April 23rd, 2017 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

GeekABC Computer Repair is happy to let you know about the exciting opening of our new service center in Springfield, Virginia! Having now moved up the street, having our new shop will help us expand the services our trained technicians can provide. If your computer is running slowly or is in need of repair, you can stop by any one of GeekABC’s three service centers!

Our new address is  6869 Springfield Blvd, Suite 105, Springfield, VA 22150, and our hours are Mon-Fri 8AM-8PM Sat 10AM-6PM

If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello! From all of us here at GeekABC, thank you for making this exciting news possible!

Here are some pictures of the moving process!


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March 31st, 2017 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

We are taking a quick break from our “How Does My Computer Work” series to discuss a very exciting development here at GeekABC Computer Repair. We just launched GeekABC News, a weekly consumer technology broadcast that airs on Saturdays from 6-7PM on Facebook Live! To watch, all you have to do is like our GeekABC Facebook Page, and you will receive a notification when we go live.

At this point, you might be asking yourself, “Why does a technical service provider have a Facebook show?” It’s a fair question! At GeekABC, we want to be on the forefront of addressing our customer’s ideas and questions with modern platforms. As GeekABC’s Computer Repair Technicians, we often state that we could not be in a more exciting industry right now. The 21st century is a digital age, and we are all passionate and enthusiastic about what we do for a living. Around the office, it is pretty common for us to talk about the major headlines in consumer technology, and we decided that we would like to engage our customers and friends in these conversations. Facebook Live was an obvious choice for us as livestreaming has become a primary means of content consumption online, especially with a younger audience. By archiving our content to YouTube, we also hope to engage the TechTuber audience, an inspirational movement to us lead by channels like Linus Tech Tips, JayzTwoCents, and many others.

We are not trying to compete with any individual or group in this space. Instead, we hope to summarize the many opinions out there so that you can form your own educated opinion on these consumer technology topics. The other differentiating factor between us and the big-name TechTubers is that we are placing a large emphasis on direct contact with you, our audience! As you know, we have three physical locations that you can walk into to meet us at (Great Falls, Fairfax, and Springfield, Virginia). We also have our phone number readily available (,1-877-433-5222) and if you call that number, you will get ahold of a GeekABC technician. Lastly, we are providing you with email access to our host, Andy (andy@geekabc.net), so if you have questions that come up during the week, you can reach him there!

If, for example, you are working on building your own computer, and you want an experienced GeekABC technician to look over your parts list, we can do that! Or we can offer you a free diagnostic if your computer is acting up. We want to make content that is relevant and interesting to you, and the best way to do that is to provide this level of access. Through these broadcasts, we hope to become the sort of people that you, our audience, can engage with for all your IT needs and questions.

For more information, check out this introduction video! We hope to see you at 6 on Saturday!

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February 28th, 2017 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

This blog post is article five in an educational series designed to give our readers an opportunity to learn more about how computers function without getting burdened with highly technical details. Last month, we discussed storage drives. Today, we will be exploring the motherboard.

Over the past several months, we have discussed a wide variety of components inside a computer, and it would be natural for our regular readers to have asked themselves, “how does it all fit together?” The motherboard serves this exact purpose. It connects all wired elements of a computer together and gives them a platform over which they can communicate. They enable critical functions like letting a CPU access the RAM, saving data to storage drives, receiving packets over the internet, and sending orders for GPU frame rendering. A common misconception that we will address today is that motherboards are simply the sum of their respective connectors. In reality, the boards themselves enable many of the basic features we enjoy today.

