How to Clean Your PC of Dust

How to Clean Your PC of Dust

If you're looking to remove dust from your PC safely without damaging anything especially sensitive, like your motherboard, you're probably looking to find the safest way. Typically, this involves actually touching the components of your PC as little as possible (with the exception of carefully removing your graphics card and other components for a more thorough cleaning).

Items Needed:

  • Can of compressed air
  • Lint-free cloth
  • 99 percent isopropyl alcohol or a damp cloth
  • Screwdriver
  • Zip ties (optional)
  • Scissors (optional)

Instructions for Removing Dust From Your Computer

  1. Begin by turning off the computer and unplugging it from its power source.
  2. Unplug any peripherals to free up all the USB slots for cleaning.
  3. Take your PC to a well-ventilated, open area. This will help prevent you from breathing in any excess dust and keep the dust from blowing around back into the PC.
  4. Unscrew the side of your case.
  5. Most PC setups will feature easily removable components which we recommend removing (RAM sticks, video cards, and hard drives). This isn’t 100% necessary, but it will allow for a more thorough cleaning of your PC.
  6. Remaining a few inches away from the surface, begin cleaning any components you have removed, using the compressed air to clean any noticeable spots with significant dust build-up. Though there’s often a negligible amount of moisture within compressed air cans, remaining a few inches away from the surface will help prevent any moisture from reaching sensitive components such as the motherboard, processor, etc.
  7. (Note: When cleaning any fans/components with built-in fans, use a pen, pencil, or your finger to prevent the fan from spinning while blowing the dust off. Spinning them too fast can cause some more fragile fans to crack. As a finishing touch, you can use a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol to wipe down the fan blades.)
  8. Now moving to the inside of the case, begin by cleaning the RAM slots, running the compressed air through the entire length of each RAM slot.
  9. Next, move to the CPU fan and power supply. Again, we recommend using something to stop the fans from spinning while blowing air through them. Use the compressed air to blow out any loose dust that has accumulated within the case. If any residual dust build-up remains afterward at the bottom of your case, use a very lightly dampened (make sure it is not too wet) to wipe out the bottom.
  10. Make sure to test all of the fans to make sure they’re still spinning correctly. If not, it’s probably time to replace them.
  11. (Optional) If you have a custom-built computer and would like to declutter/organize your cables, now is a perfect time to do so. You can begin by disconnecting all the cables that need to be tied together. Make sure to write down/take a picture of where they all connect to use as a reference when plugging them back in. Begin grouping the cables into sets for their respective ports, and once you have an organized bunch, use the zip tie to bind the cables together. Use the scissors to cut off any excess length from the zip ties. Repeat this process for as many clusters of cables as possible, neatly tucking away the bunched cables in an organized fashion. Plug the cables back into their respective ports.
  12. Make sure to replace any peripheral components you removed while cleaning.

Why Do You Need to Clean Your PC?

During the course of daily use, your PC will begin to build-up dust with the case and around connection ports. As dust builds up within the components of your PC, it can begin to reduce the cooling efficiency of your PC. Over time, this reduction in cooling efficiency can eventually lead to overheating, thereby shortening the lifespan of your PC components.

How Often Should You Clean Your PC?

How often you should clean your PC will largely depend on the environment and space around your computer. Anyone who owns pets that shed, who smoke around their PC, and/or anyone who lives in a particularly dusty environment will have to clean their PC more often, around every six months. Another factor contributing to dust build-up is the placement of your case, with cases resting on the floor generally collecting more dust than those resting on top of desks/other furniture. If none of these factors apply to you, cleaning your PC once every year should be sufficient, though your mileage may vary.

Best Pre-Built Streaming PCs Under $1000

Best Pre-Built Streaming PC's Under $1000

If you’re looking to start getting into streaming, the first question on your mind is probably if your computer can handle it. Twitch and Mixer watchers have grown accustom to high resolution high FPS streams from top streamers.

When just starting out, you likely can’t afford seperate gaming and streaming PCs, each with a 2080Ti. Here’s our top 5 favorite pre-built computers for streaming, all under $1000.

Two Important Aspects for Streaming

1. CPU:

While a number of different parts are needed to make a solid gaming PC, the specs needed for the best streaming PC under $1000 are slightly more specific. Perhaps the most important part is a quality CPU, with Twitch recommending an Intel Core i5-4670 processor (or AMD equivalent) as a bare minimum for streaming. For streaming, the CPU will have to handle running both the game you are playing and the background streaming software at the same time. This means the CPU will often have a greater impact on your stream quality than your GPU. 

2. Internet Speed: 

The most expensive PC build will fail to offer an acceptable stream if you skimp on your internet speed. Twitch’s Broadcasting Guidelines suggest around 4,500-6,000 kilobits per second to stream 1080p at 60fps, and 3,500-5000kbps for 1080p at 30fps. Measured in upload speed, you should shoot for at least 3MB per second to deliver a quality stream to your audience. For the best results, a wired ethernet connection is prefered to a wifi connection.

Our Top Recommendations for Streaming PCs Under $1000

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. iBUYPOWER Element 9260 - Premium option

  • CPU: Intel i7-9700F 3.0Ghz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • Ram: 16Gb DDR4
  • Storage: 240GB SSD, 1TB HDD

In a market saturated with DIY PC builds, the iBUYPOWER Element 9260 shows just how competitive pre-builds can be. With the Element 9260s i7-9700F being one of the best CPUs on the market for the price, this build will have every bit of power you need to run a quality stream without any slowdown issues. If you’re still feeling hesitant on the i7-9700F, the CPU can be boosted to a whopping 4.7GHz in the BIOS. Coupled with NVIDIA’s GTX 1660Ti, the Element 9260 can crush any triple AAA title with ease at 1080p. Upon testing, the build performed admirably even at 1440p, something many of the more budget pre-builds struggled with.

In terms of memory, the Element 9260 holds a comfortable 240GB SSD and 1TB HDD. We found that 240GB of SSD was more than enough space to store our operating system as well as a few of our favorite games. All of this alongside a healthy 16GB of RAM storage. With storage being one of the first parts that PC companies will skimp on to cut costs for pre-builds, we felt the storage space of the Element 9260 was more than sufficient for all our gaming and streaming needs.

In addition to these top-tier specs for a sub $1000 build, the Element 9260 also comes with a host of additional offerings, including pre-installed RGB fans, a PSU shroud for cable management, a tempered glass case, and even a keyboard and mouse included with the PC. 

2. SkyTech Archangel - Budget Option

  • CPU: Ryzen 1200 3.1GHz Quad-Core
  • GPU:  GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
  • Ram: 8Gb DDR4 2400
  • Storage: 1TB HDD

If the Element 9260 showcases everything possible in a sub $1000 build, SkyTech’s Archangel desktop PC build proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune for a solid streaming PC. With its futuristic, Sci-fi esque design, the Archangel continues to be a real head-turner when it comes to PC aesthetics. This large tower features a black set of tapering lazy-black covers to contrast its white case, all accented with a striking pair of LED angel eyes shining through the black panels. The case also features a portion of tempered glass along the side, allowing owners a view of the internals inside the case. 

(Note: We found the case to be quite large compared to others on our list, so desktop users without a lot of space may find it difficult to fit the Archangel on their desk). 

