5 Top RGB Strips for PCs

5 Top RGB Strips for PCs

You have your gaming computer set up. You installed a new RAM stick for more memory. You have a brand-new mouse and the perfect gaming keyboard hooked up.

Despite all of these upgrades, your gaming computer set-up looks dull. You need something to give it some fun and a funky vibe. You need some serious color.

That’s where RGB light strips for PCs come into play. You can install these cool strips in your keyboard, monitor, mouse, and PC case.

Whatever you want to light up with your computer set up, you can.

Not all RGB light strips are created equal. Quality is important if you want to keep those awesome colors flashing while you’re gaming.

These are the five top RGB strips for PCs. We made sure each RGB light strip kit on this list is high-quality and delivers bright colors.

 

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

1. Alitove Waterproof RGB LED Strip Lights

Number of Lights: 300 Lights

Length: 16.4 Feet

Mounting: Silicone Clips and Screws

Our Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The Alitove waterproof RGB LED light strips deliver an amazing 24-bit color display.

With an LED light strip, you're able to customize every pixel by both color temperature, hue, and animation. You can get creative with these lights, which is why they’re our favorite.

You can program the lights with: Arduino, Fadecandy, FastLED Library, Raspberry Pi, and T1000S.

The installation of these lights is simple. The kit comes with both magnetic clips and screws. Either way, your lights will remain stable and safe, even if you install the lights outside.

Alitove covers the LED lights in a silicone sheathing for protection from damage. This LED lighting is also weather-proof and waterproof, so it’s protected from different weather conditions too.

They’re made to last for about 50,000 hours.

Included in the kit are three-pinJST-SM connectors and ground wires on opposite ends.

You can adjust the connectors as needed. They’re flexible so you can bend them slightly. You can also wind them or curve them around objects.

Plus, they won’t get ruined if you need to cut off a few LED lights. This is because each light is independent and has its own circuit cell.

The kit also includes five silicone clips and 10 mini screws for installation.

2. Corsair iCue Lighting Node PRO RGB Strip Lights

Number of Lights: 40 Lights (10 Lights Per Strip)

Mounting: Magnets and Tape Backing

Our Rating: 4 and a half stars out of 5

Corsair promises vivid illumination with the iCue Lighting Node PRO RGB light strips.

Since the lights are magnetic, they’re super easy to install in your PC case.

Set-up is as easy. All you have to do is plug it into the USB 2.0 port. An installation window will pop up and with a few clicks, you’re ready to go.

Included with this lighting kit is software that allows you to customize the lights. You can control up to 12 RGB LED light strips or 12 RGB fans.

You can even synchronize the lights with any Corsair product you own.

Included in the kit are four RGB light strips, 10 extension cables, and built-in magnets.

3. Airgoo 2-Pack PC RGB LED Strip Light

Number of Lights: 42 Lights (21 Lights Per Strip)

Length: 16 inches Per Strip

Mounting: 8-Piece Magnetic Clips

Our Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Airgoo designed its PC RGB LED light strips for motherboards with a four-pin RGB LED strip header.

These lights are compatible with Asrock RGB LED, Asus Aura, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and MSI Mystic Light.

They use high-quality silicone tubes to protect the lights as well as make them uniform.

The lights are made to last about 10,000 hours.

Since you use magnetic clips to keep the lights in place, they’re super easy to install. They’re also stable and will stay in place.

Airgoo’s LED lights are bright and stand out while you’re gaming. They provide an unlimited spectrum and they’re are customizable.

In this light kit you get two RGB light strips, a 12V four-pin cable, 20- inch extension cord, and eight magnetic clips.

4. NZXT Hue 2 RGB Ambient Lighting Kit

Number of Lights: 40 Lights

Mounting: Magnets and Screws

Our Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5 

This NZXT Hue 2 RGB ambient lighting kit is for the back of your monitor. You’ll see the cool glow against your wall, bouncing back at you.

They also light up your computer room in darkness, making for some great accent lighting.

You get complete control using a remote controller to switch the brightness, color, and color temperature of these lights. With this accent lighting, you can also choose to synchronize them. NZXT has a CAM RGB lighting dashboard software.

There are pre-set modes, audio modes, and gaming modes to choose from.

They make the installation of these lights super easy and quick, just use adhesive backing to install.

5. Deepcool RGB PRO LED Strip Lights

Number of Lights: 12 Lights

Length: 14 inches

Mounting: Double-Faced Adhesive and Built-In Magnets

Our Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5

Deepcool provides bright addressable RGB light strips for your computer and computer accessories.

You can control these lights with a 5V three-pin ADD-RGB header on the motherboard. You don’t need any other controller for this.

It lets you synchronize the lights with any ADD-RGB device, as well as Deepcool or Gamer Storm devices.

It takes next to nothing to install these lights. They have built-in magnets, so all you have to do is stick the strips to metal.

If you don’t have metal to stick them to, the lights also have a double-sided adhesive for other surfaces.

Final Thoughts 

RGB light strips are a fantastic way to spruce up your gaming set or office. They’re an even better option if you’re a streamer. They give a pop of color and flash of fun to your streams.

As with every product, you don’t want to buy any RGB lighting strip kit you come across. So, we made this list of the top five RGB lights for you to help decide what works best for your gaming PC. You can always get multiple strips to create some fun accent lighting in your gaming room.


4 Best Budget Gaming Chairs

4 Best Budget Gaming Chairs

There's nothing worse than being in an intense gaming session and then your back tightens up and starts aching. You need to switch your position but if you do, you’re done for on your game. This happens more than you’d like to admit, and it's definitely time to upgrade your gaming chair - even if you're on a budget.

You need to throw out that computer chair or get off that couch. It’s doing nothing for your neck and back, but making everything worse.

You need a gaming chair with lumbar support, an adjustable armrest and seat height, height adjustment - and all on a judget. But we know how expensive they can get. So, we had to check out some cheap gaming chairs for quality, but that still have an ergonomic design.

You shouldn’t have to spend a big chunk of money if you don’t have it.

These are the 4 best budget gaming chairs. They’re great quality at maximum comfort, so you’ll be able to recline and game for hours.

 

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

1. OFM Essentials Collection Racing Style Gaming Chair

Material: Leather

Frame Material: Metal

Color: Red and Black

Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

Our Rating: 3 stars out of 5

OFM is a great affordable brand that provides quality gaming chairs.

The OFM Essentials Collection Racing Style gaming chair won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

It’s upholstered in premium SofThread leather. This helps give the chair its modern look. It’s also made from a red sandwich mesh. The mesh has a cool feel so you don’t heat up while gaming.

The chair is an ergonomic gaming chair. It has contoured segmented padding to give you good lumbar support, which will help you get comfortable for the right gaming setup. The segmented padding as well as the padded armrest also provides support for your back and the rest of your body.

The headset and arms are padded as well for optimal comfort.

It’s adjustable. You can adjust the height of the chair to fit whatever is best for you. You can also adjust the center-tilt and tilt-tension control for maximum comfort. The fixed loop arms are adjustable too.

This budget gaming chair swivels an entire 360 degrees.

2. Homall Ergonomic Racing Style Chair 

Material: Leather

Frame Material: Alloy Steel

Color: White and Black

Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Our Rating: 4 stars out of 5 

Homall has both budget gaming chairs and office chair styles available. This pc gaming chair can compete against the expensive ones for comfort.

This is an ergonomic gaming chair with orthopedic design in mind, featuring a neck pillow for maximum comfort. It fits naturally with your body for the best comfort and allows you to adjust the seat height.

The chair is made from premium PU leather and high-density foam to keep your body at ease. The molded foam inside the desk chair feels soft against your body while still supporting your back and neck.

There is a headrest pillow and lumbar cushion.

The frame is made from thick and sturdy alloy steel.

