Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Computer Desktop Tips

Four Reasons to Choose a Desktop Over a Laptop

Desktops are those bulky and heavy computers that occupy a lot of space on your desk. Laptops, on the other hand, are sleek rectangular boxes that you can bring with you wherever you go. Some people prefer using a desktop PC while some are happier with a laptop computer. Here are some reasons why it is better to get a desktop instead of a laptop.

* Cost
Regular desktop computers do no need specially-designed mini components that can be crammed into a small area. Thus, they are generally more affordable than a laptop with similar features. Portability accounts for a big chunk of a laptop’s selling price. If you have a small budget and no reason to tout your computer about, a desktop computer is a cost-effective solution for you.

* Power and Upgradeability
Many laptops have built-in components that cannot be replaced by newer and faster hardware with a different architecture. If laptop components wear down, they can only be replaced by the same components. A desktop, however, offers more room for upgrades and modifications. Depending on the size of your casing, you can experiment with various motherboards, processors, video cards, hard disk drives, and other computer hardware. Equipped with more computer components, a desktop will be capable of processing more applications than a laptop computer. If you are looking for a top performing workstation that can run the latest 3D games at high frame rates, you will want to get a desktop computer.

* Durability
Because they are often transported about, notebook computers experience more wear and tear than desktop computers. Laptop components such as screen hinges and power cords eventually wear out with gradual use. A liquid spill on the keyboard, which is a minor incident on a desktop system, can be quite disastrous for a laptop unit.
Laptops are also more prone to overheating problems than desktop computers. Because of their very small sizes, it is difficult for air to circulate and cool laptop components. Dust filtering in from outside can clog a laptop’s cooling system and render it inefficient over the years. Desktop computers parts generally have more room to breathe in and, thus, cool off faster and last longer than laptop components.

* No Battery Worries
Desktops are directly connected to a power outlet, thus, you do not have to worry that they will die out on you — unless if there is a power outage. The scenario is different for laptops. Laptop computers usually run on batteries and these batteries can only last for a couple of hours. When working on a laptop that is not directly connected to an electrical outlet, you need to keep a watchful eye over your battery levels.
If you are working with a small budget, you can get more bang for your buck with a desktop computer. You not only spend less but end up with a sturdy and powerful system that can run continuously for hours on end

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Computer Desktop Tips

Three Reasons to Buy a Tower PC

People place a lot of importance on a computer’s portability. Laptops are prized for their small size and light weights. But smaller is not always better. Most of the time, you will find yourself paying a hefty premium for a very portable laptop that is not as powerful as its desktop counterpart. If you do not feel the need to bring your computer with you every time you go out, a laptop will not be a cost-effective purchase for you to make. Why not consider buying a large desktop computer — the tower PC — instead? Tower PCs make a fine centerpiece on any study table.
Here are some great reasons why it is better to get a tower PC instead of a regular-sized desktop computer or a laptop.

* More Space
One obvious advantage of a tower PC is its roomy interior. With a tower PC, you can install a lot of hardware inside your computer and still have room to spare for a couple more components. Depending on your motherboard, you can fit two or four video cards, two or more hard disks, a sound card, two or more optical drives, and a number of fans inside your computer case.

* More Power
With more hardware, you will have a faster and extremely powerful PC. This is especially useful for avid PC gamers and professional designers. With at least two dedicated graphics cards, multimedia applications will run smoother and faster, and you enable you to view graphics at higher resolutions. With two CD writers, you can copy files between CDs without transferring the CD files into your hard drive. With more hard disks, you can store more information and back up all of your files.

* Efficient Cooling
The tower PC also gives your computer components more room to breathe in than in the cramped quarters of a small form factor computer or a laptop. With more space, air can better circulate in between computer components and hasten the cooling process of sensitive hardware such as the CPU and video cards. Cooling is hastened all the more if you add more fans which help usher in cool air from the outside and guide hot air outside the computer case’s vents.
With a tower PC, you can enjoy all of these advantages and more! You may not have a mobile machine, but you will have a computer that is more powerful and cool.
Desktop Coupter Case Information
Size – desktop and mini-towers are very attractive but these types have limited room for expansion when you want to upgrade or add some other internal hardware. The midsize and full towers are the better choices.
Number of drive bays or expansion bays – this is where you install your hard drives, DVD-roms, CD-roms, etc… The minimum is usual three drive bays but when you go for the full tower casing, you can have as many as seven or more drive bays.
Design – it should have an aerodynamic design that provides good airflow, and the casing should be strong to ensure that the components inside are sufficiently protected and secured.
Power supply – choose the 300 watts to get your motherboard, processor and other components boosted.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Computer Maintenance Tips

Computer Maintenance Tips

Laptop computers are bombarded with plenty of dust and dirt if you take them out with you often. Dirt and grime love to accumulate around and in between your laptop keyboard keys. If you want your laptop to be free from dust and germs, you need to clean the keyboard.
Before you attempt to clean your keyboard, make sure that your laptop is turned off and unplugged to avoid electrical shocks which can easily fry your laptop’s internal components. In addition, remove all your laptop accessories and peripherals, including any removable media devices.
On some laptops, it is easy to remove the keys and replace them. On others, this may not be so simple. If you are not sure whether you should remove your laptop keyboard keys, it is better to leave them alone. You can check your laptop manual for keyboard cleaning instructions.
If you decide to leave your laptop keyboard intact, you can still effectively clean it. You can begin by tilting your laptop and directing a can of compressed air against the keys. You can already dislodge a lot of foreign particles in this manner. For tough dirt and grime, you can use cotton swabs slightly moistened with isopropyl alcohol.
If you remove the keyboard keys, you can do a more thorough cleaning. Take note of the key orientation before you take out each key so you know how to reassemble the keyboard. Using a screwdriver or small knife, you can gently pop off the keyboard keys. The space bar and other large keys like the ‘enter’ and ’shift’ buttons are usually difficult to remove so it is better to leave them in place.
Set aside the removed keys and hand wash them. You can wipe the exposed keyboard clean by using a soft cloth. You can also use a mild cleaning solution — Just make sure that you apply it sparingly on your cleaning cloth and not directly on the keyboard.
Once everything is squeaky clean, allow the keyboard and keys to dry completely before reuniting them. Do not close the lid while your keyboard is drying.
You now have a clean laptop keyboard!

