Computers Reviews

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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