We tackle the five most pressing problems in each major component category!
It’s happened to us all. You get home from a long day at work and you want to blow off some steam with an hour of gaming or maybe browsing the web, but when you tap your mouse button or punch the power switch, the unthinkable happens. You’re SOL.
Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.
I recently had a number of issues with my PC. It seemed that my keyboard was sluggish, if not unresponsive. I also experienced some unusually slow hard drive response times now and then, and there have been times when my computer wouldn’t even boot (the BIOS doesn’t even recognize that my RAID 0 stripe is set up when I reboot). However, if I shut down the PC for a few minutes and then reboot, everything works fine.
I decided to give the insides a thorough dusting, and I discovered there was quite a large dust bunny lodged in my south-bridge chip fan, most likely preventing it from spinning. Since I’ve removed that dust bunny, I haven’t noticed any of the previously described issues with my computer. Could my problems really have been caused by the south-bridge fan not spinning? Could an overheated south-bridge chip cause issues like that, and eventually cripple a computer? I want to believe the answer is yes, but am I getting my hopes up? The system is an EVGA 680i LT board with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM, and 64-bit Windows 7.
Read the Doctor's answer for McKenna after the jump.
Oh, BarTab. I wish I had heard of you before I switched over to Google Chrome. As a frequent browser-but-not-bookmarker, I'd often load up my Mozilla Firefox browser with upwards of sixty tabs per new session. Yes, sixty. I'd use tabs instead of bookmarks to keep track of, "stuff you should check out later," only I wouldn't actually get around to clearing through this backlog of open links until days later. I'm a procrastinator for new content, what can I say.
You can just imagine the performance impacts this habit had on my typical browsing session. It didn't bother me that much, performance-wise, on my tricked-out desktop PC. You can bet that my poor laptop wanted to fall over and die at the thought of having to pull up a huge list of pages each time I clicked on the little Firefox icon in the corner of my screen. And regardless of whether my computer could handle the many, many tabs or not, there was still the issue of Firefox having to actually load the content of these pages before I could go about more browsing. Little is more frustrating than having to wait five minutes just to check out a link that a friend sent along because Firefox has to take care of 60 other pages first.
So how, then, does BarTab fix this issue? Why is it a must-have add-on for your Web browsing? Click the jump!
I just bought a used PC running Windows XP. It had been really fast loading and running programs and accessing the web, but suddenly it slowed down to a complete stop. I had to unplug it just to shut it down.
So, I unplugged the Ethernet cable and it worked fine. I scanned the C: drive—no virus. Plugged the Ethernet cable back in and it slowed down again. Unplugged the Ethernet and it’s fast again. What’s going on, Doc?
I plan to install a second-generation Intel X-25 80GB SSD drive in my system. I have heard that SSDs suffer speed losses when they are written over compared to when they are new. How would a page file affect this?
I recently reformatted my computer after a failure with an old Seagate 7200.11 1TB. Lately, though, I have been noticing problems with my USB ports. Whenever I connect my iPhone 3G, it is very hard for iTunes to recognize it and the popup tells me that the iPhone isn’t plugged in to a high-speed port, even though all my USB ports should be 2.0. This has raised even bigger concerns about my other devices connected via USB.
My motherboard is an Asus P5Q-E. The CPU is an Intel Q6600. My initial thought is that an upgrade to my mobo’s BIOS or other utilities might fix the problem, but I’m wary of undertaking such a feat without knowing for sure what the problem is, because I’ve heard updating the BIOS can be dangerous. If a BIOS update is necessary, what sorts of precautions should I take?
Read the Doctor's advice for Taylor after the jump.
Opera’s latest release, dubbed Opera Turbo, touts the ability to use the company’s own server to compress the data transferred by web sites, allowing users on slow Internet connections to surf at a reasonable speed.
According to Opera’s Roberto Mateu, Opera Turbo allows a person’s PC to grab data not just from the site, but also from their very own servers that can compress that site’s text and images by up to 80 percent. It’s recommended that people on connections slower than 100Kbps use the program for optimal results.
You can download Opera Turbo here, from Opera’s site.