Motherboards support a wide variety of connectors depending on where they are deployed. In the consumer space, motherboards typically handle the most of following connections directly: CPU socket, RAM socket, I/O ports, PCI lanes, internal headers, SATA data, NVME storage (M.2 or U.2), and system power distribution (24 pin ATX and sometimes additional CPU power). We have discussed most of these connections already, so check out our other articles if any are unfamiliar. Now would be a good time to mention I/O support, though. These include ports for USB, audio, Ethernet, and, in systems without discrete GPUs, video out, to name a few. In desktop systems, there are typically three standard motherboard sizes/layouts: ATX, micro ATX (mATX), and mini ITX. ATX is the largest of the three and is the most common choice for consumers making custom builds. They typically implement most of the features supported by the chipset (a component we will discuss shortly). mATX motherboards are most common in prebuilt desktop computers because of their smaller size. Mini ITX systems are becoming more and more common in the consumer space because of their incredible feature density at such a small size, allowing for enthusiasts to build high end systems that are similar in profile to a console like the PS4. Extended ATX exists to support very high end systems, and servers have a few specific motherboard layouts as well. Laptops, because of how unique their layouts are, do not have as well defined standards for their motherboards. There are many motherboard manufacturers, including ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA, and ASRock. In prebuilt systems, it is not uncommon for the manufacturer, such as HP or Dell, to also manufacture the motherboard for the computer themselves.

The chipset is a component that is permanently housed on the motherboard and supports many of the AMD and Intel specific features not included on the CPU die itself. They have dedicated access to the CPU with specially assigned PCI lanes to support the bandwidth requirements of the different devices they support. USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, and SATA are a few of the connections they support. They come in a wide variety of classes set by AMD and Intel, with some of the latest chipsets being Z270 for intel and X370 for AMD. CPU support and overclocking functionality are also determined by the chipset.

Using price as the metric to measure these motherboards, it is typical to find more expensive motherboards supporting the latest chipset and the most features, which is unsurprising. What a lot of consumers do not know, though, is that build quality of the boards, especially in highly specialized parts like the VRMs (Voltage Regulator Modules, which deliver power to the CPU and are critical for good overclocking), increases with price. While a less expensive Z270 board, for example, will still support most of the connections you would need for a powerful custom system, but if you wanted to push the limits of performance by achieving a high overclock, or you want a high quality BIOS layout or other specialized function (RGB lighting support is a common one), you will need to pay a premium.

To summarize, motherboards bring the entire computer together by allowing devices to communicate with each other. They come in a variety of form factures and support many different features on their chipsets. Failures in motherboards lead to system crashes or complete lack of startup because of how integral they are to the basic functionality of a computer system.

If you are interested in upgrading your motherboard, or if you suspect that it may be failing to function properly, feel free to bring your computer to one of Geek ABC’s drop off locations, give us a call, or email us at customercare@geekabc.net! Our technicians are more than happy to address whatever issues your computer might be facing. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out our other blog posts! We hope to see you back for next month’s installment in “How Does My Computer Work?”.

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January 5th, 2017 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

GeekABC Computer Repair is thrilled to announce the highly anticipated opening of our new service center in Great Falls Village Centre, Virginia! Located at 752 Walker Rd Ste B, Great Falls, VA 22066, our new shop will help us provide our trained technicians’ services to more customers in the DMV. If your computer is running slowly or is in need of repair, you can now stop by any one of GeekABC’s three service centers!

The hours of operation for our new store in Great Falls Village Centre are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 12PM to 6PM.

If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello! We are so excited to ring in the new year with a new location. From all of us here at GeekABC, thank you for making this exciting news possible!

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December 31st, 2016 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

This blog post is article four in an educational series designed to give our readers an opportunity to learn more about how computers function without getting burdened with highly technical details. Last month, we discussed the GPU. Today, we will be exploring storage drives.

Permanence of data is an aspect, and indeed, a privilege, of computing that many consumers do not fully appreciate. The ability to write a Word document on Monday and return to edit it on Wednesday, even after shutting off the computer, is an example of this critical capability, and permanent storage drives are the components that enable this functionality.

