How-Tos http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/32/ 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>A note about RAID 5 and SSDs</h3> <p>We talked to software engineer Sam Baughman about SSDs in RAID 5. He told us that RAID 5 has the potential to wear out SSDs faster than normal due to the way RAID 5 parity data works.</p> <p>"<span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span>TRIM doesn't work as you'd expect; 1/(N) of each of the N drives will always be allocated, even when the array is empty, due to presence of RAID 5 parity data," he said. "</span></span></span></span><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span>The fewer drives in the array, the more significant the impact on SSD lifespan."</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span></span></span></span></span>Baughman has been a software engineer for over 15 years and specializes in device drivers for stoage devices. <br /></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span>TRIM, in case you didn't know, helps the OS extend the liffetime of an SSD during delete operations. TRIM basically says, "Hey, these blocks aren't being used, you're cool to clear and write over that data."</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span>"I've tested this on Linux, you will definitely see TRIM on the data blocks, but at least on the kernels I used in the 3.10 series, you'd never see a TRIM of the parity chunks, because parity is never 'freed'," Baughman said. "</span></span></span></span><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span>Logically it's possible for MD (Linux's RAID driver software) to do it, but the overhead would be significant and require its own metadata."</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span>So basically, RAID 5 could chop down your SSD's lifespan if there are a lot of delete and write operations you're performing. Spinning HDDs don't have this problem at all, since TRIM isn't an issue.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span>We used SSDs in our example because that's what we had lying around. Before using RAID 5 with SSDs on your system, consider if you're willing to absorb the extra wear and tear. If you think you might replace the SSDs before they start to wear out, it may not be an issue.<br /></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span>"</span></span></span></span><span><span><span class="UFICommentBody"><span>RAID 0 and RAID 1 rock with SSDs though, and TRIM works flawlessly with Linux MD on those levels," Baughman said.</span></span></span></span></p> <p>Good to know, Sam.</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> <p><strong>UPDATE: We got in contact with a software enginer who writes drivers for storage devices. He told us RAID 5 can wear out SSDs faster than normal, so we added the section "A note about RAID 5 and SSDs" with an explanation why.</strong></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 How to Take Great Video Game Screenshots http://www.maximumpc.com/how_take_great_video_game_screenshots_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="/files/u162579/tombraider_2014-10-28_22-24-52-18.jpg" alt="Tomb Raider" title="Tomb Raider" width="250" height="141" style="float: right;" /></span></h3> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">A primer for the budding artist in all of us</span></h3> <p>We’ve been cataloging amazing video game screenshots in our monthly <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/graphics_porn" target="_blank">Graphics Porn</a> feature, so we figured it’s about time we gave a quick primer on how to take stellar screenshots in your favorite games.</p> <p>This goes beyond Print Screen and Paint. We’re not talking about hastily snapped screens of hilarious moments in Team Fortress 2 or a particularly well-designed cutscene. We do, however, consider utilities like Cheat Engine essential to the process.</p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">Tools of the Trade</span></h3> <p>The first thing you’ll need is an application that’ll let you capture screens while in a game. There are an endless number of ways to grab screenshots, but we’ll just talk about two in this guide: Fraps and Steam. They’re both widely available, well known, and support uncompressed capture.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.fraps.com" target="_blank">Fraps</a> has been the tool of choice for a long, long time. It’s simple and offers a variety of options for both still and video capture of games. At $37, it’s not exactly an impulse buy, but it offers in-game capture to BMP, JPG, PNG, and even TGA files. If you’re not willing to shell out your hard-earned cash, skip over the free version—it adds watermarks—and opt for Steam instead.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/2014-10-28_21-27-41.png" alt="Fraps" title="Fraps" width="616" height="379" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>PNG is our file format of choice for screenshots.</strong></p> <p>If you’re using FRAPS, head on over to the Screenshots tab and pick a screen-capture hotkey—Mouse4 or Mouse5 works great. Set the Image Format to PNG—JPG works fine if you’re happy with compressed images—and you’re ready to get snapping. By default, Fraps should overlay an FPS counter on the top left corner of your screen. Move it by pressing F12, but keep it visible because it offers a visual indication of a successful image capture.</p> <p>On the other end of the spectrum is <a href="http://steampowered.com" target="_blank">Steam</a>. It’s an indelible part of the gaming world and the Steam client has become an integral part of any respectable gaming setup. Fortunately for screenshot takers, it also includes an easy way to capture images in game.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/2014-10-28_20-47-58.png" alt="Steam In-Game Settings" title="Steam In-Game Settings" width="600" height="475" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Steam isn't just a game distribution platform, it's also a game capture utility.</strong></p> <p>Pop open the Steam Settings window, head to the In-Game tab, and select a screenshot hotkey. Make sure you’ve checked the “Save an uncompressed copy” box to get the highest quality results. Enabling visual or audio notifications—“Play a sound” and “Display a notification”—is an easy way to make sure that you’re actually getting screenshots when you press your hotkey.</p> <p>Next, you’ll need some games to capture. Anything at all will work, although the videogame photography community only supports certain games—we’ll talk more about this later. The latest and greatest aren’t always the best options since it’s not all about graphical fidelity.</p> <p>Perhaps the most important tool that’s not directly related to the images being created is Cheat Engine (CE). Despite it’s name, CE is a memory scanner, hex editor, and debugger that gives video game photographers the ability to manipulate games. Ever wish you could just stop time in a game? With Cheat Engine, you can. Before you go off and download it, make sure you download the application in archived form to avoid bundled crapware—here's the <a href="http://cheatengine.org/download/cheatengine64_NoSetup.rar" target="_blank">direct link</a>. The default download link available on the <a href="http://cheatengine.org/downloads.php" target="_blank">Cheat Engine site</a> bundles the utility with OpenCandy-recommended software.&nbsp;</p> <p>Many screenshot photographers also make use of mods and visual tweaks to squeeze the most out of their favorite games. We’re not going to cover them in this guide, but feel free to add any visual tweaks or in-game content as you see fit before heading into the game to grab screenshots.