PC Building Guides: Motherboards

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This PC Building Beginners Guide aims to offer core information regarding motherboards, Intel CPUs, RAM, graphics cards, PSUs and SSDs. It will hopefully become a growing archive of everything you need to know if you are new to PC building – especially if you are looking to build your very first gaming PC!

Probably the trickiest thing to consider when PC building is picking the right motherboard to suit your purposes. The things to consider are brand, socket number, chipset, form factor, compatibility with other hardware, number of slots and ports and upgradability.

Motherboard Brands: The major and most popular brands (in no particular order) are Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock. They all have different pros and cons and a lot of research is required here, however these are some of the important things to consider.

Motherboard Sockets: The first thing to consider is that your chosen processor (CPU) will fit into your motherboard of choice. If you decide to purchase a socket 2011 CPU for example, you will need a socket 2011 motherboard. Other more popular socket numbers are socket 1156, 1155 and 1150. Out of these three, socket 1150 is the newer one and is recommended if you would like the option of replacing / upgrading your CPU in the future.

PC Building GuideS: What makes a Motherboard?

PC Building Beginners Guide Motherboards

PC Building Guides: Motherboards (image: http://www.computer-hardware-explained.com)

Chipset: I personally find this part quite confusing. But generally speaking if you plan to use an Intel CPU then your motherboard should have an Intel chipset. Currently, Intel Z87 or Z87X chipsets are preferred for gamers, as this chipset allows you to overclock and supports the newer Haswell CPUs. I have no idea what the different letters stand for, so please don’t ask. If anyone does know, please do share.

Form Factor: This basically refers to the size of the motherboard. The most commonly-mentioned PC form factors are ATX (large), micro-ATX (smaller), mini-ATX (smaller) and the new mini-ITX form factors (smallest). There are several others, such as BTX, DTX and ETX, but the most important thing to consider is that your PC case or chassis supports the motherboard form factor you desire.

PC Building GuideS: What is a Motherboard?


Compatibility: Apart from ensuring that your motherboard is compatible with your chosen CPU and chassis, you also need to ensure that it will be compatible with the graphics card (CPU) and memory (RAM) that you wish to use. Most graphics cards are PCI-Express and require a x16 PCI-Express slot on your motherboard. Motherboards will also specify what memory speeds they support, for example: DDR3 1333MHz, 1600Mhz, 1800Mhz etc. so you need to ensure that your chosen memory is compatible.

Slots, Ports and Upgradability: The newer motherboards have ports and slots that offer faster transfer rates. USB 3.0 for example currently offers faster speeds for USB devices, so you want to ensure that your motherboard has a few of those. Similarly, newer eSATA cables now offer faster speeds for your harddrives and SATA devices. It’s also a good idea to pick a board that has 4 (or even 8) RAM slots so that you have the option of adding more memory to your PC in the future. Other considerations are HD Audio, on-board graphics, SLI and / or Crossfire support, headphone ports, number of fan connectors and HDMI ports.

I have published 3 additional PC building guides which you can find below. I hope you found this first one useful and I welcome any questions!


Useful Resources & PC Building Guides:

Smartphones Infographic: How People Use Smartphones To Pass Their Time?

How People Use Smartphones To Pass Their Time?

This Infographic is produced by Coupon Audit (provides Abebooks coupon code) and Witness This


Copy-paste the following code into your blog or website if you would like to publish and share the above smartphones infographic!

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<img style=”max-width: 100%;” src=”http://www.couponaudit.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/How-People-Use-Smartphones-To-Pass-Their-Time.jpg” alt=”How People Use Smartphones To Pass Their Time?” /></p>
This Infographic is produced by

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Google Glass Review: Functions and Flaws

There has been a lot of hype over one of Google’s latest gadgets – Google Glass. The multi-billion dollar company never fails to create huge excitement around their products, which is evident in this case by their impressive video trailer “How It Feels [through Glass]”

It’s easy to get really excited about Google Glass after watching something like this. The song alone almost makes you want to go ski-diving and start living a fuller life.

