TweakTown
Tech content trusted by users in North America and around the world
5,930 Reviews & Articles | 38,200 News Posts

Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 3


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


My Dell laptop is running hot, what can I do to cool it down?

Question asked by Chris from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Laptops Content | Posted: Jul 4, 2013 5:04 am

I have a Dell XPS laptop running an Intel Core i5 2410M and an NVIDIA GeForce GT550M. During gaming, the temps run at 90C and 75C on the GPU. Are these temps something to be worried about? If so, how do I cool them down?

 

Most laptop cooling mats don't seem to make more than a couple degree difference in internal temps. Some mild overclocking may be in my future.


Hi Chris,

 

First and foremost, notebook coolers will cool your system down - but as you already know - not by much. I would suggest continuing to use one, especially if your notebook has been used extensively since you purchased it.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/6/164_01_my_dell_laptop_is_running_hot_what_can_i_do_to_cool_it_down.png

 

Secondly, I would suggest taking it to a computer repair shop and maybe getting them to take it apart and clean the thermal compound up and replace it with some better gear. They could dust out the fans and the laptop in general, which should have it running much better.

 

You might see a 10-20C drop on load temperatures, which would be a huge gain on those high temperatures you're seeing now. Thermal compound dries up over time, and this can cause elevated temperatures - and so can dust build up, too.

Will the Corsair GS600 PSU power GTX 670's in SLI?

Question asked by Kregor from South Africa | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Jul 3, 2013 3:35 am

Can a Corsair GS600 PSU handle two GeForce GTX 670's in SLI running on a Core i5-3570K system with an SSD and HDD?


Hi Kregor,

 

You might find that the Corsair GS600 would power your system, but I wouldn't chance it. I would suggest that if you've spent $500+ on your GPU setup, to spend $200 on a great PSU that would never fault you, and would allow you some upgrade flexibility.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/6/163_04_will_the_corsair_gs600_psu_power_gtx_670_s_in_sli.jpg

 

Corsair's AX860 PSU is just $199, and would handle your GTX 670 SLI setup just fine. Corsair's AX range of power supplies are some of the best in the world, and I would have no issues at all recommending them to you.

 

Your GPU's are quite powerful, and think of the PSU like tyres on a car - you wouldn't buy retreads (second hand tyres) for a Ferrari now, would you? Your GTX 670 SLI setup is exotic compared to most gamers' setups, so compliment it with a great PSU!

I want to game with 1080p at 60 FPS, what GPU should I buy?

Question asked by Nabil from Hungary | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 6:41 am

With the imminent release of the next gen consoles I believe PC gaming is going to be something to look forward to. Especially in the graphics point of view. At the moment I have a Radeon HD 7870 with an FX-8150. I do all my gaming on TV so 1080p with at least 60 FPS would be my goal.

 

I don't know which card to get at the moment. The Radeon HD 7970 right now for USD $500 (that's how much it costs here in Hungary) or GTX 780 for USD $850. For 1080p at maximum settings and to be good for a at least a good while which one would you suggest?

 

Thanks.


Hi Nabil,

 

The next-gen consoles are made from AMD technologies, so keeping with AMD would be my first suggestion. I love NVIDIA hardware, I really do - I think their multi-monitor technology is superior to AMD's, in the way that it isn't locked down to the sometimes unstable DisplayPort technology. That's another argument for another day.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/6/162_03_i_want_to_game_with_1080p_at_60_fps_what_gpu_should_i_buy.jpg

 

For 1080p@60 gaming, I'd definitely suggest sticking to the Radeon HD 7970, and if you did have the budget to increase to USD $850, then a good SSD could be purchased with the remaining money. Something like a Corsair Neutron GTX SSD could be purchased for under $250, and be 240GB in size.

 

This will speed your load times in everything - not just games.

 

The HD 7970 should be capable of playing most games at 1920x1080 at 60 FPS with everything cranked (minus anti-aliasing and anistrophic filtering in some games). But as we move into the future, all games are going to be made on the next-gen console platforms, which are AMD tech.

 

This should make your Radeon HD 7970 have some legs, in terms of how long it'll last as being one of the faster GPU's on the market.

Should I go for GeForce GTX 660's in SLI or a single Radeon HD 7950?

Question asked by Peter from Germany | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Jun 23, 2013 6:38 am

I want to get a new PC with a Core i5-3570K - now i need a GPU. I was thinking about the 2 GB GeForce GTX 660 Ti, the 2GB Radeon HD7870 or the 3GB HD7950 Boost.