It’s wear-resistant so the leather and foam should last you a long time.

It has casters for wheels. Casters make the chair roll much more smoothly on different surfaces. These casters also roll quietly.

They’re also multi-directional wheels.

There’s a recline function (tilt-function) that ranges between 90 degrees and 180 degrees. It’s a rocker chair if you like to rock back and forth, which is a great feature for a budget chair.

It's got an adjustable height using a gas-spring cylinder and can swivel 360-degrees.

3. X Rocker Drift Wireless Gaming Chair 

Material: Upholstery Grade Vinyl

Color: Black/ White and Black Checkered

Weight Capacity: 275 pounds

Our Rating: 4 and a half stars out of 5 

Rocker chairs are one of our favorite types of gaming chairs. They’re comfortable and they have extra features that other chairs don’t have.

This X Rocker Drift gaming chair doesn’t disappoint. It sucks you into the game and you can drone out everything around you.

The chair is made from Upholstery grade vinyl. The vinyl is easy to clean. All you need is a damp cloth to wipe it down.

The backrest folds down so you can store it away when you’re not gaming.

Attached to the chair are two speakers. They sit on each side of the headrest. Plus, there’s a four-inch subwoofer. You’ll be able to hear every bit of audio in your game.

You can adjust the volume and bass controls of the audio, where you’ll also find an input and output jack.

The wireless receiver happens to be built into the chair. The box includes a wireless transmitter. It includes RCA cables.

One feature, Audio Force Modulation, allows the chair to vibrate along with the audio. Your game’s audio or even your music can send vibrations throughout this rocker chair.

The chair is compatible with almost all modern game consoles. It’s also compatible with all smart devices, TVs, Blu-Ray players, and MP3 players.

4. Vitesse Recliner Racing Style Gaming Chair

Material: Leather

Color: Black and Grey

Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Our Rating: 5 stars out of 5 

This Vitesse Recliner Racing Style gaming chair is our favorite on this list. It’s also a bit pricier than the others but it’s still under $200. And it’s worth every penny, if not more.

The chair is made from PU leather. It’s skin-friendly so you don’t have to worry about any of your skin sticking to the leather. You don’t have to peel yourself off the chair.

The leather is waterproof.

There’s both a comfy headrest and a protective footpad.

Inside is a thick high-resilience sponge material. You’ll be comfortable gaming for hours. It provides perfect lumbar support.

The shape form is adjustable. You have three options that range from 90 degrees to 180 degrees.

On the side is a storage bag that can hold your controller or cell phone.

Final Thoughts 

Game chairs are a must-have for any serious gamer. Without an ergonomic chair, you end up with back pain and even headaches.

If you have a budget, these are the best affordable gaming chairs out there. Now you have no excuse not to buy one!


4 Most Efficient Mechanical Keyboards for Work

4 Most Efficient Mechanical Keyboards for Work

When you’re a professional who works on a computer all day, not any keyboard will due. It doesn’t matter what your job is, you need an efficient mechanical keyboard.

But it doesn’t need to be only efficient. There are other qualities to look for, including quality and comfort.

Quality is key when picking out the right keyboard. Otherwise, you’ll end up buying another keyboard a few months from now. And nobody wants to keep coughing up money.

All it takes is one strong high-quality keyboard.

We went ahead and researched for you. And we threw in our favorites in this list. These are the 4 most efficient mechanical keyboards for work.

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

1. Cherry Silent Switch Mechanical Keyboard

Connections: USB 2.0

Keys:

The keys have Gold Crosspoint contact technology. You don’t have to hit the keys hard for a response.

The contacts are also self-cleaning so dust isn’t going to build up.

It has long-lasting safe switching performance.

Each key is laser etched so no matter how often you use it or how hard you press the keys, the letters aren’t going to fade away.

It has an N-key rollover. You can operate up to 14 keys without a ghosting effect.

Other Cool Features:

This hardcore and durable keyboard are made to last for more than 50 million keystrokes.

They use their patented technology to cut down on the noise you make while typing away on a project.

It’s compatible with both PCs and Macs.

It includes an adapter for a PS/2 interface.

Our Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5

2. Das Keyboard 4 Professional Mechanical Keyboard

Connections: USB type-A

Keys:

The mechanical keys switch with gold contacts halfway down. This gives you a soft tactile feeling when you press down. It also cuts down on the annoying typing noises some keyboards can make.

Das calls this their Soft Pressure Point Switch technology.

It has laser etched key inscriptions to prevent fading. There are bumps on both the F and J button so your hands can always find their way back.

There’s a large volume knob, which is pretty cool. Changing the volume on your computer has never been easier.

There are also dedicated media controls.

There’s even an instant sleep button. You can save energy when you’re away from your computer.

It has a full N-key rollover with anti-ghosting.

Other Cool Features:

Das always builds their keyboards tough and this one is no exception. It’s built to withstand 50 million or more keystrokes.

The top panel is anodized aluminum for durability.

It comes with two USB 3.0 ports. These ports are speed super hubs. They’re 10x faster than the average USB 2.0 port.

The ports are backward compatible with all USB 2.0 devices.

The footbar is magnetic and detachable. If you want to raise the keyboard, you only have to clip it together and you’re good to go.

You can even use the footbar as a ruler. No joke.

It includes an extra long six and a half foot USB cord.

Our Rating: 5 stars out of 5

3. Happy Hacking Professional 2 Mechanical Keyboard

Connections: USB

Keys:

This keyboard uses Topre electrostatic capacitive switches. You only have to push soft on the keys for a response.

Topre keys work differently than most other keys. They’re spring-based with a rubber dome switch and a capacitive sensor. When you hit a key, it’s sensed electronically.

It can shave some time off your typing and helps with comfort.

The Topre keys also help reduce the clacking of keys as you type.

The keys are made with PBT for a silky matte feel. They’re printed with dye sublimation. The keys will never fade.

Other Cool Features:

It was made into a compact design. It cuts down from all the usual 101 keys to 60 keys. It sticks to the basics which are perfect for anyone who doesn’t need all the extra.

Because of this design, you can use key combos for speed.

The frame is contoured and the keys are smooth. Your hands glide across the keys as you type, cutting down on hand cramps or fatigue.

It has dip switches that let you assign different functions to the keys.

Our Rating: 4 and a half stars out of 5

4. Kinesis Advantage 2 Mechanical Keyboard

Connections: Plug and Play USB

Keys:

These are Cherry MX Brown mechanical keys with a low activation force and they’re soft tactile. This makes the keys respond without the need for excessive pressure.

The keyboard allows you to program keys for functions using the Smart Set engine.

There’s on-the-fly macro recording and one-touch key mapping. The settings will save to the keyboard’s 4MB flash memory.

It’s a tenkeyless layout with embedded keypad results

Other Features:

The keyboard was made to be durable. It’s going to last for 50 million key presses.

They used their patented design of an ergonomic contoured shape for absolute comfort.

The design positions your hands at shoulder-width. This keeps your wrists straight and cuts down on ulnar deviation.

The orthogonal key arrangement is set up to match the natural motion of your fingers. This boosts comfort and even increases speed.

It also has integrated palm supports and cushioned palm pads. Your hands won’t cramp using this keyboard.

Since the keyboard is plug and play, you don’t have to install any drivers or any software before you can use it.

It’s compatible with all major operating systems.

Our Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Final Thoughts

Finding a high-quality keyboard for the office or for work at home doesn’t have to be difficult. There are several brands and keyboards that provide the quality you’re looking for.

 


5 Best Capture Cards for the XBox 1

5 Best Capture Cards for the Xbox One

Xbox One is a fantastic console. But it’s not fantastic at everything. You can record your gameplay, but let’s be honest here. The quality of the videos isn’t the best.

So, if you want great footage while playing on your Xbox One you’re going to need a great capture card.

