Category - Basics

Database of the best electrolytic capacitors – Are Japanese capacitors really better than Chinese or Taiwanese ones?

I’m letting my friend Aris have his say again today and would be delighted if you would also support his plans. What he’s testing is sound, but it’s really hard to make a name for yourself in this age of colorful YouTube videos and dangerous TikTok half-truths. And so today we’re sharing our reach again and I’m [...]

UPRtek MK550T Spectroradiometer presented and in use – Upgrade of our monitor test setup and basics of measurement technology

I’ve been officially testing monitors at Igor’sLab for almost two years now. I started out quite rudimentary with a very cheap colorimeter, the SpyderX and a mixture of DisplayCal and the SpyderX software. Everyone starts small, of course. The whole thing then developed quite quickly and we gradually upgraded and managed to get [...]

The Ultimate Thermal Paste and Pad Compendium: Application, Ingredients, Manufacturing, Optimization, Aging, Profit Margins and Marketing

Today I would like to dispel a few myths and, above all, explain why thermal compound is not just about the fillers and why there is a lot of marketing and even more inconsistencies and untruths in this gold-digger business. The article is also intended to raise awareness and help to separate honest and diligent suppliers from third-party [...]

The “secret” behind NVIDIA’s sophisticated telemetry: the role of Buckets, Speedo and Continuous Virtual Binning (CVB)

I had already written a very similar article almost a year ago about the binning of the GeForce RTX 4070 and the difference between MSRP and OC cards. However, the theoretical part on the second page was somewhat neglected, very wrongly in my opinion. The launch of the super cards is coming up soon and the question is always being asked as to how [...]

NVIDIA’s connector story: EPS vs. 12VHPWR Connector – Unfortunately, good doesn’t always win, but evil wins more and more often (insights)

After numerous articles, explanations, and follow-up tests, today we’re taking a different approach. I have three intriguing topics for you: the possible origin story of the 12VHPWR connector, the deliberate ignorance of the originally intended 8-pin EPS connector, which continues to prove its resilience against defeat in power supplies and [...]

Smoldering Headers on NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4090 – New Insights, Measurements and (Un)known Causes of the 12VHPWR and 12V-2×6 Issue | Update

Today’s article is the result of several months of laboratory work, extensive measurement series, development work, and constant cross-checking. The matter of the 12-volt connectors is unfortunately so complex that I had to look for a new approach to complete the picture. And no, there isn’t THE one cause, but always a causal chain of [...]

Dangerous pitfalls when buying online: Dropshipping explained simply and why the customer still has the upper hand

Today’s article refers to the two articles already published and linked again in the footer about the unsuccessful purchase of an item declared to be in stock and the subsequent hurdles for the customer, which should actually not be any, because here the process is very clearly regulated by law. But since most customers do not know the [...]

Power Supply in Graphics Cards explained – Switching Voltage Regulators, PWM Controler, true Phases and the annoying “Coil Whining” | Reminder

I wrote today’s article less than a year ago, so it’s not really “retro” yet, but somehow it’s time to bring it back up in this section on Saturday. I receive so many letters and enquiries on the subject that I think this article simply deserves to be here, and it certainly takes some of the pressure off me because I [...]

2D performance in reverse? A Comprehensive Analysis | Retro Part 2 of 2

Over 13 years ago, I was concerned with the elimination of 2D hardware acceleration in Windows Vista and XP and made no friends for life with the driver team at (then) ATI in Toronto. The good thing about the two articles that hit like a bomb back then is that both AMD and NVIDIA started reacting frantically back then and also took remedial action [...]

Solving “unexplained” interrupt problems: Message-Signaled Interrupts (MSI) against sound dropouts, USB problems & Co. | Practice

If the sound card drops out or cracks, USB devices do not work or only work sporadically or the performance drops, then interrupt conflicts are usually the cause. This is something that Windows users have long since ignored out of sheer convenience, although the problem is as old as PCs and has only shifted under the colorful operating system [...]

Radeon RX Vega 56 – Is AMD’s 5-year-old “fail” with a driver hack for SAM (rBAR) still usable in 2023? Surprise!

This summer, AMD’s Vega graphics cards will celebrate their fifth birthday. Always standing in the shadow of Nvidia’s Pascal cards, the power-hungry cards were never really popular with gamers. Currently, the small models with 56 shader clusters change hands for just over 100€ on the second-hand market. Without further ado, we [...]

How we test memory kits from now on – Reference configs with all current DDR5 ICs and DDR4 G1 in synthetics and (no) games

Why there haven’t been any RAM tests from me/us for a while, why we won’t have any gaming benchmarks in our RAM tests and how we want to test RAM kits for their real differences in the future, you’ll learn in the following piece. In addition, this should serve as a basic article, which will be linked accordingly in upcoming [...]

Heat conductive paste against food, cosmetics and various lubricant – with expected unexpected results | Practice

Groundhog day, again and again. Today, I’m pushing up a classic review for you to enjoy on a cold winter Sunday, and it was a very interesting experiment. Already 12 years ago I had tested various things up to the adhesive cream for the third for their thermal conductivity. However, this time I have modified the classics a bit and included [...]

Overview and comparison of all tested CPU air and AiO water coolers

To be able to cover the higher TDP classes of processors in the future, I upgraded my testbench from a Ryzen 5 3600 to a Ryzen 9 3950X. However, so that the compact or budget coolers are not completely overtaxed, testing is done in three stages. This article serves as a reference and basis for future comparisons so that tested air and water [...]