Latest Features

  • The History of the Microprocessor and the Personal Computer

    The PC business as we know it owes itself to an environment of enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and happenstance. The invention of the microprocessor, DRAM, and EPROM integrated circuits would help bring computing to the mainstream. This 5-part series explores the history of personal computing, from the invention of the transistor to modern day chips powering our connected devices.

    By Graham Singer on

  • The State of PC Gaming in 2019

    In 2019, more games flowed between PC and other platforms than ever before and we saw the titanic clash between Valve and Epic. PC gaming retains its unique identity through mods, hardware configurations, and its inextricable ties to Twitch and YouTube. Increasingly, though, the lines between these platforms are dissolving, and everybody's winding up back where so many series and genres started: on PC.

    By Nathan Grayson and Riley MacLeod on

  • Rundown of Must-Have Portable Apps

    Portable apps are lightweight versions of applications that don't use an installer. Executables are contained within a single folder, meaning you can run them from a USB drive or a cloud folder synced across PCs. We've assembled a collection of the best and most useful portable apps across a variety of categories.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • How 3D Game Rendering Works: Texturing

    In this third part of our deeper look at 3D game rendering, we'll be focusing what can happen to the 3D world after the vertex processing has done and the scene has been rasterized. The majority of the visual effects seen in games today are down to the clever use of textures -- without them, games would dull and lifeless. So let's get dive in and see how this all works!

    By Nick Evanson on

  • 2016's $400 GPU vs. 2019's $400 GPUs

    Something we've been hearing a lot this year is that there's a lack of development and progress on the PC gaming/hardware front. In an effort to determine if that's true, we'll test 2016's prime $400 GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 against 2019's $400 GPU players, the RTX 2060 Super and RX 5700 XT and compare them in 37 games at 1080p and 1440p.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Aiming for Atoms: The Art of Making Chips Smaller

    In the world of computer chips, bigger numbers are often better. More cores, higher GHz, greater FLOPs, all desired by engineers and users alike. But there is one measure that's hot news right now and the smaller it is, the better. Let's take a journey into the world of process nodes, to find out more.

    By Nick Evanson on

  • What Ever Happened to ICQ?

    ICQ, short for the phrase "I Seek You," laid the groundwork for standalone instant messaging clients when it arrived in November 1996. Think about how long ago that was... Windows 95 was barely a year old, Nintendo had just introduced the N64, and those with a reason to have a cell phone actually used it to talk on.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • Ryzen 5 3600 vs. 3600X: Which should you buy?

    We were among the first to review the Ryzen 5 3600 and at $200 we found the 6-core, 12-thread processor a crankin' good deal. In short, it murders the 9600K in core-heavy productivity benchmarks and was right there for the gaming tests. But without question the most popular question we received afterwards was: should you buy the Ryzen 5 3600 or the 3600X?

    By Steven Walton on

  • The History of the Modern Graphics Processor

    While 3D graphics turned a fairly dull PC industry into a light and magic show, they owe their existence to generations of innovative endeavour. This is the first installment on a series of four articles that in chronological order, take an extensive look at the history of the GPU. Going from the early days of 3D consumer graphics, to the 3Dfx Voodoo game-changer, the industry's consolidation at the turn of the century, and today's modern GPGPU.

    By Graham Singer on

  • I Deleted All My Social Accounts: Three Weeks Without Social Media

    To say that a lot of people use social media is an understatement. At last count, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat had more than 3 billion active users combined. In a small experiment to find out just how much social networks impact our lives, I decided to disable all my accounts for three weeks to see what, if any, effect it has on my day to day.

    By Rob Thubron on

  • Display Tech Compared: TN vs. VA vs. IPS

    By far the most common types of display panels used on PC monitors are TN, IPS and VA. We're sure you've heard these terms before if you've researched monitors to purchase, and to be clear, the type of panel is a key piece of information that reveals a lot about how the monitor will behave and perform.

    By Tim Schiesser on

  • In Hindsight... Infamous Tech Industry Predictions and Quotations

    The tech industry is known for its predictive pronouncements and verbal sparring as for its actual innovation. Many have felt compelled to follow Intel co-founder Gordon Moore (of Moore's Law fame) in bringing their judgements and observations into the public eye... with varying degrees of success. Here's a taste of those now infamous quotes.

    By Graham Singer and Julio Franco on

  • The State of Nvidia RTX Ray Tracing: One Year Later

    Time to revisit the state of ray tracing. It's been months since we last discussed ray tracing in detail, when we tested it on early titles such as Battlefield V, and the latest releases of Metro and Tomb Raider, so there's plenty of fresh stuff to go over, more benchmarks, more experience playing those games and quite a few opinions. This is bound to be a long one, so strap yourselves in.

    By Tim Schiesser on

  • 5 Days of Awesome Wallpapers: Fans and Enthusiasts

    A great background can start your day off on a good mood, today's theme is brand fan, enthusiasts and cult/pop culture themed wallpapers. Whether you are into beautiful landscapes, minimalism or eye-catching designs and patterns, with the kind of hours we spend looking at our computer and smartphone screens, why not make them a little prettier?

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • 5 Days of Awesome Wallpapers: Minimalist and Abstract Wallpapers

    A great background can start your day off on a good mood, today's theme is minimalist and abstract wallpapers. Whether you are into beautiful landscapes, illustrations or colorful designs, with the kind of hours we spend looking at our computer and smartphone screens, why not make them a little prettier?

