The Full Nerd ep. 131: Nvidia DLSS 2.0, what Half-Life: Alyx means for VR, Intel Rocket Lake-S leak

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In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad Chacos, and Adam Patrick Murray dive into the latest gaming news with special guest (and PCWorld gaming guru) Hayden Dingman.

We kick things off with a discussion about Nvidia’s DLSS 2.0 technology, which finally looks poised to deliver on the lofty promises made when the GeForce RTX 20-series launched. Better image quality and faster speeds? Yes please. Next, we talk about Hayden’s Half-Life: Alyx review, and why it’s so hard to create a game that really, truly feels immersive. Finally, Gordon gives us the skinny on an alleged Intel Rocket Lake-S leak.

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Best wireless charger: Ditch the headache of cables with our top pick

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As convenience goes, wireless charging can’t be beat. You simply drop your phone onto the charger and walk away. Gone is the headache of managing cables that inevitably break or get lost.

Until recently, the main drawback to wireless chargers has been slow adoption and slow charging. This style of charging is still not ubiquitous, but you can now find Samsung, LG, Sony, and Moto phones that support it on the Android side, and Apple has adopted it for its iPhone lineup as well. And the technology itself is finally reaching a point where its speed is easier to live with, too.

Now that it’s a good time to go out and grab a stand or pad, we’ve tested some of the most popular models out there for both Android and iPhone, and discovered our favorites among the bunch. Read on for our findings, and check back periodically for our latest updates.

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Nvidia’s faster, better DLSS 2.0 could be a game-changer

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Nvidia announced DLSS 2.0 on Monday, taking its revolutionary Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology to the next level. 

Ray tracing may get all the headlines (and the DirectX 12 Ultimate integration), but it’s only part of the appeal for GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards. DLSS taps the dedicated tensor cores inside the cutting-edge GPUs, using their machine learning chops to boost frames rates and increase the resolution you’re able to play at—a key complement to ray tracing, as the lighting technology severely taxes performance when it’s active.

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DirectX 12 Ultimate unifies ray tracing, speed-boosting graphics tricks across PCs and Xbox

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Microsoft has announced DirectX 12 Ultimate, a new version of the graphics technology underpinning both Windows and the upcoming Xbox Series X. Unveiled on Thursday, it’s one of many announcements originally scheduled for GDC 2020 that are carrying on despite the show’s cancellation.

Nvidia shared details of what to expect before Microsoft’s official presentation, and it’s easy to see why: Even though Microsoft’s next-gen console is powered by AMD, DirectX 12 Ultimate enshrines several innovative technologies first introduced by GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards as a new industry standard—one that now spans both PCs and consoles, earning it the “Ultimate” name.

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Microsoft’s DirectX 12 Ultimate standardizes smart performance-boosting graphics tricks

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Microsoft has announced DirectX 12 Ultimate, a new version of the graphics technology underpinning both Windows and the upcoming Xbox Series X. Unveiled on Thursday, it’s one of many announcements originally scheduled for GDC 2020 that are carrying on despite the show’s cancellation.

Nvidia shared details of what to expect before Microsoft’s official presentation, and it’s easy to see why: Even though Microsoft’s next-gen console is powered by AMD, DirectX 12 Ultimate enshrines several innovative technologies first introduced by GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards as a new industry standard.

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Sony PlayStation 5 taps AMD’s radical SmartShift tech to push its GPU to ludicrous speeds

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Sony pulled back the curtain on key technical details about the forthcoming PlayStation 5 in a streamed presentation on Wednesday. Add to that an early access deep dive by Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry launched simultaneously, and well, it’s all mighty interesting.

Like Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, Sony’s next-gen console is powered by a custom AMD chip with Ryzen CPU cores and next-gen Radeon “RDNA2” graphics cores. The PlayStation 5 also taps into yet another cutting-edge AMD technology being introduced in Ryzen 4000 laptops to provide more oomph intelligently, where it’s needed most. There’s nothing quite like it in desktop PCs or Microsoft’s console.

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How to set up a VPN in Windows

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VPN (virtual private network) technology lets a computer using a public internet connection join a private network by way of a secure “tunnel” between that machine and the network. This protects the data from being seen or tampered with by bad actors. The two most common use cases are consumer VPN services that allow individuals to surf privately from home or a public setting, and business-oriented solutions that allow employees to securely connect to a corporate network remotely.

Now that so many people are thrust into working from home due to the coronoavirus pandemic, we’ve confirmed that this procedure is up-to-date and working as described. You may want to check out our guide on working from home as well, with tech tips and general setup considerations from our extensive personal experience in home offices.

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The backbone of the Xbox Series X’s ultra-fast storage technology is coming to Windows

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Microsoft’s reveal of the Xbox Series X already makes the console look like a top-of-the-line gaming PC in terms of its specifications. But Microsoft said Monday that at least part of its revolutionary new storage architecture, DirectStorage, will be coming to real PCs. 

DirectStorage is the Windows API that will be used to control what Microsoft calls the Xbox Velocity Architecture. It’s Microsoft’s approach to reducing the storage capacity that an Xbox Series X game will require, promising to load the game and its assets as quickly as possible.

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