android-based remote for&nbsp;KODI. It’s a clean, well-thought-out app for Android phones and tablets that gives you full control over&nbsp;KODI. The $3.99 upgrade even gives you the ability to stream content from KODI&nbsp;directly to your phone.&nbsp;</p> <h4><span style="font-weight: normal;">Making It Look Nice</span></h4> <p>KODI’s default skin, Confluency, looks great. If you want to mix it up, there are plenty of options available. Some of our favorite skins are <a href="http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Add-on:Aeon_Nox" target="_blank">Aeon Nox</a>, <a href="http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Add-on:Aeon_MQ_5" target="_blank">Aeon MQ 5</a>, and <a href="http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Add-on:Re-Touched" target="_blank">re-Touched</a> if you’re running&nbsp;KODI&nbsp;on a device with a touchscreen.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/aeon_mq_3.jpg" alt="Aeon MQ 5" title="Aeon MQ 5" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>It doesn't all look this good, but Aeon MQ 5 is slick and sexy.</strong></p> <p>Installing a skin is simple. Dive into Settings &gt; Appearance &gt; Skin and click Get More. Pick the skins you want, and you’ll even get notifications once they’re ready for use. Head back into the skins menu and swap between them at will.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/re-touched_2.png" alt="re-Touched 2" title="re-Touched 2" width="620" height="349" style="font-weight: bold; text-align: center;" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">A great skin for touchscreen devices; finger-friendly and clean.</span></p> <p>All that’s left now is to sit down and catch up on your backlog!&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/getting_started_xbmc_2014#comments frodo htpc kodi media media center NetFlix xbmc How-Tos Mon, 15 Dec 2014 23:54:30 +0000 Ben Kim 26968 at http://www.maximumpc.com