NVIDIA DLSS Vs AMD FSR: F1 2021 Performance & Image Quality

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 the green team's RTX hardware, but AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution upscales graphics on just about any modern graphics card worth owning. Since FSR's public release, the question has always been about which method is better, assuming we have a choice in...

Watch The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience And Prepare To Be Blown Away

Ahead of the Christmas release of Matrix Resurrections, Epic Games has released The Matrix Awakens on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Built around the recently-unveiled Unreal Engine 5, the interactive tech demo reintroduces us to the boundary-pushing universe at the core of the Wachowski’s films. Director Lana Wachowski helped hatch the idea for the demo at a dinner with Kim Libreri, chief technology officer for Epic Games, and VR guru John Gaeta. Wachowski told the pair of her plans to make the fourth movie, asking them to spearhead the visual effects for the film. According to Libreri,...

Qualcomm And Razer Partner On Impressive Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Android Gaming Handheld

Gaming is a lucrative business, and that includes the mobile front, which generates around $175 billion per year from an audience of 2.5 billion mobile gamers. Compare that to the movie industry that raked in less than $45 billion last year and you'll understand why gaming is such an important consideration for many companies. That's all to say there is ample incentive for chip makers to focus on gaming, and so it's no surprise Qualcomm is expanding its offerings with the new Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 gaming platform, with an assist from Razer (more on that in a moment). The Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 is...

Falcon Northwest Talon (2021) Review: Alder Lake Takes Flight

It hasn't been long since we last took a look at the 2021 version of the Falcon Northwest Talon, and found it to be impressive. However, it’s finally time for Intel’s Alder Lake 12th Gen Core processor launch and we all know what that means -- a deluge of reviews with tons of charts and opinions for you to digest. Of course, we've got you covered, too, with our in-depth review of the Intel Core i9-12900K and the Core i5-12600K, for everyone wanting to sink their teeth into the finer points of Intel's new platform. However, this launch also marks a chance for OEM system builder...

LG UltraGear GP9 Review: Bluetooth Gaming Soundbar With Grunt, Lacks Grace

This past Summer, LG created a new product category with its UltraGear Gaming Speaker (GP9), though not entirely from scratch. The GP9 combines aspects of a soundbar with a portable Bluetooth speaker, and also serves as an external USB soundcard with a built-in Hi-Fi Quad DAC (ESS9038 Pro) to bring your headphones to life. It works with PCs, game consoles, and anything that blasts out audio through a Bluetooth connection. It also has a distinctive gamer aesthetic, or at least what LG thinks qualifies as one with the usual RGB lighting flare. But is it any good at everything or anything it's designed...

NVIDIA GeForce NOW RTX 3080 Review: Your Killer Gaming Rig In The Cloud

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 3080. Gone is GFN's previous limit of 1920X1080 FHD resolution running at 60 frames per second. Replacing those previous top-end limits now, in the RTX 3080 tier, are a higher resolution of 2560x1440 at up to 120 FPS. We could end things right here, but there's a lot more to this upgrade,...

Back 4 Blood Performance Review: A Worthy Successor To L4D?

The Left 4 Dead games were great cooperative fun. For the uninitiated, four players blasted their way through frantic zombie hordes in the L4D games, working together as a team just trying to survive. Developer Turtle Rock Studios, which was acquired by Valve prior to the release of the first game, re-established itself as an independent studio following the release of the second. Now Turtle Rock is back with a third title that's not an actual addition to the Left 4 Dead franchise, but is clearly a spiritual successor nonetheless. Valve still owns the L4D franchise, but that wasn't going to stop...

Alienware X15 Gaming Laptop Review: A Svelte Stunner With Caveats

Thin and light gaming laptops are a bit of an enigma. They essentially aim to defy the laws of physics, eschewing size and thermal dissipation area in an effort to strike a more portable, stylish design while still maintaining respectable gaming chops. Let's face it, no one really likes the bulk and chunky demeanor of most high-end gaming laptops that are designed for all-out performance. It's a difficult, fine line to walk, but a worthy, noble one to develop a compelling, quality thin and light gaming laptop, and that's exactly what Dell went all-out for with the new Alienware X15. The new...