There are many forms of storage media commonly deployed in the consumer computing market space, but they all serve a common function; storage drives allow data to be written to and read from their information stores by the computer’s operating system and, by extension, the user. Documents, photos, videos, system files, and all forms of data that are not being actively modified by the system exist in some form of storage for access in the future. Because of widespread deployment and integrating into the popular lingo, the hard drive (HDD) is the most common, well known form of storage drive. Without getting too deep into the mechanics of it, a HDD consists of several spinning disks (called “platters”) with a needle-like head that can both etch data into the disk as bits of information or read back previously written bits. HDDs exist in both desktop and laptop form factors. Recently, solid-state drives, or SSDs, have taken the storage market by storm with an entirely different system of recording and accessing data. SSDs use transistors, like RAM does, but unlike RAM, SSD NAND is “non-volatile.” In other words, SSDs can preserve their data even when power is removed from the drive, a function HDDs and SSDs do not share with RAM. Because and SSD has no moving parts (like a flash drive, which uses similar technology), they can access data much faster than a mechanical hard disk, which needs to spin up to the correct location on the disk where the requested data is located. SSDs offer better performance and resistance to motion damage, but they cost a higher price per unit of data storage capacity. Predating both SSDs and HDDs were tape drives, which, like tape cassettes, record information on a film. While considerably older than newer standards of data storage, tape drives, due to their low cost, high capacity, and impressive long term reliability, continue to be used in large data centers or other enterprise markets, though they are a rare find for the average consumer nowadays. There are many manufacturers of modern storage drives, with Western Digital and Seagate being big names for HDDs and Samsung, PNY, and SanDisk being popular SSD manufacturers.

As there are several forms of storage drives, there are also several connection standards used to ensure efficient access to these devices. The most common connector is Serial ATA (called SATA), which consists of L-shaped data and power connectors. There are two forms of SATA (II and III), which refers to the data transfer speed. SATA Express was also temporarily explored as a standard connector for high speed drives but was never generally adopted by drive manufactures despite being present on many modern motherboards. Other drives, such as Intel’s 750 series SSDs, connect over the PCI Express interface like a graphics card does. This connection allows for high bandwidth than SATA can, preventing the connection from being throttled by a fully saturated data channel. A more efficient form of this interface is M.2, which offers the benefits of PCI Express lanes without the bulk of the x16 connector.

As we commonly do in this series, we will now explore the numbers used to describe this technology. The two main areas of measurement for storage drives are capacity and speed. Capacity is measured in Gigabytes (GBs) or Terabytes (TBs). HDDs are typically offered in 1-6 TB configurations, and SSDs are commonly purchased in 120GB-1TB capacities. Speed is typically measured in Gigabytes per second (GB/s), and there are different speeds associated with reading from and writing to the storage drive. SATA II drives can transfer up to 3GB/s and SATA III drives can achieve 6GB/s. PCI-E and M.2 drives can move data much faster, but the connection type does not determine the actual speed of the drive. Protocols like AHCI (an older standard for HDDs) and NVME (a newer standard for SSDs) also govern the real world performance of drives.

To summarize, storage drives allow us to permanently store data even without active power being supplied to the computer. They are typically divided between mechanical hard drives and newer solid state drives. SSDs are faster but more expensive per GB, whereas HDDs can offer high capacities for cheaper. There are many manufactures of drives as well as several different connection standards and speed ratings.

If you are interested in upgrading your storage drives, or if you suspect that they may be failing to function properly, feel free to bring your computer to one of Geek ABC’s drop off locations, give us a call, or email us at customercare@geekabc.net! Our technicians are more than happy to address whatever issues your computer might be facing. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out our other blog posts! We hope to see you back for next month’s installment in “How Does My Computer Work?”.

 

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November 30th, 2016 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

This blog post is article three in an educational series designed to give our readers an opportunity to learn more about how computers function without getting burdened with highly technical details. Last month, we discussed the RAM. Today, we will be exploring the graphics processing unit, or GPU.