 

Which card would you suggest? I plan to keep it for the next 3-4 years. And i was asking myself if the RAM latency problem of the HD 7xxx generation is very dominant or if it is a minor problem.


Hi Peter,

 

I would definitely suggest a single-GPU solution, as they always work out best. If you wanted brute performance, then you might go for CrossFire HD 7950's (or higher). The single GPU solution would be the better of the three options you've presented me with here today.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/6/161_02_should_i_go_for_geforce_gtx_660_s_in_sli_or_a_single_radeon_hd_7950.jpg

 

Sure, SLI is awesome - two GPU's is always cool, but a single higher-end GPU will outperform two mid-range GPU's. This comes down to scaling in SLI (as well as CrossFire) where both cards might not be running at 100%, which defeats the purpose if they're both sitting at 60-70% each. A single GPU will max out at 100% virtually the entire time, meaning you're getting much better value for money.

 

All games are different with GPU load, as it comes down to multiple factors - the CPU, the motherboard, the GPU's themselves, the game, the resolution and in-game detail used, anti-aliasing, and much more.

 

As for the RAM latency of the HD 7000 series, I have yet to have experienced this issue on my many HD 7000 series GPU's - I don't think you have anything to worry about there.

 

I'd definitely suggest the HD 7950 for you here.

Should I upgrade to Haswell, or buy a new GPU?

Question asked by Renz from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Jun 18, 2013 6:18 am

Uhmmm, now that haswell platform is available in my country (ph), I'm thinking of an upgrade to my pc.

 

Current specs:

 

  • Intel Core i5-2500k
  • Asrock Z68 Pro3 motherboard
  • Gskill Ripjaws X 2x2gb (4GB) 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 6850

 

I really feel my PC is getting outdated, i need help deciding what to upgrade, go to haswell platform, or go for a newer faster card, (I'm shifting to NVIDIA btw.)

 

I can only spend 400-500 USD. :/

 

TIA!


Hi Renz,

 

Your CPU isn't actually too bad, and upgrading to Haswell (even the Core i7 4770K) isn't going to give you a huge leap in overall system performance. If you are gaming, I would suggest grabbing a new GPU and maybe an SSD. These two upgrade will give you a huge jump in performance, something you will feel in every single game you play.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/159_07_should_i_upgrade_to_haswell_or_buy_a_new_gpu.jpg

 

I would suggest the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 770, something Newegg sell for $399. With the left over $100 or so, I would suggest getting yourself an SSD if you wanted to spend up to the $500 budet you had in place.

 

Here's where I would suggest a Corsair 120GB Force Series GT SSD, which Newegg sell for $129. You could do this in a few weeks time after you get the new GPU. If you had a much less powerful CPU, then things would be different - but your HD 6850 isn't that great, and upgrading to a GTX 770 is going to be leaps and bounds better for you.

 

Let me know how you go!

Does pressing the power button on your PC hurt your HDD more than clicking the Shut Down icon?

Question asked by Robin from Belize | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Storage Content | Posted: May 28, 2013 7:01 am

Shutting the computer off by holding the power button is bad because the hard drive header (if you still use one) doesn't get parked where it should and instead just drops on the platters of the disk and scratches them. That is bad. But it is also said that if you simply press the power button to engage the shutdown sequence instead of clicking "shutdown" in the operating system, damage is also done. i don't see how and it doesn't seem logical; the problem that the hard shut down gave isn't present here because surely the operating system parks the header into the right place upon shutdown, whatever way it is triggered? Or am i missing something here? So i guess my question is...what exactly is wrong with engaging the shutdown sequence by pressing the power button and not the shutdown feature of the operating system?


Hi Robin,

 

I've always done either, and never had an issue with my hard drives. If my PC is physically close to me, sometimes I'll press the power button, if it's not close to me then I'll use the software way - by clicking 'Shut Down' from the Start Menu.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/158_05_does_pressing_the_shut_down_icon_in_windows_hurt_your_hdd_more_than_pressing_the_power_button.jpg

 

I've never heard of it hurting the HDD at all by physically pressing the power button, so you should be okay. We'll surely get some comments on here, so let us know your methods of shutting down, and if you've ever experienced an issue like Robin has heard about.

What PSU should I buy for my Radeon HD 7870 CrossFire system?

