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Episode 9: Videocards Part 2

As the video cards advances, Grebog and Malkor take a stand. This week we discussed some of the ins and outs of ATI and Nvidia cards. We even discuss the importance of DirectX 10 and 11. All this and some random obscure facts and humor in the middle of the recording that was sort of related to the topic…




Posted in Hardware, Podcast, Video Cards.

Episode 8: Basics of Video Cards – Show Notes

GPU – Graphic Processing Unit


  1. Clock Speed
  2. Memory interface width
  3. Type of memory
  4. Bandwidth

Bus – Also known as the interface type

I/O ports:

  1. VGA
  2. DVI
  3. HDMI
  4. Composite
  5. Component
  6. CATV – Cable TV
Onboard Vs Stand-alone card
  1. Benefits to Onboard:
    1. Don’t have to buy a separate video card
    2. Always compatible with motherboard
    3. Perfectly suitable for a generic PC, can support web browsing, word processing, etc.
  2. Drawbacks
    1. Share the RAM with the rest of the system
    2. Usually nowhere near cutting-edge
    3. Can not support higher end games effectively or most times even at all

Posted in Hardware, Show Notes, Video Cards.

Episode 8: Basics of Video cards

In this episode Grebog and Malkor go into the details of video cards. We cover the basics of what makes up a video card, whether it be a stand alone or an integrated version.




Posted in Hardware, Podcast, Video Cards.

Episode 7: Motherboards part 2 – Show Notes

AMD Northbridge chips
  1. 780G
    1. HyperTransport 3.0
    2. PCI-E 2.0
    3. Backwards compatibility
    4. Radeon graphics powering DirectX 10 (built in)
    5. ATI Hybrid Graphics
    6. ATI Avivo HD
    7. low power design
    8. AMD cool’nquiet 2.0
    9. Enhanced Digital Display Integration
    10. Next Gen SB700
    11. AMD OverDrive
    12. AMD RAIDXpert
  2. 790X – Chipset for gamers (may not all be listed, but  same as 780G plus noted features below)
    1. Hypertransport 3.0
    2. Auto Xpress
    3. PCI-E 2.0
    4. GPU-Plex Technology
    5. ATI CrossfireX Technology
  3. 880G (may not all be listed, but  same as 780G plus noted features below)
    1. Supports Athlon, Athlon II, Phenom, Phenom II
    2. AM2+ with DDR2, AM3 with DDR3
    3. PCI-E 2.0
    4. 14 USB 2.0

Intel Northbridge chips

  1. P43/P45
    1. Supports Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad with Virtualization Technology and Celeron processor
    2. 1333/1066/800 MHz system bus
    3. PCI-E 2.0
    4. Intel Fast Memory Access
    5. Dual-Channel DDR2 and DDR3 memory support
    6. Flex memory technology
    7. Intel HD Audio
    8. Intel Matrix storage
    9. Intel Remote Wake Technology
    10. SATA and USB port disable
    11. Intelligent system fan speed control
  2. P55
    1. Supports i5 and i7 desktop processors (Lynnfield architecture) LGA 1156
    2. 6 SATA 3GB/s; eSATA; Port Disable
    3. 14 Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Ports; Dual EHCI; USB Port Disable
    4. 8 PCI-E x1
    5. Intel High Definition Audio
    6. Intel Integrated 10/100/1000MAC
    7. Intel ME Firmware and BIOS Support
    8. Intel Extreme Tuning Support
  3. X58 – basically the same as the P55, but supports different CPU’s
    1. Supports i7 and i7 Extreme Edition and most notably the Gultown hex-core
    2. PCI-E 2.0
    3. Intel HD Audio
    4. Intel Matrix Storage

Intel announcement on USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s and where USB3.0 and SATA 6 are headed.


Posted in Hardware, Motherboards, Show Notes.

Episode 7: Motherboards part 2

In This episode Grebog and Malkor go into the details of AMD and Intel north bridge chips. They discuss what makes them similar and also unique and how to tell what naming conventions mean when looking at the part numbers. And as usual, we delve into the news for motherboards which includes USB 3.0 and the latest SATA iteration.




