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Mike I'm actually inclined to agree with you in regards to prefering desktop to laptops, however despite the relatively high cost ratio of laptops to comparable desktops, the mobility factor of the laptop is simply unbeatable. Being able to go anywhere, anytime, and plop down where there's a signal/hot spot and pull up AvP, CoD, etc, watch movies or perform any other computer stuff with the horsepower to do it is pure joy...

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My anit-virus is geting ready to expire I'm thinking about switching from trend micro. I know norton is worth it but any other alternatives?

Not sure Norton is worth it.....

Alternatives?

AVG, Avast, Microsoft Security Essentials, Avira, Bitdefender. I use Symantec Endpoint Protection (the corporate edition of Norton that doesn't consume system resources and is significantly less annoying).

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I guess my computer's about three. It's a first-gen Core i7... 920, I think. 12GB of RAM, Asus Sabertooth mobo, GTX 465 graphics. I can't honestly say I've had trouble with any games, so I'm not sure I honestly need to upgrade at all, but I definitely have that itch. While I could easily afford a GTX 660Ti right now with what I've got stashed away for upgrades, a part of me feels like it's time to start on a whole new box.

I have been looking at building a new box but I have other needs that require my attention...like a new lens for my DSLR...

...

Then again, fall is coming...

Well, if you're thinking about migrating to the living room for the colder months ahead, then yeah a laptop would be a much better buy. But if hibernating in the man cave is where you want to be in the winter, then consider satisfying that upgrade itch.

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Alternatives?

AVG, Avast, Microsoft Security Essentials, Avira, Bitdefender. I use Symantec Endpoint Protection (the corporate edition of Norton that doesn't consume system resources and is significantly less annoying).

I don't really have a really useful opinion but I just want to say that every anti-virus software I've every used has been obnoxious in some way or another. I've used AVG, Avast, MSE,Norton and McAfee and I've found reason to hate all of them.

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Do you guys suggest any malware protection for Mac? I know Mac has gatekeeper already installed as an inherent part of the OS, and I don't really frequent malware prone sites, but still, is it worth it?

I have access to Norton free, which is why I'm asking, but I'd rather not fill up the computer with unnecessary programs.

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Not sure Norton is worth it.....

Alternatives?

AVG, Avast, Microsoft Security Essentials, Avira, Bitdefender. I use Symantec Endpoint Protection (the corporate edition of Norton that doesn't consume system resources and is significantly less annoying).

Norton IS actually isn't bad. It's been getting top marks for detection and removal among paid consumer AV software, and the recent versions are much lighter and less obtrusive than the bossy resource hog that made up previous versions. It's actually a requirement for my online grad school, so I have it on the laptop that I use pretty much just for school. If you're going to use a paid antivirus that isn't a corporate edition, go with Norton.

But on most of my Windows computers, I use Microsoft Security Essentials. It's not quite as hands off as Norton, since it still bugs me every two weeks to do a scan while Norton runs its scans whenever the computer is on but idle, but it's super light, less bothersome than most free AVs, and has a great detection rate. If something gets by it, it's not as hot at removal, but on par with the other freebies. I honestly can't think of a reason to use any other free AV software (but keep Malwarebytes handy in case something goes wrong).

Az, we use Symantec Endpoint at work and it seems really good, but I've been hearing some really good stuff about Sophos. Any thoughts?

Do you guys suggest any malware protection for Mac?

So far, I don't use anything on either of my two Macs, but it's worth pointing out that Macs are not inherently more secure, just less of target. An IT security expert once said something like Windows is like a house in a bad neighborhood with locks on the doors and bars on the windows, while Mac is like a house in the countryside with no neighbors around but the front door is unlocked. The iPad, iPod, and iPhone are definitely increasing interest in Macs, though, which is going to make them more of a target. How much longer my Macs go unprotected remains to be seen.

For what it's worth, the same thing is true about Android. I don't use any AV on my phone or my Nexus 7, but I expect Android to be an attractive target for malware makers in the coming years. For now, though, the iPad and iPhones get a pass, since the only way to get new software on them without jailbreaking is through the App Store.

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Yeah, I hear you. I make sure to add a lot of security [Norton] to my windows computers (A desktop and two laptops), but I don't bother to do anything with the Nexus 7, iPhone, or iPad.

As for the Mac, I've yet to really experience much of a malware issue yet, but we'll see how long that lasts. As for Mac being an open door, Apple seems to be improving with OS X mountain lion, but obviously it's still not as secure as a dedicated program.

