Tag Archives: CPU

What Is an HBA

Host Bus AdapterHost Bus Adapter (HBA) is a tricky issue to cover. I don’t think there is a proper source that explains exactly what the function of an HBA is. From my understanding, the definition of this component arose from different sources combining knowledge into one bowl that eventually gave a sort of definition that some might understand and some won’t understand at all.

Well, I am here to make sense of it all for you and to prepare this one article that will summarize the HBA functionality.

HBA is a component that, as the name implies, connects to the Bus (these days the PCIe) in the host. A host is usually defined as the activator of the procedure, in our case it usually means a server.

The job description of this component is to connect the host to an external piece of hardware, usually a SAN (Storage Area Network), through a switch or any other type of storage out there.

There are a few different types of connections. RJ-45, which is what most know as Ethernet connectivity in 1GbE and 10GbE, is reserved to the NIC and server/network adapters (I will explain those in the future). This leaves the HBA with Fibre Channel and SFP (Small Form-Factor Pluggable) connectivity. There are other connectors such as SCSI but this is obsolete and I wouldn’t want you to bother with it. Let’s focus on what matters these days.

So why is the HBA important? Well, back in the day, like with everything else, the CPU used to be in charge of the data transfer between the hardware devices and it took the CPUs time and effort away from focusing on what really matters – calculations.

With the HBA around, the CPU can focus on its task and the HBA can be In charge of the data transfer and connectivity between the devices.

Let’s get back to the connectivity for now. The most popular connectivity that is associated with the HBA is Fibre Channel. It comes in 4Gb/s, 8Gb/s and the recent and blazing fast 16Gb/s. Fibre Channel is currently the most preferable connectivity for devices but the cost of implementation has led the industry to steer away from Fibre Channel to FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet). SFP converged Network Adapters can accept the FC (Fibre Channel) protocol and the SFP protocol, which also lowers the cost since it’s an Ethernet protocol.

However, the fastest connectivity out there is without doubt IB (Infiniband). With up to 56Gb/s data transfer rate, no one can compete with it. However, due to the lack of competition in this industry IB pricing by Mellanox is pretty steep, even compared to Fibre Channel. This technology is the fastest without any doubt, but also a bit isolated from the mainstream, pushing Fibre Channel back to the spotlight.

To conclude, the HBA is an integral component of almost any infrastructure solution that does not involve Ethernet connectivity. Usually designed for higher speeds that Ethernet cannot supply (10GbE+), not many businesses will implement such an expensive solution. To those who are thinking of moving to FC, IB or FCoE I hope that now you have a better understanding of the necessary components to connect the dots.

How to Build a Gaming PC

Build a Gaming PCOne of the ultimate highs you can achieve as a gamer is sitting back and playing your favorite title on your computer. I don’t mean a store-bought system, I mean your own, well thought out, chose my components, radical design and look dream machine. Unfortunately, that dream never becomes a reality for most. Many gamers think building a computer involves massive technical, mechanical and computer science skills. Nothing could be more untrue!

Believe it or not having the fun and satisfaction of choosing your graphics card, processor, power supply, motherboards, RAM, hard drive and a case will not lead to a final installation disaster.

You won’t need a soldering gun, sophisticated testing devices or worry about a hospital trip via electrocution! Most of the parts in your home-made computer build will quickly snap together. A few screws will need to be tightened, so if you can use a simple screwdriver you are golden.

The most difficult technical task you may encounter could involve applying some thermal paste between your CPU and heat sink unit. If that task gives you sleepless nights, don’t worry. Many CPU’s have the heat sink and fan attached.

You can build a computer in three easy steps.

The first step is developing a budget for a gaming computer. You can create an economical gaming system for $500 or go radical and spend thousands and thousands. A great homemade computer, handling any of today’s most popular games is usually built for right around $1,000.

Once you have a budget, look at what components are needed and the case you want to put them in. Here is where you play the mad scientist. Here is where you will have the most fun by researching the best brands for your dollar, seeking the coolest looking components and making sure they are all compatible and will fit nicely into the case you chose to house them in.

The assembly, which I said is a snap, is the icing on the cake, the achievement of your goal! It’s now time to load your favorite game and soak in the high!!

I hope this article motivated you to build your gaming computer. Now it’s time to research components and join forums that have similar computer builds to share their expertise. Don’t be overwhelmed with how many components you will have because when you finish building your rock solid gaming PC, you will appreciate the knowledge you’ve gained.

Intel Vs AMD

Intel Vs AMDIf you are building your own computer it might seem like a no-brainer when it comes to choosing your CPU. The CPU is your computer processing unit and is truly the brain of your computer responsible for the fast movement of data and tasks.

So what’s the no-brainer? If I’m building a computer I’m heading to Intel, right? Not so fast. AMD also fits the needs of gamers quite well.

It is an industry given that Intel makes the fastest processors on Earth. But while that factor is huge AMD has made a positive impression on the gaming community with lower process prices and near Intel performance.

If you are building a computer both Intel and AMD is user-friendly and can be tweaked. In the current market, both AMD and Intel processor technology should remain where it is for next few years at least. So don’t worry about your processor going obsolete tomorrow.

When looking at new processors for your gaming computer build, keep your eyes on gigahertz (GHz). A gaming computer, which needs to handle multiple assignments quickly can function at 2.5GHz but for optimal performance should be in the 3.5GHz plus range. Top of the line gaming computers usually achieve a 4.0GHz output.

Also, the more multiple CPU cores, the better for gaming. If budget is a concern, for your money you are going to get fewer cores with Intel options and more with AMD. With that said, though, Intel cores are more efficient so it might be apples to apple decision.

All the top Intel and AMD processors are in that sweet spot 4.0GHz output with multi cores. They range in price from around $70 to over $300 depending on a number of cores and the GHz output.

It’s hard to beat Intel, but I wouldn’t dread using an AMD processor for gaming if it meets all my needs and falls within my budget.

The most modern Intel processors are the Intel Pentium G3258, Intel Core i54690K and the Intel Core i74790K.

On the AMD side of the ledger look out for the AMD Athlon X4 860K, AMD FX 6300, AMD FX 8320, AMD FX 8350 or the AMD FX 9590.

The ultimate winner for gaming in the Intel-AMD battle?

You be the judge of that!

Do your research in building your gaming computer and you will gain the knowledge of each hardware component.