And we know how hard it is to find high-quality gaming products. There are cheap brands that promise the world and deliver the worst.

We took the time to check out capture cards for this gaming console. And we found the 5 best capture cards for the Xbox One.

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

1. Elgato Game Capture HD

Elgato Game Capture HD

Type of Game Capture Card: External/USB 2.0

PC Requirements: Windows 7/8/9/10, Mac OS X 10.9 or later

Resolution: Full HD 1080pixels

Frame Rate: 60 frames per second

Cool Features

This is an oldie but a goodie. It’s an older model but it still goes above and beyond most models today.

It uses newer technology to capture 1080 pixel videos while keeping the file size on the low side.

The Live Commentary feature lets you add your commentary to gameplay as you’re gaming. It also lowers the volume of the game whenever you speak.

It has built-in streaming for easy streaming on YouTube and Twitch.

It has the fun feature of flashback recording so it records retroactively. If you forget to hit record, you can go back and hit the record button.

Our Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5

2. ClonerAlliance Flint 4KP Plus

ClonerAlliance Flint 4KP Plus

Type of Capture Card: External/USB 3.0

PC Requirements: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android

Resolution: 4K 1080 pixels

Frame Rate: 60 frames per second

Cool Features

This CloneAlliance capture device is a plug and play model which is always a plus. It’s UVC standard and you don’t have to install any drivers.

There’s ultra-low latency. There’s zero latency no matter what console or PC you’re using. It’s a real-time display when you’re streaming.

It lets you add your live commentary, whether it’s a live stream or you’re recording your gameplay. Output to 3.5mm headphones and speakers.

The capture card allows you to use a camcorder/DSLR as a webcam while you live stream. Or even in a recorded video of gameplay.

You can stream your game footage on YouTube, Twitch, and even Facebook as long as you have third party software.

It’s compatible with OBS, Quicktime, Streamlabs, VLC, Wirecast, and XSplit.

You can schedule a recording with the HDML-Cloner Pro Helper.

It’s super portable so you can move it around to different consoles if you need to. You can even take it on the go if you’re traveling.

It’s a bundle deal. You get the capture card, HDML-Cloner Pro Helper software, MP4-Cloner software, and ClonerAlliance App.

Our Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5

3. AVerMedia AVerCapture Live Gamer Ultra

AVerMedia AVerCapture Live Gamer Ultra

Type of Capture Card: External/USB 3.1

PC Requirements: Windows, Mac

Resolution: Full HD 1080 pixels

Frame Rate: 60 rates per second

Cool Features

The capture card is a plug and play model. You can start streaming or recording in no time. You don’t have to install any drivers to get started.

It has a low latency so there’s no lag between your gameplay and what your viewers are seeing during a stream.

It includes Cyberlink Power Director 15. This is a top video editing software.

It’s compatible with XSplit, OBS, Streamlabs, or RECentral.

Our Rating: 4 stars out of 5

4. Elgato Game Capture Card HD60 S

Elgato Game Capture Card HD60 S

Type of Capture Card: External/USB 3.0

PC Requirements: Windows 10 (64-bit), macOS Sierra

Resolution: 1080 pixels

Frame Rate: 60 frames per second

Cool Features

Plug and play models are the best. You don’t have to mess with difficult software or drivers to get started.

There’s super-low latency, meaning no lag between your gameplay and the stream.

You can record hours and hours of gameplay footage.

It lets you add your webcam so your viewers can watch as you play. You can add content overlay and more. You can even add alerts.

There’s a live commentary feature that allows you to add your commentary during gameplay.

One awesome feature is the flashback recording. If you forget to start recording, you can go back and retrieve your gameplay by hitting record.

It’s compatible with Twitch and YouTube for live streaming.

There’s an LED strip that lets you know the status of the capture card.

Our Rating: 4 and a half stars out of 5

5. AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2

AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2

Type of Capture Card: Internal/PCI-Express Gen 2 x1

PC Requirements: Windows 10/8.1, Windows 7 requires driver installation

Resolution: Full HD 1080 pixels

Frame Rate: 60 frames per second

Cool Features

This is a plug and play capture device. You don’t have any drivers you have to install. Hook up your XBox One and you’re good to go.

It provides you with real-time gameplay. The HDMI is a low latency pass-through.

The capture card supports uncompressed video output. It creates a much better picture than you get through other capture cards’ video output.

But if you decide you’d rather have compressed video output, it has a very low bandwidth demand.

Though it doesn’t apply to the Xbox One, our favorite feature is the multi-card support. You can use up to 4 cards on a gaming PC. There’s AMD Ryzen support.

It lets you customize a lot of features. You can even use content overlay as you stream your gameplay.

There are audio options which aren’t always the case with capture cards. You can use either a 3.5mm port and digitally through an HDMI cord.

Either option allows you to record audio from your Xbox One. You can even output mixers for audio mixing.

You can use XSplit, Streamlabs, or OBS for streaming with this capture.

Our Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Final Thoughts

You deserve the best when recording your Xbox One gameplay. So, we chose the best of the best capture cards for you. Now, you can breathe a little easier when you go shopping.

Source of Featured Image: canva.com


3 Loudest Mechanical Keyboard Switches

3 Loudest Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Sometimes you want a keyboard with a loud mechanical switch. You can want one so you know the keys are registering as you’re typing or even gaming.

We don’t know about you but sometimes the sound of typing can be relaxing. And this is as a credible reason to buy a mechanical keyboard with loud keyboard switches.

Whatever your reasoning, finding a loud mechanical keyboard can be difficult. You go through the best electronic stores or browse online and all you see advertised are “silent” or “tactile” or “linear”.

You have to dig for the clicky keyboards. But we did the work for you and found the most affordable. These are the best keyboards with the 3 loudest mechanical keyboard switches.

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

1. Redragon K551 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard 

Redragon K551 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Connections: Wired 

Key Switches: Outemu Custom mechanical blue switches (equal to Cherry’s blue switches)

Keys:

The keyboard switches are dustproof so you don’t have to worry about dust building up under your keys. This is always great and makes the keyboard last a lot longer.

The keys have a fast and medium response when you're typing or pressing keys. They have tactile bump feedback. This makes your typing more precise.

It has double-shot injection molded keycaps with crystal clear uniform backlighting and lettering. The lettering isn’t going to fade away or scratch off no matter how often you use it.

There are 12 multimedia keyboard keys and there’s a Windows key lockout option.

They are N-key rollover. They’re conflict-free and have anti-ghosting.

Included is a separate numeric keypad.

Other Cool Features:

The design is both compact and non-slip ergonomic. It’s a high-quality and super durable metal-ABS construction using aircraft-grade aluminum. The keys and switches are plate-mounted.

The design is even splash-proof. It’ll be hard to ruin the keyboard with light water damage.

It should last for over 50 million keystrokes.

This keyboard has 19 different red backlight modes. No matter the mode you choose, this keyboard looks awesome. Two of these modes are user defined game modes.

There are also six brightness levels with adjustable breathing speed and breathing mode.

It includes a keycap puller tool for when you need to clean under your keys.

Our Ratings: 4 stars out of 5

2. Eagletec KG011 Mechanical Keyboard

Eagletec KG011 Mechanical Keyboard

Connections: Wired

Key Switches: Custom blue mechanical switches (equal to Cherry’s blue switches)

Keys:

The key switches are dust-proof so you don’t have to worry about dust building up under your keys. Nor do you have to clean them all the time.

These keys have a fast and medium response when you’re typing away. This is great for precision typing.

They have tactile bump feedback with a loud clicking sound when you’re pressing keys. So, you’re going to feel and hear every key you press.

The keys have double-shot injection molded keycaps with crystal clear backlight and lettering. This ensures the lettering doesn’t fade away or scratch off from year of use.