I'm just worried though, cuz I'd rather not have a 2400 dollar laptop destroyed by malware.....

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I'm just worried though, cuz I'd rather not have a 2400 dollar laptop destroyed by malware.....

I'd rather not spend $2400 on a laptop that has the same specs as a $1000 laptop but with a form factor I don't like.

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I'd rather not spend $2400 on a laptop that has the same specs as a $1000 laptop but with a form factor I don't like.

What's so bad about the form factor of a MacBook? I think it looks pretty spiffy compared to my windows laptops (this is my first mac ever). But I guess that's more of a personal opinion. And I really don't think it's fair to say it has the same specs as a 1000 dollar laptop.

A retina screen, 16 GB RAM, an Ivy Bridge Processor, NVidia GeForce GT 650, and around 500 GB SSD all in a shell that is almost as thin as a macbook air.

Come on, that's hard to beat by laptop standards today!

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Az, we use Symantec Endpoint at work and it seems really good, but I've been hearing some really good stuff about Sophos. Any thoughts?

I've heard it works decently. Symantec is slightly better in performance/threat-detection. If you're running Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) now, I'd stick with it.

So far, I don't use anything on either of my two Macs, but it's worth pointing out that Macs are not inherently more secure, just less of target. ... How much longer my Macs go unprotected remains to be seen.

Ummm...the Flashback-trojan that came out earlier this year or the OSX/Crisis-trojan from a month or 2 ago. And let's not forget the Java 7 (pre-Update 7) exploit which is cross-platform (thank Oracle for that one). You can survive without protection but you are, by no means, safe. As to who offers the best? Hard to say right now. We don't have any good metrics right now to judge against. This is arguable, but most AV solutions for Mac OS right now are more of a hindrance than helpful. But that's just now. This will probably change.

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What's so bad about the form factor of a MacBook? I think it looks pretty spiffy compared to my windows laptops (this is my first mac ever). But I guess that's more of a personal opinion. And I really don't think it's fair to say it has the same specs as a 1000 dollar laptop.

A retina screen, 16 GB RAM, an Ivy Bridge Processor, NVidia GeForce GT 650, and around 500 GB SSD all in a shell that is almost as thin as a macbook air.

Come on, that's hard to beat by laptop standards today!

lets see: no removable battery, no 10 key, no Blu-ray player, half as many USB ports, no eSATA port, no HDMI (except on the retina), no VGA port, no dedicated left/right-click buttons for the touch-pad, and most importantly no 17-inch display option.

And on the subject of price: a 15-inch non-retina with the same processor, the same hard drive, the same ram and the same graphics card with 1/4 the dedicated memory as the 17-inch laptop I just bought costs $2,150 vs the $1,130 I payed for mine.

Edited by anime52k8

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Well, I've purchased the retina model, which I believe does have its advantages, for me at least.

Portability is an issue for me, and the rMBP is not only remarkably thin, but light as well. 17 inches is just way to large/heavy for me.

Also, I'd like to add the fact that the retina display, anyway you look at it, is a huge bonus.

As for the removable battery, it doesn't bother me much, but yes, I guess it may be a problem later down the road. The retina does have HDMI output as you said, and has 2 USB 3.0 ports, which is enough for most people.

And to jam all that in such an elegant and thin form factor most likely drives up cost. I'm not sugercoating macs as cheap, their definitely not, but you do very much get some advantages with them.

As for the lack of a 10 key, it's not really that bug a deal, and the glass trackpad is light years ahead of many pc options I've seen. Blue ray player? I had one on my old laptop and rarely used it. Tbh, I never really even use a disc drive.

If I need blu ray, I'd use a ps3, but I guess that's of more importance to you than me.

I think we are approaching this in very different angles. Raw power and tech seem to be your concern, whilst i'm more interested in form factor and display. It's not surprising we don't agree.

Edited by Archer

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OK, router time. Mainly interested in compatability/reliability over raw speed/range. That said, this is everything that may be hooked up to it in the foreseeable future:

ipad

iphone

X360

PS3

Any suggestions? I have seen a few reports than Netgear's uber-popular N900 routers don't like iphones. I am strongly considering true dual-band due to the latest iphones being 5ghz capable.

Also--do external antennas matter? Some routers don't seem to have them, but if they make even a 5% difference, I'm all for having them.

