geek tech

2016: get you pc overdose by learning about BIOS, UEFI, M.2, SATA, SAS, CPU vs GPU, extreme gaming rigs

2015 was full of IT/computer stuff and 2016 awaits the ZEN CPU architecture from AMD. Although Intel won’t reduce the prices for its processors even if AMD catches up, maybe we’ll finally see AMD CPUs being on par with Intel ones. Long history between those two, you know.

First, let’s start by learning with TechQuickie about the tech in our computers. You don’t need to remember everything said in the videos, but it will help you in the future. Nothing worse than listening to guys talking pc stuff and you being a complete noob about pretty much everything.

What is BIOS? Why was UEFI invented? BIOS is the Basic Input Output System, a software built into the motherboard itself (on a ROM chip aka flash chip) which is able to detect the components of the computer and let you run some diagnostics. It does basic stuff and can handle drives up to 2TB. This is why UEFI, Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, was created.

UEFI can use an actual graphical interface, inclusing mouse usage, will recognize drives way bigger than 2TB and is faster. Linus explains more in the video from below:

Now, what about video editing? In the era of the film you would need to physically cut and then paste a part of the film into another part. A tedious process prone to human error. After video casettes became a thing machines that could stop a video and then record a part of it onto another casette were created. Learn more about video editing and about the difference between film and video:

But what is film really? Let’s learn more about film in the video from below:

But how are CPUs made? Well, it is pretty much like 3D printing with etching combined. The factory creates a layer of silicon, then uses lasers to cut into it and create transistors this way and then another layer is setup to insulate from the next layer of silicon based transistors. A process that is impossible to do without robots and a very clean environment:

In order to make the computer faster the M.2 connector has been invented. This allows you to have flash drives installed in your computer and increase the write/read speeds up to 4 GBps, which is a huge increase. Also, M.2 drives are significantly smaller than hard drvies or SSDs.

Usually the M.2 drives use the PCI E 3.0 X4 port in order to connect to the computer. There are many types of devices that can use the M.2 port, like WiFi or Bluettoth, so you need to be careful at dimensions, usage and drive sizes.

Now, whats the difference between SATA and SAS. SATA ports allow you to transfer data from your drive in speeds up to 600MB/s, but SAS can reach up to 12 Gbps. SAS is Serial Attched SCSI and can deal with incoming and outgoing data at full speed at the same time as SATA can deal with only one type of data at a time.

SAS also uses drives that have up to 15000 RPM, but cost more and are usually used for servers, not for home usage. SAS is tipically used when you need a lot of people to access you hard drive at the same time. So, the general advice is to stick with SATA or M.2 or PCI E or with RAM drives for home usage.

Now, let go into the pc gaming realm once we’ve feasted on tech knowledge in regards to all these shiny ports. Lets see what Newegg has to say about Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming graphics cards like this 629 GBP video card:GeForce GTX 980Ti Xtreme Gaming.

If you ask me, in terms of performance Intel beats AMD in the processor world and Nvidia beats ATI in the GPU world. If you have the cash, then Intel + Nvidia is a good choice, if not, then AMD + ATI will bring you almost the same performance, but with at least 10-30% in price reduction.

When I look for a new computer, be it laptop or gaming rig, I usually look at the newest generation of i7, which is Skylake now. But each generation of CPUs has its own i3, i5 and i7 version with each having different subversions. It is crazy. Learn about these difference from PC Advisor.

Also, did you ever wanted to know the difference between a CPU and GPU? GPU is more prone to graphics and triangle calculation whereas the CPU is more prone for general works, like video processing, browsing. GPU is a specialist CPU which handles the way pixels are displayed based on the 3D model. When fewer calculations are needed a CPU can be faster, but when millions of floating point calculations need to be done, then a GPU will use parallel calculations to solve the issue much faster than a regular CPU:

Also, what is the big fuss about DirectX 12 which runs only on Win 10? Well, DirectX 12 will let you use all the cores in the CPU while in-game so this will increase the life of your processor. This is the biggest change, but will also allow you to save on power usage and offer better effects. When gaming you need to be able to use any extra performance to have a better experience.

