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Last week, news broke that IT management company SolarWinds had been hacked, possibly by the Russian government, and the US Treasury, Commerce, State, Energy, and Homeland Security departments have been affected — two of which may have had emails stolen as a result of the hack. Other government agencies and many companies are investigating due to SolarWinds’ extensive client list. The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that some big tech companies have been infected, too. Cisco, Intel, Nvidia, Belkin, and VMware have all had computers on their networks infected

Speeding up a slow PC can be a challenge, particularly when dealing with older hardware that may be on the cusp of needing an upgrade or replacement anyway. Sometimes, a system simply needs a fresh OS install or driver update to perform significantly better. In other cases, upgrade or wholesale replacement are necessary. This article is designed to help you troubleshoot a slow machine. Specifically, it walks through the process of determining whether your problem is more likely to be caused by software, hardware, or simply the age of the

A lot has changed in the PC market over the past few decades, but one question remains timeless: “Can I squeeze more performance out of the system I’ve got now, or do I have to build or buy something else?” Here, we’ll break down the issues in play and discuss how to make this decision in a way that gives you the best chance of maximizing your performance per dollar. We’ll focus on the question of upgrading an existing system versus buying a new one. In this context, buying a

Evidently someone designated the first week of April as “laptop week” and forgot to notify us. AMD and Intel both made significant moves in mobile this week, as did Nvidia. Team Green is announcing a new feature to match AMD’s SmartShift, which allows an AMD CPU and GPU to share a single power budget, with one component lowering its own power consumption to allow the other to use more power under load. Nvidia calls this feature Dynamic Boost, and it’s designed to work with either AMD or Intel CPUs. It

It’s been a few years since Microsoft introduced DirectX 12, and there’s a new set of console introductions coming this fall, so the time is ripe for the unveiling of a new DirectX version. Microsoft has just launched DirectX 12 Ultimate, an extension and unification of various DX12 features that should serve as a common capability reference for new products and consoles. GPUs labeled as supporting DirectX 12 Ultimate will offer the following capabilities: DirectX RaytracingVariable Rate ShadingMesh ShadersSampler Feedback GPUs that can’t provide all of these capabilities will continue

Once upon a time, Microsoft promised a truly impressive 4K overhaul for Minecraft and then canceled it. Shortly thereafter, Nvidia announced that it would create an RTX-powered version of Minecraft, delivering ray-traced visuals to Nvidia owners who own the Windows 10 version of the game and want to play it in this mode. Nvidia has just published some updated visuals for the game, along with asset packs intended to be used by modders and content creators to hit the ground running. First, let’s look at some maps created by community

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