Computers Reviews

AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT review: Bleeding-edge, underpowered, and overpriced

When it comes to graphics cards, AMD’s owned the sub-$200 price point for years. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 and 1660 series graphics cards couldn’t hold a candle to the value proposition of the Radeon RX 570 and 580, nor its predecessors, especially once AMD started bundling them with games galore. Those Polaris-powered GPUs are downright ancient, however, and suck down obscene amounts of power compared to modern graphics cards. Enter the new $169 Radeon RX 5500 XT, launching today after…

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Hands on with the Snapdragon 8c and 7c, Qualcomm’s value-PC play

Let’s be honest: We’re a bit skeptical of the new Snapdragon 7c and 8c story, Qualcomm’s latest expansion of its Snapdragon Compute lineup into cheaper markets. But we had a chance to play around with them, and they’re…fine? At the Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, Hawaii, the company offered reporters a chance to try out a pair of 7c and 8c demo machines. Both of the units we saw were reference designs, with pre-production hardware. Miguel Nunes, senior director…

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Microsoft Surface Pro X review: This isn’t the long-lasting tablet we were hoping for

Microsoft’s Surface Pro X was supposed to signal a new chapter for Qualcomm’s foray into Windows PCs and tablets, one where battery life was no longer the sole selling point. To its credit, the new, semi-custom Microsoft SQ1 chip (based on the Snapdragon 8cx) delivers improvements in graphics and performance. We also appreciate the appearance of USB-C and a marvelously-engineered pen cubby.   But in a baffling turn of events, the Surface Pro X falls short in battery life. Meanwhile, the app…

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Creative T100 review: These desktop speakers deliver superb sound from multiple sources

Creative’s T100 is the latest in the companies much-loved T-series of PC speakers. From design to sound quality, it’s the best offering in that line. Not that I’m surprised. The company’s speakers are consistently among the best I’ve reviewed, and its Pebble system is currently our pick for Best Overall Budget Speakers.   This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best budget computer speakers. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.  Each of the…

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The Full Nerd ep. 116: AMD vs. Intel behemoth CPU battle, GTX 1650 Super review, Black Friday deals

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah Ung, Brad Chacos, Alaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray tackle the battle of AMD and Intel’s biggest behemoths: 32-core Threadripper 3970X versus the 18-core Core i9-10980XE. Spoiler alert: It’s a bloodbath. The gang also spends time talking about AMD’s newfound desktop dominance. While those gargantuan processors start around $1,000, we then shift to more affordable hardware, as Brad reviews the GeForce GTX 1650 Super. It had a weird launch, but in the end, Nvidia’s new GPU…

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Nvidia’s $160 GeForce GTX 1650 Super launches with GDDR6 and little fanfare

As promised last month, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 Super launches today, albeit with much less fanfare than the legion of Super-fied GPUs that came before it. Nvidia declined to provide press with drivers to test the graphics card beforehand, nor did the company supply pricing information ahead of time—both highly unusual moves for the company. The last time Nvidia kept so mum around a GPU’s launch, it was because the original $150 GTX 1650 wound up underperforming compared to AMD’s…

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Kensington Pro Fit Ergo Wireless Keyboard review: Mastering this split-style keyboard takes patience

The Pro Fit Ergo Wireless Keyboard joins standing desks and ergonomic chairs as another means of defense against the beating our bodies take at the office. Its “ergonomist-approved design” (quirkily shaped, as you’d expect) presumably provides relief for those who have repetitive stress injures, and an ounce of prevention for those who don’t yet. Measuring 19 x 10 x 1.5 inches and weighing 2.18 pounds, the Pro Fit is clearly built for comfort rather than space savings or portability. All…

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The Full Nerd ep. 114: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X review, Black Friday PC deals, MacBook Pro 16

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah Ung, Brad Chacos, Alaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray review AMD’s monstrous Ryzen 9 3950X, which we dubbed “an epic end-zone dance over Intel.” Yes, AMD’s 16-core processor reigns supreme as the most powerful consumer CPU we’ve ever seen. After that, we (but mostly Alaina) digs into what to expect from Black Friday PC sales, from prebuilts to processors, and explain which on-sale computer hardware is safe to snag now without suffering from buyer’s remorse after…

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The Full Nerd special episode: AMD’s Rob Hallock on 3rd-gen Threadripper, Ryzen 9 3950X, and more

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah Ung, Brad Chacos,  and Adam Patrick Murray are joined by AMD’s Robert Hallock for a deeper look at the newly announced 3rd-gen Threadripper CPUs and the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X! You need an X570 motherboard for Ryzen’s PCIe 4 capabilities Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) ATX AM4 Motherboard with PCIe 4.0 These beastly processors aim to stomp all over Intel’s Core i9-9900KS and Core X chips when they launch later this month, and Hallock explains…

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Black Friday 2019: The best tech deals available now

Black Friday is no longer contained to the day after Thanksgiving. Deals roll out in a chaotic stream all throughout November, and these days, you can score great deals among the lackluster discounts. For 2019, Best Buy, Newegg, and Amazon have all offered an early taste of sweet bargains. Today’s the last day of this round, but we expect further teasers to come soon. Keep an eye peeled for further updates as the days tick by—we’ll add new deals as…