There are 12 multimedia keys, interchangeable WASD arrows, and a lockable Windows key.

They are N-key rollover so they’re conflict-free.

Included is a full-sized number keypad.

Other Cool Features:

The design of the keyboard is non-slip ergonomic for your comfort. It’s also spill-proof so the average spill won’t ruin it.

The keyboard is made from aircraft-grade aluminum ABS. There are plate-mounted mechanical keys and switches. This keyboard is going to last for a very, very long time.

This is one tough keyboard. It’s not going anywhere for a long time. You won’t have to dish out extra money later on for another new keyboard.

It’s a blue LED RGB backlight mechanical keyboard. There are nine backlight effect modes and 10 adjustable brightness levels.

There are also breathing speed and six backlight brightness levels.

There are adjustable rear feet so you can up your typing angle for your comfort. You can set it depending on what’s good for you.

It includes a gold-plated corrosion-free USB connector for the best connection.

Our Rating: 4 and a half stars out of 5

3. Havit Extra Thin Gaming Mechanical Keyboard

Havit Extra Thin Gaming Mechanical Keyboard

Connections: Wired

Keyboard Switches: Kailh blue switches

Keys:

Using the popular Kailh blue switches, the keys have that mechanical feel when you press the keys.

They have a fast response which is great for gaming.

The keycaps are thin as well and suspended for easy use. This makes for a shorter travel distance for the keys. This provides better precision and even makes typing much faster.

They are N-key rollover so they’re conflict-free and anti-ghosting. There’s are also a way to lock the Windows key during gameplay.

Other Cool Features:

The design of this keyboard is extra-thin and light for a compact design. It’s thinner and lighter than your average keyboard.

It has several custom backlit modes that you can adjust. Typing or gaming in the dark has never been so easy.

There’s even a freestyle mode that allows you to customize the color of any separate key you want.

Since it’s plug and play, you don’t need a driver or any software to get started with this keyboard.

Included with the keyboard is a detachable USB to micro cable. This makes the keyboard very portable. You can switch it around and use it on several computers or laptops.

Our Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Final Thoughts

Sometimes we love that click-clack of the keys when we’re gaming. It’s comforting and it lets us know that every key we’ve pressed has had a response. And we’re not the only ones out there who love it.

So, we created a list of our 3 favorite loudest mechanical keyboards just for you.


Best M.2 NVMe SSD for the Money

Best M.2 NVMe SSD for the Money

Are you looking for extra storage for your PC or game? Did you hear that the new generation of PlayStation and XBox is going to start taking SSDs? Either way, investing in an M.2 NVMe SSD is a good idea.

But any good storage system can be on the expensive side. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice speed and storage because you’re not Rockefeller.

Luckily, there are NVMe SSDs that you can afford without going broke. And they’re not cheap pieces of junk.

We’re here to share our favorite SSDs. This is the best M.2 NVMe SSDs for the money.

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

1. Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive

Capacity: 250 GB, 1TB

Interface: PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe, M.2 2280

Read Speed: Up to 2,400 MB/s

Write Speed: Up to 1,950 MB/s

NAND: 3D NAND flash memory

Other Features

It has a special Western Digital designed controller and firmware. This gives it a fantastic performance, especially for its’ price.

It’s scalable NVMe hardware and accelerated architecture also contributes to the performance.

It also has a lower power consumption that maxes out at only 3.5W.

The Western Digital dashboard is always monitoring the health of the SSD.

2. Western Digital Black SN750 NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive

Capacity: 500 GB, 2TB

Interface: PCIe Gen 3.0, NVMe, M.2 2280

Read Speed: Up to 3,430 MB/s

Write Speed: Up to 1,950 MB/s

NAND: 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory

Other Features

The sleek design fits with most computers with space for a heatsink.

It complements systems with RGB lighting and other cooling technology.

The heatsink of this SSD ensures that if it overheats, it can make the heat dissipate. It regulates the temperature in no time.

It has a Gaming Mode. Once you turn it on, it’ll disable the system sleep mode so you’ll get perfect performance during your gameplay.

This model from WD runs six times faster than its fastest SATA SSD thanks to NVMe.

3. Silicon Power NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive

Capacity: 512 GB

Interface: PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3, M.2 2280

Read Speed: Up to 3,400 MB/s

Write Speed: Up to 2,300 MB/s

NAND:

Other Features 

There’s a RAID engine. It keeps the system stable at all times. It even keeps data integrity.

It’s compatible with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

The SSD is designed to be slim so it can fit in mobile applications. It fits in the thinnest notebooks even.

4. Crucial P1 NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive

Capacity: 500 GB, 2TB

Interface: PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe, M.2

Read Speed: Up to 2,000 MB/s

Write Speed: Up to 1,700 MB/s

NAND: Micron 3D NAND flash technology

Other Features

Thanks to the high read and write speeds (and NVMe), the speed is amazing. The speed works well for gaming, whether you’re streaming or competing.

The NVMe technology also accelerates the performance. It loads faster and it has faster data transfers.

It’s designed to be the only storage upgrade you’ll need in an SSD.

Crucial is backed by Micron. Micron always provides top quality storage products. They have been for 40 years.

5. Addlink S70 NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive

Capacity: 512 GB

Interface: PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe, M.2 2280

Read Speed: Up to 3,400 MB/s

Write Speed: Up to 2,000 MB/s

NAND: 3D NAND flash memory

Other Features

It has low latency and power efficiency. There’s no lag which is perfect for gamers. And the speed for file transferring matches up to the higher priced SSDs.

There are four lanes for both transmitting and receiving data, all at the same time. This is what gives this SSD it’s great performance.

There are a RAID engine and Low-Density Parity Check coding. It has a powerful ECC algorithm so your data is always secure.

It’s made with high-quality flash chips for superb endurance.

The SSD has an engineered dynamic thermal throttling mechanism. If the card overheats, it knows. So, it lowers the heat it’s generating to lower its temperature.

It’s compatible with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

6. Samsung 970 EVO NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive

Capacity: 500 GB, 2TB

Interface: PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3, M.2 2280

Read Speed: Up to 3,500 MB/s

Write Speed: Up to 2,500 MB/s

NAND: Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC flash memory

Other Features

The interface offers enhanced bandwidth and low latency. There’s no lag when using this SSD.

It’s 32% faster than the previous generation of NVMes and SATAs.

Samsung’s Samsung Magician Software gives you seamless cloning and seamless file transfers. It even provides data security with automatic firmware updates.

With this software, you can check on your driver. You keep it up to date and boost the performance.

They have perfect heat dissipation with their Dynamic Thermal Guard. It maintains optimal operating temperatures to protect you from performance drops.

7. Sabrent Rocket Q NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive

Capacity: 1TB

Interface: PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe, M.2 2280

Read Speed: Up to 3,200 MB/s

Write Speed: Up to 2,000 MB/s

NAND: QLC NAND flash memory

Other Features

This SSD is a bit higher priced than the others on this list. But it’s a great deal for great quality so we had to add it to the list.

The speed is excellent thanks to both the read and write speed. The speed of data transfers is amazing.

Its power consumption is quite a bit less than the average hard drive. It doesn’t suck power.

It supports SMART and TRIM commands. It also supports ONFi 2.3, ONFi 3.0, ONFi 3.2, and ONFi 4.0 interfaces.

Included is Sabrent Acronis True Image by Sabrent Software. It makes cloning super easy.

Final Thoughts

An M.2 NVMe SSD can do wonders to speed up your computer and update your storage. They’re a must-have for any PC gamer and eventually, any console gamer too.

Source of Featured Image: canva.com


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Top 6 Best CPU for Streaming On the Market 2020 Reviews

Streaming games and other activities have become increasingly popular. It, therefore, comes as no surprise then, that streamers, gamers, and content creators are constantly keeping an eye out for new and improved streaming devices such as CPUs. But, selecting the best CPU for streaming goes beyond which processor has the most superior clock speed or raw power.

