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Are you thinking of getting a new computer? If you are, you likely have an idea of what you will use it for, and even some plans to upgrade it in the future.

Shopping For a New Computer? Why a Custom-Built PC Might Be Right For You

People use their computers in different ways. An entrepreneur could have a laptop with a moderate hard drive and processor for business work. A website owner could have a home server PC with fast-acting hard drives, a large network card, and a good hardware controller. And a PC gamer could have a full system with a large solid state drive, a surround-sound system, the latest multi-core processor, top-notch graphics processors and video cards, and colorful lights in the case.

With this in mind, do you really want to settle for just any laptop or PC at the big-box store? If you want to do more than surf the web and send emails, a custom-built PC might be right for you. Here are just a few good reasons why, according to Tech Guided:

  • If you buy a pre-built computer, it may not have the best hardware, cooling, storage, or processor you really need. As a result, you will have to make compromises, do without, or spend extra money and time upgrading an unfamiliar system. At times, you may not be able to make such upgrades.
  • The store’s warranty for the whole system is usually for a year at most, and requires you to send the entire computer for repairs. This could leave you without a computer for a while – even if just one part needs to be fixed.
  • The store could offer you subpar technical support. This could leave you waiting for hours on the tech support line, only for the agent to not identify the issue or find a solution.
  • You may not like the operating system the computer came with. Even a brand-new operating system could suffer from glitches or other problems, or it may not be compatible with the programs you regularly use. Building your own computer gives you the option to choose the best operating system for you.

In the long run, it is better to get a system tailored to your needs the first time, with plenty of room for upgrades and the best support.

Getting a Custom-Built PC

Whatever your needs for your new computer are, PC Geeks can help you. Let us know your needs and your budget. Then we will design the system with only the best parts for you and your wallet. Your choices for your desktop, workstation, or laptop are unlimited, but some of the most popular options are:

  • Advanced CPUs (Central Processing Units) and GPUs (Graphics Processing Units)
  • Storage devices and custom RAID to store and safeguard your data
  • RGB lights
  • CPU cooling systems
  • Custom cases and case designs

Even after the building is done, we offer repairs on custom-built PCs and a written warranty. If something goes wrong with your computer, we will take care of it. Our most common repairs include:

  • Replacement for parts such as power supplies
  • Problems with overheating, stability, speed, booting, etc.
  • Upgrades for parts including hard drives and processors

Getting a custom-built PC will ensure you have the best parts, storage, processing capabilities, and operating system you need and leave room for upgrades and further customization. It will also give you the best technical support and warranty. If you are ready to get started, call or visit PC Geeks today.

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Reasons to Upgrade your PC’s Memory

A computer with limited RAM will likely suffer from a number of related problems such as multitasking slowing down the system, slower internet browsing speeds, and limited access to certain newer computer programs, and many other reasons besides.  It may be time to upgrade your PC’s memory for several reasons.

Reasons to Upgrade your PC's Memory

1. Avoiding Computer Slowdowns

The more RAM you have the better for multitasking and consistent operation speed. These days, most computer users are running quite a few programs at the same time so having the ability to run your typical load of programs without experiencing delay or system slowdown can be quite handy as it will allow you to avoid having to go off and close a bunch of programs in order to improve your system’s speed.

2. Access to more new programs

There are a lot of newer programs with bigger and bigger memory requirements and the bar is being raised more and more as time goes on. So, another important reason to consider a memory upgrade is so that the catalog of programs you are capable of using is as big as possible and that you don’t end up finding a program you would like to use but can’t because it requires far more computer memory than you currently have.

3. Web Browsing Speed

Despite how low-memory intensive it may seem at first, even casual web browsing can be improved if you have more memory. Upgrading your memory can result in your web pages loading faster, even if you have done nothing to the speed of your internet. Also on the increasingly rare occasion that you visit a website that still makes use of flash in its content, additional memory can also help you because it will allow your browser to load this content far quicker.

If you are wanting to upgrade your PC’s memory and would like some help in choosing the brand that will get you the most value for your money then contact us today for more tips and suggestions on which memory model is right for you!

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Data Recovery Tips and Suggestions

No matter how well you take care of your storage drives, everyone experiences data loss eventually and needs data recovery tips. Not to mention that all drives have a failure point which will result in the data stored on them being inaccessible from then on as soon as the drives reach that point.

Data Recovery Tips and Suggestions

In order to keep your data available, it is important to have multiple backups so that the data in question can be restored without having to rely on system restore points which, while useful, cannot always be relied upon to restore all lost data. Not to mention that system restore points won’t be much help if all your data is corrupted and you can’t access what is stored on a hard drive.