When it comes to streaming power, the Archangel puts out some surprising benchmarks given the price point. The Archangel’s Ryzen 1200 CPU straddles a middle ground between an i5 and i7 in terms of CPU power. We found the GPU to provide a similar middle of the road experience, with a solid performance at 1080p but notable slow down at higher resolutions. 

Our biggest complaint is the build’s lack of a SSD, though given the price point we felt this was preferable to a cut in performance to the CPU or GPU. SkyTechs inclusion of a keyboard and mouse was a nice touch to offset the lack of an SSD, though any serious gamers will eventually want to upgrade from the stock kbm combo included within the build. 

3. HP Pavilion i5-9400F

  • CPU: Intel i5-9400F 2.9GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • Ram: 16Gb DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD

With HPs prevalence in laptops and work desktops, it’s no surprise to see them entering the PC gaming market. While we’re not convinced they’re about to corner the market on gaming desktops, the HP Pavilion i5-9400 offers a nice compromise between price and performance. While we can’t recommend this HP if your goal is turning up the graphics to ultra with 4k resolution on the newest 2020 AAA title, the i5-9400F has enough power to play and stream many less graphically-demanding scenarios without hiccups. With a max CPU output of 4.1GHz when boosted through the BIOS, we still felt the HP deserved a place on our list for best streaming builds under $1000. 

Boasting several features lacking in the other builds on our list, the HP Pavilion i5-9400F comes with 5.1 surround sound enabled, making it an ideal setup for anyone planning on using their PC for home entertainment purposes. It also comes with a USB-C slot, something notably missing on the other builds, making it slightly more “future-proof” as more and more PC and phone manufacturers switch to USB-C for charging and data transfer. The build also comes with a keyboard and mouse combo.

*Note: Due to the HP’s small size, we were unable to find space within the case for upgrading parts. This means the PC’s specs are more or less locked at their current benchmarks without room for future upgrades.*


  • CPU: Intel i5-9400F 2.9GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • Ram: 8Gb DDR4
  • Storage: 240GB SSD, 1TB HDD

While all of the previous builds have fallen across a wide spectrum of gaming and streaming benchmarks, the CYBERPOWER PC Xtreme VR adds a new element unique to the list. VR specialization. Able to run most games at very respectable graphical settings, the Xtreme VR is a strong contender for any streamers interested in VR games. With the i5-9400F being one of the most widely available CPUs on the market, we’re confident that the Xtreme VR won’t struggle under the load of a dozen chrome tabs while Hulu streams videos in the background. 

Beyond its VR capabilities, the Xtreme VR features a tempered glass case, a beautiful set of built-in RGB lights, and a large case spacious enough to easily allow for future upgrades. Given that one of our complaints for the build is lack of RAM space, the possibility of a future upgrade to the RAM is a nice consolation. 

5. SkyTech Blaze II

  • CPU: Ryzen 5 2600 6-Core 3.4GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • Ram: 8Gb DDR4
  • Storage: 500GB SSD

While the SkyTech Archangel took the spot for best budget streaming build, the SkyTech Blaze II features a number of big improvements to justify the price jump from its budget counterpart. With a powerful CPU capable of being boosted to 3.9GHz, the Blaze II can handle the full gamut of streaming needs with its Ryzen 5 2600 6-Core processor. The Blaze II also represents a significant graphical upgrade from the Archangel. As a reference, you can play Far Cry 5 with 93FPS at 1080p with the Blaze II, while the Archangel came in at around 45fps at 1080p. The Blaze II even handled many games at 1440p without dropping many frames, something we couldn’t achieve with our budget picks. 

*Note: While you can achieve relatively high graphical benchmarks in our games, there is a significant increase in noise from the fans to compensate for the additional load on the PC*

Regarding aesthetics, the Blaze II comes in a steel case with tempered glass with RGB internals and professional cable management, making this subtly attractive build an easy contender for a great streaming prebuild. 


For the best streaming PC under $1000, you’ll have to make some decisions about which PC components you’re willing to compromise on in order to maximize your PC’s performance. In order to have full streaming capability at a 1080p minimum, these decisions will inevitably come in the form of reduced storage space, the need to buy quality peripherals separately, or an inability to upgrade the existing build due to space restrictions. Ultimately, the best PC pre-build for you will depend on the types of games you wish to play and any intended uses for the PC outside of streaming. If nothing but the best will handle your future streaming intentions, then the iBUYPOWER Element 9260 distinguished itself as the best, full-featured streaming build under $1000. For anyone on a strict budget, the Skytech Archangel served admirably as an entry-level streaming prebuild at a great price. For any streamers envisioning a VR focus to their stream, the CYBERPOWERPC Xtreme VR is our obvious choice. 

Best Bluetooth Gaming Keyboard and Mouse for PS4

Best Bluetooth Gaming Keyboard and Mouse for PS4

Why Use a Keyboard on PlayStation?

Owning a dedicated keyboard for the PS4 can be a surprisingly freeing experience. While nothing can beat the convenience of console gaming, having to type with a controller is often a slow, frustrating process. For anyone without a microphone or who uses their PS4 for web browsing, having a keyboard compliments the PS4 by adding another level of versatility to an already great console. When choosing the best bluetooth gaming keyboard and mouse for your PS4, there are a number of factors to consider before making a choice. 

Full vs. Partial Keyboards

Depending on how often you plan to use a keyboard, there are several keyboard layouts which range from full keyboards to small handheld controller-like keyboards. As a compromise between the two types, many come without the number pad for a more compact keyboard. Some even come with touchpads built into the keyboard for extra ease-of-use. 

Membrane vs Mechanical Keyboards

Anyone who has used a standard office keyboard will be familiar with a membrane keyboard. The membrane refers to a thin film resting on top of a grid of keyboards pressure points, which are used to activate keypresses. In contrast, mechanical keyboards use individual switches (mechanical buttons) for each key, and generally require longer keystrokes in order to activate. Mechanical keyboards also come with a variety of different switches which offer various resistances and noise levels when pressed. Semi-mechanical keyboards are a mix of the two, featuring a similar membrane under the keys but the more distinct “clunk” of a mechanical keyboard.

Our PS4 Keyboard & Mouse Recommendations

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. IOGEAR KeyMander Bundle (Premium Option)

  • Rechargeable: Yes
  • Full Keyboard: Yes
  • Membrane / Mechanical: Membrane

When it comes to the best full-featured gaming keyboard and mouse for the PS4, the IOGEAR KeyMander Bundle crushes the competition with a number of gaming oriented features unique to the IOGEAR keyboard and mouse combo. With a full sized keyboard, water & dust resistant design, and healthy 33ft connection range, the IOGEAR lacks none of the versatility or durability of its less expensive competitors. But what really separates the IOGEAR from the competition is a special port HUB which serves to connect the keyboard, mouse, and gamepad to your console. The port HUB allows any console to be kbm compatible in seconds, and also offers PC gamers a chance to explore console gaming without having to give up the pinpoint accuracy of a mouse and keyboard. 

Designed specifically for fast-paced shooters and adventure games, the IOGEAR is able to store multiple game profiles, allowing for users to quickly transition between control settings when switching games. Through the IOGEAR controller mapping software, users will be able to directly configure settings like macros, dead zones, mouse sensitivity, and a range of other useful features. And with IOGEAR’s cross-console compatibility, it can be used with any console game without having to download additional software or drivers. 

