The Chip Merchant

TCM Partners with AIS to Host TCM Cloud

TCM has established a partnership with colocation provider American Internet Service (AIS).

With seven premium data center locations in California and Arizona, AIS is now home to TCM’s cloud infrastructure. AIS data centers provides TCM with secure and scalable colocation which allows us to provide our customers with best of breed bandwidth, business continuity and disaster recovery. For peace of mind, our customers can be comfortable knowing that AIS data centers are SAS 70 Type II compliant. Whether you are looking for cloud servers, workstations, backup, disaster recovery or storage, rest assured your data will be secure with TCM and AIS.

For more information on AIS, please visit:

Tech Industry News

Video Cards are Good for More Than Just Video These Days

Advancements in CPU technology are fairly obvious; years ago we had single core CPUs that while they could handle tasks at an amazingly fast rate, they were really only able to handle a single task at a time.

With the addition of multiple cores, and technology like HyperThreading CPUs became more parallel and able to handle more than just one task at a time, making your computer faster especially for those who do video editing, photo editing or video encoding. These are tasks that can really take advantage of multiple CPUs in a machine by spreading the load out across all the different cores in the machine to run many tasks at one time. However this is something of a brute force approach of throwing more power at the problem rather than using a more specialized design.

While CPUs have gotten faster, and developed more cores video cards, and their GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit) have also been progressing at a fantastic rate.

For PC gamers, where once we worried about how fast games would run, and were happy with a new video card running our same old game faster, nowadays a new video card is SO fast that it’s not so much a question of how fast can we run the game, as how many different and cool features can we turn on to make the game more graphically amazing, and still play ridiculously fast.

As video cards grew faster, and more powerful the manufacturers started to realize that they could do an awful lot with the cards, and that in many ways their cards were more powerful than the CPUs in the machine along with them, and if they could give software programmers a means of accessing the processing power of the video card, they could use that to process data much faster than the CPU in the computer ever could. Nvidia developed “CUDA” and ATi (now AMD) is compatible with “OpenCL” as languages that programmers could use to access the video card processing power for their applications.

Learn more »

Tech Tips

Network Bottle(neck) Caps

There’s no doubt that residential internet speeds are getting faster at an exponential rate. Whether you’re streaming a movie through a service like Netflix or are just a big content downloader more bandwidth can only make that experience better.

Bandwidth (internet speed) is like a bottle, you can flow much more liquid (data) through a bottle with a bigger mouth (bandwidth cap), but it may cost you. Unfortunately, your ability to download faster than ever might come with an important consideration; you’re much more likely to hit your ISP’s total internet usage per month limits. To compound the issue, it seems that as speeds increase the total data per month caps get lower, stay the same or don’t increase at a matching rate. Going over can result in significant charges/penalties for exceeding your contract’s specified limits and you’re forced into an ultimatum: either pay the overages or subscribe to a higher tier of service. However, your internet usage may not be consistent enough month to month to warrant a higher tier of service nor may paying the overages for the times that you do be the best decision.

What to do?

A recent article over at Ars Technica outlines how you can get a report from various ISPs to monitor your usage so you can adjust your use accordingly. While these reports offer a way to monitor where you’re at and estimate where you’re going you still need to do something about it to avoid charges or determine if you need to upgrade your service.

Here are a few tips »