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Acer's Predator PCs woo gamers with 18-core CPUs, G-Sync HDR, and graphics cards galore

PC World - Wed, 2017-08-30 05:35

In a beleaguered PC industry suffering from sinking sales, gaming stands as a sparkling bright point. There’s never been a better time to be a PC gamer, and at IFA 2017, Acer revealed an army of powerful Predator hardware designed to entice enthusiasts who like their frame rates high and temperatures low: The Acer Predator Orion 9000 series gaming desktops, a drool-worthy Predator X35 G-Sync HDR monitor, and a new gaming headset and mouse to match.

Acer plans to offer several configurations in the Predator Orion 9000 series, but its ultimate form will be an utter beast, with Intel’s 18-core Core i9-7980XE, three M.2 SSD slots, and up to 128GB of DDR4 quad-channel memory. It’s no slouch on the graphics front either, offering a pair of ferocious GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards in SLI or four of AMD’s Radeon RX Vega cards in CrossFire. (Modern GeForce cards only support two cards in SLI for gaming.) Acer didn’t mention power supply specs, but it must be a hefty one to handle that sort of firepower.

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iMac: Could the iMac Pro feature Intel’s new Xeon W processors?

Mac World - Tue, 2017-08-29 17:25

Editor’s note: We’ve updated the iMac Pro section of this article with news about new Intel Xeon-W workstation-class processors, which could be the processor in the iMac Pro.

The iMac is a direct descendant of the very first Mac, and it’s often the computer that longtime users think about when they think about the Macintosh. The iMac’s all-in-one design is popular and iconic.

The iMac is great for both novices and demanding users. It can handle general-purpose and heavy-duty tasks equally well. It’s ideal for someone who needs to buy a complete computer setup (keyboard, mouse or trackpad, and display) and wants to maximize workspace efficiency.

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Which Mac should you buy?

Mac World - Tue, 2017-08-29 17:24

Editor's note: We've updated the iMac Pro section of this article with news about new Intel Xeon-W workstation-class processors, which could be the processor in the iMac Pro.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re thinking about buying a new Mac and may be in need of a little guidance. Fortunately, we’re quite familiar with Apple’s Macs, and we’re happy to help you choose the right Mac for you.

Before we proceed, we should specifically address Apple’s desktop Macs. It’s been a while since the company has updated the Mac mini and Mac Pro. While our advice for each Mac model provides guidance as to which model you should buy, you might actually consider waiting to see if Apple releases a new Mac mini or Mac Pro, or consider buying an iMac.

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How to get out of Windows Safe Mode

PC World - Tue, 2017-08-29 16:50

You boot into Safe Mode to fix things. So it’s not right when Safe Mode ends up being the thing that needs fixing. If your Windows computer insists on booting into Safe Mode, you’ll have to figure out what’s causing the problem.

What made you go into Safe Mode in the first place? I assume you did it intentionally, but how? If you did it through the System Configuration tool, that’s your problem.

Press Win + R, type msconfig, and press Enter.

This opens System Configuration. Select the Boot tab. If the Safe boot option is checked, uncheck it. Then reboot.

For future reference, don’t use System Configuration to enter Safe Mode, unless you have reason to reboot multiple times into that environment. (See our instructions for how to properly enter Safe Mode.)

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Save 60% on TechTool Pro 9.5 - Mac's Deepest Diagnostic Tool

Mac World - Tue, 2017-08-29 15:20

Apple produces powerful computers, but, over time, their processing speeds can take a hit if you don't routinely run diagnostics on them. That's why TechTool Pro 9.5 for Mac is valuable for any Mac user looking to improve their computer's performance, and it's on sale for 60 percent off.

This diagnostic tool thoroughly inspects your device to ensure components like its RAM, processor, and cache are running effectively. It tests and repairs damaged directories and corrupted hard drives and rebuilds your cache to prevent slow booting, application errors, and more. Plus, TechTool Pro 9.5 is the only diagnostic tool that tests your Mac's motherboard, giving you an even more comprehensive inspection.

