Is Your Internet Service Provider Giving You Enough Bandwidth?

Is your internet service provider (ISP) giving you the bandwidth you’re paying for?  How much bandwidth does the average household need?  The use of internet for downloading music and video and other uses has exploded during recent years.  More devices, such as smart TVs,  game consoles and some household appliances are now making use of […]

Continue reading


Windows Operating Systems Life Cycle – End of Extended Support Coming for Another Windows Product

Microsoft Windows

End of Support for Microsoft Windows Products – What does it mean? Windows Operating Systems life cycle report, which Microsoft maintains, provides end-of-support dates for each of Microsoft’s Windows products. Based on the report, support for Windows Vista happens in April of 2017. Source: Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet  – Dec 2016 The life cycle report […]

Continue reading


Cloud Based File Synchronization Software – What are you Waiting for?

Cloud Storage

What is Cloud Based File Synchronization? Cloud based file synchronization represents the storage and access of electronic data or media files via the “Cloud”.  In simpler terms, it just means saving and maintaining your PC files use cloud storage.  Cloud storage is just another way of saying a hard drive found on an internet server.  […]

Continue reading


Solid-State Drives (SSD) Continue to Gain Popularity

The rotating platter hard disk drives (HDD) have been around since the early days of PCs.  Technology improvements are allowing for the improvement of speeds and capacity.  Basically the HDD technology involves a armature that moves across the surface of the platter.  Using magnetism, the drive head reads and writes information to the disk.  SSD […]

Continue reading


80% IT Pros Believe Internet Security is Everyone’s Responsibility

In the wake of the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack last week on the Internet performance management company, Dyn, we’ve learned of some unsettling security vulnerabilities for millions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It was discovered the DDoS attack utilized the Mirai botnet to hack thousands of IoT devices and to take down […]

Continue reading


The Browser Wars – The Search for the Best Browser

It seems that browser wars have been around forever.  During the early 1990’s, the browser of choice was Netscape’s Navigator.   Netscape’s massive successful IPO in 1995 got the attention of Microsoft.  Microsoft began delivering their Internet Explorer bundled with their operating systems.  The browser wars were underway.   Some readers may recall the 1995 battle […]

Continue reading


CD ROM, DVD and Blu-Ray Drives – Has Streaming Doomed Optical Drives into Obsolescence?

Back in the mid-1990, the optical drive was introduced for use in PCs. One of its primary purposes for the CD-ROM player was to replace diskettes for distributing software. It also allowed users to play their audio CDs on their computers. The optical drive quickly caught on quickly. The technology evolved to include CD-ROM writers […]

Continue reading


64-Bit Systems on The Rise

64bit

In a Microwave world where everyone is looking for immediate satisfaction the computer system is not exempt. Faster processors, larger RAM, and faster broadband connections are a few examples of optimizing a computers potential. Years ago it was basically just Servers reaping the benefit of 64-bit processing, but today 64-bit processors have almost become common amongst desktop PCs.

Continue reading


Best Secondary Web Browser?

20090825asdf1

By now most of us are familiar with Mozilla Firefox, and a lot of us prefer it over the pre-installed Internet Explorer, and the ancient Netscape, but there are several other browsers out there definitely worth a mention, and could possibly have you guys wanting to make a switch. Here are the top ten web browsers for 2009 according to several PC magazines ranked by features set, speed, security, ease of use, and help & support.

Continue reading


Free Software – July 2009 Update

In the third official edition of the PC Pitstop Free Software Report I wanted to respond to request made by several readers in their comments; more 64 bit compatible freeware. Well let me start off by saying that that will definitely be a hefty task considering the fact that finding true quality free software for the 64 bit system is extremely difficult. However 64 bit compatible freeware is definitely out there, and if you guys have some favorites you are currently using feel free to suggest them because PC Pitstop, as well as the other readers, definitely value your opinions.

Continue reading


Top Loved Commercial Desktops

Loved Desktops

It appears Dell is doing something right when it comes to providing users with desktop computers. It was quite interesting and I was more than a little surprised to see Dell sweep the top ten positions in the PC Pitstop Satisfaction Rankings for Commercial Desktop PCs as of July 2009. The rankings are based solely on user feedback describing their experience with their systems.

Continue reading


Top Loved Custom Desktops

Custom Desktops

As PC Pitstop began collating the user satisfaction feedback for desktop systems, it became evident that there was a significant number of custom built Desktop systems. Based on system information we were able to segregate these custom built systems into a separate satisfaction report. From this we were able to tabulate what motherboards were in the most loved systems. It is interesting to note that 4 out of the top 10 best loved motherboards are AMD boards.

Continue reading


Top Loved Notebooks

tln2

These are exciting times in the world of computing, and portables are seeing all the action. One thing that is becoming obvious is that the line between netbook and notebook is starting to blur. Netbooks are becoming more powerful and Notebooks are becoming lighter, and longer lasting. Shown below are your picks for Most Loved Notebooks. Keep in mind that Netbooks have been filtered out of these results and were the category we used to kick off the Most Loved series. You can find those results in the previous July Newsletter or by looking for previous articles in TechTalk.

