Blasts From the Previous: Catrachadas Workers’s Favourite Tech of the Final Decade

Change is constant in the world of technology. R&D tirelessly reaches the limits of size, performance and functions. New and better models are always released, and the old ones will soon disappear from the stores. But not all of them fade … especially not for those of us who appreciate technology and especially not for the products that have made a difference and left their mark.

We asked all Catrachadas team members to think about their five most popular tech articles that have been published in the past decade. This article is a collective list of these products (you can later share your own in the comments with the community). Take part when we go through our favorite technology from the 2010s: explosions from the past that have impressed us. Price-performance ratio, outstanding performance or the feel-good atmosphere that gave us!

Favorite CPUs

Many cores for the masses

  • Intel Core i7-4790K
  • Intel Core i5-2500K
  • Intel Skylake architecture
  • AMD Ryzen / Zen architecture

In 2010, AMD and Intel released their first desktop CPUs with more than 4 cores, and even these have only been around for a few years. Ten years of progress and a brave move from AMD to shake up the CPU market mean we all have some big favorites as a lot of great processors have surfaced during that time.

For Shawn, it is his Intel Core i5-2500K that supplies his main rig with 4 cores of Sandy Bridge technology and 3.7 GHz even after 9 years. Thanks to an enormous cooler and a bit of luck in the silicon lottery, Nick has good memories of how he overclocked his Core i7-4970K up to 4.8 GHz.

Intel has evolved its design and manufacturing processes throughout the decade, and the Skylake architecture has essentially been with us for 5 years – only faster and with more cores.

The fact that this basic CPU structure has remained competitive for so long has impressed Tim a lot, and given the number of chips he's tested over the years, that's a commendable commendation. But of course the decade will really be remembered in two words: Zen and Ryzen.

In March 2017, AMD launched Zen – an architecture to dispel bulldozer problems and bad memories (surely none of us thought about these CPUs), and with it a number of new 8-core CPUs. It only took 36 months to get from the success of the Ryzen 7 1800X to the honest 64-core 3990X thread ripper with 128 threads.

"A Ryzen 5 2600 is rocking right now and it's great."

The prices were extremely competitive and the performance was exactly what we all hoped for. Tim and many others in our team shared the same opinion: Zen not only saved AMD, but also put her back in the processor battle with Intel, which is often a step ahead. To quote David: "He's currently rocking a Ryzen 5 2600 and it's great."

But if we're all happy with old processors or new mid-range models, does that mean that the latest CPU powerhouses are just a bit redundant?

Favorite graphics cards

They are billions (transistors, not dollars)

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 970
  • Nvidia Pascal GPUs
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 660
  • AMD Radeon HD 5770

Nothing calls "I love PC games" more than throwing a large chunk of the money onto a piece of hardware that does pretty much only one thing, but we all love a good graphics card here. Sometimes for sentimental reasons: William chose the mid-range Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 because it was his very first GPU and brought it into PC hardware and reviews.

Julio underlines the durability and value for money of the GeForce GTX 970: this card is still pretty powerful after almost 5 years as long as you play at 1080p and reduce some of the visual settings.

But Nick, Tim, and other people on the team believed that Nvidia's Pascal chips deserve the most praise – especially the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti still find resonance today.

It was tremendously good when it was released, and if you bought one 3 years ago, you still have a great GPU now. About Nick: "I replaced a GTX 980 Ti SLI setup with a single Pascal GPU and couldn't believe how the old duo could beat it."

Unfortunately, only one of us had fond memories of a Radeon graphics card – Cohen's first GPU was the Radeon HD 5770 after he had put up with several "gaming laptops". Yes, it's a fraction of our time, but since it was his gateway to PC gaming, we couldn't miss it!

Since value for money and longevity are common reasons for our decisions, we all hope that prices will become much more competitive. Graphics cards are very expensive compared to a decade ago, even so-called budget cards.

Favorite PC parts and extras

The need for speed, style and sound

  • Monitors with a high refresh rate
  • Solid state storage drives
  • LaCie Porsche Design 1TB portable external hard drive
  • Noctua Fall fans
  • Corsair Void Pro headset

While processors of all kinds have become more powerful and faster over the past 10 years, it took a while for other pieces of the PC puzzle to follow. Perhaps the most notable changes recently have been in two areas: monitors and memory.

For many of us at Catrachadas, the appearance of monitors with a high refresh rate is long overdue. While high-quality, high-quality screens offer many advantages, Tim and William agree that a 144 Hz or higher screen is far more useful: "Once used, there is no going back."

In this case, trust us – your eyes will thank you.

Another PC component that took the time to jump on the speed car was the hard drive. One could argue that this has never really been the case since storage capacities have just grown. Thanks to NAND flash, the industry has turned to speed, the small silicon plates in USB memory sticks.

