About Matthew Connatser
Matthew is a PC Hardware Writer at XDA, having previously written for Digital Trends, Tom's Hardware, and other publications since 2018. He's mainly interested in the three way fight between AMD, Intel, and Nvidia in PCs and servers. He also has a degree in history and linguistics.
DDR4 vs DDR5 RAM is one of the most discussed topics in the PC computing space right now. Here's everything you need to know.
Now that Intel and AMD's latest CPUs both support DDR5, a new era in memory has begun. However, that doesn't mean DDR4 is all in the past. Intel's 12th- and 13th-generation CPUs support DDR4, as do AMD's more affordable Ryzen 5000 CPUs, which are a popular choice for anyone on a budget that's looking for good value.
With cutting-edge PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 support, AM5 motherboards can power high-performance PCs. But with so many choices, which should you get?
AMD's best Ryzen 7000 CPUs have been out for over half a year, and so have 600 series motherboards that use AMD's brand new AM5 socket, which introduced support for great DDR5 RAM, PCIe 5.0, and USB4. All of these features are going to be important for enabling the best GPUs, awesome SSDs, and other cutting-edge peripherals you might want to plug into a motherboard.
Ever since I got into PC building and gaming, benchmarking has been one of my favorite hobbies, and here are five reasons why.
For most people, benchmarking is what you do to make sure your PC is performing normally and is giving you the kind of performance you need, most often in games where you may find yourself tweaking graphics settings to get the right balance. While I'm sure many, or maybe even most people, find this kind of stuff boring, I absolutely love benchmarking. Ever since I built my first PC about a decade ago, I have loved seeing what my components are capable of, and here's why.
Just purchased a new Steam Deck? There's a wonderful world of gaming awaiting you, and here are some first steps to take.
The Steam Deck is a straightforward device. It's a handheld gaming PC that relies on Steam and Linux, making it basically the Nintendo Switch for PC gaming. But while you can just immediately get to gaming on your shiny new Deck, there are some things you might want to do before, during, and after you buy it to get the most out of it.
Fewer devices that just use the highest-end silicon and more that are purpose-built, please
When the Steam Deck came out late last year, it was great in spite of its relatively older hardware, most of which was a generation or two out of date. On paper, you can improve the handheld gaming PC market by quite a bit just by updating the hardware, but that hasn't panned out. Many newer handhelds use the latest hardware, and we're still not making generational progress.
The Steam Deck is also a great controller, and you can even set it up as a controller for your PC. Here's how.
The Steam Deck is a great console, and part of its greatness is its awesome controller. Inspired by the original Steam Controller, it has two haptic touch pads, four back buttons, gyro support, all in addition to the typical buttons you get on a controller. The quality of the Deck's controls is great, and it's a shame it's limited to just the Deck itself.
Linux can seem intimidating at first, but it's not as complicated as you might think. Here's the beginner's guide to Linux.
In the mainstream, we often think of Linux as the techy alternative to Windows, and it kind of is, but don't think it's just for programmers and engineers. Today, if you can use Windows to any decent level, it's totally possible to get into Linux with only a little extra learning. If you're not familiar with Linux and want to get acquainted, here's everything you need to know.
Intel reveals details on Meteor Lake, how future CPUs will be made, and its process strategy for the future
Intel may be on the verge of a comeback, though it will take a little more time to see to fruition.
At this year's Intel Innovation event, Intel released some key (though not completely unexpected) details about its next-generation Meteor Lake chips, which are coming to next-generation laptops in 2024. While Intel isn't bringing these to the desktop, this is one of the most exciting generations of Intel hardware in recent years. In fact, Meteor Lake is the pipe cleaner that will make the way for Intel's CPUs across several segments, from laptops to desktop to the datacenter to AI.
Here's how much of a difference three generations makes when it comes to the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 12.
Apple is once again going to the cutting edge of silicon with its brand-new iPhone 15, which is already a fairly sizable improvement over the iPhone 14, let alone older models like the iPhone 12. Released in 2020, the iPhone 12 has dropped to about $600 against the iPhone 15's $800. If you're wondering whether the iPhone 15 is worth it when the iPhone 12 is so much cheaper, or if you own an iPhone 12 and have been thinking about upgrading, here's what you need to know.
Steam Cloud saves don't work for non-Steam games, but there's a way to make your own cloud saves. Here's how.
Steam Cloud is one of the greatest things about PC gaming with Steam; you hardly even need to think about transferring files from your PC to your Steam Deck, for instance. The thing is, there are lots of popular PC games that aren't on Steam and don't get to enjoy Steam Cloud file syncing, like emulators for old console games, and that's a shame since emulation is great on the Deck. However, you can make your own sort of cloud saving system for your PC and Deck, and here's how.
