Surge Protectors vs. UPS: Do You Really Need a Battery Backup for Your PC?

Most PC users understand that a power surge, blackout, or other sudden loss of electricity has the capacity to seriously hurt your computer. But exactly what one should do to protect against it gets a little fuzzier. The two most common means of protection are a standard surge protector, sometimes (wrongly) called a power strip, or an uninterruptible power supply, usually shortened to UPS. (No connection with the delivery guys in the brown shorts.)

Everything Amazon’s Echo Show Can Do That Other Echos Can’t

The Echo Show‘s handy 7″ screen makes it stand apart from all the other Amazon Echo products. While Alexa was designed to do things without any touch input at all, sometimes it’s handy to just tap a screen, rather than listen to a long, drawn-out verbal prompt. The Show gives you a touch screen fall back when you need it, plus it lets you play video in the background. Here are the biggest ways the Echo Show distinguishes itself from other Echo products.

The Best Wireless VR Setups, Current and Upcoming

Virtual reality is the next big thing in digital gaming…and this time it might even stick around. But one of the biggest hurdles to adoption for VR systems like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive is that, at the end of the day, you’re strapping a screen to your face and tethering yourself to a computer. Having a thick bundle of cables rip off your headset just as you’re getting into the game is a long way from the immersive future we’ve been promised.

How Good Are Smartphone Cameras?

Smartphone cameras have never been better. The technology has come a long way. They’ve been used by professional photographers to shoot magazine covers. Apple has built a billboard advertising campaign around photos taken with the iPhone. Obviously smartphone cameras can be used to take good photos in the right circumstances, but how good is the actual camera? Let’s find out.

The Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards Under $40

Mechanical keyboards are all the rage computer enthusiasts and gamers. If you’ve been using a rubber dome or scissor switch keyboard for your whole life, buying a new clicky keyboard might be intimidating, to say nothing of the considerable expense. Even the cheapest models from mainstream suppliers start at around $80, and go well into the hundreds for RGB lights and programmable extras—a lot of dough to drop on something you aren’t sure you’ll like.

How to Monitor and Control Your Mac’s Fans

Your Mac’s fans probably aren’t something you think about very often—until something goes wrong. Maybe you hear the fan too often, and it’s driving you nuts. Maybe you’ve stopped hearing your fan altogether, even when you Mac feels hot. Either way, you should probably look into that.

Should You Buy an iMac Pro, or Wait for the Modular Mac Pro Redesign?

When Apple refreshed the venerable Mac Pro desktop in 2013, reception was mixed to say the least. While the second-gen machine’s tiny footprint and polished case (aka the “trash can”) are certainly eye-catching, and there’s an undeniable amount of engineering in its design, the official line that only the memory can be upgraded after purchase put off a lot of power users.

3 Ways to Make Steam Even Faster

Have you ever noticed how slow Steam’s built-in web browser can be? Do you struggle with slow download speeds? Or is Steam just slow in general? These tips will help you speed it up.

How (and When) to Reset the SMC on Your Mac

Your Mac is acting funny, and you’ve tried everything: restarting your computer, resetting the NVRAM, and all the tricks that speed up a slow Mac. You even ran 50+ diagnostics at once to see what’s going on, and yet you find nothing. What’s the next step?

Intel’s New X Series of Enthusiast CPUs, Explained

In addition to a brand new tier of consumer-grade processors, the Core i9 family, Intel also recently introduced the “X-series.” Here’s where things get confusing, because Core X processors don’t fit into a single line, family, or even chip architecture—it’s purely a marketing term, similar to the previous “Extreme Edition” processors that Intel offered a few years ago.

What Is Intel’s New Core i9 CPU Series?

For years, Intel’s flagship Core processor series has had three performance tiers: i3, i5, and the top-of-the-line i7. But after several disappointingly small performance iterations and the looming specter of AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper processor, Intel announced a new king of the CPU hill: the Core i9.

How to Clean and Renovate a Used Model M Keyboard

The venerable Model M, first manufactured by IBM in the 1980s (and then licensed and sold to other companies), enjoys a hallowed space in the hearts and minds of keyboard enthusiasts. Its relatively simple-but-durable buckling spring switch mechanism has stood the test of time, literally: many keyboards from the original production runs are still functioning and being used by those who love the old-fashioned construction and feel.