National Computer Repair

Experienced in computer repair, data recovery, and a love for all things geek.

Tag: Computers (page 1 of 2)

What to Look For in a Good Gaming PC

Are you in love with the world of PC gaming? Are you currently in the market for a good gaming PC or the parts to build your own custom rig? Then it’s an important step to understand what exactly you should look for in a PC for your enjoyment. Keep reading to discover some key factors to keep an eye out for in your next gaming PC.

*Note: If you’re looking to build your next PC and need a breakdown of the specific parts you’ll need, we’ve previously written about the main components to any good gaming PC here.

Professional gaming computer set up.
Professional gaming computer set up.

Hardware Compatibility

When you’re building a gaming PC, your number one priority should always be the compatibility of the parts. Everything from the processor and CPU to the motherboard should be compatible before you make that purchase and install them.

Memory Speed

No matter what type of memory you purchase for your rig, you should always check to ensure you’ll actually be using all of that memory speed. You can check this by entering the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)** and loading the memory profile. There are also plenty of third-party apps which will show you your computer’s current memory speed.

** BIOS: firmware used to perform hardware initialization during the booting process, and to provide runtime services for operating systems and programs.

An 80 PLUS Rating for the Power Supply

Your computer’s power supply should be able to stand up to the games and other tasks you’re planning on using your PC for. By choosing a power supply which has an 80 PLUS certification will guarantee your gaming PC can handle just about anything you plan to throw at it.

Cable Management

Once you have all the computer components and you’re ready to put it into the case, you want to make sure everything will fit and look clean. Cable management is key in achieving a nice, clean appearance for your rig. Fun fact: good cable management might also help improve the cooling system due to the improved air flow inside the case.

Overclocking: Worth it?

Gaming computer monitor and tower.
Gaming computer monitor and tower.

Overclocking and whether it’s worth it or not is completely subjective. Overclocking is the process of speeding up your computer beyond the manufacturers’ specifications for a faster runtime. If you feel it’s worth the possibility of burning out your rig’s components and voiding the parts’ warranties, then your performance goals can be met through overclocking. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons before making the final decision.

Conclusions If you’re ready to get started playing all of your favorite PC games on a system you’ve built yourself, following these tips for ensuring your PC survives will help a great deal. If you run into any problems or would simply like some help in building it, come into our computer shop at National Computer Repair and let our knowledgeable technicians help you with it all!

Ways to Keep Your Computer Running Faster

A computer is an incredible and revolutionary piece of hardware that can do seemingly everything you need it to do. However, if not taken care of properly, the device that you consider one of the most important parts of your daily life can become a consistent source of stress. There are a multitude of reasons why a computer starts to slow down when it comes to performance, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that there are plenty of ways to keep this from happening. In the article below, you will be given a few simple steps that can do wonders for keeping your computer in tip-top working condition.

Don’t Let Any Programs Run Automatically:

Something that is often overlooked by most people are the programs that are set to open by default when turning the computer on. Not only is this usually unnecessary except for antivirus programs, but it also greatly effects the overall functionality of your computer. While it may not look like it to you, the programs running in the background take up a lot of your computers RAM, which basically means that they are taking away some of the attention your system has to give, directly effecting how much it can provide to whatever you are actually using the computer for. The fewer programs running the better when it comes to any hardware, which means unclicking that pesky little “start automatically” box can make a whole world of difference.

Uninstall Any Unused Programs:

How many people know every single bit of software and every program on their computer? Besides professionals that work with computers for a living, it is most likely that you don’t know every program or file that is taking up memory and space on your hard drive, which is understandable. With such an intricate system, there are bound to be certain programs that are completely irrelevant to you while possibly being extremely important to other people. The important thing to do in this situation is take the time to search through your computers downloads and applications to see exactly what is in there and how much space it takes up. If you know you aren’t going to use it much or at all and it serves no true daily purpose to be on your computer, uninstall it. The more space you can free on your computer, the faster it will run.

Save All Videos & Photos on External Hard Drive:

Speaking of freeing space on a computer also brings audio, video and picture files to mind. When it comes to these kinds of files, it is extremely easy to lose track of just how many of them you’re saving on your computer. In today’s digital age there is no shortage of opportunities to take a selfie or capture that amazing view, which then gets saved onto your hard drive to take up even more space. While there is nothing wrong at all with saving cherished memories, there is also no reason to keep them on your computer. Purchasing a simple external hard drive of 1 or 2 terabytes will allow you to store every bit of media footage, whether it’s photo or video on that drive and delete it from your actual computer, thus saving a huge amount of space for you to devote towards performance and speed.

