Author Archives: John

The Asus Tinker Board – In Stock At Computer Solutions

Computer Solutions are proud to announce that the ASUS Tinker Board is now in stock. Originally launched in 2017, this is the ASUS answerl to the ever popular Raspberry Pi and is compatible with second generation and later Pi’s. This means that what ever you can do with the Pi you can do with the faster Tinker Board.

click here for more ….


Computer Solutions in Association with AG Electronics, now have a collection of professionally refurbished iPad 4,5 & 6 models in stock. These have been repaired to an extremely high standard by our own in house, time served engineer who has over 30 years of detailed electronics experience. We are now the only place locally who can carry out component level repairs from our fully fitted workshops in Park St.

You can also view our current iPad stock here

Computer Solutions have the pleasure in announcing that we can now carry out “Glass Only” repairs to your Apple iPad.

Quite often, when your iPad is accidentally dropped, the LCD display is absolutely fine and it is ONLY the touchscreen or outer glass that is damaged. The problem is that the glass and the LCD are bonded together.

Computer Solutions have made a significant investment in acquiring the machinery to allow us to separate the glass from the LCD unit, such that it can be replaced.

This means that you do not have to purchase an “after-market” inferior screen, you can carry on using your iPad, with the original screen, with a brand new touchscreen professionally installed.

This also means, particularly with iPhones that because you are using the original Apple LCD your phone will not suddenly stop working after a software update, because the update has detected that you are NOT using the original LCD unit.

We are the only people to carry out this service locally so call us for a competitive quote

Call Computer Solutions on (01926) 511123 for  further details or visit the shop at 3 Park Street, Leamington Spa CV32 4QN



Motherboard Repairs

Computer Solutions are now able to offer a full motherboard repair service from their premises in Leamington Spa. Computer solutions are the only company locally to provide this unique component level type of service.

Repairs done the way they should be !

We’ve partnered with A.G electronics, who provide a full electronics repair service for iPhones, iPads and most gaming consoles including the Microsoft Xbox and the Sony PlayStation as well as most televisions and audio equipment.

A three month warranty is provided on all repairs we do, provided that it is the same fault.

Please be advised that we may have to source some semi-conductor chips from China and this can introduce a small delay to us fulfilling your repair requirements.

However all repairs are done to the highest professional standard, with some of the best equipment and talented engineers available.

Buying a Computer Motherboard.

What is a motherboard / mainboard ?

The motherboard or mainboard is the heart of your computer. It is the ‘brain’ where all the processing is handled for running applications, browsing the internet or sending and receiving emails.

How do I know what is the best Motherboard to buy ?

There is a plethora of motherbards available in the marketplace today, ranging in price from a few tens of pounds up to several hundred pounds for some top-end models. All motherboards will have the same set of basic features, connections for USB and SATA devices, Networking, Memory and in some cases the newer M.2 devices. Video and Sound may or may not be included. Computer Solutions will be happy to advise on what is best for your particular requirements.

Popular Makes

Motherboard manufacturers are constantly bringing out new models to support the latest range of processors and memory. Basically motherboards fall into two broad categories. These are Intel motherboards that support Intel’s range of processors and AMD which support AMD’s range of processors. The two are not interchangeable. You cannot use an Intel processor in an AMD motherboard and vice-versa. Popular makes to look out for are ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI. ASUS and MSI are particularly popular with the gaming community. For the budget conscious Asrock do some less expensive premium motherboards, with a good all-round feature set.

Motherboard Features

Almost all motherboards today should have sockets for the DDR4 memory type. This has now superceeded the DDR3 memory type popular 3 or 4 years ago. Your motherboard should also have at least two SATA hard drive sockets as these have also superceeded the older IDE hard drive sockets. Budget motherboards tend to have built in sound and video as standard.

For those motherboards that do not have a built in video socket the standard is now PCie, which looks like a jumbo PCI socket. Most manufacturers are now ONLY providing PCIe sockets, with the older PCI sockets now becoming hard to come by. Some budget, motherboards do still have a built in VGA video socket, although the trend now is towards HDMI as the de-facto standard This is the connector to which your monitor is attached.

