Computers Reviews

Intel Adds Optane Memory to Kaby Lake NUCs | News & Opinion

Optane memory is expensive, so Intel decided to include it as a 16GB cache for its tiny PCs. Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC) desktop PCs are now a well-known option for anyone wanting a tiny PC they can sit on the back of a monitor. Typically, they come in barebones form, requiring the user to add storage, RAM, and an operating system. Intel regularly refreshes the NUC line-up as its new processors hit the market, but the latest NUC…

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Logitech MK850 Performance review: A quiet, comfy keyboard that needs more snap

The Logitech MK850 clearly aims to be your go-to keyboard and mouse for your desktop, phone, and tablet. With its roomy, ergonomically minded design, the keyboard is also a gift to aching wrists. But while the MK850’s agility at juggling wireless connections is impressive, the keys themselves feel disappointingly mushy. Basic features Quickly switch among up to three Windows, MacOS, iOS or Android devices Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth or USB dongle Two AAA batteries Advertised battery life of three years…

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Microsoft Modern Keyboard review: The sleek design and fingerprint scanner will cost you

Microsoft’s sleek, elegant Modern Keyboard looks as good as its feels, with pleasingly clickable keys, a bevy of dedicated Windows keys and an ace up its sleeve: a built-in fingerprint reader. Our only gripes about this rechargeable, Bluetooth-enabled keypad are its lack of programmable keys and its lofty price tag. Basic features Windows 10 compatible Bluetooth connectivity Built-in fingerprint scanner Rechargeable, with an advertised four months between charges The Microsoft Modern Keyboard makes a striking first impression with its super-slim…

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The Best Computer Monitors of 2017

Improve Your View The monitor you’re using right now might have come bundled with your desktop PC, or maybe you bought it back when 1,240 by 768 was considered high resolution. Since you spend a huge part of every day looking at it, however, it pays to be picky when picking the right screen. Price ranges vary widely, as do the quality of panels. We’ll walk you through the latest trends in display technology, as well as the specific features…

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M.2 SSD roundup: Tiny drives deliver huge performance

No, M.2 (pronounced M-dot-two) is not a government spy organization or secret project. It’s a small-form-factor (SFF) multi-purpose connector designed to replace the small mSATA and mini-PCIe slots commonly used in laptops. As such, M.2 isn’t designed strictly for storage, (it supports USB, SATA, and PCIe), but storage is a large part of what’s driving its adoption—even on the desktop. Say what? The thing is, M.2’s PCIe connectivity has coincided nicely with the migration of SSD drives to PCIe, to…

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How to buy and install a closed-loop CPU liquid cooler for PCs

Peanut butter and jelly. Han Solo and Chewie. Expensive electronics and liquid. One of these things is not like the others. Anyone who has suffered a keyboard spill or fished a smartphone from a toilet bowl knows that liquids and electronics often aren’t compatible. But, when it comes to PC cooling, sealed all-in-one (AIO) liquid cooling systems—also known as closed-loop coolers—are safe, effective, and easy to install. Indeed, in such instances, water is a PC’s friend! While the stock air cooler…

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Use your TV as a computer monitor: Everything you need to know

A couple of months ago, I took a good, hard look at my dual-screen setup and thought, hmmm, maybe I should get another monitor. A bigger monitor. Then, after an hour or two of researching 27-inch monitors online, I walked into my living room and was struck with a brilliant idea: Maybe, instead of purchasing an entirely new monitor, I should just move my 32-inch HDTV into my office and call it a day. Bigger is better, you know, and…

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Gigabyte’s mini-ITX GTX 1080 prepares for battle with Radeon Vega Nano

Bigger is usually better in the world of graphics cards, but these days, plenty of people want plus-sized power in fun-sized packages. Enter Gigabyte’s GeForce GTX 1080 Mini ITX 8G, the smallest GTX 1080 yet—and an early strike against AMD’s incoming Radeon RX Vega Nano. At 169mm in length, Gigabyte’s graphics card is the perfect fit for mini-ITX motherboards, which measure 170mm. The GeForce GTX 1080 Mini ITX 8G offers the same 1607MHz base clock and 1733MHz boost speeds as…

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How to switch from Mac to PC, part 6: Which Mac users should do it

After spending close to 20 years as a Mac user, I decided to switch to using a Windows 10 PC. Over the past few months, we’ve gone over all the angles of this decision: In the final installment of this series, I’m going to discuss which kinds of Mac users should switch to Windows, and who should keep their Mac, and why. The grass isn’t always greener First, a confession: I was wrong about why I wanted to leave the…

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Build a DIY Mac for Gaming

Fellow Macworld contributor Kirk McElhearn recently built a mini Hackintosh; that is, a generic PC styled like a Mac mini, on which he installed and ran macOS. This is a road I’ve gone down myself, way back in 2008, when I built my Frankenmac. As Kirk was building a relatively low-end Mac clone, and as Apple has ignored the high-end Mac Pro for so many years, I thought it’d be interesting to build a new high-end Frankenmac. Why build a…

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How to build a PC: A step-by-step guide

AMD’s disruptive Ryzen processors and Intel’s new Core i9 chips have sparked a wave of interest in PC building, but some people still hesitate at the idea of crafting a custom PC. Don’t! Building your own PC isn’t some arcane art or esoteric skill that only the most hardcore of hardware geeks can pull off. In fact, assembling a DIY PC is pretty straightforward once you’ve settled on your parts list.  Rolling your own computer offers a number of advantages that…

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We test AMD’s monster 1950X CPU

AMD’s 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1950X ($999 on Amazon) is an angry Godzilla stomping his way through downtown Tokyo. Those puny 8-core, 6-core, and 4-core CPUs? They’re just tanks and army trucks to be punted across the city.  Yes, it’s that good. But before you buy, there’s a lot you need to know about what is arguably the most powerful consumer CPU ever unleashed upon mankind. Gordon Mah Ung/IDG AMD’s 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is arguably the most powerful consumer…

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Speed up Windows 10: Tips for a fas

Your computer is slow. Annoyingly slow. You can add RAM, or buy a faster SSD, but that costs money. No, the first thing you should do is try to make Windows faster. Thus we present nine ways to speed up your Windows 10 PC without spending a dime. Be warned: There’s always a trade-off. More speed may mean less battery life, or even giving up a beloved program. You’ll have to decide what sacrifices you’re willing to make in order…

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Best external drives of 2017

External drives are a vital piece of hardware for backing up your data or copying a project from your PC to take with you. Anyone who uses a desktop or laptop computer needs one. To help you sift through the stacks of external storage options, we’ve combed through our reviews of both external hard disks and SSDs to pick the top drives we’ve tested. We’ll also walk you through what you need to know to buy the best external drive…

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Vega 56, Vega 64, and liquid-cooled Vega 64

After months of teases and delays, the wait for Vega is finally over. First, AMD launched its flagship Radeon RX 64 lineup: the $499 Radeon RX Vega 64 and the $699 liquid-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64, which is only available as part of a convoluted “Radeon Aqua Pack” bundle. (Update: After the initial wave of availability, virtually all available air-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64 cards are only available in $599 Radeon Packs as well.) Then on August 28, the $399 Radeon RX Vega 56…

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