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How to Choose the Right Ergonomic Gaming Mouse for Your Needs

Did you purchase a new gaming PC and are now finding yourself looking for a new ergonomic gaming mouse? Hopefully, you've been asking yourself a bunch of questions about what you're looking for in a gaming mouse.

Like so many other gamers, you're probably looking to gain a competitive advantage and improve your gaming performance. This guide will help guide you to ask the right questions and give you some direction on how to choose the right ergonomic gaming mouse for you.

Ergonomic Impacts & Grip Types

Most gamers will spend countless hours playing at their gaming desk with their hands cradling the mouse. During these gaming sessions, you should feel comfortable while also considering how to protect your hands from getting hurt. When picking out a gaming mouse, you have to think about if the design is ergonomic for your playing style. Figuring out what gaming mouse grip style that's best for you is simple.

Identifying the Right Grip

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There are three main types of mouse grips for an ergonomic gaming mouse:

Palm Grip

Palm grip mice fit into the palm of your hand and are more comfortable for long periods of use. Plus, they're best used for massively multiply online (MMO) style gaming, which needs an accurate and delicate glide control. Palm grip mice feature a relaxed and natural grip for a resting hand, and they are usually wider than the other two mouse grip styles. This style of an ergonomic gaming mouse is the most popular grip style on the market, and they are often sold for non-gaming purposes as well.

Claw Grip

The claw grip mouse requires a tighter grip than the palm grip style and is best suited for real-time strategy (RTS) games where the mouse is moved across the entire screen. This type of ergonomic gaming mouse style causes the hand to arch up, which makes fewer contact points with the mouse than with a palm grip mouse. This causes your hand to form a claw shape. Claw grip mice are shorter in length and thinner than the palm grip mouse.

Fingertip Grip

A fingertip grip mouse is designed to only provide contact points for your pointer, middle finger, and thumb tips. These three fingers will control the movement of the mouse, rather than the entire palm. This style of ergonomic gaming mouse is great for first-person shooter (FPS) games that require swift movements and twitch reactions. This type of mouse is hard to get used to at first, but as you continue to use it, you'll find that it gets easier. The fingertip grip mouse is the shortest in length and has the lightest weight of all three grip styles.

Features to Consider

When shopping for a new ergonomic gaming mouse, it’s important to consider the following features.

Mouse Weight

You should consider the weight of the mouse when you go to purchase a new ergonomic gaming mouse. Some mice have weight systems that make it so gamers can remove or add weight to the mouse. The weight of the mouse helps make the gestures and movements of the mouse more precise and fluid.

Programmable Button Configurations

There are power and value in customizing your ergonomic gaming mouse's additional buttons. You can create shortcuts to help you when you're playing a game. Some games don't allow certain macro functions to be configured, so it's something that you should look into when playing multiplayer games online.

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Form

The best way to choose a good shape for your ergonomic gaming mouse is to try it out, but if you can't, it's best to take a look at the ratings and ergonomics. You want to try to find something that feels comfortable in your hand or will provide you with great ergonomics.

Size

When it comes to an ergonomic gaming mouse, there are three main sizes: Large, standard, and small. Standard is the recommended size for a claw grip mouse, and if you want to go with a palm grip, it should ideally be large. The basics of this feature are to find an ergonomic gaming mouse that's the right size for your hand, so if you have a small hand, the standard size or small size would be best for you.

Technical Aspects

There are more features that you should look at other than the ones listed above – although those are very important things to consider!

These additional features include the cord type, unless you're getting a wireless ergonomic gaming mouse, the cord's material, the drag impact of the cord, and the length of the cord. This is just one example of a technical aspect that you might want to think about before purchasing an ergonomic gaming mouse.

Sensor Type

There are three different laser sensor types, and you’ll find that the differences between each of them are minimal. The three types are laser, infrared, and optical.

In addition to this, it’s essential to know the distance at which they stop reading when you lift the mouse. Less than 5mm is the appropriate range to go for because then you can lift and readjust the location of the mouse without losing connection. This information, however, isn’t often told by the manufacturer.

DPI or Points Per Inch

This measurement is what allows the mouse to find the difference between two points and is typically used to describe the sensitivity of the mouse. There is a small camera that is used to read the surface where the mouse passes. A mouse with a higher DPI will cover more screen distance with a small movement of your hand. Mouse DPI’s bottoms out around 200 and can go up to 8,200.

If an optical and laser mouse has 2000 DPI, they are just as accurate. Although it depends on the quality of the mouse. The accuracy could vary, and that’s where the refresh rate comes into the decision-making process. The laser can achieve higher precision, whereas the optical cannot, but at the same DPI, the sensitivity of the mouse is the same.

Fixed DPI vs. Adjustable

Most mice have on setting for DPI. The common mouse hovers around 800 DPI, which makes them great for productivity but not so much for gaming.

Ergonomic Gaming Mouse Refresh Rate

DPI’s are important, but then there’s the number of images per second that the mouse camera takes as you glide it across a surface. If your mouse takes only a few images per second, no matter how sensitive it is, you won’t be able to enjoy it properly.

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Having a refresh rate of more than 500Hz is not usually taken advantage of, so you probably don’t need anything more powerful than that.

Acceleration

The acceleration of an ergonomic gaming mouse should be 1:1 and should be disabled, the problem with this is that sometimes Windows or games will activate the acceleration by default. There are some applications on the internet that work on eliminating all these inconveniences that can make it harder for gamers to pay.

Handed vs. Ambidextrous

Most ergonomic gaming mice are ambidextrous or can be used by either hand. High-end ambidextrous gaming mice do exist, and they can have extra buttons on both the right and left side with grooves on both sides to accommodate the ring finger and thumb.

Mice that are made specifically with right- or left-handed users in mind tend to be more ergonomic and have extra buttons on the side that make use of the thumb or ring finger.

Last-Minute Details

There are a couple more details that we didn't mention earlier that you should also keep in mind when buying a new ergonomic gaming mouse.

Price: Cheaper mice are made with lower build quality, whereas the more expensive versions are going to have higher build quality. Remember that you get what you pay for. This doesn't mean that you can't find a great ergonomic gaming mouse in the lower price ranges, but in most cases, the rule of thumb applies.

Left-Handed Mice: If you're left-handed, you have to be very careful before purchasing an ergonomic gaming mouse. Before you buy, you want to verify that the mouse was designed to be used by the left-hand or is ambidextrously designed. Otherwise, you'll find that your performance and comfort will take a nosedive.

Extra Buttons: If you're into MMO's or games that consist of repetitive actions, you'll want to find a mouse that is designed with programmable buttons.

Mousepad: Mousepads will help your ergonomic gaming mouse's performance. Avoid using your mouse on bad surfaces and invest in a mousepad, there are so many available on the market, and the majority of them are very affordable.

Final Thoughts

There are so many things to consider when you go to purchase a great ergonomic gaming mouse. If you take all of these things into consideration, we’re sure that you’ll find the best ergonomic gaming mouse for your needs.


Portable Gaming PC and Gaming On the Go - What Are Your Options?

When you think of a gaming PC, what comes to mind is a hulking behemoth of a computer, frantically rotating fans, enormous graphics cards, and vibrantly-colored rainbow LED lighting. But, that doesn’t have to be the case anymore with mini gaming PCs that have become increasingly popular. Despite their compact and portable nature, these handy devices come with the most superior desktop hardware, among other full-scale components you’ll ever come across.

But with the barrage of options available, selecting the best portable gaming PC can be an uphill battle. Luckily, we’ve rounded up a few of the top products in the market to narrow down your search.

