PC News

This week in games: Call of Duty WWII's spooky zombies, Doom Guy identity revealed, and more

17 hours 19 minutes ago

Christmas in July? More like Halloween in July, as we are inundated with horror trailers this week—Evil Within II, Observer, and Call of Duty: WWII's spooky new zombies.

That, plus John Romero reveals who served as inspiration for the iconic Doom cover art, American Truck Simulator closes down Pacific Coast Highway, and StarCraft II adds skins, sprays, and other Overwatch-style fodder.

This is gaming news for July 17 to 21.

More Wang

Looking for something to play this weekend? If you never purchased the 2014 Shadow Warrior reboot, you can grab it from the Humble store from now until 10 a.m. Pacific on July 22—less than 24 hours from now. I know, it's not the longest-running promotion, but that 2014 Shadow Warrior is an incredible corridor shooter with some awe-inspiring boss battles and great (albeit crass) humor.

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Hayden Dingman

Best Buy is currently selling the HDHomeRun Connect for $70

21 hours 5 minutes ago

If you've been thinking about going the cord-cutter route, consider this a sign. Best Buy is selling the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Connect for $70 right now. This external TV tuner features two tuners, allowing you to watch over-the-air (OTA) broadcast TV on two sets or to record one show while watching the other.

The Connect's specifications say it supports up to 1080p, but broadcast TV is usually 1080i. That's still 1920-by-1080 resolution, however. The one extra thing you will need in addition to the tuner is a digital antenna.

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Ian Paul

Doom's free DLC unleashes hell on hard drives as a ludicrously large update

1 day ago

Thank goodness I didn’t have Doom installed. Earlier this week we reported on Bethesda’s sort-of magnanimous gesture to give away all of Doom’s DLC for free—the catch of course being that Doom only had DLC for its lackluster multiplayer mode. Still, it’s free right? So what’s the problem?

It’s a 34GB update, give or take.

Earlier this year I wrote about the bloated size of game downloads and the amount of space they take up on your hard drive. The situation hasn’t improved, with the upcoming Forza Motorsport 7 apparently set to swallow 100GB of drive space, or slightly under in a best case scenario.

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Hayden Dingman

7 AMD Ryzen tips and tricks to maximize your PC's performance

1 day 1 hour ago

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in March 2017 but was updated extensively in late July to reflect months of additional Ryzen releases, tweaks, and AM4 platform updates.

The most disruptive computer processors in a decade are finally here, and AMD’s Ryzen CPUs are multithreading monsters.

The initial salvo of high-end Ryzen 7 chips—the $500 Ryzen 7 1800X, $400 Ryzen 7 1700X, and $330 Ryzen 7 1700—absolutely chew through productivity and content creation tasks, bringing the power of 8-core, 16-thread chips to more affordable price points. Meanwhile, Ryzen 5 chips like the 6-core, $230 Ryzen 5 1600X and 4-core, $190 Ryzen 5 1500X beat out Intel’s Core i5 series as the best mainstream CPUs for power users.

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Brad Chacos

The best PC co-op games to play with your friends

1 day 1 hour ago
Battle buddies

Image by Ubisoft

It’s good to have friends. That goes doubly so when you’re facing down a zombie horde or coordinating an attack on a Klingon warship.

Here we’ve rounded up 12 games that are better in every way to play with friends. Yeah, you could play some of them alone. Sure, you could (if you’re masochistic) play some of them with random Internet strangers who love to use profanity. But if you pair up with a partner or three you’ll have a much more rewarding experience.

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Hayden Dingman

Best password managers of 2017: Reviews of the top products

1 day 3 hours ago

We are terrible at passwords. We suck at creating them (the top two most popular remain “123456” and “password”), we share them way too freely, and we forget them all the time. Indeed, the very thing that can ensure our online security has become out biggest obstacle to it. This is what makes a good password manager essential.

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Michael Ansaldo

LastPass review: This virtual vault makes password protection effortless

1 day 4 hours ago

LastPass remains something of a gold standard for password managers. One of the first full-featured tools of its kind, this combination vault, form-filler, and password generator ticks off all the boxes in our password manager checklist.

After you sign up and install the LastPass browser plugin, it captures your login credentials when you visit a website for the first time. When you return to a site, a small icon appears in its login fields showing how many accounts you have stored. Clicking it opens a drop-down menu revealing each account so you can select the appropriate one. You can also select an auto-login option for each account to have LastPass sign you in automatically whenever you visit that site.

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Michael Ansaldo

Dashlane review: This password manager makes you smarter about security

1 day 4 hours ago

Of all the password managers we’ve reviewed, Dashlane has come closest to stealing LastPass’s crown. Easy to use and rich with features, it meets all our requirements for a top-tier password manager. But Dashlane goes beyond just managing your login credentials, providing insights for how to think smarter about security.

Dashlane’s strength has long been its elegant interface, which displays your accounts as tiles—indeed, LastPass recently adopted this style—but version 4 adds the option of showing them as a list as well. Each tile has its own fly-out menu from which you can edit your account info, securely share your login credentials, and view your password history.

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Michael Ansaldo

Keeper review: A strong focus on security

1 day 4 hours ago

Keeper is a no-nonsense password manager that puts the security of your login credentials above all else. However, it’s lack of automated features may limit its appeal for some.

When you sign up for Keeper, you’re prompted to create a master password and select a security question. The latter will be used, along with a verification code and—if enabled—two-factor authentication, to access your data if you forget your master password.

Next, Keeper walks you through a four-step “quick start” checklist: creating your first record, installing the browser extension, uploading your first file, and enabling two-factor authentication. As you complete each step, the checkmark next to the relevant items turns green.

