It didn’t used to be hard to connect a monitor to a laptop, but the large number of different connectors and seeming lack of standards makes it harder today. Let’s cut through the confusion and figure out how to hook up a monitor to a laptop.
Why is it so hard? Because adapters and cables have higher profit margins than laptops. But don’t worry. We’ll sort out how to make the connection, then how to extend or mirror the built-in display.
Years ago, I was having lunch with a friend. “You probably don’t save much money by building a PC. I know when I build a mountain bike, I end up spending more.” His logic makes sense. But it’s worth exploring. Is it cheaper to build a PC? Read more
From time to time, people may bring up CMOS, which can be a confusing topic because it can actually mean several things. These days it normally means one specific thing though. So let’s explore the question of what is CMOS in a computer.
It’s a tougher question than you might think. It even confuses professionals sometimes. Including published authors.
I’ve had three brownouts this week, and this morning, Newegg sent me a promo featuring an APC Back-UPS BGE90M, a small 75-Watt UPS with three outlets and two USB charging ports for $25. These retail for $90 and frequently go on sale, but usually for closer to $40 or $50.
It’s intended for your router and modem and your phone, and its two-prong outlets discourage you from trying to use it to protect a modest computer from a brownout. I missed that detail when I ordered mine. I bought two.
The workstation vs desktop distinction can be subtle, but workstations and desktops are distinct classes of computers. Someone designing rockets needs a different type of machine than the average office worker, and that’s OK.
Occasionally someone comes on a hardware forum and asks for help with the terms video card vs graphics card, and apologizes for possibly asking a n00b question. The thing is, it’s not a bad question at all. While there’s technically no difference between them today, in retro computing, there was a difference. And even in modern times, the two words certainly imply different things. So let’s dig in.
Let’s tackle a controversial computer hardware question. How much RAM do you need? There’s a difference between how much RAM you want and how much you need. You may very likely need less RAM than you think.
I want 128 gigabytes of RAM. But there isn’t a lot of point to it. Almost 20 years ago, I was buying 128 megabytes of RAM when most people had 32 or 64 megabytes. There was a benefit to being beyond the pale then. Not so much today. At least not that far out.
If you want a gaming PC but have a super-tight budget, a $100 gaming PC isn’t ideal and isn’t easy. But it’s possible to put together a PC for gaming on a budget that small. You can even leave some room for improvement for upgrades as your budget permits later on, which I recommend.
First, I’ll assume you’re looking to do something reasonably current. Building a vintage gaming PC is a different topic. Second, you’ll have to accept that you’re not going to play top-tier titles at full detail and resolution on something this cheap. E-sports and RPG-type games and Minecraft will probably play fine, and titles a few years old will probably play fine. You’ll have to drop the detail level, but most of them will work.