1. CUK Intel Hades Canyon: Beauty and Performance Rolled Into One

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If you’re on the quest for a machine that can do it all, then Cuk’s Hades Canyon is your best bet. With an i7-8809G Quad-core processor, a 2TB hard drive, AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH 4GB GDDR5 graphics card, and 32GB RAM, users get value for their money. And, with a frequency range of 3.10GHz to 4.20GHz, this machine can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.

Being VR-ready, the Hades Canyon appeals to users that revel in an immersive gaming experience. Impressively, all this power is crammed into a compact-PC form factor that has a striking resemblance to a console. It’s sleek, lightweight (approximately 6 pounds), and small enough to bundle into a messenger bag before transporting it elsewhere. Moreover, the computer has enough ports for six independent 4K display options if you decide to host a LAN party.

When it comes to aesthetics, you’ll see a skull on the computer’s case that gives you free rein to alter its color via the in-built software.

2. ASUS Vivo Mini: The Go-to For Competency and Affordability

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A miniature gaming computer doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to deliver efficiency. The Vivo Mini is proof of that. With up to 16GB DDR4 Memory, integrated 4K display, Display port, an i7-7500U processor, HDMI video outputs, and a frequency of 3.5GHz, this PC can handle it all. Nonetheless, the Vivo Mini doesn’t come with an operating system and a hard drive. While this may not be ideal for some, it’s worth shelling out some extra bucks for a copy of Windows and a separate hard drive.

You may not realize this, but it’s cheaper, in the long run, to take this route if you prefer adjusting your computer rig to suit your preferences. While the PC lacks a dedicated graphics card, it relies on an integrated Intel chipset that has just the right amount oomph to play your favorite games on it. As a lightweight machine (2.3 pounds), you can easily transport it anywhere you go.

3. ZOTAC CI660: A Mini but Mighty Gaming PC

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Don’t let the compact nature of the CI660 fool you because it’s a force to be reckoned with. With an Intel quad-core i7-8550U processor that operates at a high frequency of up to 4.0GHz, this PC has the power of a system thrice its size. With an available Display port 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 output, the CI660 seamlessly provides a dual display. The integrated Intel UHD graphics usher in 4K display at a resolution of 60Hz coupled with HEVC Main10 profile with ten-bit colors.

When it comes to durability, the cooling hardware of the CI660 entails a fanless system with 90% of the surface area built for silent computing and optimum breathability. Weighing only 4.2 pounds, this machine is a solid block of casing that’ll blend in like a subwoofer, soon making you forget its presence. But, that’s until it’s powered up and seamlessly runs your gaming library. The cherry on top is that it has two HDMI outputs coupled with four USB 3.0 ports.

4. Intel NUC 8 Performance-G Kit: AN Excellent Choice for Seamless, Immersive Gaming

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If you’re looking for a product that offers great potential for future upgrades, then you’re in luck because Intel’s NUC 8 was built with you in mind. So, upon purchasing it, you get a Vega RX Radeon M GH graphics card, 4GB of High Bandwidth Memory, and the 8th Generation i7 8809G processor. It also allows users to increase the RAM size by up to 32GB. And, it has sufficient space for a couple of hard drives. So, it’s perfect for those that prefer a bigger but slower and fast but small SSD hard drive.

Weighing only 6 pounds, this is the ideal building block for gear-heads that want to tweak each facet of their PC. While doing so is potentially pricey, the flexibility that’s birthed is incredibly useful. With rear and front ports for enhanced connectivity and up to six displays, the NUC 8 is worth every coin.

5. Lenovo Y720 Cube: An Excellent Choice for Gaming Events and LAN Parties

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Are gaming events and LAN parties right up your alley? Then Lenovo’s Y720 Cube was built with you in mind. Furthermore, its small size and in-built side handle make it more practical for players on the move. With 8GB DDR4 RAM, an i5-7400 processor, and AMD RX Radeon 480 graphics card, it’s not hard to understand why the Y720 is a top choice for many. It’s armed with a 1TB hard drive and 16GB SSD boot drive to ensure that users have more than enough space to store their files and for Windows 10 to boot.

Courtesy of the Lenovo Nerve Center feature, users have free rein to customize their setup for streamlined gameplay experience. For superior connectivity, the machine has an array of ports; 4 USB 2.0 and 3.0.

6. Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-6980BLK: The Key to Control, Customize and Conquer Your Gaming

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Do you solely intend to use a PC for gaming and nothing more? Then the ASM100-6980BLK is a strong option to consider. With a Steam controller and operating system in tow, users can navigate menus like a console, only with the power of Steam’s vast assortment of games.

The system has 8GB DDR3L RAM, an i7-4785T processor that operates at a frequency of 2.2 GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card, and 1TB hard drive. Combined, that’s a fairly reasonable set of specs for the price. Furthermore, when you consider that the PC has been built purposely with Steam games in mind, which bypasses various issues that could crop up if Windows was installed.

Nonetheless, the ASM100-6980BLK grants you free rein to install Windows 10 (even though it’s unnecessary) if you wish to go down that road. As a compact and lightweight computer, it has dimensions of 2.7” (height), 7.87” (depth), 7.87” (width), and weighs 1.81 kg (4 pounds). Therefore, taking it anywhere you go is a breeze. For better connectivity, the machine has a respectable 4 USB ports and 2HDMI outputs to accommodate all your headsets and controllers.

7. ASUS GR8 II-6GT024Z: The Choice of Champions

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As a small form computer rather than a mini gaming system, the GR8 is compact enough not to occupy too much room wherever it sits. Its ultra-quiet thermal chamber (up to 23% quieter than its rivals) delivers maximum cooling for daily use and actively cools when marathon gaming is in progress.

Regarding the specs, it’s an extraordinary system. You’ll find an i7-7700 processor with 8GB DDR4 memory, and GeForce GTX 1060 6G graphics card for unbeatable 4K steaming coupled with HD gaming. With 32GB DDR4 RAM and SSD memory, it’ll be a while (if at all) before you run out of storage space.

Closing Remarks

As manufacturers and creative builders continue pushing the limits of what’s possible with a portable gaming PC, it continues increasing in popularity. So, if gaming on the go is your style, then the above-reviewed options are your best bet for a sound product.


Types of Computer Cables and Connections - Computer Cable Guide

To a layman, there are just way too many computer cables to keep track of without getting just a little bit confused. The fact that they all have acronyms makes it even more overwhelming. Which cable do you need? Is it SATA or IDE? Is your USB cable Type A, B, or C, and what do they all do? What about your DisplayPort - is it the same thing as the Thunderbolt?

In the end, the best you can do is try to memorize as many of them as you can. That exercise can be futile unless you take the time to learn what all these cables do and why they are important. So here is a computer cable guide that will give you some insight into the cables that help power and operate your computer.

How Many Types of Computer Cables Are There?

There are two main types of computer cables:

  • Data Cables: These facilitate communication between devices. A good example would be the HDMI, DVI, or VGA cables that connect to your computer monitor or TV. There are a bunch of other data cables, such as USB cables, SATA, CAT5, and so on.
  • Power Cables: As the name suggests, these are any cables that help to power your devices. These include everything from the code that plugs into the wall to specific cables such as S/PDIF that is used with surround sound and DVDs.

Common Types of Computer Cables and Connections

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Let's start with the most common types of computer cables and connections:

The Computer Power Cord

The most basic of cables. This is also known as a "kettle plug" and connects your computer to the AC power socket. Without this cord, your computer, unless it is solar-powered, won't come on.

