The State of the PC: 2017

The personal computer evolution seems to be slowing. Apple seems to be ignoring high-end customers, 2-in-1 designs are proliferating, and the desktop PC stagnates. On the OS side, MacOS seems to be stagnating and Windows continues to be overly intrusive. What’s going to happen to the PC going forward? Eric, David, and I discuss happenings in the Mac arena, what’s going on with Windows, the slowdown in CPU progress, how displays have been evolving, and how storage has become the […]

GPU Generations Matter

Sometimes I get tired of the upgrade train and just want to get off. I find myself wondering if upgrading PC hardware really matters over time, and what do I really gain from it. Then, of course, the empirical side of my brain kicks in and shouts enthusiatically, “Let’s go get some data and find out!” I’d recently written a review of Nvidia’s new GTX 1060 for Norm Chan over at Tested. Nvidia positions the GTX 1060 as a mainstream […]

Which Graphics Card Should You Buy?

Which graphics card should you buy? We have hard data on the GTX 1080, GTX 1070, and Radeon RX480, the GPU roadmap for the rest of the year, including the soon-to-ship GTX 1060. So Eric and I take a stab at making some hard recommendations for your gaming (and other) graphics needs. Tools I bought a pair of Aputure 528 LED panels for shooting video, but I now find myself using them for ordinary photography, and as useful tools for […]

How Much Video Memory?

I’ve been running a ton of benchmarks, as well as playing a lot of games while testing the new generation of GPUs. I’ve also looked at a lot of other reviews, and the general consensus seems to be that the era of 4GB being enough has come to a close. That seems a little presumptuous to me. You only have to look at the Steam Hardware Survey to realize that 4GB cards should be more than adequate for a little […]

GTX 1080 and the Art of the Screenshot

Consider the lowly screenshot. In this current era of live-streamed games, screenshots often get short shrift. You see them frequently in articles about games, but video gets more attention these days. Easy tools for capturing game videos, like Nvidia’s own ShadowPlay, make capturing videos simple. But screenshots differ substantially from a video of a game, much like a single photograph differs from video or film. A photograph often needs to tell a story in a single image. Screenshots in games […]

Choosing Your PC Processor

Choosing the right PC processor lies at the intersection of what you need, what you can afford, what you want to accomplish, and your self image. The focus here is on desktop processors — in particular, desktop systems you plan on building youreself. Since laptop CPUs ship inside complete systems, that’s a topic for another day. Note also that these are my rules of thumb. You may see things differently. When I’ve written these articles for other publications, I try to be […]

Nvidia Builds a Monster GPU for AI

Nvidia officially launched its next generation Pascal GPU, dubbed P100, at its own Graphics Tech Conference this past week. It’s definitely a monster — 15 billion transistors and 600mm2  despite being manufactured on 16nm FinFET process. I’m not going to dive into the details of the GPU, since the speeds and feeds can be found elsewhere. What’s interesting to me are the implications of Pascal on the future of graphics cards. Nvidia positions the new GPU as ideal for high […]