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">Setting up the Moment</span></h3> <p>Unless you’re happy with taking screenshots from the default point of view, Cheat Engine—and user-created tables—allows you to manipulate the in-game camera, time, and sometimes other features like the field of view. Keep in mind that Cheat Engine could very well trigger anticheat software used by multiplayer games, so do your own research before attaching Cheat Engine to the process of a game with something like VAC or Punkbuster. We can't accept liability for banned accounts or other problems associated with running Cheat Engine.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/2014-10-28_21-50-25.png" alt="Cheat Engine 6.4" title="Cheat Engine 6.4" width="400" height="387" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>It's called Cheat Engine, but we're not using it to cheat.</strong></p> <p>To get started, open up CheatEngine.exe and download a Cheat Engine table that’s compatible with your game. Again, not all games are supported. Technically savvy people like <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/graphics_porn_august_2014_cheat_technical_officer_jim2point0" target="_blank">jim2point0</a> have to actually create these tables with more than a bit of hard work. The <a href="http://www.deadendthrills.com/forum/categories/game-specific-guides" target="_blank">Game Specific Guides section</a> of the DeadEndThrills forum is a great place to start.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/2014-10-28_21-56-20.png" alt="Process List" title="Process List" width="261" height="392" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Scroll through the list of processes to find the game you're capturing.</strong></p> <p>When you’ve got everything ready, hit Ctrl+O and select the table you downloaded. Start up your game, go to File, and click Open Process. Scroll through the list and look for the line containing your game—keep an eye out for the game’s icon or name. Hit Open and Yes when prompted to “Keep the current address list/code list?.”</p> <p>The specific controls will vary depending on the creator of the table. The <a href="http://www.deadendthrills.com/forum/discussion/240/guide-tomb-raider" target="_blank">Tomb Raider guide</a> created by jim2point0 uses F1 to toggle camera coordinates, F2 to toggle FOV changes, and F4, F5, and F6 to toggle time on and off.</p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG /> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG /> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>JA</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> 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SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" 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Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 7" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 8" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 9" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 7" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 8" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 9" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="35" QFormat="true" Name="caption" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" Name="Default Paragraph Font" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" 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<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Revision" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" 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table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; 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:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --><!--[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-priority:99; 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:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --><!--[endif] --><!--[endif] --><!--StartFragment--><!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Some Cheat Engine tables allow for the removal of the HUD. Other times, you’ll need to edit configuration files to get rid of the ugly bits that sit between the camera and your scene. Here’s an example of a config tweak that removes the HUD and crosshair from <a href="http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3100550" target="_blank">Bioshock Infinite</a>. Fortunately, jim2point0 has a <a href="http://www.deadendthrills.com/forum/discussion/146/guide-bioshock-infinite" target="_blank">Cheat Engine table</a>&nbsp;for Infinite that includes toggles for the HUD along with God mode, slow motion, and a few other useful tweaks. Your mileage may vary from game to game, but resources exist for most popular games.</p> <p>Here are two photos we captured in Tomb Raider to demonstrate the drastic effect that Cheat Engine manipulation can have on the screenshot-taking process. The end result isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s a pretty clear departure from the screenshot taken at base FOV and the default camera.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/tombraider_2014-10-28_22-25-18-35.jpg" alt="Tomb Raider without CheatEngine" title="Tomb Raider without CheatEngine" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The intial scene without any Cheat Engine adjustments applied.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/tombraider_2014-10-28_22-24-52-18_0.jpg" alt="Tomb Raider with Cheat Engine" title="Tomb Raider with Cheat Engine" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The final result after freezing time, adjusting the FOV, and pulling out the camera.</strong></p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">Once the Deed is Done</span></h3> <p>When you’ve got everything set up and ready to be captured, hit your screenshot hotkey and revel in a job well done. Most times, you won't get what you wanted on your first—or even your second—try, but keep at it and you just might see your screenshots on <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/graphics_porn" target="_blank">Graphics Porn</a>.</p> <p>Already a seasoned screenshot pro with some tips to share? Drop them in the comments below!</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_take_great_video_game_screenshots_2014#comments Cheat Engine Graphics Porn jim2point0 screencap screenshots Tomb Raider Features How-Tos Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:19:57 +0000 Ben Kim 28803 at http://www.maximumpc.com How to Download YouTube Videos http://www.maximumpc.com/how_download_youtube_videos_2014 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u154280/clipgrab_mpeg4_quality.png" alt="YouTube " title="YouTube" width="260" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>Four different ways to download your favorite clips</h3> <p>Streaming YouTube videos can quickly eat up your precious cellular data plan. In fact, most people don't watch videos on the go because of limited data plans. A way around this is to download videos onto a PC, then copy them to your mobile device. We’ve rounded up four ways to download YouTube videos and chosen our favorite of the bunch.</p> <h3>Kibase</h3> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Go to <a title="Kibase" href="www.kibase.com" target="_blank">www.kibase.com</a> and click <strong>YouTube Downloader</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 1" href="/files/u154280/click_on_youtube_downloader_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/click_on_youtube_downloader.png" alt="Step 1" title="Step 1" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> On your YouTube video, right click, then select <strong>Page Source</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 2" href="/files/u154280/right_click_and_click_on_view_page_source_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/right_click_and_click_on_view_page_source.png" alt="Step 2" title="Step 2" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 3:</strong> Select and copy all the HTML text (Ctrl+A to select the text and Ctrl+C to copy it).