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Sense energy monitor review: Your patience will be rewarded with great insight into your home's electricity use
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 13:10:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Sense is a bright-orange box that sits in your electrical breaker box and gives keen insight into your home's entire power usage.
We ran Quake II RTX on a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti card, and here's how fast it was
Fri, 23 Oct 2020 14:57:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
On June 6th you’ll finally be able to get Nvidia’s remastered Quake II RTX version for free. And if you’re wondering just how fast the game runs, we just found out in the oldest-school way possible.First, to catch you up, Nvidia has taken iD’s classic 1997-vintage shooter Quake II and lovingly updated it with a fully path-traced renderer. While you might dismiss that as “just another game with hybrid ray tracing” support, this is much more than that. At this juncture of ray tracing hardware performance, most games use ray tracing sparingly and combine it with traditional raster techniques.To read this article in full, please click here
Is an Intel Core i3 good enough for PC gaming? | Ask an expert
Fri, 23 Oct 2020 07:01:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Q: Will an Intel Core i3 processor work for playing games? If yes, will it work if the PC only has 4GB of RAM?Compared to flagship processors with eight or more cores, contemporary quad-core Core i3 CPUs may seem too weak to handle games. If you have an older Core i3 chip with just two cores and four threads, it might seem even less capable.But you don’t need to have mid-tier gear for PC gaming. (In fact, we built a $300 gaming PC using a processor that’s more budget than a Core i3 processor.) Your rig won’t be anywhere near as fast as if you had a Core i5 part, but you can still pair it with a graphics card. We suggest selecting a similarly affordable graphics card, with $150 to $200 as the maximum spent. Then tweak the settings until you find a good balance between visual quality and frame rate. Depending on the GPU and the game, you may need to dial down the resolution and/or graphics presets, but you should often be able to find a workable sweet spot.To read this article in full, please click here
The Full Nerd ep. 154: Big Navi rumors, Nvidia Adobe AI, PS5 teardown
Fri, 23 Oct 2020 07:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Alaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray dive into the supposed leaks surrounding AMD’s upcoming RDNA2 (“Big Navi”) video cards, Nvidia’s new Smart Portrait filter for Photoshop, and Sony’s teardown of its PlayStation 5 console.Big Navi might be huge—a supposed leak, revealed on Twitter, teases a top-tier card with monstrous specs. (One of the more tantalizing bits: an average clock speed of 2.4GHz during gaming.) Gordon picks apart the nuances of the numbers and puts it into perspective against Nvidia’s RTX 30-series cards.To read this article in full, please click here
10 truly helpful Windows 10 tools you might not know about
Fri, 23 Oct 2020 06:29:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
So you’ve mastered Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts and Snap open windows like a boss. Now what?Windows 10 offers many other power tools for enthusiasts—if you know where to find them. Some are older, yet still obscure. Others are relatively new, added during the twice-annual major upgrades Microsoft’s been pushing out since Windows 10 launched over five long years ago (though most recent feature upgrades, like the October 2020 Update, tend to be minor). But all 10 of these little-used tricks and tools can help hardened PC users save time or eliminate headaches.To read this article in full, please click here
22 terrifying PC horror games to play with the lights off
Fri, 23 Oct 2020 06:04:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
The horror, the HORRORImage by Outlast 2Horror games are a dime a dozen. Scary horror games, good horror games—well, those are much rarer. We’ve rounded up some of the best horror games ever made, running the gamut from big-budget extravaganzas released this very year to... text adventures. I’m serious.To read this article in full, please click here
Did you just get your iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro? Do these things first!
Fri, 23 Oct 2020 03:15:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Before you even peel the plastic off your new iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro, read this setup guide.
The 26 best scary movies you can stream for free this Halloween
Fri, 23 Oct 2020 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
You don’t need to spend a dime to watch these fright-flick double features.
DALI Katch Bluetooth speaker review: Small sound from a small package
Fri, 23 Oct 2020 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
The sound quality is clean, clear, and bright, but the bass is generally weak.
