Archive for the ‘PC Hardware’ Category

Introducing – TechTowers YouTube Channel!

Hello readers! I would like to introduce you to our new way of connecting with everyone out there with our new Tech Towers YouTube Channel!

It is something we have been concentrating on lately as it gives more of a visual understanding of how to’s, walkthroughs, tutorials, whatever you want to call it!



Have a browse of our uploaded videos now by going to our channel here.


Through our Tech Towers channel we will keep you updated on any major issues as well as videos for reference to help you when you need it most!

So please subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest technology stories / how to’s / walkthroughs / tutorials!



Best Looking PC 2011 – Hammerhead HMR989 from Darwin Machine

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

You’re probably not going to see this in PC World…

For around £1900, this futuristic ‘Hammerhead HMR989’ from Darwin Machine would make your PC a lot more special than all of your mates. Created from panels of eco-resin, (plastic recycled from old vending machines for you tree huggers out there) and brushed or anodized aluminium all hand built, results in a piece of modern art that wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery today.

From the exterior you can see the PSU (power supply unit), on the other side an ‘open air’ Thermaltake SpinQ CPU cooler with the graphics card camouflaged / blended well into the design.

The specification features:

  • Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz CPU
  • LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX motherboard
  • 4 Gb ram
  • 1 40 gb solid state disk drive
  • 1 1 Tb front loaded “hot-swappable” hard drive
  • 1 extra hot-swap tray for a second hard drive
  • nVidia ENGTX550 TI graphics card
  • Optical CD/DVD drive
  • 750W modular power supply
  • Thermaltake Spin-Q CPU cooler
  • Windows 7 64-bit Home premium
  • CNC brushed and anodized aircraft aluminum frame 16″H x 18″L x 7″W(10″ with cpu fan)
  • Ecoresin panels with Mil-Spec quick release system(motherboard side only)
  • Lifetime warranty on all non-electrical chassis components

Personally I feel that the 1TB hard drive is adequate but could be larger so that it still has space in a few years time. Also 4GB of RAM? They could easily have 12GB with the price hardly increasing but I would have liked to see at least 6GB. But these things can be easily changed yourself so maybe that’s their reason with the processor & accompanying motherboard being the foundations to set in stone. Overall you are paying for a good system but even better aesthetics and for something so unique you could do a lot worse. The target market is for gamers who want to play straight from the box and the spec proves it will do the job. Lets hope more towers are designed outside of the ‘box’ in the near future.

Categories: PC Hardware

PC Hardware – Unlocking the Hidden 4th Core of a Triple Core Processor

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Yesterday I unlocked the 4th Core of my triple core (X3) AMD processor (CPU). It is very easy to do and only basic computer knowledge is needed.

Core Unlocker

What you need to know

The more cores a computer has, the more tasks it can carry out simultaneously without affecting the performance.

I understand that all triple (also known as tri or three core) processors are in fact QUAD (four) core processors. However not all of them can be unlocked and used as quad cores, this is down to one of two reasons. When the manufacturer (in this instance AMD) make their quad core processors and one of the cores isn’t working 100% as it should, they will affectively ‘block’ the ‘faulty’ core and sell it as a triple core. The second explanation is down to demand for triple core cpu’s. If the manufacturer needs to make more triple cores it will simply use perfectly fine quad cores and in the same way affectively ‘block’ one of the cores, then box it up as a triple core to sell!

How to unlock the 4th core

After researching on the internet I didn’t really find any how to’s specifically for the parts that I had. The parts in question being my motherboard: an ASUS M4N68T-M LE V2 which states on the box that it has a Core Unlocker, and my processor (CPU): an AMD Athlon II X3 455 processor.

I found the video below on YouTube which helped familiarize myself with the process of unlocking which was the only guide I had.

As my motherboard stated it had the Core Unlocker, it meant that I could ignore the first step of the video that seemed complicated. I would not have to update the BIOS with a file on a USB stick because my motherboard’s BIOS was already made to unlock cores. You would need to do this if you don’t have a motherboard that already supports core unlocking.

Step One: Turn on your monitor and your PC.

Step Two: When the BIOS (motherboard startup) screen appears hit ‘delete’ to enter the BIOS menu.

Step Three: In the BIOS menu find CPU Configuration.

Step Four: Find the Core Unlock option in the list. In the video above it is called ‘Advanced Clock Calibration’ however mine was called something more along the lines of ‘Core Unlocker’.

Step Five: Change the option to ‘enable’ the extra core(s)! I simply pressed the plus or minus button on my keyboard, in the video the guy hits ‘enter’ and uses up or down before pressing ‘enter’ again to confirm his selection.

Once you have done this you may have to save before exiting (like the video) and your computer will restart. All four cores should now be working and you can confirm this by checking your ‘system properties’ in ‘my computer’. I use the gadget ‘All CPU Meter‘ as part of my Windows 7 sidebar which showed the 4th core instantly. In the video the guy had to change the value of the cores as a percentage, in my case there was no option for this and I assume it is automatically done.

Here are before and after screenshots of my system properties!


System Properties Before Unlock


System Properties After Unlock

As you can see my processor has changed from an Athlon II X3 455 to a Phenom II X4 B55! It has been upgraded from a standard Athlon class to a top end Phenom with a few simple clicks! The GHz stays the same.

The ‘B’ means it has been unlocked – you cannot purchase a ‘B55’ processor from a shop.

Now there is a chance that this may not work for you or your PC may not be as stable. If this happens I would suggest resetting the BIOS options. You can use a few different programs to test your system after doing this. Here is a useful one to leave you with:

Prime95 is basically a hard work-out for your computer and will stretch its abilities to the max. People often leave this running overnight for many hours at a time to thoroughly test the stability of a system.

Categories: PC Hardware