Monthly Archives: August 2016

Connection Problems in Skype

Skype is not just software that provides free video and voice calling service, but is a special platform that gives the ability to connect and be with our dear ones, without physically being present. With Skype, its users can attend conferences without really being in the conference hall; can give interviews without actually sitting in the office, etc. Being an online application, Skype is accessed by millions of users. The fact that Skype is online software, many services are provided by its makers to overcome the technical and non-technical problems, faced by the Skype users. Some of the support services provided include Skype Technical Support & Skype Helpline desk.

Skype users may face some technical or non-technical issues, while connecting through Skype or during dialing a video call. There may also be issues in adding a new contact to a conference call. That is the time when Skype Technical Support team comes into action. To avail the assistance and guidance of highly trained technicians and to get other help regarding technical issues, users are required to forward their queries through the Skype Helpline number. The executives who listen to the users queries are experienced and they thoroughly understand the user queries, handling them with their sophisticated problem solving techniques.

Skype Helpline number is also available on the website of Skype technical support. The Skype users can utilize these services whenever they feel that they require assistance regarding Skype. Technicians at Skype Technical Support team are well versed with all the methods required to solve any kind of technical glitches faced by Skype users. They besides being available every time, strive hard to find out alternative solutions for problems, so that those problems do not bother the Skype users time and again, in between the quality time with their loved ones.

The Skype Technical Support team aims to provide a glitch free, smooth and a fast paced Skype experience to its users. The Technicians, executives and representatives form a strong team of Skype support service. With their training and experience, they know the ways to find a quick and effective solution for the problems and queries of the Skype users. HencePsychology Articles, users make the maximum use of Skype support services. Through the Skype Helpline the executives solve their issues any time and also utilize other facilities provided by Skype for personal as well as for professional use.

Zen’s Design Goals and Cache Architecture

AMD unveiled a great deal of information at Hot Chips about its upcoming “Zen” CPU core and architecture. The new chip has been the subject of an enormous amount of speculation for more than a year, but things have heated up over the past few weeks as leaked benchmarks surfaced and AMD conducted its own public test.

Today’s information dump is the most detail AMD has shared to date — in fact, it’s significantly more information than I expected the company to share until Zen actually launched. Let’s get started.

Zen’s design goals

Zen is best understood as a response to the problems that plagued Bulldozer. AMD’s original goal with that architecture was to intelligently share resources between CPU cores, while simultaneously hitting higher frequencies and higher execution efficiencies than AMD’s previous CPU core, K10. Bulldozer’s failure to deliver left AMD in an ugly position: Should it try to repair its old core or return to the drawing board and build something completely new?

Sources we’ve spoken to at AMD suggest that the difficulty of repairing Bulldozer was significant enough that AMD opted to build a new core from scratch with none of Bulldozer’s baggage. That doesn’t mean there’s no Bulldozer DNA in Zen — in fact, AMD has stated that the expertise it gained from improving Steamroller and Excavator’s energy efficiency was put to good use for its newest architecture. Say instead that what design elements AMD does borrow from its previous architectures will be the components of the chip that actually worked well rather than the problematic ones that dominated its performance.

Cache architecture

Much of what went wrong with Bulldozer was linked to its cache subsystem and overall architecture, so that’s a good place to start diving into Zen. Where Bulldozer used the concept of a CPU module (defined as a pair of cores that shared resources), Zen uses complexes. One CPU complex (CCX) contains four cores, 2MB of L2 cache (512KB per core), and 8MB of L3 cache. That means AMD’s highest-end consumer Zen contains eight cores and 16MB of L3 cache in total, split into 2x8MB chunks. AMD has stated that the two CCXs on an eight-core chip can communicate with each other via the on-chip fabric, though there’s likely a performance penalty for doing so.

Zen’s L3 cache operates as a victim cache for the L1 and L2, meaning data evicted from those caches is stored in the L3 instead. It’s also 16-way associative, which is a significant change from Bulldozer’s 64-way associative L3. A cache with a higher set associativity has a greater likelihood of containing the information the CPU is looking for, but takes longer to search — and one of the issues that crippled Bulldozer was its cache latency at nearly every stage.

We don’t know anything about clock speeds on either the L3 cache or the integrated memory controller. Historically, AMD’s Bulldozer-derived CPUs and APUs have used a clock between 1.8 – 2.2GHz for the L3 cache and IMC.