Intel says Tiger Lake notebook PC demand has doubled since April
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 15:29:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Intel continued its topsy-turvy 2020 by reporting stronger demand for its Tiger Lake CPUs than the company originally anticipated, even with an increase in its manufacturing capacity. However, the company’s profits and revenues declined.Intel said that the company now expects 100 notebooks based upon the 11th-gen Tiger Lake processor will ship by the end of the year, with about 150 in all if 2021 is included. Those 100 Tiger Lake notebooks doubled Intel’s original April expectations, executives said. About 40 of those notebooks will be qualified under the new Evo brand, the evolution of the “Project Athena” program.To read this article in full, please click here
Microsoft is encouraging Office PWAs, which could change how you work with apps
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 12:52:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Recent reports say that Microsoft may be pushing Office PWAs to Windows Insiders without their permission. While we’d hope that practice never goes mainstream, it’s worth learning briefly about what the Office PWAs actually are, and how they can help.First, here’s what’s happening: Windows Latest reported Wednesday that members of the Windows Insider beta program were being pushed the various Office apps as Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, without opting in. Remember that Insiders have to specifically opt in to this beta program, and receive new builds as a matter of course. WL also reported that these PWAs were being pushed to a subset of Insiders. In other words, chances are that this won’t happen to you anytime soon. (We've since learned that Microsoft pushed these beyond just Insiders, though that was due to a bug.)To read this article in full, please click here
Minecraft's Java version will require a Microsoft account to play
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 10:22:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Mojang said late Wednesday that the legacy, PC-centric Java version of Minecraft will now require a Microsoft account, a decision Microsoft says it’s making for security reasons and to ensure future compatibility.Mojang’s Minecraft has always lived parallel lives: The legacy Java edition has always been much more open, permitting modding and more unrestricted gameplay. Meanwhile, the separate though related Bedrock version of the game—specifically designed for Xbox, Android, Windows 10 and more—has been more locked down, and already required a Microsoft account, too. To date, Minecraft is ranked as the most popular video game ever, with more than 200 million downloads. To read this article in full, please click here
Amazon Echo (4th Gen) review: The more things change, the more they stay the same
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 06:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Amazon still has the best speaker for smart home control, but it still trails Sonos and Google in musicality.
Best USB-C power adapters for the iPhone 12: How to shop and what to buy
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 04:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Apple isn’t supplying a power adapter with new iPhones anymore, so we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite ones.
Acer Swift 3 review: Great features outweigh disappointing performance
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 03:30:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Acer’s Swift 3 poses one of the more difficult questions for a tech reviewer: How do you rate a 13.5-inch laptop that you really enjoyed using, yet whose performance is otherwise disappointingly weak? This Swift 3 ticks all the other boxes that make for a great laptop: a beautiful screen, outstanding keyboard, and superb battery life.That's why we’re slightly puzzled at how both Acer and Intel (which provided engineering input to Acer as part of its “Project Athena” program, now called Evo), apparently let the Swift 3 go out the door with such poor performance. Keep reading to discover how we balanced the better and the worse. This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best laptops. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them. To read this article in full, please click here
Do you need a PCIe 4 SSD for gaming? | Ask an expert
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Q: With the new consoles rewriting how hardware will be utilized, is having the higher bandwidth of PCI 4 going to be an important factor in future games?The specs for the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X include serious hardware—enough to make some DIY PC builders wonder if they’ll need the higher bandwidth of PCIe 4.0 to keep up with future games. The rationale: Game developers will treat the new consoles’ blazing-fast storage drives as the baseline.As a thought exercise—and a common one at that when planning out upgrades or a whole new PC build—it sounds like a compelling reason to invest in a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, despite a high price tag of $200 for a 1TB drive.To read this article in full, please click here
Never pay for CBS All Access [note: code has expired]
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
How to get CBS All Access for free every month
The Acer Swift 3x boasts Intel's new Iris Xe Max discrete GPU
Wed, 21 Oct 2020 15:42:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
What was known previously as the Intel Xe HPG discrete graphics chip for laptops appears to be officially branded as the Iris Xe Max, and will appear in Acer’s latest Swift 3x laptop. Intel, though, is remaining quiet on the matter.Acer’s new Swift 3x (SF314-510G), announced Wednesday, lists the laptop’s graphics capabilities as the “Iris Xe Max,” the brand that PCWorld discovered in an Intel sizzle reel in September. The Verge was granted some hands-on time with the new device (but not permission to run any graphics benchmarks) and confirmed that the Iris Xe Max is indeed Intel’s new discrete GPU. It will be paired with Intel’s new Tiger Lake CPUs, specifically the Core i7-1165G7 and Core i5-1135G7 chips.To read this article in full, please click here
Qualcomm's slower Snapdragon 7c feels like a fit for Acer's Chromebook Spin 5
Wed, 21 Oct 2020 10:30:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
If Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platforms have struggled in PCs, could they succeed within Chromebooks? That’s the question Acer’s new Chromebook Spin 5 asks, and the answer certainly feels like a “yes.”To date, Qualcomm has emphasized the performance of its Snapdragon 8cx and the related Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G platform, both chips that have tried to take on Intel’s Core i5 in the Windows PC space. When Qualcomm debuted the even slower Snapdragon 8c and 7c last December on a Windows PC, it was a head-scratcher: If the 8cx couldn’t compete, what was the justification for a slower, cheaper chip?To read this article in full, please click here
The Porsche Design Acer Book RS brings sports-car flair to a premium laptop
Wed, 21 Oct 2020 07:15:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
The Porsche Design Acer Book RS is a beautiful laptop with a lot riding on its slim shoulders. With a name like that (Porsche Design is owned by the same parent company as automaker Porsche AG), it is naturally expected to combine performance along with style. The lofty prices—$1,400 for the base model and $2,000 for the “premium package”—also carry some pressure to deliver. Will this product rise to defend its good name? Partner Acer’s considerable skill at making laptops is a solid starting point. Announced Wednesday and available in December, the Porsche Design Acer Book RS does appear to bring sports-car flair. The lid for its 14-inch display is made of 3k carbon fiber for lightness as well as aesthetics. The all-metal, CNC-machined chassis has diamond-cut edges, an accent largely reserved for other premium products like the HP Spectre x360 14. To read this article in full, please click here
Intel's power play: Hands-on with ATX12VO motherboards and power supply
Wed, 21 Oct 2020 05:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Intel’s latest power play isn’t about toppling AMD, but about energy efficiency. The company's new ATX12VO power supply standard is designed to help desktop PCs meet increasingly stringent government standards on idle power consumption.ATX12VO does require a sacrifice. Newer power supplies will jettison support for old-school 3.3-volt and 5-volt rails, and concentrate solely on producing 12-volt power. But after kicking the tires on a pair of ATX12VO motherboards as well as an actual ATX12VO PSU, we can say that the future of desktop PC power looks brighter—and your old-friend legacy parts aren’t moving too far away.To read this article in full, please click here
Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) review: The new Dot delivers a revamped look and (slightly) better sound
Wed, 21 Oct 2020 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
The latest Echo Dot is technically the best Dot yet, but only by a narrow margin.