It is equally important to store multiple copies of your data backups, where possible so that having a single backup drive failure does not mean you are put in a position where your data cannot be retrieved. It may also be a good idea to have your data backed up both locally and in the cloud. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks and it can be beneficial to employ both in order to have your backups spread out so that one backup failing does not mean all of them will fail.

Beyond that, however, it is important that any cloud backup services you engage in are with a reliable company with a track record of backup service that has performed extremely well in the past. You do not want to employ a backup service that simply gets the job done just because they are the cheapest. Skimping on a data recovery service is rather akin to skimping on the cost of your power supply when building a computer. It can look good on the surface because you save money in doing so but has a tendency to screw you over in the long term.

Visit PC Geeks for more tips and suggestions about data recovery and your lost data as well as ideas on how to avoid having to go through the trouble of doing so in the future.

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Up Your Game with a Custom Gaming PC

Whether you’re a first-person shooter, a MMPORG raider, or a casual player who just wants to wallow in amazing graphics, a custom gaming PC may be the right solution for you.

Up Your Game with a Custom Gaming PC

Many gamers prefer to build their own PCs, but you don’t have to be an electronics enthusiast to get the best new gaming desktop for your style. PCGeeks can work with you to build a custom gaming computer to optimize your experience and get the most for your money.

Whether or not you’re building your own, here are some of the considerations you need to keep in mind when investing in the best gaming computer for you:

  • Graphics card (GPU): This is so important for gaming that it’s worth spending a large chunk of your budget on the best one you can afford. What’s the difference between lower-end and higher-end GPUs? Primarily, VRAM — the video memory your PC will use to render game images and motion. Aim for at least 4GB of VRAM, more if you can manage it.
  • Processor (CPU): Choose a recent model and check its benchmarks online — you’re looking for strong performance against others in the same class.
  • Motherboard: Up to you whether you want to plan on overclocking your PC (pushing the components to work faster than the maker intended). It’s not always a performance booster, and it can decrease the stability and life of your gaming PC, so make sure that when you overclock, it’s going to get you the speed you need.
  • Storage: Solid state drives (SSD) are going to be faster than traditional hard drives. They’re also more expensive, so plan accordingly.
  • RAM: More memory will boost your performance a bit.
  • CPU cooler: All this power is going to generate some heat. Consider investing in some protection, because an overheated PC is no fun at all.

And finally, let’s talk about style. You’re going to spend a lot of time looking at this rig. It’s worth it to make it look great. Express yourself with a custom case, paint and lighting! Talk to the experts at PCGeeks to make your custom computer dreams come true. Contact us to learn more.

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Breathing Life Into That Old Computer

An old computer tends to show its age. It can take forever to load up your web browser and not to mention the long boot up times. But there are steps you can take to breathe new life into an old computer. A word of caution: some of these methods involve opening up your desktop or laptop. If you are uncomfortable with this, please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.

Breathing Life Into That Old Computer

Dust and Overheating

A computer can run slow if it overheats. The best way to prevent this is to keep the vents clear and free of dust. Try to avoid smoking near a PC. This can cause dust to stick the blades of the fans and create a gunky substance that can be hard to clean.

Compressed air is the best way to clean out a dusty computer. This can be from canned duster or from an air compressor. Be sure to hold the fans as spinning them can cause damage to the fan and the system. NEVER use a household vacuum cleaner on bare electronics. The static generated by the vacuum cleaner can and will destroy electronics.

Rattling or slow moving fans can prevent airflow, which can cause it to overheat. If you notice any fans that are not working, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Finally, the computer should be out in the open. Keeping it inside of a closet, entertainment center, or desk drawer can restrict the flow of cool air. This causes the computer to breathe in hot air and overheat components. In the case of a laptop, try to rest it on a flat, hard surface. If applicable, use a stand to raise the bottom of the laptop up, allowing airflow through the bottom vents.

Upgrading

Computer components will show their age. Some older components may actually be holding your machine back. Older computers may need to have components upgraded to working at 100%.

Hard drive

The hard drive stores all the data a computer needs. Accessing this data can take a long time as hard drives are slow and can have a hard time accessing data. Replacing the hard drive with an SSD, or Solid State Drive, can make your computer more responsive.

RAM

If the hard drive is the long-term memory, the RAM, or Random Access Memory, is the short-term memory. If a computer runs out of memory, a computer can crash and result in data loss. If you want to inquire about a RAM upgrade, please contact us.