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Michael Ansaldo

Sticky Password review: Strong features behind a bare-bones interface

1 day 4 hours ago

Sticky Password may not be as familiar as LastPass or 1Password, but it boasts features that rival both of them, albeit in a much less polished package. It doesn’t quite rise to the top tier of password managers, but it’s more than capable of getting the job done.

When you download Sticky Password—there’s no web version of the app—it will prompt you to create a master password. Unlike some other password managers, Sticky Password doesn’t offer a way to recover or reset this password if you forget it, so commit it to memory. You’ll also be asked if you want Sticky Password to sync your data over its cloud network or your own Wi-Fi network. With this unique option, your devices sync only when they’re all connected to your wireless network, so your data never goes out over the internet. It’s a nice added layer of security.

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Michael Ansaldo

1Password review: Capable password manager is missing some key features

1 day 4 hours ago

AgileBits 1Password was originally designed for the Mac way back in 2006. But today it also offers apps for Windows, Android, and iOS as well as extensions for all major browsers. It boasts some of the same features as top-tier managers LastPass and Dashlane, but lacks some key ones and overall feels a lot less polished.

1Password has a unique setup process. After entering your name, 1Password generates a 34-character “secret key.” Next you create your master password. Together, these two pieces create the full-encryption key used to encrypt your passwords and other data and you’ll need to enter them both each time you add a new device or browser extension. Given their importance, 1Password next offers to create an Emergency Kit that contains your secret key and a space to write in your master password. It saves it as a PDF, and you’re advised to store it on a USB key or in a safe deposit box.

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Michael Ansaldo

True Key by Intel Security review: This password manager wants to eliminate passwords

1 day 4 hours ago

One common pitfall of all password managers is that you have to remember a master password. If you forget it, you lose access to all the others. True Key offers an alternative to this burden by allowing you to log in to the app using something unique to you. Depending on your device, that could be your fingerprint, your face, or a second device. You can even combine authentication methods for stronger security.

Once you’ve created an account and master password and installed the browser extension, True Key brings you up to speed with a helpful welcome wizard. The tour starts by displaying a couple dozen popular website logos. You pick one and it takes you that site, explaining that all you have to do is log in and True Key will capture your credentials and store them in your vault. When you return to a site, True Key logs you in automatically.

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Michael Ansaldo

Surface Laptop vs. Surface Book: The prices and features of two premium laptops, compared

1 day 8 hours ago

Updated July 20, 2017 with information from our review of the Surface Laptop. Check out the Performance section below for the bulk of the news, in our benchmarked speed and battery life tests. 

With the debut of the Surface Laptop, Microsoft has a stylish cousin to its brawny Surface Book—similarly shaped, but very different otherwise. It can be a tough choice if both premium products have caught your eye. 

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Mark Hachman

Microsoft's Office sales soar and Windows Phone fades in cloud-happy earnings call

1 day 13 hours ago

Remember when Microsoft touted Windows Mobile during earnings calls? Now, Microsoft's Windows Phone business is "immaterial," while Office, Azure, and other cloud and services products continue to propel the company to profitability. 

In a small note during its second-quarter earnings report Thursday, Microsoft said its phone business had declined $361 million in revenue from a year ago, leading to the claim that the phone business was “immaterial,” or not enough to report to investors. It wasn't enough that Microsoft’s More Personal Computing segment reported a revenue decline of 2 percent to $8.8 billion: chief financial officer Amy Hood also noted that phones caused a four-percent decline—in other words, Microsoft blamed phones for the company’s loss.

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Mark Hachman

Best Buy is selling a 2-in-1 Chromebook for $220

1 day 19 hours ago

Chromebooks are great, but I have a very specific opinion about buying them. I want a price around $200, an Intel processor, and a minimum 32GB of onboard storage. Right now, Best Buy has just such a deal: You can get the Acer R11 2-in-1 Chromebook for $220. The only catch is you have to sign-up for a “My Best Buy” account to see the sale price, as this is an “early access” deal.

This is a great price for this machine—and surprising to see so soon, given that we just saw this steep discount during last week’s Amazon’s Prime Day sale. For $220, you get an 11.6-inch touchscreen display with 1366-by-768 resolution, 32GB of eMMC flash storage, 4GB of RAM, and a 1.6GHz quad-core Intel Celeron N3160 processor. The N3160 is a pretty standard processor for Chromebooks, and it runs really well with Chrome OS since the operating system is so light.

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Ian Paul

SteelSeries Arctis 7 review: This wireless headset provides incredible comfort

1 day 21 hours ago

Ski goggles. That’s the inspiration for SteelSeries’s new Arctis line of headsets, including the wireless Arctis 7 I’ve been using for the past few weeks. Take the floating headband that SteelSeries popularized on its old Siberia line, replace it with the elastic you’d use to strap on ski goggles (or maybe a VR headset) and you’ve got the Arctis.

Sounds weird, right? But it’s one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve ever worn.

Surprising design

It’s amazing nobody else has done this. I’ve praised floating headbands in the past, especially those from SteelSeries, but there was some caveat. Maybe the headset had a tendency to slip around, or the headband felt like it would wear out too quickly, or it seemed unreasonably bulky (see: G.Skill’s SR910). A great idea maybe, but one that needed refining.

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Hayden Dingman

What to do about the 'Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC' error

2 days ago

Updated July 20 with confirmation from Microsoft about the root cause, and how security updates will be handled on affected PCs.

Owners of some Windows 10 laptops and tablets are crashing into a worrying roadblock when they try to install the Windows 10 Creators Update. Windows Update initially says the notebooks are compatible with the upgrade, but fails to install it after downloading the setup files, instead displaying the following message: “Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC. Uninstall this app now because it isn’t compatible with Windows 10.”

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Brad Chacos
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41 minutes 36 seconds ago
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