</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 3" href="/files/u154280/select_all_and_copy_the_html_text_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/select_all_and_copy_the_html_text.png" alt="Step 3" title="Step 3" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 4:</strong> Paste the text into the white box labled <strong>Step 2</strong> and then click <strong>Submit</strong>. Your video will begin downloading to your computer as an MP4 file. <em>Note: To change the format of the video, uncheck the Start Downloading the video file automatically when it is ready box before you click Submit.&nbsp;</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><a class="thickbox" title="Step 4" href="/files/u154280/copy_the_text_into_step_2_box_then_click_submit_and_your_video_will_be_downloaded_as_an_mpeg4_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/copy_the_text_into_step_2_box_then_click_submit_and_your_video_will_be_downloaded_as_an_mpeg4.png" alt="Step 4" title="Step 4" width="600" height="338" /></a></em></p> <p>You will then be moved to a new page showing you different format options you can choose from.</p> <h3>Keepvid</h3> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Go to <a title="Keepvid " href="www.keepvid.com" target="_blank">www.keepvid.com</a> and copy and paste your YouTube link into the search bar.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 1" href="/files/u154280/keepvid_1.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/keepvid.png" alt="Step 1" title="Step 1" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> You will be prompted to download Java for Windows, if you don’t have it already installed on your computer.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 2" href="/files/u154280/java_installer_for_keepvid_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/java_installer_for_keepvid.png" alt="Step 2" title="Step 2" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 3:</strong> Your browser will ask if you want to run Java on www.Keepvid.com; click Run This Time.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 3" href="/files/u154280/click_run_this_time_to_run_java_so_you_can_download_the_youtube_video_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/click_run_this_time_to_run_java_so_you_can_download_the_youtube_video.png" alt="Step 3" title="Step 3" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 4:</strong> You will be given a set of resolutions and formats to choose from. Select the one you want, and the video will begin downloading. Note: The blue download button leads you to an ad for freeware, so don’t click it!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 4" href="/files/u154280/keep_vid_pic_2_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/keep_vid_pic_2.png" alt="Step 4" title="Step 4" width="600" height="461" /></a></p> <h3>Clip Grab</h3> <p>Okay, some of this guide will be pretty obvious. In short, you’ll need to download the .exe and navigate through the installer, dodging freeware prompts.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Go to <a title="Clip Grab" href="www.clipgrab.com" target="_blank">www.clipgrab.com</a> and click <strong>Free Download</strong>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 1" href="/files/u154280/download_the_exe_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/download_the_exe.png" alt="Step 1" title="Step 1" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> The first piece of freeware that you’ll be prompted to install is <strong>Conduit</strong>. Click <em>I do not accept</em> and then click Next.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 2" href="/files/u154280/click_do_not_accept_as_conduit_is_adware_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/click_do_not_accept_as_conduit_is_adware.png" alt="Step 2" title="Step 2" width="600" height="337" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 3:</strong> The next adware you’ll be prompted to install is <strong>PureLeads</strong>. Again, click <em>I do not accept </em>and then click Next.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 3" href="/files/u154280/click_do_not_accept_so_you_dont_install_pureleads_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/click_do_not_accept_so_you_dont_install_pureleads.png" alt="Step 3" title="Step 3" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 4:</strong> Double click on Clip Grab and launch the program. Once it’s launched, copy your YouTube link into the search bar in the Search Tab.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 4" href="/files/u154280/copy_the_url_into_the_search_bar_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/copy_the_url_into_the_search_bar.png" alt="Step 4" title="Step 4" width="600" height="338" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 5:</strong> Click the Downloads tab to pick and choose what video format and resolution you want for the video. Next, click Grab This Clip and your video will begin downloading.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 5" href="/files/u154280/copy_the_link_url_and_then_select_which_format_you_want_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/copy_the_link_url_and_then_select_which_format_you_want.png" alt="Step 5" title="Step 5" width="600" /></a></p> <h3>Freemake</h3> <p>There is a ton of freeware bundled into Freemake, so watch out. It's not hard to accidently install a random add-on or an extra toolbar.</p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Go to <a title="Freemake" href="http://www.freemake.com" target="_blank">www.freemake.com</a> and click the green Download Now link to download the .exe file.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 1" href="/files/u154280/freemake_aa_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/freemake_aa.png" alt="Step 1" title="Step 1" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> Select your language and click <strong>OK</strong> to continue the installation process.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 2" href="/files/u154280/freemake_2_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/freemake_2.png" alt="Step 2" title="Step 2" width="600" height="338" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 3:</strong> Click <strong>Custom installation</strong> (advanced) and uncheck Install Search Protect.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 3" href="/files/u154280/deselect_adware_options_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/deselect_adware_options.png" alt="Step 3" title="Step 3" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 4:</strong> Click <strong>Custom installation</strong> and uncheck the Install <strong>PureLeads </strong>box.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 4" href="/files/u154280/deselect_pureleads_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/deselect_pureleads.png" alt="Step 4" title="Step 4" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 5:</strong> Click <strong>Custom installation</strong> and uncheck the Install browser plugins (Chrome, Firefox) box.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 5" href="/files/u154280/select_if_you_want_plugins_in_firefox_or_chrome_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/select_if_you_want_plugins_in_firefox_or_chrome.png" alt="Step 5" title="Step 5" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 6:</strong> Select the drive to install Freemake on and then click Next to begin the installation.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 6" href="/files/u154280/click_next_to_install_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/click_next_to_install.png" alt="Step 6" title="Step 6" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Step 7:</strong> Launch Freemake and copy a YouTube URL to your clipboard using Ctrl+C. After this, you can select the video format you want to download the video as, by clicking on the different formats on the bar at the bottom of the application.