Solid state drives (better known as SSDs) are now mandatory and we are all big fans of them here. Ten years ago, at $ 150, you would have gotten an SSD with no more than 64 GB of memory and read / write speeds of less than 300 MB / s, but that was enough to save the operating system and the computer so much faster do.

As with 144 Hz monitors, William chose SSDs for his technical choice: “An innovation that has changed an entire industry; I would definitely not go back. & # 39;

Sometimes we love a piece of technology for aspects other than performance or new features. Humza has been using a Lacie Porsche Design portable drive for 7 years and chose it for its look, feel and reliable reliability.

Adrian has an absolute passion for Noctua fans, especially the soothing buzz they make, and fits them with everything – even power supplies!

Quite a few of the headphones and gaming headsets we mentioned: Humza chose the Steelseries Siberia V2, while Cohen chose the Corsair Void Pro. Can you guess from these quotes who is talking about which one?

  • "The audio quality is comfortable to wear for hours, solid (not exceptional or amazing, but good enough), and most of all affordable and durable."
  • "The only headset I've had lying around and one that's still light, comfortable, and sturdy enough for casual gaming."

It doesn't matter, because although they are different products, they were chosen for the same reasons: comfort and reliability. And to talk about how things feel …

Favorite mice, keyboards and controllers

It's all in our hands

  • Razer Deathadder Elite
  • Logitech MX Master
  • Logitech G502 Proteus
  • The Keyboard 4 Professional
  • Microsoft Xbox One controller

It is difficult to personally familiarize yourself with a CPU or graphics card because you only sit in one machine and do your job. But mice, keyboards and controllers are something completely different. They are the direct interface to the computer, the tactile connection between your brain and that of the computer.

Fortunately, there are plenty of brands and models, and we all have our favorites. When it comes to mice, Julio swears by Razer's Deathadder, while Nick, Ivan and Cohen are Logitech fans, choosing the MX Master and the G502 as their first choice for digital rodents.

All four employees continue to buy the same models and only get the latest version when the old one is worn out, and this kind of loyalty only arises when manufacturers do things exactly right.

Interestingly, keyboards have not produced the same response, only Shawn has shown his love for mechanical keyboards in the form of Das Keyboard 4 Professional: "It has served me well for almost 6 years and its quirks are easy to fix." Clack and quirky – what more praise do you need?

When Cohen says, "It's the most comfortable, proportioned, and heaviest (but not too much!) Gaming controller I've ever used," you know exactly what he's talking about. Okay, the picture below reveals the game, but he wasn't the only one of us who appreciated the Microsoft gamepad.

Your first attempt with the original Xbox was a crime against humanity in some of our eyes, but it has become a perfection embodied in the form of the Xbox One controller.

And while it was about the Xbox, the entire brand was one of David's tips:

& # 39; Since Phil Spencer took power, Xbox has been synonymous with consumer-friendly gaming. Backward compatibility, Xbox Game Pass, adaptive controller and the new Smart Delivery system for the X series make Xbox a compelling brand. & # 39;

Well, he's not wrong!

Preferred mobile, portable and small devices

Computers come in all shapes and sizes

  • Apple MacBook Pro
  • Sony Xperia Z4
  • Apple Watch
  • Raspberry Pi

Of course, not every computer is a desktop PC with millions of cores and Hz – in the past decade there has been a boom in sales of mobile, portable and other digital number processors. For Julio there was only one who dealt with laptops: Apple's MacBook Pro.

It is the model that others have been emulating all the time, and although it is not perfect, its impression of the machine (multiple models over the years) is repeated by millions around the world: "The most reliable laptop I have ever owned ". And that's from someone who pretty much used them all.

Tablets were all the rage when Apple launched the iPad 10 years ago, but we weren't big fans of them or their two-in-one cousins ​​(the tablet laptop … a tabtop? Laplet) ?). Well, all Bar Humza that Sonys Xperia Z4 really likes.

& # 39; An outsider of a tablet and a shame that Sony has stopped producing it. It's an amazing entertainment device, waterproof, great display, long battery life, etc., and objectively still better than the latest Android tabs in some areas. & # 39;

Wearables have grown from a fad that no one really asked for to one of the most successful technology sectors in recent years, though some will say they're still not in demand. Adrian disagrees with this mindset and chose the Apple Watch as the reason he is now interested in getting a fancy mechanical watch.

He also believes that if we publish another article like this in the next ten years, we may have more to say about wearables. Why? In his words: “The smartwatch is underestimated because we still haven't had enough fatigue on large screens and the cities haven't yet digitized many services. There'll be ten years and I think most of us will wear one. & # 39;

But not everything in the last decade of computing was about OLED screens, brushed aluminum, or heart rate monitors in one watch. For Nick, the shining star of that era was the Raspberry Pi.