Let The Professionals Do It

If you would like a professional opinion, please contact us. We will be able to leverage our years of professional experience to get you exactly where you need to be.

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Last year saw the introduction of the much-anticipated 8th-gen Core processors from Intel, and, with them, came robust 6-core data chomping systems and the monstrous Coffee Lake H-series for gaming. Gaming PCs were everywhere – from MSI to Dell – and they all were stuffed full of beastly, high-performance parts.

What Need to Know About Your Next Gaming PC

But 2019 is different. And those 7-10 pound behemoths that need to be plugged in after 2 hours and could double as bicep-building gym equipment are out. Thin is in, and now you have got to compete with the MSI stealth, the Razer Blade 15, and the Gigabyte Aero. So the only question that remains is when are you going to build your own?

Let the experts help you out and head on over to PC Geeks for the latest on custom gaming pcs, pre-builds, and more.  From gaming desktops that will keep you in the game to razor-thin laptops with more firepower than a land-to-air-missile, PC Geeks has got premium parts, custom pcs, and gaming computers on standby to meet your every need.

Getting Granular with Custom Gaming PC Builds

We are talking about high-performing parts like Core i7 and i9 processors, Nvidia GeForce and Radeon video cards, DDR3 and DDR4 RAM, SSD drives, and full-HD and 4k displays. Plus, find power supply replacement, liquid cooling units, and all sorts of equipment upgrades, and you can find it all here in one spot. Moreover, you will also find expert repair services, and the pros at PC Geeks are glad to talk to you about anything gaming computer related.

Don’t get burned by carrying around a behemoth that you can fry an egg on and needs to be plugged in after a few hours. Build the laptop of your dreams – because the best gaming pc out there is the one that you build. Find thin designs, all day long battery life, maximum firepower, and mobility at PC Geek today!

 

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Recovering Lost Data

Data loss happens to everybody. It doesn’t matter how well you back up your files or how thorough you think your failsafes are; you will eventually suffer data loss. The important thing then is to have a plan for how you will deal with this data loss once it inevitably occurs. These tips should help give you a decent head start to either get your data back or minimize the severity of the loss.

Recovering Lost Data

#1: System Restore Points

This is a basic feature but it is one that a great many computer users seem to overlook. If you have a system restore point from before the loss took place then there is a chance you can simply roll your system back to that restore point and save your data that way. While this may not save all of your data, it should help with minimizing the loss.

#2: Recovery Software

If your data has already been lost and you want to try and get it back, there are a number of different programs you can get which can potentially retrieve some lost files on your hard drive. Of course, this depends on how the files were lost but it is an option worth considering if the data was lost to software issues or hard drive failure rather than more natural calamities like lightning overloading your drive.

#3: Restore from a Backup

If you happen to have a backup of the lost data then getting your data back will be extremely easy as you can just port the lost files over from your backup. This is doubly true if you back up your files to the cloud because cloud backups can be a good deal more reliable than local ones since the company that owns the backup server is most likely going to have backups and redundancies of their own which will make restoring files from this kind of backup much easier.

For more help recovering your lost data or preparing yourself so that your next data loss incident is not quite so severe contact us today!

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One of the biggest reasons people take their computers to repair specialists is because of internet connectivity issues. There are troubleshooting steps that can be taken whether the problem is lost connectivity, slow connectivity, or intermittent connectivity. Cellular internet connectivity refers to “data” download plans available via cellular phone services — the starting point of troubleshooting this type of connection should be done in the right place. Take note that it’s advised to obtain professional consultation in these matters, where data preservation and business continuity is critical.

Troubleshooting Cellular Internet Connectivity

If experiencing lost, slow, or intermittent connectivity on a cellular device, first check the strength of the cell phone network signal. Cellular phone service providers indicate signal strength via a display of 6 bars — a signal showing 3 or more bars means acceptable signal strength — less than 3 bars indicates a weak signal although this can be due to various reasons and vendor recommendations should be checked. A battery that is about to die can cause signal strength issues — make sure the battery is well-charged to rule out possible power problems with the device. Furthermore, make sure the internet data service is turned on if experiencing a connectivity issue.

Having ruled out the said causes, the next logical place to check is the device’s software. If a device is indicating that there is low memory or storage space, transfer some files off the device — programs can generally run better when there is more free space available. If storage space is not an issue, restarting or rebooting the device often resolves connectivity problems. Clearing an app’s cache or reinstalling the software in question can also help. If all else fails, backup all files and data and restore the phone to its manufacturer’s settings!