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Computer Maintenance Tips

How to Clean Your Desktop Computer Keyboard

Desktop computer keyboards easily get dirty especially if many people share the same workstation. It is a good thing that cleaning a computer keyboard is a pretty straightforward task. There are two ways that you can take when cleaning your computer keyboard: You can do a light cleaning or you can do a major cleaning.
For a light cleaning, you can simply turn your keyboard upside down and gently whack it against your legs. Make sure the keyboard is disconnected from your computer when you do this. You will be surprised at the amount of foreign material that can be dislodged in this manner. To further aid in loosening foreign objects, use a can of compressed air.
You can scrub away dirt and grime stuck on keyboard keys by using a cotton swab moistened with water or isopropyl alcohol.
For a complete and thorough cleaning, you can pry off your keyboard keys using a screwdriver or other lever. Do not forget to note the position and arrangement of the keys when you do this! You can take a picture of your keyboard so you can remember where to pop back each key once you finish cleaning.
Do not force out any key if it is difficult to remove. If you have difficulty prying out the space bar, you may as well just leave it be. The space bar is generally difficult to replace and prone to breaking due to its long length.
After you remove all of the keyboard keys, use compressed air to clear out debris within the keyboard frame. Using a moist cloth, gently wipe away any remaining dirt and dust. Make sure your cleaning cloth is only damp and not wet.
After dealing with the keyboard frame, you need to clean and wipe each key individually. This makes for a tedious and very boring task. If you are feeling lazy, you can place the keys in a net bag and wash them in the washing machine.
After everything is clean and dry, reassemble your keyboard, plug it back in your computer, and resume working!

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Computer Maintenance Tips

Three Simple Computer Maintenance Tips

Caring for your computer is an essential task if you want a machine free from errors. A well-maintained computer can service you for a long time with few problems, if any. Here are three simple things that you can do to keep your computer healthy and fit.

* Clean Your Computer
Clean your computer not just on the outside, but also on the inside. Dust and dirt can coat your computer components and cause them to overheat. They can also weigh down the blades of your computer’s internal fans and hamper the flow of air within the system, which aggravates overheating issues.
When you dust off your computer, do not forget your internal components. You can easily blow away dust and debris from inside your computer case by using a can of compressed air or a small hand-held vacuum cleaner.

* Organize Your Hard Disk Drive
Boost your computer’s performance by organizing the files on your hard disk drive and performing hard drive checks. You can do this by deleting data that you no longer need and running Window’s disk cleanup and disk defragmenter utility tools. It is advisable to defragment and check your hard drive for errors once a month.

* Back Up Your Data
Backing up your data is an integral part of computer maintenance. This is doubly important for corporate workstations and the personal computers of professionals who bring their work home. In the rare event that your computer bogs down, you will still have access to important files, especially your work files. You can back up your computer files by copying them to any of the many media for file storage available today such as external hard drives, CDs and DVDs, and USB flash drives.
There are many more things that you can do to keep your computer in tip-top condition! Take good care of your computer and it will reward you with smoother operations and a longer lifespan


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Friday, December 16, 2011

Computer Memory Tips

Speeding up Your Computer: Adding More RAM

System freezes and poor response times in your computer can mean a lot of things. If your computer is running slower than usual, it may be infected with a virus or you may have some defective hardware. Most of the time, however, your computers slow speed is a result of too many open programs and applications.
Low performance systems with budget parts hate multitasking. But there is a way to deal with slow PC speeds without replacing pricey components like the CPU and graphics card. If you want to speed up your computer the easy and cost-effective way, simply add more RAM modules or upgrade your old ones!
RAM or Random Access Memory is the data cache where your computer temporarily stores the files necessary to keep open programs running. The computer can access data stored in the RAM at very fast speeds, almost instantaneously. With a large RAM, the computer can store more files and manage more applications simultaneously.
If your computer runs out of RAM, it will utilize a portion of the hard disk drive to store data. This is where speed problems arise. Under this set up, memory blocks are swapped between the hard drive and RAM. Unlike in RAM, the computer unfortunately does not have high-speed access to data stored in the hard drive.
If you are running 620MB of programs with only 512MB of RAM, your computer will be frantically moving data back and forth between the hard drive and RAM. Although your computer is working twice as hard, it will seem sluggish and unresponsive due to the hard drives poor data transfer rates. Long-term swapping will eventually overtax your computer and cause system crashes.
To enjoy faster response times with your computer, increase the size of your RAM or upgrade it. For the average computer user, 1GB of RAM is good enough. For those who love to switch among multiple windows, at least 2GB of RAM may be needed to avoid hang ups and downtimes.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Computer Memory Tips

General Guidelines for Installing Memory on You Desktop PC

Upgrading memory on your desktop PC does not require any special skills, but you have to be careful during installation. An improperly handled or attached memory module may not function. Here are some general guidelines that can help you when installing memory on your desktop PC.

* Prepare Equipment
Before you can begin installing memory, you have to have the extra memory modules! You may also need a screwdriver to remove the cover of your computer case.

* Dispel Static Energy
Dispel any buildup of static electricity on your body by grounding yourself. You can do this by either wearing an antistatic wrist strap or by frequently touching a grounded metal surface during installation.
RAM modules and other internal pc computer hardware are highly sensitive to static electricity which is produced by friction. If you do not ground yourself, you risk destroying your memory modules, as well any other computer component that you come in contact with.

* Turn Off and Unplug PC
Turn off your computer and detach the power cord from the wall socket as a safety precaution. Even though your computer is turned off, electricity can flow through the plugged power cables during a power surge.

* Open PC Case
Once you have safely shut down your computer and grounded yourself, remove the cover of your computer case. Cases come in a variety of architectures and are dismantled in different ways. You should consult your computer manual for aid. Use the screwdriver to remove any screws holding the cover in place.