USB (Universal Serial Bus)

This is probably the most common type of computer connector cables on the planet. Nearly every computer peripheral device you can think of today has USB connectivity. From keyboards to mice, flash drives, headsets, wireless adapters, and so on.

There are many different types of USB cables starting from USB 1.0 to USB 3.0 and even USB 4.x. The difference between these USBs is the speed at which they can transmit data. USB 1.0 transmits data at 1.5 MB/s while USB 3.0 transmits data at 625 MB/s. They get faster with USB 4.x transmitting data at blistering speeds of 5 GB/s.

USB 2.0 ports have black tips, and USB 3.0 ports have blue tips with USB 3.0s being backward compatible (can make the connection between USB 2.0 devices and USB 3.0 ports albeit at lowered speeds).

VGA (Video Graphics Array) and DVI (Digital Visual Interface) Cables

The VGA cable is also known as the analog video cable or D-sub cable. This helps to transmit media from your computer to a VGA enabled projection devices such as a monitor or TV. VGAs have 15 pins arranged in three rows of 5 each.

DVI cables came as an improvement of VGA cables when display devices moved from analog to digital video technology.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) Cables

HDMI cables pretty much wiped out the VGAs and DVIs of the world. With the capability to send both video and audio signals (unlike VGA and DVI that send only video), these cables are only compatible with newer devices because they only send digital signals.

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They come in five different types from Type A (19 pins), Type B (29 pins), Type C Mini (19 pins and is mostly used with portable devices such as digital cameras), Type D Micro (19 pins used for mobile devices such as phones) and Type E which is much larger and used for automotive purposes.

DisplayPort

A DisplayPort is very much like an HDMI cable and was designed to replace VGA and DVI. This cable also transmits both video and audio in digital format.

Thunderbolt

You probably have one of these on you right now. Thunderbolt cables carry data and video from an external device to your computer. These are most common with Apple devices.

Ethernet Cable

Commonly referred to as RJ-45 cable, these are cables designed to connect your computer to the router or network switch. Before there was Wi-Fi, these were the cables that you need to connect to your computer to get the internet. Now they connect to your wireless router.

IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics)

This is an "ancient" cable that used to connect the storage devices to your computer's motherboard. If you ever opened up an old computer, you will notice a ribbon-looking cable that has more than two plugs.

SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment)

SATA is to IDE what HDMI is to VGA. Newer computers use SATA ports. These cables have higher data transfer speeds. A SATA cable has more of an L-shape and can be identified by two connectors that each has seven pins.

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There are also other lesser cables, such as the 3.5mm audio cable, also known as audio jacks that can connect to your computer and an audio device such as a microphone or speakers. These are the kind of cables that your wired headphones use to connect to your phone.

The thing about these cables is that, like almost everything else, they evolve with the times. Faster, better, and smarter cables are replacing older ones. A good example is the VGA to HDMI transformation and the IDE to the SATA shift. Within these types of cables, there are ranks often designated with ascending numbers with USB 3.0 being faster than USB 2.0 and such.


3 Best Mechanical Keyboards for Typing

3 Best Mechanical Keyboards for Typing

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

 

Sometimes you don’t need to stream. Sometimes you need to do a lot of typing. Words can be as important as visuals.

But typing all day can cause hand fatigue. Constant typing can also lead to tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. These are painful conditions and make doing your work harder.

Luckily, there are fantastic mechanical keyboards made for typing. They’re designed with comfort and optimization in mind. It’s about time you get your work and projects done faster.

We created a list of the 3 best mechanical keyboards for typing.

1. Perixx Ergonomic Periboard Mechanical Keyboard

Perixx Ergonomic Periboard Mechanical Keyboard

Connections: USB and 6 foot cable/wire 

Keys: 

The Perixx Ergonomic Periboard keyboard is officially in our top 5 keyboards. Officially it's not a mechanical keyboard but uses rubber domes, which are a definite step up to membrane keyboards.

This is a full-sized split keyboard. It takes you a while to get used to it but once you do, it’s relaxing on your hands and wrists.

Since the keys are laser printed, they’re easier to see. It also makes them more durable than other keys.

The keystrokes on this keyboard are tactile. This cuts down on the pressure you use when pressing down on a key. Comfort is key.

There are 7 multi-media hotkeys. It allows you to access all the media keys when you need them as well as other keys.

Other Cool Features:

The split-key and 3D design of this keyboard can match to your usual hand and arm movements. It was built to fit the natural shape of the human hand.

No matter who you are, this keyboard will be comfortable.

It also has an integrated palm rest. This super comfy palm rest allows you to rest your wrists. It takes away all that unnecessary pressure.

There’s a plug and play feature. Whether you use the USB function or the cable, you’ll be ready to go. You plug it in and you play.

There have been improvements for anyone with Repetitive Strain Injuries (or RSI).

RSIs can be painful, especially when you have to continue to do the repetitive task that hurt you in the first place. Like typing.

It’s compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10. 

Our Rating: Five stars out of five

2. Das Mechanical Keyboard Model S Professional Cherry MX Brown

Connections: USB port

Keys:

These Das keys are German-engineered. They’re gold-plated Cherry MX Brown mechanical key switches.

They create an awesome soft tactile feedback for comfort. Meaning the keys are soft as heck because as you press a key, there’s that soft bump. It’s called the Soft Pressure Point switch technology.

The feedback is super accurate so you don’t worry about errors and you speed up to get more done.

The keys are laser-etched inscriptions for clear buttons. And the laser etching stops the letters, words, and numbers from fading. They’ll last forever.

There are Special Media keys for easy shortcuts while you’re working. There are blue LEDs for Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock for easy access when you need them.

A great feature is the sleep function. Whenever you’re not using the keyboard, you can put it in sleep mode. It saves energy and helps the environment.

And there’s a full n-key rollover with a PS2 adapter, six keys with USB. This is awesome for fast typists.

These keys are going to last for at least 50 million keystrokes. 

Other Cool Features:

On this keyboard is two Hi-Speed USB 2.0 hub ports. You can charge or sync your cell phone or anything that’s USB compatible.

It comes with an extra long 6.6 foot USB cable and two USB connectors. One connector for the actual keyboard and one connector for the USB hub.

The cord goes through your desk’s grommet so it’s out of your way. And it saves you space.

It’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS. 

Our Rating: Four stars out of five

3. Rosewill RK-9000V2 Mechanical Keyboard

Rosewill RK-9000V2 Mechanical Keyboard

Connections: Wired 

Keys:

The Rosewell keys have 100% Cherry Red MX switches. They’re super responsive so you can type accurately and with speed.

And there’s fantastic textile feedback as you type. There’s a firm and consistent feel when you press down.

They are laser-etched. So, the numbers and letters aren’t going to fade away over time or from constant use.

There’s a blue LED that peeks out from behind the F12 key when you disable the Windows key.

There are multimedia keys so you have all the buttons you need. You don’t have to go through a process to get what you want when you want it.

There are shortcut keys including play, pause, stop, back, forward, volume down and volume up.

It has a full n-key rollover, perfect for fast typists and professional gamers.

These keys have a 50 million keystrokes so it’s going to last for a very long time. 

Other Cool Features:

On the bottom of the keyboard are rubber pads. It’s not going to slide around your desk while you’re typing fast or if you type hard. It’s not going anywhere.

It has a gold-plated USB and PS2 connector. Since it’s gold-plated, it’s not going to corrode like the average connector.

The connector has low latency. There's going to be very little to no lag while you’re typing away. 

Our Rating: Three and a half stars out of five 

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to be uncomfortable and sore while typing. You also don’t need to be slowed down by wretched keys that don’t live up to their promise.