A visual interface is one of the most distinguished features of modern computing. Whether you are playing a videogame, browsing the web, navigating your operating system, or reading this article, you are looking at some sort of image on a screen. These graphics define our interactions with modern electronic devices, from phones to smartwatches to full desktop PCs, and to generate these images, computers rely on dedicated hardware called the graphics processing unit (GPU).

At first, the concept of a GPU might confuse a few of you who have read our previous articles on how computers work. After all, why is a specialized processor required when computers already have a central processing unit (CPU) that does complex computations already? On the surface, the GPU may appear to be a redundant piece of hardware, but a look under the hood reveals an entirely different story. While the CPU is designed as a general multipurpose computing tool that can handle all sorts of different tasks quickly, a GPU is built from the ground up as dedicated graphics processing tool, and this difference in purpose is reflected in the microarchitecture of the GPU. Without getting too detailed, the process of rendering graphics requires millions of similar calculations that are accomplished most quickly if the hardware is designed to handle each these tasks at the same time (in parallel). This is a fundamentally different design from a CPU, where a fully parallel design would not allow for the flexibility that its different tasks demand of it.

There are two main types of GPUs used in the consumer PC space: discrete and integrated GPUs. A discrete GPU (commonly called a graphics card) is a separate PCB that connects to the motherboard over the PCI interface. It contains the GPU chip, video ports (VGA, DP, DVI, HDMI, etc.), video random access memory (VRAM), power connector (sometimes omitted in low power cards that draw enough electricity from the PCI connector), and a cooling solution (typically a heatsink and fan). In many respects, a graphics card could be thought of as a “mini-computer” itself designed to render graphics. They operate in a similar way to a CPU and RAM computing system, where textures are loaded into VRAM and 3D or 2D model rendering occurs in the actual processor. Graphics cards are generally the most expensive parts of consumer computers, and some of the higher end models have fancy lighting effects, cool paint jobs, and other distinguished features. Unlike a discrete GPU, an integrated GPU is built on the same die as the CPU (hence its integration into the chip). Because the GPU and CPU are housed so closely to each other, they can communicate very quickly with each other, reducing latency that an interface like PCI introduces. Unfortunately, because of space and power limitations, there are fewer resources available to integrated GPUs, so they are generally less powerful. Examples of integrated GPUs include the AMD APU Series and Intel Integrated Graphics.

The two major players in graphics cards are NVidia and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Each of them are sporting powerful GPU designs (the latest being codenamed Pascal and Polaris, respectively). These different GPU architectures are sold in several different variants, with Nvidia’s most powerful consumer offering being branded Titan X and their most budget oriented card being the GTX 1050. AMD currently produces highly popular RX480 and RX470 graphics cards targeted at the “sweet spot” of price and performance.

On the subject of performance, how exactly is it measured for GPUs? VRAM, like regular RAM, is typically measured in gigabytes (GBs). Generally, more is better, though if you are gaming at resolutions like 1080p or rendering only small scenes, 4GBs is considered comfortable, whereas if you render highly complex scenes or play games at 4K, 8GBs is probably more suitable. Professional graphics card offerings have up to 24GBs of VRAM available (as featured on NVidia’s Quadro Series GPUs for scientific applications). As with CPUs, core count and frequency are considerations yet again. GPUs have a high number of cores because they are simpler, parallel processors optimized for throughput, but because of how significant architectural changes are, you should not strictly compare core count or even core frequency between generations of GPUs. Power consumption is another metric that is important to many people who want to make sure their computer power supply can handle their new graphics cards by supplying sufficient wattage. There are more metrics including memory bandwidth and speed, but our honest opinion is that you should read and watch professional reviews of graphics cards to gauge their real world performance in the applications you care about if you are considering a purchase.

To summarize, modern GPUs enable our highly visual interactions with computers. Designed for efficient graphics processing, they enable computers to handle complex graphics scenes in our increasingly 3D computing experience. Offered in both integrated and discrete varieties, GPUs vary greatly in processing ability and speed, and selecting between AMD and NVidia (and the many “add-in-board-partners,” such as ASUS, EVGA, and MSI, who sell variations of the reference versions these two companies create) depends on how graphics-intensive the different games and applications you use are and what sort of budget you have available.