However, since Google Glass became available to more ordinary folk (at a price tag of $1500), several videos have since surfaced that highlight the inherent flaws in this technology. A Google Glass review by Engadget mentions some of these shortfalls.

Google Glass Review: Functions & Flaws

Google Glass Review - Sergey Brin (image: news.cnet.com)First and foremost, there are MAJOR concerns about privacy. Google Glass wearers could be filming you while in the bathroom or recording your daily movements. Stalking would be taken to a whole new level.

It is also not mentioned that Google Glass requires a wireless connection to your smartphone (which comes at an additional cost). Users have also reported that battery-life is really only a few hours and that the device needs to be charged often via a micro USB.

Functionality also seems to be quite limited with this early edition of Google Glass. You can’t browse webpages or make use of any apps at this point. What Google Glass does allow you to do is check weather forecasts, take pictures and videos (and share these), do basic searches, read and reply to emails or messages, hang out on Google+, get directions, tell you the time and respond to voice prompts. I’m sure there are a few more functions of Google Glass, but at this point, it is essentially a low-end smartphone for your face.

There’s no doubt that Google Glass will evolve into something more impressive over time, but it is also most likely that credit for this will be due to non-Google developers and rather users of the technology – a cheap and effective method of outsourcing. But at least Google has planted the seeds for a possible future behind a screen.

Article originally posted on cDs Global Blog


New & Free Online Games at Playberry!

GAMING: Fresh offerings from Playberry

As a games critic, I have to say that I am hugely impressed with the quality of both free online games and mobile games. There are of course hundreds of really unimpressive free online games, but if you know where to look, there are many gems among the rough that are certainly worth giving a bash.

One new website that offers some quality free online games, is Playberry. Described as a “social gaming website dedicated to bringing great gaming content to your browser”, Playberry both develops and handpicks some really great games. It is made by gamers, for gamers.

Playberry Website – Free Online Games

Playberry - Free Online Games

There is a great range of freebies on Playberry, from zombie shoot-em-ups such as In Death We Rise to off-road speedsters such as Renegade Racing. Games are also voted on by Playberry users, providing a user-generated list of the most popular choices.

Playberry covers every major genre of games – from action, adventure and shooters to puzzlers, sports and strategy. Best part is that all these games are free to play and require no registration of any kind. Just visit www.playberry.com and dive right in!

There are of course benefits to registering with Playberry, which is free and can simply be done using your Facebook account. You’ll receive updates of new releases, and I see that they are creating a forum whereby users can make suggestions for new releases. A great feature for any online gaming site.

Playberry is building up a steady following on Facebook, and if you register with your Facebook account, you’ll also have the option of sharing your gaming awesomeness and progress with your friends.

So if you are a gaming enthusiast and are looking for the latest offerings of free online games, check out Playberry and get your game-face on! These games are so nice and small – making them perfect for playing while waiting around or whenever you can sneak in a few minutes of quality playtime.

Effects of Bullying: To This Day Project

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TO THIS DAY VIDEO: The Effects of Bullying

The effects of bullying can manifest in horrible ways and severely affect an individual later in life. Low self-esteem, lack of confidence and feelings of being unloved or inferior can all be traumatizing outcomes of the effects of bullying.

Shane Koyczan has begun a bullying project to help confront bullying. His poem, To This Day, which has been transformed into a brilliantly animated video, is on its way to becoming viral. To This Day powerfully illustrates the effects of bullying and has been put together by dozens of animators.

The To This Day Project is a very powerful and moving video and should certainly be shared as extensively as possible.

To This Day Project – Shane Koyczan (The Effects of Bullying)

I can remember being responsible for some nasty name-calling at school. It made me think that the group mentality around bullying has a lot to do with self-preservation. In other words, if someone else is the victim of bullying, then that decreases the chance of you being the victim. It’s a nasty circle.

Anyway, I hope Shane’s brilliant video offers some good insight into the detrimental effects of bullying. Please share this post however you can and help educate others on this important issue.

Here’s some splurb from YouTube:

“My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life, but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways. Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. This piece is a starting point.” – Shane Koyczan

Some Useful Resources:

Shane also sends out one new poem each month via email. You might like to join him.