How DirectX 12 Ultimate supercharges graphics on Windows PCs and Xbox

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Don't Throw Away Your VHS Tapes

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Technology has taken us from tapes to DVDs to digital streaming in just a few decades. But while a teenager today may have no idea what a VHS tape is, many of us who were around between 1977 and the rise of DVDs in 1997 might still have old VHS tapes laying around and taking up space. If you’re ready to get rid of them…

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RDNA 2 deep-dive: What's inside AMD's Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards

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RDNA 2. The graphics architecture at the heart of AMD’s kick-ass new Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards may sound like a simple iteration upon the original “RDNA” GPUs that came before it, but RDNA 2—which also powers the next-gen Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles—is much more than a mere refresh. Significant tweaking has resulted in a stunning 54-percent increase in power-per-watt over AMD’s last-gen Radeon RX 5000 GPUs. Perhaps more notably, the Radeon RX introduces an innovative new “Infinity Cache” technology that reimagines how memory behaves in graphics cards. Oh, and ray tracing? AMD does that now, too.

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Microsoft Pluton will build Xbox security into AMD, Intel, Qualcomm CPUs

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Pluton, a technology Microsoft and AMD co-developed to prevent the Xbox from being hacked, will be added to Windows PCs via the CPUs themselves. 

According to Microsoft, Pluton helps greatly eliminate the chance that the PC’s Trusted Platform Module (TPM) will be compromised. The TPM creates a root of trust, governing a number of critical functions within the PC: guaranteeing that it will securely boot with the trusted combination of hardware and software, for example, and securely update to trusted firmware. Windows’ BitLocker disk encryption system uses the TPM, as do other Windows components.

Traditionally, the TPM has existed outside of the processor, connecting to it via an external bus. Now it will be integrated within AMD, Intel, and Snapdragon CPUs itself—though when, and in which processors, remains very murky for now. What this means, however, is that there will be a third-party logic block built into an Intel Core or AMD Ryzen system-on-chip, which will create its own secured channel to Microsoft’s Azure service to manage trusted updates. Microsoft is also seizing the opportunity to manage your PC’s firmware updates, which sounds like it could mean that the firmware your motherboard and PC supplier provides could be replaced with Windows Update.

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How to Manage Your Google Photos or Move Them Somewhere Else

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Now that Google will soon start counting anything you’ve uploaded to Google Photos toward your storage limit—which tops out at 15GB for a free plan—it’s worth performing a personal audit. How much space am I using? How can I stretch my free plan as far as possible? And how can I move my photos to a different service…

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Can You Save By Pausing Your Car Insurance?

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With many companies extending work-from-home policies through to next summer, you might no longer need your car for the commute. As the average household has nearly two cars, could you keep one in storage, and save money by cancelling the car insurance until you need it again?

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7 features the new MacBook must copy to catch up to the PC

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We expect Apple to unwrap its new MacBooks (or maybe PowerBooks?) on Tuesday, and we at PCWorld are as excited as anyone else—to see if Apple can finally catch up to all the things we already enjoy on Windows laptops. 

It wasn’t that long ago that Apple’s innovative MacBooks made Windows-based laptops look clunky and slow. Not anymore. Whether it was the GPU and battery problems with the 2016-era MacBook Pros, the long-reviled MacBook Butterfly keyboard that finally died, or the slow uptake of new Intel processors, Apple has fallen far, far behind in laptop technology over the last few years.

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