Run Consistent Disk Cleanups:

With so many different websites we visit and temporary files we need for either school or work, a virtual junk drawer of unneeded files, programs and cookies can steadily start to pile up in your computer. While at first it may seem harmless, given enough time these random little bits of space can add up to a very slow operating system. Luckily, there is a very easy way to counteract this frustration, which is to run monthly or even weekly diagnostic checks and disk cleanups. By running these checks or merely just going into your computer to delete any recent unnecessary files or cookies, you save vital disk space and allow your computer to operate at its finest.

Conclusion:

Plenty of issues can arise with such a complicated piece of technology, but your computer is actually a relatively simple device to keep up if you know how. Following these few simple tasks can do wonders with creating better functionality and less frustrations for you. If there is an issue that can’t be fixed simply by yourself, however, National Computer Repair is happy to help you get back up and running in no time!

The Main Components of a Gaming PC

If you’re heavily into playing PC games, it’s worthwhile to invest in a gaming computer. While most PCs can play video games, specialized gaming computers totally enhance the gaming experience. These computers are built with components that are specifically designed to run video games efficiently without causing the computer to crash. What are these parts exactly? Read this blog post for a rundown of the main components required for a gaming computer.

Graphics Processing Unit

Graphics Processing Unit, GPU, Graphics Card, Video Card

The graphics processing unit is known as the GPU, graphics card, or video card. This component is the most important part for PC gaming; it’s what makes games look photorealistic without crashing your computer or slowing down the gameplay.

The graphics card relies on the processor (CPU) to function. If the CPU isn’t processing the game quickly enough, the GPU’s visual output will be bottlenecked, meaning that the FPS (frames-per-second) will drop and the game will lag or freeze. A high quality GPU working in conjunction with an efficient processor will give you a smooth gaming experience.

Check out our selection of graphics cards.

Processor

Computer Processor, CPU

The central processing unit, or CPU, is the brain of the computer. The CPU controls the number of tasks your computer can perform simultaneously, and how quickly it can do so. For gaming, the processor is the second most important component in a computer, as it works hand-in-hand with the graphics card.

Since the CPU is so important, make sure you are buying an up-to-date CPU and compare it with competitor brands to ensure that you are picking the best model possible. Many gamers purchase Intel processors, as their stronger single-core performance makes them especially suited for gaming; although, AMD processors are quickly becoming just as good as Intel processors in terms of gaming, and are more affordable.

Memory

RAM, Memory, Memory Card, Random Access Memory

Random Access Memory, or RAM, is the third most important component for gaming; it allows computers to quickly access files and run multiple processes simultaneously without lagging. It’s directly linked to the CPU, and greatly impacts the CPU’s performance and your gaming experience.

Speed isn’t as important as quantity; the more RAM you have, the better your system will be at managing multiple applications at once and meeting the memory requirements of today’s PC games. You will need at least 4GB of RAM for your computer (any less and your computer won’t be able to run most games), though 8 to 16GB are your best options.

Storage

Computer Storage, Hard Drive, Solid State Drive

To figure out how many gigabytes of storage you’ll need, look at how much space your current list of games require, and use that number to gauge how much storage to get. Then, you will need to choose between a hard drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD). Having both is recommended, but we suggest getting an SSD if you can afford only one.

If you’re looking for quality, get an SSD – they are smaller, durable, provide faster loading times, and can store a significant amount of data. If you’re looking for quantity, opt for an HDD – they are larger, more affordable, and can store much more game data (though they can result in slower loading times).

Power Supply and Motherboard

Computer Motherboard

Computers need electricity to run, so a good power supply unit, or PSU, is critical. Don’t get a cheap, poor-quality PSU, or else the rest of your computer won’t perform well. Buy from a reputable manufacturer, and make sure that the unit you buy has enough wattage for your system. This Power Supply Calculator helps you determine how big your PSU needs to be.

Every computer part is connected in some way to the motherboard, so that every component can communicate and work together. Motherboards do not have any effect on gaming performance, so it does not matter what type you purchase, as long as it’s compatible.

Check out our selection of motherboards.

Case

Computer Case, Computer Tower

The computer case holds everything together and can make your system last many years without needing many rebuilds. Your case should have space for your motherboard, GPU, and for replacement parts that may be installed in the future. It should also accommodate for a cooling setup, allowing room for two fans and vents for those fans.

Check out our selection of computer cases.

Other Components

Operating System (OS): Windows 10 is the top recommended system for gaming, but if you can’t afford it, go for Linux operating systems.

Mouse and Keyboard: Consider the types of video games you like to play. Shooter games require a usable mouse, while MMOs, MOBAs, and strategy games need a quality keyboard.

