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.
Components - News, Features, and Slideshows
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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