Personal computing discussed

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fyo
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Re: Something's different...

Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:59 pm

drfish wrote:
I've heard this straight from Adam: YouTube is where PC hardware vendors spend their ad budgets. AdSense is one thing, but that's not where the real money is. You need contracts with the big vendors and they only want to spend money on YouTube. :-?


I strongly dislike getting my dose of tech news or instructions for something in video format. However, if you'd seen the demographics on YouTube content compared to the same type of content in "regular website" format... well... I have to say, I am not surprised YouTube is where vendors want to be.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:28 pm

Yeah, I echo the sentiment. For technical material, I really prefer written articles to videos. However, I can also understand why YouTube is where the money is at these days. The problem is that people like us (and by "us" I mean people who prefer in-depth technical articles) are dinosaurs. We're a vanishing breed. And that means advertisers aren't as interested in the sites that cater to us as they used to be.
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Re: Something's different...

Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:59 pm

I much prefer reading as well. I can skim a article in a few seconds and get most of what i need, or have to listen to a 10+ minute youtube video full of fluff. But taking people's time is where the moneys at.
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Re: Something's different...

Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:06 pm

I dunno.....I've been trying to broaden my horizons a little, and now feel like there's a happy medium to be had. The aforementioned GamersNexus seems to balance things fairly well. They have both video and written content, and one supplements the other. For instance, if a new GPU is released, they'll do a video review showing benchmarks, but only go into moderate detail, summarizing and giving a synopsis along the way. A written review of the same card is available for those who prefer that format, or want to look at the charts in more detail.

Then you've got other content like GPU teardowns (they just did a couple aftermarket 5700-series cards), and a recent visit to a vintage computer expo, showing off all the different items on display. While you could technically do both of those things in a written article, they work much better in video format. Hardware news also does somewhat okay via video.

Basically, it doesn't need to be one or the other, it can also be both.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:36 pm

Kind of a sad commentary on the literacy of the average bear, but here we are stuck in the middle with new owners. Perhaps they will try this two prong venture instead of a click bait site which will likely be dismissed as a waste of time?
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:55 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
JohnC wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
From a business standpoint, it sure is.

Is it? I would like to see a proper comparison of a site which has same exact content on the site itself and on YouTube. And see how much traffic both would generate, as well as Ad revenue. I see plenty of sites which still post news about hardware on their website and not through YouTube videos, same goes for hardware reviews. Of course this just means the owner could be satisfied with current income and not willing to increase it, or the owner might not be willing to spend extra time on editing the video or might not be willing to appear on camera or for other reasons but I doubt that they would ignore YouTube if it was a universally superior way to monetize content.

I can't think of a single PC hardware website that relies on the written medium as it's sole output that doesn't have some video presence (Gamers Nexus) or is part of a larger website (Ars, Anand, Tom's, etc).

Techspot, TechPowerUp, NotebookCheck and even the large sites you mentioned like Anandtech - yes Anandtech is a part of other company but it still exists to make money and if making money through YouTube would've been so much better the owners would have already made active channel on YT. Some of those sites do have channels but they are basically abandoned, with no proper full length reviews published in a long time.

I am glad that GamersNexus was able to become successful with their channel but I also watch other channels and in a last couple of years I've heard a few complaints how the revenue from their channel is decreasing as well as some of their videos being randomly demonetized due to complaints from some people. Doing hardware reviews or hardware news has the very low risk of being demonetized due to complaints but it is still there. I also seen YouTube reporting lower Ad revenue compared to previous years, as well as scaling back on some of their projects like YouTube Gaming (it was supposed to be a competitor to Twitch, instead they stopped improving it, cancelled their dedicated app and let other service like Mixer to be a proper Twitch competitor). Based on all of those I would not say investing most of your time as hardware review/news site into YouTube is a good idea, at best it is a good source of additional income, and publishing your stuff in text format is still useful and can be a significant source of income.
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:02 am

farmpuma wrote:
Kind of a sad commentary on the literacy of the average bear, but here we are stuck in the middle with new owners. Perhaps they will try this two prong venture instead of a click bait site which will likely be dismissed as a waste of time?

