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TechSpot

Our latest original content and features. TechSpot offers comprehensive product reviews, practical and in-depth how-to guides, PC enthusiast must-reads, as well as buying recommendations round up our daily tech coverage.

Massive Chalice Review: A smart, fun exploration of turn-based tactics

If you want to understand Massive Chalice, you need to understand XCOM. Double Fine’s Massive Chalice has been hugely influenced by Julian Gallop’s seminal 1994 strategy game. Massive Chalice focuses on up-close tactical gameplay and big-picture strategy. It handles the former exceptionally well, far better than it handles the latter.

Batman: Arkham Knight Benchmarked, Performance Review

Batman: Arkham Knight, the fourth entry in Warner Brother's Batman: Arkham series, is based on the same Unreal Engine 3 as its predecessor and an Nvidia-sponsored title. Favoring one camp of GPUs is hardly the least contentious way to launch a new game, however it seems this release would have rattled cages regardless. Countless Nvidia and AMD users have expressed anger about Arkham Knight's performance and stuttering issues. Here's what we found in our tests.

Batman: Arkham Knight Review: Open-world superhero brawler with a car

Batman: Arkham Knight is the fourth major title in the Warner Bros. series of video games that began with 2009’s Arkham Asylum. Tonally, Arkham Knight is very much an Arkham game, but the decision to revolve so much of the game around the new Batmobile is an alienating move that robs Arkham Knight at the outset of the fantasy of becoming the Dark Knight. Once we’re past that silliness, however, it unfurls a plot that is by far the strongest of the series.

Network Help: A list of common default router IP addresses

Here's the scenario: you are helping a relative with network issues and need to access their router's browser interface. You can typically find the information by entering 'ipconfig' into the Windows command prompt, but if for some reason you can't retrieve the router's IP address using that method, we've compiled a brief list of popular router brands and their common default addresses. The list includes most router manufacturers with more than a dozen or so models.

Here we go again: Is Windows 10 Free? Yes, and No. An Explainer

Microsoft is set to release Windows 10 on July 29th and users of current versions of the operating system will get an upgrade free of charge. So where's the confusion? Microsoft has sent mixed signals (more than once) and speculation has built on top of that about who gets the free upgrade and who doesn't, if Insiders get a free pass or not. Here's an overview of the different upgrade paths to Windows 10 that explains it all.

Best CPU for a budget gaming PC: Athlon X4 860K vs. Pentium G3258

The most affordable build in our recent PC buying guide update caught the attention of many. At around $500, it's ideal for everyday computing with some lightweight gaming. If you're adding a dedicated GPU, however, it makes sense to swap our APU pick for a cheaper CPU, with the saving going towards graphics. We paired two $70 CPUs with the GTX 960 and R9 285 in 20 of the most popular AAA titles, to find out which one is best for gamers on a budget.

Heroes of the Storm Review: Easy to get into and fun to play

Blizzard defines Heroes of the Storm as a “hero brawler.” But really, it’s a MOBA—an idiosyncratic and sparsely populated genre that mixes together bits and pieces of real-time strategy and fighting games in fiercely competitive matches. The game pits two teams of fantastical creatures against each other to see who can destroy the other’s base first.

Radeon R9 390X, R9 390 & R9 380 Review: One last rebadge before unleashing the Fury

It's been three and a half years since AMD made great strides with its first GCN-based GPU. While there have been some notable releases in between, they're essentially rebadges with little to no performance edge over the original. We've been wondering what AMD's next move would be and it looks like the answer is yet another round of rebadged Radeons ahead of the real next-gen release. On hand today is the HIS IceQ X² OC R9 390X, R9 390 & R9 380.

Steam Refunds: Friend or Foe? An indie developer's perspective

On Tuesday Steam added a refund procedure that allows you to get a full refund on any Steam game you’ve purchased in the last 14 days and played for less than 2 hours.The sudden manner in which the refund program was announced and implemented has many developers asking: “Is this good for me?” Let’s go through the new refund flow together.

