Feature Index Page 14

  • Know Your Smartphone: A Guide to Camera Hardware

    For many people smartphone cameras have replaced standalone point-and-shoots as the go-to device for everyday photography. But just what goes in to making a good smartphone camera? What hardware do companies use? What do pixel sizes and f-stops really mean? In this article I'll be exploring the hardware, key terms associated with photography, and some comparisons along the way.

    By Tim Schiesser on

  • Virtualized Desktops & GPU Acceleration: Is This The Future of Computing?

    We take a look some of the more common advantages and disadvantages of virtual desktops, give our general impressions on setting up and using virtual desktops for a variety of uses and make some educated guesses as to whether virtual desktops truly are the future of computing or if they will likely remain a niche technology.

    By Matt Bach on

  • Debunking a Myth: DDR3 RAM vs. ECC Memory Performance

    Much of the ECC versus Non-ECC argument comes down to speed versus reliability. The reliability argument at least is easy to validate, but to settle the question of whether ECC actually lowers system performance, we ran a series of benchmarks with standard RAM, ECC RAM, and Registered ECC RAM that all run at the exact same frequency, timings, and voltage.

    By Matt Bach on

  • E3 2014 PC Game Trailer Roundup

    Didn't clear your schedule to track E3? Here are 40 plus PC game trailers from the event along with expected release dates and launch platforms for each title, ordered alphabetically. Some highlights include Batman: Arkham Knight, The Division, Star Wars: Battlefront, Far Cry 4 and the much anticipated PC version of Grand Theft Auto V.

    By Matthew DeCarlo on

  • Why Game Developers Keep Getting Laid Off

    Over the past few years, we've heard a litany of gloomy stories about layoffs at game development studios. Even mega-publishers regularly downsize, shutting down studios and laying off staff on what seems to be a cyclical basis. Yet, paradoxically, the video game industry is booming. So why is this such a common occurrence?

    By Jason Schreier on

  • Five Free VPN Services You Should Check Out

    In general, totally free high quality VPN services are few and far between. The current business model being used by some is to offer a free basic application with the option to upgrade to a paid, more feature rich version. However, for users simply looking for some extra privacy or sporadically accessing a geo-restricted website these free versions get the job done.

    By Erik Orejuela on

  • Building a 4K Ultra HD Gaming PC

    If you've got a gaming PC capable of playing most modern-day games at Ultra settings, there's a good chance it'll be able to handle an Ultra HD monitor. How well it handles an Ultra HD monitor will come down to your graphics hardware. What does it take to put together a 4K-ready gaming PC? That's what we plan to find out.

    By Mike Fahey on

  • Busted! 7 Myths About Cord Cutting

    My household cut the metaphorical cable cord about five years ago, so I've watched this idea evolve in the media from "insane notion" to "cable industry crisis." But the truth is a bit more complicated than that. To help you decide whether cable abandonment is right for you, we're tackling seven major cord-cutting myths.

    By Marcy Bonebright on

  • Running Linux From a USB Drive As a Virtual Machine or Bootable Disk

    There are a number of uses for running Linux from a USB drive, from simply test driving Linux to troubleshooting a Windows PC, or working on the go from someone else's computer. There are basically two ways to go about it: from within Windows using virtualization software such as VirtualBox, or creating a boot disk. This quick guide details both methods in a few easy steps.

    By Erik Orejuela on

  • AMD Low-Power APUs: Beema and Mullins Preview

    Intel's Bay Trail platform and low-power Haswell offerings may be the go-to choice when it comes to mainstream Windows tablets and laptops, but AMD believes that their next generation chips will be the best. A refinement of their work on APUs in the past few years, the new chips, 'Beema' and 'Mullins', are set to be strong contenders in this segment.

    By Tim Schiesser on

  • Iconic Hardware: Products that Made a Dent on the PC Industry

    What makes a product iconic? Design, functionality, styling, and innovation will get you part of the way there, but the true tests are how these products distinguished themselves from their competitors, how widely those traits were subsequently imitated by those competitors, and how history remembers their status.

    By Graham Singer on

  • Fire TV vs. Roku vs. Chromecast: Between a set-top box and a streaming stick

    As Amazon Fire TV bursts onto the market to compete with streamers like the Roku 3 and Apple TV, you may be wondering what these set-top boxes offer over cheaper streaming sticks, specifically Google's Chromecast and Roku's Streaming Stick.

    By Simon Hill and Louis Ramirez on

  • Media Players and Video Formats: A Detailed Battery Life Analysis

    Video playback is one common case scenario where efficiency is crucial and where a lengthy battery life is an infrequently found godsend. But what you may not realize is that the video player itself, and the format your videos are encoded in, can also have an impact on battery life consumption.

    By Tim Schiesser on

  • These 9 Devices Might Be a Waste of Your Money

    Sometimes it pays to buy slightly older devices in place of tempting deals on newly released tech. But that approach to buying electronics can only take you so far. Before you consider buying any of the items on this list, think long and hard about whether such a device is actually a redundant waste of your money.

