Category: Editorials

Benchmark Reviews: Opinion & Editorial Articles

Does Sprint Booster Improve Vehicle Engine Performance?

Sprint Booster Throttle Response Accelerator Lag Fix

I first learned of Sprint Booster after purchasing a 5th generation Toyota 4Runner in 2020, and discovered that the vehicle’s drive-by-wire accelerator introduced a throttle response delay in an effort to improve fuel economy for its ECO Mode feature. By comparison, this made the new SUV less responsive than my much-older 4th generation 4Runner. The Internet was filled with posts and reviews of buyers who were pleased with their purchase, but did Sprint Booster really improve their vehicle’s engine performance or increase efficiency like some of them claimed?

Continue reading

Computer Upgrades: A Data-Based Perspective

In this editorial research article for Benchmark Reviews, I’ll examine two $350 desktop computer systems, two widely different computer upgrade paths, and a data-based approach to attempt to answer the ever-popular question: “what should I upgrade next on my PC?”. Given that $350 and an AMD-based computer, is it worth adding $350-worth of graphics power, or should a gaming enthusiast take that same amount and use it to switch sockets to Intel?

Continue reading

Reserve your FREE Windows 10 Upgrade Now


You might have noticed something different about your computer when you logged on this morning: a notification alerting you to ‘Get Windows 10’. This is Microsoft’s next step in upgrading users to the latest Operating System, and they’re giving it away for FREE. Just reserve your upgrade by verifying eligibility with an email address, and you’re done. Just sit back, relax, and wait until the download becomes available.

Continue reading

Using RAID-5 Means the Sky is Falling

WD Purple 3.5-inch Surveillance-Class Hard Drive Line Debuts

In reality, most hard disks seldom see operating temperatures below the chill of a server room or beyond the warmth of rack space, and most disks will not commit an URE that crashes a RAID-5 rebuild. While it is agreed that better parity schemes exist, the exception is not the rule. My customer could have retained cold storage data to individual disks via removable drives, with no redundancy at all. In fact, most organizations already use a single removable disk or cloud container for their nightly backup routine. My customer choose a special backup appliance that fits three disks into a single cartridge, further protecting archived data and proving RAID-5 still has business applications.

Continue reading

Getting Data Out of the Cloud Before Disaster

High-Rely NetSwap Server Backup NAS Appliance

As the size of information stored in the cloud grows increasingly larger, IT managers must plan on getting data out of the cloud when it’s critically needed during disaster recovery. For some businesses, the cloud is a place to deposit a second copy of data already retained locally. For others the cloud is primary storage, where unique data is created and modified. Problems arise in both cases: when local data is lost due to fire, flood, or theft, when the data is too large for a timely transfer across limited Internet bandwidth, or when a cloud provider shuts down. This all begs the question: is redundant data in place?

Continue reading

Retiring PC and Starting Life with an Apple MacBook

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

It was time for a break-up and a fresh new start. It didn’t take much online research until my jaw dropped on the keyboard. My my my, how things had changed for Windows in the last four years. That amount of money before paying to install Microsoft Office? I wanted a career companion. Something I could whip out when an opportunity arose or a deadline called. Where was I going to find it?

Continue reading

Matching CPU to Heatsink Cooler

Back when I was given an opportunity to review SilverStone’s new Argon series of coolers, the system I was using at the time for testing CPU coolers was based on an AM3+ processor. The AR03 was recommended out of the two for my platform, due to it’s larger physical size than a Socket 1155 CPU – for which the smaller AR01 would be more appropriate.

Continue reading

Steam In-Home Streaming and Gaming Future

Steam In-Home Streaming is a new feature that allows you to play games in a low-end computer anywhere in your home as long as you are connected to the same network as your gaming computer. This current feature from Valve, has been on Beta mode during the past months, however it is now available for anyone to use. Here at Benchmark Reviews we were curious of why Valve would release such feature, but with the upcoming Steam Machines, In-Home Streaming started to fit within Valve’s plans.

Continue reading

What’s New: Intel Z97 Motherboards

Intel Z87 Chipset Diagram

Back in 2007 Intel established a Tick-Tock model that predicted that following a micro-architectural process technology die shrink (tick) that a new micro-architecture would be introduced (tock). They’ve kept to this processor model for seven years, but no such model exists for their board chipset architecture. Instead, every tick update and new tock architecture receives a fresh LGA (land grid array) CPU socket: Nehalem brought LGA 1366 and later LGA 1156, Sandy Bridge introduced LGA 1155 followed by LGA 2011, and Haswell delivered LGA 1150. But what’s new in 2014 with Intel Z97 Express?

Continue reading

Microsoft DirectX 12 and Windows 7 Support

Microsoft DirectX History GDC14

At the 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC14) this morning Microsoft revealed DirectX 12, built upon Direct3D 12. For those who ride the cutting edge of game development, the latest features announced in Direct3D 12 are strikingly similar to those already present from one of their partners: AMD’s Mandle API. Benchmark Reviews will deliver a preview of DirectX 12 features and improvements in a parallel article, and focus on one very important question in this piece: will DirectX 12 support the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system?

Continue reading

The Future: USB 3.1 or Intel Thunderbolt?

