The Haswell Desktop Built

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Took a bit to get all the parts together, this was the first time a processor was flagged before they could ship it from my mailbox, but after a few days they shipped it out. Got all the parts together and a few pieces from Professional and I was good to go.

Hardware

  • Thermaltake Urban S41 ($130)
  • CoolMaster 1000W
  • Samsung 840 SSD 500 GB SATAIII (Windows 7) ($331)
  • OCZ 256 GB SSD SATAIII (Windows 8) ($239)
  • Intel Core i7-4770 ($320)
  • Gigabyte Z87 LGA 1150 Dual LAN ATX ($230)
  • Corsair 16 GB DDR3 1600Mhz Vengence ($128)
  • Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 ($400)
  • Digistar BlueRay Drive (Slot Loading)
  • 2 x Seagate 3TB SataIII

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The other components I got from Kuwait for 254 KWD which isn’t too bad overall the most expensive parts in Kuwait was the original OS and I wanted both on it since I do love Windows 7 and I wanted to try Windows 8 on a Desktop, but its going to be missing the Gestures still an interesting item to try.

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Installed Windows 7 First and then installed Windows 8, then it comes up as an option which one Operating System to Start at Boot, and when you choose, its up in only a few seconds. Years ago it would have taken over a minute and a half, and now its 10 seconds tops, I love SSDs.

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I’m planning to install a few games on the Windows 7, nothing crazy just StarCraft II & the latest addition as well as Diablo III. Just worth having on my machine, and I do want to play those games. And what I love about this machine is that it is powerful and VERY quiet, no sound from it what so ever, I wouldn’t know it was on without that blinking lights on top.

Review: Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A

Having lived with this laptop for about three months now, I can safely say it is without question the best PC laptop I’ve ever owned. Every review out there just raves about this machine. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Retina-esque 1920×1080 resolution in an amazingly high quality 13.3″ IPS display
  • Intel’s latest 17 watt Ivy Bridge processor with (finally!) decent integrated graphics
  • 128 GB SSD with fast 6Gbps interface
  • Just under 3 pounds
  • Decent 5 to 6 hour runtime
  • Classy brushed metal case and cover

Pros:

  • The best ultrabook currently out there, it seems Asus just keeps stepping it up, if you are looking for a thin powerful Windows laptop then this is it.
  • 4.5 to 5.5 hours battery life with full media use
  • Amazing Screen, Very Bright and clear Details
  • Light Up Keyboard, and a very nice feel to it
  • The SSD & Processor are insanely fast, about a 17 second boot time from scratch and 5 seconds from sleep. These are numbers we wouldn’t even dream of before.
  • I love the aluminum clean cut finish of the Zenbook, surprisingly it doesn’t get too hot
  • it has just enough ports to make it useful
  • With the USB 3.0 I managed transfers of 100 to 130 MB/s from my External Seagate HD
  • The best thing is the price as well, its an amazing machine for $1299 and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an ultrabook

Cons:

  • The only downfall is the annoying sensitivity of the touch pad
  • Windows 7 that came wwith the ASUS was the home version and had bloatware, so I decided to do a clean install which worked perfectly, and it booted even faster, it is up and running within 12 to 17 seconds, nice and smooth.

Specifications:

  • Intel Core i7 -3517U 2.4GHz
  • Widows 7 64bit Unlimited (I reinstalled it because of the bloatware)
  • 4GB Ram
  • 128 GB SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics

Simple Conclusion:

I love this laptop and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a thin and powerful windows laptop. I started using it everywhere, I take it everywhere with me and it has taken a few odd drops with no issues at all. Its fast, lightening fast and it boots up within seconds, I can’t recommend it enough, and the price honestly is very reasonable.

Windows 7 Short Cuts

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Using Windows 7 so much I have come across a lot of tips to quicken and ease the use of the OS, and below are my favorite set of shortcuts that I use throughout the day.