We're getting a brand-new ray tracing benchmark for iPhones and Macs today, and it might have implications for today's iPhone reveal.
Last month, UL Solutions added Solar Bay to its suite of 3DMark benchmarks. Like Port Royal, Solar Bay tests ray tracing performance, but its selling point was the fact that it could run on both Windows and Android via the Vulkan API. On the eve of Apple's Wonderlust event, UL has updated Solar Bay to run on iOS and MacOS through the Metal API, which, like Vulkan, also supports ray tracing. While this is interesting in itself, it might have implications for what Apple is about to announce.
Which is king?
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 and AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT have similar specifications and performance but are priced in completely different segments. The former officially costs $1,200, and the latter $900 (though, in reality, both GPUs can be found for less). You can also comfortably play games at 4K with ray tracing enabled on both cards. This guide will show you how to choose between the 7900 XT and the 4080.
You can upgrade the ROG Ally's storage yourself, and here are the best SSDs to do that with.
Asus's ROG Ally a pretty high-end device for a handheld gaming PC, but it's not quite as high-end as it could be. It only comes with a 512GB SSD, and if you've played any AAA game made within the past few years, you'll be full aware that many of them, maybe even most, can hit 50GB or more easily. 512GB could easily get eaten up by 10 games.
In addition to Steam, you can also install the Epic Games Store and play games from there on the Valve Steam Deck. Here's how to do it.
The Steam Deck is, of course, a handheld console designed to play games from Steam. But it's also a complete PC, so that means you have options as you do on your PC. Steam has always been able to add games from other sources to your library, and the same applies to the Steam Deck. But what about Epic? How do you play Epic Games Store titles on the Steam Deck?
Want a premium Intel gaming PC? Here are some great parts you can buy to begin building.
Despite the launch of AMD's new Ryzen 7000 CPUs, Intel is managing to keep up and offer enticing options for the entire PC market. While Intel's high-end Core i9-13900K and Core i7-13700K are certainly fast CPUs and are great for top-end PCs, they're not really required to make a PC that's worthy of being called premium. In this guide, I'll show you what kind of components you're going to want when building an Intel gaming PC using the company's latest 13th-generation hardware.
For cooling CPUs and GPUs, there are two basic options: air and liquid. Here's how each cooling style measures up.
When it comes to the best coolers for CPUs and even GPUs, you have two basic options: air cooling or liquid cooling (also called water cooling). While both cooler styles ultimately use fans to cool off a heatsink in order to keep your computer chips from overheating, there's a difference in how each type gets the heat from chips into those heatsinks, and that difference makes a serious impact on performance.
The latest motherboards from Gigabyte support Intel's anticipated 14th-generation chips, which are expected to launch soon.
Intel's upcoming 14th-generation Raptor Lake refresh is something of an open secret at this point, and since they're soon to be upon us we'd expect the motherboard manufacturers to prepare not just new BIOSes for old motherboards, but also to launch new motherboards for these new chips. Gigabyte is already getting new motherboards ready for 14th-generation CPUs with two new motherboards: the Z790 Aorus Pro X and the B760M Aorus Elite X AX.
Steam has great support for Linux, and here's how to get it on the most popular Linux distros.
For many years, Valve has been focused on making Linux a great operating system for Steam, and suffice to say, it's managed to succeed. It's the default operating system for the Steam Deck, and it can easily run non-native games with the Proton compatibility layer. But you can also get Steam on your Linux PC. However, while Steam can easily be installed on some Linux distros, the process is more obscure on others.
The FireCuda 540 combines good PCIe 5.0 level performance with the highest endurance we've ever seen.
While many companies are chasing top-end performance or great cooling to make the best PCIe 5.0 SSD, Seagate is after something else: endurance. Its FireCuda 540 SSD isn't the fastest among PCIe 5.0 drives, but at 1000TBW per terabyte, it's definitely the most durable by far. If you want an SSD that will last you years without even failing a little, the FireCuda 540 is the SSD for you.
Should you upgrade your 16-core Intel CPU?
It should come as no surprise that the Intel Core i9-13900K is a brilliant processor, as we noted in our review. It has far more performance than most people could effectively utilize, but how does it compare to the older Intel Core i9-12900K? The latter, being a previous-gen processor, could help you save more money, but is it still worth buying? We're going to compare the specifications, performance, and value to determine which to buy or whether you should upgrade from the 12th-generation chip.