Keyboards like these ruin your day and your project. If a lot of typing is part of your work, you don’t want to go for the cheaper option.

These three mechanical keyboards are perfect for typing.


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The Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor 2020 - The 10 Best Gaming Screens of the Year

When it comes to the ultrawide gaming monitor arena, the field just keeps expanding. Today, you have a plethora of options that all seek to cater to almost every single one of your needs. Are you addicted to pixels? You can get a 4K gaming monitor to soothe that need. How about the size, panel type, or things like refresh rates and screen-smoothing technology? If you just look hard enough, you can find a screen that ticks all your boxes. And therein lies the problem.

As gaming monitors have become easily available, picking the right one has become just a little bit trickier. Every ultrawide gaming monitor has its pros and cons, and some cost a great deal of money and might not be the right screen for your particular gaming platform. It's all a bit too much. But with the right guidance, you can easily sort through that mess and find the best gaming monitor that is just right for you.

Here are 10 of the most reliable, visually impressive, and technologically advanced ultrawide gaming monitor for your consideration:

ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q

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If looks and design are important to you, then you will absolutely love this ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q. Built out of Armor Titanium and Plasma Copper, this award-winning monitor looks like something that belongs in a futuristic spaceship.

However, it is not all about looks. This 34-inch monitor features 100Hz native refresh rate, NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, 21:9 aspect ratio, and a pixel density of 109 PPI. Couple all that with the 100% RGB for unbelievable color, and you have a monitor designed for the ultimate gamer.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous colors and image details
  • High resolution and pixel density
  • No lag stutter

Cons:

  • Only two USB ports

Verdict: Since your gaming world is mostly going to be set in a technologically advanced future, why not get a monitor that looks like it's from that time?

Dell Alienware AW3418DW

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The Alienware AW3418DW is a 34-inch curved monitor that supports a 1900 Radius and a 21:9 ratio. This gives you an impressive 178°/178° viewing angle from any given vantage point. This means that you are more immersed in the game and will no longer be missing any details due to poor peripheral vision.

Other than that, this monitor features sRGB99% color reproduction, which gives you some of the most vivid images you have ever seen. It also has 3.68 million pixels, which means that you will be able to see every single detail of the image on your screen from that telltale glint of steel far away to the dew on the grass. This puts you at an advantage as your enemy can't sneak up on you or easily use a sniper rifle on the horizon. Finally, the screen responds fast thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate, thus all but eliminating any lag in gameplay.

Pros:

  • Has 1900R curvature
  • No lag stutter
  • A lot of connectivity options from HDMI, USB 3.0 to DisplayPort

Cons:

  • It's a bit pricey and takes up a great deal of space

Verdict: For serious gamers who take their picture quality and lag stutters to heart, this is the right monitor for you.

LG 34GL750-B

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This LG 34GL750-B is a curved monitor that delivers nothing but exceptional performance. Fully FreeSync and G-sync compatible, it has HDR support and offers you unbelievably vibrant images and nothing but accurate colors. It's a 35-inch monitor that has a 2560 x 1080 IPS panel, features a 144Hz refresh rate, and an impressive 99% sRGB gamut.

Couple all that with a contrast ratio of 1000:1, 8-bit color depth, and 178° viewing angles, and you have yourself an impressive gaming monitor by any standard. Even though its response time of 5ms is the best in the world, thanks to the fact that it has FreeSync compatibility and 1ms Motion Blur Reduction, this is a ghosting free monitor.

Pros:

  • Has G Sync and FreeSync compatibility
  • Ghosting free monitor
  • 1ms Motion Blur Reduction

Cons:

  • Its HDR support is only software-based

Verdict: This is an impressive gaming monitor that eliminates ghosting and offers you incredibly vivid images at the same time.

Samsung 49-inch CRG90 Curved Gaming Monitor

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The Samsung 49-inch CRG90 has to be the widest of them all or, at the very least, up there with the best of them. With 32:9 aspect ratio and HDR technology, this ultra-wide 49-inch monster is the kind of gaming gear that dreams are made of.

It has a 120Hz refresh rate and can be wall-mounted, making it perfect for both gaming and office use. The 1800R curved panel is simply fantastic and allows you to immerse yourself into the game completely.

It also features Samsung's Quantum Dot technology, which simply upgrades the colors and your overall gaming experience. Couple that with Samsung's motion blur technology, and you have 1ms Motion Picture Response Time with this monster of a gaming monitor.

Pros:

  • Incredibly clear pictures
  • No lag stutter
  • Gorgeous design that supports multitasking

Cons:

  • Samsung doesn't have the best customer support in the world

Verdict: This gaming monitor is huge. If you don't mind the price and are looking for something that will completely blow your gaming world wide open, then you have to go for this one.

Acer Predator Gaming X34 PBMIPHZX

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The Acer Predator Gaming X34 PBMIPHZX has to be one of the best gaming monitors today. This is a 34-inch curved monitor that has 3440 x 1440 resolution, 1900R, and zero-frame design. To say that it's gorgeous would be to understate the fact.

It features a 100Hz refresh rate, and it has an IPS display that is supported by NVIDIA G-SYNC technology giving this monitor a 4ms response time. Couple that with Acer's VisionCare technology that ensures your eyes are protected during long gaming hours, and you have a monitor that was designed for hobby gamers. You can easily connect it to a wide range of devices thanks to the numerous connectivity options (1 HDMI port, 1 DisplayPort, 4 USB 3.0 ports).

Pros:

  • It has built-in 7W speakers
  • Protects your eyes during long gaming hours
  • It offers 100% RGB with ColorPlus technology

Cons:

  • It has a bit of backlight bleed

Verdict: This is a gorgeous machine by any standard. If you want something that performs well, protects your eyes during those long gaming hours, and is affordable, then this is it.

LG 34UC80-B

lg 34uc80 b image

The LG 34UC80-B is a 34-inch curved monitor that immerses you fully into your gaming world. While it might not be the biggest in the world, it more than makes up for that by offering you 3440 x 1440 resolution, 99% of sRGB, and a pixel area that is much bigger than what you get with an ultra-wide FHD (1.8 times bigger).

While it's a wonderful gaming monitor, it also does well when used by people who do a lot of graphics design and would like something that offers them vivid images and colors. Designed to give easy access with LG Screen Split, this is the kind of monitor you want when you are big on multitasking.

Pros:

  • Excellent for both gaming and office use
  • Easy access ports
  • Thanks to LG Screen Split, it's excellent for multitasking

Cons:

  • It doesn't come with a standard PC power cord

Verdict: Are you looking to do a bit of gaming, designing, or photography? This is the monitor you need.

Samsung 34-inch SJ55W Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

samsung sj55w image

This ultrawide Samsung 34-inch SJ55W is a high-quality, highly affordable 34-inch monitor that offers decent connectivity options. With it, you get two HDMI ports, 3.5mm audio connection, and a DisplayPort. While it has a response time of 4ms, you might occasionally experience some ghosting in your viewing, which makes it a bit odd for fast-paced games.

Other than that, it offers you a wonderful 3000:1 contrast ratio, 178° viewing angles, a 75Hz refresh rate, and excellent all-around functionality. It is, by far, one of the most ideal monitors for both work and casual gaming.

Pros:

  • It is very affordable
  • Offers crystal clear images
  • Features AMD FreeSync

Cons:

  • You will experience some ghosting in fast-paced games

Verdict: If you are looking for something affordable and ideal for casual gaming and office work, then you have found it in this monitor.

