Posts in Category: pc hardware

Intel Xe Graphics Cards: Rumors, Specs, Pricing, Release Date

Alex

It’s been over two decades since Intel released a discrete graphics card (the last was the disappointing Intel740, which hit the market back in 1998). That is set to change in 2020, when Intel intends to release its new discrete GPU, the Intel Xe.

Intel is being characteristically tight-lipped about what we can expect with their new cards, but if the Xe (pronounced “ex-ee”) proves to be a reliable alternative to Nvidia or AMD cards, PC builders might soon have more options at their disposal.

This article will tell you what we know about Intel Xe so far.

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Lopsided Memory Channels: Uneven RAM Set-ups Explained

Uneven RAM feature image

Recently, we talked about memory channels: What they are, what they do, and why modern computers have multiple. But what happens when you aren’t using the common one or two identical sticks in each channel? What if you have one channel with one stick, and another with two? What if you aren’t using RAM from just one RAM kit, so you have one 4GB stick and one 8GB stick? Some claim that all your RAM works in single-channel mode under such circumstances, but how is that possible when you are physically using more than just one channel on the motherboard?

In this article, I will explain what happens when a different amount of RAM is installed into each of multiple memory channels on a motherboard (when memory channels are populated unevenly).

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RAM Channels Guide: The What, and The How

If you’ve ever taken a look at a product page for sticks of RAM, or at the specifications for a CPU or motherboard, you’ve probably seen “memory channels” mentioned.

For many beginners, this sparks questions like, “What’s the deal? Does dual-channel mean I can only use two sticks? What do multiple channels do that one channel doesn’t? Can I use quad-channel RAM on a dual-channel motherboard?”

The answers to those questions and more can be found below, so read on!

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Headphones Buying Guide

If you’ve spent more than five minutes checking headphones online, you’ve probably realised a few things:

  1. There’s thousands of different headphones.
  2. There’s thousands of different headphones with different properties and use cases.
  3. There’s thousands of different headphones with different properties and use cases, all within your budget.
  4. So you’ve furrowed your brow, opted out of the stress, and foisted this job to your future self (your limited spare time is better spent in nobler pursuits—like searching through your Netflix or Steam backlog).

All the headphones I’ve purchased have been for different uses, and each one has come with pros and cons. There’s a lot to consider, and hopefully this guide will help make the decision easier. Keep in mind that the following is in general terms. You may find a specific pair of headphones that behaves unexpectedly or as if it had different properties, and that’s fine. But this should match at least 90% of standard headphones on the market.

If you just want to get some recommendations for headphones based on different use cases and budgets, you can skip down to the section titled,”Which headphones should I buy?”

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Multiple GPUs in SLI: Working Harder, Not Smarter

Photo by Coaster J

SLI (Scalable Link Interface) is a marvelous technological innovation that allows two or more graphics cards to be simultaneously utilized to gain an overall boost in performance. It can handle 2 to 4 GPUs at once, and it is NVIDIA’s equivalent to AMD’s Crossfire technology. Technically, most of the information in this article will be applicable to both Crossfire and SLI, but the specific topic of this post will be SLI.

SLI gained popularity in recent years largely due to the bitcoin mining craze, but also because of a certain class of gamers who are determined to squeeze every drop of possible performance out of their rigs. But how useful is SLI—and, more importantly, is it worth going all-out and building a rig with four GPUs running in sync?

The short answer is no. It is not worth building a rig with 4-way SLI. And the answer for 3-way SLI is much the same. But depending on your needs and approach, it may sometimes be worth going for 2-way SLI. For more details and specific reasoning, read on:

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Understanding SSD Speed Specifications and their Relevance

Understanding SSD Specifications Cover Image

If you’ve ever taken a look at a solid state drive, you’ve probably seen a variety of performance figures. But what’s the meaning behind them? How important are they?

In How to Choose the Right Storage for Your Gaming PC, we covered the most common types of storage: Standard hard disk drives (HDDs) and common types of solid state drives (SSDs), reviewing how they best fit in a gaming PC. Today, we discuss where speed comes in.

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