* Install Memory
Look for the RAM slots on your motherboard and install your RAM modules. Hold the RAM modules by the edges, avoiding the connectors, and align them vertically on the RAM slots. Push down gently until the RAM module snaps into place.

* Close PC Case
After all your RAM modules are properly installed, close your computer case and reconnect the power cables of your computer.

* Check RAM Amount
When you boot up your computer, do not forget to check whether the extra memory has been recognized by your desktop PC. 



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Monday, December 12, 2011

Computer Memory Tips

General Guidelines for Installing Memory on You Laptop

Installing memory on a laptop computer is very similar to installing memory on a desktop PC. The problem is accessing the RAM slots. Memory is usually stored at the back of the laptop behind a panel, but some laptops have no memory panel. If your laptop does not have a memory panel, you may have to hire a professional computer technician to install your memory modules. If your laptop has a memory panel, you can replace your laptop memory on your own.

Before you upgrade or replace your laptop memory, make sure that you have purchased the right small outline dual in-line memory modules (SODIMM) for your laptop. In addition, have your laptop manual and a non-magnetic screwdriver on hand. Your laptop manual will tell you how to remove the memory panel safely with the aid of the screwdriver.
After you have prepared the necessary equipment, turn off your laptop and unplug it from the wall socket. In addition, remove the laptop batteries so avoid any nasty shocks.
Before you open the memory panel, ground yourself by wearing an antistatic wrist strap. This will ensure you will not damage any of the pc computer hardware. You can also touch any grounded metal surface to counteract static electricity on your body and clothes. Static electricity can damage your memory modules.
Once you are properly grounded, open your laptop’s memory panel. This will reveal the RAM slots on your laptop and your current memory modules. If there are no extra slots, you will have to remove some of your old modules to make room for the new ones.
When handling the memory modules, hold them by the edges. Position the modules at a 45-degree angle on the RAM slots and gently push them down until they lock into place.
Once all of the memory modules are installed, replace the laptop batteries and turn on your laptop. Check if the new memory modules are detected by your system. If the new memory is not recognized, check your power connections and repeat the installation process. If everything is in working order, replace the memory panel and start enjoying the extra RAM!



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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Computer Memory Tips

Three things to consider when upgrading Memory on Your Desktop PC

Upgrading memory is oftentimes an easy, cost-effective ticket to a faster desktop PC system. Your computer uses random access memory (RAM), or memory for short, to store data needed to manage open and running applications. With more memory, your desktop PC will have an easier time managing your programs.
Before you can install memory on your PC, you need to have the right type of memory at the right amounts, as well as an extra RAM slot on your motherboard.

* Get the right type of memory.
You have to have the right type of memory for your PC. The memory that you can use is dependent on your motherboard, so make sure that you buy a memory module that your motherboard can support. Old motherboards may only support DDR1 SDRAM. Modern motherboards can support both DDR1 SDRAM and the faster DDR2 SDRAM. The fastest SDRAM on the market is currently DDR3, which only the latest motherboards can support.

* Get the right amount of memory.
If you are running a 32-bit Windows operating system, your computer will not be able to use more than 4GB of memory without the aid of pc computer hardware and software hacks. Thus, installing more than 4GB or RAM on a 32-bit Windows system will simply be a waste of your money.
On the other hand, the modern 64-bit Windows system can theoretically support up to 16TB of memory or roughly 16,000GB. You should have no problem installing a lot of memory on PCs with a 64-bit architecture!\

* Reserve a RAM slot.
Memory is installed in RAM slots on the motherboard. Motherboards usually accommodate between two and four RAM modules. If all of your RAM slots are occupied, you have to replace your old RAM modules with ones that have more memory. Typical RAM amounts for memory modules include 512MB, 1GB and 2GB.
Once you have purchased the right memory modules and prepared an extra RAM slot on your motherboard, you can begin installing the additional memory on your desktop PC!


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Friday, December 9, 2011

Computer Monitor Tips

Buying a Computer Monitor: LCD vs CRT

When computers were first introduced, they only came with one type of monitor: the cathode ray tube (CRT). Decades ago, however, another type of computer monitor emerged: the liquid crystal display (LCD).
Which display unit is better: an LCD or a CRT? Both technologies actually have disadvantages and advantages. Here are some of them.

* Display Sharpness
One very important thing to consider when buying a computer monitor is the screen resolution. The higher the resolution, the clearer the images you see on your computer screen. You do not want a monitor with a low resolution. It will display very poor images.
LCDs generally display sharper and clearer images than CRTs. They have a native screen resolution at which they perform best. On the other hand, CRTs are not limited by a native screen resolution and can perform equally well at all their supported resolutions.

* View at an Angle
You may have problems viewing images on an LCD from an angle. If you are not facing an LCD screen directly, parts of images will fade away and you will see black patches. This can be irritating if you are viewing an LCD interface with other people and you are situated to the far left or far right of the screen. In CRTs, your view is not hampered if by your position so long as you can see most of the screen.

* Screen Radiation
Ever wonder why practically all computer geeks where glasses or contact lenses? Staring at a computer screen for a long time without rest can damage your eyes. Screen flickers exacerbate this problem.
In CRT units, screen flickers abound. This never happens in LCDs. As such, LCDs are easier on the eyes than CRTs. If you plan on working long hours on your computer, an LCD is a necessary investment to make.

* Electricity Consumption
LCD units consume less power than CRTs. For this reason alone, many people, especially the energy conscious, prefer LCDs over CRTs. If you badly need to lower your bill, get an energy-efficient LCD instead of a power-hungry CRT.

