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The last Week In Tech


Apparently, Intel will soon be selling CPUs with onboard AMD graphics. I have now, officially, seen everything. Yes, that includes a man eating his own head. I’m therefore leaving immediately for Nepal, where I intend to live as a goat. Which reminds me. It’s been nearly six years since my very first story and I’d like to think I’m unrivalled on RPS when it comes to the shameless recycling of other people’s gags. But, whatever. This is, ladies and germs, goodbye-ee. It’s also time to consider what’s become of the gaming PC over the last half-decade or so… Read the rest of this entry »

AMD Radeon RX 460 review: A bargain or just bad?

Multi-bazillion-transistor behemoths like Nvidia’s Titan or the AMD Radeon R9 Fury are all well and good, but it’s rare when you meet someone who actually bought one in the wild. ut the stats suggest hardly any of us actually buy them. Very few, if the latest Steam surveys are anything to do by, with not a single Titan showing up in the list. That said, even Nvidia’s mid-range GTX 1070 card is only used by 1.93% of Steam gamers these days, and that’s after a year on sale. Indeed, the second most popular GPU after Nvidia’s last-gen GTX 960 is its old budget board, the GTX 750Ti, proving that cheaper cards are still by and large the most popular choice among the majority of gamers.

AMD’s RX 460 is yet another attempt to capture that end of the market, but since we first looked at it a year ago, AMD’s gone and updated it with a slightly newer variant, the RX 560. You can still buy an RX 460 if you scout around – Scan still sell the 2GB version for around £100 – but it’s the RX 560 that should be your prime consideration. They’re both based on the same GPU, but the RX 560 has a slightly higher clock speed, giving it a small boost to performance. We haven’t looked at the RX 560 in detail just yet, but you can still get a pretty good idea about what to expect based on our following thoughts about the RX 460. Aspirational it ain’t, but could this entry-level board make for good-enough gaming graphics? There’s only one way to find out.

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AMD Radeon RX 480 review: Graphics greatness you can actually afford?

AMD’s pixel pumping Radeon RX 480 is slightly old hat now. Despite its close competitor, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, being alive and well and readily available to buy, the RX 480 has all but disappeared from online retailers – unless you want to pay massively over the odds for one, of course. That’s largely because it’s now been replaced by the newer RX 580, which shares the same GPU / chipset / thingy as the RX 480, but comes with a slightly higher clock speed, allowing it to run just a teeny bit faster compared to its 480 predecessor.

That said, until we’ve taken a closer look at said RX 580 to find out just how much better it is, you can get a pretty good idea of what it’s like by reading my original thoughts on the RX 480. So how does it perform? Forget the benchmarks, let’s give the new RX 480 a good old grope.

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The best gaming CPU for 2017 and beyond

Yes. I know. There has indeed been an awful lot of CPU coverage lately. What with AMD’s Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper chips, plus the sudden launch of Intel CPUs with up to 18 cores, not to mention Intel finally upping its mainstream ante from four to six cores, 2017 has surely been the year of the CPU. Which begs an obvious question. What is now the best gaming CPU? Judging that on the hoof as the launches come thick and fast isn’t always easy. But now the dust has settled. Now we know how all these new CPUs stack up. It’s time to pick a winner.

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Intel’s Core i5-8400: the new go-to gaming CPU


Intel’s new 8th Gen Core chips are out and there is much rejoicing. For the first time in about five years, Intel has made an unambiguous step forward with its mainstream CPUs. In short, they’ve bunged in an extra pair of cores across the board. Where once you had two cores or four cores, now you have four cores or six cores. Of course more cores don’t automatically translate into a better gaming experience. But I still think the new Core i5-8400 will become the chip of choice for gamers. Here’s why.

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Intel’s new Coffee Lake CPUs: right chips, wrong price


Or should that be nearly the right chips at slightly the wrong prices? Either way, as I was saying Intel has finally pulled its finger out and given us PC diehards something to be other than apathetic about. No, not ridiculoso $2,000 processors with 18 cores. But new mainstream processors codenamed Coffee Lake that have now taken the leap from solid rumour to retail reality. With more cores across the board, it’s Intel’s biggest upgrade for at least five years and undeniably a good thing for gamers.

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8K non-gaming and the importance of pixels

Philips' new 8K wonderscreen

Yes, yes, I know 8K gaming is an utter irrelevance. Frankly, 4K remains a niche gaming resolution. But hang with me. 8K monitors are popping up from major manufacturers and with them the build-it-and-they-will-come logic of gaming at a preposterous resolution of 7,680 by 4,320 pixels. The fact that gaming at 8K isn’t really viable with current hardware is, up to a point, a separate issue. The mere possibility of gaming at a resolution fully four times higher than 4K begs the question of how much resolution matters and indeed how much it matters compared to other factors including refresh rate, response, colour quality, panel size and more. How important, truly, are pixels?

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Incoming: some excellent new gaming CPUs from Intel

...this isn't one of them

I’m jumping the gun just a little but a few of you have sent emails on precisely this subject and there’s a significant quantity of fairly solid info out there, so let’s talk about the shape of all things CPU and gaming. AMD’s Ryzen chips have very obviously been the big news thus far this year. But completing the picture for the next six months or so is what will shortly amount to the most significant update to Intel’s CPU line up from a gamer’s perspective in about five years. For once, it’s going to be unambiguously good news… Read the rest of this entry »

Update: AMD’s new graphics and CPU awesomeness


It’s all kicking off at AMD, peeps. The new Vega graphics chip is now more than merely a press release and has finally been released into the wild. Meanwhile, the insane ThreadRipper CPU with 16 cores and 32 threads has also landed. It’s all a far cry from just a few months ago when AMD was soldiering on with an elderly graphics product and a deadbeat CPU line up. Time to catch up with AMD’s latest hardware awesomeness. Read the rest of this entry »

AMD’s new RX Vega gaming graphics revealed at last


It’s been an arsingly long time coming but AMD finally has some new graphics tech to flog and for all of us to game upon. The new Radeon RX Vega generation of gaming cards has been announced. Inevitably, we’ll have to wait just a little longer to find out exactly how fast they are but we know enough to begin answering some key questions and posing a few more. Is this the graphics revolution we’ve all been waiting for, for instance, or is it one derivation too many of AMD’s successful GCN architecture? Strap in and let’s go.