Now that you use a DX 12 compatible video card, would gaming laptops with GTX 980 video cards worth the money? It seems like yes, they are worth the money:

Finally, I like what Jay has done with his extreme rig and with all that liquid cooling in there. I won’t go overkill like that, but it is a good to know what you can do with your gaming rig:

Learn more about liquid cooling from Maximum PC.

Bonus: what can you go with a 30 000 USD gaming rig? Well. you can allow 7 people to play with this single machine. Linus explains:

In the mega gaming rig they use two Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2697 v3 processors with a cost of 2700USD each. Other parts:
– motherboard Asus Z10PE-D8 WS, allows 7 video cards on it and two Intel Xeon processors
– 256 GB or RAM from Kingston, 32GB each
– seven AMD R9 Nano video cards
– 1600W power supply

Happy 2016 😀

ebooks geek tech

Computer goodies: history of AMD CPUs, quantum computers explained, how bitcoin works, 3D processors based on N3XT specs

There are simply too many news and videos to write about and I don’t have the will to write 3-5 long articles per day. Nor the time, actually. People have to work here, eh? But, instead I like to save the links to such videos and then post them with a short paragraph on TGTG, TehGeekTive.

It is a good time to live it. Well, when wasn’t it in the last 200 years of scientific and technological marvels? In the first video you will see Linus going through the AMP CPU history, from the first chips meant to rival Intel’s “286” up until current day. AMD started off as a company creating X86 CPUs for Intel and then went on its own path. I do hope they can keep it up!

What are quantum computers? Well, those are computers which use quantum bits, states of elementary particles which are unknown until you start measuring them. Only a number of people in the world know how such a computer should work, but you can understand more by looking at the following video:

Do you have any bitcoins? The bitcoin is a digital currency and it costs about $458 right now. Steve Gibson, from the show Security Now, has about 50 bitcoins from the days when everyone could easily mine these bitcoins. Now you need to have entire datacenters to be able to mine ie run the algorithms to mathematically spot the solutions which reveal new bitcoins.

Learn more from the following video:

I love the news section from the NCIX guys. They are always cheerful and bring us the top tech news of the day. There isn’t a single day without them. Today we learn that 3D processors aka “skycraper” chips based on N3XT specs have been developed by researchers at Stanford.

geek tech

Factory overcloked video cards: not really worth it

The guys as LinusTechTips have tested a row of video cards and compared the factory overcloked ones with the base referenced. Although there were some improvements, it didn’t really matter incredibly much.

If you can spare the money, then try to buy the next tier video card, but don’t just jump on to the flag ship 4K capable video cards if all you will do is 1080p video gaming. Seriously, try to make sure that you obtain the most bang for the buck while looking at the resolution your monitor currently uses. Try to obtain the best quality video gaming for THAT resolution.

Most of the flagship video cards are overkill if you will not use them for 2K or 4K gaming.

Learn from Jay how to match the video card you need to the display/monitor you use at home.


Crash Chrome with this link: http://a/%%30%30

Tom Scott, a master wiz in all thing tech and programming explains why the Chrome browser crashes when you insert http://a/%%30%30 in the browser’s address bar. It all boils down to what can the browser “understand”, ie decode, from the sequence of characters in that URL.

For example, %30 is translated to number 0 because the % sign means that the characters are encoded. Then you will see that the browser interprets the URL as being this:

Since we still have a % sign in the URL the browser decodes %00 to NULL.

So, initially Chrome marks the http://a/%00 URL as being safe to use and good to go, then it will send the URL to a function which decodes the URL again resulting http://a/NULL. Now the function sees that the URL is invalid and then sends it back to the browser which knows the URL is fine. It’s like and infinite loops which will finally crash the browser.

geek tech

Encrypted USB drives? Why not?

Hi there, your USB stick just got stolen. S… Yup. You do not want that to happen, that is sure. Christopher Barnatt, who lectures in computing and future studies in Nottingham University Business School, explains what you can do with such encrypted USB drives. He also has a site called where you can find a ton of info about computers and technology.