Posted in Hardware, Motherboards, Podcast.

Episode 6: Intro to Motherboards – Show Notes

Motherboards – hold the computer together and allow the components to communicate with each other.  If you think of the CPU as the brain of the computer, the motherboard (mobo) would be a combination of the skeletal and nervous systems.  Motherboards can have a major impact on the airflow and heat dissipation of a computer, and also determine what types of components can be installed in the machine.

Motherboard specifications

  1. Form Factor
    1. ATX
    2. BTX
  2. Chipset
    1. North bridge
    2. South bridge
  3. Processor Socket Support
  4. Memory Support
  5. Graphics support
    1. PCI
    2. AGP
    3. PCI Express
    4. Dual card support
  6. Expansion Slots
  8. Peripheral device interface(s)

Posted in Hardware, Motherboards, Show Notes.

Show Notes

I am sure you are by now aware that I have broken the show notes out from the initial podcast release. The reason I am starting to do this is because when the episode is put into the feed, it was putting all of the show notes in the RSS. This was beginning to make the RSS larger than needed, and so this is in the interest to keep the RSS smaller for download. It will help the various feed readers from having issues reading the feed down the road. You will always be able to access the show notes on the site and I will be trying to post them as soon after I post an episode as I can.


Posted in About, Status Update.

Episode 6: Intro to Motherboards

In this episode Grebog and Malkor discuss the basic features of motherboards. We talk about the form factors all the way to the different protocols and communication standards found on motherboards.

Next Episode: AMD and Intel Northbridge and what they offer for motherboards.




Posted in Hardware, Motherboards, Podcast.

Episode 5: RAM – Show Notes

What is RAM? – Random Access Memory

What makes RAM work?

What are some key features to RAM? Two of the biggest features to take into consideration when shopping for RAM are capacity and speed.

What does the 9-9-9-24 mean? This refers to the timing of the RAM. If you buy RAM at 2 different times, you need to make sure any RAM you may add at a later date has the same timing numbers.
  1. CAS (tCL) Timing – 1st number of the set of 4 – Column Address Strobe/Select – Sets the latency(delay) between when the when the Read command is sent and when it is acted on
  2. tRCD Timing – 2nd number in the set of 4 – RAS to CAS delay (Row Address Strobe/Select) – Sets the amount of time in cycles for issuing an active command and the read/write commands
  3. tRP Timing – 3rd number in the set of 4 – Row Precharge Time – The minimum time between the active commands and the read/writes of the next bank on the memory module
  4. tRAS Timing – 4th and largest number in the set of 4 – Min RAS Active Time – The amount of time a row being activated by precharge and deactivated. A row cannot be deactivated until tRAS has completed. The lower this is, the faster the performance, but if it is set too low, it can cause data corruption by deactivating the row too soon.
    1. tRAS = tCL + tRCD + tRP(+/-1) This equation gives enough time to close the bank and prevent data corruption. Note: The equation is an approximation of how they determine the final number and not the exact method.
Clock Frequency
The PC numbers, like PC1600
How come a 32bit OS can only use about 4 GB RAM(technically think it is closer to 3.5GB), while a 64bit can handle a max of 192 GB?
SIMM – Single In-line Memory Module
DIMM – Dual In-line Memory Module
DRAM – Dynamic Random Access Memory
SRAM – Static Random Access Memory
SDRAM – Synchronous DRAM
SDR – Single Data Rate
DDR  – Double Data Rate
  1. Single Channel
  2. Dual Channel
  1. Dual Channel
  2. 3 Channel

Cooling – All electronics dissipate some heat when being used, since there are no components that are 100% efficient, this will always be true.

Troubleshooting RAM issues

Whose RAM should I buy?

NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! –  memristors  the future of flash memory and maybe RAM

Posted in Hardware, RAM, Show Notes.

Episode 5: RAM

What is RAM? – Random Access Memory. Grebog and Malkor delve into the depths of RAM. We talk about the extreme details that make RAM work and the important information that will help you understand what to look for in RAM. Also some bleeding edge tech is discussed and how it could effect the future of RAM as we know it.




Posted in Hardware, Podcast, RAM.