Software is Wasting Your Cores

Back in February, Steve Hogan made the case for getting a multi-core system. Rob Cheng’s experience shows that dual-core systems aren’t always faster though. It’s possible for a multi-core system to outperform a single-core system, but you’re not likely to see a desktop operating system or many applications that can take advantage of it. There are good reasons for that problem, and they aren’t going away any time soon.

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Black Rhinos and White Elephants

Gateway keyboard

With great excitement I set off to snap pictures of laptop herds, grazing the shelves of the local Best Buy. Sporting my new macro capable camera and memory card, this was going to be a pictorial review that would rival the Discovery channel’s �Tribes of the Orinoco�. We all know how bad laptop keyboards are. Cramped with missing keys, these are the trophies I seek.

As I entered the store, the smell of fresh electronics sharpened my senses. I found my first large herd fanned out across Brand Name Gulch. Camera in hand I rushed to the front of the herd knowing I was between them and the only outlet. It took some tricky footwork to position a shot of their

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I Hate this Keyboard!

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The word “performance” usually means CPU, memory, disk, or video performance to most people. That’s usually what I mean by it too. But after several months of experience with one particular notebook, I’ve found a component that has destroyed performance more than any other: the keyboard.

When PC Pitstop did a bloatware survey last year, we had several notebook PCs that we couldn’t return. I took one of them, the Toshiba Satellite A135, to use as a Windows Vista test system. Initially, I tried leaving all the preinstalled crapware on the system to see how it would perform. After a few weeks of that, I couldn’t stand it anymore. At least the crapware situation can be fixed, though, unlike the keyboard.

I hate this keyboard.

Take a look

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Optimus Maximus

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Tired of missing the backspace because of a lazy pinky? Need some extra function keys for Gaming? Want to use color to reduce your hunt and peck time? No Problem, make that key any size you want or any function you want. Art Lebedev, of Art Lebedev Studios, is using OLED technology to remedy all the scenarios above and many more. My hardware closet contains at least 12 keyboards so I have no clue how I missed reading about this before now. I do remember some vague comments about OLED technology a few months back, but nothing like what I’ve read today. Optimus Maximus, you will be mine!

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Single and Multi-processors Trends

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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.

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PC Pitstop OverDrive Beta

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Long time no see. What? It’s past Ground Hog’s Day? Man, I feel like I’ve been buried in a hole. The reason is because I have been working non stop on a (w)hole redesign of our world renowned Full Tests. We are renaming the service, PC Pitstop OverDrive Beta. Our plan is to run the beta for as long as necessary to weed out any last bugs. The product has already undergone substantial testing, but it is not possible to foresee every situation without a formal and public beta period. Once that is over, our plan is to move our signature Full Tests to OverDrive. Vrooom!

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100 Million PC Pitstop Tests & Counting

*On January 21 2008, David T. Stone of Seattle, Washington was updating and testing a beta video driver for one of his many computers. Continuing his habit of quite a few years, he went to the PC Pitstop Full Test to check the results. No bells, no flashing lights, but that test was the 100 Millionth PC Pitstop Test run since our inception on March 3rd of 2000.

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