2. Logitech MK270 (Budget Option)

  • Rechargeable: No
  • Full Keyboard: Yes
  • Membrane / Mechanical: Membrane

One of the biggest powerhouse brands in the gaming industry, Logitech has consistently delivered high quality, innovative peripherals to their loyal customers. With the MK270Logitech has developed a no-frills full-length keyboard and mouse at a fraction of the cost of other gaming keyboard and mouse combos. All housed within a slim, streamlined design, the easy plug and play setup for the MK270 make it a great option for anyone seeking a solid keyboard at a great price point. 

The keyboard is powered by two AAA batteries while the mouse needs one AA battery. With a respectable 24 month and 12 month battery life (respectively), we don’t see the lack of rechargeability as a huge downside. The mouse features a laser sensor with a contoured design for enhanced comfort, and even a little slot for the USB adapter when not in use. 

3. Fosmon Portable Lightweight Mini Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard

  • Rechargeable: Yes
  • Full Keyboard: No
  • Membrane / Mechanical: Membrane

The Fosmon Portable features a distinct mini keyboard design unique to our list. Rather than needing a flat surface to place a standard keyboard on, the Fosmon works as a handheld device (similar to older phone models with built-in keyboards). But don’t let its size mislead you, this is a serious device with a surprising amount of thought placed into its design. Its built-in touchpad makes it an all-in-one keyboard and mouse replacement, with right and left bumpers serving as the mouse buttons, allowing PS4 users to feel right at home. 

Given its portable design, the Fosmon’s ease of connectivity makes it a great gadget even outside of gaming, its convenient bluetooth connectivity making it possible to connect it to any bluetooth enabled device. With a 10 day “working time” battery life (and 50 day standby battery life), the Fosmon is perfect for going from home to office to gaming and back again, all while fitting in your pocket. 

4. Seenda Low Profile Wireless Keyboard

  • Rechargeable: Yes
  • Full Keyboard: No
  • Membrane / Mechanical: Membrane

Cashing in on the popular design aesthetic of Apple, users of the Seenda low profile wireless keyboard and mouse will instantly notice the similarities between the Seenda and Apple peripherals. With a sleek, minimalist metallic design available in black or space gray, the Seenda is perfect for users seeking a more clean, professional looking gaming setup. For those wanting something compact to save on desk space, the Seenda also features an ultra-thin 5mm keyboard and 22mm mouse. Overall, the Seenda is a great looking minimalist keyboard with a professional look and feel.

5. Soke-Six Waterproof Keyboard

  • Rechargeable: No
  • Full Keyboard: Yes
  • Membrane / Mechanical: Semi-mechanical

Of all the keyboard and mouse combos on our list, the Soke-Six will feel the closest to a true mechanical kbm for anyone switching over from PC. With a striking black & cyan colorway gamer-oriented look and feel, the Soke-Six will look right at home next to a PS4. Besides its distinct look, what stands out most to use about the Soke-Six is its water-proof design. After losing several peripherals a rage-induced Mountain Dew spill, the Soke-Six’s waterproof design grants a nice piece of mind for us whenever gaming with a drink close at hand. 

In terms of function, the Soke-Six features six-buttoned mouse with adjustable DPI for on the fly sensitivity adjustments. Another useful feature we found was a unifying USB connector for both the mouse and keyboard, meaning you will be able to save an additional USB slot on your PS4 if you want to charge your controller while gaming. We did find the Seenda had a shorter battery life than the other products on the list, so be sure to key an eye on the battery life after any heavy nights of gaming. 

The Top 5 Heaviest Gaming Mice

The Top 5 Heaviest Gaming Mice

Benefits of a heavier gaming mouse:

When buying a gaming mouse, weight is one of the most important considerations to take into account. The heaviest gaming mouse will be best suited for anyone with bigger hands or who enjoys a weightier feel when gaming. Heavier gaming mice are also perfect for anyone who prefers using a palm grip when gaming.

What is mouse DPI:

The DPI or dots per inch is a value used to measure how sensitive a mouse is. A mouse with a higher DPI will have more sensors present and move the cursor farther when being used. While a higher DPI does not correlate to a better mouse, the higher the DPI value of the mouse, the more sensitive it will be.

Other considerations when buying a gaming mouse:

Beyond weight and DPI, factors like RGB and the type of sensor in a mouse can help you narrow your search when buying a mouse. Regarding sensors, the two most common types are laser and optical sensors. Laser sensors, while not as accurate, work better on a variety of surfaces. In contrast to this, optical sensors are generally more accurate, but perform poorly when not used on a mousepad. Finally, whether you prefer a wired or wireless mouse may have an impact when making your decision on which mouse to buy. 

Our Heavist Gaming Mice Recommendations

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. ASUS ROG Spatha (Heaviest Mouse)

  • Weight: 183g
  • DPI: 8,200 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired or Wireless
  • RGB: Yes
  • Senor: Laser

Coming in as the first and heaviest option on our list, the ASUS ROG Spatha weighs a hefty 183g, the heaviest mouse on the list by a wide margin. Its weight comes from a magnesium alloy chassis frame, built to be incredibly durable. Given its weight, the Spatha is a large mouse, making it best for anyone with larger hands or who favors a palm grip. For anyone preferring a claw or fingertip grip, the Spatha may be too big to comfortably use. With six side buttons, the Spatha can also be used for MMOs and games requiring additional keymapping. 

Another notable feature, the Spatha uses a convenient magnetic charging station, allowing for easy charging when not in use. It can also be charged via USB to allow for non-stop gaming when running low on battery. 

2. SteelSeries Rival 650 (& 600 wired) (Premium Option)

  • Weight: 153g
  • DPI: 12,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wireless (Wired available)
  • RGB: Yes
  • Senor: Optical

Next up, the SteelSeries Rival 650 features an adjustable weight system unique to our list. Both sides of the mouse have a removable slot with spaces for additional weights to be placed. Positioned in a way to ensure optimal balance, the weight slots give an impressive amount of versatility to the Rival 650, allowing for an almost limitless amount of fine-tuning and flexibility to find the perfect weight and feel for every user.

Featuring a two sensor system, the Rival 650 has a primary sensor and depth sensor to provide exceptional accuracy and precision. While the primary sensor detects lateral movement, the depth sensor provides a useful liftoff detection to compensate for any unintentional movement. 

With such a full-featured mouse, it’s easy to see why it was rated by TechRadar as the #1 mouse of 2018. As a final added bonus, the mouse comes with SteelSeries’ own RGB software to allow for further lighting customization across its eight RGB zones.

Note: Also available in a lighter, wired version as the Rival 600

3. Logitech G602 Wireless (Budget Option)

  • Weight: 152g
  • DPI: 2,500 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wireless
  • RGB: No
  • Senor: Optical

Third on the list, the Logitech G602 Wireless boasts a surprising number of features at a great price point. The most notable characteristic of the G602 is its unique, spaceship-like design, with a flared out wing on the side which acts as a thumb rest and offset right & left keys. The additional 8 side buttons and 2 DPI keys spaced throughout the mouse make it a great mouse for MMOs and potentially MOBAs while also serving to add to its futuristic design style.

For anyone loyal to the Logitech brand, the G602 is by far their heaviest mouse, and sold at an incredibly competitive price point. Its unconventional appearance will turn off users seeking a more minimalist gaming mouse design, but for anyone looking for a heavy mouse with a unique look, the G602 is a great choice. 

