Editor profile

Ben Funk

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Ben has been fascinated by technology since he got a Commodore VIC-20 as a child in 1984. By day he's a software developer working in education technology, and at night he's a husband, dad, musician, gamer, and freelance technology writer. If he's not at his PC, Ben can be found hanging out with his family, gaming on a vintage Sega console, or grippin' and rippin' with his beloved Paul Reed Smith guitar. 

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Recent posts

Machine learning is everywhere. It's an integral part of our smartphones and smart home appliances, running customer service chat bots for big retailers, and hard at work recognizing people and actions in security systems, among numerous other applications. Neural networks are the backbone of the robotics and... Read more...
While it's only been about six months since Apple introduced the M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs that would power the 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro, the architecture within those chips can trace its roots back another full year to the dawn of Apple Silicon in the Mac mini's M1 processor. This is when Cupertino left Intel... Read more...
Artificial intelligence and robotics go together like peanut butter and chocolate. To be truly useful, a service robot needs to be smart enough to perform its assigned tasks, stay out of danger, and not run over its human coworkers in the process. Nearly a decade ago, NVIDIA recognized that the hugely parallel... Read more...
The USB Type-C connector was devised to be the be-all and end-all of external connectivity. Whether it's carrying DisplayPort video signals, Thunderbolt high-speed data transfers, power delivery, or plain old USB, this port can do just about everything. For the most part, device manufacturers have swarmed towards this... Read more...
The pixels output by your PC's graphics card are only as good as the monitor that displays them. Attach a shiny new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti to a bargain basement, slow 1080p panel with a refresh rate of 60Hz and you'll likely get what you had coming: blurring, color shift, dull images, and an unpleasant experience. We... Read more...
By most accounts, Intel's 12th Gen Core processors based on the hybrid Alder Lake mobile architecture have been a smashing success for gaming laptops. From class-leading desktop performance to outstanding mobile prowess, the blue team's Alder Lake family has shown strong gains in workloads of all kinds. The first notebooks we looked at,... Read more...
At the heart of every autonomous machine, modern industrial robot, and automated manufacturing apparatus is some form artificial intelligence. These things are amazingly complex, too—not only are there models to train, but there are sensors to interpret and reactions to formulate. NVIDIA has been at the forefront of... Read more...
The trend of OLED displays in laptops is typically reserved for flagship devices that cost a pretty penny. Logically, the extreme contrast ratio, total lack of ghosting, and colors that pop are the sort of thing that most PC shoppers lust after in a premium product. OLED TVs also flank the high end of that... Read more...
Acer's Predator series of gaming displays is one of the longest-running lines of high-refresh monitors with G-Sync in the PC industry. The newest X32 and X32 FP entries really push the bar on what a gaming monitor can be with some pretty impressive HDR specifications that we don't find too often in gaming monitors... Read more...
Razer warned us at the end of last year that gaming laptops were about to get more expensive. One of the only consistent ways for gamers to get their hands on current-generation GPUs was to buy a whole system, so the laws (and sad realities) of supply and demand take hold. That hasn't stopped companies from announcing... Read more...
2021 was a big year for graphics, despite all the shortages, in large part thanks to dueling upscaling technologies. While NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling gets a lot of attention, Fidelity FX Super Resolution knocked our socks off thanks to its vendor-agnostic approach and open source license. The company is... Read more...
Lightweight gaming notebooks don't have to be slow: something that has been proven out time and time again by products like Razer's Blade series and ASUS's ROG Zephyrus G14. Because of that, more and more gaming notebooks are thinner and lighter than their predecessors. Performance doesn't necessarily scale linearly... Read more...
SK Hynix isn't necessarily the first name one thinks of when conjuring up images of PCI Express SSDs, but in the years to come it certainly will be. The company is the second-biggest producer of memory on this planet Earth, although its own brand name has really only appeared on a handful of drives, like its Gold P31... Read more...
For gamers of a certain age, Sonic the Hedgehog is synonymous with blazing speed, intricate two-dimensional platforming, and of course Blast Processing on the Sega Genesis, which was reborn on the Genesis Mini. However, gamers on the go who opted for Sega's handheld Game Gear got a very different version of Sonic in... Read more...
Amazon has come under quite a bit of fire over the last week due to tornadoes that ripped through the midwest last Friday night. In the wake of those storms, there's been a lot of finger pointing in particular over a warehouse that collapsed in Edwardsville, IL, just outside of St. Louis in which several workers died... Read more...
Ignoring the difficulties securing hardware for a moment, it's a pretty glorious time to play games on the PC. We get our choice of resolutions, frame rates, and detail levels, and if our hardware isn't up to snuff there's some innovative creative technologies available that try to bridge the gap. NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling requires... Read more...
Around this time last year, there was much hoopla over Apple's first Macs with the company's home-grown Apple Silicon, dubbed the M1. Almost immediately, rumors swirled about what the follow-up, rumored to be called the M1X, would have in store. Never mind that at the time, Apple released a power-efficient champion... Read more...
Ultraportable laptops with 13 or 14-inch displays and low-power processors are great for a certain kind of user. Those folks are usually found running from gate to gate in an airport or catching an Uber to a sales meeting. These machines have great single-threaded performance and good-enough graphics capabilities, but the thermal limits and... Read more...
There's been a lot of discussion about image quality and super-sampled graphics in 3D games over the last few months. Ray tracing is quite expensive from a computational standpoint, so frame rates typically suffer when it's enabled. Upscaling technologies seek to claw some of that performance back, by rendering at a... Read more...
If there's been one drawback to Alienware's previous gen Aurora desktop series, it's that the systems we've gotten in for review have made a bit of a racket at times. These systems have always been well-equipped with the latest hardware and turn in some great performance, but their noise floor has sometimes been a... Read more...
The Android version of Genshin Impact running on Windows via side-load The Windows Subsystem for Android required for installing Android apps from Amazon's App Store has arrived for everyone running the Release Preview or Beta channels of Windows 11. There's already been a hack released to get the Google Play Store running on Windows 11, Read more...
NVIDIA's GeForce NOW is not a new product, but today the company's game streaming service is expanding in a couple of key ways to bring more performance and better visuals to gamers everywhere. Announced last week, NVIDIA is bringing a whole new tier of graphics horsepower to its service, dubbed GeForce NOW RTX... Read more...
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