Posts Tagged Under: motherboard

Should You Buy a Gaming Laptop or Build a Gaming Desktop?

 

The prices for building a gaming desktop PC have improved over the past few months, but they might still be too high for you. In fact, they even be so high that you consider purchasing a gaming laptop instead. As the name suggests, a gaming laptop is a laptop made with gaming in mind; big companies like Razer, Dell, and MSI make lots of these nowadays. These laptops can be attractive options for more on-the-move, lower-budget, and/or younger players as they tend to be a little cheaper and a lot more portable than desktop alternatives.

In this article, I will explore if this is a viable alternative to building your own desktop. I’ll be covering a selection of important topics, starting with those that favor the laptops and transitioning toward those that favor the desktops.

This comparison will be mainly aimed at people wanting to play games on their system. You could also use this comparison for picking a system for similar workloads like video editing or 3D rendering, but the article is written with gaming in mind. Now, let’s get to it!

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Motherboard Form Factor Guide

Computer cases can come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, from a basic box you can order online to a custom-made bust of your uncle Kevin that you can slap a power supply and graphics card into.

No matter what kind of case you gravitate towards, it is important to know what form factor of motherboard will be compatible with it, and the benefits and drawbacks that accompany those sizes. Whether you are building a new PC or simply upgrading ol’ reliable, the form factor of your motherboard is an important piece of the puzzle.

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Budget Showdown: R3 3200G & GTX 1650 Self-built PC vs. Upgraded Prebuilt PC from eBay

Up until a few years ago, the value king for gaming was the Intel i5 processor. More recently, AMD’s Ryzen APUs have stolen the show at the low tiers, and we all know that no integrated graphics from Intel can currently compete with AMD’s Vega 8 and Vega 11 iGPUs. So it’s a no-brainer for gaming builders at very low budgets (who are entirely skipping graphics cards) to go with Ryzen APUs.

But outside of such head-to-head CPU comparisons, a broader value question remains for upper-low-tier (and lower-mid-tier) builders: how would a self-built system balanced around AMD’s newest R3 (including a discrete graphics card) compare to a highly discounted prebuilt system with a few key upgrades?

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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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