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Perhaps Cisco/Linksys? DLink?

Do external antennas matter? Depends on the layout of your home. When I switched from a Linksys WRT54GS to a E4200, I lost a little signal due to an internalized antenna. But it has to go through a ceiling/floor, and a few walls so I had a lower signal on my old router to start with (not to mention not being exactly in the center of the home either). And I didn't notice until I got an iPad and noticed the drop in signal. I've debated deploying one of my old routers as a bridge-AP just to get better signal but it didn't annoy me that much after a month. And I still haven't deployed it so it probably isn't that big of a deal.

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Mike I'm actually inclined to agree with you in regards to prefering desktop to laptops, however despite the relatively high cost ratio of laptops to comparable desktops, the mobility factor of the laptop is simply unbeatable. Being able to go anywhere, anytime, and plop down where there's a signal/hot spot and pull up AvP, CoD, etc, watch movies or perform any other computer stuff with the horsepower to do it is pure joy...

I think I might have just hit my deal breaker.

An MSI laptop with a 17" 1920x1080 screen, 2.3GHz Core i7, 12GB of RAM, and a GTX 670M will run me about $1450.

I can build a desktop with a 3.4GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 2TB hard drive, and a GTX 660ti graphics card for around $1200. In addition to having a Blu-ray burner, the desktop will actually end up with 3TB of storage, since I'll reuse a drive from my current desktop. Or, I may reuse the DVD drive I have, since I'm honestly not sure if I'd ever burn a Blu-ray, and spend that money on an SSD boot drive.

Now, as you said, the portability is awesome. It might even be worth the extra $250.

Except that, in terms of performance, it's not. Futuremark has a 3D Mark GPU score of 2830 for the GTX 670M. The GTX 660ti scores a 8560. Higher is better.

Well, if you're thinking about migrating to the living room for the colder months ahead, then yeah a laptop would be a much better buy. But if hibernating in the man cave is where you want to be in the winter, then consider satisfying that upgrade itch.

I'm not sure where I'd rather play, but with that kind of difference in performance, I'll drag the tower upstairs and hook it up to the TV. Steam's got a new beta interface for just that purpose, I hear, so I won't even have to change the resolution to see from the sofa.

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I think I might have just hit my deal breaker.

An MSI laptop with a 17" 1920x1080 screen, 2.3GHz Core i7, 12GB of RAM, and a GTX 670M will run me about $1450.

I can build a desktop with a 3.4GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 2TB hard drive, and a GTX 660ti graphics card for around $1200. In addition to having a Blu-ray burner, the desktop will actually end up with 3TB of storage, since I'll reuse a drive from my current desktop. Or, I may reuse the DVD drive I have, since I'm honestly not sure if I'd ever burn a Blu-ray, and spend that money on an SSD boot drive.

Now, as you said, the portability is awesome. It might even be worth the extra $250.

Except that, in terms of performance, it's not. Futuremark has a 3D Mark GPU score of 2830 for the GTX 670M. The GTX 660ti scores a 8560. Higher is better.

I'm not sure where I'd rather play, but with that kind of difference in performance, I'll drag the tower upstairs and hook it up to the TV. Steam's got a new beta interface for just that purpose, I hear, so I won't even have to change the resolution to see from the sofa.

Hmmm...Well sounds to me like you've got some thinking to do. I would be ok with the performance hit for the sake of mobility even beyond the home, but you might not be. Keep us updated!

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I don't know if any of you guys have experience with this, bit I just bought a new phone (iPhone) and it has 2-3 dead pixels. It's hard to tell if you don't look, but now that I know, I can't help but only stare at it.

Any way to get pixels to work again, or am I screwed with a brand new phone for the next two years with dead pixels.

Does this warrant a replacement (it's been a day since I purchased it).

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Does this warrant a replacement (it's been a day since I purchased it).

It should. You'll need to go to an Apple store and get them to replace the screen. From the tear-downs that have come up, the screen is easy to replace so you should be able to go in and get a replacement screen. As for Apple's dead-pixel policy, you'll have to check with Apple. Another question is if there are any replacements yet, I have no clue. They might end up giving you a new phone since I doubt there are barely any replacement parts yet.

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Yeah, I went down to the apple store. The guy there said that they'd have replacement screens in the future, but as of now, no replacement screens were available.

He gave me a replacement device, which I think is a brand new one due its still having screen seals and I doubt they'd have second hand issues one day in.

