Latest Features

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Reasons to Upgrade Your Laptop (That Go Beyond a Performance Upgrade)

    It used to be that buying a new laptop every few years was more or less necessary just to keep up with the large leaps in processing power. Now those generational performance jumps are smaller, however there are good reasons to look into new laptops to replace your two- to five-year-old unit that go beyond performance alone.

    By Cal Jeffrey on

  • Testing AMD's new Radeon Anti-Lag Feature

    Alongside their new Radeon RX 5700 Navi GPUs, AMD rolled out two new features in the Radeon driver suite. Radeon Image Sharpening which directly targets Nvidia's DLSS, and Radeon Anti-Lag to reduce input lag while gaming. So, how well does the latter work?

    By Tim Schiesser 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

  • How 3D Game Rendering Works: Vertex Processing

    In this first part of our deeper look at 3D game rendering, we'll be focusing entirely on the vertex stage of the process. This means dragging out our math textbooks, brushing up on a spot of linear algebra, matrices, and trigonometry -- oh yeah!

    By Nick Evanson on

  • 4GHz CPU Battle: Ryzen 3900X vs. 3700X vs. Core i9-9900K

    Expanding upon all the testing we performed in our day-one 3rd-gen Ryzen coverage, today we'll be running a clock-for-clock comparison benchmark. IPC can be a good indicator of a processor's architecture efficiency, so we're pitting the new Ryzen 3900X and 3700X against Intel's Core i9-9900K.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Testing AMD's new Radeon Image Sharpening: Is It Better than Nvidia's DLSS?

    Today we're taking a deeper look into one of the new features that shipped with AMD's latest Navi GPUs: Radeon Image Sharpening. In short, RIS is a post-processing sharpening feature for games that AMD says carries nearly no performance penalty. How does it compare to GeForce's DLSS?

    By Tim Schiesser 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

  • How CPUs are Designed, Part 4: Where is Computer Architecture and Design Headed?

    Despite continuous improvements, processors haven't had industry shifting advancements for a long time. Yes, transistors are smaller, chips have gotten faster, and performance has increased hundredfold, but we're starting to see diminishing returns. Learn what 3D integration, FPGAs, sea of accelerators and near memory computing are all about.

    By William Gayde on

  • The 10 Coolest Products We Saw at Computex 2019

    Computex 2019 is over and there was more hardware that our daily coverage could handle, and yet we could still rejoice with the very PC hardware-centric show that makes Taipei's yearly stop ever so special. Here are the 10 coolest products we saw at the show this year.

    By Steven Walton on

  • 3D Game Rendering 101

    You're playing the latest Call of Mario: Deathduty Battleyard on your perfect gaming PC. You're looking at a beautiful 4K ultra widescreen monitor, admiring the scenery and detail. Ever wondered just how those graphics got there? Curious about what the game made your PC do to make them? Welcome to our 101 in 3D game rendering: a beginner's guide to how one basic frame of gaming goodness is made.

    By Nick Evanson on

  • Hardware Essentials for $50 or Less

    It's a common misconception that cost is directly related to how useful a device is. This article focuses on supporting accessories -- devices that improve the use of other gadgets, enhance your life or minimize inconveniences. In some instances, they're outright essential.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • Shady Numbers and Bad Business: Inside the Esports Bubble

    The mainstream narrative of esports has been lovingly crafted by those who benefit from its success. There's big money in esports, they say. You've heard the stories. Yet there's a reason why these narratives attract lip-licking headlines in business news and have accrued colossal amounts of venture capital. More and more, esports is looking like a bubble ready to pop.

    By Cecilia D'Anastasio on

  • How Screwed is Intel without Hyper-Threading?

    Today we're exploring the impact disabling Hyper-Threading has on Intel processors. We've done this in the past and it's an interesting test, however there are new incentives to check this out due to the newly discovered side-channel vulnerabilities affecting Intel processors and their impact on Hyper-Threading.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Desktop vs. Laptop Gaming with the RTX 2070

    Gaming laptops have earned their place in the market and that's not up for debate. The idea is to show laptop buyers exactly how their systems will differ to a typical gaming desktop, so today's test is very simple: we've taken an RTX 2070 laptop and compared it to an RTX 2070 desktop in a range of games.

    By Tim Schiesser on

  • How CPUs are Designed, Part 3: Building the Chip

    In this third installment we explore how the physics of how transistors work, how their individual components are built in silicon, and how they are connected to create useful circuits and chips. How do you transform a pile of sand into an advanced processor? Let's find out.

    By William Gayde on

  • The Most Memorable Game Controllers from the Last 40 Years

    As video games have evolved, so have the ways that we control them. In the very early days, there were just knobs, joysticks and trackballs. Today's controllers have one or two analog joysticks and anywhere from 10 to 12 buttons. Here's our list of the most memorable console and PC controllers over the last four decades.

    By Cal Jeffrey on

  • How CPUs are Designed and Built, Part 2: CPU Design Process

    Now that we know how processors work at a high level, it's time to dig inside to understand how the internal components are designed. In part 2 we'll discuss transistors, logic gates, power and clock delivery, design synthesis, and verification.

    By William Gayde on

  • The History of Lightsabers in Video Games

    The lightsaber has been around since the very beginning of Star Wars and they've been part of many different Star Wars video games throughout the past 30+ years. They also show us how video games have improved and advanced over the last few decades. So grab your lightsaber, turn it on and wave it around.

    By Zack Zwiezen on

  • Discrete GPU on a Cheap OEM PC: Does it Make Sense?

    After testing the GTX 1650 we pledged to track down a popular OEM PC that didn't have a 6-pin PCIe power connector. This lead us to the HP Elitedesk 800 G1, a computer that most who were in favor of the GTX 1650 recommended we test with. Here we go.

    By Steven Walton on

  • The 10 Most Anticipated PC Games of 2019

    2018 was a fantastic year for the gaming world at large, but for PC gamers, it was a bit of a mixed bag. Kingdom Come: Deliverance launched in February to great success and other titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Forza Horizon 4 and Vermintide 2 were received to excellent user impressions. What's in store for 2019?

    By Cohen Coberly on

  • Update your BIOS: Utilities from Top Motherboard Makers

    Enthusiasts building their own PCs are accustomed to keeping up with latest drivers, especially when it comes to things like graphics cards. Motherboard BIOS updates are also critical to get the most out of your hardware and improved compatibility.

    By Erik Orejuela and Julio Franco on