For high-end streaming at 1080p, a good CPU is one of the key factors in maintaining a lag-free and consistent gaming performance or stream. Luckily, you’re in the right place to get started because we’ve rounded up the top 6 CPUs. They’ll ensure you squeeze every last drop of performance out of your computer. Read on!

 

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

 

1. Intel Core i9-9900K: The Fastest Mainstream CPU

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If you’re on the quest for a product that’ll stream games, but you’re not picky on high-quality graphics, then the i9-9900K is your best bet. Furthermore, due to its efficient performance, this CPU has garnered the title as the fastest mainstream product. So, it delivers quick running without hindering your gaming or streaming experience.

The i9-9900K boasts unmatched per-core performance and is thereby renowned for having the most superior clock speed compared to its competitors. For instance, with an excellent motherboard in tow, this machine can soar to 5.0GHz for small workloads. Nevertheless, the i9-9900K has its weaknesses like overheating as a result of its numerous pores. So, you’ll need to shell out a few extra bucks for a decent liquid cooler.

2. Intel Core i7-8700K: Unrivaled Gaming Performance at a Fair Price

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Providing topnotch gaming performance is a necessity for streamers that revel in data-heavy games with complex physics and AI. Fortunately, the i7-8700K does this and more. While it has four fewer threads and two fewer cores compared to its rivals, this machine punches well above its weight.

Remember, compromising on streaming performance for enhanced gaming performance can be a good thing. After all, it’s nearly impossible to be at the lead in data-heavy games without a lag-free gameplay experience and sufficient load times.

While the i7-8700K provides excellent overclocking, you’ll need to purchase the top cooling equipment, after which it can shoot up to 4.7GHz. You should note that this machine’s focus on gaming performance over streaming performance doesn’t indicate the lack of high-quality streaming. Thus, it has the uncanny ability to stream in 4K and up to 60FPS.

3. AMD Ryzen 5 3600: A Great Mid-Price Choice for Gaming Setups

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Are you a gamer, streamer, or creative on the quest for a powerful yet fairly-priced product? Your search ends here with the Ryzen 5 3600. With a base clock of 3.6GHz, this machine is upgradable to a turbo speed of 4.2GHz. Armed with six cores and a 12-thread configuration that’s bundled with the quiet AMD Wraith Stealth, users can expect fairly good performance.

Designed with Fin-FET TSMC 7nm, the Ryzen 5 3600 provides unrivaled efficiency. And, it supports 3200 MHz dual-channel memory while delivering lightning-fast (more than 100 FPS) performance in the world’s most popular games.

4. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X: One of the Top AMD Options For Your Gaming Rig

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Bursting out of the crop of AMD’s greatest processors is the 3900X that’s a fan favorite and with good reason. Right off the bat, it’s not blisteringly fast compared to other gaming-focused machines but, it’s right up there with them when optimized with the ideal settings.

The 3900X commands a robust price tag but is worth every buck because you get 24 processing threads and 12 cores along with a Wraith Prism topnotch cooler. This translates to an impressive performance boost on 3D gaming and busy workloads like video editing. Nonetheless, if you’re only concern is gaming, you’ll be pleased to learn that this machine supports 70MB of game cache that delivers unmatched performance.

As a cool and quiet machine courtesy of the top of the range 7-nanometer technology, it supports a maximum frequency of 4.6 GHz.

5. Intel Core i5-9400F: A Pocket-Friendly Machine for Intel-centered Builds

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While the i5-9400F is faster compared to previous models like the i5-8400, it entirely sheds itself on the Intel integrated graphics, which doesn’t negatively impact gaming. While this processor doesn’t facilitate over-clocking, it’s a great choice that won’t dent your wallet.

So, you can channel your money towards a beefier motherboard such as the H370. However, a myriad of motherboards will happily run the 9400F at a turbo frequency of 2.9 GHz to a maximum of 4.10 GHz, which grants you no reason for concern with the low base clock.

What makes this CPU stand out from the crowd is that it comes with a cooler, which is a rarity in a barrage of its rivals. With six cores and six threads coupled with a memory bandwidth of 41.6 GB/s, the i5-9400F gives users value for their money.

6. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X: An Incredible Choice for Mid-range Gaming

While the 3700X slightly lacks on the powerhouse, it still has its perks. For starters, it has eight cores coupled with 16 processing threads blanketed with the AMZ Wraith Prism cooler. The 36MB of cache ushers in elite gaming performance, content creation, and unmatched multitasking in a remarkably balanced design for PC enthusiasts.

amd ryzen 7 3700x image

With DDR4 3200MHz system memory and a turbo speed of up to 4.4GHZ, the 3700X is a great option to consider if you’re comfortable with mid-range streaming quality. It also uses the cutting-edge nanometer 7 technology that delivers efficient, cool, and quiet operations.

Tips for Choosing the Best CPU for Your Gaming PC

It’s no secret that picking the ideal CPU for your custom gaming computer build can have you engulfed in a web of confusion with the vast assortment of models and specs of each. However, we’ve rounded up a few crucial factors that’ll make the selection process a walk in the park.

1. Overclocking

It entails pushing a CPU to its limit by forcing it to operate at speeds that surpass the normal specs. Overclocking can be an ideal way to squeeze more frames out of a gaming session. However, there are a few downsides to this practice. For instance, you have to know what you’re doing, or you may end up unintentionally crashing your system or worse frying your motherboard after pumping excess voltage through your CPU. Secondly, Overclocking demands an excellent cooling system in your rig to absorb the excess heat produced. If you’re in the market for a new PC, then you have free rein to slap down some extra bucks for a gaming rig that comes with an over-clocked CPU.

2. Cores

These refer to the processors found within CPUs and range from 2 to 32. However, most processors in today’s digital era have 4 to 8. Each core is a beast in handling its tasks as the others do the same. Unless you want to pull your hair out with a PC that’s operating at a snail’s pace, it’s advisable to buy a product that has at least four cores.

3. Clock speed

Measured in Gigahertz (GHz), clock speed refers to the rate at which a CPU’s chip functions. So, higher means faster. Most modern CPUs alter their clock speeds higher or lower depending on the task at hand and their temperature. Therefore, you’ll see speeds of minimum (base) and maximum (turbo). When it comes down to it, clock speed is more essential than the number of cores because greater clock speeds result in superior performance for your gaming computer.

4. Threads

It’s the number of independent processes that a chip can handle simultaneously, which, theoretically, is the number of cores. But, a myriad of processors has multithreading capability, which allows a core to produce two threads. AMD calls this Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT), whereas Intel terms it as Hyper-threading. More threads translates to enhanced multitasking and increased performance on heavily-threaded games and applications like video editors.

5. Intel vs. AMD: Which Is Better?

Intel used to be a no-brainer up until a couple of years ago. Nonetheless, AMD has upped its game, which means you can count on its current batch of CPUs. A multitude of tech pundits will still preach to you on Intel, having the edge over AMD with faster and more robust chips. But the truth is, unless you have unwavering loyalty for a particular brand, you can take your pick from Intel or AMD for your new build.

And, for reference purposes, both brands offer three levels of CPUs that range from the Core i7 and Core i5 to Core i3. I9 core processors are also available for those that don’t mind shelling out extra bucks for superior quality. Keep in mind that AMD typically supports backward compatibility, unlike Intel.

This implies that with a BIOS update in tow, you can put the 1st generation Ryzen chip into a 2nd or 3rd generation motherboard and vice versa. However, while AMD achieves this by adopting one socket for its CPUs, Intel’s chips may vary in power needs and pins. So, ensure you’re getting the best or latest generation of motherboard and CPU that’s within your budget. It’ll make all the difference down the road.

