Windows doesn’t do the best job of scaling on high-resolution monitors. And if you have multiple monitors with different pixel densities, things can get even more confusing. Thankfully, Windows 10 has settings that can help.
Computer mice have been around in one form or another for the better part of 50 years (or longer, based on your definition of invention), and for most of that time they’ve been paired with mouse pads. But modern optical and laser mice can track on just about any surface, unless you’re somehow using your computer on a sand bed. So do those nerdy-looking pads even serve a purpose anymore?
Just like music, surround sound platforms are available in multiple standards. The two big ones supported by most high-end home audio systems are Dolby Digital and DTS (short for the owner of the standard, Dedicated To Sound). But what’s the difference between the two?
Building a modern desktop PC is surprisingly easy, thanks to modular parts and a lot of solid engineering. It’s often explained as “LEGO for adults.” But managing the air cooling system within a PC is considerably more complex. We’re talking about physics, thermodynamics, all sorts of fun stuff. But there are a few basic principles you can apply to almost any build to get optimal airflow, and thus, optimal cooling.
All-in-one PCs are the domain of the novice, the hotel business nook, or the interior decorator who can’t stomach seeing a “real” PC in a pristine living room. With the exception of the iMac, they were seen as boring, underpowered boxes with laptop components stuffed behind a cheap screen. But that’s changing.
Barring any kind of accidental damage, your laptop’s keyboard and touchpad are the parts that start to show wear as soon as you use them. Not only are they some of the only moving parts left in modern laptop design, they’re the ones that are constantly being touched by us fleshy humans, absorbing tiny amounts of skin oil and wearing away the legends on the keys. After a year or so, the keyboard deck can start to look noticeably aged.
Nintendo is apparently allergic to money. After creating an instant and profitable hit with the NES Classic, the company decided to end production of the cheap little emulation machine just a few months after its introduction. No matter: tech savvy Nintendo fans who couldn’t get a hold of one (or didn’t want to line the pockets of scalpers) have other options.
When it comes to computers, more is better. Well, sort of. Most users understand that a faster processor, with speed expressed in megahertz or gigahertz, is more desirable. Likewise, it’s fairly obvious that having more gigabytes of memory (aka RAM) is a good thing. But your RAM has another stat you might be confused about: speed.
In 2016, PC game distributor Steam grew its already-impressive library by 4,207 new games—nearly 40% of its total at the time in just twelve months. The platform is growing almost exponentially. That’s a good thing if you like a little variety in your PC games…but with all that variety, it becomes harder and harder to find the gold among the dross.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim remains a milestone game more than five years after its initial release. And since it doesn’t look like we’re getting another entry in Bethesda’s RPG series for a while longer (no, Elder Scrolls Online doesn’t count), even the most dedicated Skyrim player might be looking for ways to get some new life out of the original game.
It’s every laptop owner’s nightmare: a carelessly spilled cup of coffee. A sudden shower when you’re working outside. Heaven forbid, some kind of farcical bathroom tumble when you really had to get that TPS report in. Conventional wisdom says that a soaked laptop is a dead laptop, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be true, especially if you have a few tools and a lot of patience.
Adobe Photoshop is taking up more room than you think. But Photoshop also uses massive temporary cache files, many over a gigabyte each, which don’t always go away as they should when you close the program.
Most PCs—whether you buy or build them—have at least one unused drive bay. Why not make use of them?
Google released an Android version of Chrome in 2012, and have never bothered to give it a fullscreen mode. If you’re tired of waiting on your favorite Android app to offer fullscreen, there’s a way to do it yourself with Immersive Mode.
The Windows 10 Creators Update—which you can get manually if it hasn’t rolled out to you yet—brings with it a new “Game Mode” that focuses on improving performance for game applications.
PC gaming is experiencing something of a renaissance at the moment, but most people still use their machines as utilitarian web and email access points rather than a platform for video games. But even if your computer has all the graphical power of a sedated hamster, there are plenty of great options for gaming.
Windows is great at a lot of things. Handling its sound devices is not one of them. Despite the fact that most desktop PCs come with multiple sound output options (standard stereo, surround, front and rear, and so on), it’s still a pain to actually switch between them. Let’s see if we can change that.
Valve’s self-branded Steam Controller might just be the most exciting thing to emerge in video game inputs in a decade…but that doesn’t mean it’s intuitive to set up. Just as the double-touchpad design takes some getting used to, its software needs some serious tweaking by the end user.
When it comes to digital distribution for PC games, Steam is the undisputed champion, serving up approximately 2.4 billion total game sales as of March 2017. But just because it currently has a lead in the market doesn’t mean you need to curtail your choices for digital game purchases. Here are 10 alternatives to Steam for PC gamers, some of which offer Steam compatibility, and which often beat it on price as well.
Fraps is best known as an easy and lightweight way to see an active readout of your PC games’ frames per second—that’s where the name comes from. But it’s also a surprisingly flexible way to record game footage for posting to YouTube, Twitch, and other web video services. The relatively low resource usage and easy activation make it ideal for quickly starting and stopping the record function. Here’s how it’s done.
Most of the steps in building your own desktop PC are fairly self-explanatory: thanks to the modular nature of PC parts, it’s actually hard to mess up. But there’s one exception, and it can get messy.
In the immortal words of Jacobim Mugatu, mini-ITX gaming PCs are “so hot right now.” While home-assembled gaming computers have generally been focused on the larger mid-tower ATX standard for decades, a recent wellspring of tiny, powerful components have made more compact builds worth considering.
If you’ve spent the extra money for a 4K TV, monitor, or laptop, you’d probably like to have something to watch on it. Unfortunately, several years after the first sets came to the market, we’re still severely lacking in actual sources for ultra-high-def video content. Options are limited: as of early 2017, here are the online and pay TV services that offer 4K content.
Razer recently announced a new customer loyalty program: PC gamers can earn virtual currency, called “zSilver” and saved in a “zVault,” just for playing the games that they’re already enjoying. Games are launched from Razer’s Cortex desktop program—a bit like Steam without the built-in game store—and tracked minute-by-minute, earning zSilver that can be exchanged for Razer-branded hardware goodies.