The monitor is a crucial, yet often neglected element of the PC experience. This indispensable device gets overlooked the most! (more…)
Regarding antiviruses, there are a plethora of logical options. We all use the internet differently and inn order to help you choose, we’ll determine which security suite suits which user profile.
After closely analyzing most of 2017’s suites, one thing is for certain: these solutions have a rather limited impact on performances, and their efficiency is superior to the basic defense tools built into Windows 10.
We have noticed a trend: suites include more features, including PC optimization, and take into account the diversity of devices in the household. But, besides BitDefender, all the publishers must do better integrating their mobile solutions and offering the possibility of controlling everything from a single interface.
In our previous article we reviewed four of the most loaded laptops around the $500 tag. We have lowered it further to $400 to see what the market segmentation is like at that price point. The point of high end laptops was to provide performance and we cared little about weight and battery life. Surely, at this budget if we are not asking for gaming, we can get good laptops for lightweight productivity and casual use. Can’t We?
Well the market is segmented differently from the perspective of a few manufacturers. Somehow, they want to convince consumers that at $400 they can provide everything just as well as those high end products. As a result, we end up with products that aren’t good for power users or the casual ones. These are the products which you would want to avoid. Also considering your personal needs is important while deciding what you might prefer. For example, if you are a blogger who likes to travel to different places and write about them then reliable battery performance is going to matter more than CPU performance or the RAM size. Similarly, a corporate executive can appreciate a faster SSD which would make boot time extremely small and programs like Microsoft Office would load quickly.
Notice that we are considering products that can be regarded as laptops and are not convertible tablets or Chromebooks. The main reason for doing this is not so much the form factor but the CPU inside it. Anything with an Intel Core M from any generation is something we are intentionally avoiding just to stick to laptop department alone. There is an entire range of Macbooks and Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Book, but those things cost north of a $1000 price tag. Something a budget conscious person would avoid.
Best Budget Graphics Cards 2017 Between 200 and 400 dollars: GTX 1060 3GB vs GTX 1060 6GB vs RX 480 VS RX 470
We faced off the representatives of Nvidia’s and AMD’s mid-range to evaluate their performance and quality/price ratio.
The best cards between 200 and 400 dollars
Usually the launch of new graphics cards make glances go towards the high-end, to those outrageous numbers, monstrous frame rates or resolutions within the reach of very few, but it is in the mid-range, where the vast majority of buyers aim for because it is where the best price/performance ratio on the market is, in that range between 200 and 300 $. That is why we are going to highlight and face off with one another representatives from both Nvidia and AMD in the range: the GTX 1060 6GB, GTX 1060 3GB, RX 480 8GB and RX 470 4GB.
On the green brand’s side, we have 2 versions of the same card, the GTX 1060 in its 6GB and 3GB models, but they are not exactly the same card as we can see below.
The PC gaming market is flooded with newer and more efficient hardware which has the gaming community psyched since the Nvidia Pascal release in 2016. Given all of this, it is curious to see how many budget gaming laptops still use the older GPUs, mostly GTX 950M and 960M. We will see as we look closely at individual laptops, how good of a performance they pack for the aforementioned budget. The most crucial deciding factor other than the GPU, will be high speed storage, CPU and of course, the display.
However, one thing should be made clear, laptops at any price point will never give a good a bang for your buck next to a PC build with a similar price tag. For the given budget of $700, you can easily build a decent gaming PC with GTX 1060 or better that will play most games at 1080p at high settings. This article solely concerns itself with the laptop market. If you already have a PC and need a secondary device for light gaming and casual use or if you absolutely need a portable gaming device then should you consider getting one of these.
Dell Inspiron 15.6” 7559
Dell has made some very interesting decisions with this model. First and foremost is the pricing, at the time of this writing Inspiron 7559 is priced at a $740 and comes packed with an i5 6300HQ, an Nvidia Geforce GTX 960M and 8 GB of DDR3L memory. The storage comes in the form of 256 GB m.2 SSD leaving a vacant slot for an extra 2.5” storage drive, if you need to expand your storage.