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OK, router time. Mainly interested in compatability/reliability over raw speed/range. That said, this is everything that may be hooked up to it in the foreseeable future:

ipad

iphone

X360

PS3

Any suggestions? I have seen a few reports than Netgear's uber-popular N900 routers don't like iphones. I am strongly considering true dual-band due to the latest iphones being 5ghz capable.

Also--do external antennas matter? Some routers don't seem to have them, but if they make even a 5% difference, I'm all for having them.

Depends on your budget, i'd suggest going to smallnetbuilder.com and reading the reviews there on throughput on 2.4, 5 and simultaneous throughput. Overall the router of choice is the ASUS RT-N56U, with certain matches going to the RT-N66U. Antennas do make a difference but it also depends on the environment. I personally own an RT-AC66U, but if i were you i wouldn't invest in Wireless AC yet, not strictly due to the minimal NIC support at this time but more due to the fact that AC is only in rev1 and using 3 spatial streams (4 in business level gear). In rev2 it is poised to leverage 8 spatial streams and provide more consistent and real world throughput. ASUS routers are also Tomato/DD-WRT capable so if you hate the stock firmware (to be honest they have the best out of the box firmware of every consumer router i've used), then you can flash it to one of your choosing. I own all of the devices you've mentioned and have seen no compatibility issues with my router (and my router has only been on the market for a couple months), and throughput numbers on both 2.4 and 5 Ghz has been quite impressive. Only caveat of any of the aforementioned routers is price; AC66U hovers around $180, N66U around $150 and N56 U around $90 when on sale, they typically retail about $10-30 more than that. None of these routers will leave you disappointed, stock firmware gives you most of the features you would use on third party software, USB HDD/Printer support, Jumbo frame support (for NAS or SAN), dynamic DNS, etc. etc.

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Ignoring price, is there any reason to buy the N56U over the N66U?

Internalized antennas. Probably less complicated.

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As more and more stuff gets released on 3D Blu-Ray I've been tempted to jump in. With many 3D science fiction movies being released I hope this is considered on topic. I've asked in a few other forums so so far I've gotten no replies.

I just purchased a new PC with the following:

AMD Radeon HD 7570 1GB GDDR5 video card

Blu-ray Disc BD-RE (Writes BD at 8x)

And I just ordered the Samsung S27A950D 3D monitor

What else do I need to be able to enjoy 3D Blu-Ray movies?

I've read stuff on-line that implies that's it. I've read many cases were people say they can't get the Blu-Ray 3D to play. And everything I've read on-line so far is very contradictory or very dated or both.

I even went to Best Buy today in the hopes someone there could set me strait and the general impression I got was they had no clue.

One googled a bit and suggested that I may need a 3D Blu-Ray drive and that it needed to specify 3D Blu-Ray. Like this one:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827106369

He also suggested that I may need a special 3D video player or some special codecs.

Anyone here done this? I should have the monitor by the end of the week and was hoping to get everything in place by then.

Thanks,

Carl

Edited by wwwmwww

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You don't need a Blu-ray drive that specifies that it can play 3D. You do need a Blu-ray drive if you plan on playing Blu-ray discs.

That said, to playback 3D, you need playback software that can convert video from 2D to 3D. Modern versions of Cyberlink, Sonic, Arcsoft, etc., should all have 3D playback capability. Otherwise, you will need to assemble a long list of decoders.

You need a video card that supports stereoscopic 3D playback. The Radeon HD 7570 supports it so you're fine there.

You will need a monitor with 3D support...which you already got, so you're fine.

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Ordered the ASUS N56U, Newegg had a 20 buck off coupon for it today, so that made it *much* cheaper than the 66.

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Does anyone here use OpenDNS?

I've had this problem lately where, after running my bittorrent client for a little bit, my internet connection would drop. After poking at the different links in the internet chain, I'm pretty sure it's my router. Resetting the router would bring my internet back up in short order.

Today, I was doing a little torrenting. My network gave me no trouble, and after completing my download and turning off my desktop, my wife had no troubles getting on on her laptop. Later still, I had no trouble getting onto my laptop.

