best of articles

Looking Back at 2013: The Year's Top Tech Stories

Twenty-thirteen has been an eventful year marked by a changing landscape in the computing world, product refreshes in the mobile scene, a new generation of consoles, the rise of Bitcoin and the harsh realization that pretty much nothing you do online (and sometimes offline) is private. Our yearly recount of the most relevant tech happenings awaits...

top tech news 2013

10 PC Games You Should Check Out These Holidays

To help keep track of what's shipping over the year's final weeks, we've prepared a list of this season's hottest PC games ordered by release date. As always, you're welcome to pitch in with comments about PC releases we may have overlooked or otherwise excluded.

Best Of: Computer Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know

Best Of: Computer Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know

Many hardcore computer users might think themselves above learning new tricks, but there's always new things to learn that will help improve your skills. Our bet: you will find at least one useful thing here that you didn't know before.

We’ve compiled some of the most handy computer tricks you might not be taking advantage of. Our ultimate goal is to help you become more productive by shaving valuable seconds off your workflow. Of course, you can always pass along these tips to your not-so-savvy friends and family to help them become better PC users as well.

Prison Architect: A Must-See 2013 PC Game

Prison Architect: A Must-See 2013 PC Game

Prison Architect is like 'SimPrison', if there ever was one, made by people who seem to be damn near fearless about making video games about uncomfortable topics. The game is from the indie studio Introversion, who have also made the saddest/best game about nuclear war.

Here's a brief interview with Introversion's own architects about their newest work. They served up some fascinating answers about the possibilities of a game about building and running a prison.

Best Of: 8 Free to Play PC Games That Are Too Good to Be True

Best Of: 8 Free to Play PC Games That Are Too Good to Be True

The gaming world is making a dramatic shift towards free to play games. Of course, full price retail titles still make up for a majority of releases on the PC and most other platforms, but playing a quality game without cracking your wallet open is a completely viable option nowadays.

A free to play game made right should allow players to enjoy everything it has to offer, while keeping monetary transactions completely optional.  We’ve combed through the Internet to bring you the very best PC games pushing forward the free-to-play model -- and making a good name for it, too.

The Best PC Game Mods 2013

The Best PC Game Mods 2013

The real joy of playing a game on PC is that, thanks to mods, your entire experience can be improved by the work of dedicated fans.

Because some mods are so extensive, transforming almost everything about the source title, we felt it was only fair to list 12 of the best of them here, since they may as well count as their own new games.

Looking Back at 2012: The Year's Top Tech Stories

Looking Back at 2012: The Year's Top Tech Stories

As the year comes to an end it's time to look back at the most interesting and relevant tech stories of 2012. Numerous trends consolidated during 2012: Apple’s dominance in the sector, mobile growth, fast-paced releases on the smartphone world, the Windows 8 launch, only to name a few.

This year we have divided stories in 12 heavily packed categories, with nearly 500 hand-picked headlines total. Feel free to jump around between your favored topics, but try not to miss the tech culture section where we revisit some of the most entertaining stories we covered this year. Here’s our take on 2012…

Hardware Apple The Web CPU/Graphics Google Tech Culture Software Microsoft Gaming Mobile Patent Wars Security

Gaming GIFs of 2012

Gaming GIFs of 2012

It's been a heck of a year for games. We've had our highs and we've had our lows, but more importantly, we've all turned those highs and lows into animated GIFs for the rest of the internet to behold.

With that in mind, let's see what the best ones were.
We'll start with a few of our favorites.

Best of 2012: Gadgets and Tech Products

Best of 2012: Gadgets and Tech Products

From the perspective of folks who cover tech-related happenings, this is always a polarizing time of year. The final weeks of December are generally void of product announcements, yet only two weeks later, we're bombarded with new gadgets at CES.

Before we move on to the latest and greatest devices of 2013, we figure it's worth revisiting some of 2012's most popular devices as suggested by our Product Finder, which includes reviews by hundreds of seasoned specialists across the Web. We've included 59 products across 14 categories along with their aggregate review score and a brief commentary that explains why they're special.

Highlight Reel: The Best PC Game Mods of 2012

Highlight Reel: The Best PC Game Mods of 2012

They are, beyond control schemes and visuals, the single best reason to play games on a PC. Mods can, at their laziest, tweak a game so its settings or features behave more to your liking. At their most ambitious, they can transform your entire experience, leaving you with something that feels like an all-new game.