In the past articles, we recommended several laptops around 300 dollars, which could meet the basic needs of the office, but their performances do not meet the demands of many games. Today, we recommend several gaming laptops around 500 dollars. They will meet most of all the mid-range and low-end games needs because many mid-range games can only be played at medium resolutions settings. Hence, it can be said that the laptops costing around $500 are good fits for the users who don’t pursue high-end gaming experience, but enjoy playing older games.
The integrated graphics that APU platform uses have better gaming performance than that of Intel processor. The gaming laptops around $500 usually adopt APU platform in order to get better graphics performance. At first, I didn’t think there were laptops with discrete graphics at around $500. Fortunately though, we found Acer F5-573G-56CG , which is equipped with i5-6200U CPU and GTX940MX graphics. At slightly higher price of at around $550, this is what we recommend as a better choice.
One of the things that most worries new users when setting up a new PC is the known theme of the bottleneck caused by CPU, something understandable considering that each graphics card can have certain requirements and need a processor or greater or less power.
First of all I want to clearly and extensively clarify what exactly this bottleneck caused by CPU is, as it is a fairly broad topic and not everyone has a solid understanding, even after the publication of this article which I undoubtedly invite you to review.
A bottleneck means that one or more components offer a lower performance than other elements in the system, and when they are working at the same time, they slow or limit their full potential. This is the simplest definition I can give you.
In the case of the CPU it is the processor that ‘feeds’ data to the GPU, and if the GPU ‘pulls frames per second’ faster than it receives information from the processor it will be slowed down and it won’t be able to work at its maximum capacity. This clarifies exactly what a CPU bottleneck is.
Different levels of bottlenecking
First of all, I want to make something clear that appears not to have been properly understood in the previous article, there are many levels of bottlenecking within the same type of bottleneck, and they can be ordered and differentiated according to their severity.
Once you get close to making up your mind as to what laptop you would like to buy, you may find yourself having to choose between two very similar machines, with similar technical and design characteristics, but which have been constructed by two different manufacturers.
Is there really any difference between brands?
Even if from one manufacturer to another, a computer’s components might come from the same supplier, the laptop’s brand is its most distinctive element and what will be important to you in making your decision.
It is similar to what happens with cars: two brands of cars, built with parts coming from the same suppliers, only really distinguish themselves from each other by their brand, which is what represents the manufacturer’s standards and reputation, the level of styling and finishing, as well as the quality of the after-sales service.
What are the best laptop brands? Which ones are the worst?
The reliability of brands is a highly controversial subject. Oftentimes, a brand’s perceived reputation is polluted by anecdotal accounts which fill up certain online forums with raging rants, and it becomes hard to determine whether these negative opinions are really statistically representative of an actual lack of quality.
Choosing a processor or operating system is not a simple task, especially when technical terms start to appear which are as foreign as Chinese.
When installing an operating system you have the option of using either the 32 or the 64-bit version. When buying a computer CPU or a smartphone, you will find that both 32 and 64-bit processors are available. What is the difference? Which is better? Can you really notice a difference between them? We are going to try to answer these questions.
In computing, lots of concepts are linked to bits because bits are the DNA of computing and therefore, everything revolves around them.
On the March update, we highlight the price decrease of the GTX 1080, which finally cost less than 600 dollars.
There are also news within the mid-range, with the 8 GB RX 480 having a much more attractive price and the 4 GB Gigabyte RX 460 costing only 120 dollars.
We updated our list with the best graphic cards, adding some models that have gone down in price. There are news on all the three ranges, and among those we highlight the RX 460 by Sapphire with 4 GB GDDR5 for less than 130 dollars, the GTX 1060 by EVGA for less than 240 dollars and the GTX 1080 by MSI which costs less than 520 dollars.