New Computer? Don’t Forget About the Monitor

There are many things to consider and budget for when planning a custom PC build. At the heart of this process is the usage scenario. What exactly will your PC be doing most of the time? If you’re gaming, what kinds of games will you be playing? Besides the internal hardware of your PC, you must also carefully consider the display that you will use. Computer monitors vary greatly, and just like the PC itself, the monitor you will need depends primarily on the usage scenario.

New Computer? Don't Forget About the Monitor

When looking at a monitor, the two most impactful factors on the viewing experience are a) the refresh rate and b) the screen resolution. The refresh rate is the rate at which the pixels refresh to display an image, and the higher that rate is, the smoother the viewing experience. This is especially beneficial for faster paced games that require lightning reflexes. The screen resolution of a monitor is the density of the pixels in a length times width format. Some common resolutions are 1080p (1920 x 1080), 2k (2560 x 1440), and 4k (3840 x 2160). A higher screen resolution means the display image will be more crisp and exact.

The most important quality to remember is balance. What monitor you purchase will be determined by the hardware in your PC, primarily between the processor and graphics card components. The expectations that you have for a monitor should match the power of the hardware in your PC. For example, you shouldn’t expect a budget gaming computer build to run modern games at 4k with a smooth 60 fps. Understanding the components in a computer will help you to choose the correct monitor for your new build.

Ready to plan your new setup? By consulting with experienced builders, you can be sure to balance your computer with your display monitor, making your overall gaming experience more enjoyable and maximizing the use of your budget as efficiently as possible. Be sure to contact us for information about any current or future PC builds.

Why You Should Update Your Computer’s Firmware

In the past, most people never bothered to update their computer’s firmware, or BIOS as it was called in the PC world, even though it was possible to do so. Nowadays, with mobile devices, firmware updates are frequent. They’re also becoming more frequent for desktop users. Why should an ordinary computer user bother?

Why You Should Update Your Computer's Firmware

What is Firmware?

Firmware is a piece of software that controls the low-level functions in the computer. It’s a bridge between the hardware and the operating system. In modern PCs, it’s known as UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). Some computer manufacturers still may refer to it as the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), because that was the term used when the original IBM PC was created.

Why Update Firmware?

The biggest reason to update your computer’s firmware is to improve security. Malware that targets firmware can be insidious, surviving reboots or even replacing the hard drive. Attackers are getting increasingly sophisticated in targeting the firmware to gain control of the computer. Manufacturers are releasing updates to try to stay ahead of them. Firmware updates also fix bugs to keep your computer working in optimum condition.

How to Update Firmware

Updating firmware is easy. To find updated firmware, your computer manufacturer might have installed a utility that automatically updates your drivers and firmware. Otherwise, you’ll have to navigate to your manufacturer’s website and locate the correct firmware update for your machine. If you built your PC yourself, you’ll find firmware updates on the motherboard manufacturer’s website.

To update the firmware, you’ll download a utility that will “flash,” or install, the firmware to your computer. When it runs, it’s very important that you not turn off your computer while it updates or you might find it permanently becomes unusable, or “bricked.”

Now that you can see how easy updating your computer’s firmware is, there’s no reason not to do it. If you have any questions about firmware or need any help, please feel free to get in touch with us.