This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is being hosted by Mikey Bronowski (blog|twitter). The subject is Tools that you use. As Mikey describes it, “Write a blog post about the most helpful and effective tools you use or know of”. This post will be my contribution for T-SQL Tuesday #135 – Tools That You Use.
Once again, this is a pretty wide subject area, that gives everyone plenty of possibilities for topics. This is good, since I think it will encourage more people to actually write a blog post. Just writing a useful blog post, and getting quality links back and forth from other related blogs in the community is good for everyone who participates!
BTW, reading and then commenting on the T-SQL Tuesday blog posts of other participants helps both you and the other blogger. They get views and comments on their blog, and you get backlinks to your blog.
In my case, I am going to discuss a few tools that I use on a daily basis.
T-SQL Tuesday #135 – Tools That You Use
Here are a few useful tools that I use a lot!
CPU-Z is a free utility for getting some very useful information about the CPU(s), motherboard, memory, and graphics in your system. It will show you quite a bit of detail about your CPU and it’s current clock speed. You can identify your motherboard and current BIOS version. It can tell you what type of memory you have and how fast it is running. You can see some basic information about your graphics card. Finally, you can run a 15-second benchmark to get a very rough idea of your multi-threaded and single-threaded CPU performance.
CPU-Z is useful on database servers and on personal laptops or desktops. It helps uncover issues with power management and out-of-date BIOS versions. It will show you if you don’t have XMP enabled for your memory.
Another very useful free tool is GPU-Z from TechPowerUp. This tool looks very similar to CPU-Z (by design), but it focuses on GPU information as you would expect from the name. It gives you very detailed information about your graphics card(s) on the Graphics Card tab. Items like the vendor, model number, PCIe version, and graphics driver version.
The Sensors tab reveals a wealth of useful information about the temperatures of your CPU and GPU. You can also see GPU fan speeds and power usage. Knowing this helps you understand how effective your cooling system is and whether you are losing performance because of sustained high temperatures.
iFixit Mako Driver Kit
If you ever need or want to work on a desktop or laptop computer, having a good toolkit designed for that task is very helpful. Especially with laptops, you might have non-standard screw types, such as Torx that you have to deal with. Having magetized tool tips is also quite handy when working with smaller screws that can easily fall into your system.
My computer tool kit of choice is the iFixit Mako Driver Kit. I use this all the time for working on various computers. I highly recommend it!
BTW, if you are building a new AMD desktop system, there are a few configuration tasks that you should take care of in order to have the best performance. I cover many of them in this post.
I hope that these tools have been interesting and useful! I also want to thank Mikey for hosting this month.
If you have any questions about this post, please ask me here in the comments or on Twitter. I am pretty active on Twitter as GlennAlanBerry. Thanks for reading!