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Save Hundreds On The Ultimate CompTIA IT Certification Training Bundle ($49) - Deal Alert

PC World - Tue, 2017-08-29 15:16

Do you tinker with motherboards in your free time? Want to deep dive into network security? Transform a side hustle into your day job with the Ultimate CompTIA+ Certification Bundle, currently marked down to $49.

Beyond hardware and securing an organization's IT infrastructure, these courses will set you up to pass the top eight CompTIA certification exams in the industry, from Linux+ and Project+ to Healthcare IT technician certification and Cloud+. So you'll become proficient in anything from IT-specific medical business operations to network administration and cloud management. And you can even become a certified project manager--a valuable skill set regardless of your field.

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Observer review: A thrilling cyberpunk detective story with a psychedelic twist

PC World - Tue, 2017-08-29 15:00

Observer is not a horror game. Sure, it’s billed as one, and within the narrow confines of video game tradition I guess it’s the most fitting label—there are a few tense chases, some disturbing imagery, the oppressive atmosphere you might expect.

But as Frictional learned with the spectacular Soma, the horror label comes with certain expectations—and like Soma, Bloober’s Observer ($30 on Amazon) is not worried about catering to those limitations.

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Google's Tango becomes ARCore: Phone AR for the masses

PC World - Tue, 2017-08-29 14:29

For the past year or so, Google’s augmented-reality aspirations have been extremely modest, with its Tango AR platform running on just two phones (and one of them just came out a couple weeks ago.) But now Google is releasing ARCore, which will bring the power of Tango to millions more Android phones.

Like Apple’s ARKit, ARCore works without any additional hardware. The launch of the developer preview will be limited to Pixel and Galaxy S8 phones running Nougat and above, but Google is aiming to get ARCore on 100 million devices from Samsung, Huawei, LG, Asus, and others by the time the preview ends later this year.

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Best DVR for cord cutters

PC World - Tue, 2017-08-29 13:22

Updated August 29, 2017 to add our review of the Table Engine DVR software.

Here’s the hard truth for cord-cutters right now: The ideal over-the-air DVR doesn’t exist. And if you're on the fence about even needing one, you should read the June 22 installment of Cord Cutter Confidential.

While some products are better than others, all of them—from Tablo and TiVo to Channel Master DVR+ and HDHomeRun with Plex—have at least one critical weakness. If you want to record broadcast TV channels from an antenna, you must decide which of those weaknesses you’ll tolerate.

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Destiny 2's open beta launches on PCs today, and it's one of the best-looking shooters ever

PC World - Tue, 2017-08-29 09:41

Destiny 2 ($60 on Amazon) is out on consoles as of next week, but us poor PC folk have to wait until October 24 for the full release of Bungie’s shooter. A small consolation though: Destiny 2's PC open beta starts today (likely at 10 a.m. Pacific) and runs through Thursday, August 31 if you’re in a try-before-you-buy mood. Just remember you’ll need to download Blizzard's Battle.net to play it—the game isn't on Steam.

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How to keep Migration Assistant from overwriting existing files on a new Mac

Mac World - Tue, 2017-08-29 08:00

The Mac has a great app called Migration Assistant that is very helpful when setting up a new Mac and you need to transfer files from an old Mac. Jim O’Reilly asks a great question about using Migration Assistant:

If I use Migration Assistant, how can I avoid writing over on the new Mac files with the same name as the corresponding files from the old Mac?

While Migration Assistant is relatively straightforward to use, it does have settings that let you twiddle what’s transferred.

Typically, after you go through the setup process and connect two Macs, you’re given the option to transfer four kinds of things:

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Face it: Every new Apple technology is a disaster

Mac World - Tue, 2017-08-29 07:00

Apple is expected to release a new technology next month so you know what that means: it’s time to worry about how bad it will be.

Writing for Mashable, Jack Morse says if you’re not afraid, you will be. You will be.

That is, of course, a reference to a line the popular movie series Star Trek. Don’t @ me.

“Facial recognition tech is taking over smartphones. Here’s why you should be worried.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Tibor Csapo.)

There are few things more personal than a face.

A bespoke granite carving of a beloved pet thrown through the plate glass window of your summer house. A loved one who can recite your genome from memory. An H-shaped pair of coffins so you and your spouse can hold hands for all eternity. Your groin. That’s about it.

