Posts Tagged ‘Hardware’

AMD’s Ryzen CPUs fight back in Steam’s April hardware survey

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G motherboard

AMD have been a bit on the back foot in recent years, but it would appear the release of their new Ryzen+ CPUs is already paying off. According to Steam’s latest hardware survey for April 2018, AMD took a 4.8% bite out of Intel’s lead last month, taking the number of Steam users using an AMD processor to a new high of 15.96%. That’s an increase of 45% since December 2017.

Things aren’t so rosy for AMD in the graphics card department, however, as Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 is still the reigning champion by quite some margin.  Read the rest of this entry »

Fnatic Flick 2 review: DPI on the X and Y

Fnatic Flick 2

If two new mechanical keyboards weren’t enough for you, esports giants Fnatic have also released a new pair of mice to go with them, the first of which I’ve got here: the Flick 2. As its name implies, this is the second generation of Fnatic’s Flick mouse, now with a newer, grippier grip, a more refined symmetrical shape and a better, more accurate sensor. Read the rest of this entry »

Nvidia release hotfix driver for GTX 1060 boot loop woes

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 owners have been having a bit of a tough time lately. First they go and download Nvidia’s latest GeForce driver (397.31 – WHQL) like good graphics card people in preparation for the latest and greatest nifty games like Frostpunk and Battletech, and then they find their PC’s now stuck in an endless boot loop vortex of doom because some bugs crawled into said driver when no one was looking.

No one wants that, least of all Nvidia, whose GTX 1060 is currently the most popular graphics card of modern times, according to Steam’s most recent hardware survey, not to mention our own best graphics card pick for gaming at 1440p resolutions. Luckily, after wading through a week’s worth of dodgy workarounds, Nvidia finally have a fix for it. Read the rest of this entry »

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 / 2600X review: The Intel Core-i5 Coffee Lake killers

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

The Ryzen 5 2600 and 2600X are AMD’s new mid-range desktop CPUs, and they’re primed and ready to take on Intel’s 8th Gen Core i5 Coffee Lake processors. With six cores and 12 threads apiece, plus respective base clock speeds of 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz, they may not look like huge improvements over their 1600 and 1600X Ryzen predecessors on paper, but this time it’s what’s inside that counts, as both chips now have a faster, more efficient architecture behind them and better tech to help them reach their improved max boost clock speeds of 3.9GHz and 4.2GHz more regularly.

Today, I’ll be looking at both the Ryzen 5 2600 and its X-rated sibling together in one big mid-range face off, pitching them against each other and seeing how they compare to help you decide which one is worth buying.

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Intel’s Kaby Lake X CPUs are getting discontinued

Kaby Lake X

In the age of Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs, not to mention AMD’s Ryzen+ chips, it’s probably unlikely that you’ll be considering one of Intel’s old Kaby Lake X processors for your next PC build. Still, just in case you are thinking about buying an Intel Core i7-7740X or Core i5-7640X, you should probably know that they’re about to be discontinued starting in this merry month of May, according to a product change notification on its websiteRead the rest of this entry »

Steam Input adds native Switch Pro Controller support

Steam: Switch Pro controller

While one of the best things about having a gaming-spec PC is the sheer freedom you have in input devices, it really does help to have a reliable, widely supported gamepad. My current go-to is the XBox One controller, but there might be another competitor on the horizon. You’ll have to opt in to the latest Steam beta to use it, but you can now use a Nintendo Switch Pro controller on Steam, remarkably useful gyro-aiming and all.

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Fnatic Streak / miniStreak review: Gettin’ skinny with it

Fnatic Streak keyboards

Fnatic probably means more to you as an esports team than a hardware manufacturer, but if you’re after the world’s thinnest RGB mechanical keyboard, then Fnatic’s new Streak is the place to be. There’s also the miniStreak for those who prefer something a bit more compact or can’t remember the last time they touched their number pad, so this review will cover both of them at the same time. Read the rest of this entry »

Best gaming headset 2018: Our top PC picks

Best gaming headsets 2018

With the heady days of desktop speakers firmly behind us (and monitor speakers still being hopelessly underpowered for anything but the briefest of email pings), the only way to truly appreciate today’s game music is through a gaming headset – which is why I’m here to help you find the best gaming headset for your needs and budget.

