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.

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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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Overclocking

Overclocking is the process of manipulating the CPU and other components of your computer to run faster than the manufacturers rated speed. Why would you want to overclock your computer? Overclocking can improve performance in tasks such as resource-intensive games, programs running large databases, extensive graphics editing, and video rendering. The budget conscious could also save money on their processor by purchasing a cheaper low-end CPU that can be overclocked to higher specs. And there’s always the bragging rights of having that really fast, super-tweaked system.

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PC Pitstop’s Top Dawg Challenge!

Who’s the Fastest? Are you the Top Dawg?

wd

Our New Sponsor, Click Here for a Special Promotion.

It’s time to take the Top Dawg Challenge to the next level. We are so excited to have Western Digital as the sponsor of the Top Dawg Challenge. WD Raptor drives are the fastest drives on the planet, and all decent high end PCs have at least two Raptor drives inside them. Now our search continues for the fastest PCs in the land. Race your PCs often to compare your results against the competition.

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May 2005 Top Dawg Challenge Winners

The latest Top Dawg Challenge sponsored by Western Digital is history; the results are in and the prizes have either been received or are on their way to the winners. There were two categories in this contest: Overclocked AMD and Overclocked Intel with prizes awarded to the top three contestants in each category. The first place prize in each category was a 74GB WD Raptor, second place in each category won a 36GB WD Raptor, and third place in each won a WD Raptor Shirt and Cap. There were also four random drawings giving away two 36GB WD Raptor hard drives and two WD T-shirt and cap combos.

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Heat Is The Enemy

It crashes our computers. It corrupts our data. It even destroys our components. In the world of PCs, heat is the enemy. It can cause our computers to lock up or crash, create errors in our work, shorten the life of components, and in extreme cases heat can instantly destroy parts.

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The Hard Disk Drive

Welcome to MaxPC! In this section we’ll look at the important subsystems in your PC, and show how to eke out that extra bit of performance. If you are like many of us, it just might become an obsession as well as a full time hobby. Our first installment focuses on hard drives.

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Inside the Top Dawg PCs

BFG

The recent Top Dawg Challenge has been over for a while; all the prizes donated by BFG have been delivered, and preparations for the next Challenge are already underway. So what did it take to come out on top? Let’s take a look inside the machines that won each of the three prize categories: Stock, Overclocked Intel, and Overclocked AMD. We’ll get a glimpse of the builders, as well, and see if they can give us some inside tips on how to build a Top Dawg. You can see a summary table of the winning entries below.

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