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.

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.

Parallelization Efficiency: Estimating multi-core CPU performance using Amdahl's Law

While frequency is a decent indicator of how well a CPU will perform in some programs, when the ability to use multiple cores is factored in it can get tricky as not all programs are as efficient at using them. Using a mathematical equation called Amdahl's Law you can determine how efficient your program is at using multiple CPU cores (it's parallelization efficiency) and then use that to estimate the performance of different CPU models of similar architecture.

Ultimate SSD Showdown: 14 consumer-grade drives compared

SSD technology grew stale after saturating the SATA 6Gb/s bus, bringing minor improvements and making up for it with price cuts. With new PCIe and M.2 drives presenting a high performance alternative, it's time for a roundup. We review fourteen of the best consumer-grade SSDs using the SATA, PCI Express or M.2 interfaces and tell you what to buy.

Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge Review: Samsung finally delivers on design

The launch of the Galaxy S6 is one of the most important for Samsung in a long time, and this time around there’s not just one flagship, but two: the company has released a curved-display Edge variant. Both come with a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a top-end 1440p resolution, a brand new Exynos 7 Octa 7420 SoC, and a 16-megapixel optically stabilized camera. Unlike with the past three generations of Galaxy flagships, there’s no Qualcomm model in sight.

When SSD Performance Goes Awry: Samsung's SSD 840 read performance degradation explained

An avalanche of reports started to surface last September when users began to notice that their usually speedy Samsung SSD 840 and SSD 840 EVO drives were no longer performing as they used to. We've looked deep into the problem to understand what's been fixed and what hasn't. Samsung owes its customers an explanation.

Work and Play? Razer Blade Pro (2015) Review

The Razer Blade has earned a solid reputation among those looking for a lightweight gaming notebook, but what if your mobile gaming rig also doubles as your productivity machine? Razer would encourage you to check out the new Blade Pro which is powered by a quad-core Core i7, SSD/HDD combo, and a generous 17.3-inch display which affords the real estate necessary for the highlight of the notebook, Razer’s Switchblade UI.

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Silverstone Mammoth MM01 Review: A massive case built for harsh environments

The Silverstone "Mammoth" MM01 is built for folks who want a robust case that can protect systems or servers in harsh conditions. It's completely dust and spill-proof with a HEPA air filter, front and back panels designed to deflect liquid and a sealed top panel, all while boasting the capacity of a bar fridge at an impressive 87.7L.

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