BENQ EX3501R

benq ex3501r image

Designed for smooth gameplay, the BENQ EX3501R is a 35-inch curved 1800R monitor for gaming. It comes equipped with HDR technology, AMD FreeSync compatible, and smart brightness and contrast levels that bring your images to life.

The monitor has a sturdy stand that can easily be adjusted to suit your particular needs and offers you USB-C connectivity.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality images
  • Immersive experience
  • The color contrast and brightness are perfectly balanced

Cons:

  • Doesn't feature G-Sync

Verdict: This is a decent gaming monitor that takes picture quality very seriously. It might be simplistic in some ways, but it does deliver an excellent gaming experience for the price.

Dell U3818DW

dell u3818dw image

At 38 inches of pure awesomeness, this Dell U3818DW is s a formidable gaming monitor that can also be a useful workstation. As a wide and curved screen, this monitor almost fully immerses you into your gaming world by almost completely blocking out any peripheral distractions.

Couple that with its 3840 x 1600 resolution, 21:9 aspect ratio, and 9W speakers, you have a gaming monitor that delivers. It has a wide range of connectivity options, including USB-C.

Pros:

  • A wide range of connectivity ports
  • Impressive pixel density
  • Huge and immersive screen size

Cons:

  • It has a bit of ghosting

Verdict: While the 9W speakers aren't the best when it comes to bass production, the screen size, and picture quality more than make up for it.

Dell Ultrasharp U3415W

dell ultrasharp u3415w image

The Dell Ultrasharp U3415W is a 34-inch curved monitor that was specifically designed for day to day activities as well as gaming. Equipped with an impressively cinematic WQHD 3440×1440 resolution, the display images are nothing short of miraculous. It has multiple ports, which means you can display images from several devices at the same time.

Fully equipped with 9W speakers, this monitor may not have the deepest bass in the world but it does make your gaming experience that much more immersive. This is what you buy when you want to occasionally turn your work computer into a gaming machine.

Pros:

  • Beautiful design
  • Excellent picture quality and resolution
  • Can simultaneously display images from two devices

Cons:

  • It doesn't have the same level of clarity as dedicated gaming monitors

Verdict: Why don't you give your computer an upgrade with this monitor that can be turned into a gaming accessory?

Any one of these ultrawide gaming monitors is designed to give you the best gaming experience for the price. Pick one and start enjoying your PC gaming.


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Best Operating System for Gaming on Laptops and Desktops

You now have a gaming computer that has the most powerful specs available on the market. It's time for you to start thinking about what the best operating system for gaming is.

The operating system is so obvious that it can be something that can be overlooked when building a gaming computer. So, if you don't know anything else about gaming computers, remember this: No matter how bad or good the other components are in your gaming computer, the best operating system for gaming will add unsurpassed performance to all of your games.

Operating Systems: What Are They?

The operating system is what helps you perform all the essential functions on a computer. It doesn't just manage all the peripheral software and hardware; it also accesses the CPU for memory and storage purposes. But the thing you're probably most interested in is that it allows gamers to run fun applications such as games.

Operating systems can also manage the hardware resources of your computer, such as utilizing the purposes of controlling peripherals and scheduling tasks.

Years ago, the only operating system that was available was MS-DOS. Still, the complexity of it led to the creation of a better alternative.

Today, there are three main platforms: macOS, Linux, and Windows, which can support more natural interfaces that make them the best operating system for gaming. There is no doubt that Mac and Windows are the best operating software for personal and home use. When using your computer for personal use (e.g., writing and web browsing), you don't need a powerful operating system. But when it comes to gaming, the Windows operating system is the best operating system for gaming.

There is no doubt that the Linux operating system is the best option when it comes to talking about the fastest and lightest operating system. This type of operating system doesn’t require a powerful processor like Windows does.

The Best Operating System for Gaming

Several different operating systems are considered to be the best for gaming on laptops and desktops. Below we'll go over each one to help you understand which one would be best for your gaming habits.

Windows 10

Hands down, the best operating system for gaming is Windows 10. There are several reasons why Windows 10 is the best operating system for gaming, but the biggest reason is that there is support.

Windows can support more games than any other operating system. It’s not just the number of games that Windows can support. Instead, it’s the number of popular titles that are available on Windows that aren’t available on any other operating system.

windows 10 laptop image

Windows 10 from Microsoft is a highly optimized and very efficient operating system. With it comes new characteristics that are concentrated on Xbox programs and the game's hub. Additionally, it has Direct X12, which is the most updated version of Microsoft's platform for running games.

Along with the features just mentioned, the best part about Windows 10 is that it does little updates instead of creating a brand-new operating system throughout the years. So, with Windows 10, you'll find that you can use this operating system for years to come without having to buy a new upgraded version every year.

Pros:

  • Stable
  • There are a wide variety of online games you can play
  • User-friendly

Cons:

  • Security can be an issue
  • Breakdown issues

Windows 8

Windows 8 has close competition with Windows 10. With this operating system, you can run over 20,000 types of games. However, there is a downside to this because most new games aren't available to Windows 8 anymore since the creation of Windows 10.

windows 8 laptop image

There is also the problem with compatibility since some video games will no longer work correctly. Other than that, Windows 8 is extremely stable and features wide-ranging and perfect drivers for the entire hardware.

Pros:

  • User-friendly
  • High stability
  • Well-known in the gaming industry

Cons:

  • Easy to customize
  • Hardware expenses

Mac OS

Every single Apple product is built with the Mac operating system already pre-installed. The updated operating system for Mac is Mojave, which is the updated version of OS Catalina.

After the Sierra operating system series, the Mojave operating system is the updated and more modern series for the Mac operating system.

macOS is a highly recommended operating system because it has excellent visuals and graphics. Plus, Mac is more secure than other operating systems and grants very few chances for viruses and threats to attack your computer when you're on the internet.

macOS can run Steam and can support a small collection of games, including popular titles liked League of Legends and Minecraft. However, the main problem with using MacOS as your gaming software is that there isn’t enough support from game developers to make games that work on operating systems that aren’t Windows.

mac os desktop laptop image

Games are typically made to be used on a Windows computer. If games do eventually come to macOS, there’s no guarantee that they will continue to be updated regularly or optimized properly.

The good news for Apple lovers is that the same issue that makes MacOS a bad system for gaming is also the same reason why iOS is better for mobile games. Just like PC games are made for Windows computers, more mobile game developers are focused on making games for iOS.

So, while macOS won’t stack up to Windows in terms of high-end gaming, there is a rapidly growing market for mobile games, and it looks like Apple will dominate in that arena.

Pros:

  • High-quality graphics and visuals
  • No threats online
  • Secure

Cons:

  • High cost
  • Limited gaming options
  • Performance decreases with heavy graphical games

Linux

Linux isn't an operating system you probably considered when searching for the best operating system for gaming. Linux is well-known for being challenging to use, even though, in recent years, extra user-friendly options have become available.

With the Linux operating system, you're able to change almost everything as long as you have the required information. This is one of the reasons that the Linux operating system is so popular among power users who want to use the complicated tasks of Linux.

linux os image

For ordinary users, Linux has a complex learning curve that can be challenging for them to use. Some users are scared of using the command line, and it could take a long time to learn the commands that you have to use to make the operating software useful. Because of this, Linux isn't an excellent choice for less tech-savvy people.

Linux also provides users with a free end to explore options, unlike Windows, which limits user options. However, the speed and performance of Linux is a disadvantage of using it for gaming purposes.