As a minimum your motherboard should at least be capable of normal stereo sound output usually via a 3.5mm mini jack socket, as well as a microphone input and a line output socket too. Many motherboards today should be capable of 2.1, 3.1, 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound features as standard.

Higher end motherboards will usually have built in HDMI and DVI sockets for multiple monitors or multiple networking LAN ports, which can be used together. Sometimes on-board wireless adapters are also included. Expect to pay more for these features though.

Buying A Processor & Motherboard Together

This is undoubtedly one of the best options buying both the processor, motherboard and sometimes the memory as a bundle can result in a saving and you know that everything is going to work together as intended. But beware of extremely cheap deals as these are usually based on stock that the retailer is finding it difficult to sell. The shelf life of a motherboard can be very short. There are new ones coming out all the time.

Cost & budget

With all motherboards it really comes down to which features you would like and what budget you have available to spend. For most people who are browsing the Internet or working from home, the basic motherboards will suffice. However if you are a “die-hard” gamer or software developer then a more expensive motherboard, with some degree of “future-proofing” or “overclocking”, where the processor can be made to run faster than the manufacturer intended might be suitable. We are always happy to advise you in this respect.

Computer Services from Computer Solutions

Computer Services start with Kenilworth Computer Repairs the home of Computer Solutions. They provide a P.C, Laptop and Computer maintenance and repair service, that is second to none, for Kenilworth Warwick, Rugby, Leamington Spa, Coventry, Stratford Solihull and the surrounding environs.

Their fully fitted retail and workshop is available from Monday to Saturday and is baed at 3 Park Street, Leamington Spa CV32 4QN. One of their experienced Computer Repair technicians will be pleased to assist you with all your I.T. requirements.

They also offer a free collection and delivery service, of your computer equipment within Warwickshire.

Computer Solutions have been establised in Warwickshire since 1988 and they aim for complete customer satisfaction and they always work to the highest standards.

Workshop contact hours are from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, but we will take general enquiries until 9:00pm.

So whether you are an individual or business user, Computer Solutions are the only people you’ll need to solve your PC or network problems.

Choosing a Graphics Card


Graphics cards have come a long way in recent years.

There are basically two types of graphics card or video hardware. There are the ‘on board’ video cards, built into the motherboard and often used as a selling point for the motherboard itself. then there is the ‘add in’ video card, which will occupy one or more PCie sockets on the motherboard. Many motherboards support the option to install two or more graphics cards, which are designed to work in tandem with each other.

Depending on whether you choose AMD graphics cards or NVidia graphics cards will determine whether they are connected using SLi (Scalable Link interface – nVidia) or Crossfire, the not too dissimilar AMD platform. Essentially they both achieve the same thing, in different ways.

On-board video cards are generally for everyday use, Web Surfing, You Tube and the like. Generally they may have up to about 1Gb of video memory, which may or may not be shared with the system memory.

For the average user who may just be surfing the Internet or doing a bit of Word Processing, a built in video card will suffice. Motherboards of this design sometimes but not always use some of the main system memory as graphics memory.

The advantage of this design is that no extra memory chips are required on the motherboard thereby reducing the cost of manufacture.

The disadvantage of this design is that you might not be able to use all of the memory that is available. Generally normal memory runs more slowly than dedicated graphics memory, so don’t expect blistering, gaming performance graphics performance from an on-board video card.

Power computer users, designers and hardened gaming addicts will almost always opt for one or more add on video cards and there really are a multitude to choose from. A graphics card can range from a few tens to several hundreds of pounds.

For example the one built into our demonstration machine here in the shop was in the region of £680.00 plus an additional £150 for the liquid cooling system. That’s a total of £830 just for the graphics system alone.

Graphics processors and graphics memory has evolved at a much faster rate than normal memory. Each new generation of graphics memory doubles the data rate of the previous one.

Currently we are on GDDR5 for graphics memory speed, while normal system memory is at DDR4. The more graphics memory available to a system and the faster the graphics processor, the better results it will produce. This takes advantage of the growth in the gaming market and the ever increasing complexity in gaming software.