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Step 7" href="/files/u154280/freemake_interface_0.png" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/freemake_interface.png" alt="Step 7" title="Step 7" width="600" /></a></p> <p>We’ve used all of these methods to download YouTube videos, and we like Kibase the best, as it’s easy to use and it requires no extra installation of add-ons or .exes. A close second would be Keepvid because it only requires a Java for Windows installation. The other two download methods, Clip Grab and Freemake, use .exe programs to snatch your videos from YouTube. They also come with extra freeware you’ll need to navigate through, which is annoying, but they do allow you download YouTube videos a few different formats that Kibase and Keepvid don’t offer, which include AVI and WMV. Again, if you don’t want to deal with .exes or downloading any extra installers to your PC, then Kibase is the way to go.&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_download_youtube_videos_2014#comments clip grab download YouTube videos freemake how to keepvid kibase News Features How-Tos Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:08:06 +0000 Chris Zele 27390 at http://www.maximumpc.com How to Clone a Hard Drive/SSD http://www.maximumpc.com/how_clone_hard_drive_or_ssd_2014 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u154280/clone_trooper.png" alt="Clonetrooper" title="Clonetrooper" width="300" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>3 free and easy tools to transfer your data from one drive to another</h3> <p>You just bought a brand new shiny SSD and want to throw it into your aging mid-tower PC. But wait, the horror of having to reinstall Windows again and all of your applications begins to set in. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of reinstalling Windows, you can use a simple cloning utility to clone your old drive to your new SSD. We’ve rounded up three free cloning utilities that are easy to use so you don’t have to go through the effort of reinstalling your OS and applications all over again.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Note: Before you attempt to clone your hard drive or SSD, w</em><span style="font-style: italic;">e highly recommend</span><span style="font-style: italic;">&nbsp;backing up all your data first. In addition, make sure the drive you are cloning to has enough storage space to take all the cloned data. For instance, you wouldn't want to try and clone a 2TB HDD on to a 256GB SSD now would you?&nbsp;</span></p> <h3>Terminology:</h3> <p>Before we walk you through the steps, let's first explain some of the terms we will use so you don't get confused.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Cloning:</strong>&nbsp;Cloning is defined as copying the contents of one storage drive to another storage drive or to an "image file."&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Source Disk:</strong> The drive that will have its content cloned to another hard drive or SSD.</p> <p><strong>Target Disk (a.k.a. Destination Disk):</strong> The drive that will receive the cloned image from the source disk.</p> <h3>Samsung Data Migration:</h3> <p>The first data copying method we'll go over pertains to Samsung Data Migration. So make sure you plop that new Samsung SSD in along with your old OS drive you want to clone from.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Note: You will need a Samsung SSD installed on your machine for this software to work.</em></p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Download the installer from <a title="Samsung Data Migration " href="http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/samsungssd/downloads.html" target="_blank">http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/samsungssd/downloads.html</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_1_7.png" alt="Step 1" title="Step 1" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> Run the installer and click "I accept" at the end of it to agree to the terms and conditions.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_2_5.png" alt="Step 2" title="Step 2" width="600" height="534" /></p> <p><strong>Step 3:</strong> Once the software is installed, it will launch and ask if you if you want to update to the latest version. Click on Update and you will begin downloading the newest patches for it.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_3_5.png" alt="Step 3" title="Step 3" width="434" height="269" /></p> <p><strong>Step 4:</strong> After the update is complete the software will have you install patches and will have you agree to the Samsung terms and conditions again.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_4_6.png" alt="Step 4" title="Step 4" width="511" height="392" /></p> <p><strong>Step 5:</strong>&nbsp;From this window, you will select the <strong>Source Disk</strong> and <strong>Target Disk</strong>. The <strong><em>Target Disk must be a Samsung SSD</em></strong>, but the <strong><em>Source Disk can be any C: Drive you currently have your OS on</em></strong>. Once you’ve selected your disks, you can start cloning by clicking Start and the cloning process will begin. Note: Leave your computer alone while you're cloning the OS, as you may corrupt the clone if other processes are being run at the same time. This goes for the other cloning utilities as well.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_5_5.png" alt="Step 5" title="Step 5" width="600" height="425" />&nbsp;</p> <p>After the software is done cloning, you can shut down your PC and boot from your newly-cloned SSD.</p> <h3>Macrium Reflect:</h3> <p>The second method we will discuss uses the program Macrium Reflect and will work with any drive, regardless of brand. So before you begin, make sure you plop in that new drive along with your old drive you want to clone from.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Go to <a title="Macrium Reflect " href="http://download.cnet.com/Macrium-Reflect-Free/3000-2242_4-10845728.html?part=dl-&amp;subj=dl&amp;tag=button " target="_blank">http://download.cnet.com/Macrium-Reflect-Free/3000-2242_4-10845728.html?part=dl-&amp;subj=dl&amp;tag=button</a> and click on the green Download Now button.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_1_download_macrium_download_agent.png" alt="Step 1" title="Step 1" width="600" height="342" /></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> Click on the download button in the Macrium Reflect Download Agent and then run the software’s installer.</p> <p><em>Note: Make sure to read the fine print throughout the installation process to not install any adware. Cnet's Download.com has become infamous for sneaking it in (Here are some <a title="don't download malware" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/how_to_download_2013" target="_blank">general tips</a> to avoiding installing malware/adware). &nbsp;</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_2_intialize_the_download.png" alt="Step 2" title="Step 2" width="564" height="551" /></p> <p><strong>Step 3:</strong> Open up the software and click on <strong>Clone this disk…</strong> Once you do this the software will let you choose which disks you want as your source and target disks. When you have selected your disks, click next to start cloning your drive.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_3_run_macrium_reflect_and_click_on_clone_disk_and_select_the_disk_you_would_like_to_clone.png" alt="Step 3" title="Step 3" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p><strong>Macrium Reflect useful tips:</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/useful_tip_create_bootable_rescue_media.png" alt="Rescue Media" title="Rescue Media" width="600" height="441" /></strong></p> <p><strong>Creating bootable rescue media:</strong> Macrium Reflect can also help you make bootable rescue media. This tool is located under Other Tasks. We always recommend making recovery media, just in case your hard drive or SSD fails on you.