Not everyone will return to an office this summer—much less at all. Many of us desk jockeys get to keep working remotely, meaning that Zoom calls will also stick around as a regular thing.
If like most people, you’ve been making do with your setup for video calls, now’s the time to consider an upgrade to reduce the headaches of endless teleconferencing. Some cost a little money, while others only require a little time to learn, but they all increase your control over the quality of your experience.
Q: If you want to use DLSS to make a game run faster, does it need a better CPU since the GPU is utilized less?
A: Great question. To bring everyone on the same page, let’s recap first what DLSS is. Deep Learning Super Sampling, or DLSS, is Nvidia’s proprietary technology that uses machine learning and dedicated hardware on the company’s RTX cards to internally render games at a lower resolution, then upscale and output it to the desired resolution. (Naturally, this feature is only available on RTX-branded graphics cards.)
Q: Why can’t sound cards be more like video cards?
A: We assume that this question refers to the constant advances in graphics cards, where the release of new technology (like process shrinks and new microarchitectures) happens about every two years. Sound cards, on the other hand, tend to get released when they get released.
Why? Well…the truth is, not enough people care enough about discrete audio cards to warrant the same level of attention as discrete graphics cards. Take a random assortment of PC gamers, and the odds favor a majority saying, “Wow, this game looks incredible” instead of “Wow, this game sounds incredible.” (Even if, as the old joke goes, the reason they’re praising the graphics is because of an improved soundscape.) Not everyone will say this, of course—let’s just make that clear before a couple PCWorld staff members protest violently. But enough gamers do, thus leading to a slow drip of sound card releases.
Q: Given how quickly new technology is developing, will we ever see another generation of the staying power of Polaris, Sandy Bridge, or Pascal?
A: That depends on how you define staying power. Is it based on a line of products being so good that they held their own against the lure of new, more powerful hardware? Or is it based on circumstances in which less innovation triggers indifference to fresh hardware launches?
Some people can (and do) argue that Sandy Bridge processors weren’t that good. Rather, the incremental gains in performance with Ivy Bridge and Haswell made Sandy Bridge look phenomenal—so much so that loyal Core i7-2600K (and even Core i5-2500K) owners are only now replacing them with modern CPUs. Intel’s Core processors offered conservative improvements across multiple generations until AMD’s Ryzen processors upped the ante.