If you are interested in upgrading your GPU, or if you suspect that it may be failing to function properly, feel free to bring your computer to one of Geek ABC’s drop off locations, give us a call, or email us at customercare@geekabc.net! Our technicians are more than happy to address whatever issues your computer might be facing. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out our other blog posts! We hope to see you back for next month’s installment in “How Does My Computer Work?”.

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November 7th, 2016 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR OWNERS OF THE EVGA GTX 1080 AND 1070 FTW ACX 3.0 COOLER DESIGN GRAPHICS CARDS

EVGA has recently identified an issue with ACX 3.0 Coolers on their GTX 1080 and 1070 FTW Graphics Cards purchased after November 1st, 2016. The issue may cause some units to burn their VRM modules. GeekABC highly encourages customers affected by this announcement to bring their computers to one of our shops as soon as possible. EVGA has published a fix for this issue that we are prepared to implement on your graphics cards.

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October 30th, 2016 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

This blog post is article two in an educational series designed to give our readers an opportunity to learn more about how computers function without getting burdened with highly technical details. Last month, we discussed the CPU. Today, we will be exploring random access memory, or RAM.

From cell phones to servers, random access memory (RAM) serves a very important function in the operation of most modern computer systems. Most directly, the function of RAM is to provide the computer system with a data storage space that can be quickly accessed to both add data to or read data from. In last month’s article, we had an analogy for cache in a CPU being the paper on which the CPU could perform mathematical operations. RAM serves a very similar function for the CPU, but is a bit slower to access than cache, though RAM comes in much higher quantities. Any time you load up a Microsoft Word document, modify a picture in Photoshop, or edit music in Audacity, your computer loads the information contained in the text file, image, or audio sample into RAM for it to be modified quickly by these programs.

RAM is considered an integrated circuit that is often referred to as “volatile memory.” Unlike your hard drive, USB stick, or SD cards, which do not require an active power source to store memory (aka “non-volatile memory”), RAM requires the live presence of electricity to store bits of information. Like the aforementioned USB stick or a solid state drive, RAM does not have moving mechanical components that physically access information like a hard drive does, which contributes to its higher access and write speeds when compared to other storage options. On the subject of RAM speeds, there are two numbers associated with how fast RAM is. First, there is the clock speed, which, like the CPU, helps describe the raw speed of a given RAM unit. For example, a RAM DIMM (dual in-line memory module, a common form factor for desktop RAM units), clocked at 2133 mHz is clocked faster than a DIMM clocked at 1600 mHz. The other important number related to RAM speed is its “timings,” which are a set of numbers that relate to the latency, or down-time, of a RAM DIMM. So tighter (smaller) timings and higher clocks result in faster memory. We will discuss the relative importance of RAM speed shortly. Another important aspect of RAM’s physical configuration is its form factor. For laptops and desktops there are a handful of standard RAM generations, the most recent of which being DDR4 SDRAM, which stands for “double data rate fourth generation synchronous dynamic random access memory” (as you will come to find in this series, abbreviations for computer components are very helpful!). Older standards include DDR3 and DDR2.

As many consumers are already aware, RAM capacity is also an important factor in computer systems. When people refer to “upgrading RAM,” they typically mean adding more DIMMS to their system to increase their overall RAM capacity. For example, someone with an old laptop with only 2GBs of RAM might experience a performance benefit from having our GeekABC technicians add an extra 2GBs of RAM, increasing the total capacity to 4GBs provided there is space for more DIMMS.