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/useful_tip_create_disk_images_for_restoring_your_pc.png" alt="Disk Image" title="Disk Image" width="600" height="316" /></p> <p><strong>Creating an image of your hard drives:</strong> Under Backup Tasks, you can also create a disk image of your hard drive or SSD too.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Acronis True Image WD Edition Software:</h3> <p>The third cloning method involves using Acronis True Imaged WD edition software. You will need a WD storage drive for this to work.&nbsp;So make sure you plop that new WD drive in along with your old OS drive you want to clone from. &nbsp;</p> <p><em>Note: You will need to have a WD hard drive installed on your machine for this software to work.</em></p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Download the Acronis True Image WD Edition Software from <a title="Acronis True Image WD Edition Software" href="http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119" target="_blank">http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119</a>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_1_download_the_exe_acronis_true_image_wd_edition_software.png" alt="Step 1" title="Step 1" width="600" /></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> Run the installer</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_2_run_the_installer_0.png" alt="Step 2" title="Step 2" width="600" height="497" /></p> <p><strong>Step 3:</strong> Launch the software and select Clone disk.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_3_click_on_clone_disk.png" alt="Step 3" title="Step 3" width="600" height="407" /></p> <p><strong>Step 4:</strong> Select which cloning option you want from Automatic or Manual. The Automatic option clones your entire disk, while manual lets you pick and choose what data you want cloned over to your new drive.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_4_click_next_and_then_select_the_disks_you_want_to_clone_0.png" alt="Step 4" title="Step 4" width="600" height="436" /></p> <p><strong>Step 5:</strong> Select your <strong>Source Disk</strong> and <strong>Destination Disk</strong> and then you can begin cloning your drive.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/step_5_select_your_source_disk_and_destination_disks_0.png" alt="Step 5" title="Step 5" width="600" height="438" /></p> <p>These are but three cloning tools, there are many others such as <a title="discwizard" href="http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/discwizard/" target="_blank">Seagate's DiscWizard</a> ( for Seagate drives) along with other free storage cloning tools such as&nbsp;<a title="G-Parted" href="http://gparted.org/" target="_blank">G-Parted</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a title="Clonezilla" href="http://clonezilla.org/" target="_blank">Clonezilla</a>.</p> <p>Know of any other free cloning utilities? Let us know in the comments below!</p> <p><span style="font-style: normal;">Follow Chris on&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: normal;" href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/117154316323139826718" target="_blank">Google</a><span style="font-style: normal;">+&nbsp;or&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: normal;" href="https://twitter.com/chriszele" target="_blank">Twitter</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_clone_hard_drive_or_ssd_2014#comments Acronis True Image cloning Hard Drive how to clone ssd macrium reflect samsung data migration transfer files Windows Features How-Tos Tue, 06 May 2014 22:52:08 +0000 Chris Zele 27606 at http://www.maximumpc.com How to Physically Clean Your PC and More http://www.maximumpc.com/how_physically_clean_your_pc_and_more2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u154082/01_spring_cleaning_top.jpg" width="250" height="166" style="float: right;" />It’s time for some hardware spring cleaning!</h3> <p>Spring is in the air and it’s time to do some spring cleaning. This means cleaning your house, room, and most importantly, your PC! Of course, keeping your PC clean isn’t just a matter of aesthetics; it also helps keep your system from overheating.&nbsp;</p> <p>As a computer runs, it generates static electricity, which attracts dust and hairs. These nasty bits clump together and gunk up the heatsink, case fans, and other computer components. It’s not only gross but also ends up blocking airflow, which causes overheating. So beyond annual spring-cleanings, it’s important to routinely clear out any messy buildups in your rig. Without further ado, let’s start scrubbing down our PCs!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/02_tools_of_the_trade.jpg" alt="PC cleaning tools" title="PC cleaning tools" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>PC cleaning tools</strong></p> <h4>Tools of the trade</h4> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Compressed air can</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Isopropyl rubbing alcohol or Vodka in a pinch</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>White vinegar</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Distilled water</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Microfiber cloths</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Q-tips</p> <p>•<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Scotch tape</p> <h4>PC cases</h4> <p>We’ll go ahead and start with the biggest and most important item that needs cleaning, your gaming rig. If your PC has been sitting around all winter, it’s probably packed with dust even with filters in front of every intake fan.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="PC Outside" href="/files/u154082/03_pc_outside.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154082/03_pc_outside.jpg" alt="PC Outside" title="PC Outside" width="620" height="410" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>PC Outside</strong></p> <p>1)<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Take it outside</p> <p>The first step will be to take it outside because it’s a bit pointless to blow out all that dust indoors just to have it all settle back down in the same room. But before we do that, disconnect the computer entirely. This includes Power cable, USB peripherals, and whatever audio equipment you have hooked up. Don’t forget to discharge the remaining power in the computer by grounding yourself while touching the power supply and pressing the power button.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/04_wipe_it_down.jpg" alt="Wipe it down" title="Wipe it down" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Wipe it down</strong></p> <p>2)<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Wipe it down</p> <p>The next step is giving the outside of the case a good once over, wiping down the entire exterior and even cleaning its dirty feet.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/05_clean_those_dust_filters.jpg" alt="Clean those dust filters" title="Clean those dust filters" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Clean those dust filters</strong></p> <p>3)<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Clean those dust filters</p> <p>Next up detach any dust filters on the case and wipe off the accumulated dust bunnies. Doing this by hand is fine but give it a quick blast of compressed air can for good measure. Meanwhile, for foam filters give them a quick rinse under the sink. In both cases make sure to clear the dust out so that it blows out away from the clean side, otherwise you’ll end up dirtying both sides.