Editor profile

Zak Killian

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Ever since playing Joust on his family's Atari 800XL 8-bit computer as a youth, Zak has been hooked on PC and console games. His passion for gaming as a kid led to an interest in PCs as a teenager, which ended up with him founding his own PC repair shop in the year 2000. Decades later, he's still building, still gaming, and still arguing on the internet with any opinion anyone has. A former writer of news and reviews for The Tech Report, Zak is a modern-day Renaissance man who may not be an expert on anything, but knows just a little about nearly everything.
Opinions and content posted by HotHardware contributors are their own.

Recent posts

Real-time ray-traced graphics were big buzz around the time that Elden Ring was first announced. Close to the release, Bandai-Namco, the game's publisher, also announced that the developer FromSoftware would be releasing a patch for its magnum opus that adds ray-traced effects. Well, that patch is here now. The release of the update was Read more...
ChatGPT is undeniably fun to mess with. It's fascinating to have a conversation with a machine, especially when that machine is practically omniscient and can offer up interesting tidbits of information about whatever topic. That function is so useful, some folks added it to a Chrome extension that adds extra details... Read more...
At this stage, we probably don't need to tell an audience of technology enthusiasts that Unreal Engine is capable of mind-blowing photorealistic visuals. Indeed, that's really not even what Epic's demo at GDC was all about. Unreal Engine has reached its 5.2-nd version, and with this latest release comes two very... Read more...
There's two paths that live service games tend to take. Sometimes, they are overloaded with microtransactions, burdened with bugs, or just plain bad, and in that case, they tend to die out rather quickly. Other times, a company hits an underserved market, navigates the troubled free-to-play waters, or just makes a... Read more...
Counter-Strike is one of the oldest and most-respected names in online FPS gaming. You may think of it as a thing of the past, yet Counter-Strike is anything but that. With hundreds of thousands of players on at any given time, it remains one of the most popular competitive online games, and one of the biggest eSports... Read more...
If you're in the know, you 8BitDo. That's not a slogan the company uses, but it probably should be, because 8BitDo has been quietly producing some of the best game controllers ever made for years now. If you're an avid buyer of 8BitDo devices and also an Apple devotee, we have the best news for you: you can now use... Read more...
It's kind of ironic, but one of the main drivers of improved computer performance is in fact... improved computer performance. To design ever-faster chips, you need ever-faster chips, and that's true at several layers of the processor design process. At the very beginning, when actually creating these chips, companies... Read more...
AMD's Phoenix APUs were just announced back at CES, and will be finding their way into laptops any day now. These processors come in a variety of configurations but they can sport up to eight Zen 4 cores and up to twelve RDNA 3 compute units along with a specialized AI processors all in a monolithic 4nm... Read more...
PCIe 5.0 SSDs are about to be out, and they're super-fast, with peak transfer rates up over 12 GB/second. Anything moving data around that quickly is going to use some significant power to do it, and as you are likely already aware if you read this site regularly, PCIe 5.0 SSDs get pretty warm. There's a variety of... Read more...
AMD's Zen 4 processors can display remarkable performance-per-watt once they've been manually tuned, or if you enable ECO mode in the system setup. You lose some multi-core performance, but the power consumption of the chip drops drastically. That could explain what we're seeing with some leaked benchmarks for what is... Read more...
It's hard to believe it, but it's already been more than two years since the launch of the PlayStation 5. That system released on November 12th, 2020—not that anyone could find one at that time. This November will mark the 3rd year since the console's release, and that's the same interval between the release of the... Read more...
It's probably fair to say that a good number of PC enthusiasts have pirated a copy of Windows once upon a time. It's also probably fair to say that a certain number of folks have had the thought "I'll go legit and buy my Windows this time!" One such fellow in South Africa had exactly that thought, but he couldn't get... Read more...
That's right friends, fanboys, and fiends—it's time for another quarterly Steam sale, with more slashed prices on PC games than you can shake a stick at. This year's Spring Sale brings deep discounts on some seriously solid games, as well as the first-ever price cut on the coveted Steam Deck. Certainly the most... Read more...
Every new generation of smartphones has some sort of fancy gimmick as a selling point, and one of the key features of Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra was "Space Zoom". (It's also present on the Galaxy S23.) The idea is that the phone has a 100x electronic zoom ability due to the insanely high 200-megapixel resolution of... Read more...
By now, you've probably read no end of articles about GPT-3 and its derivative model, ChatGPT. You may even have played with the AI yourself, whether using the OpenAI website directly, using Bing's new chat feature, or some other implementation. It's rather limited, as articles around the web have enjoyed pointing... Read more...
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a smash hit for Nintendo, and one of the most widely-acclaimed video games of all time. Naturally, the sequel—known as Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom—is hotly-anticipated, but that didn't stop some folks from grumbling when it came out that the game would cost $70 at... Read more...
The Nintendo Switch is a handheld game console that uses hardware already a year old when it released back in 2017. Considering all that, it should be trivial to emulate on modern PCs, right? Well... no, actually. Not only is emulation surprisingly difficult in general, but even high-level emulation of the Switch is... Read more...
Intel's Arc GPUs launched in a bit of a rough state, and early reviews were critical of both the cards' inconsistent performance and relatively high power consumption. However, Intel's been working hard to reverse those fortunes in its driver—both the performance and the power concerns. On top of that, the company has... Read more...
If you're building or buying a new gaming PC, you really can't go wrong with almost any current-generation Intel or AMD CPU. All of the mainstream desktop processors from either company offer fantastic gaming performance, even stretching into the lower-core-count models. There are key differences, of course, but... Read more...
Folks who follow technology news—probably you, if you're reading this—will no doubt be aware that the United States' federal government has allocated some $52 billion to promote microprocessor manufacturing inside the country. This money is being split between a few companies, but two of the biggest are both building... Read more...
Until very recently, DDR5 DIMMs came in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities—at least as long as we're talking about the kind of unbuffered memory you'll find in most non-server PCs. You may have heard that larger 24GB and 48GB capacities are now available, but what you may not have realized is that those unusually-sized... Read more...
Hogwarts Legacy launched in a reasonably decent state—ray-tracing performance problems aside. The game was fully completable and had no common crash or progression-stop bugs, which is sadly above the bar for a new AAA title these days. That's not to say the game was flawless, though; like any big game release... Read more...
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