So up to this point, we have discussed many numbers and names used to describe RAM, but what does it all mean for your overall computing experience in the real world? Generally speaking, the everyday consumer only needs to be concerned with having “enough” RAM to accomplish their daily tasks without hitting a bottle-neck in this part of the computer. In terms of what is considered “enough,” the following might be considered rules of thumb. For people who use their computers for browsing the internet and using office-oriented applications like Microsoft Word and Excel, two to four gigabytes (GBs) or RAM is generally appropriate. For gamers, somewhere between 8-16 GBs or RAM is a popular choice. For content creators, 16-32 GBs is helpful for dealing with complex rendering scenes. In server applications, configurations even as high as 128GBs is not unheard of!

Because of how tightly integrated RAM is to the computer’s functions, errors in RAM cause significant issues in the computer. Blue screens, crashes, and booting issues often stem from failed RAM DIMMS, which can thankfully be replaced. In professional scenarios, where errors in RAM caused by noise can lead to system-wide data management issues, Error Correcting Code Memory is a popular choice because it can detect these corrupted bits of information and fix them without affecting the system overall.

To summarize, RAM is a quickly accessible storage space that the computer can use to store information that is currently being modified by the processor. It is described by capacity, clock speed, timings, and form factor, and it is found in almost all modern computing systems because it plays such a fundamental role in the data processing functions of these machines. Problems with RAM cause major issues with computers, with blue screens and system crashes being common symptoms of failing RAM DIMMS.

If you are interested in upgrading your RAM, or if you suspect that it may be failing to function properly, feel free to bring your computer to one of Geek ABC’s drop off locations, give us a call, or email us at customercare@geekabc.net! Our technicians are more than happy to address whatever issues your computer might be facing. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out our other blog posts! We hope to see you back for next month’s installment in “How Does My Computer Work?”.

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September 26th, 2016 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

 

Over the next few months, this blog will be dedicated to an educational series designed to give our readers an opportunity to learn more about how computers function without getting burdened with highly technical details. In today’s installment, we will be discussing the central processing unit, or CPU.

The CPU is one of the most essential components of any computer system, be it a laptop, tablet, phone, desktop, or any other similar system. It is the “headquarters,” if you will, of all data processing in a computer. Recall that a computer can be thought of as a highly complex calculator, translating everything you do inside your operating system (OS) into binary mathematics problems that can be solved very quickly by complex circuits. The CPU is the part of the computer where almost all of these calculations take place, so it is an essential player in the overall speed and power of your computer! So how does it work?

Obviously, the highly complex details of chip design are beyond the scope of this blog, but there certainly some topics we can explore through analogy. Imagine your computer is a team entered in a math competition. The goal of the competition is to solve as many math problems in the shortest period of time possible, so each member of the team gets some scratch paper to write on as a steady stream of problems is sent to them by the moderators. The number of members on your team represent the number of cores in your CPU, that is, the number of discrete data processors available. The more competitors on your team, the more problems can be solved at once. The speed at which each member of the team can solve a problem is a symbol for the CPU’s clock speed, which is how fast each core is processing data, usually measured in GHz. The paper on which each competitor writes is a rough equivalent to CPU cache, the relatively small but incredibly fast to access space where data is temporarily stored as a system of equations is solved by a core. As illustrated by this example, it is not necessarily objectively better to have faster cores if there are only a few of them, nor is it always better to have several slow cores; rather, a balance between the two is ideal for most consumer workloads. This becomes more complex when you consider that not all programs give all cores an even amount of work to do. Parallel processing has only begun to appear in videogames and similarly demanding tasks in recent years, though it has had a profoundly positive impact on the performance of those programs.

We will now set this analogy behind us as we explore a few other items that are essential to understanding modern CPUs. Hyper-threading, a proprietary technology of one of the two CPU manufacturing giants, Intel Corporation (their main competitor being Advanced Micro Devices, or AMD), allows one physical core to act as two “logical cores,” essentially doubling the number of threads, or lines of commands, that the CPU can process at once. This feature, at least on Intel’s mainstream processor lineup, is exclusive to their i7 processors. AMD is rumored to be including a similar technology in their upcoming Zen CPU architecture.

