Editorials
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September 28, 2016

6 Reasons Why Your Next Upgrade Should Be a Second Monitor

If you’re deciding which new keyboard or mouse you should splurge on next, forget it. Your next investment should be a new monitor. What’s magical about a new monitor is that anyone – not just the power users, can benefit from a secondary display.

Screen estate is precious for the most of us. A single screen can quickly get cluttered with innumerable tabs, documents, videos, virtual machines, settings panes, development environments…you get the idea. You can mitigate the problem somewhat by creating virtual workspaces in Linux or Virtual Desktops in Windows 10, but it’s still frustrating to hop back and forth between screens when [...]

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July 19, 2016

Top Five MySQL, MariaDB Settings to Tune for Best Performance

When I began my journey of running a website about 5 years ago, I had very little experience working with servers. Since then, I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and optimizing the Custom PC Review server which has spanned several types of web servers, several types of database servers, multiple caching softwares, firewalls, and probably a couple more pieces of software that I completely forgot about. Of all the different things that need to be tuned in a server however, I’ve learned that one of the biggest pieces is the database, which if configured incorrectly, can literally make even the most powerful server in the world crumble on the [...]

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July 18, 2016

CPCR Server Update 2016 – Litespeed 5.0, PHP 5.6, MariaDB 10.1

Here at Custom PC Review, we spend a lot of our efforts on bringing news, reviews and great articles about the latest and greatest technology on the marketplace, but we don’t tend to spend too much time talking about things that happen behind the scenes.

Last year, when we published an article about our huge move from a dedicated server to a colocation with our own hardware, we had quite a fairly big response from our loyal viewers, so we decided to share this year’s server update as well. Most of you have probably noticed some downtime over the past week or so when this was all happening, so this will also double up as a status update for everyone as [...]

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June 13, 2016

Opinion: Why HDMI Needs to Adopt Adaptive-Sync Technologies

Without question, one of the biggest advancements in PC gaming in recent years is the introduction of variable refresh rate (Adaptive-Sync) technologies such as AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync. These technologies are enabled by an underlying VESA standard which is currently only widely supported by newer versions of DisplayPort. Both FreeSync and G-Sync allow graphics cards to communicate directly with a display and dynamically adjust the refresh rate based on the amount of frames the GPU can render per second. The result is a much smoother, and tear-free gaming experience.

How Does This Make My Games Better?

That’s a good question. One way it could greatly [...]

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January 29, 2016

Rise of The Tomb Raider PC Performance and Graphics Analysis

The follow-up to Crystal Dynamic’s 2013 reboot of the long-running Tomb Raider franchise: Rise of the Tomb Raider has finally graced the PC with its presence, after a brief stint as a Xbox exclusive.

Naturally like any console port, there’s a lot of room for disappointment in terms of performance and graphical enhancements. With veteran developer Nixxes once again handling the porting duties for the PC version of the game, there’s hope that Rise of the Tomb Raider can not only match, but beat the expectations set by its predecessor.

In this report, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at Rise of the Tomb Raider’s graphics [...]

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February 20, 2015

CPCR Server Upgrade 2015: Lenovo ThinkServer RD540

Lenovo’s 1U Server Powerhouse

In the past couple days, I wrote several articles about the new server hardware and colocation infrastructure powering CPCR. If you’ve already read those articles, you’ll probably already know that I picked up several Lenovo ThinkServer RD540’s for the task. Since there’s so much more to the ThinkServer RD540 than I wanted to talk about in a general overview of our hosting infrastructure, I decided to do a separate article on just the ThinkServer RD540 itself.

The Lenovo ThinkServer RD540 was launched back in late 2013 alongside the ThinkServer RD640. The main difference between [...]

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February 19, 2015

CPCR Server Upgrade 2015: Psychz Networks Colocation

Los Angeles Colocation

With the server hardware figured out, the final thing to do was to figure out where to keep the server. Since I don’t have the infrastructure at home or at work to host a server, I needed a colocation. For those unfamiliar, colocations are basically datacenters that rent out server rack space. Since colocation datacenters were built from the ground up to house servers, colocations generally offer uptime guarantees northwards of 99.9%.

Since I’m based in Los Angeles, California, my ideal colocation would of course be somewhere in Los Angeles. After doing a good amount of research comparing prices, [...]

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February 19, 2015

CPCR Server Upgrade 2015: New Hardware Overview

Self-Hosted Bliss

When I originally founded Custom PC Review back in 2012, it was nothing more than a small personal blog running off some run of the mill shared hosting. Since then the site has grown quite a bit, and along with the type of infrastructure hosting the site as well.

The first type of hosting infrastructure for CPCR was shared hosting. While shared hosting was a good, cheap option to get started, the site faced constant crashes as soon as any surge of traffic rolled in. Several months after starting the site I was facing more downtime than uptime, so I decided it was time to upgrade to a VPS. Unlike shared hosting where tons [...]

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October 14, 2014

Samsung 840 EVO Performance Fix Available Tomorrow

As reported several weeks ago, a number of users (including yours truly) were experiencing slow read performance issues with their Samsung 840 EVO SSD. At the time, the issue was just discovered by various Samsung 840 EVO owners and Samsung was still working on a fix to the issue. As of yesterday, Samsung provided us with an early firmware update that appears to help fix the issue.

Here we can see performance figures from the drives before and after. Before the fix (left), performance was slow and inconsistent. After the fix, performance is back up to normal. Of course, it does take some time before the performance issue pops up, but the results seem positive [...]

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March 30, 2014

Michael Abrash Joins Oculus VR Development as Chief Scientist

The biggest tech news this past week has been Facebook’s unexpected $2 billion acquisition of Oculus, and with that the Oculus Rift VR assets. Without a doubt there has been a lot of community backlash from donors, devs, and the general public – a lot of it unfortunately being overwhelmingly negative.

Personally, I’m not quite sure how I feel about the acquisition. People definitely have a point in their dissatisfaction of this acquisition primarily due to what Facebook has become over the past few years. Just looking at the obtrusive advertising and privacy infiltration Facebook has adopted recently is certainly enough of a reason why. Additionally, [...]

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November 21, 2013

Understanding LSI SandForce SF3700 Series Controller

3rd Generation SandForce, 1st Generation LSI SandForce

When we look at the SSD industry today, there are few companies more well known than LSI SandForce. LSI SandForce drives power over 35% of the SSDs currently sold on the market today so when these guys introduce a new SSD controller more than two years after the introduction of their last generation product, it’s definitely time to take notice.

Ever since January of this year at CES, we’ve been hearing rumors of the mythical new LSI SandForce SSD controller (aka “Project Griffin”), but it wasn’t until June at Computex when we first confirmed of its existence via one of LSI [...]

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January 26, 2013

Five Games I’m Looking Forward to in 2013

Here at Custom PC Review, we really love our fast computers and tournament grade gaming peripherals, and while we enjoy just simply having supreme amounts of processing power at our fingertips, we also enjoy using the processing power to play the latest and greatest games as well.

As the new year rolls around, the gaming industry continues to grow at an exponential rate, streamrolling forward with bigger and better games to captivate experienced and rookie gamers alike. New games are emerging left and right, not only adding to the existing genres but also creating completely new ones to fit the growing gaming audience’s needs and wants.

With all the new [...]

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