Far Cry 6 With Ray Tracing And FSR Performance Review: Bring On The Eye Candy

The raid on this fort is reminiscent of infiltration missions in Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag A whole new crop of blockbuster games are lining up for a big holiday shopping season. Ubisoft didn't really intend for that to be the case for Far Cry 6, but early this year the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans. The game had been hit by some delays, but at the end of May the company set a date: October 7, 2021. Finally, the latest Far Cry title has arrived and the open-world first-person shooter is ready for players to take down its repressive government and maybe learn a little something along the...

Analysts Forecast Continued PC Gaming Growth After COVID Bump Through 2025

Have you heard about the death of PC gaming? It was a popular topic among certain folks for years. They haven't said much about it lately, though—probably because PC gaming is bigger than it has ever been. Year-over-year growth has been immense, with gaming monitor and gaming PC shipments in the second quarter increasing 19.3% over last year despite shipping delays and component shortages. Market analysis firm IDC itself notes that the rapid growth in the gaming market through last year and into this year was driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and that some analysts expect this growth...

MSI GE76 Raider Laptop Review: Tiger Lake With RTX Gladiator

More powerful, more capable and feature-rich -- the current crop of gaming laptops with the most recent CPU and GPU platforms can offer a major upgrade to the enthusiast laptop experience. That's especially true these days with discrete graphics cards being hard to come by and marked up by factors of two or three above their MSRP. Suddenly dropping $3,000+ on a whole-system upgrade via portable powerhouses like these starts to make more sense financially. New desktop builds are great (if you can find components and all), but then you also have to factor in a new display, keyboard, and just about...

EVGA Z12 Gaming Keyboard, X20 And X15 Mice Review: Value-Priced Arsenal

As enthusiasts, we're often most enamored by the latest and greatest graphics cards, processors, and storage technology in our endeavors to squeeze as much performance from our systems as possible. However, it is the human interface devices -- like our keyboards, mice, and monitors -- that can have the most significant impact on our user experience. A high-quality keyboard and mouse, for example, can make you more productive, reduce fatigue, and even improve your gaming chops. So, when EVGA offered up their upcoming X20 and X15 gaming mice and Z12 RGB keyboard, we were eager to take a look. After...

Here's How To Upgrade Your PlayStation 5 With A Fast SSD

Sony's PlayStation 5 launched in November of 2020 somewhat incomplete. While the hardware had an M.2 slot to expand the internal storage needed by PS5 games, the software didn't know what to do with it out of the box. Earlier this year though, Sony opened up a beta program with early access to firmware that can use that slot, and we managed to get in. To make the most of that, we teamed up with the folks at Sabrent, who sent along a 2 TB Rocket 4 Plus NVMe SSD and a heat sink solution to keep the drive cool. Unfortunately, the PS5's limited internal space prevented us from using the heatsink,...

Doom Eternal Ray Tracing Tested: The Devil's In The Details

In the spring, Id Software and Bethesda announced that they would bring real-time ray tracing and NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 to the Vulkan-powered Doom Eternal. When we reviewed thsi latest Doom title, we found that it was already pretty stunning graphically while running really well on all kinds of different hardware. High performance and a bevy of graphics configuration settings means that Doom can run on just about any discrete graphics card from the last few years.  Now the Doom Eternal ray tracing update is here, though the tricky part about adding ray tracing effects to Doom is whether...

Alienware m17 R4 Review: The Fastest Gaming Laptop Yet

Just a few months ago, we reviewed the Alienware m15 R4, a seriously powerful 15.6-inch form factor laptop that, at the time, posted the best gaming performance benchmark results we had ever seen from a notebook. Not that we were particularly surprised—armed with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU based on Ampere and a 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10870H CPU (Comet Lake) CPU, it packs some serious artillery. Well, we've now tested an even faster gaming laptop, and it just so happens to be the 17-inch Alienware m17 R4. Call it sibling rivalry, if you wish, but the bigger 17.3-inch brother to...

