Posts Tagged hardware

The Plugable USB 3 Ethernet Adapter and Linux

📅 January 25, 2017
eth01USB 3.0/3.1 is fast enough to accommodate almost any external device at full speed. This includes network adapters.

Need an extra RJ-45 network port on your system? Do you have a portable netbook or laptop that you need to plug into a LAN quickly?

The Plugable USB 3 ethernet adapter is a small device that allows you to connect a computer to a LAN through a USB port. It offers full duplex throughput up to gigabit speeds if connected to a USB 3.0/3.1 port. And best of all, it is 100% plug-and-play compatible with Linux.

Here are my results after using this device with Linux Mint 18.1 and USB 2/3/3.1.

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Asus Xonar DSX and Linux

📅 January 23, 2017
coverBuzzzzz. Whiiiiiine. Zzzzzzzzpt. Beep. Beep. Bi-bi-bi-bi-biiiiiip.

On an inexpensive, low-end motherboard utilizing an ALC892 audio system, these are the analog sounds heard through headphones when moving the mouse.

Dragging windows. Selecting portions of an image in GIMP. Moving the mouse cursor. Every time the wired USB mouse moves, electronic interference is heard in the form of annoying beeps and buzzes.

Would a dedicated sound card improve the existing motherboard audio? I was immensely impressed with the superior audio quality of the Asus Xonar DX sound card, so I thought I would try a lower-priced version: the Asus Xonar DSX sound card.

Here are my results with Linux Mint 18.

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Experience Better Sound in Linux with the Asus Xonar DX Sound Card

📅 January 13, 2017
coverSo, you have finally constructed your ultimate tower of silicon greatness featuring quad SLI, NVMe storage, 4TB SSD data, 4K monitors, the latest multi-core CPU, maxed out RAM, and…what? You’re still using motherboard audio? You poor thing. Let’s fix that.

This article looks at the Asus Xonar DX PCIe sound card running in Linux and compares it with existing motherboard audio featuring the ALC1150, which is found on most higher-end motherboards these days.

Is there a difference in sound quality between a dedicated sound card and motherboard audio? Here are my tests and opinions from using the two myself.

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Adding USB 3.1 to Linux

📅 January 10, 2017
coverLinux supports USB 3.1 in the kernel. Why not show Linux some love and give it the hardware to use?

‘Tis a pity, but USB 3.0 is slow. Well, slow compared to SATA 6Gbps and the blazing fast M.2 NVMe. USB 3.0 tops out at ~440 MBps for external SSDs while SATA maxes out at ~540 MBps…depending upon the quality of the SSD.

Let’s go faster!

That is what USB 3.1 is for. The best part is that the prices have fallen, and you do not have to wait for future USB 3.1 motherboards. If you are running Linux, then you can add USB 3.1 to your existing system now. Even if your motherboard is an older model that only supports USB 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0, you can install inexpensive PCIe USB 3.1 cards to provide the faster ports and reap the benefits.

This article looks at the QICENT Dual-port USB 3.1 PCIe card and tests its performance on two different motherboards with PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 2.0.

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Better PlayStation Video with RGB SCART

📅 October 15, 2016
ff7-1-ps1-scart-comboYearning to play games on an original PlayStation console but dislike the poor video quality?

Most modern HDTVs available today only offer HDMI and maybe component video inputs — neither of which the PlayStation (PSX/PS1/PSOne) supports.

However, the PSX outputs RGB (red/green/blue) signals through its video output port to produce the best colors and picture quality.

How can we use RGB with today’s HDMI televisions and monitors? This requires two items: a PSX SCART cable and a SCART-to-HDMI converter. With these, we can achieve almost pixel-perfect sharpness and colors from a nearly 20-year-old gaming console.

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Samsung EVO 128GB MicroSD and Linux

📅 July 29, 2016
evo128_frontWhat? Is a 200GB MicroSD card too much storage space?

The 128GB capacity cards are plentiful, and one good card worth considering is the Samsung EVO 128GB microsd. It is compatible with Linux, it offers decent read and write speeds, and it features the quality we expect from Samsung.

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SanDisk 200GB MicroSD, Linux, and the PSP

📅 July 20, 2016
200g1What? 128GB is not enough space for your camera? How about something larger…

The ubiquitous, tiny memory card format is becoming available in increasing capacities. While 256G versions are available, they are expensive due to their recent entry onto the market.

What to do? Why, use a 200G capacity card, of course! Its much lower price point (compared to a 256GB card) and larger capacity over a 128G card offers plenty of space for digital goodies.

The SanDisk Ultra 200GB MicroSD card is a class 10, UHS-1 card that has received much favorable praise for its fast read speeds and reasonable price per gigabyte, but is it compatible with Linux? If so, what are benchmarks like?

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