Continue reading


Top Loved Netbooks

Netbooks

Welcome everyone to a new and very exciting part of PC Pitstop. Roughly a year ago, as part of the incredibly popular OverDrive test, we began collecting user input about PC satisfaction. We began asking the following three questions:

  • * How satisfied are you with this PC?
  • * Is this PC running slow?
  • * Is this PC hanging or requiring frequent reboots?

Continue reading


Top Free Software

Free Software

Welcome to the Top Free Software Report. There are two problems with free software. First off, there is a lot of free software and it is hard to know what free software is the best. Secondly, because it is free, free software makers can’t spend money on advertising to get the word out on their cool creations. We hope that this new feature in TechTalk will solve both of these problems.

Continue reading


Netbooks – Who’s Using Them?

asus-eee-pc

Netbooks – those ultra small portable PCs – are they a niche product, a passing fad or an up and coming product just in its infancy? PC Pitstop analyzed the prevalence of netbooks that ran our on-line diagnostic scans during Q4 2008 and Q1 2009. For the purpose of our analysis, we looked at processor descriptions as well as the display size for portables. For the most part, we found that the netbooks usually contained the Intel® Atomâ„¢ processor. We also set a filter for portable display size of less than 11 inches for the purpose of our analysis.

Continue reading


Netbooks: Size Matters

trio

With sales approaching only 400,000 units in 2007, netbook sales exploded in 2008 reaching 11. 4 million units. Small, light, and super-portable are the catchwords describing a netbook. Definitions vary but the determining factors are price and size. Generally they have a screen size of 10″ or below, a reduced power/performance processor with 1.0 and 1.6 gig. the most popular of sizes. Price is dictating the use of limited amounts of memory but drive size has been creeping up.

Continue reading


Lithium-Ion, It’s light, It’s powerful, It’s….

78237341_battery

…the element of choice.
A recent trip drove home the importance of battery life in laptops. Although my laptop was relatively new at less than a year old, it lasted just under 2 hours on battery power. I had all the energy saving features on and I had dimmed the screen, but it didn’t seem to help much. When I got home I did some checking to see what was coming in the way of battery technology. While I found some information on new technologies, most seemed far from being ready to use. In fact there were only hints that there would be anything new within the next five years.

Continue reading


XP Service Pack 3 – Adoption Rates Could be Worse

search.gif

Since its release in early May 2008, there has been plenty of press concerning the issues with Microsoft’s XP Service Pack 3. Common sense would tell us that such negative press would drastically slow the rate that folks would update to the release. PC Pitstop analyzed the percentage of XP users that have updated their systems to SP3 during the first three months since its release and compared them to the adoption rates of SP2 during its roll out.

Continue reading


The PC Pitstop Notebook 500

I am very excited and proud to present a brand new report from PC Pitstop. Given the outrageous traffic on our web site, we are able to see the absolute fastest PC’s in the world, what technologies they use, and why they fall into an elite performance standing. It took a lot of culling of the data, but I am pleased to announced the PC Pitstop Notebook 500. This month we will look at the fastest portables that money can buy. So let’s get to the results.

Continue reading


Average Installed Memory – Vista vs. XP

Vista vs XP: Average Installed RAM

Back in May 2006, when Microsoft announced Vista system memory requirements of 512 MB for “Vista Capable” and 1 GB for “Vista Premium Ready” classifications, the average XP system had 833 MB and 659 MB of installed memory for Desktop and Portable systems respectively. Once Vista was released in early 2007, most users determined that “more memory was better” as the average installed desktop memory rose relatively quickly to over 2 GB on Vista systems. In recent months, it is not uncommon for PC manufacturers to market Vista systems with 3 GB of RAM. The emergence of 64-bit architecture has also likely played a role in the increase of average RAM.

Continue reading


Single and Multi-processors Trends

*

Systems with multi-processors, once found only on servers and other extreme high end performance systems, have found there way into the general consumer arena. The percentage of systems running PC Pitstop’s on-line diagnostics and having multiprocessors grew from just over 1% in January 2006 to almost 30% in January 2008. The percentage of portables that have multi-processors has reached almost 40% in January 2008. A comparison of Intel to AMD shows AMD with a slight edge in both desktops and portable platforms as a percentage of their respective number of system with multi-processors.

Continue reading


Dual Core Double Delicious

*

Blame it on the chewing gum.

Double the processor cores means twice a fast, right? That’s what a lot of people are mistakenly thinking. In the past three years, starting with the AMD Opteron, both major producers have been serving up dual core processors like they were tater chips. Manufacturers have been incorporating them into their latest and greatest portables and desktop offerings. Intel has confirmed this as a great decision by following suite with their version of Dual and even Quad core processors. The general public is snatching them up like chips for dip.

Continue reading


PC Pitstop Top 25 Spyware and Adware

PC Pitstop has long been a source of information about unwanted software and how it spreads. Now we’re using our test results database to give you weekly updates about which programs are the most prolific. The prevalence numbers indicate the percent of PCs tested at PC Pitstop where we detected that file running. Our detection works by file name, so some products may be listed multiple times if they consist of two or more files. To check for spyware, adware, unneeded programs, and many other common PC problems, try PC Pitstop Exterminate or our full system scan.

Continue reading