Tag Archives: CPU

Windows 7: Resource Monitor Tool

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It doesn’t matter how new your computer is, you only have a limited amount of resources. You have to keep an eye on your CPU, your memory, and your disks – you need to know what’s going on! The Resource Monitor Tool has been improved for Windows 7 to make this easier for you to do.

On the primary tab of the Resource Monitor, you’ll find information about your CPU, memory, disk and network, as well as an overview of your performance. The remaining tabs go into more details in their area. For instance, in the CPU tab, you can see a CPU usage breakdown by service. Also, on the Disk tab, you can see a breakdown of disk activity by process.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Resource Monitor in Windows 7 is that they took the graphs and moved them to the side. In Vista, they were shown along the top. The charts would end up scrolling off the screen. This way, you’re able to dive in deeper, and see things more clearly at a glance.

More than anything, I appreciate the network section. They list off services that are running, the firewall status, and even what ports are being listened to (or from!). It goes deep into my system, and lets me keep better track of what is going on within my system – and help to keep it more secure, as well!

They did a really good job at really spicing this up. If you’re a power user, you’re going to appreciate the Resource Monitor tool inside of Windows 7, especially if you “kind of” liked it in Windows Vista. I kind of liked it in Vista, but it just wasn’t enough. This one in Windows 7 is definitely enough.

Kudos, Microsoft. I’m very happy to see how excellently this has been upgraded for Windows 7.

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What is Intel’s Core i7?

Geek!This is Kyle Allen’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Core i7 brings us Intel’s first true quad core processors, all four cores are now on a single die. Previously Intel’s Quad Core’s were essentially two dual core processors in one package. The current Core i7 line includes three Quad Core Processors, the 920 (2.66GHz), 940 (2.93GHz), and 965 Extreme Edition (3.2GHz). Currently priced at $294.99, $569.99, and $1029.99 respectively (Prices from Newegg).

The only Chipset that currently supports the Core i7 architecture is Intel’s own X58 express, offered by many manufacturers such as Intel, Asus, Gigabyte, Foxconn, EVGA, MSI, and Biostar. The X58 chipset supports ATI CrossFireX technology, Nvidia has even opened up SLI support for the X58 express chipset, although motherboard manufacturers must submit their motherboards to Nvidia for review. Core i7 brings many new technologies and even brings back some old. Intel has brought back Hyper Threading technology which allows each core to process two threads of information simultaneously, so each of the Core i7 processors have 8 threads and are seen as 8 Virtual Cores by the systems OS.

Core i7 isn’t just Intel’s new line of Processors it’s an entirely new, much improved architecture. Intel has replaced the Front Side Bus (FSB) with its new Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) which can achieve data transfer speeds as high as 25.6 GB/sec. Intel says QPI performance is 6.4 Gigatransfers/second on the 965 Extreme Edition and 4.8 Gigatransfers/second on the 940 or 920 CPUs, the resulting bandwidth is either 16 or 12GB/s respectively. Intel’s Core i7 bring us an integrated memory controller which offers improved performance due to increased bandwidth and lower latency. Core i7 processors now feature L1, L2, and Shared L3 Cache, 64K per core, 256K per core, and 8MB shared respectively. Core i7 only supports DDR3 and bring us fast triple channel memory, it is also recommended that memory is operated below 1.65V.

Core i7 also features advanced Power Management features, Power Gate allows individual cores to enter a sleep state while other cores are under load, the processors include integrated power controllers and a power control unit that actively monitor each cores power consumption, and voltages. Having integrated power controllers and a power control unit is important to the Core i7 architecture because it allows the CPU to transfer power from cores in sleep mode to cores under load in what Intel calls “Turbo Mode.” If one of the cores is being used heavily, it can use some of the power that would ordinarily be used for one of the other cores if it is not currently in use to essentially overclock individual cores. Lastly Core i7 introduces a new CPU socket the LGA 1366, a 1366 pin socket that functions similarly to the current LGA 775, but is slightly larger and the CPU cooler mounting holes are further apart.

Some People Are Happy with Their PCs

This guest blog post comes courtesy of ‘Leo’ – with his punctuation, usage, spelling, and grammar intact…

For the last couple of years I have been observing people over and over again bash Microsoft and its products. While some of these criticisms were valid, most of the negative remarks were grossly exaggerated. I think most of the disapproval came from the problems with vista’s launch and apple’s commercials. While there are apple products I like, I own an ipod touch and would buy an iphone if it were not on at&t’s service, I am more than happy with my pc and don’t really see a compelling reason to switch. Below are the top 5 reasons I will be staying with my pc.

Software – Like it or not there are more software options in the windows ecosystem. Paid or free, software availability is definitely more plentiful on the windows side of the fence. I don’t really believe that a convincing argument can be made about which platform has the better application whether it be linux, mac, or windows. It is a fact however, that Windows has substantially larger library of applications available, it number is far greater than both mac and linux combined. Because of this great variety users have more options.

Live Mesh – Of all the items on this list, this is the one I am least familiar with. I have only recently began using live mesh (3 weeks or so), but I must say I absolutely love it. While it’s still in beta form I honestly believe what Microsoft has done with it will pay off in the long run. Not only are they going to integrate their Windows Live apps with it, but they are also opening mesh up to developers to create their own apps. Live mesh is (for those who don’t know) Microsoft’s syncing platform that allows all other apps that sit on top of it to sync to your account. Much like Google’s apps you will be able to download the app itself to the desktop and use it there. Not only can you download Microsoft’s apps, but you can also download the developer’s app. Mobile me is to apple what live mesh is to Microsoft, the difference is mesh is much bigger in what it will be able to accomplish. Oh by the way live mesh works on the Mac too. It makes paying for a yearly mobile me subscription sound foolish does it not?

