Posts Tagged Under: build a pc

5 Aesthetic PC Mods That Don’t Involve LEDs

The Gemsbok PC with electric blue carbon fiber wrap - 5 Aesthetic Mods for your PC that DON’T Involve LEDs - no LEDs

My black-and-white build with blue carbon fiber wrap, without its side panels

I am not an opponent of LEDs… in moderation. My own PC case has a strip of white NZXT LEDs running all the way around the edges of the inside, just to provide a nice, cool, even illumination. But it is simply beyond doubt that LEDs are one of the most common and most divisive aesthetic accents in the PC hardware world, and their ubiquity is only increasing as manufacturers are shoving them into everything.

Whether you’re looking for ideas for how to give your build some visual flair without the glow, or just hoping to meaningfully supplement your LED array’s existing look, seek no further.

This list has five straightforward ideas for how to alter your case or components in alternative, good-looking ways. And this article won’t be relying on wild gimmicks like custom wood cases or builds submerged entirely in mineral oil.

So, no LEDs. Here we go:

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Four Practical Alternative Uses for Empty 5.25” Drive Bays

Icy Dock Expresscage - 4 practical alternative uses for 5.25" drive bays

Icy Dock’s Expresscage Tool-less Hot-swappable 2.5″ Drive Enclosure

While there are a great number of options these days for good-looking PC cases that entirely lack 5.25” drive bays, the majority of cases still offer at least one of these spaces. And efficient builders won’t want that space being used for nothing.

Don’t get me wrong: Many builders still do want to use those spaces to house intended utilities, including disc drives, card readers, extra USB ports, and even floppy drives. But that doesn’t mean there won’t still be an unoccupied bay sitting around at the end of the day. (I personally have a Pioneer Blu-Ray/DVD/CD player in my tower, and for the time being, it sits above an unused 5.25” bay.)

So, here are a few ideas for what to do with those bays instead of leaving them as cavities in your build:

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Types of VRAM Explained: HBM vs. GDDR5 vs. GDDR5X

Video RAM: What’s the difference between the types available today?

SEC VRAM - Different Kinds of VRAM Explained—HBM vs. GDDR5 vs. GDDR5X

Some Samsung VRAM

All graphics cards need both a GPU and VRAM to function properly. While the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) does the actual processing of data to output images on your monitor, the data it is processing and providing is stored and accessed from the chips of VRAM (Video Random Access Memory) surrounding it.

Outputting high-resolution graphics at a quick rate requires both a beefy GPU and a large quantity of high-bandwidth VRAM working in tandem. For most of the past decade, VRAM design was fairly stagnant, and focused on using more power to achieve greater VRAM clock speeds.

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Building a PC to Beat the PS4 Pro

Build a PC to Beat the PS4 Pro

Build a PC or buy a console? The debate rages on…

With the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro over the holidays, the debate over the performance needed for 4K gaming on PC has been fierce. With games like Last of Us Remastered running in the PlayStation 4 Pro’s 4K 60 FPS mode, it is a testament to the level of optimization that can be achieved when working to a single specification. Yet what sort of performance can a PC builder get for the same $400?

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$500 1440p Gaming Build with the Pentium G4560

Intel Pentium G4560

The Pentium is back, baby.

The Kaby Lake Pentium G4560 is the new king of budget gaming CPUs. The G4560, and big brothers G4600 and G4620, offer gaming performance similar to CPUs costing hundreds more. I put together a maximum performance for value $500 build, pairing the G4560 with the powerful RX 480. This build will handle even demanding modern games at 1440p.

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New Guide: Building a PC for ARK: Survival Evolved

ark-1

ARK: Survival Evolved is a game that bends the most impressive gaming PCs to its will. It is essentially impossible for even the most powerful consumer-grade PC to run the game at a smooth 60 FPS at 4K resolution. This is your warning: Your PC probably cannot run this game on full settings.

But for those brave souls who wish to forego the warnings and attempt to play ARK, we now have a guide for you: Building the Best PC for ARK: Survival Evolved.

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The Biggest Challenges of Building a PC (and How to Solve Them)

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You’ve got all your PC parts together. How do you ensure building them is a smooth process? Start by reading this.

Building a PC is generally not too difficult, though it can certainly feel daunting the first time. With a good guide and a screwdriver, it should only take a matter of hours — or even less — to transform a bunch of carefully selected parts into the system of your dreams.

When building a PC, there are definitely certain parts that are harder than others. Here, we describe four of the most challenging aspects of building a PC (suggested by our social media communities on Facebook and Twitter), and then provide some tips for how to avoid them.

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Building a PC That Beats the Xbox One S

xbox-one-s

The Xbox One S is releasing on August 2, 2016, bringing the power of the original Xbox One into a tiny form factor. Releasing at $399 for the 2TB version, this brings the cost of console gaming back up to budget gaming PC range.

Today, we’d like to find out how powerful of a PC we can build for the same price of the Xbox One S. As it turns out, you can build something surprisingly powerful.

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