4. Corsair Scimitar Pro

  • Weight: 147g
  • DPI: 16,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: Yes
  • Senor: Optical

When it comes to design, the Corsair Scimitar Pro is a mouse built with MMOs in mind. With 12 mechanical side buttons, the Scimitar Pro is perfect for the numerous hotkey demands of MMOs and similar styled games. Adding to its customizability for MMOs, the 12 side buttons sit on an adjustable slider, allowing for users to adjust the buttons to fit perfectly in your hand. The second and fourth row of keys also feature a textured grip, a nice touch allowing new users to easily become familiar with each individual row of keys on the fly. 

For anyone seeking a highly sensitive mouse for competitive or fps style games, the Scimitar Pro also has the highest DPI on our list, though the DPI can be adjusted up or down to fit the user’s needs. As a final note, the Scimitar Pro also comes with Corsair’s Utility Engine to allow for customization across its four RGB locations.

5. Logitech G603 Wireless

  • Weight: 137g
  • DPI: 12,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wireless
  • RGB: No
  • Senor: Optical

The last mouse on our list, the Logitech G603 features a minimalist design with a grey/black colorway and six programmable buttons. What stands out most about the G603 is its unparalleled battery life, sitting at 500 hours in standard mode and 18 month battery life in LO mode. The LO mode is a battery saving mode, ideal for use when web-browsing or for day-to-day tasks outside of gaming. The mouse comes with a switch to easily allow for changing between both modes. 

The G603’s incredible battery life can be attributed to Logitech’s “Hero Sensor”, a state-of-the-art gaming sensor which uses 10x less battery life than Logitech’s previous


When looking at the heaviest gaming mice, the best choice for you will depend on your own personal preferences and the type of PC games you plan to be playing. Beyond weight, factors like RGB, DPI, and additional buttons for added keymapping are all things to consider when buying a gaming mouse. For anyone looking to spend less on a gaming mouse, the wired varieties will often cost substantially less, though will also weigh less as a consequence to not using batteries. 

Best Streaming Software for Low-end PCs

The Best Streaming Software for Low-end PCs

With the rise in popularity of Twitch streaming and live broadcasting of gaming events, streaming software has continued to evolve to meet the demands of a growing streamer base. Featuring over nine million streaming accounts as of 2019, there are countless streamers using a wide range of streaming softwares. From free to freemium to paid-for subscriptions, there’s a host of streaming software choices for every kind of streamer. When choosing the best streaming software for low-end PCs, you’ll have to decide what features are essential to your stream and how much you’re willing to invest (in terms of both time and money) in your channel. 

Minimum Requirements for Streaming

Before choosing a streaming software, it’s essential that your PC meets at least the minimum system requirements for streaming, though for the best quality stream you should aim for PC specs above the bare minimum for streaming. Twitch recommends at least an Intel Core i5-4670 or AMD equivalent, and 8BG of RAM. You’ll also need a reliable internet connection, with a minimum upload speed of 3mbps to deliver a 1080p stream at 30fps, with substantially higher minimum requirements for 1440p+ streaming at 60fps. 

If you’re on a budget, check out our top recommendations for streaming PCs under $1000.

Software Features 

With several software options available for streaming across a wide price range, the best way to compare softwares is to look at the features they offer (or lack). Free streaming softwares like OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) or Streamlabs will lack the advanced features of paid-for softwares like multi-streams, virtual sets, and stream overlays. Free softwares also lack the centralized support teams of their subscription based competitors, meaning that any troubleshooting for technical issues will require some additional time and effort. Fortunately, due to the wide-spread usage of free streaming softwares like OBS, there is a wealth of community guides and active forums offering support in everything from stream setup and optimized stream settings to in-depth technical support. 

OBS (Open Broadcast Software)

When it comes to streaming software, OBS is the overwhelming community favorite for both advanced users and streamers new to the scene. A free open-source software with an active development team consistently pushing out extensive updates with new features and plug-ins, OBS is the first stop for the majority of streamers. With a host of advanced configuration features, savvy users will find an almost limitless amount of settings to fine-tune their stream to be perfectly optimized for their system and streaming preferences. 

For many users, the sheer amount of customization options and endless configurations for various stream settings can be daunting, as new users will face a steep learning curve when first starting out. This difficulty for beginners is often compounded by the lack of a centralized support team for OBS, with no clear line of communication for users to receive direct help from developers. When using a lower-end PC setup, this can compound the number of issues new users will face, as lower end PCs will require additional optimization to run smoothly. 

Yet OBS’s lack of a dedicated support team shouldn’t discourage new streamers from starting their channels, as the widespread usage of OBS across the streaming community means that a host of resources are available for those in need of help. With so many streamers currently running OBS, everything from settings optimization to advanced customization guides are available on the extensive OBS forums, as well as youtube tutorials. As an incredibly customizable streaming software with low CPU usage, OBS is one of the best free streaming softwares available today.

Streamlabs (SLOBS)

Originally starting as just a streaming tool within OBS, Streamlabs (or SLOBS) has evolved into its own standalone streaming software specifically oriented towards gamers. SLOBS has done an admirable job streamlining the whole streaming process to address the difficulty old OBS users faced when first starting out. Taking a number of lessons from its predecessor, SLOBS started by creating a new intuitive UI, incorporating many of OBS’s plugins into a single, easily manageable interface. Features like an integrated chat, sub/follower/donation notifications, real time game alerts, thousands of free overlays, easily implemented (and highly customizable) stream overlays, and a host of other intuitive options make SLOBS the perfect streaming software for anyone wanting to skip the lengthy setup process of OBS. Adding to this, all of these features are housed within a single, easy to navigate interface! No more juggling several different windows to adjust your stream on the fly. 

For users with low-end streaming PCs, SLOBS has an auto-optimization feature which automatically adjusts the software settings to match your PCs specs. With many converts from OBS complaining of the poor optimization they experienced due to the overwhelming number of settings, SLOBS is the best software for streamers wanting to jump right into delivering quality streams without the fuss of a lengthy settings management process. This is largely possible due to a SLOBS’s game specific encoding system, which allows users to optimize SLOB for each specific game they stream, reducing the CPU usage necessary to run SLOB in the background. 

Unfortunately, as a software originally based off of OBS, any major changes/updates to OBS will require a similar update by SLOB, though the software often lags behind the development of its parent software. With a smaller, less active development team, this means that users of SLOB will often have longer wait periods between important updates, as well as less extensive updates when they do arise. SLOB is also a streaming software still within BETA development, meaning a number of bugs/crashes should be expected by users. As a final downside, SLOB is only available on the Windows OS, so Mac users will have to look for other alternatives for streaming software. 


The final software on our list, Xsplit is an advanced streaming software with a freemium service model. While the software’s free version does allow for standard streaming, any streams over 30fps/720p will include watermarks on their live feed. Anyone wanting access to Xsplit’s premium features will have to pay for a monthly subscription ($5) or a substantial one-time fee ($200). For new streamers wishing to use their stream as a source of income, Xsplit will cut into any revenue generated by their stream until they gain a more substantial following to offset the subscription cost of Xsplit. 

Yet while Xsplit doesn’t offer users a completely free price tag, it distinguishes itself as one of the best premium streaming softwares with a number of premium features unavailable in free streaming softwares such as OBS and SLOB. Xsplit’s premium subscription comes with a virtual camera, Skype video camera, local streaming, stream delay, simultaneous broadcasting to multiple streaming sites, source transitions and projector, editing resources, priority support, and countless other premium features which can help your stream stand out from others. 

