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    by Published on 27-05-2012 11:54 AM
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    ASUS Sabertooth, X58, i7-950, SAS Cheetahs and SSD Nova
    By Skouperd

    The following build was commissioned for the purpose of doing video editing. The system will be used in a production environment with stability, uptime and performance being vital. The end users have a reasonable amount of hardware knowledge and they could perform certain future hardware updates without requiring additional assistance. The only other requirement that they had is that the solution should support USB3.0.

    With the rapid progression in CPU designs meaning that multithreading is now default on most high end CPU’s, video editors are most often constrained by the speed at which data could be fed to the CPU. The source of which is either from online memory (RAM), or from the hard drives. Given that the client shoots footage in high definition professional quality formats, the file sizes that require editing are often considerable. As such, simply maxing out ...
    by Published on 27-05-2012 11:53 AM
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    Rampage III Gene, i7-950@4Ghz and a GTX470 build
    By Skouperd

    The following is a build done with the requirement that the PC should be capable to last for, and play games for at least 3 to 4 years. The system should be stable, and the end user doesn’t want to do any tweaking / overclocking / hardware upgrading or anything else “nerd” related himself. He basically just wants to buy any game in 3 years’ time, without having to read the minimum requirements, install it, and have a rig capable of playing it. Given the rapid development in technology, there are only a few computers built 4 years ago that you could throw the latest games at today. As if the requirement to have a gaming capable rig in 4 years’ time was not yet tricky enough, I also had a budget to contend with. The budget amounted to R20,000 which needed to include an Operating System (but exclude screen, keyboard and speakers). ...
    by Published on 27-05-2012 11:46 AM
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    Cyborg V7 Gaming Keyboard Review

    First Off, soz for the lack of pictures as I know you guys like the Pretty’s

    Just to give some background, I was using a sidewinder X6 Keyboard http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en...er-x6-keyboard keyboard before this and was happy with the product but had to get a new keyboard due to some spillage. ...
    by Published on 27-05-2012 11:45 AM     Number of Views: 4814 
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    Since Onyx helped me with the most difficult sections in the article, I figured I may just as well post it for future reference... Thank you for your help Onyx.

    BTW, this is also posted on my blog, here: http://blog.skoups.com/?p=236


    Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, better known as RAID has been in existence for several years. The reasons why most people would consider using RAID is that they need faster data transfer speed from the drives, require redundancy, need a bigger single drive, or, in most instances, a combination of these reasons.

    The first section of this document will deal with explaining what factors impact the speed of mechanical hard drives. At the end of the section, you should know what to look for when purchasing a new hard drive and what to avoid. The second section will cover the popular RAID formats as well as discussing the pros and cons of each. The final section covers nested RAID.

    Rotational based hard drives
    Before we start delving into RAID and more specifically the read/write speed, it is imperative that we review the inner workings of spinning (or mechanical) hard drives. The basic mechanical concept of the magnetic hard drive has not changed for several decades. The concept still relies on a spinning platter that can hold a magnetic charge, with a magnetic head to read and write bits (0 or 1) to and from the platter. By changing the number of platters, the hard drive manufacturers could tailor their products for more energy conservation or more performance. A typical hard drive usually contains several platters.

    The first drives weighed several tons and produced only a couple of megabytes. Today, the biggest single drive amounts to 3TB (or 3,000,000,000,000 bytes). The actual space available on a 3TB drive however only amounts to 2.7TiB in the operating system. This difference boils down to the way the hard drive manufactures use 1000s to differentiate between kilo, mega, giga and terra whereas standard operating systems use 1024 between each jump. The correct way to differentiate between the two formats is to use the terms terabyte (TB) and tebibyte (TiB). The latter term refers to the binary number typically associated with the space available in the operating system. In other words, the drive is actually a 3TB drive but it only has 2.7TiB space in the operating system.

    Key things that differentiate hard drives, apart from the size, are the following:
    1. Rotation speed
    2. Speed variations on the same drive (read/write speed at the beginning and end of the drive)
    3. Consecutive read / write speed
    4. Random read / write speed
    5. Seek time

    Rotation Speed

    The rotation speed indicates the speed at which the platters spin. A typical laptop drive spins at 5400RPM, while a SATA drive spins at 7200RPM. SAS / SCSI and ...

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