Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quality Systems Versus Black and Gold Brand

Being a professional system builder I sometimes get the ‘quality cheap’ system request, whereby a customer request’s a high performance, high quality system at a budget price.

Of course there is no such thing. There are cheap computer systems which are generally built with generic ‘cheap' computer components and then there are ‘custom’ quality systems which are built with handpicked quality components.

So the terms High Performance and Cheap, really are mutually exclusive.

So in this post I am going to outline what makes a Cheap Black and Gold Generic system and what makes up a High Quality, High Performance system.

Computer Enclosure:

High quality computer enclosures come with a high quality power supply of a high power rating. The high power rating will ensure you have plenty of power for future add-ons like extra hard drives, add in cards, USB devices and Memory and CPU upgrades.

Also such power supplies that come with good quality cases usually come with hardware to better protect your motherboard, ram and CPU from power surges and spikes. Or little rug rats that turn the system off the wrong way, such power surges can damage or at least shorten the life of your computer components.

Good quality enclosures have large high quality fans which keep components cool once again extending their life and prevent the system from overheating.

Vibration insulation grommets, these grommets insulate your hardrive from the rest of your enclosure and prevent vibration and reverberation which can shorten the life of your hard drive and sometimes make your computer excessively loud.

High quality system box, huge rear fan for excellent cooling and extremely quiet.
Comes with a high quality 500watt power supply, also features transverse mounted hard drive cradle with hard drive vibration grommets and it even looks good!


Quality motherboards really are the foundation for any quality system and it really pays not to skimp here. Among many other things quality motherboards have extremely high data throughput (data flow) to support the latest processors.

Some systems I have seen simply cannot cater for the data flow requirements of the processor they are built with, and sometimes the motherboard itself ‘throttles’ the CPU speed down by as much as 30%. In effect you are buying a CPU and not using 30% of its full power.

Also quality motherboards are built with high quality components which last much longer than black and gold specials. Quality motherboard also have additional circuitry to protect components against power spikes and surges as well as having dual crash proof bios systems and as a bonus have many innovative features.


Quality memory as a general rule has very short latency, which is the space of time between one write process in memory and the next as well has having much higher operating frequencies while generating much less heat. This results in a much more responsive and reliable system.

Here you have cheap memory and here you have quality G Skill ram.

Video Card,

Much like motherboards top video cards are made with quality components and are made from superior design specs than the standard design template supplied from ATI or Nvidia. As such a quality video cards perform better and are more reliable and generally have much better cooling solutions than Black and Gold Brands.

Hard drive,

There is only one hard drive make that you should be concerned with and that is Western Digital. But always ask for the Green model as they represent very good performance and reliability and reasonable price. Also look for capacity anomalies which have a higher amount of cache.

Overall when you you purchase a quality system, you can be pretty sure that all the components in your system are 'performance matched'. What I mean by this is that each component is specifically selected to match and complement the rest of your computer components.

Many off the shelf systems today have very powerful Processors but not the quality or quantity of ram or motherboard to properly support the full performance potential of the processor.

It's kind of like putting a Porsche engine in a old Morris Minor.

Well I hoped I have cleared things up, you really cannot compare off the shelf computer systems to custom built systems on point of price.

Your either after Quality or you want a Cheap Computer.

Blue Fox Computers

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

'Backing Up' DVD Movies

Although backing up your collection of DVD movies is a somewhat contentious issue. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for creating backup copies of your DVD Movie collection.

There is a number of programs out there, but in this post I am going to focus on one of the simplest to use programs, DVD Shrink.

The trick to copying DVD movies successfully is to reduce all data to be burnt to the 'bare essentials' only.

This is because most 'original' DVD movie disks are dual layer, where bought blank DVD disks are only single layer.

Now each layer can hold up to 4.7 Gigabytes of data, so where an original disk can hold 9.4 Gigabytes being a dual layer, we only have 4.7 Gigabytes to work with.

This is where DVD Shrink comes into play, DVD Shrink gives you the ability to remove all the non-essentials when copying your beloved original DVD movie.

Items like:

  • Bonus Extras
  • Two speaker stereo audio streams
  • Annoying start and selection menus
  • Trailers
  • Subtitles
  • Foreign language audio streams

Also DVD Shrink has the ability to cut out the credits at the beginning and end of the DVD movie.

For a detailed video guide on how to backup your DVD movie disks just watch the video below.

Blue Fox Computers