Despite the overwhelming positives of using Xsplit’s streaming software, it does come with a few inconvenient limitations. Experienced streamers may find Xsplits recording formats limiting, as they are only available in FLV and MP4 file types. On top of this, Xsplit does not offer popular presets for the most common streaming sites such as Youtbe or Twitch. This means that without prior knowledge of encoding, new users may experience some difficulty when starting out. Finally, Xsplit is only available on the Windows OS. 


Ultimately, there are several solid streaming softwares for all experience levels, but the best streaming software for low-end PCs will depend on your priorities when streaming. Want to customize every aspect of your stream with an endless list of configuration and fine-tuning possibilities? OBS is the gold standard for both new and veteran streamers, with countless settings and options to tinker with. Just want to hop right in to streaming without any setup hassle? SLOBS is the perfect streaming software for gamers wanting to skip a lengthy settings configuration process, and go directly to streaming. If you want to distinguish your stream from your competitors, Xsplit has a wealth of premium content and features which will give you the tools to separate your stream from the other channels.

Best Gaming PCs of 2020 for the Most Excellent Gaming Experience

Best Gaming PCs of 2020 for the Most Excellent Gaming Experience

There are currently 1,315,400,000 active PC gamers in the world. With such a large user base it’s no wonder why tech companies put a lot of research and development into making the perfect PC. Today it’s easy to find a machine that delivers some exceptional gameplay elements.

But if you want to find a PC specifically engineered to support the newest games, then you’re going to need to do some research. One study found that 66% of game developers make their games with a PC audience in mind. As such, you need the best of the best to capture the full experience of the game.

In this article, we’ll go over some of our picks for the best gaming PC of 2020. We break the products down into different price range groups. At the end of the, we’ll select the PC that offers the best overall experience for the value offered. Let’s take a look at the products.

Best 2020 Gaming PC Options Under $500

Here are some options that deliver great performance without breaking the bank.

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Ultra GUA3120CPG Desktop Gaming PC

  • GPU: AMD Radeon R7 240 2 GB Video Card
  • CPU: AMD FX-6300 Processor, 3.5 GHz, Six-Core
  • Storage: 8 GB DDR3, 1 TB HDD
  • Keyboard and mouse? Yes

If you’re just getting your first gaming pc, then this CYBERPOWERPC pre-built offers some dependable beginner features.

It runs smoothly and quietly while playing videos and most games. Some games do experience a bit of a blur during quick movement on games like Fortnite.

If you want to update your graphics card, then you can fix a lot of the issues. But, as it stands, this PC is a great entry-level product.

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop Computer

  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 550 4 GB
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 2200G Processor, Quad-Core, 3.50 GHz
  • Storage: 8 GB DDR4, 1 TB HDD
  • Keyboard and mouse?: Yes

This HP Pavilion packs a punch for its price tag. The AMD Radeon GPU on the PC gives it the performance capabilities to handle more involved games.

Anything along the lines of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Starcraft, and Deliver Us the Moon runs nicely on it.

The only problem with the product is that it often comes with some audio/visual syncopation issues if you connect it through Bluetooth devices. This feature might dissuade some streamers who need syncopation with their webcams.

Best Gaming PC Options Between $500 — $1,500

These computers are more expensive, but they come with some noticeable performance increases.

SkyTech Oracle X Gaming Desktop Ryzen 7 2700X [RTX 2060 Version]

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB GDDR6
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor, 8-Core, 3.7 GHz
  • Storage: 240 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD
  • Keyboard and mouse?: No

The SkyTech Oracle X is another pre-built gaming PC that can handle all the games in 2020. Even at maximum graphic settings for a game, this computer can maintain a minimum of 60 FPS.

The biggest problem with the device is the amount of noise that it makes. When you play more complex games, then the PC engages a loud cooling tunnel.

You can turn on a quiet mode, but this disables the features needed to play on high graphics settings.

iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC Computer Desktop Intel i7

  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9700k Processor, 8-Core, 3. 6 GHz
  • Storage: 16 GB DDR4, 1TB HDD
  • Keyboard and mouse?: Yes

One impressive aspect of this iBUYPOWER PC is the i9-9900K chip and the RTX2070 (MSI) that comes with the device. These components alone are worth around $1,000 on their own.

Most people can run the latest AAA titles at the highest settings and get smooth performance.

Unfortunately, some people did experience game crashes when they operate at the highest setting. So, you may need to reduce the graphic level if you want to play some 2020 games.

Best Gaming PC Option Over $1,500

When you get above $1,500, then things start getting technical. If you want something specific out of your PC, then check out these options.

CUK Stratos Micro Gaming PC

  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K Processor, 8-Core, 3.6GHz-5.0GHz), 95W (Liquid Cooled)
  • Storage: 1TB NVMe Solid State Drive, 2 TB HDD
  • Keyboard and mouse?: Yes

One thing that separates the CUK Stratos Micro Gaming PC from a lot of the competition is the professional wiring on the product. The inside of the PC looks amazing and it contributes a lot toward the smooth running of games.

You can easily handle any game set at 1440p ultra settings. Another great thing about the device is the customer service. If you have any set-up or support questions, then make sure to call the helpline. They’re friendly and professional.

The computer does come with some wind noise (it has six fans), but this feature is easily offset if you turn up the volume.

Our Pick for the 2020 Gaming PC that Provides the Most Excellent Gaming Experience

If you want a fantastic gaming PC and don’t care about the price tag, then the CUK Stratos Micro Gaming PC is the build for you.

Not only can the setup handle the toughest graphics, but it also displays some stunning color. It also features a setup entirely geared toward performance gaming.

But obviously the more expensive product wins the competition. But what if you’re on a budget?

If you need to save money and still want a dependable PC, then the best bang for your buck is the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop Computer.

This product can handle most games on standard running settings. Plus, great streaming and web functions make it more ideal for everyday use.

Find Out What Professional Streamers Use

Hopefully one of the products on this list will provide you with the most excellent gaming PC. We understand if you’re still on the fence though.

The best way to find out what professional PC build you want is to find out what your favorite streamers use. Luckily, we collected all of that information for you at this link here.

FinalMouse Ultralight 2 Cape Town

The Top 5 Lightest Gaming Mice

The Top 5 Lightest Gaming Mice

When buying a gaming mouse, it’s important to look for one which is both comfortable and lightweight. Using heavier, larger mice can often lead to wrist fatigue and even injuries, so choosing a lightweight mouse can be a great way to minimize these risks. The lightest gaming mice are lightweight, quick-moving mice with unobtrusive cables to ensure maximum comfort and mobility when gaming. 


Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

What to Consider When Choosing a Gaming Mouse


One useful metric to compare mice with is DPI or Dots Per Inch, a value used to measure the sensitivity of a mouse. DPI measures the number of sensors in each mouse, sensors which detect any movements when a mouse is being used. The higher the DPI value, the more sensitive a mouse will be due to the increased number of sensors. Yet a higher DPI does not correspond to a better mouse, but only one which is more sensitive to movement. Most modern mice have a range of DPI values, allowing for a fine-tuning of the mouse’s sensitivity depending on the user’s needs. 

