Sony has gone all-in on the concept of the home entertainment PC with its new Vaio L-Series all-in-one desktop. Yes, it has Intel's new third-generation (Ivy Bridge) Core CPUs, but that's almost besides the point. Alongside those new chips, you'll find Sony has pushed harder than ever to make this PC an all-encompassing digital media hub.… Read more
iStat Menus is a comprehensive set of system monitoring tools, providing a quick-access view of system activity in your menu bar.
Formerly a free preference pane, iStat Menus is now a paid, standalone app--but it offers a lot of functionality to justify its price, along with a clean interface and very low system overhead. You need to open iStat Menus when you're configuring it, but most of the time you'll only see the app in an array of highly configurable menu-bar icons. iStat Menus can help you track CPU activity, memory usage, disk usage, disk activity, network activity, … Read more
You've likely heard the name Ivy Bridge tossed around over the past six months or more, and might even know that it represents the next generation of Intel CPUs and chipsets. But what do these new parts mean if you're currently shopping for a laptop or desktop PC?
This basic FAQ should answer some of your most immediate shopping questions (with more background on Ivy Bridge and its new 22nm transistors here). For a more in-depth look at Ivy Bridge performance results on laptops and desktops, check out our system reviews, benchmark scores, and analysis at the related links below.
Should I look for an Ivy Bridge sticker at the store? Post-launch, you'll likely rarely hear that name again. It's an internal code name (like Sandy Bridge before it), that we use as a quick shorthand. In reality, this is Intel's third-generation Core series processor family, which will use the same Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 names as the previous two generations.
If the names are the same, how can I tell which PCs have the newest parts? On the mobile side, it's easier. The 2012 Ivy Bridge (or third-generation) CPUs have a part number that begins with the number 3. For example, one of our test systems has an Intel i7-3720QM CPU. Our Sandy Bridge test system from last year had an Intel Core i7-2820QM. The new mobile CPUs are: i7-3920XM, i7-3820QM, i7-3720QM, i7-3612QM, and 3610QM. The desktop CPUs are: i7-3770K, i7-3770, i7-3770T, i7-3770S, i5-3570K, i5-3550, i5-3450, i5-3550S, and i5-3450S. … Read more
New benchmarks point to decent performance jumps for upcoming Intel Ivy Bridge mobile processors. That should translate pretty directly to faster Apple and Windows laptops.
To date, we've seen plenty of Ivy Bridge desktop benchmarks but few hard numbers for mobile. Ivy Bridge is Intel's next-gen processor packing 3D transistors, improved graphics, and USB 3.0 via the accompanying chipset.
So, let's get right to the nub of the matter. Benchmark tests were conducted with a quad-core Core i7-3820QM Ivy Bridge chip and a current-generation Sandy Bridge Core i7-2960XM.
Testing based on 3DMark Vantage (entry, overall) yielded … Read more
With the release of the Developer Preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion came a list of system requirements that excludes more Intel-based Mac systems from running the new operating system, including a few models such as the first Mac Pro that seem like they should run the new OS just fine.
Given the first Mac Pro's processing capabilities, with its multicore 64-bit-capable CPUs with plenty of RAM and advanced graphics card, it ought to be more than capable of running Mountain Lion. After all, the difference here is not like Apple's switch to a new architecture … Read more
Many programs install services such as update helpers that start with Windows yet are rarely needed. Turning off or modifying the startup behavior of unnecessary services can cut the time it takes Windows to boot and boost your system's performance. Power users are familiar with such tweaks, but the inexperienced user who has the most to gain is often too intimidated to even try it.
Help is available in the form of Vista Services Optimizer, a free program that tweaks your Windows PC's performance by shutting down or modifying services that you don't need or don't … Read more
Owners of upcoming iPhone and iPads could enjoy a boost in graphics power 20 times greater than that offered by current models, according to enthusiast site AppleInsider.
Such a leap in power would come courtesy of new graphics processing units developed by U.K.-based Imagination Technologies, which builds the GPUs for Apple's mobile products.
Announced at CES on Tuesday, Imagination's new PowerVR Series6 GPU core chip family is touted as providing 20 times or more of the performance of the current generation.
As a result, "it enables Imagination's partners to deliver amazing user experiences in … Read more
Regardless of the condition of your OS installation, if your system's hardware is not working properly then you will undoubtedly see undesired behavior that can stem from slowdowns and hangs to full system crashes and data corruption.
Because of the importance of having working hardware, Apple includes a hardware test routine on all of its new Mac systems, some of which are on the boot drive of your Mac, an others that are on the included OS X installation DVDs that came with older systems.
If you experience problems with your system crashing, hanging, or overheating with no change … Read more
How fast is your computer? Where are the performance bottlenecks? And how does it compare to other users' systems? NovaBench can answer those questions and more. This free benchmarking utility tests your CPU, RAM, graphics, disk speed, and other system parameters, creating a detailed report of its findings that you can upload to the NovaBench site with an optional free account. NovaBench is so easy to use that anyone can benchmark their system with it, but the information it gathers is useful even to pros.
NovaBench has an extremely simple interface with a field displaying system info and one button, … Read more