Posts Categorised: Misc Hardware

0Asus E35M1-I Deluxe Wi-Fi AMD Fusion Mini-ITX MotherboardFixing stability issues with Asus E35M1-M Pro

The basis of my main HTPC is an AMD E350 Brazos in the form of an Asus E35M1-M Pro. I had quite a lot of problems with the system when I first built it, which were caused by issues with the Seagate Momentus XT storage drive I used. These were fixed a good while ago via firmware update from Seagate, and since then the system has largely worked without any issue…. Read Full Article

1CoolerMaster Elite 335 PC CaseThe end of regular PC price drops?

I regularly build PCs for people, and have recently been looking at a high end spec for someone.  I started, as I often do, by looking at what I’d got for a high end system about a year ago, to see if it was worth moving up the the new generation, or if a substantial drop in the older spec made it tempting to repeat.  In the past the year old system has always been substantially cheaper, so I was quite surprised to find that this time it wasn’t.  … Read Full Article

0Sony VaioDrivers for Windows 7 on Sony Vaio FZs

This is just a quick post to mention an excellent guide I recently used when installing Windows 7 on an old Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31Z laptop. I was having significant difficulty installing several drivers, in particular those for the nVidia GeForce 8600M GS (hardware ID: PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0425&SUBSYS_9005104D&REV_A1) which was stubbornly remaining a “Standard vga adapter”. Sony don’t provide any Windows 7 drivers, and the generic nVidia drivers don’t recognise the hardware version in the Vaio, instead offering the unhelpful error “The NVIDIA setup program could not locate any drivers that are compatible with your current hardware.  Setup will now exit.”  There is no good reason for this – the drivers have been disabled in software purely because OEM’s like Sony don’t want users installing drivers from nVidia that they (Sony) haven’t checked on their specific hardware configuration. This would be understandable if Sony actually bothered to provide support for their old hardware, but since they don’t this situation really isn’t acceptable.

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0PSU LogoEfficient PSU Upgrades: HuntKey Jumper update

I spotted a much cheaper 80+ gold PSU in the ebuyer xmas sales, and decided to look up some reviews.  I found a review on anandtech which I must have somehow missed in the past.  In light of this discovery, I’ve updated my previous articles about PSU efficiency to include the HuntKey Jumper 300G (aka R90).  The price of this PSU changes the conclusions of 2 of the 4 scenarios I’ve previously detailed, and I have in fact ordered one at the discount price of £20, for use in my current server!  After taking into account that my current server PSU (an Enermax NoiseTaker 475 from 2004) is approximately 80% efficient rather than the 70% worst case I use in the articles, I’m hoping to net savings of around £20 per year.

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66Canor CanoScan LIDE ScannerGet your old scanner working with Windows 7 x64

In recent months I’ve encountered several problems where people have contacted me asking for help getting their USB scanners working on new PCs.  In each case the new PCs have come with Windows 7 x64, and the scanners have been USB devices produced by Canon and Nikon.  Both of these imaging specialists have seriously dropped the ball on supporting products, including some quite expensive premium kit from not all that long ago.  … Read Full Article

0Ultrabook logo laptop vaio sonyBetter than an ultrabook?

Intel have announced a new initiative to push laptops similar to the MacBook Air.  The initial requirements are a weight of up to 1.4Kg, thickness of 20mm and battery life of 5+ hours.  For manufacturers to qualify for intel marketing money ultrabooks also must have no optical drive, an SSD, and CULV processors.

I have been recently been looking for a similar type of laptop – I was asked to find something with excellent performance, 5+ hours battery, under 2Kg, with at least a 13.3″ screen, USB3, Optical drive, HDMI and VGA.  A docking port would be a bonus.  The faster, lighter, longer-battery-life the better…. Read Full Article