Nearly all add in video cards will feature an HDMI, DVI and/or a VGA socket and/or an adapter for backward compatibility. Some of the higher end cards will also include High Definition HDMI sockets too.

What on Earth is RAID ?

Not so long ago we had an interesting on site repair. A Dell XPS PC system was refusing to boot properly. After having checked all the obvious stuff we realized that this had a 2Tb RAID (redundant array of independent disks) hard drive array arranged as 2 X 1Tb hard drives. This was where the problem was.

There are seven main varities of RAID, labelled RAID(n) where n is a number between 0-6, with RAID (0) and RAID (1) being the most popular on smaller systems. Each have their own distinct advantages and disavantages.

RAID (0) provides improved performance and additional storage but no fault tolerance. Any drive failure destroys the array, and the likelihood of failure increases with more drives in the array.

RAID (1) allows multiple copies of the same data to be written to more than one physical hard drive, such that if one fails there is less chance of data loss.

One of the hard drives in this particular system had completely failed, to the point where the hard drive was not even spinning up.

We were able to rebuild the machine, with the remaining working hard drive and Windows 7, however it was not possible to recover any of the customer data.

This highlights one of the disadvantages of this particular RAID (0) hard drive system. They will give great performance and data access times providing one of the hard drives does not fail.

If one hard drive does fail as in this case, all of your data is probably NOT going to be recoverable, since a RAID system like this needs a minimum of two drives

RAID (1) would be a better choice as data is written identically to multiple drives, thereby producing a “mirrored set”; at least 2 drives are required to constitute such an array. This allows complete system recovery should one of the hard drives fail.

The “No-Fix No-Fee” Myth

Several computer repair companies offer something called a “No-Fix No-Fee” service. This is supposed to mean that if they cannot fix it then you won’t be charged. This is generally true but it really depends on how you define the word “Fix”.

Professional computer repair companies will generally charge an “inspection fee” and this will be detailed in their booking procedure and usually deducted from the final job cost. There are many different problems that can occur with a laptop or P.C. These can be caused by a multitude of different things. Most people would expect to pay for diagnosis and / or  repair.

If you have had your computer for some time, the chances are you will have it looking and running exactly the way you want it. To the customer the word “Fix” means that they want their computer exactly as it was previously. They want their emails and documents in the right place and they want all their installed software working.

To a lot of PC engineers the word “Fix” means ‘Can this computer boot Windows and does the customer still have their data ?’ This does not necessarily resolve the problem that caused the error initially. The error will therefore most likely happen again at some random point in the future.

A good competent PC engineer will do a couple of simple checks to try and eliminate this possibility. First they will check the date stamp on the hard drive. If it is more than about 5 years old then it is probably time for it to be replaced as hard drives being mechanical do wear out with age. They should advise the customer of this and also advise on whether repair is economically viable.

If the problem is motherboard related then these can sometimes be repaired, although it can be expensive. This is particularly the case with laptops. This sort of repair will never usually be carried out on site, as the machine will require specialist attention.

So no-fix no-fee is really dependent on how you define the word “fix” and can the suggested repair be proven for long enough to call it a “fix”.

In short be careful with “No-Fix No Fee” as your definition of a fix may be wildly different from the service you actually receive.

Bluetooth Keyboard for Tablets

Some people do not like the fiddly on-screen keyboard aspect of Tablets. To that end Computer Solutions have sourced a range of small but beautiful portable Bluetooth Keyboards, to get around this problem.

Powered from two AAA batteries they have all of the functionality of their larger counterparts and are finished in stylish white and silver.

Designed for people on the go they work well with most Android and Windows based Tablets, with an astonishing battery life.

Measuring just 11.25″ X 4.75″ X 5mm thick, they are small enough and light enough to fit in a bag, laptop case or sleeve and are the ideal companion for any Tablet user.

For a demonstration call at the shop at 3 Park Street, Leamington Spa and we’ll be happy to show you how they work.