SOLVED: VIDEO: What is Intel Turbo Boost In Simple Terms & How Does It Work

Intel Turbo Boost is a hardware technology that Intel uses to put additional electricity into its CPU’s to have them temporarily operate at a levels above their traditional specification. You might be tempted to call this “overclocking” and while the concepts are very similar, they are definitely not the same. The two big differences between overclocking and Intel Turbo Boost is the warranty and how long the chip runs at the higher speed: With a…

Anatomy of an Attack: How Apple & Amazon Got Servers With Chinese Hacking Chips

Today Bloomberg reported that Apple and Amazon were (are?) using servers with an extra chip that hacks their data at the hardware level making it virtually impossible to detect.  From a technical perspective we wanted to know how this could happen, and so here is the explanation. A secretive part of the Chinese military infiltrated a chip manufacture and embedded code right in the “Baseboard Management Controller” (BMC).  The BMC is used to have direct…

SOLVED: What is the Difference Between Dell Optiplex 3060 5060 & 7060 Lines

If you want to buy a Dell corporate PC you are likely looking at the Optiplex line and finding it very difficult to figure out what the hardware differences are between their three offerings, the 3060, 5060 and 7060’s.  All three of these lines: are offered in Mid-Tower, Small Form Factor (SFF) and Micro chassis support 8th Generation Intel CPU’s have USB 3.1 and USB Type C connectors support HDMI 1.4 (HDMI 2.0 optional) and…

SOLVED: Slow PC Shows 100% Hard Disk Usage

If you have a PC that is very slow and you notice that Task Manager shows near 100% disk is being used but the individual items do not sum to anything approaching 100%, you may have an issue with SuperFetch.  Fortunately it is easy to correct. We recently dealt with a frustrating case on a Dell Latitude 5480 Laptop with a Caching SSD (see our video).  Put simply, Intel Rapid Storage Technology software utility makes…

Quick Explanation of The Differences Between Intel Xeon and AMD Epyc Server CPU’s

If you want to distill the argument between Intel Xeon and AMD Epyc server processors down to three things, they would be: AMD’s interconnection of the Cores on Epyc is much slower than on Intel Xeon’s AMD Epyc CPU’s are faster than Intel Xeon in memory intensive applications In general, Intel Xeon and AMD Epyc provide similar performance per dollar   Here is a nice summary of what is different between Intel Xeon vs AMD…

SOLVED: Quick FAQ’s For Meltdown & Spectre CPU Vulnerabilities

Last week we provided a very quick explanation of the Meltdown & Spectre CPU flaws which you can read HERE.  However, much more is now known and so here are the current answers to Meltdown & Spectre Frequently Asked Questions: What are Spectre & Meltdown? Spectre and Meltdown are related security holes in nearly all CPU’s (including Intel, AMD and ARM).  They are HARDWARE problems and therefore apply to all operating systems (OSX, Linux, iOS,…

SOLVED: VIDEO: Quick Explanation of the Massive Intel CPU Flaw Affecting OSx Windows & Linux

UPDATE Saturday Jan 6 – 2018: There are now two known flaws named “Meltdown” and “Spectre”.  Spectre still has not been detailed but applies to virtually all CPU’s including x86 and ARM. It is now known that Intel (and possibly other CPU manufacturers) have a very serious design flaw with nearly all their CPU’s. Most of the explanations thus far are far too detailed and confusing for even tech’s to understand.  We have laid out…

SHORT VERSION: What You NEED To Know About Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

Intel says that the Xeon Scalable Processor line is the largest upgrade in server CPU’s in a decade.  Lets take a very quick run through of what has changed and then you can make up your own mind. NAMING: The new CPU’s are code named Skylake and the new Chipset required to support them is named Lewisburg. Intel has scrapped its old naming convention that was in lock step with the Intel Core Series CPU’s…

SOLVED: What is Intel AVX-512?

Intel AVX-512 is the latest version of Advanced Vector Extensions.  Since x86 instruction set was designed in the 1970’s there has been a drive to extend that instruction set so that the CPU can handle more and more tasks.  This means that fewer and few special purpose add-on cards are required and that keeps cost, heat and electricity low.  Previous extensions included MMX (Multimedia Extensions), 3D Now and SSE1-4 (Streaming SSID Extensions) and made thing…

SHORT VERSION: What You Need To Know About Intels 8th Generation Core Processors

If you are looking at CPU‘s you would be wise to consider the latest batch of Intel Processors cleverly named 8th Generation Core Series.  As usual Intel claims gigantic performance improvements through a series of changes to their CPU’s.  Those claims may have been dubious in the past (gen over gen) but the 8th Generation really should have some serious improvements for you: MORE CORES: Core count is what most people can understand and in…

SOLVED: VIDEO: How To Upgrade The Disk in an SSD Cache Using Intel Rapid Storage Technology

In the video below we show how to remove the spinning disk from a Dell Latitude 5480 and replace it with a larger one and then enable SSD Caching.  To use SSD Caching your PC needs: The connectors to add an SSD and a spinning disk A BIOS that supports SSD Caching and has the disk mode set to RAID Windows 10 Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) software The process to enable SSD Caching is pretty…

SOLVED: What is Intel Optane and Does Optane Run Faster Than SSD?

We explain and demonstrate what Intel Optane is, what you need to run it, and if it will really improve your PC’s performance. What is Intel Optane? Intel Optane is an accelerator for your hard drive.   Intel Optane is stick of non-volatile memory, which means it does not get wiped clean when you power it off like regular RAM, that fits into a M.2 slot on your motherboard to provide a large cache for your hard drive.  Today, Intel…

SOLVED: What Do The Suffix Letters on Intel Processors Mean

Intel used to have a pretty simple naming scheme for its CPU’s but as the market demanded more features, Intel started adding suffix letters to its processors.  Often the letters added on to the end of an Intel CPU number can mean enormous differences. Below is a list of Intel CPU Suffix Letters: C – Desktop processor based on the LGA 1150 package with high performance graphics H – High performance graphics K – Unlocked Frequency Multiplier – typically…

SOLVED: The (Nearly) Complete List of Boot Key Strokes, ASUS, Dell, Intel, Gigabyte, Microsoft and More

This page details the keys needed to boot a PC into various modes (like the BIOS and PXE Network) from various manufacturers. If you are stuck and you can try the common keystrokes during a POST and before the Operating System loads: ESC, F1, F2, F8, F9, F10, F12 and Delete key.  Also, remember if you are trying to PXE Boot, you may have to enter the BIOS and enable that feature which is called all kinds…

SOLVED: Where is Windows Hello Facial Recognition in Windows 10?

If you have recently purchased a laptop and heard about Windows 10’s new facial recognition software called Windows Hello, you are likely going to be disappointed.  Windows Hello is a FANTASTIC feature and from my brief testing on a Microsoft Surfacebook, it works quite well.  Unfortunately, it requires one of the new, and currently quite expensive, cameras that takes 3D and infrared.  As Intel puts it: …Devices with the short-range, front-facing F200 camera features 1080p…