Price / Upgradability – I like having a desktop. I like to build my desktop. I like to upgrade my desktop. The things I like are made simple on a pc. The Mac really only has 2 desktop systems. The first is way too expensive for what it offers, and the second is underpowered for my needs and comes inside a monitor. That is a problem for me since I despise the idea of having to buy a completely new computer if something happens to the monitor. Plain and simple PC’s are just more affordable and more configurable. That’s both hardware and software. Yes a new retail copy of windows may cost more than a retail copy of OS X, but I think that the majority of people that upgrade their OS, especially those who do it on a semi-regular bases, knows that you don’t buy a retail you buy OEM. An OEM copy of vista home premium is cheaper than a copy of OS X. And while there is something to be said about the elegance of apple products they are not worth the huge premiums we pay. And by the way there are PC vendors that make excellent / beautiful laptops too (Voodoo PC, Falcon NW, or Hypersonic PC anyone?)

Multimedia – Yes I can imagine the WTF in people’s faces but before you say anything hear me out. I believe that windows is a solid multimedia platform out of the box (remember I use vista home premium). I really like Windows Media Center and I think it’s far better than any other media viewing software in any platform (at least out of the box). It’s a simple and clean interface that allows you to easily explore your entire digital library. If your pc is not connected to your TV and you just so happen to have a xbox 360 you can stream your media through that. Now I understand people are going to bring up iLife and here are the reasons I am not that impressed. First I hate itunes, especially inside a windows environment. Yes it may work ok on macs, but it’s very slow on windows plus I hate buying anything with DRM (thanks Amazon). I also think Microsoft has comparable products to the rest of the iLife suite for the exception to iDVD and garage band (but who really uses garage band). Plus if u don’t like the products offered by Microsoft there are so many other ones out there available most of which are free.

Windows 7 – I truly believe that Win 7 will be the best windows OS EVER once released. I have been able to obtain a copy of the pre-beta release and must say that I am very impressed with the stability of the OS (even in its pre-beta form). It is very lightweight and has a bunch of improvements. While most improvements are not huge, they are numerous enough that you really do start to notice a difference. They have managed to make the whole OS much simpler, yet allowed it to be highly customizable. They are really taking advantage of all the architecture changes made in vista. In many ways those painful architectural changes were what caused most of the shortcomings in vista in the first place. I remember how harshly Vista was criticized when released and while I never really agreed to the degree of hate it received, I do admit that there were certain things that were wrong with it at launch. Problems such as: old hardware not having proper drivers (which we really can’t blame Microsoft for), UAC, hardware requirements and others really seemed destroy any chance Microsoft had of getting any good press. Regardless of what you thought of vista at launch, the fact is that is a very stable OS today and not only do I use it, I highly recommend it to any new PC buyer. And while I could be wrong about this, it seemed to me like most the criticisms came from Mac users. I find this funny because they seemed to forget all the crap the Mac OS went through during the switch from OS 9 to OS X. But getting back to Win 7, I guess you could say that in many ways it’s the OS vista should have been at launch plus a whole lot more.

Corrections on Quad Core and Multi Core CPUs

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – I take pride in the fact that I don’t know everything. I love to learn, and looking to the community for help filling in my blanks is important to me. Consider this an update… 1.1 if you will… to my earlier video on Quad and Dual Core CPUs.

My original video on Quad Core processors was met with some constructive criticism. Apparently, I explained one of the main points wrong. So… let’s set the record straight!

When you say “quad core” or “dual core”, it doesn’t mean there are literally four (or two) tiny little CPUs sitting inside the computer case. Rather, there is one CPU, with four (or two) cores to it. This enables the CPU to run faster, and stay cooler. When I open up my process manager, you can see that Windows manages these cores separately. It shows four separate boxes, making it seem as though there are four separate CPUs. I think this is where my explanation got muddied before, and I wanted to make things right.

By all mean, don’t let what I say in my videos be the end of the conversation on any matter. Ask questions, extend the discussion. If I’m wrong, or unclear on something, let me know about it.

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Intel Has an (un)Official Blogger

Josh from TinyScreenfuls just posted a mouthful:

I want to start some conversation. I’m not officially authorized to speak for Intel on any matter (see my “Caveat Lectorâ€Â? disclaimer over there in the sidebar), but there are a ton of things that I can talk about. I’m just a guy, a blogger, who works at a very large company that makes the most complex things ever made by humans. It’s a fascinating place, and I know there are lots of you that would like to know more about Intel. Or maybe you have something you’d like to vent. Or perhaps you just want to say how much you love something Intel has done (wouldn’t that be nice?).

Wow. That’s pretty bold. I’ve known Josh for a while now (after first meeting him at a geek dinner in Portland). He’s about as “geek” as they come. I guess the ball’s in Intel’s court now? It’s happening anyway.

AMD AM2 FX-62 Processor

AMD AM2 FX-62 Processor.jpg

Here’s the AMD AM2 FX-62 Processor – not available in stores or PCs quite yet. I had an opportunity to play with it at WinHEC yesterday. Feels like a processor, man. Looks like a processor, too. The AMD representatives were quite kind to me, answering all the questions without all the ego that other companies seem to exude. AMD isn’t blogging yet, but some of their employees certainly have blogger-type personalities. Can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeve. A great amount of technology and hardware enthusiasts are totally in AMD’s camp. Intel has to play catch-up. One thing’s for sure – there’s an impending processor war coming, and the consumers will win. If you’d like a larger view, just click on the picture. We’ll be interviewing AMD for the show soon enough (as we’ve already given Intel a chance to share their spin).