Newsletter – January 2014
Which processor is right for you?
Learn which processor will meet your needs.
When buying a new tablet, laptop or PC you don’t have to be an expert to buy the right processor; you just need to know the basics.
And here they are:
1. Intel is not the only brand
Intel is clearly the most well-known brand but it is not alone. AMD develops very good chips but they are not as good at marketing themselves as Intel. To generalise it is fair to say Intel builds faster chips but you pay a hefty premium for the privilege. For everyday work and play you might get better value for money from AMD but there are far fewer tablet, laptop and PC models to choose from.
2. Get your speed right
Not long ago we compared processors by speed (i.e. the faster, the better). These days that isn’t the case. Processors now have “cores” which are like mini processors that work in tandem with each other. For example two cores processing data at 2.5GHz is faster than one core processing at 3.3GHz.
More expensive processors are capable of boosting their speed when needed. For example the Intel Core i7-3960X chip usually runs at 3.3GHz but it can boost performance to 3.9GHz on demand. This increases your battery life by only running at full steam when you need it.If you are a professional 3D artist or a professional video editor then you will want at least four cores (“Quad core”).
If you are gaming, you will probably want more than two cores. If you don’t fit into either of these categories then one core should be fine for you.
You should always consider a minimum of 2.0GHz of performance per core because anything less than that will slow you down. Consider 2.5GHz if you are a gamer and 3.0GHz+ if you do video editing or graphics.
3. Choose the right model
Intel – Intel’s line-up consists of Atom, Core-i3, Core-i5 and Core-i7 models. Atom is only good for very basic tablets that you might use for surfing the web and checking email.
For business use Intel will try to convince you that Intel Core-i5 is the way to go for everyday use but the reality is that Intel Core-i3 processors are more than capable.
Core-i5 is better suited to ultrabooks and business tablets because they will reduce your power draw.
Core-i7 models are reserved for gamers, video editors and designers.
AMD – The Sempron processor is ideal for surfing the net, emails, web browsing and basic word processing.Athlon is designed for business use and handles most applications with ease. The Athlon X3 and X4 are for high-performance work applications and the Phenom range is built for gamers and designers. We particularly like the X3 model for its balance of performance and low power draw (ideal for Ultrabooks).
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Five Health trends to watch in 2014
Have a look at new cutting edge tech for you health.
A very interesting article appeared recently on www.mashable.com announcing the top health technologies to watch in 2014. We took an interest in four cutting edge products currently in development in the US that give us a glimpse into the future:
OMSignal is one of many companies developing “smart clothes” that track your biometrics to help you improve your fitness and wellbeing. Embedded sensors in the apparel monitor your heart rate, breathing and activity. All of this is fed into a cloud service so you can monitor your health in real-time on your mobile phone or tablet.
Those familiar with products such as Jawbone Up will be aware of wristbands that measure your nutrition, sleep, stress and exercise. Airo takes it a step further with a built in spectrometer that uses different wavelengths of light to detect nutrients released into the bloodstream as they are broken down during and after your meals. This is then reported back to you to advise your real-time health status.
Tellspec is a handheld device that scans and analyses the composition of food so you can find out the real ingredients of a product before you buy it. Like Airo this product also uses a spectrometer to determine the chemical compounds which makes it handy for detecting allegens, preservatives and chemicals.
Just when you thought you’d heard it all Scanflo is another product in development which acts as a urine test kit that sends the data to your phone. The website site tells us it tests for glucose, protein, leukocytes, nitrates, blood, bilirubin, urobilinogen, specific gravity, and pH in urine. It will also test for pregnancy.
This is being adopted as an online incentive program that rewards you for improving your health. Employers can sponsor employees or users can also ask their family and friends to sponsor them within the system to earn even more rewards. It’s just like partipicating in those fun runs back in primary school!
Real-time monitoring of our health and wellbeing is on the horizon and there is possibly great value in sharing our health data with our GPs. Docs will take great interest in monitoring our behaviour and long term it will help build very useful profiles and recognise patterns to help prevent disease. Make way for many more debates over confidentiality and privacy!