Editor profile

Zak Killian

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. As a former writer of news and reviews for The Tech Report, Zak is a modern-day Renaissance man who knows a little bit about nearly everything.
Opinions and content posted by HotHardware contributors are their own.

Recent posts

We've reported on the performance problems with Ryzen CPUs under Windows 11 a few times now, and produced our own test results to demonstrate the issues. AMD and Microsoft said they had patches forthcoming, and indeed, that seems to be the case. Testers in the Beta and Release Preview channels in the Windows 11... Read more...
Valve's taking a lot of risks with the Steam Deck. The company has been quite up-front about the fact that it's a full-fat handheld PC, and while this comes with its own set of compromises, it also means that it should in theory be capable of playing the vast overwhelming majority of Steam's over-50,000 games. We... Read more...
Intel's Alder Lake launch is coming; are you ready? The new processors signal what Intel hopes will be a sea change in the market toward hybrid processors that combine multiple core types in a single socket—not just "CPU" and "GPU," but indeed, two different types of CPU cores contained within the same... Read more...
Everyone who uses an Android phone has probably had some security-conscious acquaintance ask, "don't you know how much data your phone is harvesting?" Most of us shrug it off as one of the unavoidable circumstances of modern life: you want a smartphone, you deal with data harvesting. Still, some folks aren't so... Read more...
One of the great advantages of video game emulators is that they allow us to shine up old titles that may suffer due to low resolutions or frame rate limits. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has remained one of the most popular titles to emulate for exactly those reasons: in its original Wii U format, it labors... Read more...
Laptops as a whole have never had a great track record for repairability or upgradeability, but the situation has gotten worse in recent years. Modern ultra-portable machines often come with soldered-down memory, integrated graphics, and even non-serviceable storage. On some systems, you can't even open the casing... Read more...
If you're reading this site, then Quake surely needs no introduction. As the father of online FPS deathmatch, the legendary classic holds a place in the pantheon of foundational video game history. Id Software's first fully-3D FPS got the Night Dive remaster treatment recently, and the results are pretty solid. The... Read more...
Windows 11 hit the ground running last week—or maybe stumbling, at least on AMD Ryzen-based systems. As we reported at the release of the new operating system, CPUs based on AMD's Zen architecture are seeing drastically-worsened L3 cache latency under Windows 11. Yesterday was the first "patch Tuesday" for Microsoft's... Read more...
Last week, we told you about NVIDIA offering the EU antitrust commission concessions to try and hurry along its acquisition of Arm. If you missed that story, here's the quick and dirty to get you up to speed: NVIDIA wants to buy Arm, and regulators around the world are scrutinizing the deal, due to its possible... Read more...
Because of real-life responsibilities and the fatigue they can pile up, some folks just wanna spend their leisure time vegging out instead of mashing buttons, and that's completely understandable. In fact, we'd reckon that there are a whole lot of game consoles out there that spend more time 'playing' streaming services like Netflix and YouTube Read more...
Accurate timers are critical to the function of the low-level parts of the underlying code that drives the user-facing software we actually use in our daily lives. Fortunately, x86-64 PCs include numerous timers. Actually selecting which of those timers to use in a given scenario, however, can be a headache due to... Read more...
As popular as it is, the practice of "remastering" old games is still a contentious topic. Some folks are positively gleeful seeing old favorites get a new coat of polish and quality-of-life features. Others are directly dismissive of old game remakes, citing new always-online requirements and the viability of the... Read more...
You might have read a story earlier in the week about a US Navy destroyer's internet connection being "hacked" and taken over to stream Age of Empires to Facebook. A tale like that is comical until you consider the national security implications of such a thing. Fortunately, this particular story remains comical in... Read more...
By all accounts—even our own—the Apple M1 SoC powering the company's newest machines is a beast, but it comes with a drawback in that you can only run MacOS on it. A lot of folks love MacOS for various reasons, to be sure. It's also undeniable that the proprietary OS limits your access to the majority of desktop and... Read more...
Consumers' right to repair their own devices is one of the lesser-discussed political battlegrounds in the United States, but it's probably one that most-directly affects gamers and hardware enthusiasts. It's a contentious issue: detractors claim that making their devices repairable will make them less reliable, less... Read more...
Amazon's recently-released game New World is cracking open pent-up MMORPG demand to become a massive hit. At the time of this publication, it's currently the number-one most-played game on Steam. That's in spite of some bad press; we reported last week on stories of the released game murdering folks' hardware, just... Read more...
One often-posted work-around for enthusiasts' inability to locate new graphics cards is to purchase a pre-built gaming PC or a gaming laptop. In the past, hardcore system-building enthusiasts have sneered at gaming laptops, as their perceived gaming performance value was widely regarded to be inferior for in-place... Read more...
In case you've been out of the loop the last ten years, processors based on the Arm ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) have basically conquered mobile computing and much of the IoT, and they're making inroads into areas typically dominated by other ISAs (like X86), too. Due to its relatively-permissive licensing, Arm... Read more...
When Joe Gamer is building a PC, he probably doesn't even look at qualified parts lists, like memory QVLs. Products made to a given standard typically "just work," at least to a good-enough degree for general use, and don't need to be individually validated. Things are different in the business world, though. There... Read more...
It's October 5th, which means Windows 11 is out. Naturally, that's set off a chain reaction of other release both hardware and software. Drivers could reasonably be mentioned in either category, though. Yeah, anyway—there's a new Radeon driver for Windows 11. Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.10.1 is out and has official... Read more...
Most people probably don't know this, but the big service providers like T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon contract out to third-party services to help with transmitting SMS text messages, both between carriers and abroad. One of the largest of those companies is called Syniverse, and it handles text messages sent using the... Read more...
A lot of folks buying (legitimate) software are disgruntled about the rise of "software as a service," or SaaS. Proponents claim that the continued payments enable further development of useful applications, while opponents complain that they end up paying far more than they might under a more traditional "buy to own"... Read more...
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