Then out of the blue, my laptop reports that it's connected to my network, but there's no connection. I grab my iPad and verify it's the same there. So I reset my network. Didn't help. Reset it again, still didn't help. I notice, though, that Chrome on the iPad was telling me that it couldn't find Google.com because it couldn't resolve the DNS. Now, ages ago, I set my router to use OpenDNS's DNS servers instead of getting them automatically from my ISP. On a whim, I log into my router and change the DNS servers to Google's public DNS servers. After saving the settings, I'm back online. I went to Down for Everyone or Just Me, put in 208.67.222.222, and it came back with it being down for everyone... but I don't know what criteria they use, and if it could accurately report on the status of a DNS server anyway.

TLDR; anyone having problems with OpenDNS today?

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TLDR; anyone having problems with OpenDNS today?

Nope. But I also don't use OpenDNS directly on my router. I've had problems with OpenDNS and BitTorrent in the past so I don't input the OpenDNS IPs directly on the router end but on the workstation end.

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I tried OpenDNS for a little while, until I realized it was causing my issues with Xbox Live.

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Nope. But I also don't use OpenDNS directly on my router. I've had problems with OpenDNS and BitTorrent in the past so I don't input the OpenDNS IPs directly on the router end but on the workstation end.

Do you have the router set to automatically use the ISP's, or something else?

The most compelling reason I had to use OpenDNS was that it wasn't my ISP's, who I prefer to know as little about me as possible. But is there any reason to use OpenDNS vs. Google's public DNS?

And David, for what it's worth, I never had an Xbox Live issue, just a complete inability to open any web pages.

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Do you have the router set to automatically use the ISP's, or something else?

Mine is set to use my ISP's.

The most compelling reason I had to use OpenDNS was that it wasn't my ISP's, who I prefer to know as little about me as possible.

Same here. But when I started having issues with OpenDNS, beyond using BitTorrent (like entire sites being unreachable when using their DNS), this made me question OpenDNS's overall uptime/maintenance/reliability/overactive security. But at the same time, I didn't want to throw it away so I manually added OpenDNS's IPs to my computer's DNS list. Having a little more reliability started to trump "unresolvable" hosts in the end for me.

But is there any reason to use OpenDNS vs. Google's public DNS?

Security vs. Speed. OpenDNS does more filtering. It's a good thing security-wise but some hosts can be unresolvable even though you know they exists. And it may take some time before OpenDNS resolves it correctly. Google doesn't do OpenDNS's level of filtering but at the same time, who knows what Google is doing with all that data they deal with. Regarding speed, Google has been faster overall but it really depends on where you are.

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Security vs. Speed. OpenDNS does more filtering. It's a good thing security-wise but some hosts can be unresolvable even though you know they exists. And it may take some time before OpenDNS resolves it correctly. Google doesn't do OpenDNS's level of filtering but at the same time, who knows what Google is doing with all that data they deal with. Regarding speed, Google has been faster overall but it really depends on where you are.

Hmm. I guess I'll try Google's for awhile. I can always switch back later.

Oh, and it looks like new desktop won out. Newegg's running some deals. I ordered an NZXT Phantom case for $99 and free shipping, and an EVGA stock GTX 660 ti for $279. Plus there's a rebate on the case.

Don't know if I'm ready to buy the rest yet, since my dad's telling me he wants to buy my old computer but won't have the money until later. But I can always use the card in my current box, and I think the case will keep a month or two.

Edited by mikeszekely

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Ok, I'm building a gaming PC. I'm expecting 4-5 SATA devices, no IDE, and while I'll be building it with a single GPU I want the option to get a second one down the road. This stuff is going into a large case. I need to pick a mobo, and I'm torn. I'm looking at two boards from Asus, the P8Z77-V and the Maximus V Gene. The P8Z77-V is a bigger board with more room to grown in the future, but the Maximus V Gene looks like it meets my requirements despite being a mATX board, and it's got some good reviews.

What do you guys think?

EDIT: Nevermind, I went with the P8Z77-V. So I'm putting it into an NZXT Phantom White case with a Core i7-3770K, 2 8GB sticks of Kingtson HyperX Blu Red series RAM, and an EVGA GeForce 660ti. I've got a 128GB Kingston HyperX SSD to boot off of, and a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black drive for my games, and a Samsung DVD burner with Lightscribe. I'm powering it with an Antec HCG-750w PSU. I'd like to get a third hard drive for storage, and I haven't ruled out a Blu-ray burner, but they'll have to come a little later.

Edited by mikeszekely

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Hey what's the best way to send large files? I need to send 200mb worth of photos but my standard email only allows 20mb. I don't want to send ten people 20 emails each.

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File locker site. Or use Google Drive.

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