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April 7, 2017

The Best Features of Windows 10 Creators Update

Microsoft Gets Creative

With the Windows 10 Creator Update finally here, we thought it would be helpful to sum up some of the coolest features in this massive patch.

As its name suggests, Windows 10 Creator Update aims to boost Windows 10’s ability to make imagination come to life. When we speak of creators, our minds naturally gravitate towards graphics designers, videographers, and the like, but Creators stands for more than that. As multimedia and entertainment continues to evolve, so have different forms of creativity. With the expansion of gaming, VR, and 3D, creative mediums are more diverse than ever.

Of course, along with many of the new features aimed at [...]

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March 11, 2017

Guide: How to Speed Up Your Slow PC

There’re no two ways about it: all PCs slow down without proper maintenance. Before you decide to recycle your machine, try following this simple guide to see if you can squeeze out an extra bit of performance.

 

1. Run Windows Update

Windows tries its best to let you know when new updates with crucial bug fixes and stability improvements get released. However, sometimes the updates don’t automatically apply. If you’re experiencing a slow system, it may be that you need to update your system. This is especially important for newly purchased machines.

 

2. Identify Rogue Programs With Task Manager

The Windows [...]

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March 9, 2017

Chrome vs Edge vs Firefox: Which is the Best Browser for Battery Life?

If you’ve used a PC lately, you’ve probably seen messages from both Microsoft and Google trying to coax you into using their respective web browsers. Google’s iconic “Get Chrome” banner on Google.com appears so often that many people just download Chrome simply to get rid of it. Microsoft on the other hand peppers your Windows 10 desktop with persistent notifications, constantly reminding you about the new Edge browser and how much safer, faster, or power efficient it is. Then you have Mozilla Firefox, the humble, open-source browser silently watching from the sidelines.

While all three browsers have their pros and cons, one thing they all claim [...]

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October 10, 2016

6 Reasons Why You Should Buy a SSD If You Don’t Own One Already

When we first started covering the world of SSDs back in 2012, the industry was still in its infancy. At the time, the performance benefits of SSD technology were clearly greater than HDDs, but due to high prices, low capacities, and incomplete OS support, it just simply wasn’t the time.

However, fast forward to 2016 and today the SSD landscape is a much different place than it was almost 5 years ago. Prices are much less expensive, capacities now reach up to 4TB in a single drive, and modern operating systems such as Windows 10 fully support SSDs right out of the box.

As such, here are 6 of the top reasons why you should buy a SSD [...]

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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 juggling [...]

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July 19, 2016

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 lightest [...]

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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 options and [...]

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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 the two is that the ThinkServer [...]

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