Wired/Wireless Mice: Pros and Cons

Another consideration when buying a gaming mouse is whether to choose one with a wired connection or a wireless connection. Wired mice have the advantage of never needing to be charged and not suffering from any input latency due to having a direct connection to the PC. The disadvantage most cited for wired mice is the cable can often become tangled and prevent a full range of motion. It also serves as another possible point of wear and tear for the mouse. Thankfully, most quality wired mice have addressed these problems by incorporating longer, braided cables made from lightweight and durable materials.

In contrast, wireless mice are connected through USB adaptors or bluetooth connections, allowing for a cord-free experience. The downside to this flexibility is the need to continually charge a wireless mouse or replace its batteries. 

Extra Buttons: 

Modern gaming mice often come with additional buttons in a variety of places on the mouse. Often on the sides or around the scroll wheel, these additional buttons can offer quick shortcuts and often be assigned to specific hotkeys in-game. Whether this extra customizability will be useful to you will depend on what games you play and your personal preferences regarding the ergonomics and utility of your mouse. 

Our Lightest Gaming Mice Recommendations

1. Glorious Model O

  • Weight: 67g (58 for model O-)
  • DPI: 12,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: Yes
  • Extra Buttons: 6

First on the list, the Glorious Model O is a full-featured, lightweight gaming mouse with an impressive number of innovative features. The Glorious Model O offers excellent airflow to your hands with its lightweight yet durable honeycomb-like shell. With their proprietary “ascended cord”, the cable has a generous 6.5ft length with a flexible cable for unhindered mobility. The mouse is also available in a smaller “O-” version, for an even more lightweight gaming experience at 58g!

The Glorious Model O also comes with a complete RGB setup, well-stocked with multiple color effects, togglable RGB lighting, and advanced customization through their “Glorious”software program. Available in a matte or glossy finish with two respective colorways for each finish, the Model O is a great choice for anyone seeking a solid, lightweight RGB mouse.

2. FinalMouse Ultralight 2 Cape Town

  • Weight: 47g
  • DPI: 3,200 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: No
  • Extra Buttons: 5 + DPI Switching Button

Next up, the FinalMouse Ultralight 2 Cape Town comes in as the lightest gaming mouse on our list, a feather-light 47g. Even more impressive, the Cape Town (a name derived from its creme and dark orange colorway) comes with FinalMouse’s “Infinity Skin”, a proprietary foam skin included with the mouse which molds to your hand to create the perfect fit. Available in multiple thicknesses to provide a personalized fit for every hand shape, the Infinity Skin offers unlimited flexibility for anyone seeking a unique fit. 

It should be noted, with a max DPI of 3,200, the Cape Town may not be suitable for anyone seeking extremely high sensitivity in their gaming mouse. 

3. Cooler Master MM710

  • Weight: 53g
  • DPI: 16,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: No
  • Extra Buttons: 6

Third on the list, the Cooler Master MM710 is a lightweight mouse with an impressive DPI range. Maxing out at 16,000 DPI, the mm710 boasts an unmatched speed and sensitivity on the list. When precision and accuracy needs to come before speed, the mouse features controls for real-time DPI adjustments to instantly change its sensitivity on the fly. Also featuring CoolerMaster’s new lightweight ultraweave cable, the MM710’s speed won’t be interrupted by restrictive cable. 

Unique to the list, the shell of the MM710 comes treated with a special coating to combat the buildup of dust and protect it from moisture. Whether by sweaty palms or an accidental spill, the coating offers a nice peace of mind for anyone considering the MM710 and shows a great attention to detail by Cooler Master. The MM710 comes available in matte or glossy finishes in all black or all white colorways.


  • Weight: 65g
  • DPI: 12,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: Yes
  • Extra Buttons: 6

The fourth mouse on our list, the CTBTBESE Z100 is a great plug-and-play mouse with a full featured RGB setup. Through a special cloud based software, users can easily customize the mouse’s lighting effects and speed, as well as change any button configurations to suit your gaming needs. Any changes to the mouse’s settings will sync directly to the free cloud software included with the mouse, with multiple profiles available for any alternative mouse settings you may want for different games. With a well programmed, easy to use interface, the CTBTBESE Z100 can be adjusted to the perfect lighting settings and button setup for any situation. 

5. G-Wolves Hati HT-M 3360 Ultra Lightweight

  • Weight: 61g
  • DPI: 12,000 max
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • RGB: No
  • Extra Buttons: 6

The final mouse on the list, the G-Wolves Hati HT-M 3360 Ultra Lightweight is a solid, no frills mouse with a classic matte finish. Often compared to Logitech’s G-Pro mouse due to their similar size and shape, the Hati features a great ergonomic shape with a rear that flares out to fill in the space of your hand. With its rubber side-grips, the Hati provides a comfortable and slip-free gaming experience. 

As a final note, with its teflon feet (the part in contact with the mousepad) compared to the standard PTFE material used on most mice, some users may wish to buy custom feet for the Hati.

When choosing a lightweight gaming mouse, the best model will come down to a number of personal preferences. Most importantly, the size of the mouse relative to your hands will be the biggest factor in determining comfort, along with the various styles of holds used when gaming (claw, tip, palm, etc.) The DPI of the mouse should also be taken into account, depending on the type of games you will be playing. In the same vein, additional buttons may or may not be useful when choosing a mouse. Finally, the importance of RGB features in a gaming mouse will vary from user to user.  

Best Cooling Fans for Your Gaming PC

Best Cooling Fans for Your Gaming PC

When building a new gaming PC, it’s important to choose the correct case fans to optimize performance for your gaming rig. The best cooling fans for your gaming PC will depend on a number of factors, such as the space available in your case. 

My top recommendation is Corsair’s LL120 line – I have 6 of them in my own latest build and they look incredible.


Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

How to Choose Fans for Your Gaming PC

What size fans do I need?

The standard sizes for cooling fans are 120mm and 140mm, with many fans available in both sizes. Be sure to check your PC case’s dimensions to ensure which fans will fit and whether your motherboard has slots for multiple fans. A fan hub may be necessary if your mobo does not support more than one fan. 

Fan Airflow & Why It’s Important

One important consideration when purchasing cooling fans is airflow needs of your CPU. The airflow of a fan, measured in CFM (cubic feet of air moved per minute), determines how well a fan will be able to cool your PC. The more demanding a game or application is on a CPU, the more airflow and higher CFM it will need to prevent the PC from overheating. 

If you only have a couple of fan spots on your case, you need to go for higher CFM output. Note that typically the higher the CFM, the louder the fan. 

Fan Noise

Another factor to consider is how loud each fan will be when running, measured both in dBA (decibels) and RPM (the fan’s rotations per minute ). The higher the dBA and RPM of the fan, the more noise it will produce. Fortunately, any fans with 4-pin connections now come with manual controls to lower or raise the RPM, so that even fans rated at a higher dBA can be set to run at a lower RPM for a reduction in noise. 

RGB Fans – Are they worth it?

The final aspect to consider when choosing a cooling fan is whether you want a fan with RGB lights. While having no impact on performance, RGB fans offer a great way to personalize your gaming PC with countless lighting configurations. With the rise in popularity of RGB lights in PC builds, any fans including RGB lighting will still be competitively priced compared to non-RGB fans. 

Pin Connection

Cooling fans come with one of two types of connecting pins which hook into your mobo. The difference between ¾-pin connectors and 4-pin connectors does not relate to power, but whether the fan speed can be adjusted. The additional pin connection in the 4-pin connecting fans allows the user to have manual control over the speed of the fan. This can be useful if you want to perform a light task on your PC which does not need the full CFM output of your fans or when you want to reduce the noise of the fans while running. It should be noted both pin connection types are equally compatible with the fan slots available on your gaming PC. 