We specialize in a broad array of networking, internet, and general computer technologies. Please contact us for a consultation. Failing to correctly diagnose internet problems can result in business continuity issues.

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Laptop Memory Upgrades: A Brief Guide

Looking for a quick and affordable way to improve the performance of your laptop? One easy way to do this is to upgrade the Random Access Memory (or RAM) in your laptop, which could significantly improve your performance in many cases and give you a lot more leeway when it comes to multitasking. Most laptops today have 8GB of either DDR3 or DDR4 RAM installed by default. 8GB is perfectly fine, and is more than enough for most users, but if you plan on multitasking a lot or performing more demanding tasks (or, in some cases, even simply using multiple Google Chrome tabs!) then an upgrade will likely improve performance.

Laptop Memory Upgrades: A Brief Guide

Less than 8GB of RAM is generally inadvisable, and anything more than 16GB is overkill for most users. As a result, you would probably want to keep your RAM from 8GB to 16GB. In terms of RAM, quantity has a stronger impact than frequency- higher frequency memory can improve performance in some cases but this depends heavily upon workload and the application in question. In general, however, frequency and latency have very little impact on performance, so it’s better to spend less money to get more RAM than to spend more money for less RAM that is faster. For compatibility’s sake, it’s recommended to make sure that the RAM you are using has the same latency and frequency.

Something specific to consider is the type of memory supported by your laptop.  If you are unsure of this, it is always a good idea to check the laptop’s included documentation or to check online for your laptop specifications on the manufacturer’s website. Most Windows laptops use the SODIMM form factor, which is the acronym for Small Outline Dual In-Line Memory Module. SODIMM is a smaller version of the technology used in the full-size DIMM sticks used in desktop machines.

Since form factor is relatively simple, the main thing you need to consider when shopping for laptop RAM is the type of RAM used in your laptop. This is usually either DDR3 or DDR4 RAM. The two are not interchangeable, and you must get the type of RAM that is used by your laptop. DDR4 is the newer standard, but both can be affordable, fast, and easy to obtain.

Installing RAM upgrades for laptops is extremely simple- all you need is a static-free environment, a screwdriver, the replacement RAM, and optionally an ESD wrist strap. Make sure the laptop is powered off, unplugged, and remove the battery if it is removable. Next, make sure you ground yourself on an unpainted metal surface- this can be something like the edge of a desk or a nearby lamp, or even an unpainted metal surface within the laptop. Flip the laptop over and locate the removable plate that protects the RAM and remove this plate. Inside, you should see at least one SODIMM chip- if you need to remove one, pull the side clips away from the module to release it, which should pop up. Remove this module and insert the new module(s) by inserting them in the same way, holding the module by the sides and lining the notch in the module up with the “tooth” in the laptop’s SODIMM slot. Next, apply pressure evenly on both sides of the module and press it down firmly, and the module should lock in place. Put everything back together and you should be good to go!

Computer troubles and upgrades can be stressful and selecting parts can be a confusing process, but we are here to help! If you want to avoid the hassle and get help with part selection and installation from our professional technicians, contact us at one of our locations!

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How to Fix A Bluescreen On Your PC

If you have been a computer user for any significant length of time then it’s fairly likely that you have experienced the dreaded bluescreen of death. This problem is amongst the most annoying issues found on the computer and the steps to fixing or overcoming it aren’t always obvious as they can be happening for any number of different reasons which can all potentially have different solutions.

How to Fix A Bluescreen On Your PC

These solutions can range from something as simple as installing system updates to being so extreme that they require a factory reset of your system. However, most of the causes for a bluescreen fall somewhere in-between these two extremes. That may sound bad but if you attempt these solutions then you will likely succeed in overcoming your bluescreen problem.

#1: Install Updates

While this is unlikely to solve a bluescreen, installing updates to your computer can result in the bluescreen being fixed as they are sometimes caused by problems with your OS. However, this is rare and you should not expect a simple installation of updates to fix your problem.

#2: Install the latest Drivers

A blue screen can be caused by hardware and software incompatibilities so one of the possible solutions for a bluescreen is to make sure you have the most recent versions of your device drivers installed in case an incompatibility issue with drivers is causing your bluescreen problem.

#5: Roll Back to a prior Restore Point

The final possible solution requires that you have access to restore points. A blue screen issue could potentially have been introduced between restore points so if you roll your system back far enough then it should remove the problem. But this does require that you have made a point to use the system restore point feature. If you have decided to not create restore points then the only alternative to this is to literally reset your computer to its factory settings.

For more ways to resolve your bluescreen problem, contact PC Geeks today for more tips and suggestions on potential solutions.