As I’ve found over many years of headset testing, finding a good one is fraught with problems, as you’ve not only got to find one that sounds decent, but there’s also the quality of its microphone for those all-important multiplayer sessions with your mates to consider, and whether its headband suddenly becomes a vice-like torture device after 30 minutes of use. To that end, I’ve created this handy guide, listing my current favourites as well as things you should look out for when buying a headset of your very own. Let’s count ourselves in… Read the rest of this entry »

Cougar Phontum review: A great headset for $50

Cougar Phontum header

Best known for their PC cases, power supplies and cooling fans, peripherals maker Cougar have a new gaming headset on the block: the Cougar Phontum. Eschewing the eye-catching spaghetti-style headbands of Cougar’s previous headsets, the Immersa and Immersa Pro, the Phontum (definitely not Phantom) aims to win hearts and minds with its oversized 53mm audio drivers, universal platform support and its rather nice price of just £43 / $50. Let’s see if it’s any good. Read the rest of this entry »

Are graphics card prices finally starting to come down? GTX 1080s haven’t been this cheap since Black Friday

GTX 1080 Mini header

Is it… is it nearly over? Has the time finally come when I can stand firm, brandish my credit card and… buy a new graphics card? After what seems like months, nay, years of over-exaggerated price inflation due to all of today’s best graphics cards being like sweet, sweet honey to would-be cryptocurrency mining bandwagoners, graphics card prices might actually be starting to drop – and about time, too.

Case in point, you can currently get one of Gigabyte’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 cards for a mere £509 over on Amazon today, which, while not exactly is the same as its original RRP, is the cheapest it’s been all year – and certainly the cheapest it’s been since Black Friday when we rounded up all the best graphics card deals. Go forth while stocks last, brave graphics card upgraders. Read the rest of this entry »

Samsung 970 Evo review: The best NVMe SSD around

Samsung 970 Evo

The Samsung 960 Evo and 960 Pro NVMe SSDs feel like they’ve been around for an absolute age, but when I heard they were getting replaced earlier in the week by a new 970 series as of May 7, it still came as something of a surprise. These new NVMe models are also split into Pro and Evo variants, and today I’ve got the 1TB version of the 970 Evo. Let’s see how it lives up to its Best SSD-crowned predecessor.  Read the rest of this entry »

Prepare to be blinded by Philips’ 1000nit 4K FreeSync 2 monitor

Philips FreeSync 2

Who knew late April was the time for oodles of monitor announcements, eh? Well, if yesterday’s news of the FreeSync 2-equipped AOC AGON AG322QC4 didn’t make your eyes pop out of their sockets, then the jumbo Philips 436M6VBPAB almost certainly will thanks to its blinding max brightness of 1000cd/m2.

This giant 43in VA panel is the first of a new line of Momentum monitors from Philips, and is the first in the world to get VESA’s DisplayHDR 1000 certificate rating, essentially giving it lots of the same high-end credentials you’ll find in Ultra HD Premium TVs but in monitor form. This includes that aforementioned 1000cd/m2 brightness, 97.6% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, and a sort-of 10-bit colour depth panel.  Read the rest of this entry »

Best monitor 2018: Top gaming monitors and buying guide

Monitor buying guide header

Your monitor is one of the most important parts of your PC, so finding the best monitor to suit your needs and budget is vital. Trying to buy one in a shop, however, can be an absolute nightmare, as you’ll often find dozens of screens costing anything from £70 right up to £1500. The range of models and prices can be overwhelming, but this guide is here to help.

We’ll take you through everything you need to know about screen sizes, resolutions, refresh rates, panel types, inputs and adjustable stands, as well as provide a few recommendations of our own based on our own testing. By the time you’re done here, you’ll be fully equipped to find the best monitor for you. Let’s begin!