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/06_prepping_the_patient.jpg" alt="Prepping the patient" title="Prepping the patient" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Prepping the patient</strong></p> <p>4)<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Prepping the patient</p> <p>Before you go dual wielding air cans on the inside of your case, you should know that will just cause a big mess. So it’s important to first wipe down the inside manually—yes, by hand. It’s an opportune time to disconnect big components like the graphics card, RAM modules, and even the heatsink if you have some replacement thermal paste lying around.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/07_clean_the_graphics_card.jpg" alt="Clean the graphics card" title="Clean the graphics card" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Clean the graphics card</strong></p> <p>There’s always bound to be dust hidden between the cracks and removing these components will make it easier to clean off the motherboard. Before you go blowing off the GPU and other case fans, use a pen to hold the fan in place as it prevents it from spinning too fast and potentially damaging the motor.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/08_cleaning.jpg" alt="Cleaning" title="Cleaning" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Cleaning</strong></p> <p>5)<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Cleaning&nbsp;</p> <p>Additionally, if there are any big clumps of dust it would be best to grab them up and wipe them away with a damp (not wet!) isopropyl rubbing alcohol-laden cloth first. After that, go ahead and pull the air can trigger on any nooks and crannies you might have missed as well as the motherboard itself. For any truly stubborn dust particles hanging around the case’s expansion slots, dampen some Q-tips with alcohol to rub it out.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/09_packing_it_up_0.jpg" alt="Packing it up" title="Packing it up" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Packing it up</strong></p> <p>6)<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Packing it all up</p> <p>Once you’re all done inside, put everything back where it belongs. You might also want to check over your wiring. Just in case you’re still using the old pack-your-wires-at-the-bottom-of-the-case strategy, check out our guide on <a title="wire pc" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/howto_give_your_pc_professional_wiring_job" target="_blank">how to wire like a pro</a>.</p> <p><em>Click the next page to get tips on how to clean up accessories like keyboards, mice, and more!</em></p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>Keyboards and Mice</h4> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/10_dirty_mouse.jpg" alt="Dirty Mouse" title="Dirty Mouse" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Dirty Mouse</strong></p> <p>After you’re all done with cleaning out your tower you should polish up your peripherals too. These can be especially gross since you end up touching them all the time. Plus there are so many tiny spaces for dust, Cheetos cheese, and other gunk to get into.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Cleaning the Keyboard" href="/files/u154082/11_cleaning_the_keyboard.jpg" target="_blank"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/11_cleaning_the_keyboard_0.jpg" alt="Cleaning the Keyboard" title="Cleaning the Keyboard" width="620" height="410" /></strong></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Cleaning the Keyboard</strong></p> <p>First we’ll start with wiping the keyboard down with a damp cloth. Since regular old plastic is a less sensitive than microchips we can use anything from a micro fiber cloth, to a rag, and even a (clean) old sock. After you’ve wiped all the greased and dust off the top, flip the keyboard over and give it a good shake to get rid of any loose bits of material in between the keys. Follow up with a blast of air to clear out hair, dust, and food particles.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/12_removing_the_keys.jpg" alt="Removing the keys" title="Removing the keys" width="620" height="410" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Removing the keys</strong></p> <p>This should take care of at least 80-percent of the problems but for a truly deep clean, you can also pop off the keys to get to the keyboard's backboard. Most mechanical keyboards come with a key puller. If you lost it or are using a membrane switch keyboard, gently wedging a flathead screwdriver or letter opener underneath the keys works in a pinch. Just remember to take a picture of the keyboard beforehand for reference when putting it back together.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/13_cleaning_the_mouse_0.jpg" alt="Cleaning the Mouse" title="Cleaning the Mouse" width="620" height="379" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Cleaning the Mouse</strong></p> <p>Cleaning your mouse is largely the same as a keyboard in that the whole thing needs a good wipe down. Pay particular attention to the non-stick pads on the bottom as a lot of gunk can accumulate on and around the edge of the mouse’s feet.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/14_cleaning_the_sensor.jpg" alt="Cleaning the sensor" title="Cleaning the sensor" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Cleaning the sensor</strong></p> <p>If there’s anything caught in the scroll wheel, simply turn the whole clicker over and turn the wheel or hit it with a blast of air to dislodge anything caught inside. Finally for the optical sensor, we suggest wiping the area with a damp cloth and a Q-tip to finely remove any leftover crud.</p> <h4>Monitor</h4> <p style="text-align: center;"><a><strong><img src="/files/u154082/15_monitor_0.jpg" alt="Monitor" title="Monitor" width="620" height="410" /></strong></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Monitor</strong></p> <p>Cleaning monitors, and screens in general, are extremely sensitive and require some of the gentlest cleaning methods. Windex is completely NOT okay to use. Ammonia- or alcohol-based cleaners should also be avoided because they can strip the anti-reflective coating applied to screens, cause clouding, and otherwise damage the display.</p> <p>While it may seem like there are but a few solutions worth wiping your screen with, it’s actually easier to just make your own cleaning solution. All it requires is equal parts white vinegar and distilled water.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/16_cleaning_solution.jpg" alt="cleaning solution" title="cleaning solution" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>cleaning solution</strong></p> <p>But before we start damping anything, we’re going to wipe down the surface to get rid of any dust or grit that might scratch the screen later on. Another ground rule is to never pour or spray liquid directly onto the screen because drops can seep into the panel through gaps around the bezel. Instead drip a little bit of the solution into the cloth and then wipe the display in a circular motion to prevent streaks.</p> <h4>Headsets</h4> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/17_wipe_headset.jpg" alt="wipe headset" title="wipe headset" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>wipe headset</strong></p> <p>Moving onto potentially the grossest part of our gadget cleanup, headsets. Mmmm sweat and earwax. One good general rule about cleaning headsets is liquid cleansers are a big no-no. Instead, for leather, pleather, and vinyl cups, use a simple microfiber cloth.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/18_tape_headset.jpg" alt="Tape headset" title="Tape headset" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Tape headset</strong></p> <p>Alternatively, for headset with cloth and foam ear cups scotch tape works wonders on pulling off dust and lint without tearing fabric.