Monitor: What’s the point of playing a video game if you can’t see anything? Invest in a good monitor that is compatible with your setup.

Fans: These keep your computer cool and prevent it from overheating. A high quality fan improves air flow, keeps hardware at a decent temperature, and reduces the noise coming from the computer.

Computer Fan

Conclusion

There are many parts needed for a gaming computer. Luckily, National Computer Repair LLC has the parts you need to design your dream gaming PC. If you can’t do it yourself, let us custom-build one for you!

Don’t Get Rid of Your Old Computer without Doing This First

Technology is changing constantly and these rapid advancements can make our laptops and other devices feel outdated after just a couple of years. The average lifespan of a laptop is about 4 years, depending on what you use your laptop for.  In addition to the more frequent changes in technology, identity theft and other forms of fraud are also on the rise, making it more important than ever that you dispose of your old laptop in a way that doesn’t enable criminals to use your information. In this article, we’ll walk you through the necessary steps for protecting yourself from fraud.

Step One: Back it up!

The first thing you’ll need to do is back up any files you want to keep on a hard drive. This may include photos, music, and important files like tax documents and other things you don’t want to lose. You can buy a hard drive online or at any electronics store. You may also want to use a cloud service to save your files online. Doing both will make sure that your files are safe after your computer’s hard drive is wiped.

Step Two: De-Authorize Programs

Programs such as iTunes and Microsoft Office will only allow a certain number of computers to use it under your username. De-authorizing your computer will allow you to install the program on a new computer. Each program has different instructions for de-authorization, but generally, you’ll find the action under your account settings.

Step Three: Delete, Erase, Uninstall

This is an important step to make sure that thieves won’t have access to your internet passwords, especially for bank accounts. Use your internet browser’s method for deleting all of your browsing and password information. Next, send all of your sensitive documents, especially those that contain social security numbers and banking information, to the trash bin and empty it. Finally, uninstall all of your programs, particularly the ones that you’ve paid for or that have an account with your personal information.

Step Four: Wipe the Disk

This is the last step to ensuring that your laptop no longer contains any trace of your identity. Depending on whether you have a Mac or use Windows, the directions for wiping the disk will be different. There is also software that you can buy which you run from a CD or flash drive that will wipe the disk for you. The other option is to physically remove the hard drive from the computer and take your anger out on it until it cannot be used. This is important if your laptop won’t start up and you’re unable to do steps 1 – 3.

Step Five: Get Rid of your Laptop without Harming the Environment

Finally, your laptop is squeaky clean and ready for a new home. There are a few ways you can get rid of it, including selling it online, donating it to a charity, or taking it to a special electronics recycling center. The only thing that is not an option is throwing it in the trash or your home’s recycling bin; toxic materials in the laptop like arsenic can make their way into our ecosystem. Not good.

Conclusion

Now you know how to safely get rid of your old laptop but first stop by National Computer Repair to see if your computer can be repaired. You can also browse our great selection of laptops and computers.

Women Who Changed Computer Science

There’s no doubt that computer science has come a long way thanks to the hard work and innovation of countless great thinkers. Here, we’re going to highlight the contributions of a few brilliant women.

Ada Lovelace

Born in 1815 in London, Ada Lovelace is known as one of the founders of scientific computing. She wrote the earliest computer program which could be used to calculate the seventh Bernoulli number. Though the machine that was supposed to use the program was never built, Alan Turing used her writings as a reference in the 1940’s while creating the modern computer. Now, October 8th is recognized as Ada Lovelace Day, which is a day for celebrating women’s achievements in STEM.

Katherine Johnson

The history of NASA, space flight, and computing would not be the same without Katherine Johnson’s ingenious mathematical calculations. As an African-American woman, she overcame numerous obstacles to work as a “computer,” calculating trajectory and other important factors for space flight. She personally verified the numbers on the digital computers that were used for computing John Glenn’s mission around the Earth. Today, Johnson is 100 years old and her work has been celebrated in the novel and movie, Hidden Figures.

Marissa Mayer

43 year old Marissa Mayer is considered one of the most influential women in the world. After graduating from Stanford with degrees in Symbolic Systems and Computer Science, she worked as a spokesperson for Google, then as the CEO of Yahoo!, and is now a co-founder of tech incubator Lumi Labs. Thanks to her insights and success in tech and computer science, many women have been inspired to get into STEM and to enter the tech industry.

Conclusion

Because of the innovations in computer science by people like the women listed here, today we can enjoy a greater quality of life and many modern conveniences. At National Computer Repair, we’re thankful for the creativity and problem solving that brought us this far in computer technology. Don’t forget to call on us when your computer is having problems such as applications running slowly or frozen screen.

All photo credits: Shutterstock

 

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