This year was a big one for PC mods, with two - DayZ and Black Mesa - rivalling commercial products for public awareness and, perhaps more importantly, quality. But they weren't the only great mods released this year, here's a shortlist of the best mods released during 2012.

The Best Graphics Cards: Full AMD and Nvidia GPU Comparison with Latest Drivers

The Best Graphics Cards: Full AMD and Nvidia GPU Comparison with Latest Drivers

After a busy year with numerous GPU releases by mid-September things had settled down for good. And then, AMD threw us a curve ball. Their Catalyst 12.11 beta drivers delivered major performance gains in many popular games such as Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, Civilization V, Skyrim, Sleeping Dogs and StarCraft II. Around the same time, Nvidia released a new beta driver of its own which claimed gains in several titles, and this driver has since been replaced by the GeForce 310.61 update, which made further performance enhancements.

With updated pricing and performance across the board, we figured it would be worth revisiting both company's offerings to see where you should spend your hard-earned cash this holiday season and into early next year.

The Best Sub-$100 SSDs Tested, Reviewed

The Best Sub-$100 SSDs Tested, Reviewed

The major issue with SSD adoption over the past few years has been price, the astronomically high price when you are counting in hundreds of gigabytes. In today's comparison review we are going to look at 8 popular SSDs that cost $100 or less and feature capacities of up to 128GB.

The contenders include the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB, Samsung 840 120GB and Crucial m4 128GB. The most affordable high-capacity SSD featured in our roundup is the Kingston SSDNow V+200 120GB, while the OCZ Vertex 4 64GB, Crucial m4 64GB and Samsung 830 64GB should all offer stellar performance for under $80.

Best of Graphics Cards: Gaming at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600

Best of Graphics Cards: Gaming at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600

A powerful graphics card is likely the most expensive component in your PC if you're a gamer, but with all current and past-gen GPUs available in the range of $100 to $500, it can be tough to pick the right solution for your needs.

In an effort to narrow things down, we're about to compare today's most relevant gaming cards that sell for $200 or more, testing them in a slew of games to see how it breaks down as we look for the best graphics cards for gaming at resolutions of 1920x1200 and 2560x1600.

Gaming On The iPad? Here Are Some Picks

Gaming On The iPad? Here Are Some Picks

Stop watching movies on your iPad. Stop browsing the web.
Your iPad can play some great games.

iPad games that shine use the extra screen space and sharper resolution to deliver touch gaming that captivates. Which games do that best? Read on and find out.

TechSpot's Most Anticipated PC Games of 2012

TechSpot's Most Anticipated PC Games of 2012

Like a rollercoaster, 2011 was full of transient highs and enduring lows -- mostly the latter for PC gamers. The year began with a promising lineup, but title after title fell flat. Determined to redeem themselves, developers have readied yet another tantalizing roster.

In fact, many of last year's most anticipated titles have spilled over into 2012, including Diablo III, Guild Wars 2, Mass Effect 3 and Max Payne 3. As usual, we've assembled a list of the hottest PC games expected to hit shelves over the next 12 months.

Best of 2011: Gadgets and Tech Devices

Best of 2011: Gadgets and Tech Devices

As 2011 nears its expiration date you've probably already wrapped up your holiday shopping and are looking forward to the year-end celebrations with your loved ones. Being the tech fanatics that we are we'd also like to take a moment and look back at what 2011 had to offer, from the greatest computer hardware produced to some of the cool gadgets you shouldn't have missed.

We've used our Product Finder engine to selectively pick this year's standout products in over twenty categories as reviewed by hundreds of seasoned specialists across the web.

Top Budget & Enthusiast-Level SSDs for the Price

Top Budget & Enthusiast-Level SSDs for the Price

We've been following the evolution of solid state drives for some time now, highlighting the most relevant offerings at any given time, and noting the impact newer controllers had in improving performance.

To ease your pain in choosing the right SSD, we've put together a condensed list with what we consider the best SSDs in the market right now, basing our picks on performance and highlighting a slightly slower alternative offering a better cost per gigabyte value.

Top Budget & Mainstream CPUs: $80 - $220

Top Budget & Mainstream CPUs: $80 - $220

If you've been following our reviews and PC buying guide you probably already have a good idea of the current landscape: Intel introduced their Sandy Bridge processors at the beginning of the year, bringing unparalleled performance and improved power consumption, while AMD has little to compete with above the $125 mark -- though that might change soon.

Although we always try to keep you up to speed by reviewing the latest CPU releases as these take place, we've compiled a handy list of what we consider the best processor options right now at several price points between $80 and $225.