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Geeni Vision 720P Smart Camera review: A basic and budget-friendly home security camera

Mac World - Tue, 2017-08-29 06:00
Though short on advanced features, this less-than-$100 security camera is long on ease of use.

The 10 Mac games you need to play from August 2017

Mac World - Tue, 2017-08-29 06:00
August's games

Image by Telltale Games

Summer is coming to an end, but the fun doesn’t have to stop: your Mac can keep you entertained well into the fall and winter. That’s especially true right now, since August brought us a rather impressive bounty of new Mac games to check out. 

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Geeni Vision 720P Smart Camera review: A basic and budget-friendly home security camera

PC World - Tue, 2017-08-29 06:00
Though short on advanced features, this less-than-$100 security camera is long on ease of use.

8 hidden Android Nougat features you still have time to try

PC World - Tue, 2017-08-29 06:00

Google used to produce a rather bare-bones version of Android, counting on OEMs like Samsung and LG to add in all the other cool features people might want. But today’s stock Android is more powerful, more feature-rich, and more attractive without any help from the device makers.

In fact, Google has pushed OEMs to use even more of the basic Android experience without making unnecessary changes. This could mean some awesome features are lurking inside your phone that you don’t even know about. So here are eight cool features inside Nougat (Android 7.0) you’re probably not using.

Split-screen Chrome

Android 7.0’s split-screen app capabilities are well known, but there’s one app that includes a very cool and useful feature that isn’t so obvious: The Chrome browser lets you run two different tabs on the screen at once.

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Crashplan alternatives: What home users can do, from staying put to exploring other services

PC World - Tue, 2017-08-29 06:00

It's been a week since Crashplan decided to call it quits on its personal backup service. But Crashplan isn't going away—it's just ending a program that probably wasn't profitable. After the initial shock, home users should realize there’s absolutely no reason to panic—or even be hasty. The company will keep your data safe for an extra 60 days past the end of your current subscription, and it will keep its servers online until October 23, 2018. But it's still a good time to figure out your next move, so we'll walk you through the options. 

Crashplan option 1: Upgrade to a business plan

You needn't leave Crashplan at all if you turn your home plan into a business plan. Just pony up the $10 a month for the small business plan and keep on keepin’ on.

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How to test your home internet connection speed

PC World - Mon, 2017-08-28 20:12

Testing your internet connection’s performance is a straightforward exercise. You don’t need any extra software—all you need is a computer with a web browser. But there are also a few things you can do to make sure you are getting the most accurate reading of your internet connection. Here’s what to do.

Get ready

For best results, you want to use a wired connection if at all possible; that way, you don’t have to worry about interference and performance fluctuations that can occur while you’re on Wi-Fi. If you have any other wired devices on your home network, plug your test computer directly into the modem so those don’t interfere in your testing.

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iOS 11 FAQ: Apple seeds developer beta 8, watch ARKIt videos

Mac World - Mon, 2017-08-28 17:07

Editors’ note: We’ve updated this story to include information about the newest iOS 11 developer release and ARKit demo videos.

Siri in iOS 11 has learned to sound like an actual human—and that’s just the beginning when it comes to the new mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and friends gave us a full overview of iOS 11 during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on Monday. New features include sweeping new upgrades to Siri, a redesigned Control Center and App Store, and a brand-new Apple Pay feature that lets you send or receive money to your contacts via iMessage.

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Bethesda's QuakeCon sale is still live on Steam, with classic games for less than $2

PC World - Mon, 2017-08-28 16:55

QuakeCon ended Sunday, but the effects of that conference are still being felt. No, I'm not talking about early access to Quake Champions, but the annual QuakeCon sale still available on Steam. ZeniMax-owned Bethesda Softworks has some of its classic games on sale until Tuesday morning. The sale includes mostly Bethesda in-house and published titles, as well as published titles from other ZeniMax properties.

For $1.24 each, you can pick-up The Ultimate DoomDoom II, and Doom III. If those shooters don't appeal, try Return to Castle Wolfenstein for $1.24, Quake 4 for $3.74, or Doom 3: BFG Edition for $5.

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