6. TDP

It’s an acronym for Thermal Design Power and refers to the greatest amount of heat that a chip produces as stock speeds. And, it’s computed in watts. For instance, the Intel Core i7-8700K is armed with a TDP of 95 watts. So, you can ensure you have a CPU cooler that can handle this amount of heat dissipation, and your PSU can produce enough ‘juice.’

Nevertheless, keep in mind that CPUs put out notably more heat when overclocking occurs. Knowing what your TDP is, paves the way to purchasing the ideal power equipment to support your processor. Moreover, a higher TDP typically tallies with improved performance.

Closing Remarks

There can never be one CPU for everyone. So, by checking out our reviewed products along with the buying factors to consider, you’ll narrow down your search to a product that’s perfect for you.


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The Best Camera for Live Streaming on Twitch, Mixer, and Facebook Live

Live streaming video is becoming increasingly popular amongst online content creators. It allows you to make a real connection with your audience, allowing you to get closer to your followers than with a traditional prerecorded video. They can send you their reactions, and you can respond to them moment-to-moment as they happen.

To live stream like a pro, you’ll need to have a camera that gives you excellent video quality. And you’re in luck! In this article, we’re going to give you a rundown of the best cameras for live streaming. While there are a number of different platforms out there that allow you to live stream, we’re going to focus on just three of them: Twitch, Mixer, and Facebook Live.

Jump to Webcam Recommendations

Jump to DSLR Recommendations

Jump to Camcorder Recommendations

 

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

What is Twitch?

Twitch is a live streaming service mostly focused around gaming. Users come here to watch their favorite gamers live-stream themselves playing a variety of different video games. With over 15 million daily active users, Twitch is the original go-to platform for gamers looking to build an audience.

What is Mixer?

Mixer is another video game live streaming platform. Touting itself as the next generation in live streaming, Mixer provides an interactive experience in which viewers can actually help the player to make in-game decisions. It’s also said to have more of a community feel than its direct competitor, Twitch.

What is Facebook Live?

It’s doubtful that there’s anybody out there who hasn’t heard of Facebook. In the last few years, the social media giant’s live streaming service, Facebook Live, has been rocketing in popularity. Facebook Live is more of a general-topic streaming platform, allowing social media influencers to share snippets of their daily lives with followers.

The Best Camera for Live Streaming

Now that you’re familiar with the platforms we’ll be focusing on in this article, let’s get down to the real question: What is the best camera for live streaming on these channels? This all depends on a variety of factors, for example, your budget, your level of comfort with technology, what you’ll be streaming, and so on. There are three main categories of cameras out there that we’ll cover: webcams, DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex)/mirrorless cameras, and camcorders.

Webcam Recommendations

Budget-friendly and easy to use, webcams are a popular option for live streaming. Your computer most likely has a built-in webcam but, for better video quality, we recommend buying an external one. Some of the best options for an external webcam are listed below.

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

microsoft lifecam hd 3000 image

If you’re just starting with live streaming, then the Microsoft Lifecam HD-300 is a savvy choice. It has a lower price tag, making it affordable for beginners, but you can still shoot bright and colorful video content with it using its TrueColor technology. The noise-canceling microphone also helps to reduce background noise, giving you good audio quality. Simple to use and budget-friendly, this camera will allow you to get started with sharing your videos to social media without a large upfront investment.

Logitech C920 HD Pro

logitech c920 hd pro image

At 1030p resolution, compared to the Microsoft LifeCam’s 720p, the Logitech C920 HD Pro comes at a slightly higher price point but can produce more high definition video. This enables you to share quality video with your followers for a price that’s still affordable. With its automatic light correction, the camera will also adapt to different light levels, meaning that you can produce clear video even when you’re shooting in a more dimly lit setting. This all makes the Logitech C920 HD Pro a solid choice for a live streaming webcam.

Logitech C930e Full HD

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The Logitech C930e Full HD could be described as a higher-end version of the C920. Like the C920, it adjusts to low light settings, but it also comes with a higher resolution (1080p) and a wider field of view. This means that you can shoot quality video while sharing more of your environment with your audience. With the ability to pan, tilt, and 4x digital zoom, you can also tweak the camera view to be exactly what you need. If you’re serious about live streaming, then the Logitech C930e Full HD webcam is a great option.

DSLRs/Mirrorless Camera Recommendations

DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are standalone cameras with which you can produce photos and videos of extra high quality. Bear in mind that unlike webcams, which come with built-in video encoders, you will also need to buy a video encoder (in addition to a lens) to be able to share your content on live streaming platforms. The extra cost is worth it, though, if you don’t want to compromise on video quality.

Panasonic Lumix GH4

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The Panasonic Lumix GH4 mirrorless camera is at the lower end of the pricing scale for DSLRs/mirrorless cameras, making it a good choice if you want the quality of this camera type without the usual expense. Allowing you to shoot in 4K resolution, the GH4 will produce a cinema-quality video for you to share with your audience. With a hardy magnesium alloy body and exceptionally long shutter life, this camera is popular with live streamers.

Panasonic Lumix GH5

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Following on from the GH4, the Panasonic Lumix GH5 is the next step up in mirrorless cameras. In comparison to the GH4, which has a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS-brand sensor, the GH5 has a 20.3-megapixel version of that sensor for improved image resolution. Although its higher-end video capabilities would not be feasible for live streaming due to bandwidth limitations, these would come in handy if you shoot vlogs too.

Sony A7 III

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The Sony A7 III is the most expensive DSLR/mirrorless camera on this list, but that’s because it comes with a 24.2-megapixel Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor (which is a significantly higher number of megapixels than the other two cameras). Its high-performance BIONZ X image processor also helps to reduce noise for clearer images. Compact and stylish, the A7 III is a great option for a DSLR/mirrorless camera for live streaming.

Camcorder Recommendations

While webcams and DSLRs can be used for filming video, camcorders are designed for it. If you want to produce live stream videos of the highest quality, then a camcorder is the obvious choice. They’re easy to set up on a tripod or hold onto for handheld streaming, making it super simple for you to connect with your audience.

Panasonic HC-V770

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At the lower end of the price range for camcorders is the Panasonic HC-V770. This camera will provide you with a 1080p video for not too hefty a cost. It has a 20x optical zoom so that you can capture clear video even from a distance, and its clean HDMI output means that you can feed a live stream from your camera to social media without any of the onscreen information that you have displayed in your viewfinder or on the LCD screen at the back. This all makes the HC-V770 an excellent, affordable option for a camcorder for live streaming.

Canon XA15

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More advanced than the HC-V770, the Canon XA-15 will allow you to produce documentary-quality footage to impress your audience. Its lightweight design means that it’s suitable for handheld footage. It also has an HD/SD-SDI terminal, making it super convenient for live streaming because you won’t need to compress your videos first. If you’re looking for the best camera for live streaming, then you can’t go wrong with the Canon XA15.

Panasonic AG-UX180

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With an evolved Optical Image Stabilizer and intelligent autofocus function, the Panasonic AG-UX180 is designed for high-end users looking to shoot professional-quality video in 4K resolution. Unlike most camcorders, it also comes with a 16-axis color correction functionality for precise color adjustment, so that you can tweak the color of your videos to be exactly as you want. The Panasonic AG-UX180 is the best camcorder for you if you want to get serious about live streaming.

Honorable Mention: Action Cameras

One type of camera that we didn’t cover here, but that deserves mention, is action cameras. Action cameras are small, portable devices that you can easily mount onto your head, sporting equipment, or anywhere else that you can think of. This allows you to stream yourself at an event or on the go.

