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The best 4K graphics card for PC gaming

PC World - Fri, 2019-09-27 05:56

4K gaming used to break the bank. For years, 3840x2160 monitors cost a small fortune, and the ferocious graphics cards needed to drive a 4K display cost even more. That’s not even counting the price of the high-energy power supplies required to juice all that hardware.

It still is expensive—at least if you want the best possible 4K gaming experiences. But now we have options. An Ultra HD gaming setup won’t be cheap, but with basic 4K monitors available for around $200 and upper-mid-range graphics cards able to drive them at a decent clip, you no longer have to remortgage your house to achieve satisfying 4K gaming. We’ll break down all your options below.

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Amazon Echo Glow: Hands-on first impressions

PC World - Thu, 2019-09-26 20:20
Increasingly sensitive to criticism of its privacy practices, Amazon leaves a microphone out of this child-oriented smart lamp.

Amazon Echo Glow: Hands-on first impressions

Mac World - Thu, 2019-09-26 20:20
Increasingly sensitive to criticism of its privacy practices, Amazon leaves a microphone out of this child-oriented smart lamp.

Amazon Echo Frames: Hands-on first impressions

PC World - Thu, 2019-09-26 16:22

No company has managed to make smart glasses that the average person would want to buy. Amazon’s Echo Frames could change that by making its Alexa digital assistant accessible from anywhere your smartphone has internet access. I checked them out at yesterday’s Amazon Devices event in Seattle and came away impressed.

The $180 Echo Frames are one of two devices that Amazon announced as “Day 1 Editions.” If you want to buy a pair (or the Echo Loop smart ring, which I didn’t get a chance to play with), you’ll need to request an invitation. Like the Echo Buds that were also announced yesterday, Frames depend on your smartphone to reach the internet. The factor that all three of these new mobile devices have in common is that they eliminate the need for you to pull your smartphone out of your pocket or purse to summon Alexa. That handily blunts one of the key advantages that Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri have had over Alexa.

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Amazon Echo Frames: Hands-on first impressions

Mac World - Thu, 2019-09-26 16:22
Alexa is moving out of the house to become a more mobile digital assistant.

HP unveils Chromebooks designed for the new Universal Stylus Initiative

PC World - Thu, 2019-09-26 15:41

HP said Thursday that the company will begin shipping its first Universal Stylus Initiative-enabled Chromebooks later this month, offering the option of either a Celeron or a quad-core Pentium chip inside.

HP will offer the HP Chromebook x360 12b for $359 and the HP Chromebook x360 14b for $379. As the names suggest, they will be 12-inch and 14-inch Chromebooks, with up to full 1080p displays, with specific consumer bents: B&O-powered audio on the 14b, for example. 

The Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) debuted Thursday as well, offering compatibility between various digital styluses. Essentially, the USI standard—supported by a dozen companies from Google, HP, Intel, and a host of stylus makers—will mean that you’ll be able to take your USI stylus and be assured that it will work on a range of various digital devices. HP will make its own pen, the HP Rechargeable USI Pen, which is expected to be available in November for a starting price of $69.99.

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Apple releases security update for macOS Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra

Mac World - Thu, 2019-09-26 14:00

Apple on Thursday released a new update for the Mac that's available for macOS Mojave, as well as two older versions, High Sierra and Sierra. According to the release notes, the update is described as follows:

Impact: A remote attacker may be able to cause unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution

Description: An out-of-bounds read was addressed with improved input validation.

The update is for macOS Mojave 10.14.6, macOS High Sierra 10.13.6, and macOS Sierra 10.12.6.

How to install the update

Before installing any operating system update, it's a good idea to back up your Mac. The download and installation will take several minutes.

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OnePlus 7T hands-on: Circle gets the square

PC World - Thu, 2019-09-26 12:13

For years OnePlus has distinguished itself from the premium phone crop with unseen differences, offering the same high-end specs and design for much lower prices. That hasn’t changed with the OnePlus 7T. But this time around OnePlus wants everyone around you to know you’re not using a Galaxy, Pixel, or an iPhone.

That’s because OnePlus has gone circular. While square camera arrays are all the rage at the moment, with Apple and Google following Huawei’s Mate 20’s lead with an unapologetically prominent square camera on the back of their newest phones. But OnePlus is eschewing the square array with the 7T for a circular bump in the center of the back of the phone, a design element that could very become OnePlus’s trademark.

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Nvidia's RTX Broadcast Engine taps GeForce AI cores to spruce up your game streams

PC World - Thu, 2019-09-26 09:00

At TwitchCon on Tuesday, Nvidia revealed the RTX Broadcast Engine, a collection of SDKs that uses AI to offer real-time virtual greenscreens, augmented reality effects, and style filters that developers can add to their streaming software. Nvidia may have loaded its GeForce RTX 20-series graphics card with dedicated RT and tensor cores to accelerate cutting-edge real-time ray tracing in games, but now it’s putting the machine learning chops of those tensor cores to more practical work for video creators.

Nvidia

RTX Greenscreen

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Apple Watch Series 5 Always On faces ranked: From the best to Toy Story

Mac World - Thu, 2019-09-26 07:00

The hot new feature on the Apple Watch Series 5 is one that you’re going to use the most: the always on display. With every other generation of Apple Watch, the display turned black after you were done using it, but the Series 5 stays lit so you can quickly see the time without waiting a second for the display to light up.

But more important than the convenience it brings, the Always On feature fundamentally changes how your Apple Watch looks. Since the always-on display will be visible some 90 percent of the time, it’s more like a regular watch than ever before, so you’ll want to choose a face that looks good.

Apple Watch Series 5 Always On: Turn it on

The Always On display will be on by default when you pair your Apple Watch Series 5 for the first time, but if it’s not working on your watch, here’s how to activate it. Head over to the Settings app, then Display & Brightness, and Always On. On the next screen, tap the toggle to turn it green and you’re good to go.

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iPhone 11 review: A hard-to-beat combination of price, features, and quality

Mac World - Thu, 2019-09-26 06:00

Last year, Apple introduced the iPhone XR as the “affordable” offering in its new iPhone lineup. We liked the XR a lot, and we even said that it might be the best iPhone Apple has ever made. The follow-up to the iPhone XR is the new iPhone 11, and the fact that Apple decided to bless this model with the “iPhone 11” title—and not call it something like the iPhone 11R—says a lot about where the company positions the phone. 

But can this phone carry the burden of being known as the iPhone 11? As a matter of fact, it can. The satisfying speed boost, dual camera setup, and long battery life combine to make the iPhone 11 even better than last year’s iPhone XR. And given its relatively low price tag, it’s probably the best new iPhone for most people.

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Intel maps out Optane's future and says Penta Level Cell NAND is in the works

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 22:00

In a massive storage data dump, Intel laid out its Optane roadmap and claimed an edge in Penta Level Cell NAND technology. That's not even mentioning the company's plans for fatter SSDs, and how long it'll take to get persistent memory to consumer PCs.

The announcements were made Thursday morning at a storage event in Seoul, South Korea, where Intel showed off some new technology coming down the pike. Intel also announced that, after the very public and amicable divorce from Micron, it's moving its Optane development to Rancho Rio, New Mexico.

Optane Roadmap: Barlow Pass

If you've had a hint that Intel's been closely aligning its storage efforts with its CPU efforts, that hint turned into a nudge on Thursday: Intel confirmed that its upcoming Cooper Lake and Ice Lake CPUs will have support for its 2nd-generation Optane DC Persistent Memory modules. Codenamed Barlow Pass, the Optane modules will be closely tied with the upcoming Xeon CPUs. And yup, a yet unnamed, but rumored-to-be-called Crow Pass will be tied with its upcoming Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs. 

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Amazon Echo Buds: First impressions

Mac World - Wed, 2019-09-25 19:41
These truly wireless headphones literally put Alexa in your head.

Amazon Echo Buds: First impressions

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 19:41
These truly wireless headphones literally put Alexa in your head.

Amazon Echo Studio: First impressions

Mac World - Wed, 2019-09-25 18:58
Amazon is finally building a higher-quality smart speaker—one that will give Sonos heartburn.

Amazon Echo Studio: First impressions

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 18:58
Amazon is finally building a higher-quality smart speaker—one that will give Sonos heartburn.

Our impressions of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, your hot takes, and more

Mac World - Wed, 2019-09-25 16:45

We have the new iPhone 11, so we’ll talk about our experiences and impressions. Plus, your hot takes! That and more are all in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

This is episode 669 with Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, and Roman Loyola.

Listen to episode 669

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Amazon unveils a raft of new devices, including a high-end Echo speaker, Alexa-packing earbuds, glasses, and a ring

Mac World - Wed, 2019-09-25 16:29
Amazon went nuts with its fall hardware event, unleashing a bevy of products ranging from wireless Echo Buds, a smart ring, a smart oven, and even a dog tracker.

Amazon unveils a raft of new devices, including a high-end Echo speaker, Alexa-packing earbuds, glasses, and a ring

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 16:29
Amazon went nuts with its fall hardware event, unleashing a bevy of products ranging from wireless Echo Buds, a smart ring, a smart oven, and even a dog tracker.

Oculus Connect 6: Significant Oculus Quest upgrades could render the Rift obsolete

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 14:51

It’s been a big year for Oculus. Both its Quest and Rift S headsets released in April, effectively kicking off the second generation of consumer-grade virtual reality. The portable, wire-free Oculus Quest in particular felt revelatory, an almost desktop-caliber experience without the need for a desktop, playable at a moment’s notice. It’s arguably the biggest leap since Valve introduced position-tracked controllers and room-scale experiences with the HTC Vive.

A big year for Oculus means a challenging Oculus Connect 6 though. How do you fill an hour-long press conference with no promise of new hardware on the horizon?

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