As part of my testing for this month’s cover feature, I spent a few
quality days watching movies from the iTunes Store on my PC and in my
living room. By necessity, I had to integrate a newly updated Apple TV
into my entertainment center, which is a fairly common closed cabinet
with a few air vents in the back. All of my other electronics
devices—my receiver, my TiVo, my Xbox 360—live happily in this
environment (although I do open the cabinet door when I fire up the
I’ve been skeptical of multi multi-GPU support since the days of
Nvidia’s original Quad SLI. Back then, bad drivers, a lack of game
support, and 30-inch panels that cost a month’s pay made the prospect
Yes, it’s that time of year again when we pay tribute to software. For without it, our badass rigs would have nothing to do to but look pretty. Indeed, it’s the programs we run that show us what our machines are truly capable of. The challenge, of course, is in deciding which applications and utilities are most deserving of special honor, not to mention a coveted silver-esque statue.
In the November 2007 issue, we took an in-depth look at RAID—short for Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or Independent) Disks—and broke down the pros, cons, and most importantly, speeds of the various RAID permutations you would find on a typical multidrive setup. Here we’ll examine the medium itself: the RAID controller, which tells the drives in a RAID setup how to interact. As you’ll see, there are RAID controllers of differing types, technologies, and price points, and we want to learn whether these variations translate into performance differences. After all, even the fastest RAID configuration ultimately depends on the performance capabilities of its physical host.