* Size and Weight
CRT units are very bulky what with their extended backs. They are bigger and heavier than their LCD counterparts and are, thus, very difficult to transport from one place to another. CRTs are fine if you store them in one area permanently. If you are the travelling type, you will find a better companion in the lightweight LCD
* Price
The prices of computer monitors have been steadily declining as newer units with more features are introduced. CRTs are still way cheaper than LCDs but you do not necessarily have to break the bank with an LCD purchase


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Computer Monitor Tips

Upgrading Your Computer Monitor

Perhaps your computer monitor is too small for you, or you simply want a brand new one. When replacing your computer monitor as part of a PC upgrade, you basically have two options: You can opt for an LCD monitor, or you can get the old-fashioned CRT monitor.
LCDs, or liquid crystal displays, are sleek, flat monitors that are surprisingly lightweight. Because of their slim build, they are efficient space savers. On a desk cluttered with office implements, papers and other computer peripherals, an LCD monitor would find no problem fitting in.
CRTs, or cathode ray tubes, are bulky monitors with a large, jutting back. CRTs are slowly being phased out and replaced by LCDs. Thus, you can purchase CRT monitors at very affordable bargain prices.
Despite being more expensive than their CRT counterparts, LCD monitors are still relatively inexpensive to acquire today. Computer monitor manufacturers are developing and releasing new LCD models every so often. New product debuts drives down the prices of older LCD models! Thus, an LCD monitor is a great, lightweight replacement for an old CRT monitor.
Apart from consuming less space on your computer table, LCD monitors also consume less power than CRT monitors. If you want a computer that is more environment-friendly, you should shoot for an LCD.
One important factor that you should consider when scouting for a replacement computer monitor is the screen size. A screen size of 17 inches is recommended for you to view applications comfortably. A widescreen LCD can give you more viewing space than a standard screen size.
Of course, getting a widescreen LCD does not beat getting an LCD with a larger screen size. A 19-inch LCD will allow you to open and view two programs side by side without squinting at the screen. Larger LCD monitors will give you an even larger view of your desktop.
Computer Monitor Information
Resolution – a computer monitor is made up of picture elements or pixels and the image displayed which is measured in number of pixels is defined as the resolution. Like a resolution of 800 x 600 (width x height), which simply means that the screen is 800 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall would look fine in 14” to 17” monitors, but would start to look distorted in a 19” and above screen. The recommended resolution according to screen size and usage are:
1024 x 768 – is the standard for home and ordinary business use. This resolution is best viewed in a 17” size monitor.
1920 x 1080 – is the recommended resolution for multi-media applications, gaming and viewing high definition images. Larger screens above 20” would best fit this higher resolution.
Screen size – a computer monitor 17” up to 20” is sufficient for basic tasks such as email, surfing the internet, and document applications. You can also watch a video and do simple photo editing with that monitor size. Screens with sizes over 20” are highly recommended for multi-media applications and gaming.
Response time – If you like hardcore gaming or dabble in graphics and photo editing or enjoy watching high definition movies, the resolution and screen size would not be enough if you are buying a computer monitor. The response time is important which is measured in milliseconds (ms). With a lower response rate like 5ms, your monitor will give a better view of moving images.



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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Computer Monitor Tips

The Role of a Computer Monitor

The computer has been one of the largest used advancements of the 21st century. One key aspect that would not make a computer what it is today is the computer monitor. The initial computer monitor that was developed with the first computer was a simple standard television looking like screen. The computer monitor simply projected what the computer was doing on a visual screen. Now since technology has advanced, the computer monitor has seen much advancement. Flat screens have become the new standard of computer monitor where ever you go. Weather you are at work, school, a library or even at home, it has become very popular for flat screens to become the new bench mark of computer monitor.
The great thing about the flat screen computer monitor is that it offers better quality than the standard monitors and takes up lesser space. If you are planning to buy a flat screen computer monitor, there are many ways that you can go about it. The best place to start looking is online. Most computer high street stores will also have a website which you can check out. The great thing about buying such products online is that they are offered at a much cheaper price than having to buy them in the high street store.
With the current economical down turn, we should all be looking at possible ways to cut back on your expenses. Seeing that computer monitor for sale is becoming a very popular item for demand, there is a high chance that you can find a competitive price if you take some time to have a look around. Make sure you go for a branded computer monitor to ensure that you are covered by the guarantee in case you face any technical difficulties.

Computer Monitor Information
Resolution – a computer monitor is made up of picture elements or pixels and the image displayed which is measured in number of pixels is defined as the resolution. Like a resolution of 800 x 600 (width x height), which simply means that the screen is 800 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall would look fine in 14” to 17” monitors, but would start to look distorted in a 19” and above screen. The recommended resolution according to screen size and usage are:
1024 x 768 – is the standard for home and ordinary business use. This resolution is best viewed in a 17” size monitor.
1920 x 1080 – is the recommended resolution for multi-media applications, gaming and viewing high definition images. Larger screens above 20” would best fit this higher resolution.
Screen size – a computer monitor 17” up to 20” is sufficient for basic tasks such as email, surfing the internet, and document applications. You can also watch a video and do simple photo editing with that monitor size. Screens with sizes over 20” are highly recommended for multi-media applications and gaming.
Response time – If you like hardcore gaming or dabble in graphics and photo editing or enjoy watching high definition movies, the resolution and screen size would not be enough if you are buying a computer monitor. The response time is important which is measured in milliseconds (ms). With a lower response rate like 5ms, your monitor will give a better view of moving images.


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Monday, December 5, 2011

Storing Information on Your PC

You do not have to lump all your files in your computer’s internal hard disk drive. If you are a file hoarder, you will eventually reach the limit of your hard disk drive capacity. You can easily remedy the problem of low storage space by making use of removable media devices. Removable media devices are a great alternative place to store extra files and data. You may also use them to create back ups of important and sensitive files. In the event of a total computer crash, you will not lose all of your files if you diligently back up your data.
There are many removable media devices available in the market today. Among the most popular ones are CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and USB flash drives.

* CD
CDs or compact discs are the most popular type of removable media. They rendered the floppy disks obsolete several years ago. While very affordable and in large supply, CDs sadly have short life spans.
In order to read or play a CD, your computer should be equipped with a CD-ROM drive or a CD writer. CD-ROMs will simply allow you to read data on a CD. If you want to read and write data on a CD, you will have to get a CD writer.

DVDs, also known as digital versatile discs or digital video discs, are similar to CDs but these removable media devices are able to store more information — roughly six times as much as CDs can hold. While CDs can only accommodate a few hundred MB, DVDs can hold between 1GB and 17GB of data. CDs and DVDs are virtually of the same shape, size, and look. With their large capacity, DVDs are usually used to store movies and videos.
In order to play a DVD, you will have to have a DVD-ROM drive. If you want to be able to store files in a DVD, then you need a DVD writer. For faster copy and playback speeds, you can get a DVD-RAM drive.

