We’ve seen systems with Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) before, but no vendor has been sassy enough to break from the de rigueur SATA VelociRaptor or SSD drives in favor of the tech—until now.
Of course, this is Polywell’s M.O.—not content to do things like any other system vendor, Polywell usually tucks in a curve ball to brush you off home plate when you don’t expect it. Sometimes Polywell’s pitch doesn’t work (think really nice $5,000 gaming rig with an $8 keyboard and mouse), but time we were intrigued with its 300 gigabytes of RAID 0, 15,000rpm, connected using SAS. The onboard SAS support in the Asus P6T Deluxe mobo achieved sequential read speeds of about 192MB/s with 6.8ms access times—that’s purty durn good considering that our VelociRaptor-equipped systems see roughly 166MB/s reads with about 7+ms access times.
Elsewhere, Polywell plays it safe and sane: an Intel Core i7 clocked up to 3.66GHz on air and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 card along with 6GB of DDR3 at 1,450MHz and an LG Blu-ray drive stuffed into an Antec 900 case make it a well-rounded rig—albeit a bit bland.
I have RAID 0 on my PC and store my OS on it. But what else goes there? Do I install my games to the RAID or to my other drive? I also have games imaged so I don’t need the CD/DVD. Should those games be on the RAID or not? Are there any apps that would do better on the RAID? As it stands, I install most of my apps to the RAID 0 (Firewall, antivirus, Yahoo!, etc.). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I bought a new motherboard, processor, and memory online and put it in a case. I was installing my original copy of Windows XP Pro and before the installation completed my motherboard just locked up. My power supply fan stayed on, and my hard drive LED stayed lit, but my power light was off and nothing would happen.
I exchanged the board for a duplicate.
I installed Windows XP Pro and it ran for almost a whole day, but then the same thing happened. I called the store and talked to tech support and was told that I must have a limited copy of XP Pro that will only work with components that were out around the time the OS disc was made, and because I tried to use it with more modern hardware, Windows put a BIOS lock on my mobo. I’d never heard of such a thing, and the only thing I can find online regarding “BIOS lock” is how to set up a password in the BIOS. Is this technician feeding me a line of bull?
CoolIT is somewhat notorious for enormous but effective closed water-cooling systems: its Boreas and Freezone Elite kick the pants off of conventional air coolers and are much more user-friendly than piecemeal water-cooling setups. Now CoolIT wants to bring self-contained water-cooling to the masses with the Domino Advanced Liquid Cooling.
The Domino eschews both the large heatsinks and the Peltier thermoelectric coolers of its predecessors in favor of a radiator and single 12cm fan, which gives the Domino less oomph than the Boreas or Freezone Elite, but confers several advantages to the water-cooling newb.
First, the Domino costs a cool $80, compared to $600-plus for the Boreas and $350 for the Freezone Elite. Second, the Domino is much smaller and easier to install; CoolIT boasts that an amateur with no CPU-cooling experience can install it in 10 minutes.
Battery-life claims never seems to line up with reality. You’d think testing battery life would be straightforward, but benchmark results rarely jibe with real-world results—in part, because there are an infinite number of potential workloads (each tapping power differently), and battery life decays over time. Both Intel and AMD make mobile CPU platforms designed for low power consumption, but due to the massive number of variables involved, I’ve found it nearly impossible to determine which architecture sucks the least juice.
Think about it. There’s a lot of hardware in a laptop that can affect battery life besides the CPU and the battery itself: the LCD screen and backlight, the optical and hard drives, the GPU, chipset, and memory config—to name just a few. The upshot is that if you want to fairly compare Intel and AMD hardware, you really need to test what we’ll call core power draw, isolating all the other variables. There are just a handful of ways to do this fairly, and each comes with its own problems.
I have 2TBs of movies that I’m afraid I’ll lose if the NAS device they’re stored on fails. Is it possible to recover the files on these hard drives by putting them in another device, or do I have to have the same product I’m using now? Making DVDs for 2TB of files is not realistic and I don’t really want to buy another 2TB of hard drives just for backup. How long can I expect a typical hard drive to retain data before it fails? One year? Five?
I just did a Core i7 build for audio/video production purposes and 3D rendering. I’m not a gamer, but I do a lot of heavy-duty audio stuff and 3D rendering with Cinema4D, After Effects, Poser, 3D Studio Max, Photoshop, etc. The system is a Core i7-920 with an ATI 4870 X2 and Vista Ultimate 64-bit.
Vista has really started to get on my nerves. I am getting random BSODs, and there is no pattern to when they come (although it seems the computer is usually idle for a little while when it happens). The BSOD message says it’s due to a hardware exception, and is always the same. I’ve done some general diagnostics on the hardware using CPU-Z and SpeedFan, and everything checks out.
I think it may be the result of something as simple as an unseated videocard, but it would be nice if I knew how to access the error log that is written whenever a BSOD occurs, like I used to with XP. I would imagine that Vista has the same feature; I’m just not sure how to get to it. Can you tell me where to find this or offer some suggestions to help me troubleshoot this?
Despite what you see in the screenshots in this review, H.A.W.X. is as much a flight simulator as Burnout Paradise is a driving sim. Ubisoft’s latest liberty with the Tom Clancy franchise is more akin to Descent or Wing Commander than it is to Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X. It’s an arcade shooter that cares more about maintaining a high explosion-per-minute ratio than realism or even proper physics. That means fighter jets with 200-plus capacity payloads, a dearth of takeoffs and landings, and an army of AI-controlled enemy units that are more than willing to fly straight into your missiles for the greater pyrotechnic glory.
As David Crenshaw, former leader of the Air Force’s elite H.A.W.X. squadron, you’ve now turned to the private sector to pay the bills and catch the thrills. In the first half of the game, Artemis Global Security hires you to guard oil refineries and bomb military bases for the highest bidder, which—shocker—eventually has you at odds with the U.S. government. Ever the patriot, this twist sends you back into the arms of Uncle Sam and you spend the rest of the game defending America from an all-out invasion.