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Why Nvidia is overcharging us all off, just a bit

As I was saying, Intel’s CPU strategy has gone into meltdown. As a consequence, the cynicism of its approach in the face of weak competition – right up until AMD pulled its new Ryzen out of the proverbial – has been laid bare. But it’s not just Chipzilla that’s worthy of your scorn. For some time now, Nvidia has essentially been ripping us all off just a little bit. Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »

A laying-on of hands with Intel’s new 10-core monster

What’s that you say? A $1,000 10-core CPU has naff all to do with real-world gaming? To which I might riposte, who cares? Get a load of all 10 cores. Behold 20 threads humming away in Task Manager. Or I might not. But I have had a go with the new Intel Core-i9 7900X. Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »

The strange story of the PC’s not-death

Remember when the PC was dying-going-on-dead? Actually, it’s still dying with analysts prognosticating a further five per cent slippage in PC shipments this year. And yet the PC gaming hardware industry hit record sales in 2016, busting the $30 billion barrier in the process. Meanwhile, the market for innovative PC technology that’s at least ostensibly gaming-relevant has gone positively mental. Not that gaming PCs doing better than regular PCs is breaking news. But I wonder how much we’re all actually benefiting from those 18-core CPUs, VR headsets, 240Hz superwide monitors and 1TB SSDs. How much better, in other words, have your gaming PCs really got? Read the rest of this entry »

Intel’s 18-core CPU and, er, other exciting stuff

As I was saying, an 18-core CPU is obviously irrelevant for PC gaming. Actually, I was speaking then of AMD’s then-staggering 16-core Threadripper CPU. Two weeks later, Threadripper is already ancient news. It’s been comprehensively gazumped by a new 18-core CPU from Intel and suddenly the PC hardware landscape looks a little potty. I know I’ve been bleating for literally years about Intel’s sandbagging and how we needed AMD to spice things up. But this is a bit ridiculous. Be careful what you ask for… Read the rest of this entry »

AMD’s 16-core CPU and other exciting stuff

Yes, yes, a 16-core CPU is likely-going-on-definitely irrelevant for PC gaming. But it’s an exciting notion in simple technological terms and it represents something that certainly is important for gaming, namely that the PC as a platform has woken up again. Along with that mega-CPU from AMD, we also have the imminent prospect of new graphics card families from both AMD and Nvidia, new CPUs from Intel in response to AMD Ryzen assault, an intriguing new APU, again from AMD, that could just make for some nice cheapo laptops with genuine gaming chops and, well, plenty more. And the annual Computex tech shindig hasn’t even kicked off yet…

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Hands on with AMD’s cheaper Ryzen 5 CPUs

Serving up eight pukka CPU cores at a price mere mortals can afford was easily the most compelling part of the initial AMD Ryzen proposition. But there’s been some filling out of the Ryzen range since last we alighted the subject. Specifically, a load of quad-core and six-core models have hit retail. They’re significantly cheaper than the beefy eight-core beasts. Might they actually make more sense for gaming than those slightly flawed eight-core chips? Read the rest of this entry »

What Xbox ‘Project Scorpio’ means for PC gaming

Microsoft has dished the deets on its upcoming ‘Scorpio’ hardware update for the Xbox console, and in what amounts to uncharacteristic detail and candour given the ruddy thing isn’t going on sale until the end of 2017. But what are we poor PC peasants to make of the Beast of Redmond’s latest game box and its towering on-paper capabilities? In short, what influence will Project Scorpio’s trick new hardware have on future PC games? Read the rest of this entry »

LG’s bonkers new 38-inch superwide monitor

Behold the stunning breadth of its super-wide proportions. Marvel at the lustrous sheen of its impeccable anti-glare coating. Is LG’s new 38-inch, 21:9-aspect FreeSync-capable masterwork not every gamer’s ultimate fantasy? You’d think so. But it just goes to show how complex the monitor market has become, especially for we gamers, that the LG 38UC99 falls surprisingly short as a gaming companion. There’s a broader lesson in here, I reckon, when it comes to picking gaming panels. Read the rest of this entry »

AMD’s new Ryzen CPU and gaming: Take two

As we saw two weeks ago, AMD’s new Ryzen CPU is excellent in many regards. Hurrah. But its most conspicuous weakness is gaming. Haroo. Ryzen really is awfully important for all PC enthusiasts, so it’s worth a closer look at just what is going on with Ryzen and PC gaming. Be warned, however, for now there aren’t any easy answers. Read the rest of this entry »

Hands on with AMD’s fab new Ryzen CPU

Rejoice, for AMD’s new Ryzen CPU is here. And it’s good. Thank science for that. Another dud from AMD didn’t bear thinking about. Instead, we get to ponder just how good Ryzen is and indeed how good it truly needs to be. It isn’t the very fastest CPU money can buy or the greatest gaming CPU ever. But that’s just dandy. It’s still going to blow the PC processor market wide open and force Intel to seriously up its game. Read the rest of this entry »