Reviewed: Windows 10 October 2020 Update inches in the right direction
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 12:57:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Microsoft’s Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2) will usher the new Microsoft Edge browser onto millions of PCs, while upgrading the venerable Alt + Tab shortcut with a needed new function. But Microsoft’s designers have turned the once-colorful Start menu into watery gruel with a less-than-impressive visual update.Update: The Windows 10 October 2020 Update is now available for you to download.All in all, the Windows 10 October 2020 Update is another in a line of anemic fall feature updates. And that’s okay! We expected this. For the past two to three years, Microsoft’s major feature updates have coalesced within the “spring” releases, leaving mainly minor patches and quality updates for the fall release. (See the Windows 10 November 2019 Update.) This year is no different, though the small list of changes do allow for some interesting tweaks to your Windows 10 PC.To read this article in full, please click here
Chromebooks versus Windows laptops: Which should you buy?
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 12:09:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Should I buy a Chromebook or a Windows laptop? Whether you’re seeking out the best computer for your child or just weighing which inexpensive computer would make a great gift, we can help you choose the right one for Black Friday, the holidays, or otherwise.Our latest update includes an incredible game-playing perk that Chromebooks have and laptops don’t: the ability to play Xbox games in the cloud. Also, now you can run Windows applications natively on Chromebooks—though just for enterprise customers. Read on for our up-to-date buying recommendations and more.Who should buy a Windows PC? A notebook PC powered by Microsoft Windows offers several advantages. Windows offers the most flexibility to run just about any app, your choice of any browser, and configure antivirus options, utilities, and more. You can tweak and configure your PC as you choose.To read this article in full, please click here
The Windows 10 October 2020 Update is now available to all
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 11:57:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 feature release, the October 2020 Update, is finally here. Microsoft said the latest release is available for download manually now, and it will be pushed to users automatically over the coming weeks.Microsoft finalized the October 2020 Update in September, when it pushed the “final” version of the update to its Insider beta channels. Now the company is rolling out the update to Windows users at large in the same way it’s deployed it in the past: launching it for “seekers” first. If you would like to install the new release right away, you’ll need to open the  Windows Update settings (Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update) and select Check for updates. To read this article in full, please click here
Intel sells its faltering SSD business to SK Hynix
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 11:26:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Intel, one of the biggest names in the flash storage and SSD business, announced Monday evening that it has sold all of its SSD operations to SK Hynix, a company even PC enthusiasts may not recognize. The sale, for a cool $9 billion, comes as Intel apparently exits what is increasingly becoming a commodity business.The sale is interesting because of the quality of what Intel is selling—and the length of time SK Hynix is waiting to get its hands on it. Intel makes some of the best SSDs we’ve reviewed—and some of the most expensive as well, like the Optane SSD 905P that’s over two years old and still sells for over $1,300 on Amazon.To read this article in full, please click here
DOJ sues Google: Let's break down the government's case
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 10:36:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
In a bid to curtail the power of the world’s largest search firm, the U.S. Department of Justice and several states filed suit against Google on Tuesday, alleging that the company illegally uses its dominant position in desktop search and mobile operating systems to prevent rivals from providing effective competition.“Two decades ago, Google became the darling of Silicon Valley as a scrappystartup with an innovative way to search the emerging internet,” the DOJ wrote in its complaint (PDF), in conjunction with several states (though not California, where Google is headquartered). “That Google is long gone,” states the complaint.To read this article in full, please click here
Nest Secure review: This security offering carries a premium price tag
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 10:04:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Save your pennies if you want to adopt Nest’s sleek—yet limited—security offering.
Philips Hue Lily outdoor spotlight review: The perfect highlight for your outdoor landscaping
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 09:59:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
This addition to the outdoor Hue line will really draw attention to your garden (so make sure your plants look their best).
Philips Hue Calla outdoor pathway light review: A sophisticated outdoor lighting system
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 09:58:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Philips takes its Hue smart lighting outdoors with this elegant and well-built pathway light.
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