Aaaand, if you want to learn more about the future, then head on to his Author page and buy those books. Like… now!
Have fun!

geek tech

AMD vs Intel smackdown: Intel is better, but about 30% pricier

The answer is short: Intel is better because it has invested more into processors than AMD. AMD delivers almost the same performance for the same cost, however it is cheaper.

So, if you have money to spend, buy an Intel i7 newest generation. If money are an issue, then try to buy an AMD FX 8300 or the like. When it comes to gaming you need to remember one thing: the single most expensive piece of hardware needs to be the video card. That one pulls harder when its about video games.

geek learn tech

How does the computer draw curved lines? It’s more complicated than you think

Cubic Bezier Curves – Under the Hood from Peter Nowell on Vimeo.

I never knew how a computer draws curved lines, but now that I have seen it, I can say that it is an incredible process. What about games, where you have tons of polygons, about animations and so on? Man, do these computers have a lot of work to do.

Via Sploid.

geek learn tech

Techquickie explains: 32 vs 64 bit and what software drivers are

Linus, from Tech Quickie, explains the difference between 32 and 64 bit computers. Long store short: it all boils down to how much RAM memory a processor can handle. You need to remember that all parts in a computer need to fit in the ranges they should: a processor will determine what type of RAM memory you can use, for example and a motherboard will determine what type and version of processor you need to use.

For example, a 32 bit processor can handle up to 4 GB of RAM (2^32 bits), while a 64 Bit processor can handle up to 16 billion GB of RAM(2^64 bits) or this much RAM: 18.446.744.073.709.551.616 bits or 17.179.869.184 GB. Wow, that is a lot.

That does not mean that you can put that amount of RAM into your computer as the motherboards and type of RAM can set a limit. Older motherboards can’t go beyond 4 GB of RAM, newer ones may go up to 64GB of RAM. DDR3 is also twice as slow as DDR4.

In any case, that is the difference between 32 and 64 bit processors or computers.

But was is a software driver? It is a piece of data collected in one or more files (usually an .inf file among them) that instructs the computer on how to work with a given device:

entertainment geek tech

How to build a gaming PC on a budget.

Jays Two Cents has a ton of great tips in the video from above and, as a gamer, I couldn’t be any happier of having spent 15 minutes watching this video.

first off, Jay explains what “on a budget” means. It does not mean, cheap it meant whatever amount you got ready to use. It can be $500 or $5000, he explains what you need to look for.

So, here are some quick tips from him:
– make sure that you spend only about 30% of your budget for the video card
– check what you really want to do with the PC: if you will play games a lot, then you need to focus on the video card, but if you are into video processing, then you need to make sure the processor is top notch
– try to obtain the maximum performance for games by buying only the things you’d really need. An SSD can be skipped right now and an HDD can work just fine for games
– RAMs. It seems that the sweet spot today is about 8 GB of RAM
– don’t wait six month for the new and shiny video card Nvidia or AMD will come up with as it might cost you too much

Soon I’ll build my own pc on a budget and it will contain and AMD FX processor, ATI Radeon R9 (at least 256 bits), 8 or 16GB RAM DDR3, 1TB HDD, a good power supply and a motherboard that could support up to 32GB of RAM. That would cost me between $700 – $1000, so a medium-small sized gaming pc 😀

learn tech

Computers: the differences between i3, i5, and i7

The era of gigahertz is long gone as now we look at other specs to know if a processor is good enough for what we need it. AMD broke the gigahertz balloon when it created processors with names like Athlon 2000+, meaning that it could do the work of a 2GHz Intel processor with a 1.7GHz processor, for example.

TechQuickie explains a bit the i line of processors from Intel. Intel also has a dedicated page that explains Intel Processor Numbers.

So, what do i3, i5 and i7 mean and what do they do? i3 has two cores, hyperthreading for multitasking, smaller cache, consumes less power than i5, the i5 has 2 cores on laptops and 4 on desktop, better onboard graphics and turboboost, the i7 can have 2-8 cores, hyperthreading, supports 2-8 sticks of memory, they have more cache, faster turboboost and better onboard graphics.

Now you know.
(I’ll stick to AMS Fx processors, in any case 😀 )