Fan Recommendations and Features

1. Corsair LL Series LL120 RGB 120mm

  • RGB: Yes
  • Size: 120 or 140mm
  • Rated Speed: 600-1500 ±10% RPM
  • Max Airflow: 43.25 CFM
  • Connection: 4-pin

First on the list of cooling fans is the the Corsair LL Series LL120RGB, which are actually the fans I use in my own gaming PC.

Featuring a hydraulic system in which the bearings and axles of the fan are immersed and sealed in liquid, the Corsair LL Series offers excellent airflow and quiet operation without sacrificing on performance. By submerging the fan’s components in liquid, the hydraulic system is able to operate at quieter levels while reducing friction, adding to the total lifespan of the fan. Better still, the fan comes with a fully customizable RGB experience through Corsair’s own lighting software “iCue”. Any peripherals with iCue compatibility can also be synced with the fan’s RGB, including keyboards, mice, and LED strips. Overall, the Corsair LL Series provides a respectable CFM while offering a full-featured RGB software for unlimited customizability.

2. Corsair AF120 LED Low Noise Cooling Fan

  • RGB: Yes
  • Size: 120 or 140mm
  • Rated Speed: 1400 ±10% RPM
  • Max Airflow: 52 CFM
  • Connection: 3/4-pin

Second on the list, the Corsair AF120 LED Low Noise Cooling Fan is a great choice for anyone wanting a solid, high performance fan with high airflow and low noise levels. Available in three LED configurations including white, blue, or red, the opaque fan blades of the Corsair AF120 diffuse the lighting to offer a simple but striking RGB experience. Available in packs of one or three, the Corsair AF120 is an excellent RGB fan for anyone seeking additional customization options for their gaming PC. 

3. Corsair ML120

  • RGB: No
  • Size: 120 or 140mm
  • Rated Speed: 400 - 2400 ±10% RPM
  • Max Airflow: 75 CFM
  • Connection: 4-pin

Topping the list with the highest airflow rating at 75 CFM, the Corsair ML120 offers maximum airflow for even the most demanding of CPU needs. For anyone considering maxing out their in-game graphical settings or interested in installing mods in their next playthrough, the ML120 stands out as a strong contender. While typical fans max out around 1400-1600 RPM, the ML120’s use of magnetic levitation technology and a custom rotor design allows it to reach an RPM of up to 2400! Best of all, if the ML120’s impressive cooling capabilities prove to be overkill for simple day-to-day tasks, the fan can be adjusted to an inaudible whisper at 400 RPM. The best of both worlds.

4. Rosewill 120mm

  • RGB: No
  • Size: 120mm
  • Rated Speed: 1200RPM ±10% RPM
  • Max Airflow: 38.2 CFM
  • Connection: 3/4-pin

Coming in as the best budget option on the list, the Rosewill 120mm fan provides a great value to anyone with less intensive PC gaming needs. As the quietest fans on the list, the Rosewill 120mm is perfect for anyone placing a premium on a silent gaming rig. For those with multiple fan slots, the Rosewill 120mm can also be purchased as a four-pack to compensate for its lower CFM. Overall, the Rosewill 120mm is a great choice for anyone looking for a cooling fan at a great price point. 

5. Noctua NF-P12 Redux-1700 PWM

  • RGB: No, but customizable with colored anti vibration pads
  • Size: 120mm
  • Rated Speed: 1700RPM ±10% RPM
  • Max Airflow: 70.5 CFM
  • Connection: 4-pin

Last on the list, the Noctua NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM offers premium cooling at an almost inaudible 25.1 dBA. Using a combined system of hydrodynamic bearings with a self-stabilizing magnetic support system for the rotor axis, Noctua’s fan combines unparalleled cooling performance with a whisper-soft fan. In addition to the silent operation and outstanding long-term stability provided by the Noctua NF-P12 redux, the fan is compatible with a number of optional accessories including low-noise-adapters, Y-cables, ¾-pin adapters/extension cables, and even colored anti-vibration pads. Available in a black, red, blue, white, green, and yellow, the anti-vibration pads allow for a variety of color schemes for your build while also dampening minute vibrations for silent operation. 

While all the fans mentioned offer great performance and value, the best cooling fan for your PC build will depend on your own gaming needs and priorities. Planning on installing 300 mods on your next RPG playthrough and pushing your CPU to the limit with maxed out graphics? You’ll need a cooling fan with a high CFM to keep your PC running smooth and cool. Want to run a noiseless PC setup that can’t be heard when running? You’ll need a fan that runs at or can be adjusted to a low dBA. Whatever your needs, be sure to check your case dimensions and motherboard slots to ensure that any fan you choose is compatible with you gaming PC

What Is a Good Ghz? How to Choose the Best CPU in 2020

What Is a Good Ghz? Choosing the Best CPU in 2020

It’s widely known that the single most expensive component is the graphics card, and many gamers and streamers spend copious amounts of time researching the best graphics load-outs. Less significantly well researched and relatively unknown is the what and how behind CPU terms.

The CPU is a component that breaks the usual “bigger is better” trend that shopper brains like. Instead, you have to compare generations with architecture and in the matter of what is a good GHz, the downside of heat accrual.

Every year new chips hit the market with tweaks in the sizes, speeds, and reliability. Most of this means only gradients to the public but takes some serious engineering on the back end.

If you want to make an informed choice when it comes to your next CPU, keep reading.

Understanding CPU Terms

To get a proper grasp of what’s going on with a system, it’s good to start with the key terms.

Socket Type

Have you ever purchased a CPU motherboard combo deal out of fear of getting mismatched components? No? You only did it for the savings?

Not every CPU fits in the same motherboard. The socket type tells you what generation of processor is will fit. Typically this is constrained by the dimensions of the chip and the arrangement of pins.

The two most common socket types currently are the Intel LGA 1151 and the AMD AM4.

Your motherboard choice also determines your RAM choices.


Much like the generations of cell phone technology, the terminology isn’t strictly relevant to major updates or changes. For the most part, generation refers to changes in underlying architecture, how the chip is laid out and configurations of memory modules and instructions.

Higher generations don’t always boost performance but provide a larger overhead for other components to use.

For Intel users, your basement is the 7th gen and your newer purchases should aim for 9th gen. For AMD Ryzen users, look for 2nd or 3rd generation, though announcements on the 4th generation are expected before 2020.

3, 5, 7?

Also, the number 9 is showing up more in these lists, but you get the idea. Both Intel and AMD use these numbers to indicate families of processors.

The 3 line offers basic performance for workstations. The 5 sees a lot of mixed and gaming use. The 7s end up in high-end machines and the 9s aren’t worth it unless you happen to be doing your own rendering or asset creation.

Depending on the generation, power consumption, and speed not every 3 is worse than every 5 and so on.

Cores and Threads

The more cores a CPU offers, the more it can do. The doing is performed by threads which always come in pairs with the cores.

More cores and more threads generally mean more tasks can be handled simultaneously, but an Intel 1151 CPU with 4.1 GHz speed and 4 cores will do a small set of tasks faster than a 2.3 GHz 6 core processor.

Base Clock

Which takes us to the basic clock and the speeds it runs at (before all that spiffy overclocking). The base clock represents the idle speed in billions of pulses per second (GHz).