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Smartphones and tablets</h4> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/19_dirty_smartphone.jpg" alt="Dirty Smartphone" title="Dirty Smartphone" width="620" height="410" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Dirty Smartphone</strong></p> <p>Tablets, and especially smartphones, can be a complete biohazard nightmare of bacteria and germs. All the loose food and dust that accumulates on your keyboard pales in comparison to the smartphone you touch with your hands all day. Given that this device also touches your face, it’s probably the most important thing you’ll want to sanitize.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="/files/u154082/20_wipe_smartphone.jpg" alt="Wipe Smartphone" title="Wipe Smartphone" width="620" height="410" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Wipe Smartphone</strong></p> <p>While we wish we could use bleach or use acid to scour phones clean, touchscreens are the finickiest thing to clean because of their sensitive oleophobic (oil phobic) coating. These coatings can be easily damaged by alcohol and ammonia solutions. Instead just like your monitor, it’s best to clean it with distilled water and white vinegar. Although technically vinegar is still an acid that will degrade the oil repelling coating on smartphones, it’s much weaker than alcohol.</p> <p>For a truly sanitizing clean, you can buy a cleanser like <a title="iklear" href="https://www.klearscreen.com/iKlear.aspx" target="_blank">iKlear</a>, which is actually recommended by Apple. Alternatively, for a completely liquid-free solution there are UV sterilizers specifically designed for smartphones—think of them as an UV-powered Easy Bake ovens for technology—that run around $40.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/21_done.jpg" alt="Done" title="Done" width="620" height="410" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: start;"><strong>Done</strong></span></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/how_physically_clean_your_pc_and_more2014#comments clean my pc compressed air how to clean your computer phone physically Features How-Tos Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:45:18 +0000 Kevin Lee 27709 at http://www.maximumpc.com How to Build a Fish Tank PC http://www.maximumpc.com/fish_tank_PC_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Operation Mineral-Oil Submersion</h3> <p>Lately, we've been tossing around the idea of doing a Build It story that uses a custom liquid-cooling loop just because they are fun to play with, and when properly designed, have many tangible performance benefits. But since this is Maximum PC, we asked ourselves, “Why not take it one step further and submerge everything in liquid?” After all, what could possibly go wrong?</p> <p><a class="thickbox" style="text-align: center;" href="/files/u152332/build_it_fish_tank_jimmy_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/build_it_fish_tank_jimmy_small.jpg" width="620" height="574" /></a></p> <p>You've probably seen aquarium-style case mods like this before, but this time we're taking advantage of a pre-fabbed kit from <a title="puget system" href="http://www.pugetsystems.com/" target="_blank">Puget Systems</a>. It incorporates items that will be familiar to liquid-cooling aficionados, such as a Swiftech pump, compression fittings, and a 240mm radiator. However, what’s different is that this kit combines familiar bits with more exotic items, like an acrylic frame/container, an integrated temperature gauge, and the star of the show—several gallons of mineral oil.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sp-WkG0MMO4" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Click play on the video above to see how we finalized the fish tank PC.</strong></p> <p>Water would kill everything it touches, but mineral oil doesn't conduct electricity and is nonreactive—you can dunk a running power supply into a bucket of the stuff and it will keep running. We’ll walk you through the build, detail our mistakes, and show you how it all works. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it certainly makes a great conversation piece.</p> <h4>Exploratory Drilling</h4> <p>This actually isn't the biggest mineral-oil system Puget offers, as the one we used is designed for microATX motherboards ($445, <a href="http://www.pugetsystems.com/">www.pugetsystems.com)</a>. There’s a bigger kit that allows an E-ATX board ($690), but we like the fact that this kit requires "only" eight gallons of oil. A single one-gallon jug of the stuff weighs 7.3 pounds, so even this little build will be pushing more than 50 pounds once we’re up and running. As you can imagine, this makes the system quite difficult to move around safely. Since our needs included being able to move the system to the photography studio, shuffle it to different ambient temperature ranges for thermal testing, and dangle it over a misbehaving intern's head, we opted for Puget's more manageable mATX option.</p> <p>Puget does not sell mineral oil directly, but the company is affiliated with STE Oil, which sold us the eight gallons for $160, plus another $180 for three-day shipping (what can we say, we’re not the best planners). UPS Ground would have still cost $52, since shipping fees scale according to weight, and shipping 58.4 pounds of anything isn’t cheap. So, we recommend you get it locally to save yourself some cheddar.</p> <p>Since this is the first time we've attempted a mineral-oil submersion Build It, we're being conservative with our hardware. We’d rather not destroy expensive gear, and almost all of it is on loan from vendors anyway, so it’s not even ours to destroy. Since our build is mediocre, we won't be testing for performance, but instead just seeing how it all fits together, what pitfalls exist, and reporting on temps and whether or not we’d ever do it again. We also hope to produce a PC that looks seriously cool.</p> <h4>1. The Kit and Kaboodle</h4> <p>Puget’s microATX kit is made of custom-shaped Plexiglas machined in small batches. It also includes some premium parts, such as a $57 240mm Swiftech radiator, a $100 Swiftech MCP35X pump, several nickel-plated compression fittings, pre-cut tubing, and a thermometer with an LCD readout. Storage devices are mounted on the outside of the thing in order to keep them dry, and the kit includes extension cables and brackets to accommodate that setup. The included documentation is meticulous, and the bags of screws are even color-coded to avoid confusion. The radiator does not come with fans, but you can buy a pack from Puget or bring your own. We chose the latter, pulling some Scythe Gentle Typhoons from our basket of Dream Machine parts.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/image_a_small_4.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/image_a_small_3.jpg" title="Image A" width="620" height="314" /></a></p> <h4>2. Making a Case</h4> <p>When you see all the separate components of the case laid out, it looks like it would take days to assemble. In practice, however, the interior rack that holds all the components comes together like Lego pieces, except with screws. The instruction manual has very clear diagrams for every step, leaving little question about what to do next. The case itself is one piece, and the parts you assemble end up with a pair of handles, so when it's all finished, you can carry the assembly via the handles and lift it in and out of the case.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/a_small_21.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/a_small_20.jpg" title="Image B" width="620" height="413" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Click the next page to read about installing the graphics card in the system and more.</strong></p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>3. Getting Graphic</h4> <p>Since we intended to test how well mineral oil can dissipate heat compared to air or conventional liquid-cooling systems, we wanted to use some reasonably hot hardware to put the system to the test, and we had exactly that with the triple-slot Asus Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II GPU. It's as hot as it is huge, measuring 2.25 inches thick and 11 inches long, but Puget's case had no trouble accommodating its length. This GPU gets so hot Asus had to stick a condo-size cooler on it, so we wondered if the oil would be able to handle all the heat this card gives off.