The rapid ramp-up toward review season continues this week, as evidenced by an absolute mountain of trailers for you to climb, Sisyphus-style. No Man’s Sky, Theme Hospital, We Happy Few, new expansions for Hollow Knight and Total War: Rome II—they’re all due within the next few weeks. Phew.
That, plus the story of a man who tried to sue Star Citizen to get his $4,500 back, Todd Howard says “never say never” to the idea of another New Vegas (but he kind of means never), and The Culling 2 ’s brutal failure and subsequent removal from Steam acts as a warning to anyone developing a battle royale game at the moment.
Consumers, rejoice: Microsoft cares about you again. Maybe. It depends on whether the head of Microsoft's new Modern Life & Devices group has substantive plans behind his statements.
For the past few years, Microsoft’s attention has been fixated upon the enterprise. While the company has built products like Azure and related services into thriving businesses, consumer-focused products like the Groove Music service, Microsoft Band, and Windows Phone have fallen by the wayside.
Microsoft essentially acknowledged its neglect of the consumer market at the company's Inspire partner conference this week. Yusuf Mehdi, now the corporate vice president in charge of the Modern Life & Devices group within Microsoft, led a closed session on "Modern Life Services," according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. A tweet that Mehdi posted from the event includes the words, "we begin the journey to win back consumers with our vision," presumably this year.
The Data Transfer Project addresses one pain point we all experience on our phones: moving our stuff around. While it’s certainly gotten easier over the years to share individual photos, songs, and files from one app to another, shifting large chunks of data or entire libraries and histories between services is often an exercise in futility, even with hundreds of gigabytes of cloud storage at our disposal.
The open-source Data Transfer Project initiative aims to solve that problem once and for all. It already has four major players pledging support—Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft—with the ultimate goal of separating the data from the service. Once it’s up and running, the project will make it easier for users to switch to a new app or network, or simply try out a different one without needing to start from scratch.
GamersNexus digs deep into enthusiast PC hardware, so we spend some time talking to Steve about his extensiveadventures overclocking Intel’s new Core i7-8086K processor, which has no problem hitting 5GHz across all cores. And by adventures, we mean adventures; Steve delidded his 8086K and used liquid metal to improve thermal and acoustic performance. He talks about the results, and whether stripping the integrated heat spreader off your CPU is as scary as it sounds. (Spoiler: Nope. Mostly.)
We don’t normally cover case fan launches here on PCWorld, because while proper airflow is a key component of any build, fans don’t tend to be that exciting.
Today is different. Thermaltake’s just-announced Riing Trio 12 RGB stands out from the crowd of spinning blades with a unique twist: Amazon Alexa support.
The Riing Trio 12 RGB—named for being a three-pack of 120mm RGB LED-equipped fans, natch—supports Thermaltake’s TT RGB Plus software ecosystem. In the third quarter of 2018 TT RGB Plus will gain Alexa voice support, so you can control it via Amazon’s Echo.
Once you’ve used a variable refresh rate monitor, you can’t go back. AMD’s FreeSync and Nvidia’s G-Sync technology promise PC gamers a buttery-smooth experience free of stuttering, screen tearing, or V-Sync-like input lag. But both ecosystems have their perks—and their downsides.
Now that adaptive sync monitors have several years of maturation under their belts, it’s time to take stock of FreeSync vs. G-Sync yet again. Here’s everything you need to know about AMD and Nvidia’s gaming displays.
Editor’s note: This article was last updated to include availability information for FreeSync 2 and G-Sync HDR displays.
What is adaptive sync, or variable refresh rate?
Before we dive into the differences between FreeSync and G-Sync, let’s take a quick look at the adaptive sync, or variable refresh rate, technology underneath both.
Microsoft is not playing around with the Xbox Ultimate Game Sale that runs now through July 30. There are a bunch of Xbox Play Anywhere games in the sale that allows you to play the games on either Xbox or PC. That means PC gamers on Windows 10 can also take advantage of the big deals event.
Frank Hammond asked PCWorld how to access the AppData folder and copy files from it.
The Application Data—or AppData—folder contains data created by programs. Almost every program you install creates its own folder in AppData and stores information there. At least in theory, users don’t have to worry about these files.
But in reality, you probably do. For instance, Firefox and Thunderbird profiles reside inside AppData and can be transferred from there between PCs. If you’re using an older version of Outlook, that program’s data is probably in AppData as well.
Finding this folder is easy if you know the tricks. The AppData folder resides in your user folder—the same location that contains Documents, Music, and other library folders (unless you’ve moved them elsewhere). Normally this is something such as C:\Users\[username]\AppData, but unlike those other folders, AppData is hidden, which means you can’t normally see it.
In a landmark ruling this morning, the European Union has hit Google with a record $5.1 billion antitrust fine over the way it distributes Android. In the decision, the court ordered Google to change the way it bundles its own apps into its mobile operating system, specifically Google and Chrome, within 90 days in an effort to give its "rivals the chance to innovate and compete."
Google, of course, disagrees and has vowed to appeal the decision. But while the case will likely stretch out for years before any final action is taken, the ruling is almost certain to affect the way Google makes and distributes future versions of Android. A fine this large is unlikely to be fully reversed on appeal, so there's a good chance that Google will be forced to change Android in some way down the line, which has the potential to dramatically alter the way we decide which phone to buy.
No matter whether you treat your computer as the centerpiece of your home office or just stuff it under your desk, buying the right PC case matters.
At a minimum, you want to pick a PC case that’s the right size for your needs and has room for all your hardware and USB devices. But some PC cases offer much, much more. Spacious innards, lower temperatures, muffled sound, extensive water-cooling support, and fancy-schmancy tempered glass panels or RGB lighting are just the tip of the iceberg.
Here’s a guide to buying a PC case that’s perfect for you. This is just the first step in your DIY journey; be sure to check out PCWorld’s guide to building a PC, too.
Virtual reality headsets will standardize on a new physical connector standard, known as VirtualLink, that will be designed around the existing USB-C interface.
A consortium of the VR industry bigwigs, including Nvidia, Oculus, Valve, AMD, and Microsoft, have backed the interface. Notable exceptions appear to be Sony, whose PlayStation VR wasn't listed among the promoter companies, and Intel, which has backed the Thunderbolt specification. Companies that wish to join the consortium can do so at VirtualLink.org, which for right now resolves to a Google Sites address.
Details of the VirtualLink spec itself weren't immediately available, though the member companies said that the spec will support four high-speed HBR3 DisplayPort lanes, which are scalable for future needs; a USB 3.1 data channel for supporting high-resolution cameras and sensors; and up to 27 watts of power. It's not immediately clear what bandwidth the cable will support, or how scalable it will allow VR headsets to be. Anandtech, however, did the math and concluded that the spec allows for 4K @ 120Hz with 8 bits per color.
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In the July issue
This month we have all the breaking news from Computex, including AMD’s monster 32-core Threadripper 2. We also have the details on Intel’s not-too-shabby 28-core 5GHz chip. Considering a tablet in the not too distant future? Find out why Microsoft may release a tiny $400 Surface tablet and what it means for the tablet market.