Archive for the ‘computers’ Category

My first MAC!

Monday, October 20th, 2008

I have bought an Macbook Air!

It will replace my old laptop which is struggling with more and more problems. I have looked to other ultra portable laptops (screen <= 12″)  but most of them were to high prized or too ugly or had specifications i did not like. Two candidates were the Toshiba Portege R500 and the Lenovo Thinkpad X60. According to reviews the keyboard of the R500 is a bit fragile and the Thinkpad X60 has no touchpad!. The Macbook Air is high prized also (1799 euro), but i bought it from ebay which saved me about 500 euro. I think it’s a very good deal.

The party was over when i discovered that there was no european power plug included, so i had to buy one from a webshop. A week later i received the plug and i was finally able to start the Macbook up. Soon i discovered that the battery was not recognized and the Macbook immediately shuts down when i remove the MagSafe plug. I tried to do an System Management Controller (SMC) reset with no luck. I brought it to an Apple shop and they have repaired it under warranty. Now everything is working fine.

MSI S270 Laptop problems

Monday, February 25th, 2008

I own a MSI S270 laptop since two and a half years. Recently it’s getting more and more problems.

The problems listed:

  • Cable break in cable to laptop screen, screen will turn on/off in different angles
  • Keyboard has some ‘sticky’ keys (control and alt key)
  • Laptop is switching from battery to AC and back when it is connected to the adapter (only when stressing the laptop

Today i opened my laptop and tried to fix the problems. Luckily this is not the first time i opened my laptop so i already got the hang of it. The cable of the laptop screen isn’t easy to repair and i also don’t know which wire because there are many. I think it is the wire supplying the power to the screen because the whole screen turns off. I cleaned the keyboard a bit although it wasn’t very dirty. I hope this will fix the keyboard problem. For the last problem i don’t have an idea where to look.

MSI S270 opened (2)

The laptop opened

MSI S270 cable break

The cable break is at the red ellipse. It is the cable with the colored isolation

MSI S270 opened

The laptop opened

MSI S270 keyboard

The keyboard

Asus Eee PC

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

I really like small laptops, everything above 13″ is too big, unless it’s a desktop replacement. I already have a 12.1″ laptop (MSI S270). Smaller then 12″ laptops used to be in a very high price range (1500+ euro). Now with the introduction of the Asus Eee PC there’s a good alternative. I couldn’t resist it and decided to buy one. The Eee PC has a small SSD drive. I wanted to have more then 4GB and black color so the black 8G version was the only option. They aren’t official available in The Netherlands so i bought it from an Ebay user from Taiwan. It arrived last thursday.

Specifications:

  • Display: AU Optronics 7? WVGA (800×480) TFT-LCD
  • Processor: 900MHz Intel Celeron M ULV 353 with 512kb Cache
  • Chipset: Mobile Intel 910GML Express
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 900 (integrated) with external VGA-out connector
  • Memory: 1GB single-channel DDR2-400 (PC2-3200)
  • Storage: 8GB SSD (Using mini PCI-E slot)
  • BIOS: American Megatrends, Inc. (AMI)
  • OS: ASUS-customized Xandros Linux with “Easy” and “Standard” GUI modes
  • Wired communications: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, V.92 56K modem
  • Wireless communications: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Ports: 3 USB 2.0, MMC/SD(HC)/MS(PRO) card reader, microphone and headphone
  • Webcam: VGA (640×480) @ up to 30 fps
  • Audio: High Definition Audio; built-in stereo speakers, microphone
  • Battery life: 3.5 hours (4-cell NiMH: 7.4V, 5200mAh, 2S2P)
  • Dimensions: 22.5 x 16.5 x 2.1~3.5 cm (8.9 x 6.5 x 0.9~1.4 in)
  • Weight: 0.89 kg (1.96 lbs)
  • Color: black

Pictures:

eeepc01.jpg

eeepc02.jpg

Eee PC versus MSI S270

eeepc03.jpg

eeepc04.jpg

Interface in Easy Mode. There is also an Advanced mode which is a fully KDE environment.

eeepc05.jpg

Eee PC versus MSI S270

eeepc06.jpg

Eee PC versus CD. You can see how small it is.

eeepc07.jpg

It came with an adapter with a USA connector. I currently don’t have a adapter to change the USA connector to a European one. The Eee PC needs 9.5V. I tried a stabilized 9V adapter and it seems to be working.

eeepc08.jpg

New rig: overclocking and benchmarks

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

I bought an Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 by accident for a customer while the motherboard only supported 1066MHz FSB CPU’s. I was actually waiting for AMD’s new generation CPU’s. The AMD Opteron ‘Barcelona’ is just launched (september 10, 2007) and the desktop version, AMD Phenom will be released at the end of the year. The introduction price problably will be high and i don’t want to wait a half year till the prices drop. So i decided to build my rig based on the E6750.