Another important factor in CPU technology is cooling solutions. If you opened your computer and looked inside, you would see that your CPU is covered by a quite substantial cooling unit, often a large copper or aluminum block with a fan pushing air through it. CPUs kick out a lot of waste heat, although they have become more power efficient in recent years. Even still, a dysfunctional or inadequate CPU cooler can lead to major system problems, including the computer not booting or showing an overheating error message.

To summarize, the CPU is the main “brain” of the computer, handling the vast majority of calculations your programs send out for processing. They are one of the most important factors in how fast your computer runs, with more cores and faster clock speeds making the computer substantially more powerful. They need efficient cooling solutions to keep everything running smoothly, and problems with the CPU generally lead to system failure.

If you are interested in upgrading your CPU, or if you suspect that it may be overheating or encountering other issues, feel free to bring your computer to one of Geek ABC’s drop off locations, give us a call, or email us at customercare@geekabc.net! Our technicians are more than happy to address whatever issues your computer might be facing. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back for next month’s installment in “How Does My Computer Work?”.   

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August 9th, 2016 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

In a surprise move by NVidia, a successor to the Maxwell-based Titan X was announced far earlier than expected this month. The Titan series has consistently held a reputation for unrivaled performance at a high premium, but just how far does this new GPU go?

Much to the dismay of technology reviewers, NVidia has opted to name their new card Titan X, the same name as the previous generation flagship minus the GeForce branding. For this purpose, the new Pascal –based Titan X has been dubbed “Titan XP” per the direction of major review personalities including Linus Sebastian to distinguish it from the previous Maxwell-generation Titan X.

Titan XP is based on a new Pascal chip, GP102, boasting 3840 CUDA cores clocked at 1417MHz at base and 1531MHz with boost clocks. The card also sports 12GB of the new GDDR5X memory that graced GTX 1080, enabling a data rate of 10Gb/s on a 384 bit bus. This memory is clocked at 1251MHz like GTX 1080 as well. Overclocking this card appears to be very successful across the board, with TechPowerUp reporting 12% performance gains on both the GPU cores and the memory modules. As always, though, your mileage may vary.

Not only does Titan XP look like a beast on paper, its real-world performance has shattered all major single-GPU benchmarking records. It is the most powerful consumer graphics card on the market to date, though it unfortunately falls just short of the glass ceiling of 60 FPS at 4K resolution on major gaming titles with settings cranked all the way to ultra. For that, 2-way SLI with GTX 1080s might be more effective.

And speaking of cost, Titan XP will run you $1200 USD, a hefty premium for the top preforming GPU on the market. Many of you may have noticed that this is a $200 price hike over previous generations of Titan GPUs from NVidia. The card’s price-to-performance ratio is certainly unbalanced, but Titan XP is not designed for that market and does not pretend to be. That space is currently reserved for cards like GTX 1060 or AMD’s RX 480, which offer smooth gameplay at 1080p and 1440p resolutions for $200-$300 USD.

Currently, the only Titan XP on the market is NVidia’s Founder’s Edition SKU (pictured) (previously referred to as “reference design”), which features the new, more aggressive angular vapor chamber seen on GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 blower-style cooler designs, though Titan XP, in keeping with Titan design patterns over the past several generations, sports a black paint job instead of GeForce silver.  The card runs hot despite its power-efficiency, so hopefully a few of the aftermarket solutions from companies like MSI and ASUS will address the heat and noise issues that accompany blower-style coolers.

Unsurprisingly, the new Pascal Titan X, no matter how poorly named it is, boldly steps forth as the new king of single consumer GPU performance. While perhaps not universally cost effective, Titan XP is free of compatibility issues that often burden SLI or Crossfire configurations. With AMD currently focused on high-value GPUs, NVidia’s high-end Pascal chips reign without parallel for the time being. If you are a consumer looking for the best of the best, look no further than Nvidia’s Titan XP.

If you would like assistance with your video card installation, please feel free to contact us at customercare@geekabc.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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VN:F [1.9.13_1145]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)