GoPro Hero 7

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GoPro is the maker of the original action camera, and their GoPro Hero 7 can be paired with an app on your phone to live stream whatever you’re up to. It doesn’t compromise on video quality, meaning it’s a still viable choice for positioning on a tripod for more traditional live streaming. But, the camera is also waterproof and tough, making it popular amongst skiers, snowboarders, and other extreme sports enthusiasts. If you want a camera that’s going to give you the versatility to stream whatever you’re doing, then the GoPro Hero 7 could be the best option for you.

Accessories

So we’ve covered the cameras, but you may also want to consider some accessories to power up the quality of your live streams. An external microphone will help you to keep your audio quality high, and a battery power system will mean that you can charge your camera while streaming (vital if you’re going to be doing longer broadcasts). Finally, a tripod or mount will mean that you won’t need to hold the camera the whole time and can position it exactly as you want for steady footage.

Conclusion

We hope that this article helped you to find the best camera for live streaming for your needs. Whether you’re just getting started and need a good webcam, or you’re a live streaming professional looking for the perfect camcorder, there’s something here for everybody. Happy live streaming!


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Multi-Core Processor: Is More Always Better?

Everyone wants an efficient computer, whether for playing games or performing other tasks. And since modern operating systems can multitask, it seems to make sense to get processors with more cores, or does it? Would adding more cores to a processor yield significant improvement compared to the cost involved? To help you determine whether multi-core processors are necessary for your system or not, this article will show you what you need to understand to arrive at an informed decision.

Multi-Core Processor

First, what exactly is a multi-core processor? Any computer processor that has two or more CPUs (or cores) is known as a multi-core processor. Each of the CPUs or cores executes instructions as if the system runs on many processors even though it is just one processor chip.

A single-core processor is significantly slower than a multi-core processor because it takes longer for a single-core processor to communicate with other parts of the computer. Multi-core processors can run several processes or programs at the same time. This means better performance when you run programs with heavy demands on the CPU or when you are multitasking.

Multi-core processors were manufactured to solve the problem of clock speed that single-core processors encounter when they hit their physical limitations. Adding extra cores on a single chip means that a CPU can handle more data effectively.

Initially, manufacturers produced only two cores in a single CPU. It is no longer news that you can now get a processor chip with ten or more cores! This is particularly useful for effectively running programs with complex processes and calculations.

Process and Thread

Two important concepts to consider are processes and threads.

Processes are tasks, such as applications that run on computers. A process is made up of one or more threads.

A thread refers to a stream of data from a program that passes through a processor. Every program running on a computer generates single or multiple threads. Multiple threads can exist within a process and share resources while executing independently. This is known as multithreading.

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With multi-cores, systems can effectively execute more than one thread at the same time. This means that each core in the multi-core handles a separate stream of data, thereby increasing performance and allowing several programs to run simultaneously.

This technology was originally developed with servers in mind because servers usually run multiple programs concurrently. In the past, the technology appealed to the enterprise customer, but with multitasking and the complex nature of personal computers in recent times, more cores are now built into PCs.

But here’s the thing; each process that runs on a computer has a primary thread that occupies just one core. In other words, a large chunk of a program’s speed is determined by the core which the primary thread occupies. Other secondary threads from the program are delegated to different cores. This means that doubling cores doesn’t necessarily increase the speed or performance of the program.

However, more cores mean that while the primary thread uses one of the cores, other tasks can be handled by the rest of the cores at the same time. Therefore, massive programs (such as a video-encoding application) will run better on a system with eight cores, for example, than one with four cores.

Here’s another angle that highlights the advantage of multiple cores over single-core processors. During multitasking, a single-core processor must switch quickly between threads to manage different processes because it can’t handle more than one thread at a time. Conversely, a multiple-core processor can manage several threads concurrently because the data is split between each core. This makes data transfer to happen a lot quicker.

Clock Speed

Clock speed refers to the rate at which a processor performs or executes a task. Clock speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz). To illustrate, imagine a car with a powerful engine. The more powerful an engine is, the faster the car runs. This applies to a computer too. Consider the CPU as the computer’s engine – the higher the CPU’s clock speed, the faster the computer will perform. Your computer's CPU is continuously completing calculations to allow your apps to run efficiently.

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Generally, if you have a processor with higher clock speed, your computer will complete its calculations at a faster rate, and your programs will run faster and better. For example, a 2.5GHz processor has 2.5 billion opportunities per second to complete a task, while a 3.0GHz processor has 3 billion chances (or can be about 20% quicker).

It is challenging to compare processors clock speeds across different brands. For example, it is unreasonable to compare the speed of a Pentium 4 CPU to an Intel Core i4.

However, clock speed doesn't necessarily tell precisely how long a processor will take to accomplish a task. As an example, a person who drives slowly but arrives at their destination without getting lost is faster than a person who drives quickly but always gets lost. So, if a 2.5GHz processor can complete a task in 2 clock ticks but it takes five clock ticks for a 3.5GHz processor to achieve the same job, the so-called slower processor is quicker in this case.

Do You Need More Cores or a Higher Clock Speed?

Multi-core offers high-performance computing just as higher clock speed significantly increases processing rate. The question is, should you go for a processor with fewer cores and more top clock speed or a processor with more cores and lower clock speed? To answer that, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of both options.

  • Fewer cores with higher clock speed: A processor with fewer cores and higher clock speed means higher performance at single threads. The processor is also likely to cost less. The drawback, however, is that it has fewer cores between which to split apps. Also, it has a relatively weaker performance with multi-threads.
  • More cores with lower clock speed: Apart from offering support for multi-thread applications, a chip with more cores and lower clock speed is usually a cost-effective way of improving your computer’s performance. This means there’ll be hardly any issue of reduced performance even when you run many applications at the same time. It is also a great option if you want to run multiple virtual machines. On the downside, its single-thread performance is relatively lower than a processor with higher clock speed.

Here’s an example that can help you understand this better. Let’s compare the speed of the individual cores in two separate CPUs of the same brand. One of the CPUs is a dual-core processor with 3.5GHz clock speed, and the other is a quad-core processor with 3.0GHz clock speed.

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When you consider the cores individually, the dual-core processor is roughly 14% faster than the quad-core processor. So, it is more efficient to run a single-threaded program on the dual-core processor. On the other hand, a multithreaded program or a program that uses all four processors will run about 70% faster on the quad-core processor than it would on a dual-core processor and, thus, is more efficient in such case.

Now, to answer the earlier question, if possible, and if your computing task requires it, go for a CPU with the highest clock speed and, at the same time, offer as many cores as possible. But because this option is usually more expensive, you may have to strike a balance between clock speed and the number of cores bearing in mind the pros and cons listed above.

An excellent way to arrive at a better decision is to find out whether your most-used applications support multithreading. Doing this will help you to decide whether to go for a processor with the highest number of cores and slower clock speed (for example, a 6-core chip at 3.2GHz) or a processor with fewer cores and higher clock speed (for example, a quad-core chip at 3.6GHz).

Although modern operating systems all have multithreading capabilities, individual applications need to support multithreading before any significant performance improvement can be noticed.

In other words, the overall efficiency of a computer that runs on multiple processors will not make any meaningful performance impact without software that supports multithreading. If an app will only run on just one core in a 10-core processor, it would be better, cheaper, and maybe even faster to run it on a dual-core processor that has a higher clock speed.

In Closing

You’ll probably not see any significant improvement or benefit of having more than two or four processor cores if you are a primary computer user. For the majority of computer users, a dual-core processor or, at most, a quad-core processor is more than sufficient. As an example, if you primarily use your computer for simple tasks such as surfing the web or checking your emails, you will not notice any significant benefit of adding more processor cores.

On the other hand, if your work involves complex tasks such as complicated math or science programs, high-end gaming, CAD or graphic rendering software, video editing, and the likes, then a high-core-count processor is best for you. You don’t have to be “modest” core-wise if you use your computer to perform demanding or heavy tasks. A computer with an 8-core or 10-core processor will serve you better than one with a dual-core processor.