Closeup of Intel Core 2 Duo E6750

Parts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (2667MHz core clock, 1333MHz FSB)
Gigabyte P35-DS3R motherboard
Club3D Geforce 8600GTS Graphics card
2 x 1024MB PC2 6400 (Corsair CM2X1024-6400C40) memory
1 x Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10k rpm
Antec TrueBlue 480W PSU

CPU Overclocking
The E6750 is a very good overclocker. With auto voltage control (it goes up to 1.41V) of the motherboard i could reach ~3850 MHz. By manual increasing the voltage to 1.55V i could reach 4016MHz. At first sight it was running very stable. It had no problems with a long SuperPI run. But it crashed while running 3DMark07. Nevertheless this is a stunning overclock considering i only used the Intel stock cooler.

CPU-Z max overclock

The gigabyte motherboard is very good performing and has lots of overclocking features. It can even handle FSB’s far beyond 2000MHz. There is only one downside: The minimal memory multiplier is 2. It is then running in sync with the FSB.
But with huge overclocks the memory can be a bottlneck.
My memory was runnin at 1000MHz instead of the defult 800MHz on 4GHz. The memory is most problably the reason why it could not clock higher.

Gigabyte P35-DS3R BIOS

Benchmarks: SuperPi 1.1
Due to its big cache of 4MB is performs VERY GOOD in SuperPi 1M.

SuperPi 1M E6750 @ 2667 MHz: 18 seconds
SuperPi 1M E6750 @ 4016 MHz: 12 seconds

Benchmarks: FutureMark 3DMark05

E6750 @ 2667MHz, 8600GTS @ stock core, mem: 11840 points
E6750 @ 3904MHz, 8600GTS @ 770MHz core, 2180MHz mem: 13492 points

Benchmarks: FutureMark 3DMark06
E6750 @ 2667MHz, 8600GTS @ stock core, mem: 5678 points
E6750 @ 3904MHz, 8600GTS @ stock core, mem: 5962 points
E6750 @ 3904MHz, 8600GTS @ 725MHz core, 2016MHz mem: 6206 points
E6750 @ 3904MHz, 8600GTS @ 740MHz core, 2050MHz mem: 6253 points
E6750 @ 3904MHz, 8600GTS @ 750MHz core, 2150MHz mem: 6470 points
E6750 @ 3904MHz, 8600GTS @ 760MHz core, 1180MHz mem: 6503 points
E6750 @ 3904MHz, 8600GTS @ 775MHz core, 2200MHz mem: 6632 points

Benchmarks: FutureMark PCMark05
E6750 @ 2667MHZ: 6966 points
E6750 @ 3904MHz: 8938 points

Energy consumption
Beneath are my results of the relative energy consumption of the processor using different options. For the stress test i used one (one core) or two (both cores) SuperPi instances.

stock clock frequency
2666MHz (8×333) – idle – vcore 1.31V – 106W
2000MHz (6×333) – idle Enhanced C1 state – vcore 1.104V – 100W
2666MHz (8×333) – stressed 1 core – vcore 1.31V – 128W
2666MHz (8×333) – stressed 2 cores – vcore 1.31V – 140W

Overclocked
3904MHz (8×488) – idle – vcore 1.55V – 135W
3904MHz (8×488) – stressed 1 core – vcore 1.55V – 184W
3904MHz (8×488) – stressed 2 cores – vcore 1.55V – 202W

3808MHz (8×476) – idle – vcore 1.41V – 121W
2856MHz (6×476) – idle Enhanced C1 state – vcore 1.41V – 122W
3808MHz (8×476) – stressed 1 core – vcore 1.41V – 157W
3808MHz (8×476) – stressed 2 cores – vcore 1.41V – 172W