* Blu-ray Disc
Like CDs and DVDs, Blu-ray discs, also known as Blu-rays or BDs, are optical storage media. CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays all have the same standard dimensions. When it comes to storage capacity, however, Blu-rays are king. A two-layer Blu-ray disc can accommodate as much as 50 GB of data.
Blu-rays are typically used to store high-definition videos. A blue-colored laser is used to read and transfer data on Blu-rays — thus, their name. DVDs, on the other hand, use a red laser. In order to read data on a Blu-ray disc, you need a BD-ROM drive. A BD writer is needed for writing to Blu-rays.

* USB Flash Drive
USB flash drives are compact, thumb-sized removable media devices that use flash memory to read and record data. They can act as mini hard disk drives and hold gigabytes of data. To use a USB flash drive, you need only plug it into a computer’s USB port. You can then copy, transfer, and delete as many files as the flash drive can accommodate. When attached to a port supporting USB 2.0 technology, USB flash drives can read and write data faster than optical drives.

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Increasing Hard Drive Space on Your PC

It is always advantageous to have more hard drive space in your computer. With a larger storage capacity, you can download and store more music files, videos, games, and other data. If you want to increase your computer’s hard drive space, you need to get another hard disk drive (HDD). You have two options on what type of HDD to purchase: an internal HDD and an external HDD.
Choosing between an internal HDD and an external HDD can be difficult. Each has its pros and cons. Here are some factors that you may want to weigh before buying an extra hard disk drive for your computer.

* Ease of Set Up
This is the factor that makes or breaks a decision for the computer user with minimal knowledge about computer components and how they are connected with each other. External hard disk drives are usually plug-and-play computer accessories. You simply connect your external HDD to your computer via its supplied USB cables, plug it into a reliable power source, install the appropriate drivers in your computer, and you are ready to go! You do not have to open up your computer and mess around with wires and cables in order to start using your external hard disk drive.

* Portability
This is another advantage that external hard disk drives have over internal hard disk drives. Unlike internal HDDs, you can easily transport external HDDs about and use them on different computers. You need only to unplug your external HDD from your computer and plug it into another computer. In this manner, external hard disk drives can act as bulky but high-capacity alternatives to CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, and other storage media.

* Speed
Internal hard disk drives rule over external hard disk drives when it comes to speed. Internal HDDs are connected to the computer via busses that support faster data transfer speeds than the USB busses that external HDDs use.

* Cost
Cost is also another factor to consider when getting an extra hard disk drive. Since you need to get a casing for your external HDD in order to protect it from the elements, an external HDD is generally more expensive than an internal HDD.
Internal HDDs may be faster and more affordable than external ones but the inconvenience in installing them has prompted many a buyer to purchase an external HDD instead. If you know your way around computers and computer hardware, an internal HDD is an easy and cost effective solution for you. If the hassle of installing an internal HDD is too much for you, an external HDD can give you more hard drive space at the cost of lower data transfer speeds and a higher price tag.

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How to Wipe Out Data From You old Hard Disk Drive

So you have finally decided to get a larger and faster hard disk drive so you can store more files and have a speedier system. When you take out your old hard drive, do not throw it away! You can donate it to charity institutions and the like, but make sure that you remove all of your old data first. There are three things that you can do to wipe out data from your old hard drive.
* Reformat Your Drive
A simple reformat of your hard drive usually does the trick. Depending on your operating system, there are many different ways to reformat an old hard drive.
Reformatting a hard drive does not actually delete all your files and data, however. It simply prepares your hard drive to accept new files and overwrite the “deleted” files. Your old files can readily be retrieved by anyone who is of a mind to do it, such as criminals and data thieves, through the use of data recovery software.
If you have stored sensitive and personal information in your hard drive, you will want to get rid of your data completely. To do this, get a disk wipe utility.

* Run a Disk Wipe Utility
Unlike reformatting, data removed via disk wiping cannot be recovered by data recovery software. With a disk wipe utility, you can prevent identity theft and ensure that your uncompromising secrets remain as secrets. You can download a number of disk wipe utilities for free on the Internet.

* Destroy Your Drive
Destroying your hard drive can effectively deter unscrupulous individuals from mining your personal information, but it will render your drive useless and unfit for any type of charity work. There is only one reason why anyone would want to destroy their drives — lack of time. Reformatting a hard drive and running disk wipes, done the right way, will take hours to finish. If you are in a hurry, you can smash your hard drive to bits and be done with it in mere moments!
When wiping out data from old hard drives, it is always best to reformat them and run disk wipe utilities, instead of destroying them. While you no longer have any use for these drives, many other people can still benefit from them. You will also reduce the amount of global electronic waste.

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How to Clean up Your Hard Disk Drive

Proper maintenance of you hard disk drive can help keep your computer running fast and smooth. In much the same way a messy room deters us from finding things, a disorderly hard disk makes it difficult for the computer to find files. Here are three steps that you can take to clean up your hard disk drive.

* Delete Unused Files
Keep your hard disk well-organized and easy to navigate by manually deleting files and uninstalling programs that you no longer have a need for. This also frees up valuable hard drive space that can be used to store important files in the future.

* Run Disk Cleanup Utility
A fast and easy way to clean up your hard disk is to use Microsoft Window’s disk cleanup utility under the system tools. You can configure that disk cleanup utility to delete temporary files, empty the recycled bin, and compress old files. The disk cleanup utility also gives you the option to uninstall unused programs and Windows components, and delete system restore points except for the most recent one.

* Run Disk Defragmenter Utility
Another way to keep your hard disk neat and orderly is to run Window’s disk defragmenter utility. As we move, delete and install files in our computer, some large files will not be stored as one complete unit. Instead, they will be broken down into smaller parts and stored in between other files. File fragmentation makes it difficult for the computer to locate these separated files.
The disk defragmenter reduces file fragmentation by sorting scattered files and placing them closer to each other. When you run the disk defragmenter, it will assess your hard disk and advise you whether the disk needs to be defragmented or not.
Even if your computer is running smoothly now, observe proper hard drive maintenance so you can avoid future problems and keep your computer in the best possible condition.

