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?

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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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Are There Things You Shouldn't DO on a Laptop?


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Over on Lockergnome, PhidiasBob asked the community if there are things you can do on a desktop machine that you should NOT do on a laptop. This is a fair question to ask. I think the only thing I wouldn’t do with a notebook or laptop vs a desktop is to do something that is very memory or processor intensive. They to tend to underpowered compared to your desktop system… and some machines will even end up having an overheating problem if you push them too hard.

There are times you need to use a portable machine, such as when you’re on a self-imposed vacation. I prefer my desktop, of course. I have more power, more memory and more OOMPH on my home system. My Macbook Pro is great, but it just doesn’t have the capability to multi-task with processor-intensive applications as my Mac Pro does.

There really isn’t anything else I can think of to answer this question, y’all. What things can you guys think of that you likely shouldn’t do with a laptop that you can do on your desktop?

Keep in mind that you can join Lockergnome yourself for free and ask questions of your own. The community loves to answer things, and are telling me that it’s quite addictive. I hope you’ll join us!

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Processor Speed Vs CPU Cores


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If you had to choose between a 2.2 hz quad-core or a 2.5ghz dual-core one, how do you know which is right? In my mind, you’re better off with as many cores as you can possibly get. Even if software is not optimized for maximum cores at this point, it certainly will be in the future.

If an app is designed with multiple cores in mind, you’ll be happier having more cores no matter what the processor speed is. It depends on opimizational code, honestly. Check your benchmarks, and see how the two processors compare.

Dollar for dollar, though, I’d go for more cores rather than the raw speed of the processors.

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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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