One of the biggest pet peeves in a technology enthusiast's life is the plethora of proprietary power cables that plague the consumer market, each with a slightly different design. Can't we all just get along and charge via USB? That utopian vision took one step closer to becoming reality yesterday, as the USB 3.0/2.0 Promoter Groups announced a USB power delivery spec that makes the every-port capable of delivering up to 100W of pure power. Yep, your PC can now charge a notebook. Heck, a laptop could even theoretically charge another notebook.
A team of researchers from prominent institutions around the world claim that they've figured out how to make computer processors smaller, faster and more power efficient than ever before: by letting chips mess up once in a while. No, seriously. By allowing "inexact" chips to make a pre-calculated amount of errors rather than striving for absolute perfection, the researchers claim that drastic power reductions can be made -- and they already have a working prototype.
Recent solar and wind price cuts could speed up the adoption rate and bring the technologies closer to the masses within the next decade, Reuters reports. Falling prices in both sectors are the result of increased production in China and subsequent over supply. Natural gas and fossil fuels still lead the charge in the U.S., but prices of turbines have dropped 20 percent and solar panels by 50 percent since 2007, making them ever more attractive alternatives.
I have what I thought was a simple question, but I can’t seem to find a definitive answer. I have an Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard and a Core i7-930 CPU. Should I use my PSU’s 8-pin or 4-pin connector for the CPU?
Read the Doctor's answer for Craig after the jump.
I have been having an issue with the rig I built back in June. Occasionally, usually when I first boot in the morning, nothing happens when I press the power button. I have found that cycling the power strip and power supply, disconnecting and reconnecting the cord, or slapping the side of the case fixes the problem. I have also had some rare instances where the computer unexpectedly shuts down, as if it were unplugged. Since this is a relatively new rig, most of the parts (with the exception of the motherboard, which I purchased as an open-box item) are still under warranty. I just need to know what component might be at fault—I suspect the power supply or the motherboard.
Read the Doctor's answer for Scott after the jump.
One of the most common questions of PC building is, "How much power do I need?" And while I realize that most Maximum PC enthusiasts might very well just answer the question thusly--"As much as I can buy"--that's not always the best recommendation for two key reasons: You don't need a kilowatt power supply if you're rocking a newb rig, and you might not have the budget to afford more juice than what your computer ultimately requires.
But how, then, do you figure out the exact size of power supply your system requires for perfect performance? It's no easy task. I highly doubt you want to arm yourself with a clipboard and surf over to the manufacturers' Web sites to figure out the power draw for all the components in your rig. And even then, you're not going to have an easy time doing so. You'll probably just go off the recommendation of someone from an online message board--"oh, so and so rig usually needs... 700 watts at least. You'll be fine then. Word."
That, or you could hit up this week's Web App pick: the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator. This super-helpful online tool gives you a comprehensive list of components to pick from. Select what's in your PC and you'll get an read-out of how much power your system will likely draw in the form of a recommendation for the specific-sized power supply you should pick up. It's as easy as that.
But just how comprehensive is this tool? Click the jump to find out!
Ahh, batteries. The bane of any laptop user. It always feels like you just never have enough juice to finish whatever it is you're trying to do on your portable PC. And as the minutes count down on you notebook's battery estimation, you do everything you can to squeeze working time out of your laptop. You crank down the brightness to a near-dusk level. You disable the Wi-Fi in the hope that the Web pages you've physically downloaded will be enough to allow you to finish your work. You even quit out of as many applications and extra processes as you can think of to terminate--maybe a more idle CPU will make for an extra minute or three.
While doing the "Battery Dance" is an unavoidable part of portable computing, you don't always have to be caught off-guard by the ol' low battery warning. Not only are there a handful of applications that give you more details about your remaining battery life than Windows' default notifications, but there are also a bunch of utilities that you can use to squeak as much time out of your laptop battery as possible. Even better, a few of these utilities even automate this process in the background--you won't have to click a single button to reap the benefits of their tweaks.
Provided you still have some juice left in your laptop, click the jump. With luck, we'll be able to get you some extra battery life so you can finish the article...
At first I thought it was a fluke, but when I first installed Win7 Beta on a new HDD on my laptop, one of my USB ports stopped working and performance of the others took a nosedive, with some USB devices not getting enough power. I tried a reinstall with Win7 RC and now three of my four USB ports are having the same issues. It may not even be an issue with Windows 7 but there seems to be a correlation that the problem started and got worse with each installation.
I have Windows 7 running on two other PCs with no issues and all I can find on the Internet are people with the same problems but no solutions. I’m sure you can imagine how much it sucks having to use a four-port USB hub just so I can connect more than one USB flash drive.
Ninety percent of the time, when I attempt to turn on my PC it powers up for a second then immediately shuts down. The other 10 percent of the time, it boots but I get no video signal. I’ve had it looked at by a local shop, which tested each component individually (except the mobo) and found them working properly. I’ve done some troubleshooting myself and I’ve gone through the wire diagrams and everything seems to be plugged in right. However, it doesn’t sound like my hard drive is turning on. I was hoping you had some ideas before I try a new hard drive. I’ve already put in a new power supply but that didn’t change anything. Any ideas?
Google has wide-ranging interests and no immediate plans to relent. Faced with the dearth of groundbreaking green technology ideas, the conscientious internet giant has taken it upon itself to break some ground in the green tech industry. It is nice to know that not every company has its sights riveted only on the e-book reader market.
"In two to three years we could be demonstrating a significant scale pilot system that would generate a lot of power and would be clearly mass manufacturable at a cost that would give us a levelized cost of electricity that would be in the 5 cents or sub 5 cents a kilowatt hour range," Google’s green energy Czar told Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday.
The current cost of solar thermal energy ranges between 12-18 cents per kilowatt hour. Besides mirrors, it has plans to develop solar-powered gas turbines, a solution that could further lower the cost of electricity.