    By Simon Hill on

  • TechSpot PC Buying Guide (2013-2014)

    The TechSpot PC Buying Guide provides you with an in-depth list of today's best hardware, spanning four unique and yet typical budgets. Whether you are a first time builder seeking guidance or a seasoned enthusiast, we've got you covered.

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • Screenshot Sharing in a Snap: 7 Free Alternatives to Droplr

    Many of us at TechSpot use Droplr to quickly share screenshots. While this simple app is great at what it does, since it moved to a subscription-only model I decided to look for a replacement. It's just hard to justify paying $4.99 a month when there are quite a few options out there that work just as well. Here are 7 of them.

    By Erik Orejuela on

  • Mobile Messaging Clients Compared

    Messaging is not only among the top activities on smartphones (if not THE top activity), messaging apps are increasingly seen as social networks. After all people use them to send each other texts, videos, photos and other content either one-on-one or as a group. Sounds familiar, right?

    By Jose Vilches on

  • The Homebrew Litecoin Mining Project

    If you're looking to treat virtual coin mining as a hobby, Litecoins are probably the best bet right now and we'll show you how to get started with choosing and configuring the hardware and software you'll need.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • Testing Reliability: Puget Systems' List of Tried and True PC Hardware

    We've all been there. You want to buy a new graphics card, you read the reviews, and settle on the best GPU within your budget. Then you have to decide from half dozen or so manufacturers that offer nearly identical hardware. But which is the most reliable?

    By Matt Bach on

  • How Much Does It Cost to Make a Video Game?

    How much does a blockbuster game cost to make? Of all the opaque video game industry questions, this is perhaps the most opaque. Many in the industry don't even know the budgets of games. It is not unusual for developer working on a big-budget game to have no idea of the game's budget.

    By superannuation (via Kotaku) on

  • SSD Form Factors: Everything You Need to Know

    When solid state drives first started replacing HDDs, they had to fit into computer chassis or laptop drive bays built for HDDs, so they had to conform to HDD dimensions. However, there's no requirement for the SSD to match the shape of a typical HDD as it's more evident today.

    By Kent Smith on

  • Free-For-All: How Valve Is Building a New Way to Play Games

    The decidedly odd, innovative Steam Controller. What will happen when a company steeped in software releases their first piece of hardware? No one -- including the people making the controller -- is quite sure.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • 10 Mobile Tech Predictions for 2014

    High resolution 1080p displays started to rival real paper, quad-core processors dominated, and smartphone cameras packed more megapixels than a professional DSLR. So what will 2014 bring?

    By Tim Schiesser on

  • The Year in Tech: 2013 Top Technology Stories

    Twenty-thirteen has been an eventful year marked by a changing landscape in the computing world, the usual product refreshes in mobile, the birth of new consoles, the rise of Bitcoin, and the harsh realization that pretty much nothing you do online (and sometimes even offline) is private.

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • Best Gadgets and Tech Products of 2013

    As we reach the end of the year, it's a good time to look back and draw a line between the best tech product launches of 2013 and the rest of the pack. Leveraging the power of TechSpot's Product Finder, here come 2013's most popular and noteworthy tech products across 14 categories.

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • WTF: 10 of the Weirdest Products Ever

    First, a friendly disclaimer. This is not a holiday shopping list. If you were hoping to find something useful to give, this ain't the place. For all the useful items you can potentially find while browsing around on Amazon, eBay or your online retailer of choice, there are always the occasional WTF?! products in the mix.

    By Paula Kerrigan on

  • Learn How to Code: 22 Free Online Resources

    Whether you're looking for something new to learn, or just want to refresh your memory on something that might be a bit rusty, there are plenty of free sources online that you can take advantage of free code classes.

    By Wendy Boswell on

  • Time Saver: 100% Hands Off Subtitle Downloads in Windows or Mac

    We've seen a few applications that make the process of downloading subtitles for movies and TV shows as simple as dragging and dropping a video file. Why not take it to the next level and make subtitles fetching 100% hands off? With the help AHK in Windows and Automator in OS X we certainly can.

    By Jose Vilches on

  • Xbox One vs. PS4: How They Stack Up Today

    Both the Xbox One and the PS4 received "Not Yet" verdicts in our reviews. Are they must-have systems? Are they essential? Not yet. Wait and see. That said, we've now compared both on a number of categories so if you're not one to wait, you'll definitely know what you are getting into with each of them.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • 12 Ways Black Friday 2013 Will Be Different

    As the official starter for the holiday shopping season, Black Friday is expected to be a frenzy of bargains, but with each passing year there are some elements that change. Our friends at DealNews feel that the best way to make the most of this annual shopping event is to be prepared. Here are 12 ways in which Black Friday 2013 will be different than previous years.

    By Louis Ramirez on