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Samsung adds 970 Evo and 970 Pro to their NVMe SSD family

Samsung 970 Evo and 970 Pro

Surprise! Just when you thought Samsung’s 960 Evo and 960 Pro NVMe SSDs were going to stick around for another year, today brings news of their shiny new replacements: the appropriately-named 970 Evo and 970 Pro. I’ll be reviewing them both very shortly, but for now here’s a quick run-down of each SSD’s specs and the kind of speeds we can expect to see from them when they eventually get released in the coming weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

AOC unveil first FreeSync 2 monitor, the AGON AG322QC4

AOC AG322QC4

The vast majority of PC gamers may own Nvidia graphics cards, but when it comes to the world of gaming monitors and adaptive frame rate technologies, AMD rule the roost. The reasons for this are unknown. Perhaps it’s because AMD’s FreeSync tech (see our best monitor buying guide for more info on the Free vs G debate) doesn’t require monitor companies to pay an extra royalty fee, thereby making FreeSync monitors cheaper than their G-Sync rivals. Or maybe it’s AMD’s way of pleading with monitor buyers that they really should, please, just get an AMD graphics card.

Either way, there’s another FreeSync monitor about to hit shop shelves, this time in the form of the AOC AGON AG322QC4. This one, however, is a little different. While it’s the company’s first display to get the snazzy FreeSync 2 certification, which should hopefully mean it has similar image quality and high dynamic range (HDR) credentials to the preposterously wide Samsung CHG90, it’s also got a VESA DisplayHDR 400 rating. Here’s what’s what. Read the rest of this entry »

HP Omen X 17 review: A stylish gaming laptop with beefy innards

HP Omen X 17

HP have been making a bit of a comeback of late. Everywhere you look it’s Omen this and Omen X sponsored that, so I thought it was high time I saw what all the fuss was about. What I’ve got here is the Omen X 17, or the catchily named HP Omen X 17-ap003na to give it its full and proper title, which is the toppest of HP’s top-end gaming laptops.

There are many other Omen X 17 configurations available, including models with different processor and graphics card combinations, but inside the 17-ap003na you’ll find an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, a quad-core Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, 16GB of RAM, a huge 17.3in, 1920×1080 IPS display with a 120Hz refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync support, plus a 256GB NVMe SSD and 1TB HDD, making it one of the most potent portable(ish) gaming machines I’ve seen since the MSI GT75VR Titan Pro. Read the rest of this entry »

Samsung CHG90 review: We’re gonna need a bigger desk

Samsung CHG90

The Samsung CHG90, or the LC49HG90DMNXZA to give it its full and proper title, is by far the most ludicrous monitor I’ve ever seen. Measuring a whopping 49in across its fancy curved diagonal, this ultra-super-stupidly-wide 32:9, 3840×1080, 144Hz, HDR (let me catch my breath for a second) FreeSync 2 VA display is proper bonkers. And I sort of kind of love it. Read the rest of this entry »

AMD confirm AM4 motherboards will be supported until 2020

AMD AM4 motherboard

After months of murky rumours, vague interview statements and subsequent but equally unclear clarifications, AMD have confirmed once and for all that their AM4 motherboard platform will continue to receive support until the year 2020. This will come as excellent news for existing Ryzen users and incoming Ryzen+ buyers, as it means that any potential new motherboard purchase isn’t about to go the way of every other tech purchase these days and be made redundant in six months. Good times.  Read the rest of this entry »

AMD Ryzen+: Everything you need to know about AMD’s 2nd Gen CPUs and more

AMD CES 2018

AMD’s second generation of Ryzen CPUs are finally here. Also known as Ryzen+ or the 2000-series, these four new desktop chips are set to replace last year’s Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 families, offering more competitive performance compared to Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs.

There’s a fair amount to get your head round, though, especially when you start throwing AMD’s 2000-series (but not Ryzen+) Ryzen Vega APUs into the mix as well, so I’ve put together this hopefully helpful guide that sets out all things Ryzen-related, including the price and specs of all the chips you can buy right now, as well as the proposed release dates for the rest of AMD’s upcoming Ryzen roll-out plan.

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Best DDR4 RAM 2018: Our top memory for gaming and buying guide

Best DDR4 RAM 2018

Let’s face it, RAM isn’t the most exciting part of any PC build, but getting the right type, the right amount and the right speed can make a difference to how your system performs. Plus, the latest RAM even has RGB lighting. Here you’ll find our comprehensive guide to what to look for when buying RAM for your system, plus our pick of the best options for a range of budgets. Read the rest of this entry »