Question asked by Terry from Canada | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: May 19, 2013 6:58 am

Whats the minimum PSU I should have for two AMD Radeon HD 7870's in crossfire and an AMD FX-6100 CPU?


Hi Terry,

 

For your two Radeon HD 7870's in CrossFire, you'll need something in excess of 450-500W. The cards themselves will use around 150W each, so two of them at 100% load, and we're looking at around 300W just for the cards, and another 100-150W for everything else (on average).

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/157_01_what_psu_should_i_buy_for_my_radeon_hd_7870_crossfire_system.jpg

 

Corsair do some of the best power supplies in the world, and Newegg currently have the Corsair CX750 PSU on special for $89.99. This is a perfect choice, and not too expensive, but it also gives you some breathing room for future upgrades. Sure, you could get a 500W and probably be fine with it, but it's better to spend $10-$20 more and give yourself ~250W of future-proofing.

What is the minimum PSU required for GeForce GTX 670's in SLI?

Question asked by Carlos from Spain | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: May 10, 2013 1:24 am

What is the minimum power supply for two GeForce GTX 670's to run in SLI?


Hi Carlos,

 

A single GeForce GTX 670 will consume, at a maximum, 170W of power. So two of them will consume 340W of power, according to NVIDIA's detailed specifications on the GTX 670 itself.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/156_04_what_is_the_minimum_psu_required_for_geforce_gtx_670_s_in_sli.jpg

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/156_05_what_is_the_minimum_psu_required_for_geforce_gtx_670_s_in_sli.png

 

As for power supplies, you would probably want to get a 650-850W PSU to cover yourself. I would specifically recommend the Corsair AX760. This is one of the best power supplies in its class, and will handle the two GPU's running in SLI without a problem whatsoever.

I need some help choosing a 32GB kit of DDR3 RAM

Question asked by Jeremy from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | RAM Content | Posted: May 6, 2013 3:45 am

I am in the middle of a new PC build and have almost all of my components except memory and a few other misc items. My motherboard is the ASUS Rampage Extreme IV and I am wanting to go with a 32GB kit.

 

I have been searching forums and trying to get a clear answer on what is the best but no luck so far. In the past I have had Corsair but recently been looking at Geil, G.Skill, and a few other brands. My PC will be a gaming machine and want something that will perform extremely well as well as overclocking too. Any help and feedback would be much appreciated.

 

Thank you.


Hi Jeremy,

 

When looking at any high-end kit of memory, they're each going to be great. Choosing Corsair, G.SKILL, Geil or any other brand will give you some kick-ass memory that you won't regret purchasing.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/155_05_i_need_some_help_choosing_a_32gb_kit_of_ddr3_ram.jpg

 

I think it'll come down to two kits, G.SKILL's TridentX memory, or Corsair's Dominator kit. You can get the G.SKILL TridentX 32GB kit at 2400MHz, which I think is the best option, especially if you want it to have some overclocking headroom.

 

Alternatively, you can look at something like Corsair's Dominator kit, which comes in 1600MHz.

 

G.SKILL's TridentX memory is probably the way to go, and you can score this from Newegg's website for $309.99.

Will my 500W power supply be sufficient for a Radeon HD 7950 upgrade?

Question asked by Grant from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 5:28 am

Hi, I have an Aerocool Strike-X 500W PSU

 

My specs are:

  • Core i5 3570k, not oc'd
  • 500GB 7200RPM HDD
  • DVDRW
  • 8GB of DDR3 RAM

 

I would like to add GIGABYTE's Radeon HD 7950 non-OC to it.

 

Will the PSU be ok?


Hi Grant,

 

Definitely. The 500W power supply you have will be more than enough for the GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7950 GPU, even if it were the OC model, or any other HD 7950 for that matter.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/5/152_06_will_my_500w_power_supply_be_sufficient_for_a_radeon_hd_7950_upgrade.jpg

 

The GIGABYTE HD 7950 requires two 6-pin PCIe power connections, which the Strike-X 500W has. The HD 7950 is a very efficient GPU, and a system under load would only pull around 400W with this GPU cranking along inside of it.

 

The Aerocool Strike-X 500W will be fine, so have fun with your new upgrade!

Latest Tech News Posts

View More News Posts

TweakTown Web Poll

Question: Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR will...

Improve Oculus Rift Development

Hamper Oculus Rift Development

Completely destroy Oculus Rift Development

Let's wait and see, I'm not sure

or View the Results

View More Polls

Forum Activity

View More Forum Posts

Press Releases

View More Press Releases