So, before thinking of getting a multi-core processor, you should first determine if your task requires a high-core-count. It would be redundant to get a multi-core processor that serves no purpose besides bragging rights. It is now standard practice for many business computers to come with dual-core or quad-core processors. These processors are more than enough for many basic computer tasks.


What Makes a Computer Fast and Powerful? Here Are 8 Main Aspects

What makes a computer fast? If you do a lot of gaming, work as a designer, or simply want your computer to run as smoothly as possible, then a fast and powerful machine is a must-have. There are a number of different factors that affect the speed of a computer. In this article, we’ll cover the 8 main aspects so that you can choose the right computer for your needs.

Processor (CPU)

One of the most important elements that makes a computer fast is the central processing unit (CPU) or processor. This is the part of the computer responsible for processing data; that is, reading and executing program instructions. How fast the computer can do this is known as its “clock speed.” The more instructions the CPU can work on per second; the faster your computer will be.

The first computer processor, the Intel 4004, had a processing speed of 740 kilohertz (kHz) and was able to process 92,000 instructions per second. Modern computers have multi-core gigahertz (GHz) processors. This means that they actually have multiple CPUs, and, because of this, they can execute multiple instructions at the same time. These computers are capable of processing 100 billion instructions per second, meaning that computers are now significantly faster than they used to be.

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In terms of which CPU is best for you, it really depends on what you’ll be using it for. When you are just using it for everyday tasks such as browsing the web and checking your email, then a dual-core CPU is a low-cost and energy-efficient choice. If you want to play and live stream games, or will be using the computer for your work as a designer or engineer, then it’s worth investing in a processor with more cores. We recommend the Intel Core i9-9900K, which has 8 cores.

Cache

Another aspect that affects the speed of your computer is the cache. Today’s computers may be able to execute 100 billion instructions per second. However, they still rely on the computer’s memory, consisting of the hard drive and Random Access Memory (RAM), to serve up those instructions. The speed at which this memory is served up is slower than the CPU can go, so a fast processor alone is not enough to make your computer powerful.

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The cache is what is used to transfer data between the CPU, memory, and all of the components inside your computer. It stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster. The more cache a computer has, the more efficiently it will run. Look for a computer with more level 2 and level 3 cache to ensure that it runs as fast as possible. The Intel Core i9-900K mentioned previously comes with 16MB of level 3 cache, which should be plenty for most users’ needs.

RAM

RAM is the computer’s short-term data storage used to store working data (i.e., instructions in progress). The more RAM the computer has, the better because, when it runs out of RAM, your machine will have to send some of the unused data in the RAM to the hard drive to be stored until it is needed again. This adds an extra step to processing and, because the hard drive is the slowest form of computer memory, it can really slow down the speed of your computer.

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The more programs you’re using at the same time, the more RAM you will need. If you want your computer to be capable of running lots of different programs and still be fast, then try to find a machine with as much RAM as possible. 16GB is ideal for professional work and more demanding games. A good option for this is the Patriot Viper Steel DDR4-4400. This comes with two 8GB units of RAM, taking you up to a total of 16GB.

Bus speed

Bus speed can also affect how fast your computer runs. A bus is a circuit that connects the different parts of your computer’s motherboard, including the CPU and memory. The more data the bus can handle at the same time, the faster information can travel between these components. This means that your processor will have to wait less time for instructions and so your computer will work more efficiently.

Bus speed is measured in megahertz (MHz) and usually refers to the front side bus (FSB). The FSB is what connects the CPU with a chipset that communicates with the computer processor and controls interaction with memory, known as the Northbridge. FSB speeds can range from 66 MHz to over 800 MHz. Try to find a motherboard with the fastest FSB speed possible to ensure that your computer is fast.

Hard Drive

In terms of what makes a computer fast, the hard drive also plays a part. Traditional hard disk drives (HDD) have moving parts. The speed at which these parts move, measured in revolutions per minute (RPM), will affect the speed of your computer. For example, a 5,400 RPM hard drive will be slower than a 7,200 RPM hard drive.

Unlike HDDs, the more modern solid-state drives (SSDs) have no moving parts, using flash memory instead (flash storage involves using silicon chips that are written, erased, and re-written on by electricity). Because of this lack of moving parts, SSDs are not affected by RPM, making them generally much faster than an HDD.

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For the fastest running computer, try to find an SSD with as much storage capacity as possible. We recommend the Crucial MX500 2TB, which comes with a whopping 2TB of storage.

Video Card

The video card or graphics processing unit (GPU) is the final piece of hardware that will affect your computer’s speed. The GPU is a specialized electronic circuit designed to quickly manipulate and alter memory to speed up the creation of images intended for output to a display device. If you play a lot of games or work with images a lot, then you can see why you’d need a fast GPU to render the images for your screen.

With relation to what type of GPU you’ll need to make your computer fast, it’s best to purchase a separate video card (also known as a discrete graphics card). This is because the GPU needs access to RAM to function. While integrated graphics cards will use the main computer’s RAM, a separate GPU comes with its own set of RAM. This means both that you’ll have dedicated RAM for processing graphics, and that your main system’s RAM can focus on processing other tasks.

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Which discrete graphics card you should purchase depends on what you’ll be using it for. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the best option for gaming. With 11GB of GDDR6 SDRAM (Graphics Double Data Rate type six Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory), you’ll have 11GB of RAM just for processing graphics rather than using your computer’s built-in RAM.

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The Nvidia Quadro K620 is a good choice for designers and engineers as it supports 4K displays. It comes with 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM (Double Data Rate type 3 Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory), meaning that you’ll have plenty of dedicated processing power to enable you to smoothly run the software that you need for your work.

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Finally, if you’re mining cryptocurrency, try the AMD Radeon VII. The faster the hash rate, the faster you can mine cryptocurrency. With a hash rate of 90 megahertz per second (MH/s), the Radeon VII is one of the fastest graphics cards available for this purpose.

Operating System

Another aspect of what makes a computer fast is the operating system. The operating system is the software program that allows all of the computer hardware mentioned above to communicate and work alongside the computer software. Without an operating system, your computer won’t work.

For a PC, the current operating system is Windows 10. Windows regularly release new versions of Windows 10 to repair security issues or fix bugs, which can both make your computer run slower. Keep your operating system up to date to make sure that your computer is as fast, efficient, and secure as possible.

Older operating systems will also not be able to support the latest technologies. New technology that will make your computer faster is being introduced all the time. If you don’t have an operating system that supports these new technologies, then you won’t be able to take advantage of their benefits in terms of computer speed.

Software

Finally, to round up our list, we have software. Software refers to the applications installed on your computer (common examples are Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, etc.). Make sure to regularly update your software to fix any problems with efficiency or bugs that may slow your computer down.

Another tip is to regularly audit your software, removing anything that you don’t need. If there were a lot of pre-installed programs on your computer when you bought it, or if you’ve installed a lot of programs on there, the chances are that there will be some that you’re not using. Uninstalling these may help to improve the performance of your computer.

Your computer may also have a lot of programs set to automatically open when you start up your computer. If there are too many of these, then your computer could be very slow to get going. You can disable programs from running upon startup, though. To do this on Windows, press the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys together to open the Task Manager.

In the window that appears, go to the “Startup” section. Click on the programs that you don’t want to open upon startup and choose the “Disable” option. Those programs will now not automatically open when you start up your computer.

Conclusion

So now you know the main 8 factors to what makes a computer fast. To make sure that your computer runs as fast as possible, you’ll need to make sure that you have the best CPU, cache, RAM, bus speed, hard drive, and video card, as well as the latest operating system and software. All of these things working together will result in a fast and powerful machine.