You're a very naive person. Do you honestly believe they would be trying anything after seeing what is still happening to front page, or the fact that there are still no proper offers for a paid contributors to TechReport (only guest posters who would be paid in "exposure")? Come on. TechReport will become yet another irrelevant blog like ReadWrite. At least with the current owners.
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:38 am

Thanks for your vote of support.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:09 am

Guys it's too late to get into YouTube. As someone wise told me "every conventionally-attractive guy under 30 with a camera is already there." The competition is more fierce than the written space.

The key is for them to figure out what's going to be big next.
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:31 am

davidbowser wrote:
Since when did "apps" and "software" diverge?


I know this is a very off topic tangent, but I wanted to comment. I think there's always been a difference between "software" and "app" or "application". Application always being a subset of software. An application being a piece of software that a user directly interacts with that performs a function. For example a word processor, a game, or a utlity/tool of some kind. Software encompasses basically all code running on a computer. For example, firmware and drivers or even a simple powershell script are software, but not something typically classified as applications/apps.

I'm honestly kind of shocked someone older than a teenager wouldn't see that difference. If anything, I see the terms merging because younger folks these days, with over exposure to simple platforms like phones and tablets and under exposure to PCs, don't deal with software other than apps so they look at them as interchangeable terms.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:52 am

cygnus1 wrote:
davidbowser wrote:
Since when did "apps" and "software" diverge?

I know this is a very off topic tangent, but I wanted to comment. I think there's always been a difference between "software" and "app" or "application". Application always being a subset of software. An application being a piece of software that a user directly interacts with that performs a function. For example a word processor, a game, or a utlity/tool of some kind. Software encompasses basically all code running on a computer. For example, firmware and drivers or even a simple powershell script are software, but not something typically classified as applications/apps.

I'm honestly kind of shocked someone older than a teenager wouldn't see that difference. If anything, I see the terms merging because younger folks these days, with over exposure to simple platforms like phones and tablets and under exposure to PCs, don't deal with software other than apps so they look at them as interchangeable terms.

I generally agree with this. But it it is still confusing (at best!) to say you don't cover apps, yet you do cover software, since one is a subset of the other. Just another symptom of copypasta boilerplate, I guess.
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cygnus1
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:54 am

just brew it! wrote:
cygnus1 wrote:
davidbowser wrote:
Since when did "apps" and "software" diverge?

I know this is a very off topic tangent, but I wanted to comment. I think there's always been a difference between "software" and "app" or "application". Application always being a subset of software. An application being a piece of software that a user directly interacts with that performs a function. For example a word processor, a game, or a utlity/tool of some kind. Software encompasses basically all code running on a computer. For example, firmware and drivers or even a simple powershell script are software, but not something typically classified as applications/apps.

I'm honestly kind of shocked someone older than a teenager wouldn't see that difference. If anything, I see the terms merging because younger folks these days, with over exposure to simple platforms like phones and tablets and under exposure to PCs, don't deal with software other than apps so they look at them as interchangeable terms.

I generally agree with this. But it it is still confusing (at best!) to say you don't cover apps, yet you do cover software, since one is a subset of the other. Just another symptom of copypasta boilerplate, I guess.


Oh I totally agree about the "what we cover" post. It was nearly nonsensical with how much it was self contradicting.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:20 am

So at a high level, I can understand, within reason, the search engine optimization "goal" for revenue generating purposes. But for the love of god, having been in banking and IT for nearly 20 years now, I have never done an intentional search for the sort of tripe that is on the front page "blog" (e.g., tips to pare down my suppliers) ON PURPOSE. Because that sort of "advice" is utterly and spectacularly useless. So, how that kind of "article" can even, accidentally, drive revenue is beyond me. Do people actually pay, even vicariously, for that sort of "help/advice"? If so, it could actually explain a lot of the dumb stuff I've seen over the years. As my dad used to say about the company he did Oracle and SQL DB administration for 30 years, "We somehow make money, in spite of ourselves."
 