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How to save Space on You Hard Drisk Drive

Low on hard drive space? Here are three quick fixes to your problem!
* Delete Unused Files
The first and most obvious step to take is to delete your unused files. Over time, we hoard files that we had a need for, but do we really need them now? If you examine your old files, you will notice that you no longer use many them. Old programs are stored in your program files that have never been run in years. These old files and programs are simple taking up precious space in your hard drive. To quickly free up some hard drive space, simply delete unnecessary files and uninstall those programs that you no longer use.

* Zip Your Files
Another way to free up space on your hard drive is to zip those files that you seldom use. Files that are zipped are compressed into smaller files that take up less space. After zipping, your files will be stored inside a zipped folder and you can safely delete the original files.
If you ever need access to your zipped files, you can quickly do so by unzipping your zipped folders. To zip and unzip files and folders, you will need a zipping software such as WinZip. A free trial version of WinZip is available for download on the Internet.

* Transfer Files
If you want to hold on to all of your files and free up hard drive space at the same time, you can transfer those files that you do not immediately need to a separate storage device. An external hard disk drive is a high capacity storage device that can store as much information as your internal hard drive can store. For those with smaller storage needs, CDs and DVDs will do. One great storage media that you can easily slip inside your pocket is the USB flash drive. Now greatly improved, USB flash drives are capable of storing several dozen gigabytes of information.
With an uncluttered hard drive, you can immediately store new important files and keep your files and folders organized.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

How to Recover Lost Hard Drive Data

Your old hard disk drive has finally died out on you and you are left without all of your files! If you have somehow lost some or all of the data on your computer hard drive, do not panic. You can recover your lost data through computer hard drive recovery software and services.
While sturdy-looking, computer hard drives are relatively fragile computer hardware that can easily break apart if you physically abuse them or run them beyond their limits. With just a short three-foot drop, you can crack and disable your laptop computer hard drive.
You can usually tell if you have a broken computer hard drive based on the sounds that it makes when you boot up and use your PC. The failing hard drive will warn you that it is having a problem by making clicking sounds. When you hear frantic clicks from your hard drive, turn off your computer immediately or you will further damage your drive.
At this point, you have to decide on whether to let go of your hard drive data or hire a computer hard drive recovery service to retrieve your data. Data recovery services are never cheap so be prepared to shell out some cash if you want to retrieve your old hard drive data.
If your computer hard drive is not completely destroyed, you can attempt to recover your data by yourself. You can do this with the help of computer hard drive recovery software.
Before running any computer hard drive recovery software, you first have to remove the damaged hard drive and externally hook it to another computer via a FireWire or USB port. This computer should have the data recovery software installed in it. You then use the recovery software to copy the files from the defective hard drive onto a destination hard drive. The process can take a few hours to several days so you need to be patient.
Depending on the extent of the damage to your hard drive, you can recover all or a greater portion of your hard drive data by using computer hard drive recovery software or by employing a computer hard drive recovery service.

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Two Types of Computer Hard Drive Failures

Like most Computer Hardware; Computer hard disk drives eventually break down with normal wear and tear — more so if subjected to adverse conditions like poor overclocking, power surges and extreme weather. Somewhere down the road, you will have to entertain a computer hard drive upgrade to keep your system stable and safeguard your saved data.
When computer hard drives fail or crash, the problem can be classified either as a logical hard failure or as a mechanical hard drive failure.

* Logical Hard Drive Failure
In a logical hard drive failure, the computer hard drive is not broken. You still have a hard drive with a sound architecture, but the drive is not able to properly read and sort data.
Logical hard drive failures can stem from human errors like accidental file movement. If you accidentally delete, move or overwrite important system files, your hard drive can crash.
Logical hard drive failures can also be due to corrupted files such as in instances when your computer is attacked by a virus or other malware.

* Mechanical Hard Drive Failure
When you are dealing with a computer hard drive that has some broken parts such as a chipped arm or a scratched platter, then you have a mechanical hard drive failure. Broken hard drives usually give off a clicking noise when operating. If you hear a clicking sound when you turn on a laptop that has just suffered from a nasty fall, chances are that you have broken the integrity of your hard disk drive.
Unless they have been overwritten by newer data, data lost through a computer hard drive failure can be recovered. You can recover lost hard drive data on your own if you have a minor logical hard drive failure. When it comes to hard drives that no longer power up and physically broken drives, however, you need to seek the help of a professional computer hard drive recovery service.

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Three Common Computer Hard Drive Types Based on Internal Interface

Are you thinking about a PC Computer Hardware upgrade? Consider upgrading your hard drive. There are different types of internal hard disk drives available on the market today.
For desktop systems, there are three common computer hard drive types based on how they are internally connected to the motherboard: the IDE hard drive, the SATA hard drive and the SCSI hard drive.
* IDE Hard Drive
The IDE hard drive has been around for more than 30 years. It is also known as a PATA hard drive. IDE stands for Integrated Drive Electronics and PATA stands for Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment. With IDE being a relatively old technology, you may want to consider a computer hard drive upgrade and buy the newer and faster SATA hard drives.

* SATA Hard Drive
SATA or serial ATA is the latest computer hard drive interface. Modern motherboards come equipped with SATA connectors. With these motherboards, you can hook as many as six SATA hard drives in one computer.
SATA hard drives are available in two versions: SATA 150 and SATA II 300. They are connected to the computer motherboard via cables which are thinner compared to the wide ribbon cables used by IDE hard drives. Consequently, SATA hard drives can improve the flow of air inside your computer case and minimize overheating issues.
You can buy a PCI SATA controller card if want to use a SATA hard drive in an older motherboard that does not have SATA connectors.