  • Windows Logo + L – Locks your computer
  • Shift + Delete – The file is gone and even bypasses your recycling bin, you can’t even recover it
  • Alt + 6 – To see all the windows you have open
  • Shift + Ctrl + N – The easiest way in Windows 7 to create a New Folder in your current window
  • Windows Logo + M – To minimize all the open windows, so you can clear your screen
  • Windows Logo + Shift + M – To bring back all the minimized windows
  • Windows Logo + Spacebar – All the windows turn transparent and you can see your desktop, just in case you dropped something there and you wanted to look for it without having to minimize anything
  • Windows + Shift + Left or Right Arrow – A lot of people have dual screen setups, this will move your current active window left or right depending on your choice
  • Windows + T – You scroll through the current active programs and windows on the taskbar, very useful to find a specific active window

TeraCopy 2.1

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When transfering files from one folder to another you have to wait before starting another or else it will slow down, Windows has matured but they are content with their file moving capabilities of the OS. If your not happy then Teracopy is the best solution period, TeraCopy is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed. It integrates with XP, Vista and Windows 7 and completely replaces Explorer’s transfer function, so after installing you move files over it automatically comes on and moves files over, and for once you really know how long its going to take. When I do multiple transfers to USB, a storage device on the network and from hard drive to hard drive they are all transferring at maximum possible speed without affecting each other. If I’m doing multiple transfers to one location it divides up the maximum possible bandwidth and sends everything over at the same time if you want to, or else it will organize all the files into one transfer window, and you can see the files are that have been transfered, that are being transfered, and the ones in the queue. The best part is the way it handles the problems you can skip a problematic file and keep on going with the rest of them. An amazing program, very light on the OS and you can have multiple instances working nonstop.

Link: CodeSector: TeraCopy

Windows 7 Build

After having some time aside I have taken to completing the WHS server, and as well as taking a few things apart I decided to continue the build on my Intel Extreme Dual Processor Motherboard. I decided to use the spare parts that I had from all the different machines, as well as a few parts that are laying around. I used the Thermaltake Kandalf case from my old WHS Server since its such an excellent case, fits the huge motherboard perfectly, and its a very solid case.

Parts List:

Putting this system together I decided to put Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit on the machine, and I’m assuming its going to run blazing fast with this specifications. This will be my honest try using Windows 7 this time around. Finishing projects and getting up and running is a very good feeling, now I just have to clean up all the electrical parts that are laying around all over the place.

Ninite

We all have lists of softwares that we install when first installing a new machine, and for once there is software that simplifies the the whole process. Ninite is a free service with a large choice of softwares to choose from, ranging from applications, plug-ins, NZBGet, utilities, and others listed below. Usually the process of downloading and installing each software one by one takes a lot of time, even though you are satisfied once your done, but Ninite is a one-step application that does all the work for you, installing them all in one go and configuring your machine, I already tried it on laptop I reformatted and it was fanastic, really quick and simple, I just chose the programs I wanted and it let it go to work. It works with XP, Vista, and Windows 7, you can also make requests for other applications that they will add in the future, right now they have a decent selection of applications and very fun and satisfying to use.

Categories to Include in Your Install:

  • Web Browsers
  • Messaging
  • Media
  • Imaging
  • Documents
  • Anti-Virus
  • RuntimesFile Sharing
  • Other
  • Utilities
  • Compression
  • Developer Tools

Link: Ninite

Windows 7 & Remote Desktop

I have been waiting for Windows 7 for some time now, planning on installing it on one of the test machines that I currently have laying around. I have always been one to opt for installing the higher versions of Winows XP or Vista, since they have a few features which aren’t available in the home variety. This time around Microsoft has taken it a step further, not only is Remote Desktop not available in Windows Home and Windows Home Premium, but you can’t Remote Desktop into a Windows 7 machine running Home or Home Premium, that I find to be a major disappointment.

  • Windows Home (No Remote Desktop)
  • Windows Home Premium (No Remote Desktop)
  • Windows Professional
  • Windows Ultimate

Windows 7 – Shipping Mid-09


After all the developments behind Windows 7 they have anounced the shipping date which is good news. I’m planning on building a system but not sure how it will work for Windows 7 or if I should wait. The best thing they said is that if it works for Vista, then it will work for Windows 7. Its meant to load quiet a bit faster with a lot better features, and more stable from off the bat. This is what Windows Vista should have been, and I’m really looking forward to trying it out. 

 

Link: Gizmodo