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:30 pm

I don't think it's just about specific searches. I know my phone has a google news feed thing that tries to pick up and suggest articles from a wide range of sites that it thinks I would be interested in (google and privacy don't blend). It can often can show articles very much like what's being discussed here as much as I wish it didn't. If those articles find there way into those sort of news feeds then there you go. I'm sure there's other examples but that's one I can think of off the top of my head.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:35 pm

Xolore wrote:
I don't think it's just about specific searches. I know my phone has a google news feed thing that tries to pick up and suggest articles from a wide range of sites that it thinks I would be interested in (google and privacy don't blend). It can often can show articles very much like what's being discussed here as much as I wish it didn't. If those articles find there way into those sort of news feeds then there you go. I'm sure there's other examples but that's one I can think of off the top of my head.


I assume that some algorithm is producing these sorts of suggestions, but one would think that after X amount of time, the algorithm would see "this is useless tripe that no one is actually clicking on" and adjust itself accordingly. I could see, if we were in the early days of such algorithms, how the maths could make this kind of assumption/mistake, but this is late 2019. If this is still the state of such algorithms, the mind reels.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:41 pm

Xolore wrote:
I don't think it's just about specific searches. I know my phone has a google news feed thing that tries to pick up and suggest articles from a wide range of sites that it thinks I would be interested in (google and privacy don't blend). It can often can show articles very much like what's being discussed here as much as I wish it didn't. If those articles find there way into those sort of news feeds then there you go. I'm sure there's other examples but that's one I can think of off the top of my head.

On this line, Google yesterday alerted me to the presence of an article that was based entirely on the speculation of a random (i.e. not famous or otherwise noteworthy) Reddit user.
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:32 pm

Pagey wrote:
Xolore wrote:
I don't think it's just about specific searches. I know my phone has a google news feed thing that tries to pick up and suggest articles from a wide range of sites that it thinks I would be interested in (google and privacy don't blend). It can often can show articles very much like what's being discussed here as much as I wish it didn't. If those articles find there way into those sort of news feeds then there you go. I'm sure there's other examples but that's one I can think of off the top of my head.


I assume that some algorithm is producing these sorts of suggestions, but one would think that after X amount of time, the algorithm would see "this is useless tripe that no one is actually clicking on" and adjust itself accordingly. I could see, if we were in the early days of such algorithms, how the maths could make this kind of assumption/mistake, but this is late 2019. If this is still the state of such algorithms, the mind reels.


Well, the number one criteria is inbound links from highly ranked sites. Those SEO articles aren't going to generate those links. What they will do is make the search algorithms think the site is more active than it really is and THAT does influence ranking.

Still, you would need to carefully consider where your inbound traffic comes from, in this case primarily in terms of what keywords are bringing in the traffic. Hopefully, the ongoing SEO strategy is looking carefully at bounce rates and all the other data to determine if producing these spammy articles are actually worth it. Considering that I've probably never seen ANY site successfully combine real content and such blatant SEO spam, I have my doubts as to the efficacy of the method.

What TR really needs is a fundamental look at its niche and how it can be expanded organically to enable more (real) content without the extreme cost associated with in-depth reviews. All the tech sites from 25-20 years ago that still exist have done this. They started out being very specific, but have branched out to cover a wider more or less related area. Ars Technica is a good example (and even they decided it was better to be part of larger effort, but that's not something TR can realistically do from such a position of weakness, even should they want to).
 
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:39 pm

Indeed. I didn't follow Ars "back in the day," but it's my go-to site now, just because of the breadth (and depth) of the coverage they offer. You want IT security news, you got it. You want a Beth Mole article full of clever puns about brain eating amoeba, you got it. You want some obscure anthropology news, well we got that, too.

Unfortunately, hardware is basically a commodity now, and I think the audience for custom builds/in-depth reviews that are seeking too eek out that extra frame or MHz is just not big enough to monetize now. My rose-tinted, nostalgic glasses often miss the days of reading reviews just for such info, however.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:29 am

Pagey wrote:
Indeed. I didn't follow Ars "back in the day," but it's my go-to site now, just because of the breadth (and depth) of the coverage they offer. You want IT security news, you got it. You want a Beth Mole article full of clever puns about brain eating amoeba, you got it. You want some obscure anthropology news, well we got that, too.

Unfortunately, hardware is basically a commodity now, and I think the audience for custom builds/in-depth reviews that are seeking too eek out that extra frame or MHz is just not big enough to monetize now. My rose-tinted, nostalgic glasses often miss the days of reading reviews just for such info, however.