* SCSI Hard Drive
The SCSI hard drive is faster than the IDE hard drive, although not as efficient as the SATA hard drive. SCSI stands for Small Computer System Interface. SCSI hard drives are sometimes called “scuzzy” hard drives based on how SCSI is pronounced.
SCSI hard drives require the use of an SCSI Controller. The SCSI Controller can be built directly onto the motherboard, or added as a PCI or PCI Express adapter card. Many computer motherboards do not have a built-in SCSI Controller. To address this problem, SCSI hard drives are usually sold with a controller card.
When doing a computer hard drive upgrade, consider these three computer hard drives carefully. Among the three, the SCSI hard drive is the most difficult to install because of its unpopular interface.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Three Common Computer Hard Drive Types Based on External Interface

When purchasing an external hard disk drive, it is important that you note how the drive is connected to your computer. Your upgrade will be limited by the number of free ports on your PC.
There are three common computer hard drive types based on how they are externally attached to your computer: the FireWire hard drive, the USB hard drive and the eSATA hard drive.

* FireWire Hard Drive
The FireWire hard drive is attached to the computer via a FireWire port. FireWire has two versions — the FireWire 400 and the FireWire 800. FireWire 400 can support data transfer rates of up to 50 megabytes per second (MB/s), while FireWire 800 can support data transfer rates of up to 100MB/s.

* USB Hard Drive
The USB hard drive needs to be attached to a free USB port on your computer. USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. Similar to FireWire, USB has two standards — USB 1.1 and USB 2.0. USB 1.1 can support data transfer rates of up to 1.5MB/s, while USB 2.0 can support data transfer rates of up to 60MB/s.

* eSATA Hard Drive
The eSATA hard drive is the fastest among these three computer hard drive types. eSATA stands for external Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. External hard drives that use eSATA technology are as fast as the internal SATA hard drives. They can support data transfer rates of 150MB/s and greater.
When buying an external hard drive as a new acquisition or as a computer hardware upgrade, always check if it has an interface that is supported by your computer. In some instances, you can buy adapter cards in order to use newer hard drives in an old computer. For instance, a PCI adapter card can enable you to hook a USB 2.0 hard drive on a PC that only has USB 1.1 ports.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Buying an Internal Hard Drive: Three Things to Consider

You can store a lot of information in your computer hard drive. Movies, pictures and mp3s — these files are among the most popular data that are stored in hard drives. Sometimes we hoard too many files that before we know it, we have run out of hard drive space!

If you find yourself low on hard drive space, you do not have to delete some of your old files. A new hard disk drive (HDD) will be a quick fix to your storage shortage problems.
There are three important factors you need to weigh when purchasing an internal hard disk drive for your computer: its compatibility with your computer system, its storage capacity or size, and its drive speed.

* Compatibility
Your computer may not have the connections to support the hard drive of your choice. If you cannot connect a hard drive to your system, it will not do any good for you. Before buying a hard drive, check your available connections and choose a hard drive that supports those connections. It is also important to consider the size of the hard drive. For small form factor computers and all-in-ones, you may need to buy small-sized hard drives that can fit inside your computer case.

* Storage Capacity
How much space do you need? The more space you have, the better. You can store more files in a large hard drive. Before, hard drives with a storage capacity of 40GB were considered very large already. Now, it is normal for hard drives to come with more than of 100GB of storage space. These high capacity drives are also relatively inexpensive. Go for a high capacity drive in the 100GB range so you will have room to store all the files you like!

* Drive Speed
The hard drive speed is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm). This is the speed at which the platters on a hard drive spin. Hard drives with higher speeds can read data faster than those with lower speeds. If your hard drive can read faster, you will also have a faster computer system.
Hard drives with rpms of 5400 are commonplace in laptop computers. Hard drives found in desktop computers usually spin at 7200 rpm. Some high performance hard drives can spin as fast as 9600 rpm. Fast hard drives are naturally more expensive than slow ones. If you can afford it, a fast hard drive will make your computer a more efficient machine.
When you do purchase a hard drive, make sure that its compatibility, storage capacity and drive speed are in your checklist. If you carefully consider these factors, you will end up with a hard drive that fits your needs, and you will be happier with your purchase!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Three must have Gaming Computer Components

If you are looking to build or buy a gaming PC, make sure you get the right components. Compared to an everyday home PC, gaming PCs have to have higher-end hardware to run graphics-intensive tasks. If you do not equip your gaming PC with good hardware, your games will run poorly — the frame rate will suffer making for choppy games and performance lags. In addition, you will not be able to experience your games fully since the graphics options you can enable will be limited.
Here is a look at the three most important gaming computer components you should get in order to have a more satisfying gaming experience.

* High-End Graphics Card
You will need to splurge a bit to on a hardware accelerated graphics card in order for your system to run PC games smoothly. Opt for one that uses a PCI Express expansion slot instead of the older AGP standard. If you cannot afford the latest graphics cards, buy the next best card that fits your budget. Pick one with more video RAM if you want to play games at higher resolutions.
If you have the extra cash, you can purchase and run two video cards simultaneously to increase video quality and performance. This is possible for motherboards that support Nvidia’s SLI technology or ATI’s CrossFire technology.

* Fast CPU
The speed of your gaming PC’s central processing unit, or CPU, should be fast enough to run and accommodate game processes without any hitch. Some great CPUs to consider include Intel’s Pentium Dual Core, Core i7, Core 2 Duo, or Core 2 Quad; Phenom; and AMD’s Athlon 64 X2. For even faster performance, pick a CPU with an L2 cache of at least 2 MB.

* Extra RAM
Gaming computers use RAM to temporarily store non-graphical resources when you are playing an immersive PC game. The more random access memory, or RAM, your gaming rig has, the faster and smoother your gaming experience. With at least 2 GB of RAM, you can set up a good gaming PC. Hardcore gaming rigs can sport as much as 16 GB of RAM.
Your gaming PC can also benefit from a large monitor, a bigger hard drive, and a good sound card. Make sure that your motherboard can accommodate all your gaming computer components, especially your graphics cards (if you opt for two), sound card and RAM. Your motherboard should also have at least two USB slots so you can use multiple USB devices at once.
A gaming PC is generally an expensive investment but you are paying for performance here. Without a high-end video card and CPU and more RAM, your computer will have difficulty running today’s latest PC games.
Gaming Components
If you are going to be doing some serious gaming you might also want to consider a bigger hard drive, bigger monitor, and a good sound card. These can also increase your gaming experience. When you are looking to upgrade your computers components for gaming, you should also make sure that your motherboard supports all of the new components that you are buying.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Buying a Gaming Computer: Four things to Consider

If you are an avid fan of computer games, you will need a powerful computer to run all the intensive applications of modern 3D games. You will need to place speed and performance on top of cost and portability when buying a gaming PC. These high-performance machines require high-end components which come at a hefty price tag. You will not necessarily have to break the bank but be ready to shell out some extra bucks!
Here are some things you need to consider when selecting your gaming PC.