</p> <p>It should, because, in theory, even though the fans will spin more slowly since oil is more viscous than air, the lack of fan movement shouldn’t matter since the oil is sucking up the heat given off by the card, and the fans don’t play a major role in the cooling loop. Once the oil gets warm, it’s pulled out of the case by the pump and sent to the external radiator.</p> <p>The only thing we didn’t like about the GPU setup is that it’s across from where the PSU is mounted, so we had to drape the cables through the acrylic case.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/b_small_16.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/b_small_15.jpg" title="Image C" width="620" height="413" /></a></p> <h4>4. Pumping Up the Volume</h4> <p>The Swiftech MCP35X pump included with this kit is not the standard unit that we used in this year’s Dream Machine. It's PWM-controlled, so it can adjust its speeds dynamically according to instructions given by the motherboard that it's plugged into. When the system is idle, the pump operates very quietly. When needed, it can crank up to 4,500rpm, so it's very powerful for its size (and you'll need that extra horsepower to offset the thickness of mineral oil). It also takes standard G1/4 fittings and can directly integrate specific reservoirs, which saves on space. At $100 when purchased separately, it's one of the more expensive pumps you'll find. But our oil-based setup benefits from a pump that has premium features.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/c_small_20.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/c_small_19.jpg" title="Image D" width="620" height="413" /></a></p> <h4>5. Taking a Dip</h4> <p>Our oil came in one five-gallon jug and three one-gallon jugs. The big jug needed a pipe wrench to get the cap off, and it did not have a built-in tube like a gas can. So there was some spillage there. Mineral oil has the clarity and consistency of corn syrup. It also has no odor, thankfully. We began by emptying the large jug into the tank, which filled a little more than half its capacity. Then we inserted our rack of parts, and topped off the tank with one of the gallon jugs of oil. We ended up needing just six gallons since the rest of the container's capacity was displaced by the hardware and the pebbles. It got pretty heavy after everything was poured in, but there are silicone feet underneath the aquarium, so you can at least get your hands underneath to lift it.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/f_small_16.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/f_small_15.jpg" title="Image E" width="620" height="930" /></a></p> <p>The instruction manual recommends using bubble bars to simulate an aquarium, which requires a second set of pumps, valves, and tubing. We thought that was just a bit too complicated for our first time with mineral oil. But rocks and other typical fishy decorations are an easy add, as long as it's all clean. Any dust will cloud the oil and potentially clog the circulation system, or at least reduce its effectiveness.</p> <h4>6. The Heat of Battle</h4> <p>The pump is just one part of the oil circulation system, of course. The Swiftech MCRx20-XP radiator uses brass tubes and copper fins, and a self-purging plenum, which is a chamber that helps maintain equal pressure throughout the loop and can suppress noise. The radiator is hung outside the case on a bracket. It's big enough to fit three fans if you wanted to; one up top and two down below. But the bracket is a bit too bulky to fit four fans, thus eliminating the possibility of a full “push-pull” configuration. The Scythe fans are 120mm units that spin at a fixed 1,850rpm, but they're surprisingly quiet and good at forcing air through a radiator. The fan cables aren't braided, so they're not very pretty. We also needed to add a power distribution block because the motherboard has just one case fan header, and we wanted to minimize the number of cables leading out of the case.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/d_small_16.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/d_small_15.jpg" title="Image F" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/main_image_small1_1.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/main_image_small1.jpg" title="Main Image" width="620" height="495" /></a></p> <h3>Striking Oil</h3> <p>Trying something truly novel in Build It is exciting, but that excitement was tempered by several “oh, crap” moments and hardware failures. For example, it wasn't until all the hardware was dipped into the oil for the first time that we realized we probably should have made sure it at least booted first. Luck was not on our side, and on our first try the machine would not POST. We hoped the issue was related to the monitor, or the monitor cable, or some small thing, but no combination of parts outside the machine had any impact. We did have some luck, in that there was a plastic tub available in the Lab that was large enough to place the oil-soaked rack in temporarily. So we hauled it out and proceeded to methodically replace one part at a time until we got the machine to boot. The problem appeared to be a motherboard fried at some earlier point by static, or physically damaged in a way that's difficult to detect with the naked eye. Once we swapped the board, the system booted right up and remained stable.</p> <p>The pump was initially a little noisy as it filled up and started circulating oil through the radiator, but the overall acoustics eventually settled down to a gentle whir, even when spinning at a reasonably high 4,500rpm. The loudest element was actually the oil pouring back into the case from the radiator, which was like a pleasantly babbling brook.</p> <p>Overall temps seemed fine, so we ran FurMark's thermal test for a little while to get some heat into the oil, and the case temperature eventually leveled off at 37 degrees Celsius, comfortably below its rated maximum of 50 C. The Asus HD 7970 stayed around 60 C, though we did have to manually increase fan speed to compensate for the thickness of mineral oil. We found that temps are highly dependent on the fans you use on the radiator; random $5 case fans won't get the kind of result that you will get with $20 Gentle Typhoons (or Corsair SP120s, or Noctua CPU fans), because the higher-end units have a combination of high pressure, high durability, and relatively low noise. We didn't try overclocking the AMD chip, since it was using a stock cooler, and Puget warns against overclocking systems in the oil due to heat concerns.</p> <p>The radiator fan wires were not long enough to reach the motherboard headers, so we used a power distribution block, which is like a power strip for case fans. You can power them up with Molex, SATA, or PCI Express power cables. The Gentle Typhoons we used spin at a constant RPM, but the noise is low enough that we don’t need variable speed PWM control.</p> <p>Aside from human error, the system itself was a great success. People around the office who aren't even into computers stopped to admire our aquarium PC, with its bubbling liquid and eerie blue glow (provided by a 30cm BitFenix Alchemy Connect LED Strip). It’s obviously not for everyone, but if you’re looking for a fun DIY project that’s "different," it doesn’t get much better than this.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/fish_tank_PC_2014#comments fish tank pc how to build January issues 2014 maximum pc mineral oil pc pudget systems water Systems Features How-Tos Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:05:07 +0000 Tom McNamara 27535 at http://www.maximumpc.com