AMD has stated that L1 and L2 bandwidth is nearly 2x Excavator while L3 bandwidth is supposedly 5x higher. These changes should keep the core fed and support higher performance. The L1 cache is write-back instead of write-through — that’s a significant change that should improve performance and reduce cache contention (Bulldozer’s write-through cache meant that L1 performance could be constrained by L2 cache write speed in some cases).

Things to Consider When Buying a Computer

atBuying a computer is a big investment. And with so many different options available, it can be hard to figure out how to meet the technical needs of your nonprofit or library and still stay within your budget.

This guide will help you understand the questions to ask when shopping for a computer. It will also provide a quick reference checklist with definitions of some basic technology terms (not too many!), as well as the minimum standards we recommend for computers.

Things to Consider When Buying a Computer

1. Do You Need a New Computer?

It’s possible some basic maintenance tasks or a simple hardware upgrade can boost performance and give your old computer new life.

2. How Will You Be Using the Computer?

If you do need a new computer, one of the most important things to consider is how you will actually use it.

  • A technology plan, technology budget, and technology strategy are all helpful tools to make sure you understand your current and future computing needs. See TechSoup’s Business and Technology Planning section for resources to help you plan effectively.
  • What kind of work will your staff be doing? Basic office tasks, like creating documents and spreadsheets, checking email, and using the Internet? Or heavy-duty work with video, audio, or images? Audiovisual work tends to be resource-intensive and will require a more robust computer.
  • Will your staff be traveling, or only using the computer in the office?
  • How does the computer fit in with your existing technology?
    • What operating systems do you use? Operating systems, like Windows, use up a lot of your computer’s resources. If you barely meet the minimum hardware standards for using your operating system, you may not have the computing resources to do a lot of other tasks at the same time (multitask).
    • What software do you use? Do you have software that only works with a certain type of computer or only runs on a particular operating system?
    • 32-bit and 64-bit? The key thing to know is that hardware and software come in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. If your computer has a 32-bit operating system or hardware, you cannot run 64-bit software on it.
  • What are your future plans? Are you planning to upgrade your operating system or add a new kind of software? Are you planning to do different kinds of tasks in the next couple of years?

3. Mac or PC?

The choice between Mac and PC often comes down to personal preference. Both types of computers have their merits. Macs and PCs use the same kinds of internal processors, so they are equally powerful. The main difference between Macs and other computers is the operating system they use: Macs run Mac OS X, and PCs run Windows.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Macintosh computers are usually more expensive off the shelf than a similar PC. However, some argue that the long-term cost for a PC is actually higher, due to additional software and maintenance costs.
  • There is some software that will only run on Windows. Make sure the software you depend on is compatible with your new computer’s operating system.
  • The more similar your computers are, the easier your technology will be to manage. If you have different types of computers, running different operating systems and different software, troubleshooting and maintenance become much more complicated. Consider whether you already have a Mac- or PC-centric office and whether or not it’s worth switching some or all computers.

4. New, Used, or Refurbished?

If you plan to use the computer for basic office tasks like word processing, email, and web browsing, you probably don’t need a top-of-the-line or brand new computer. A used or refurbished computer may be just fine. Used and refurbished computers are usually much less expensive than new computers. They’re also a greener option, since you’re extending the life of an old computer, rather than buying a brand-new one.

A refurbished computer may be a better option than a used or donated one. Refurbished computers are older machines that have been carefully inspected and updated by professionals. If you get your refurbished computer from an authorized professional refurbisher (and you always should), you will know it is in good working condition. Refurbished computers also often have a warranty of some kind. Read more about refurbished computers available to eligible organizations through TechSoup’s Refurbished Computer Initiative.

There are some additional things you need to think about when buying refurbished equipment:

  • Fail and return rates. Check the refurbisher’s fail and return rates.
  • Warranty. You probably won’t get a three-year warranty for a refurbished computer, but a three-month warranty is pretty standard. This should cover any out-of-the box problems.
  • Peripherals, software, and documentation. Make sure you know what is included with your computer. Refurbished computers, for example, rarely come bundled with a monitor.

If you are buying a used (rather than refurbished) computer, or accepting a donated one, make sure a knowledgeable person inspects the computer thoroughly first. This will help ensure the computer is functioning properly and that it will meet your needs. Remember that as alluring as a free or very cheap computer might seem, an old one in poor condition can actually be more trouble than it is worth. Learn more about how to avoid receiving time-wasting donated hardware in How to Accept (or Refuse!) Donated Equipment.