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Ask a PC expert: AMD Radeon Game Clock vs. Nvidia Boost Clock

When AMD launched its terrific new Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards, it brought a new marketing twist to go along with its abundant cutting-edge extras: rated “Game Clock” frequencies. Mentioned in this article PCWorld GPU guru Brad Chacos explains what Game Clock is, and how it compares against Nvidia’s Base and Boost clock speeds, so you know what to look for when you’re browsing options like the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700, Nitro+ Radeon RX 5700 XT, and the…

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AMD reports its highest revenue in 14 years, projects strong Q4 on Ryzen sales

If there was a message underlying AMD chief executive Lisa Su’s comments after the company’s third-quarter earnings call, it’s this: AMD is not a low-end supplier any more. About a week or so after Intel reported an unexpectedly prolonged processor shortage in its own earnings report, Su was asked whether AMD would step in, especially at the low end of the PC market. Though she said she saw “pockets” of weaker demand in the low end, her response was telling:…

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Ask a PC expert: Should you spend more on a CPU or a graphics card?

In this video, PCWorld CPU guru Gordon Mah Ung and GPU expert Brad Chacos weave their way through a crucial question: Should you spend more on your graphics card or your processor? Like all things in life, striking a balance between the two is probably the best answer for most people, especially gamers. But what you spend on your computer should be tied to the workloads you plan on running. Brad and Gordon delve into what sort of workloads are…

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Best budget computer speakers 2019: $100 or less

Your laptop’s built-in speakers aren’t doing any favors for the gigs and gigs of music and movies on your hard drive. Even the best ones can leave your audio sounding thin and lifeless. External PC speakers—along with a good set of headphones—are a must for getting the best fidelity from your media files. A trip online or to your favorite electronics store will reveal a head-spinning variety of options in this category, with some systems costing as much or more…

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The Full Nerd ep. 111: Ryzen 7 3750X leak, Microsoft Elite Series 2, wait for Nvidia Ampere?

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah Ung, Alaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray dive into the future, digging deep into rumors while Brad’s away. Mentioned in this article Elite Series 2 Controller – Black They kick things off by discussing the recently leaked 8-core AMD Ryzen 3750X and whether it can take on the all-8-core-5GHz Intel Core i9-9900KS coming within the next month. After that, the gang dives off a viewer question about graphics card advice for a 1440p, 144Hz…

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Surface Book 2 firmware fixes Nvidia GPU bug blocking Windows 10 upgrades

Microsoft has apparently fixed an issue with its Surface Book 2’s discrete GPU that prevented it from receiving the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, supplying new firmware to solve the problem. As part of a new Surface firmware update released Friday, Microsoft apparently has fixed both a bug affecting the Surface Book 2’s discrete GPU as well as a separate issue that caused its CPU clock speed to slow to a crawl. Thurrott first reported the story.  Microsoft originally blocked…

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Go big or go fast: Corsair shatters the 5GHz DDR4 barrier, G.Skill unveils a monster 256GB RAM kit

It’s a killer time for PC memory enthusiasts. A pair of recent RAM releases should bring a smile to your face regardless of whether you’re into ultra-fast memory speeds or kits with massive capacity. On Thursday, Corsair became the first memory vendor to commercially ship DDR4 RAM that can break the 5GHz barrier on Ryzen 3000-based systems. The company’s 16GB Vengeance LPX kit, a pair of 8GB modules, are based on Micron dies and can hit 5GHz with a CAS…

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Watch The Full Nerd talk about Intel and AMD news live!

Join The Full Nerd gang as they talk about the latest PC hardware topics. Today’s show covers the recent CPU price cuts from Intel, AMD’s new Radeon RX 5500, and our upcoming Dune Pro case build. As always we will be answering your live questions so speak up in the chat. If YouTube is not your thing you can also watch us on Twitch, Facebook, and Twitter. Join the PC related discussions and ask us questions on Discord.Follow the crew…

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Realforce RGB gaming keyboard review: Even for Topre fans this is a tough call

Topre switches. You either love them or…well, you’ve probably never tried them, because they’re prohibitively expensive to all but the most enthusiastic of keyboard enthusiasts. Case in point: The Realforce RGB, Topre’s attempt at a modern RGB gaming keyboard, yours for the low, low price—and this is the point where you swig some water—of $299. Okay, now that you’ve wiped the spit-take from your monitor, let’s dig in. Note: This review is part of our best gaming keyboards roundup. Go there…

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Intel launches powerful Core-X series processors at drastically lower prices

Two years after Intel launched its ultra-high-end “Skylake-X” X-series gaming processors at stratospheric prices (brother, can you spare $1,999?), the company has announced the next-gen “Cascade-X” chips at more affordable prices—if by “affordable,” you mean the price of an Apple iPhone 11 Pro.  Indeed, compared to its $1,999 predecessor, Intel’s new 18-core Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition chip is downright cheap at $979. If that’s still too rich for you, there’s hope: Intel has priced its 10-core Core i9-10900X chip at…

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