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How Important Is the Power Supply (PSU) When Building a PC?

md-pictures/Shutterstock.com The power supply (PSU) is a critical part of any PC. It powers all the components in your PC, and a bad or faulty one can bring everything down. Here’s what to look for in a power supply while putting together a PC. A PSU Is a Critical Piece of PC Infrastructure When we turn on a light, open a faucet, or walk down a nicely paved street, we don’t often think about the wondrous infrastructure making all that…

How to Turn a Windows Laptop Into a Desktop PC

Dafinchi/Shutterstock.com Laptops offer the power of a PC wherever you go, from the other side of the country to the other side of the couch. But sometimes you want a desktop for a bigger display, a larger keyboard, and a beefy mouse. Here’s how to turn your laptop into a pseudo desktop. Any Laptop Can Transform Into a Desktop Transforming your portable PC into something more permanent is easy with a few cables and the necessary peripherals. The best part is…

What Is “Binning” for Computer Components?

Vania Zhukevych/Shutterstock You might not realize it, but every time you purchase a new desktop CPU, you also get a ticket for a giveaway called the “silicon lottery.” Two CPUs of the same model can perform differently when pushed to their limits thanks to something called “CPU binning.” What Is Binning? Binning is a sorting process in which top-performing chips are sorted from lower-performing chips. It can be used for CPUs, GPUs (graphics cards), and RAM. Say you want to…

6 Things to Do With Your Old PS4, Xbox, or Other Console

robtek/Shutterstock.com The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S ushered in a new generation of console gaming. Since backward compatibility is such a big deal this generation, it’s possible you no longer have much use for your old console. So what do you do with an old console you no longer need? Consider Donating Your Old Consoles By far, one of the most impactful things that you can do with your old console is to donate it to a…

When Are Integrated Graphics Good Enough on a PC?

Pryimak Anastasiia/Shutterstock.com Anybody looking for serious graphics power needs to have a graphics card from AMD, NVIDIA, or (someday soon) Intel. Not everyone wants that kind of power, however, especially when it comes at a price tag of $150 to more than $1,000. How Good Are Integrated Graphics? So what do you do if you aren’t interested in shelling out for a graphics card, but you’d still like to play the occasional session of Civilization VI or The Witcher 3?…

Everything You Need to Know Before Buying an Xbox Series X|S

Mr.Mikla/Shutterstock So, you’re thinking about buying an Xbox. Do you want a Series X or S? Is your existing TV good enough, or do you need to upgrade? And will you have to stand the console up like some sort of monolith? Let’s answer the most pressing Xbox Series X and S questions. What’s the Difference Between Series X and S? The Xbox Series X costs $499, while the Series S retails for $299. Beyond price, the main difference between…

How “Unified Memory” Speeds Up Apple’s M1 ARM Macs

Apple Apple is rethinking how components should exist and operate inside a laptop. With M1 chips in new Macs, Apple has a new “Unified Memory Architecture” (UMA) that dramatically speeds up memory performance. Here’s how memory works on Apple Silicon. How Apple Silicon Handles RAM In case you haven’t already heard the news, Apple announced a new slate of Macs in November 2020. The new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini models are using an ARM-based processor custom-designed by…

How to Expand Your Xbox Series X|S Storage

Microsoft The Xbox Series X comes with a 1TB internal drive, while the Series S includes a modest 500GB instead. After downloading a few games, you might find your console is already low on space. Here are several ways you can add more space, with a solution for every budget. What Uses All That Space? Whether you buy a laptop, tablet, or brand-new game console, system files always eat into the advertised drive capacity. The $499 Xbox Series X comes with…

What Is Apple’s M1 Chip for the Mac?

In June 2020, Apple announced its intention to move away from Intel for the Mac lineup. The M1 is the first ARM-based custom system-on-chip (SoC) designed from the ground up by Apple. Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s custom silicon. What Is the M1 Chip? The M1 is Apple’s first custom silicon system on a chip for use in its Mac computer lineup. Since 2006, all Macs have shipped with Intel chips. These utilized the x86 (and later,…

How to Work Around a Broken Keyboard Key on a Windows 10 PC

If the keyboard on your Windows 10 computer has a broken or missing key (and it’s one you don’t use often), you might be able to work around it until you get a new keyboard. Here are a few ideas you can try in a pinch. Method 1: Remap the Key with Software Using Microsoft’s free PowerToys utility for Windows 10, you can assign the function of a broken key to another you don’t use often, like the Scroll or…

What Does Apple’s T2 “Security Chip” Do in Your Mac?

Apple Apple proudly advertises that its latest and greatest Mac models come with a T2 security chip, but what does it do? And, more importantly, does a T2 chip create more problems than it solves? What Is a T2 Security Chip? The T2 is Apple’s second-generation “security chip.” It combines several hardware controllers into a custom piece of silicon. Such chips have been commonplace in smartphones for some time. However, the T2 isn’t just there for security purposes—it can make…

Why Did the Turbo Button Slow Down Your PC in the ’90s?

Benj Edwards In the 1980s and ’90s, many IBM PC clones included a button on the case labeled “Turbo” that actually slowed down your PC when you pressed it. We explore why it was necessary, what it did, and who put it there in the first place. Attack of the Speedy Clones The first IBM Personal Computer, released in August 1981, included an 8088 CPU that ran at 4.77 MHz. Competitors, like Compaq, soon reverse-engineered the machine, licensed Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating…