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11/24/2020   PC World Latest News
If you're cutting cable, these Black Friday streaming and cord-cutting deals will save you even more money.
11/24/2020   PC World Latest News

Switching to a solid-state drive is the best upgrade you can make for your PC. These wondrous devices obliterate long boot times, speed up how fast your programs and games load, and generally makes your computer feel fast. But not all solid-state drives are created equal. The best SSDs offer solid performance at affordable prices—or, if price is no object, face-meltingly fast read and write speeds.

To save money on your holiday shopping, check out our roundup of the best Black Friday deals on CPUs, GPUs, monitors, routers, and more.

Many SSDs come in a 2.5-inch form factor and communicate with PCs via the same SATA ports used by traditional hard drives. But out on the bleeding-edge of NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) drives, you’ll find tiny “gumstick” SSDs that fit in M.2 connections on modern motherboards, SSDs that sit on a PCIe adapter and slot into your motherboard like a graphics card or sound card, futuristic 3D Xpoint drives, and more. Picking the perfect SSD isn’t as simple as it used to be.

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11/24/2020   PC World Latest News

“Frames win games,” Nvidia likes to say, but there’s more to esports domination than raw frame rates. How those frames get delivered matters too. Latency—the time it takes for an on-screen action to happen after you press a button—reigns supreme in the blink-and-you’re-dead competitive esports scene. If your game looks beautiful but feels sluggish, you’ll find yourself outgunned by rivals playing with crummy visual settings to increase responsiveness.

Enter Nvidia Reflex, introduced alongside the GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090. If you’ve heard of it before, you probably associate it with low-latency features being added to games like Call of Duty: Warzone, Valorant, and Fortnite. But Reflex is actually Nvidia’s overarching brand name for a wide range of new latency-obsessed tools. Yes, the Low Latency Mode being added to games is part of it, but on Tuesday, Nvidia and its partners are also rolling out blisteringly fast 360Hz G-Sync Esports monitors with Reflex Latency Analyzer built in. If you’ve invested in compatible accessories, Reflex Latency Analyzer keeps tabs on the entire pipeline from the millisecond you click your mouse to the millisecond the game renders your gun shooting, helping you identify which parts of your system are acting as a bottleneck.

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11/24/2020   PC World Latest News
This isn’t the typical collection of holiday-themed movies, these are simply films to be thankful for.
11/24/2020   PC World Latest News
This completely wireless camera makes it easy to monitor what's happening inside or outside your home.
11/24/2020   PC World Latest News

The future of gaming laptops, it seems, is largely focused around managing the limited thermal budgets between the two hottest components: The CPU and GPU. AMD has SmartShift and Intel has Dynamic Power Share, but both technologies are designed to work exclusively with their own hardware. Now Nvidia’s joined the party with its own Dynamic Boost, which aims to leverage the “unused” thermal budget in a laptop.

For example, if a laptop has a thermal budget of 115 watts with 35 watts for the CPU, and 80 watts for GPU—why not take any additional power the CPU isn’t using to increase performance when gaming?

That’s the idea behind Nvidia’s answer to AMD’s SmartShift and Intel’s Dynamic Power Share. How it works the company isn’t detailing, but it is limited to DirectX gaming right now. We’d guess Nvidia has created algorithms to dynamically jack up the GPU’s power usage under certain loads, and dynamically gate the CPU’s performance to the point where it doesn’t injure the frame rate performance.

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11/23/2020   PC World Latest News

Given the ups and downs of 2020, Black Friday’s muted vibe comes as no surprise. While you can find good deals, they’re not nearly as plentiful or tantalizing as last year, due to demand and a flood of recent product launches. On average, expect to spend about 10 percent more compared to 2019.

Still, with some digging around, we’re unearthing solid discounts on items that we particularly care about at PCWorld: CPUs, GPUs, monitors, and more. Keep an eye on these lists, as we’ll expand them as sales ramp up between now and Black Friday.

To see everything else on sale right now, check out our round-up of the best early Black Friday 2020 deals.

Best early Black Friday PC component deals

Cases

CPU

CPU coolers

Fans

  • Lepa Chopper Advance 120mm LED Fan (Green), $0 on Newegg (FREE)
    (Must file $10 mail-in rebate by 12/30/2020.)

Graphics cards

  • MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT + Godfall and WoW Shadowlands, $350 on Newegg ($45 off)
    (Use code 2BFSTNW326 at checkout and file mail-in rebate within 21 days of purchase.)

Internal storage drives

SSDs

Monitors

Deals on high refresh rate gaming monitors are far more common this year, so check over the specs carefully on the displays. Similar models tend to still favor one or two aspects (price, response time, etc) in comparison to the others.

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11/23/2020   PC World Latest News

The best laptops of 2020 are part of a pitched battle between AMD and Intel: Ryzen 4000’s cores vs. Core’s clock speeds.

Most recently, Intel launched its Tiger Lake CPUs for thin-and-light laptops, promising yet again that thanks to flexible clock speeds, and its potent new Iris Xe discrete graphics, it would hammer Ryzen 4000. Or so Intel says. The normally diplomatic company even went so far as to say Ryzen 4000 stinks on battery. Maybe Intel is sore that AMD’s laptop share is increasing.

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11/23/2020   PC World Latest News

As in previous years, Black Friday began early in 2020—no one’s waiting until the day after Thanksgiving to kick off sales. Amazon got the ball rolling in October this year, and other retailers like Walmart will offer staggered waves of deals throughout November.

We’ve started listing the best deals below—keep an eye peeled for further updates as the days tick by.

Not sure what to expect for this year, given the pandemic? Check out our Black Friday FAQ and our advice on when to buy PC components.

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11/23/2020   PC World Latest News

“What graphics card within my budget gives me the best bang for my buck?”

That simple question cuts to the core of what people hunting for a new graphics card look for: the most oomph they can afford. Sure, the technological leaps behind each new GPU can be interesting on their own, but most everyone just wants to crank up the detail settings on Battlefield and get right to playing.

To save money on your holiday shopping, check out our roundup of the best Black Friday deals on CPUs, GPUs, monitors, routers, and more.
11/23/2020   PC World Latest News

Intel called out its rival this morning, claiming that AMD’s Ryzen 4000 mobile CPUs suffer major performance penalties when running on battery.

The company said its testing found that multiple Ryzen laptops experienced as much as a 48 percent performance drop when running on battery as opposed to being plugged into the wall. Unsurprisingly, laptops using Intel’s own 11th-gen Tiger Lake showed far less of a hit, the company said.

The Big Mac is better than the Whopper, really

While you’re likely extremely skeptical of Intel’s claims—which are akin to McDonald’s dumping on Burger King or Ford dissing Chevrolet—Intel said it has homework to back up its assertions. PCWorld, in the meantime, is in the process of trying to replicate these results.

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11/23/2020   PC World Latest News
The Frame TV brings fine decor and art to your wall. It's excellent in that role, though it doesn't deliver Samsung's very best motion video technology.
11/23/2020   PC World Latest News

If you still think of wireless mice as laggy, battery-sucking substitutes for a real mouse, we’ve got good news for you. Mouse manufacturers have largely solved the latency, connectivity, and power-efficiency problems that once blighted these devices. The best of today’s wireless mice rival their wired counterparts in performance, battery life, features, and design.

There are two rather obvious benefits of a wireless mouse. It eliminates the tether to your computer, giving you greater range—essential if you are constrained by your work area or playing PC games on your TV—and removes a source of friction that often interferes with speed and accuracy. It also makes an essential device more travel friendly. No one objects to one less cord in their gear bag. You’ll probably pay a bit more for a wireless mouse than a wired one, but if you value this kind of convenience it’s worth it.

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11/23/2020   PC World Latest News

Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 9310 is mostly an evolutionary update to the XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 we reviewed last year, but with one key change. Thanks to Intel’s 11th gen Core i7-1165G7 chip, gaming is actually conceivable on this sub-three-pound laptop.

Most other things didn’t change, and we have our beefs about the design. But that game-ready performance boost alone makes the XPS 13 2-in-1 special. 

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best laptops. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them. 

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11/20/2020   PC World Latest News
Apple isn’t supplying a power adapter with new iPhones anymore, so we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite ones.
11/20/2020   PC World Latest News

We’ve come a long way from Intel’s original Next Unit of Computing modular computer that brought tiny computing to the mainstream. We’ve come so far, in fact, we’re not sure what’s actually “NUC-y” about Intel’s new NUC M15 laptop, which is intended as a “whitebook” design that other notebook makers can utilize for their own products.

Intel unveiled its in-house-designed laptop yesterday with a list of specs that is simultaneously welcome and somewhat confusing. The NUC M15 comes with either an 11th gen Core i5-1135G7 or Core i7-1165G7 processor, paired with either 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM. For ports, you get two USB-A and two Thunderbolt 4, plus a full-size HDMI port, lock port, and headset jack.

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11/20/2020   PC World Latest News

Intel’s latest power play isn’t about toppling AMD, but about energy efficiency. The company's new ATX12VO power supply standard is designed to help desktop PCs meet increasingly stringent government standards on idle power consumption.

Update: If you prefer video, we've since embedded our full interview with Intel's Stephen  Eastman above. He literally wrote the spec for Intel's new ATX12VO. Watch it above, or here if you prefer YouTube.

ATX12VO does require a sacrifice. Newer power supplies will jettison support for old-school 3.3-volt and 5-volt rails, and concentrate solely on producing 12-volt power. But after kicking the tires on a pair of ATX12VO motherboards as well as an actual ATX12VO PSU, we can say that the future of desktop PC power looks brighter—and your old-friend legacy parts aren’t moving too far away.

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11/20/2020   PC World Latest News
11/20/2020   PC World Latest News
11/20/2020   PC World Latest News

The latest news in dash cams: Not one, not two, but three cameras, to cover your front, rear, and interior. We look at just such a model, the Zenfox T3 3CH ($249.90 on Amazon), and find out that fitting three cameras into your car may take a little extra thought. Read our full review. Meanwhile, 4K dash cams continue to be hot—but there are caveats, which we’ll discuss below and in the individual reviews. 

To save on your holiday shopping, check out our round-up of the best early Black Friday 2020 deals.

Say, did you buy an Owl Car Cam? After the startup Owl Cameras Inc. shut down abruptly, users were stuck with expensive dash cams and no support. Things are finally looking up: Xirgo Technologies, the company that acquired Owl Cameras Inc.’s intellectual property, has partnered with CallPass to take over the consumer service. Read more about the rehatching of Owlcam, and stay tuned for reviews of the new Owlcam products promised later this year.

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11/19/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft also is adding more new consumer-focused features to the Teams mobile apps for iOS and Android.
11/19/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser gets more consumer-focused features.
11/17/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft has been working directly and indirectly to create a unified internal search capability for years. By the end of 2020, Microsoft Search is on tap to deliver on some of its core promises.
11/16/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft's 'Project Oakdale' data-management tool has a new official name: Dataverse. And Microsoft is adding more Teams meeting apps to its store.
11/13/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Wondering how long Microsoft will continue to provide driver and firmware updates for particular Surface PCs and tablets? That information is now available.
11/11/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft has replaced former Biz Dev Development chief Peggy Johnson with Christopher Young, the former McAfee CEO.
11/11/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
The Linux Systems Group at Microsoft has developed a Linux distribution for internal use and made it available on GitHub.
11/10/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft's .NET 5 developer platform, key to the company's work to unify its different .NET flavors, is generally available as of today, November 10.
11/05/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft isn't yet ready to provide the Teams multi-user sign-in capabilities that many users have requested.
11/04/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is readying a private preview release of 'Aquila,' which is SCOM spun up in Azure, according to my contacts.
11/04/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft Teams is finally slated to get multi-account sign-in as of December 2020, according to a new addition to its Microsoft 365 roadmap. But it turns out it's for a single personal and work account, not multiple work accounts.
10/29/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Windows 10 test build 20246 removes some of the features Microsoft had been testing in the Dev Channel and adds a number of changes and fixes.
10/29/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is adding the ability for customers to use their own data as a data type in Excel. Here's how this will work.
10/28/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft's Cloud for Healthcare builds on Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform and is designed to deal with both structured and unstructured health data.
10/28/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Now that Windows 10 20H2 has started rolling out, what comes next? Windows 10X in the spring and Windows 10 21H2 with some big UI changes in the fall?
10/28/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft's Windows OEM Pro business was down 22% in its first fiscal 2021 quarter, but its Windows consumer business was strong. What's going on?
10/28/2020   InfoWorld Insider

If you saw our Ultimate R data.table Cheat Sheet, you might want a copy of your own. And in fact you can download an HTML file with the full interactive table — complete with tasks, task category, data.table code, and Tidyverse alternatives, all searchable.

This download is free for all registered Insiders — and Insider membership is also free.

We ask that once you download it, you don’t share the file; please share the link to the article instead. As a data afficionado, you can probably understand that the number of registrations for this download is one way I can convince my editor and my boss that site visitors are highly engaged with R content, and so I should write more of it :-)

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(Insider Story)
10/27/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft officials said Teams is now being used by more than 115 million daily active users, up from 75 million in late April.
10/27/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is inching closer to launching its promised vertical tabs option for its Chromium-based Edge browser.
10/26/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
A public preview of Microsoft's Lobe app is available for Windows and Mac users, and enables them to training and store machine-learning models locally on their machines.
10/26/2020   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is adding more functionality to its Update Compliance to give admins more information on some Windows 10 feature update blockers. Next up: A way to block the blockers.