WD_Black D50 Game Dock Review: Wicked-Fast External Storage

Notebooks often have limited storage capacity, despite significant advancements over the last few years. An M.2 drive is only the size of a stick of gum, but not every laptop can fit more than one or two drives at a time, and some users aren't comfortable opening up their machine to upgrade them, which ultimately limits their storage capabilities. This is particularly painful in gaming notebooks, when many games can take up dozens of gigabytes a piece. Western Digital thinks it has a solution, though. The WD Black D50 Game Dock is an all-in-one Thunderbolt 3 dock and PCI Express NVMe storage controller...

Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 Review: Zen 3 Laptop Invasion

Over the last eight months or so, segment by segment, AMD's various Zen 3-based processors have taken the world by storm. High performance servers, desktops, and notebooks all feature AMD's flagship silicon, thanks in no small part to its excellent perf-per-watt and strong overall value proposition. That dynamic really started in 2020, but we could sense a bit of hesitancy on the part of manufacturers with last year's Ryzen 4000 series gaming notebooks, since those topped out with midrange graphics. This year, though, the kid gloves have come off and higher-end graphics options have been made available. ...

How Many CPU Cores Do You Need For Great PC Gaming?

Back in The Day, figuring out which PC processor was better for gaming was a matter of architecture and clock speed. More megahertz on a fast CPU architecture generally also meant that the CPU would be better for a whole host of tasks, in addition to games, versus a lower clocked chip. An Intel Pentium II 450 MHz was faster than a Pentium II 366 MHz, and there wasn't much debate about that. First AMD, and later Intel, broke away from this simple equation by creating model families and tiers within those families. Multi-core CPUs were born, integrating two (or more) independent processor cores...

EVGA XR1 Review: Full-Featured High Quality Stream Capture

HDMI capture cards, or HDMI capture devices, are extremely valuable tools with a wide variety of uses. As the description implies, these devices allow virtually any HDMI feed to be routed through them to be captured by a computer. The HDMI inputs on capture devices can be used with game consoles, video cameras, or even another computer -- just about any HDMI video source. This signal can then be encoded on the fly for a livestream, recorded for preservation, or both simultaneously. Most capture cards also allow for an HDMI output which passes a signal through the device, directly to a display with...

Destiny 2 How-To Guide: Obtaining The Heir Apparent And Its Catalyst

The Destiny 2 2021 Guardian Games have arrived. No Destiny 2 event would truly be complete without a few legendary and exotic items for Guardians to chase after or purchase. Here is how you can acquire the exotic machine gun Heir Apparent and its Catalyst. What Is Heir Apparent And Its Catalyst Heir Apparent is an exotic machine gun with two main perks. Heavy Slug Thrower requires players to spin up the weapon by clicking down on the aim button. Once fired up, the machine gun will shower your enemies with bullets. The second perk is Armor of the Colossus. It grants the user an arc shield if the...

Destiny 2 Guardian Games 2021 Guide: What To Know About This Epic Olympics-Style Event

Light the torches! It is time to find out whether Titans will once again reign supreme or if Hunters or Warlocks will rise to the challenge. Here is everything you need to know about the Destiny 2 2021 Guardian Games. What Are The Guardian Games? The Guardian Games is a free event that is available to all players, regardless of whether they own the season pass. It is essentially the Destiny 2 version of the Olympics. The event was first held in 2020 and was popular enough that it was brought back again this year. The Guardian Games will begin today, April 20th, and will last until May 11th. There...

How To Optimize Your Retro Gaming Experience With Vintage Consoles On Modern HDTVs

The 20-year span between 1985 and 2005 saw the release of literally hundreds of classic game titles that were -- and are still -- beloved by millions of people around the world. From Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda, to modern classics like Halo and Metal Gear Solid, most of gaming's biggest franchises spent their formative years on consoles plugged into standard-definition cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions, the warm glow and rounded geometry of which would provide countless hours of fun. If there's one problem with those consoles, however, it's that it can be difficult to get one...

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