The 2014 CES Introduced USB 3.1 as a future new standard for USB data transfers. Competition has been the driving force of the computer industry since the beginning, and the consumers have been the greatest benefactor to this constant technological race. Just when you thought you had the latest and greatest USB 3.0 on your new computer system, along comes USB 3.1. Was there something wrong with USB 3.0, and did it really need an update? Yes and No.

Continue reading

Mobile Devices in the Workplace: What is at Risk?

Let’s face it, smart phones and tablets have become a common part of life. It is not unusual to walk into a place and see a majority of the people with their eyes down, totally engrossed in a mobile device. This is something that happens out in everyday life and is becoming increasingly more common in the workplace. Laptops and desktops are starting to be replaced by tablets and laptop-tablet hybrids. No matter the business industry, just like computers, tablets and smartphones are becoming essential in almost all areas of business. Even if your business does not directly require your employees to have these devices to work, they are being introduced into your environment because they can assist in productivity.

Continue reading

Light Idea: Getting More From Our Lamps

As Brick Tamland from Anchorman said, “I love Lamp.” When asked again if he was saying this just because he saw it, or if he really did love Lamp, Brick replied, “I love Lamp. I love Lamp.” This state of mind is one that is tied deeply into all of our consciousness’. Brick is merely a fictional character in a Hollywood movie regardless. We as humans have a natural pattern called the Circadian Rhythm. I am here to give my opinion on why you might love Lamp, what Lamps can do for you, and a few other interesting tidbits about how a simple Lamp can be the difference between a good day and a great day.

Continue reading

AMD Catalyst Drivers: Frame Pacing Fixes for Radeon 7990 and CrossFire

AMD Radeon HD 7990 Graphics Card

You may have recently heard some news about AMD fixing something wrong with their products, something you probably weren’t even aware was broken. It’s entirely understandable if you missed the headlines, because the fix really only impacted a very small (microscopic) portion of gamers who own the ultra-premium Radeon HD 7990 graphics card or have two 7900-series video cards configured together into a CrossFire set. Still, it was important news for those of us who invested in AMD’s latest discrete graphics solution. By those of us, I really mean almost nobody.

Continue reading

Desktop Computer System PC Hardware Component Predictions

For the past six years it has been my duty to contact product manufacturers, and arrange test samples of cutting-edge products for our review team. Since started back in 2007, I have repeatedly enjoyed hands-on experience with exotic desktop PC computer components that most techies can only dream of owning. Together with my computer business, I’ve been afforded a broad view of the market, one that has given me a unique opportunity to see new trends emerge while watching old fads quietly fade away (ie: Rambus RD-RAM, OCZ NIA, HD-DVD, and various Virtual Reality gadgets). My experiences within the hardware industry have enabled me to predict where the technology is driving us with some accuracy, based on historical lessons the younger generation have forgotten. In this editorial I will explain what could happen next in the desktop computer hardware segment, as it attempts to co-exist with a mobile mega-industry.

Continue reading

Sony PlayStation and Microsoft XBOX Game Consoles Could Save AMD From Collapse

AMD Radeon Graphics Logo 300px

Can Console Gaming Save AMD From Collapse? The future of Advanced Micro Devices crucially depends on development partnerships for next-generation Sony PlayStation4 and Microsoft XBOX ONE console systems By Olin Coles One year ago Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) company stock was publicly trading for $8.20 per share (16 March 2012), the highest point since …

Continue reading

Desktop PC: Intel Says the End is Near

Desktop PC: Intel Says the End is Near By Olin Coles Back on August 2010, I made a prediction: desktop PCs have an expiration date, and that time may not be far off. I followed-up that article with several more editorials, arguing on both sides of the position that enthusiast desktop PCs would be killed …

Continue reading

Personal 3D Printing vs Patents and Gun Control

Personal 3D Printing vs Corporate Patent Lawyers & Gun Control As affordable personal 3D printers achieve higher resolution, creating copies of protected products and controlled weapons will become a legal challenge By Olin Coles During the past three years, 3D printing technology has progressed beyond prototyping and developed into consumer production. What was once an …

Continue reading

How to Cheat eBay Sellers and Scam PayPal Buyer Protection

Opinion-Editorial Announcement

How to Cheat eBay Sellers and Scam PayPal Buyer Protection When eBay Buyer Protection is abused, PayPal punishes good sellers with bad policy. By Olin Coles Most people are familiar with eBay, the web community with an endless catalog of items ready and available for purchase from across the globe. Like many who browse the …

Continue reading

Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft XBOX ONE Gaming Consoles To Revive PC Video Games

Next Generation Game Consoles Will Revive PC Gaming By Olin Coles Electronic video games have come a long way since the Golden Age of Video Arcades to become an industry generating nearly 1-trillion dollars in annual revenue (according to Gartner – 2011). Once video games made the leap from quarter-gobbling cabinets to console and later PC, home …

Continue reading

Before PC and Console Games: The Video Arcade

Once upon a time, the only place you could play electronic video games and compete against friends was the video arcade. Simultaneously, home computers and video game consoles were starting to take root inside some privileged households, beginning the decades-long struggle for control over video game outlets. Video games would eventually propel PC and game console platforms into homes at the same rate arcades would close up shop. Based on recent sales and download figures, it seems that more people play games on their mobile phone than PCs, game consoles, and arcades combined. Still, they will always lack the thrill that comes with a personal appearance to the local arcade.

Continue reading