Monday, 23 February 2015

The latest SSDs examined


We've often touted a solid state drive as being the best upgrade you give a PC - and here are our favourites

If you're upgrading a PC, it's getting harder and harder to ignore the positive effect that putting an SSD in a system can have. These days, memory and processors are so quick that mechanical drives simply can't keep up, and create a bottleneck that hampers performance in all areas - from boot times to framerates within games. Swapping your old hard drive for a solid state alternative will up your system speeds across the board.

The best current-gen CPUs for your budget

current-gen CPUs

If you have a definite spending limit, here are your best options

Putting together a new system tends to begin with selecting a the processor that fits your budget best, narrowing down make, performance and price until you have the one you need. What are the best CPUs on the market right now, though? The industry evolves constantly; so are Intel chips still better than AMDs? Which of Intel's platforms is the best? Should you buy an FX-series CPU or a Fusion APU? These questions and more will be answered in our guide to the best current-gen CPUs on the market right now.

iScrapbook 5

iScrapbook 5

Create amazing photo albums (if you have the latest OS X)

While some are content to carry thousands of digital images on mobile devices, there is still a contingent of loyal Mac users who fancy the notion of preserving memories in hardcopy for future generations to enjoy. With the fifth edition of its popular scrapbook application, Chronos appeals to both camps.

iScrapbook 5 assists users in creating digital scrapbook albums in single or dual page spreads. Individual pages or entire albums can be printed on paper or exported to PDF, TIFF, JPEG or PNG files. With more than 15 new feature categories, including texture, glass and simulated old film overlays, this version creates pages that look more authentic. Shine on imported photos comes thanks to one-click auto enhancement, while 3D headlines help modernise albums, with complete control over lighting, bevel and reflections.

New CPUs coming in 2015 (And Should You Wait For Them?)

inside cpu

Considering a system overhaul? Here's what this year has to offer...

Whether and when to upgrade your system are always hard decisions to make, especially when there are new platform refreshes due at as-yet-undetermined points in the relatively near future. Commit too early and you can end up paying a premium for hardware that becomes obsolete within weeks, but wait too long and you might discover you've been holding on for a refresh that isn't really worth spending the money on.

Of all hardware options, trying to decide on a new CPU is possibly the hardest decision - and Intel isn't making that any easier this year, with plans to bring new Haswell, Broadwell and Skylake processors to market in a single 12 month period. Even AMD's getting in on the act, though, with its new Carrizo hardware apparently just a matter of weeks away.

Fear not, though, if you're thinking of buying a new CPU now - or if you're planning to do so at any point this year - we have all the information you need to help you decide when to pull the trigger.