Ars did post something very close to SEO spam yesterday. It was clever (and one of their reposts from Wired), but clearly a search driver more than anything. (It was the very untechnical post about field goals in football, here right before the season starts). A "real" Ars article could have been made on it, but as it was, it was just tripe reposted from Wired.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:57 am

fyo wrote:
Pagey wrote:
Indeed. I didn't follow Ars "back in the day," but it's my go-to site now, just because of the breadth (and depth) of the coverage they offer. You want IT security news, you got it. You want a Beth Mole article full of clever puns about brain eating amoeba, you got it. You want some obscure anthropology news, well we got that, too.

Unfortunately, hardware is basically a commodity now, and I think the audience for custom builds/in-depth reviews that are seeking too eek out that extra frame or MHz is just not big enough to monetize now. My rose-tinted, nostalgic glasses often miss the days of reading reviews just for such info, however.


Ars did post something very close to SEO spam yesterday. It was clever (and one of their reposts from Wired), but clearly a search driver more than anything. (It was the very untechnical post about field goals in football, here right before the season starts). A "real" Ars article could have been made on it, but as it was, it was just tripe reposted from Wired.


I saw that and actually read some of it. But now I feel dirty. Bad dirty, not good dirty. :cry:
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:30 am

fyo wrote:
Pagey wrote:
Indeed. I didn't follow Ars "back in the day," but it's my go-to site now, just because of the breadth (and depth) of the coverage they offer. You want IT security news, you got it. You want a Beth Mole article full of clever puns about brain eating amoeba, you got it. You want some obscure anthropology news, well we got that, too.

Unfortunately, hardware is basically a commodity now, and I think the audience for custom builds/in-depth reviews that are seeking too eek out that extra frame or MHz is just not big enough to monetize now. My rose-tinted, nostalgic glasses often miss the days of reading reviews just for such info, however.


Ars did post something very close to SEO spam yesterday. It was clever (and one of their reposts from Wired), but clearly a search driver more than anything. (It was the very untechnical post about field goals in football, here right before the season starts). A "real" Ars article could have been made on it, but as it was, it was just tripe reposted from Wired.

Conde Nast owns both sites. They probably mandate Ars to cross-post every once in a while to drive traffic to Wired. But Ars does at least attribute the article to Wired in the author byline.
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:06 am

kvndoom wrote:
fyo wrote:
Pagey wrote:
Indeed. I didn't follow Ars "back in the day," but it's my go-to site now, just because of the breadth (and depth) of the coverage they offer. You want IT security news, you got it. You want a Beth Mole article full of clever puns about brain eating amoeba, you got it. You want some obscure anthropology news, well we got that, too.

Unfortunately, hardware is basically a commodity now, and I think the audience for custom builds/in-depth reviews that are seeking too eek out that extra frame or MHz is just not big enough to monetize now. My rose-tinted, nostalgic glasses often miss the days of reading reviews just for such info, however.


Ars did post something very close to SEO spam yesterday. It was clever (and one of their reposts from Wired), but clearly a search driver more than anything. (It was the very untechnical post about field goals in football, here right before the season starts). A "real" Ars article could have been made on it, but as it was, it was just tripe reposted from Wired.

Conde Nast owns both sites. They probably mandate Ars to cross-post every once in a while to drive traffic to Wired. But Ars does at least attribute the article to Wired in the author byline.


I think, overall, Ars does a good job with disclosures. E.g., their auto review articles will note if a car manufacturer pays hotel and/or air fare.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:22 am

Ars has essentially been "Wired with a slightly more technical slant" for quite some time now. Not a bad site, really... but nothing like it was back in the day.
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:06 pm

The problem with Ars is that it kidna threw spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck (space, climate science, evolutionary history, smart home tech, PCs, phones, cars, every single new original show on any streaming service, movie reviews, and the list goes on), and a lot of it isn't interesting to me. Also, the site posts a lot of political content. I guess it's hard to talk about what a government agency does without getting into politics, but it seems written in a way as to generate a lot of outrage (which, I'm sure, fuels clicks). There are fewer and fewer of their links I click on, but the ones I do read tend to be well-written. Not sure if that's a sleight or a compliment.