The higher the base clock, the more power draw and the hotter the chip gets. No getting around it, it’s a basic principle of conductance.

What is a Good GHz?

There’s a direct translation between a boost in GHz and a boost in the performance of CPU-intensive processes.

The number of GHz doubling on the same number of cores would mean roughly twice the speed. There are a few other aspects that will push those numbers up and down, including the frequency of RAM but generally, the math holds.

It gets more challenging when you factor in other cores. A 2.0 GHz 6 core CPU versus a 3.0 GHz 4 core CPU isn’t a level field. Even assuming they are both running a single task, depending on the architecture and processing allocation, they may handle things differently.

That said, it’s better to go with a higher GHz as long as your cooling can handle it. The power consumption of a 2.0 GHz chip versus a 4.0 GHz chip of the same cores also doubles.


The ratio between the base clock and the boost clock or overclock is not the same from chip to chip. This also comes down to the architecture and how well the voltage travels through a chip.

You may find it easier to overhead a chip on one motherboard over another. While some types of overclocking are fairly basic, there’s a reason that the process voids warranties and isn’t recommended for everyone. That reason has nothing to do with making sentient machines and everything to do with frying chips. It takes a lot of tweaking to do right.

Cost Concerns

The best way to evaluate the difference in GHz to your needs is to start with a baseline chip that meets the minimum recommendations on a game or program. From there, calculate the difference in price to the next chip up in the same family.

If the GHz goes up by more than the cost, that’s going to give you the best value hardware. If you are paying 20% more for a chip that is 5% faster, you are doing yourself a disservice.

CPU by Slot

For those running an overpowered AMD TR4 motherboard, get yourself a Threadripper 2950X and enjoy having more power than you know what to do with at the third-highest base clock of any chip out there.

For anyone looking to run a serious gaming rig, the AMD AM4 slot Ryzen 7 3700x brings the right number of cores and a 3.7 GHz base clock to you.

For an Intel purist, the LGA 1151 socket Core i7 9700k gives you that 3.7 GHz base and some extra headroom for content creation.

For those looking to do content creation and rendering of their own graphics and assets, the LGA 2066 socket Core 19-7900x gives you a solid 3.3 GHz base for the 10 core chip.

Build Right

Nowhere else in a build or a streaming setup do you have to make as many tight choices as with the CPU. While you can watch a dozen benchmark videos and read a lot of reviews, the real answer lies in what you use it for and what annoys you about computers.

When it comes to what is a good GHz if you hate noise and don’t mind slow processing the answer is a 2.8 GHz base. If you love speed and wear a headset anyway, shoot for that 4.6 GHz and higher sweet spot.

Once you know the speed of the processor you want, it’s time to decide between AMD & Intel.

AMD vs. Nvidia — Which Is the Better Graphics Card Option?

AMD vs. Nvidia — Which Is the Better Graphics Card Option?

Looking to buy your first graphics card?

Graphics cards are among the most vital parts of PC building. Building a gaming PC without one will only result in a giant paper weight that can’t even run minecraft.

When deciding which graphics card to buy, you will find yourself confronted with 2 choices. You can either go with AMD or with Nvidia.

Choosing between AMD vs. Nvidia is a choice that most people have trouble with. This is because they don’t understand what a graphics card does. This can happen to you, too, if you know nothing about these two brands.

Read below to learn which graphics card is the best option for you. We’ll compare each of them in the factors that matter the most.

1. Hardware

Nvidia comes on top because of the quality of their hardware.

Their cards don’t overheat as much as AMD’s do. They also consume less power, leading to a more efficient graphics card.

They also have a slimmer design compared to AMD graphics cards. This isn’t much of a factor, but the design choice may matter when installing the card into your PC.

Nvidia has the technological edge over AMD in every factor.

You shouldn’t disregard AMD graphics cards yet, though. They have a better memory bandwidth on their low-cost cards compared to the ones Nvidia sells at the same value. While they still overheat and consume more power than Nvidia cards, know that the gap between the two companies is getting smaller every year.

AMD got a big leap in their sales when they introduced the 7-nanometer workstation graphics card, the first-ever of its kind.

2. Software

Despite the large gap they have with their hardware, both brands are at a tie with their software.

Both brands do their due diligence in giving people their money’s worth. They both have proper drivers and user interfaces that fit the bill at which they’re sold.

Nvidia has a slight lead in their drivers, though. They have better consistency and are more stable overall. This will help keep your hardware updated and your PC visuals optimized.

AMD isn’t that far behind, though. Nvidia only has a slight lead because of their reputation.

Other than that, though, Nvidia has nothing else going on for their software.

This is clear in their user interfaces. Nvidia’s interface looks outdated compared to the clean, modern interface that AMD has. This makes the AMD control panel easier to understand for people who aren’t familiar with it.

Nvidia’s interface looks complicated. This is because of all the drop-down tabs it has that makes navigation difficult. You won’t know what you’re doing unless you have experience handling their software.

3. Performance and Prices

Choosing between AMD vs. Nvidia comes down to the graphics cards’ performance.

The performances of the brands are both affected by the price of the graphics card. This sets a clear divide that tells us which brand is better at what price.

For products at the low end of the spectrum, you can find AMD cards to be better. As mentioned above, their products are seeing a great increase in efficiency and reliability. You’ll be able to see this improvement in their cheaper products.

Nvidia also has products that perform like AMD’s graphics cards. Though they cost much more than the latter does. It’s often AMD that makes you feel you’ve spent your money in the best way possible for cheaper graphics cards.

This makes AMD a more viable option when you’re planning to have a multiple display setup. Monitors need little to be appealing to your eyes. They only need a good enough graphics card to display sharper images and colors.

With mid-range graphics cards, though, Nvidia will favor you more than AMD.

Nvidia has a better understanding of high-end processors and GPUs. AMD may cost less and offer the same specs, but their graphics cards will heat and burn out faster.

It makes Nvidia the only option when you’re running a high-end setup for your PC. They’ll cost you more, but you can expect their products to keep up with how you use them.

4. Features

Both brands have unique features for their graphics cards.

They also have the same features but with different names for each brand. Take the Nvidia CUDA cores and AMD stream processors as an example.

Both are GPUs that perform the same function. They have no notable differences in performance when they’re running their basic functions. Nvidia has better software optimization, though, with the Nvidia PhysX and Nvidia HairWorks available at the user’s discretion.

Both brands also have recording features. They function the same way but with small differences. Nvidia’s Shadowplay offers better video quality.

AMD’s ReLive is better for streaming, though. It faces fewer crashes when you’re streaming and it doesn’t interfere with as many applications. Consider getting a capture card if you want to use these features.

They also have their replacements for vertical synchronization. This is the feature that prevents screen tearing when you’re running applications in full screen. Both features that each company offer have a lot of positives including having no input-lag and increased screen refresh rates.

A notable advantage that Nvidia has is its upcoming 5G integration.

This will put Nvidia back on top if they will release it soon. This will mean that Nvidia’s support will have better connectivity with their customers should they have any problem with the software.

Choose Between AMD vs. Nvidia Today

Picking between AMD vs. Nvidia is a difficult choice if you don’t know what you’re getting.

Choose the right graphics card for your setup with the help of our guide! Make the right choice and optimize your PC today!

After you’ve chosen your graphics card, you’ll be faced with another key decision: an AMD or Intel processor.