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • 5 Days of Awesome Wallpapers: Cars and Sports Wallpapers

    A great background can start your day off on a good mood, today's theme is cars and sports wallpapers. Whether you are into abstract illustrations, or eye-catching designs and patterns, with the kind of hours we spend looking at our computer and smartphone screens, why not make them a little prettier?

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • 5 Days of Awesome Wallpapers: Nature Photography and Amazing Scenes

    A great background can start your day off on a good mood, today's theme is nature photography and amazing scenes. Whether you are into beautiful landscapes, illustrations, or eye-catching designs and patterns, with the kind of hours we spend looking at our computer and smartphone screens, why not make them a little prettier?

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • 5 Days of Awesome Wallpapers: Geometric and Architectural Wallpapers

    A great wallpaper can start your day off on a good mood. There's certainly no shortage of places to find something to revitalize your desktop, whether you are into beautiful landscapes, minimalism, abstract illustrations, or eye-catching designs and patterns. With the kind of hours we spend looking at our computer and smartphone screens, why not make them a little prettier?

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • Assembling a DIY PC Speaker System

    I was bitten by the audiophile bug at a relatively young age, however I never got around to exploring the ins and outs of audio equipment as console gaming, computers and photography consumed much of my free time over the past two decades. Recently, however, an opportunity to further tinker with my sound system presented itself and I couldn't pass it up.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • A Compilation of Command Prompt Tips, Tricks & Cool Things You Can Do

    We've compiled a list of things that you can do in the Windows Command Prompt, including some commands everyone should know for general usage, more advanced ones for tweaking or troubleshooting your PC, as well as lesser known Command Prompt features.

    By Mark Turner on

  • How to Find Your Original Windows 10 Product Key

    Microsoft has been changing and improving the way it handles Windows licenses. We'll cover all you need to know in this article, from old school ways to retrieve keys, to the more modern approaches to make good use of your licenses and what restrictions may apply depending on your type of license.

    By Mark Turner on

  • Using a PlayStation 4 controller with your PC

    Microsoft's Xbox controller has been the default gamepad for PC gamers for some time now, but you may prefer Sony's competing --- and also quite good --- DualShock 4 controller. The good news is, you can easily configure it to work on Windows or macOS.

    By Cal Jeffrey on

  • The Moon, Mars and Beyond: The Tech Behind the New Space Race

    The summer of 2019 saw the 50 year anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, when humans first walked on the surface of the Moon. But now there is a new race -- not of countries, but one fought by companies. Capitalism, growth, and business opportunities are the new fuels, and the goals are even bigger: not just back to the Moon, but on to Mars and beyond.

    By Nick Evanson on

  • "Run as Administrator": What Does It Mean?

    As a TechSpot reader you've surely opened software as an admin on Windows before -- maybe as recently as today -- so the function probably isn't foreign to you. However, we were curious to know more about what happens under the hood of Windows when you tell the operating system to run a program as an administrator, and why this process is necessary in the first place.

    By Mark Turner on

  • How to Backup and Replace Your PlayStation 4 Hard Drive

    When the PlayStation 4 launched in 2013 its 500GB hard drive seemed like more than we could ever use, but the size of games has ballooned exponentially over the years. Upgrading your PS4 storage is not that difficult, so here's a quick guide to help users avoid headaches during the process. Grab your PS4, and let's get started.

    By Cal Jeffrey on

  • Wi-Fi 6 Explained: The Next Generation of Wi-Fi

    Wi-Fi is set to get better and faster with this major update. While plenty of routers are already available with chips using draft specifications, 802.11ax Wi-Fi was not fully finalized until September 2019, ushering in a wave of updated devices touting new wireless capabilities that will contribute toward next-generation networks with more speed and less congestion.

    By Mark Turner on

  • The Best Strategy Games on PC

    So what counts as a strategy game? Here are the best games to play if you feel like taking charge of something, ruining an economy and/or driving an army across the fields of your enemies.

    By Luke Plunkett on

  • Intel Xe Graphics Preview

    Come 2020 Intel will be back in the discrete graphics business and is expected to launch a new GPU for gamers. We can see this going one of two ways: Intel graphics become the butt of the next generation of PC jokes, or they achieve a miracle and enter a market that's been dominated by just two players since the start of the millennia.

    By Isaiah Mayersen on

  • How 3D Game Rendering Works, A Deeper Dive: Rasterization and Ray Tracing

    In this second part of our deeper look at 3D game rendering, we'll be focusing what happens to the 3D world after all of the vertex processing has finished. We'll need to dust off our math textbooks again, grapple with the geometry of frustums, and ponder the puzzle of perspectives. We'll also take a quick dive into the physics of ray tracing, lighting and materials -- excellent!

    By Nick Evanson on

  • Navi vs. Turing: An Architecture Comparison

    You've followed the rumors and ignored the hype; you waited for the reviews and finally slapped down your dollars and walked away with one of the latest graphics cards from AMD or Nvidia. Inside these, lies a large graphics processor, packed with billions of transistors, all running at clock speeds unthinkable a decade ago. Welcome to our architectural comparison of the newest GPUs from AMD and Nvidia.

    By Nick Evanson on