"The Pi was a return to the golden age of 8-bit home computers – cheap, simple, and the perfect stepping stone into the world of programming." Unfortunately, they have increased in price over the years and there is a lot of competition now, but come on – a quad-core computer for under $ 50? Who wouldn't say yes?

We don't think computer devices can really become smaller or more portable, but who knows what another 10 years of technological advances will bring.

Favorite cell phones

Talking is not so cheap anymore

  • Motorola Droid series
  • Apple iPhone 4S, iPhone SE
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S.
  • Nokia Lumia 930
  • Battery and wireless charging

The 2010s were also the decade in which the smartphone began to dominate the entire tech industry. While many of them are more powerful and expensive than the average laptop today, our favorites weren't necessarily the best on the market at the time.

Nick and Cohen chose the Apple iPhone 4S – they both liked the look and the perfect balance between 3.5-inch screen size and hand-fitting. David chose the Motorola Droid series because he felt that the phone, in conjunction with Verizon's marketing, really did help bring Google's Android operating system to the fore.

Other options were as individual as the phones chosen: Humza chose the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S because it has fond memories of the stylish design and superior screen quality. He still has it in his backpack today, 8 years later!

Adrian chose his first real smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 930, and despite its shortcomings (like the useless front camera and lack of apps and updates), he thought it was a great tool for most of his needs. He eventually replaced it with another of his favorites, the original iPhone SE, which lasts until another one is added so that it can be comfortably held in one hand.

Shawn also mentioned cell phones when asked about his favorite technology from the past decade, but he chose their batteries. We have him explain why:

"People often complain about modern battery technology. And sure, we still haven't got the many advances in battery technology we've been promised over the years, but if you step back and think about it, today's battery technology is damn impressive what we do ask for it. "

You could say that smartphones in general are all very similar these days, the market lacks variety, but this was also inevitable given the commercialization of smartphones. Finally, Julio did not choose a particular phone, but mentioned wireless charging as the most important feature he needed to have on the last phones he owned.

New favorite technology for everyday use

Technology for everyone

  • Digital streaming services
  • Contactless payments
  • Apple AirPods
  • Google Chromecast 2.0
  • Amazon Kindle Oasis

Electronic devices and digital systems are often at the forefront of change. Sometimes it's just a fad (e.g. 3D TV), but others are so revolutionary that the old is swept away in an instant. Cable and air television resisted many advances and led large companies to dominate the industry. In the past decade, one of the biggest changes has been how much traction digital streaming has gained over cable subscriptions.

For David, services like Philo, Sling, and YouTube TV have helped many people get rid of expensive, restrictive cable contracts, and this technology was his first choice when asked about choosing favorites.

& # 39; I like the flexibility to just cancel one service and quickly subscribe to another when they get new / better features or channels. This is how cables should be. & # 39;

Although it took a while to become as widespread as it is today, contactless credit and debit card payments were introduced in the mid-2010s. This was another technical decision made by David, where convenience was the main reason why he noticed it.

Some of us on the team run out of cash when we go shopping or eating, and we're wondering whether contactless payments will be the only way to pay for certain items in the next decade.

Many new devices and technologies that have come onto the market in the past decade have been harshly criticized as something nobody would really want, or mocked as nothing more than a novelty.

Wireless in-ear headphones, digital media dongles for televisions and e-books eventually fell into one of these two categories. Yet they were firm favorites with some team members and millions of people around the world.

Adrian praises the Apple AirPods and Amazon Kindle Oasis, the latter of which have a display that really deserves the title of "electronic paper". Ask David about the Google Chromecast and he will rate him for turning his regular TV into an intelligent streaming hub at a very reasonable price.

Not everyone likes these special products, but you will see such products almost everywhere you look these days.

It is more than just silicon, metal and plastic

Not everyone on the team had a favorite technology or device from the past decade. This is not to say that they are not interested or do not use them – it would be a little strange for them to work at Catrachadas if they did not! – but for Isaiah and Per it's just there, in the background it does what it's supposed to do without fanfare.

Gadgets and hardware are only meant to be tools for a specific job, and we're not all going to be foggy eyes and nostalgic about a favorite spoon or a hairbrush. Why do we have such clear favorites? Some of our decisions are the first of their kind for this person and open a door for new experiences. For others, the decision was made through the eyes of a professional, a clinic that points to the impressive design or technology.

But much of it is related to a connection with good times and feelings and the joy it brings. We leave the last choice and the last words to Julio:

& # 39; Paradigm AMS LCR home theater speakers are a strange choice, but about 9 years ago I moved to a new house and spent a lot of money on a high fidelity sound system. I don't use it every day, but when I have time to watch a good movie or show, or when I have friends and have some live concerts, I can make the whole house growl, and I really enjoy it. & # 39;

These are our explosions from the past – let us know your top selection in the comments below, from cool to controversial, extravagant or economical.

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