* Speed and Performance
Gaming computers are designed with the gamer in mind. They are built to deliver high frame rates, high resolution, and faster response times than your normal workstation. To enjoy a fast gaming system, you need more RAM, a fast CPU, and, most importantly, a high-end graphics card or two. The more features your gaming rig has, the better your gaming experience.

* Cost
While gaming systems are always costly compared to an average computer, some are more expensive than others. It is possible to run games on most modern computers with a lot of graphics options disabled. If you can make do without extra lighting and other special effects, you can choose a gaming system with less powerful components and, thus, pay less. When considering the purchase of higher-end components, ask yourself whether the benefits you can enjoy are worth the price.

* Portability
A desktop gaming computer is more advantageous than a laptop. It can accommodate more hardware and peripherals. It is has more upgrade options. With a desktop gaming system, you can tinker around with various sound cards, motherboards, CPUs, and video cards.
If you frequent LAN parties, however, you will not want to lug your tower PC about.
A high-performance laptop can give you added mobility at the price of performance.

* Warranty and Support
When purchasing your expensive gaming rig, take note of the warranty too so you can protect your investment. You will want to have at least a one-year warranty for parts and labor. Some companies will extend your warranty period for a price. Full customer support is also one important factor to consider. If your gaming PC bogs down, you will want to have someone reliable to run to.
Remember, you do not have to break an arm and a leg to get a decent gaming PC. You can limit yourself to a budget and weigh the value of each computer component carefully.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Three things to Consider when Buying a Gaming Computer Motherboard

Being the computer component that connects all other vital PC computer hardware together, the PC motherboard is among the most essential parts of a computer system. The motherboard becomes doubly more important in a gaming rig.
Gaming computers need more power than normal, everyday workstations. Computer games require a lot of system resources to run. If you are building or upgrading your gaming computer, so you will need to pick a gaming computer motherboard that can support the powerful components needed by PC games.
Here are three features that can lend more power to a gaming computer motherboard:

* Support for Dual-Core or Quad-Core Processors
Dual-core and quad-core processors manage tasks better than single core processors. If you want more speed and processing power, get a motherboard that supports these new multi-core processors!

* Support for DDR2 or DDR3 RAM
RAM, or Random Access Memory, plays a big role on the amount of data that your computer can access at very fast rates. You will want a lot of RAM to store more game data. You will also want your computer to access these game data at the fastest speeds.
DDR2 and DDR3 are currently the fastest RAM technologies available today. DDR3 is faster and newer than DDR2 but it is only supported by a handful of PC motherboards. As it gains wider acceptance and hardware support, DDR3 will eventually supplant DDR2.

* Support for SLI or CrossFire
If you have the budget, do not settle for one video card. One high-end video card can give you stunning graphics, but two or more are better! Thankfully, this is now possibly with Nvidia’s SLI video cards and ATI’s CrossFire video cards. To use these cards, your PC motherboard has to support either SLI or CrossFire.
Always stick with tried and tested brands when buying a motherboard for a gaming computer. No matter how powerful your processor and other computer components are, if you have a low-quality motherboard you will end up with a low-performance gaming system.
Gaming Computer Components
If you plan on doing some online gaming you will need to make sure you have the proper components inside your computer. Playing intense games on your computer requires a faster CPU, more RAM and a good video card.
  • Faster CPU
You will need to make sure that your cpu can keep up and accomadate all of the processes of the computer game you are playing. You should pick up a cpu with an L2 cache of atleast 2 MB. Some good processors that I would recommend are: Intel’s Pentium Dual Core, Core i7, Core 2 Duo, or Core 2 Quad; Phenom; and AMD’s Athlon 64 X2.
  • More RAM
You will need atleast 2 GB of ram to set up a solid gaimng rig. The ram is used to temporarily store non-graphical memory. Having more ram will make your gaming experience faster and smoother.
  • Better Video Card
If you are going to be gaming you should look for a video card with the latest expansion slots. 

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Three Tips to Keep Your Laptop Computer Cool

Running a hot laptop computer on your lap is a sure fire way to not only burn your legs, but also reduce the life of your laptop. If you want your laptop to last longer, you need to reduce the heat it generates. Here are some great tips that can help you keep your laptop cool!

* Ventilate
Ensure that your laptop has access to adequate airflow. The movement of air in between laptop components helps dissipate the heat the components generate.
Your laptop “breathes” through air vents located at its sides and at the bottom of the unit. To enhance and promote airflow, do not block your laptop’s air vents. You may inadvertently do this if you operate your laptop on your bed or on top of a pillow. Crumpled sheets and the depressed mattress or pillow may block or partially cover your laptop’s air vents.
A great way to optimize airflow is to perch your laptop on top of four level bases, such as wooden toy cubes, so that the unit’s bottom does not come into contact with the surface of your table. This allows your laptop to breathe more easily through its bottom air vents.

* Get a Notebook Cooler
A more effective way to control your laptop’s temperature is to use a notebook cooler. A notebook cooler is a perforated platform that has a fan inside. The laptop computer is placed on top of the platform. The whirring fan hastens air exchange at the bottom of your laptop computer.

* Power Down
If you do not have an immediate need for your laptop, turn it off or operate it at a lower power state such as in sleep or hibernate mode. Lesser computer activity means lesser heat. This also means lesser power consumption so you can save on your electricity bill!
Keeping your laptop cool should be easy so long as you keep it well ventilated and well rested.

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