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Components - News, Features, and Slideshows
Building a computer is a great way to get a custom configuration, save some money and have fun. In a how-to video, we'll show you how to build one in less than two minutes.
In case you haven't noticed, memory prices have dropped through the floor. As such, I've been busily upgrading every computer I can get my hands on. For example, my 2009 MacBook Pro has been maxed-out to 8GB, which involved buying two 4GB SODIMM modules. The cost? Just US$97. I dare say I could have got them even cheaper if I'd shopped around.
QUESTION: My Windows 7 Home Premium computer has a quad-core processor and 4GB of RAM. I've not found any advantage to using four cores. How can I use the processor more effectively and allocate different processes to the individual cores?
Even accomplished geeks shy away from motherboard upgrades on their main PCs. Years ago, I would often upgrade gaming and test systems in my own basement lab, but keep chugging along with a production machine using a two-year-old motherboard and CPU.
Overclocking refers to pushing your computer components harder and faster than the manufacturer designed them to go. The initial pitch is seductive: Buy a slower, lower-cost CPU; juice up the clock speed; and presto! You have a cheap, high-end processor.
When you're shopping for a new PC, don't meekly settle for the default processor recommended by the configurator. Picking the right CPU is a personal decision that you shouldn't enter into lightly. And with so many options to choose from, you need to know what you're getting into when you settle on a chip for your system. We've rounded up eight of the leading processors on the market and put them through a battery of rigorous tests to help you shop with confidence.
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