Pros:

  • Unrestricted options
  • Robust system

Cons:

  • Performance issues
  • Slower speed
  • Sophisticated design

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best operating system for gaming can be difficult because of the options available to you. But if you use this guide to help you figure out which is best for your gaming preferences, then you’ll be good to go. Before you go with any one operating system, figure out what your gaming habits are going to be so you can decide which is the best operating system for you.

There’s no need to worry about finding the right operating system because you have all the information right at your fingertips. But remember to always stay on top of finding the best operating system for gaming because it could change any day.

You can do this by looking at the unbiased comparison between their features and pros and cons. We've already started to do that in this article. Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better idea of what you're looking for in the best operating system for gaming.


Do You Need a Dedicated Streaming PC for Twitch?

Live streaming yourself playing video games has become a popular hobby amongst gaming enthusiasts. With over 15 million daily active users, Twitch is the original platform for games live streaming. If you’re looking to start streaming on Twitch, then you’ll need to make sure that you have the right equipment to do so.

One of the main questions here is: Do you need a second dedicated PC for streaming on Twitch, or can you do it all with your existing PC? In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of a dedicated streaming PC and some options for building one.

Pros for Having a Dedicated Streaming PC

One pro of having a dedicated streaming PC for Twitch is that it will keep your gaming environment separate from your streaming one. This will mean that you can keep your hard drives for each purpose separate and organized.

A PC for gaming will also have different requirements for a PC for streaming, and so, with separate PCs, you can make sure that you have the best machine for each purpose. For example, on your gaming PC, all you’ll need to focus on is having your games and the right input devices (a mouse, a keyboard, etc.).

Likewise, all you’ll need for your streaming PC is a microphone for picking up audio and a way to control what the audience is seeing (e.g., Open Broadcaster Software’s Advanced Scene Manager, which allows you to control the layout of your streaming feed).

Another advantage of a dedicated streaming PC relates to encoding and image quality. Encoding is the process of converting raw video and audio data into a compressed file type that can be understood and played by your streaming software. For streaming to happen, encoding needs to be occurring first. Encoding requires a large amount of processing power and having your streaming PC’s computer processing unit (CPU) able to focus completely on this task will result in better image quality for your stream.

dedicated gaming pc image

At the same time, having your streaming PC’s CPU focus on encoding means that your gaming PC’s CPU can entirely focus on running your game with the highest quality settings. Again, this will increase the image quality of your stream. Also, because your gaming PC will be doing all the rendering work for your game, the processor of your streaming PC can focus on simply streaming high-quality video.

Finally, in terms of pros, you won’t need a graphics card for your streaming PC as it won’t require a lot of graphical power. You’ll be able to get away with simply the integrated graphics processing unit that comes as part of your CPU.

Cons of Having a Dedicated Streaming PC

The most obvious con of having a dedicated streaming PC is the extra cost involved. Not only will you have to buy a second PC in the first place, but these two PCs will take up more power than just one. You may also end up using more bandwidth on your internet connection.

Another con is the complexity of having two PCs. For example, you’ll need to find a way of sending in-game audio from one PC to the other to transmit that with your stream. To do this, you can either connect your two PCs over a virtual network (less reliable), or physically connect them using a cable, an audio interface, or an audio mixer.

Practical consideration of having two PCs is the space that it will require. Two PCs will obviously take up more room than one and, if your gaming space is limited, it may not be the best idea. Again on a practical note, you may need to plug each PC into two separate electrical outlets to avoid overloading and tripping your breaker. Do you have enough outlets for this?

More computers mean more fans in the room, which may cause interference with your audio. It also means you’ll have another heat source in the room, which could get uncomfortable on hot days.

Lastly, a streaming PC has different requirements than a gaming PC, and it isn’t necessarily something that you can get right out of the box. You will probably need to build your streaming PC yourself, which is not too difficult, but it is extra work.

Taking into account all of these cons, if you’re serious about live streaming, then a dedicated streaming PC is still a great idea. Next, we’ll cover what makes up a good streaming PC.

Building a Dedicated Streaming PC

Having a dedicated streaming PC is an extra cost but, due to the lower specifications required for this machine, we estimate that you could build it for just $400. Here are the elements that you’ll need to gather:

CPU

amd ryzen 3 3200g processor image

For an affordable CPU, we recommend the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G Processor. This quad-core processor comes with plenty of power for a streaming PC. It also comes integrated with advanced Radeon Vega 8 graphics; all you’ll need in terms of graphical power for a streaming PC is output to a monitor, and this CPU’s integrated graphics processing unit (GPU) is perfect for that. As an added bonus, this CPU comes fitted with AMD’s Wraith Stealth cooler, meaning that you won’t need to buy a separate cooling unit.

Motherboard

asus b450m a prime image

The motherboard is the part of your computer that holds all of its components together. A good motherboard will have a fast bus speed, which means that the circuit (bus) that connects the different parts together can handle a lot of data at the same time. For a motherboard for your dedicated streaming PC, how about the ASUS B450M-A Prime? It’s compatible with the Ryzen CPU mentioned above.

RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) is a hardware device that allows information to be stored and retrieved on a computer. Information is accessed randomly instead of sequentially (like it is on a CD or hard drive), and, because of this, access times with RAM are faster.

patriot viper 4 series 3000mhz ddr4 image

The more RAM your computer has, the faster it will be because it won’t need to fall back on using the slower hard drive for data storage. A good option for your dedicated streaming PC is the Patriot VIPER 4 Series 3000MHz 8GB Dual Channel DDR4, which comes as two sticks of 4GB RAM each.

SSD

corsair force series mp300 m.2 ssd image

The Solid-State Drive (SSD) is the data storage technology that is beginning to replace hard disk drives (HDD). Although we have an HDD in this list below, we also recommend getting a CORSAIR FORCE Series MP300 120GB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD. This will allow your streaming software to run faster.

HDD

western digital blue 2tb image

For a hard drive, you can’t go wrong with the Western Digital Blue 2TB. With 2TB of storage, this will give you plenty of space to store your streaming videos. It also comes with free Acronis True Image WD Edition cloning software, which will enable you to back up your videos.

Case

cooler masters masterbox q300l image

You won’t have a dedicated streaming PC without a case to house all of the components. You’ll need something that will fit your CPU and motherboard, leaving enough room for cooling and cable management. The Cooler Master’s MasterBox Q300L is ideal for those on a budget and still looks great. It’s compact but has a variety of cooling configurations too.

PSU

thermaltake smart 500w psu image

You’ll also need some way of getting power to your machine. In terms of a power supply unit (PSU), we rate the Thermaltake Smart 500W 80+ White Certified PSU. It guarantees 80% or higher efficiency under normal loads.

Conclusion

So that’s our recommendation for the ideal dedicated streaming PC. Bear in mind that you’ll also need an operating system (go for Windows 10) and an internet connection (wired or with a WiFi adapter). If you want to stream from your console, too, you’ll also need a capture card to convert your gameplay to a streaming-friendly format. We recommend the Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro.


4 Best Capture Cards for PCs

4 Best Capture Cards for PCs

4 Best Capture Cards for PCs

 

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

When it comes to capture cards, you don’t want to sacrifice quality for price. It’s one of those pieces of equipment for streaming that you can’t skimp on.

High-quality streaming with no lagging requires the best of the best. Sometimes to be a professional, you have to throw in some money on your streaming business.

At the end of the day, that’s what gamer streaming is and evolves into. A business.

To help you grow your streamer business, we did our research on the best capture cards for PCs.

Check out these 4 capture cards so you can project your gameplay from one computer to another. So, you can stream it on your favorite platform.

1. Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket Portable Game Capture Card

Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket Portable Game Capture Card

Type of Capture Card: External capture card/USB capture card 

Type of Consoles: PCs, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, XBox One, Wii U 

PC Requirements: Windows 7/8/10 

Resolution: 1080 pixels 

Frame Rate: 60 frames per second 

Cool Features

You can take this game capture card on the go. It’s small enough that it can fit in your hoodie pockets. You can take it everywhere.

It has a built-in microphone jack. You can give commentary while you’re gaming at your best. There’s no hassle of connecting everything.

You plug in your microphone to the 3.5mm jack and you’re set to go.

This capture device has a record button. You don’t have to go to your PC to get it ready. With the push of a button your recording and with another push it’s off.

It uses an H.264 format so it records high-quality gaming videos. And you know how high-quality videos take up a lot of space? Not for this capture card.

It takes up a third of the disk space that MPEG-2 files take up. 

Our Rating: 4 stars out of 5

2. AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus Capture Card 

AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus Capture Card

Type of Capture Card: External capture card/USB capture card

Type of Consoles: PCs, Macs, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, XBox One

PC Requirements: Windows 7/8.1/10 with Intel Core i5 CPU i5-3330, NVIDIA GTX 650/AMD Radeon R7 250X, 4 GB RAM

Laptop Requirements: Windows 7/8.1/10 with Intel Core i7-4810MQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4 GB RAM

Recording Quality: Records and streams in 4K quality video

Resolution: 1080 pixels 

Frame Rate: 60 frames per second

Cool Features

AVerMedia’s gaming capture card promises no lag between gameplay and streaming for all your friends. It uses an integrated pass-through to achieve such quality.

Everything you’re doing will be happening in real-time.

It has plug-and-play technology. You don’t have to install it inside of your PC or do an hour-long setup to get it going.

It has UVC technology. The technology doesn’t need any extra hardware or software or installation to start.

All you have to do to get started streaming is to plug the card into both PCs.

You don’t need a PC to use the capture card if you’re traveling. You press the hot button to record your gameplay. It’ll save your gameplay on an SD card.

Our Rating: 4 and a half stars out of 5 

3. MiraBox Game Capture Card 

MiraBox Game Capture Card

Type of Capture Card: External capture card/USB capture card 

Type of Consoles: PCs, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Wii U, XBox One 

PC Requirements: Windows 7/8/10, Linux, Windows Media Encoder software, Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder software, Real Producer Plus software, VLC software 

Resolution: 1080 pixels 

Frame Rate: 60 frames per second 

Cool Features

This MiraBox capture card is another plug and play model. There’s no installing software or hardware. There aren't any drivers to install into you gaming console. You can get to streaming right away.

There’s a pro camera to webcam solution. Yes, you can use it to project footage on your camera or cam to your PC. It’s great for more than gameplay.

There are several possibilities with this capture card.

The USB port has a high-speed transmission. It’s another tool to prevent lagging between gameplay and streaming.

Speaking of lag, there’s zero latency when you use the HDMI input port too. Yes. We said ZERO latency.

This capture card will impress you when you test it out. 

Our Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5 

4. Elgato Game Capture Card HD60 Pro

Elgato Game Capture Card HD60 Pro

Type of Capture Card: Internal capture card/PCIe x1

Type of Consoles: PCs, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, XBox One 

PC Requirements: Windows 10 (64-bit), Intel HD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600, Intel i5-4xxx quad-core 

Resolution: 1080 pixels 

Frame Rate: 60 frames per second 

Cool Features 

This internal capture card uses an advanced and onboard H.264 encoder. The encoder lets you record as much footage as you can. All in near-perfect quality for your viewers.

Despite the high-quality streaming, it also can save the footage without taking up a ton of space.

And there’s no lag between your gameplay and the streaming. They have Instant Gameview which creates low latency. Always a plus.

You get to control your streaming. You can add your webcam while streaming. Plus, you can even use overlays.

It has Live Commentary so you can record your voice while streaming your gameplay. It records and streams your commentary as you go.

The flashback recording is one of the best features of this capture card. With flashback recording, you can go back to your gameplay to record it.

It’s great insurance in case you forget to record while you’re playing.

Not only do you get a capture card but you also get a high and low profile bracket and a 6.5 foot HDMI cord.

Our Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Final Thoughts

We’ve shared some of the best gamer capture cards on the market. Our favorite, by far, is the Elgato Game Capture Card HD60 Pro. It’s for the professional gamer and business person. Whatever capture device you choose, make sure you do your research prior to purchasing.


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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 4K Benchmarks: Good for 4K, Great for High-FPS 1440p

Graphic cards are a big deal in the world of computer gaming. This is why when Nvidia released the GTX 1080, it swept the gaming world off its feet. Although the graphics card is pricier than previous generations, there is no doubt that it puts up a fantastic performance, is highly overclockable, and it has a great design too. With an 8GB video RAM known as GDDR5X and a VRAM speed of 10GHz, the GTX 1080 is quite an impressive GPU graphics card.

But really, how fast is the GTX 1080, especially at 4k benchmark? How valid is the claim by Nvidia that the GTX 1080 is faster than two GTX 980s – its predecessor – in SLI? Before we take a look at the benchmarks, let’s quickly address some key concepts for those who may be new to all of these.

You might find some of these terms confusing, especially if you are entirely new to them. But not to worry, a lot of people don’t know what they mean either, so you are not alone. Let’s begin with a brief explanation of some of these terms.

  • Benchmark: A computer benchmark is a standard used to compare the performance or speed of internet connections, software programs, and hardware components. In this case, we are focusing on the graphic card GTX 1080 at 4k benchmarks.
  • 4K: This is a display standard for monitors, televisions, and other video equipment with about 4,000 pixels. A common 4k standard is the UHD (Ultra HD), having a resolution of 3,840 pixels wide by 2,160 pixels tall (3840 x 2160 pixels).
  • FPS: This stands for Frames Per Second. It measures the number of full-screen images displayed on a screen per second, known as frame rate. The higher the FPS, the better and smoother the gaming experience. For an optimum gaming experience, go for 60 FPS. But if your PC is not too good, stay within 30 to 40 FPS.

Now that we have the basics out of the way, let's take a closer look at the GTX 1080 at 4K and 1440p benchmarks.

Testing Methodology

We will compare the GTX 1080 with a single GTX 980 and dual GTX 980s using the following test bench:

  • Processor: Intel Corei7 5930K (clocked at 3.5GHz)
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Several game benchmarks at 1440p and 4K

1440p Benchmarks

At 1440p, the GTX 1080 lags behind the dual 980s by just two percent in the Shadow of Mordor benchmark. However, when pitched against a single GTX 980, there’s a yawning gap between the two. The GTX 980 has a 37.6 average FPS while the GTX 1080 goes up to 62.8 average FPS. That’s a massive 67 percent performance gap! Gaming at 60+ FPS is quite a different and better experience than gaming at 30+ FPS.

At 1440p, where frame buffer size plays a significant role, the GTX 1080 falls slightly behind the dual GTX 980s by one percent in the BioShock Infinite benchmark. The Pascal card still didn’t gain victory against the dual 980s in Metro Last Light at 1440p. However, it reached up to 45.6 average FPS in the Metro Last Light benchmark at 1440p.

1440p Conclusion

There are not quite many single-GPU cards that can get up to 45.6 average FPS under the Metro Last Light benchmark. For the GTX 1080 to achieve this feat in one of the most graphically demanding games ever is very impressive. If you are looking to max out 1440p games enjoying an average 30+ FPS, the GTX 1080 is the card to get.