Intel Celeron N3050 & Pentium N3700 Review: Entry-level "Braswell" SoCs for small desktops

Intel's new Braswell SoCs promise to be faster across the board while also consuming less power than Bay Trail. The new chips are manufactured using Intel's 14nm process and include the mobile Celeron N3000, N3050, N3150, and Pentium N3700. The last three are meant for desktop systems and today we have the N3050 and N3700 in hand for testing.

Windows 10 Mobile Wish List: It's time to catch up or die

I was a big fan of Windows Phone 8 when it was released, but with Microsoft neglecting their smartphone platform in the last year, the OS has slipped far behind Android 5.0 and iOS 8. What follows in this article is a list of changes, improvements and new features we hope Microsoft includes when Windows 10 Mobile lands later this year.

Hatred Review: A controversial game that isn't really worth hating

Hatred is a twin-stick shooter that displays its dreary world from an overhead perspective. The player is cast as a nameless antagonist who's decided to go on a mass killing spree. Literally the only things he can do are move and kill. It's unveiling created ripples of outrage months ago and now that the game's here it's one of the top-selling on Steam. If only the people at Destructive Creations were as good at making video games as they are at marketing them.

This is the fastest laptop we've ever tested: Origin EON15-X Laptop Review

Ultrabooks, shmultrabooks. Mobile or otherwise, gamers know there is no substitute for a massive slab of expensive and power-hungry hardware. As a result, Origin PC has implemented a straightforward tactic to grant laptops hairier chests: cram in an honest to goodness desktop CPU. Yep, Origin’s EON15-X packs a full-fledged “Devil’s Canyon” Intel Core i7 along a GeForce GTX 980M GPU into a relatively modest 15-inch laptop.

Benchmarking TechSpot's PC Buying Guide Systems: We built and tested them; see how they compare

Breaking down today's best hardware across five price points, from Budget Box to Extreme Machine, the TechSpot PC buying guide was recently updated with our latest recommendations. Now, for the first time, we are actually going to build each system and show you the kind of performance each price point delivers.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Benchmarked, Performance Review

The Witcher 3 is the New Crysis We have tested nineteen DirectX 11 graphics cards to find out how the game performs in both AMD and Nvidia hardware. After extensive testing it's clear why The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt doesn't look nearly as good as the 2013's trailer: even in its current uber beautiful form, the game is simply too demanding for today's hardware.

The Witcher 3 Review: A grand adventure that feels distinctly of its time

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world role-playing game that casts you as a legendary and sexy monster hunter named Geralt of Rivia. You spend most of the game guiding Geralt as he explores a collection of massive open outdoor areas, taking on quests, slaying monsters, talking with people, making difficult moral choices, and gradually leveling up his gear and abilities. Basically, doing the whole RPG thing.

Microsoft Lumia 640 Review: Another Budget Windows Phone

Since Microsoft acquired Nokia’s smartphone division, the company has focused its efforts on mid-range and entry-level handsets, with the Lumia 640 we are reviewing today being their latest. It's got a decent hardware package for the price and runs Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box, with a promised upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile later this year.

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: Mid-2015 Update

The TechSpot PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning five unique budgets. Whether you're a first time builder seeking guidance or a seasoned enthusiast, we have you covered.

• Decent performance • Good for everyday computing • Gaming with add-on GPU
• Good performance • Fast for everyday computing • Casual gaming
• Excellent performance • Great Multitasker • Perfect for gaming
• High-end performance • Heavy multitasking • High-quality gaming
• Workstation-like performance • Extreme multitasking • Extreme gaming

Memory Lane: The best-looking video game consoles of all time

Silly fanboys. All these years arguing over things you thought were important, like specs, and games, and controllers. Not once have you considered the most crucial thing about a video game console: how good it looks. Over the past four decades, there have been some plain consoles, sometimes even some ugly consoles, but we don’t care about them today. Today, we celebrate the best-looking video game consoles (no handhelds) of all time.

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