I've never really read Wired, because all of that site's articles I've seen tend to be fluff pieces with little substance, but maybe that's what jbi means, if it covers that same wide net of "sometimes not at all tech-related articles".
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:19 pm

Yeah I think so. Years ago at Ars you had people like Hannibal who sometimes dropped real pinout diagrams for integrated circuits as part of the article.

I don't really have a problem with Ars today. It's just not what I'd call a hardware review site.
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:41 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
There are fewer and fewer of their links I click on, but the ones I do read tend to be well-written. Not sure if that's a sleight or a compliment.

I don't see that as a problem, I just read what interests me.
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Re: Something's different...

Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:39 am

In fact, I quite like seeing articles that I never click or that only vaguely interest me. The same old "content bubble" gets exhausting after a while and regularly seeing things I care less about helps in my opinion.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:40 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
The problem with Ars is that it kidna threw spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck (space, climate science, evolutionary history, smart home tech, PCs, phones, cars, every single new original show on any streaming service, movie reviews, and the list goes on), and a lot of it isn't interesting to me. Also, the site posts a lot of political content. I guess it's hard to talk about what a government agency does without getting into politics, but it seems written in a way as to generate a lot of outrage (which, I'm sure, fuels clicks). There are fewer and fewer of their links I click on, but the ones I do read tend to be well-written. Not sure if that's a sleight or a compliment.

I've never really read Wired, because all of that site's articles I've seen tend to be fluff pieces with little substance, but maybe that's what jbi means, if it covers that same wide net of "sometimes not at all tech-related articles".


I think I probably read as large a percentage of Ars articles today as I used to. My own interests have expanded and changed somewhat. I read fewer reviews, but more policy/industry/legal/security stuff, in addition to their expanded hard science coverage (and rockets).

Ars is a good example of the changes that need to happen in order to make a site more broadly appealing. Their road is certainly not the only road, but the fundamental transition that has occurred over the years is obvious. And such a transition is needed. Back in the day when Ars and TR started (last millennium), you could get hundreds of dollars per thousand ad impressions. Today, it's a full two orders of magnitude less and although there are a lot more people "online", it doesn't come close to filling the gap -- nearly 75% of US 18-29 year-olds and over 50% of all adults were online by 2000 (source), so the room for growth is limited. Among the more technically-inclined part of the population that a site like TR caters to, those numbers would likely be much higher, leaving even less room for growth.

The only option if you want to run a professional site is to expand the coverage area to bring in more readers. Subscriptions are often used as well, but (as TR itself has found) cannot stand on its own.

For TR, I really don't see a way for the site to continue to exist in a non-hobby form without expanding the coverage area to consistently draw in new readers. SEO spam might help a little in the short term, but I really doubt that will be a tenable long-term solution. As such, I hope the TR brain trust has taken the time to carefully consider the ways and directions in which the site can grow. There is no magic SEO wand that you can wave and suddenly get the site profitable, and I hope everyone realizes that.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:23 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
I've never really read Wired, because all of that site's articles I've seen tend to be fluff pieces with little substance, but maybe that's what jbi means, if it covers that same wide net of "sometimes not at all tech-related articles".


From 1993 until early 2000's Wired the magazine was great. Also not to be confused with Wired.com formally known as Wired News. The website and the print magazine were separate entities. It wasn't until Conde Nast purchased both and formally merged them. But as of today I can agree with that sentiment. I occasionally flip through the print mag and they are "reporting" much of the same stuff that others are doing better. Hell the Wall Street Journal Tech columns are infinitely better.
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Re: Something's different...

Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:05 am

just brew it! wrote:
Ars has essentially been "Wired with a slightly more technical slant" for quite some time now. Not a bad site, really... but nothing like it was back in the day.


It does have some good articles, but I'm trying to get away from Ars as best as I can, too much focus on politics, and not enough on tech that actually interests me.
Intel Core i7 4790K, Z97, 16GB RAM, 128GB m4 SSD, 480GB M500 SSD, 500GB WD Vel, Intel HD4600, Corsair HX650, Fedora x64.
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