4K Benchmarks

The GTX 1080 at 4K takes the lead against the dual 980s by four percent in the BioShock Infinite benchmark thanks to its 8GB video RAM. But more impressively, it played BioShock Infinite maxed out at 4K with an average 65.5 FPS!

However, the GTX could not beat the dual 980s in the Metro Last Light at 4K benchmark. It had a poor rendering at 19.3 FPS, which is unplayable. But that's not to say the dual 980s were able to make any headway at 4K in the Metro Last Light benchmark. They also had a poor unplayable rendering at 22 FPS.

There's a pretty massive gap between a single GTX 980 card and the GTX 1080 at 4K benchmark. The single GTX 980 came up to an average 34.6 FPS, while the GTX 1080 went up to an ordinary 59 FPS. That's a whopping 71 percent difference!

Just as in the Shadow of Mordor at 1440p, the single GTX 980 gives you a 30 FPS gaming experience while the GTX 1080 at 4K benchmark gives you almost 60 FPS gaming experience.

4K Conclusion

The GTX 1080 at 4K benchmark is indeed capable of handling most games with at least 30+ average FP. It might not max out every single game at 4K, but then how many single-GPUs can accomplish that? If your goal is to max out all heavy games at 4k with 60+ average FPS, then you will have to get two GTX 1080 cards.

In Closing

In terms of performance, no previous generation of GPU from Nvidia comes close to the GTX 1080, even at 4K benchmarks. Although it doesn’t quite hit the average 60 FPS setting at 4K, it can still get above 30 or even up to 40 FPS at 4K.

If you are looking for the most powerful and fastest single consumer graphics card in the market, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 is the GPU to go for. It is indeed a 4K-capable card. Although its predecessor, the GTX 980, is an impressive GPU, the GTX 1080 is almost 70 percent faster than the GTX 980 at 4K. Now that’s pretty impressive! The GTX 1080 truly lives up to its billing.


intel core i5 or i7 for gaming featured image

Intel Core i5 or i7 For Gaming – Which Should I Choose?

When you’re buying a new computer for gaming, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is which central processing unit (CPU) to get. The CPU is the part of the computer responsible for processing data, i.e., reading and processing instructions. The more instructions your computer can work on per second, the faster it will be. Most computers now have multi-core processors, which means that they have multiple CPUs and, therefore, can process multiple instructions at the same time.

Two multi-core CPUs that are often pitted against each other are the Intel Core i5 and the Intel Core i7. While the differences between the Core i3 and the Core i9, for example, are clear - the i3 is a budget option, whereas the i9 is for high-end users who’ll be working on content creation (e.g., video, 3D modeling) - the differences between the i5 and the i7 are less so.

In this article, we’re going to help you decide whether you need an i5 or i7 for gaming by laying out the differences and helping you to choose which specific model of the CPU you need.

Cost

The most obvious difference between the i5 and the i7 is cost. The i7 generally costs more than the i5 by several hundred dollars. When shopping for your machine, if all of the other specifications of your computer are kept equal, a Core i7-equipped PC will cost more than a Core i5-equipped one. Whether this extra cost is justified really depends on how well the two CPUs work in comparison to each other. We’ll cover more on this below.

Basic Head-to-Head Comparison

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You can compare the i5 and i7 CPUs on UserBenchmark.com to see how they perform against each other head-to-head. As you can see, the i7 only slightly outperforms the i5, with an average bench of 98.6% versus 93.5%. But, whether the extra cost of the i7 is worth it really depends on a few other factors.

Cores

As a rule, the more cores a CPU has, the better it will perform. Core i5 and Core i7 processors from the 8th and 9th generations will usually have at least four cores. Many of the later models will have 6. Only i7 CPUs from the 9th generation or newer can come with eight cores.

How many cores you need depends on what you’ll be using your computer for. 4 cores should be enough for most mainstream users but, if you want a high-end gaming experience, you’ll need to go for eight cores, which means getting an i7 CPU.

Hyper-Threading

Another difference between i5 and i7 CPUs is their Hyper-Threading capabilities. Hyper-Threading technology allows each core to work on two processing threads at the same time, effectively doubling the speed of your computer. This is useful if you’re running multiple programs at the same time, if you’re doing content creation (e.g., transcoding and rendering), or even sometimes when you’re surfing the web (so that different page elements can be loaded simultaneously).

While newer generation i5 and i7 CPUs have Hyper-Threading technology, not all 8th and 9th generation models do. It depends on the specific model of CPU that you’re buying. You can check whether your model has Hyper-Threading using Intel’s ARK product specifications database.

If you’re going to be playing high-powered games, then you might want to consider having Hyper-Threading because some games will not perform well unless there are eight processing threads available. This means you’ll either need a CPU with eight cores, or you could have a CPU with fewer cores but with Hyper-Threading.

Turbo Boost

Turbo Boost is a feature that allows some of the CPU’s cores to run faster than their base speed (“clock speed”) when only one or two of the cores are needed. This is also known as “overclocking.” Both i5 and i7 processors can come with Turbo Boost, but i7 processors generally achieve higher clock speeds.

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In terms of gaming, overclocking can reduce rendering times, and increase in-game performance, so it might be a feature that you want to look for in your CPU. Each processor that you’re considering will have a rating for its base and boosted clock speeds so that you can look out for this.

That said, while higher clock speed is usually better, it also depends on how long the processor can sustain boosted speed for and on how many cores. This is affected by the design and the cooling capabilities of the processor.

Cache

The cache 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 larger the cache, the more efficiently your computer will run.

Currently, Core i5 CPUs generally have up to 9MB of level 3 cache, while Core i7s generally have up to 12MB. If you’re going to be multitasking, then you might want to consider a CPU with a larger cache. Usually, when you’re playing games, though, that’s all you’re doing. So if you’re only going to be using your PC for playing games and not other high powered tasks such as designing, then you might not need to think about cache.

GPU

Another consideration in terms of whether to go for the i5 or i7 is the graphics processing unit (GPU). Processors come with their own integrated graphics card for processing the images that appear on your screen.

That said, if you are using your PC for gaming, then the integrated graphics card won’t be enough. You’ll need a separate GPU, known as a discrete graphics card. So, if you’re serious about PC gaming, don’t worry about the integrated GPU of your processor, and focus on getting a discrete graphics card. In this instance, it doesn’t really matter whether you have an i5 or an i7 CPU.

What to Buy

So, when choosing between the i5 or the i7 for gaming, it’s more important to look at the individual specification of the CPU that you’re buying. You’ll most likely need one with eight cores that support Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost, and that has a large cache. As the i7 is the option that comes with all of these features, for the best performance, we recommend choosing an i7 processor.

If you’re more of a casual gamer, then a cheaper i5 CPU could work just fine for you. You can save yourself some money and still have a great gaming experience. That said, when buying your PC, play around with the online configurator to see if you can afford a Core i7 powered machine. The extra cost might be small enough to make it worth the investment.

Something that may be more important to take into account when choosing a CPU would be the generation of the processor. To make sure you’re getting recent technology, try to find a processor with the naming structure Core ix-8xxx, Core ix-9xxx, or even Core ix-10xxx. Also, to get better performance within each generation and each class (i.e., i5 or i7), it’s usually best to go for a processor with a higher model number. For example, the i7-9700K processor has a higher model number and so will generally perform better than i5-9600K. You’ll still want to look out for other capabilities, such as Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost, though.

There’s also Core X-Series processors to consider. The Core X-Series desktop processor family is aimed at high-performance users, such as extreme gamers and video editors, e.g., the Core i7-7820X. At well over $500 for one of these chips, this is only really worth the investment for super serious gamers.