How Often Do You Upgrade Your Computer?

Your computer is slowing down. Things don’t run the way they should anymore. You baby it along by defragging, uninstalling programs, deleting files and cleaning things up as much as possible. Perhaps you go as far as cursing at your poor machine or even threatening it with a hammer. At what point, though, do you throw in the towel and upgrade that sucker? When do you know it’s just TIME to spend a few bucks to add a new stick of RAM or upgrade your processor?

The general consensus over on Lockergnome seems to be that geeks upgrade on an as-needed basis. Only one person was brave enough to admit that they upgrade any time something new comes along. One other person stated that they NEVER upgrade – they simply start fresh with a new machine.

Where do you fall in the computer-upgrade spectrum?

Don’t forget to stop by and check out what’s new in our software center today.

Chris Pirillo University (CPU): Writing for Google

Are you a blogger, copywriter, journalist… or just someone who enjoys writing online? If so, then content discovery is likely VERY important to you – even if you didn’t realize it already. On Thursday, November 18th, I will be co-hosting a webinar with my good friend Jake Ludington called Chris Pirillo University (CPU): Writing for Google. Between us, Jake and I have more than 25 years of combined online publishing experience. We are prepared to bring you the best tips, tips and secrets we have to help you write for Google.

How will people find what you’re writing? Sure, there’s the social media outlets – but, chances are, Google is the primary gateway to your intended audience. How do you rise above the competition? Forget about buzzwords and busywork – we’ll show you how to do things right the first time so that you don’t have to hire anybody else to help you make things work for yourself in terms of writing for discovery on Google (and other search engines, vicariously).

Prepare yourself to learn:

  • How to write titles that rank
  • How to do effective keyword research
  • How to use keywords without stuffing
  • How to make the most of your 300-500 words
  • How to link for maximum impact
  • How to craft better file names for your pages
  • How to integrate rich media with your text

And get your questions answered, like:

  • Do “meta tags” matter?
  • Are there tools to make writing easier?
  • Where do I find great article titles?
  • Can images help my articles?
  • Should I link outside my blog?

All registrants will receive a copy of the webinar – so even if you can’t interact with us live, you can still learn on your own schedule! You have nothing to lose (especially since you’re likely already writing online and wanting to optimize your time).

Tickets are only $97.00, and they won’t last long. Be sure to sign up before it’s too late.

Are Two Cores as Good as Four Cores?


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Michael from CMPLive decided to do a special episode of “Real or Hoax” for our channels. He is a brave soul, and decided to take on the age-old question of whether or not two cores really are as good as four. In order to do this test properly, he made sure that the machines used were truly alike, apart from the cores themselves.

To run this test, Michael performed tests on four different popular games. He also did tests on several different types of software. You can see from the graph shown in the video, there’s a significant difference in the performance, but could easily be a bottleneck in the graphics. The difference is most definitely NOT double, though, as you might expect.

During a different test, Michael set his graphics to the highest possible settings. Low and behold, there was NO difference between two cores and four cores as far as performance. This is because his graphics card experienced a bottleneck long before the CPU would have.

When testing playing Assassins’ Creed, you can see by the charts that both low and high graphics usage produced nearly the exact same results – no matter how many cores were being used.

Flight Simulator X has been long believed to be CPU intensive… again, though, there was no difference. How can this be so?

Overall, Michael proved that there truly is not much difference when you use four cores instead of two. The biggest difference was in rendering and processing videos… the quad-core machine definitely performed faster. In every other case, though, it didn’t matter how many cores were installed in the computer. When it came to the games, the graphics card mattered far more than the CPU itself.

Thanks, Michael, for producing a fantastic video for us.

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VMWare CPU Usage in XP


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Some people have trouble gaming inside of VMWare. It tends to throttle their CPU. However, in the newest version of VMWare Fusion one of the toggles have been removed. You can change quite a bit of settings to optimize your virtual machine explicitly for gaming purposes.

It’s going to hit your CPU no matter what. You’re running software. Make sure that you’ve allocated the most RAM that you can to the VM. Maxing out your CPU won’t kill anything, no. I run my live stream on the Mac Mini every day. It’s run for the past three years, even though the Mac Mini’s CPU is throttled almost constantly.

Yes, the games are going to throttle your CPU. It could happen with XP outright, let alone when it’s running inside of the virtual machine. That will have more overhead.

In terms of mitigating that, it’s not really possible honestly. The latest version of VMWare will take care of most of it for you. Play around in your settings. Check your hard-disk buffering status. Optimize what you can – wherever you can.

It’s not going to kill your computer, no. You’re safe to keep on gaming.

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Flash Video is Better With AMD and ATI


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There are a lot of people making and watching videos online these days. When I visited the AMD campus in Texas during the SXSW conference recently, Casey showed me how AMD is helping people all over the world enhance their Flash experience. Adobe Flash 10.1 is a collaborative effort between Adobe and the team at AMD.

This new version of Flash takes advantage of the benefits that are enabled through AMD’s ATI Stream technology. This provides viewers with improved playback, reduced usage of their CPU, and longer battery life due to the comination of using all of the resources found in both their CPU and GPU.

The GPU is a much more efficient way of processing video than the CPU is. As we move more to a mobile lifestyle, your battery will wear down faster if you are processing video using your CPU. AMD wanted to make this much more efficient, and take advantage of different components of the computer or mobile system.

In addition to better battery life, the video footage will actually look better. With hardware acceleration enabled, videos are sharper and are much clearer. You’ll even see more vibrant colors. Even the whites are whiter using this technology.

You can experience this for yourself right now. Make sure you have the updated video driver from AMD installed. Then, of course, you’ll need to download and install the beta of Adobe Flash 10.1 to your system.

Thanks to the team at AMD for the help they provided to me to attend SXSW, and for all of the time they spent with me to discuss what’s new and exciting at AMD / ATI.

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