Connect with us

Gaming

The Best AMD X570 Motherboards That Are Perfect for Your Ryzen CPU

Avatar

Published

on

Asus X570 TUF Gaming Plus WiFi

The motherboard is usually not the first thing in the minds of PC builders, but it is definitely one of the most important in any computer.

You see, the motherboard is the receptacle for which all of your PC components are plugged into and without it, all of those things will not function at all.

That being said, if you intend to get an AMD Ryzen CPU anytime soon, read further to find out the best AMD X570 motherboards that you can find on the market today.

Best X570 Motherboards

1.Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero

Price: $380

Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero

The best overall x570 motherboard that you can find on the market out there is the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero. There is a lot to love about this thing.

First of all, it has a wealth of ports, and using ‘wealth’ in this regard is an understatement. That is because you will find a lot of USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports at the back IO and it also has a Type-C port if you have a device that uses such a port as well.

Aside from that, you get two LAN ports at the back: one 2.5Gb port and another 1Gbps port as well. This is great for people that have high-speed internet at home and would want to eke every last bit of performance out of it.

People that want to add a lot of SATA storage drives would love the fact that this board is equipped with 8 SATA ports, though I do have to point out that if you intend to use M.2 storage drives as well, you will have to sacrifice two of them.

This is the best overclocking x570 motherboard out there. It has a pretty nice BIOS interface and its VRMs ensure that it delivers the right amount of power to the PC, as well as the other components in your build.

The only thing to take note of here is that the chipset fan might be a problem for some lengthy graphics cards, but for the most part, you should be okay.

While it is quite pricey at $380, if money is not an issue, the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero should be highly considered.

2.Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master

Price: $350

Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master

If the Asus ROG VIII Hero is a bit expensive for you, you can get a competitive motherboard sold at $30 cheaper in the form of the Gigabyte x570 Aorus Master.

This is another mobo that has impressive VRMs which means that if you intend to overclock your AMD CPU, it wouldn’t be a problem at all.

This ATX motherboard has a considerable number of USB ports at the back. You can get 2.0 USB ports for your gaming peripherals and you also have USB 3.1 ports if you want something faster.

Just like the Asus ROG VIII Hero above, the Aorus Master also has two LAN ports at the back. One is the Realtek 2.5Gbps LAN port and one 1Gbps Intel LAN port. The choice is entirely up to you, though people would use the latter more than the former.

Although this thing has some RGB lighting on it, it is pretty tame as you only get some lighting near the VRMs, as well as the ESS Sabre logo located on the left side.

This motherboard is intended to be used for a very long time and if you happen to buy a new Ryzen CPU with the same socket as this one, all you have to do is use the Q-Flash BIOS feature at the back to get things started.

If I were to state a negative, it would be that the BIOS interface is quite clunky. There are some redundant features that could have been omitted safely but I think that Gigabyte will fix it at a later time.

Still, the Gigabyte x570 Aorus Master provides excellent value, features, and performance at a slightly cheaper price from the top recommendation.

3.MSI MEG X570 Godlike

Price: $699

MSI MEG X570 Godlike

So, if money really isn’t an issue for you, the MSI MEG x570 Godlike might tickle your fancy. You get tons of performance and value with this board. In fact, even the best overclockers in the world can attest to the veracity of that statement. More on this later.

What makes the MEG x570 Godlike from MSI one of the best gaming motherboard out there? First is the design. You can always count on the company for developing some of the better-looking products on the market and this one truly delivers.

It has a predominantly black aesthetic with some RGB elements that are situated in different areas of the board.

Anyway, aside from its impressive VRM performance, you are also getting steel armor shielding for the PCIe slots, as well as the DIMM slots for your RAM sticks as well.

You see, some graphics cards out there are quite huge and they also weigh a lot as well. Without the steel shielding, you will experience GPU sag, but that is not the case here.

It has support for three m.2 drives, but keep in mind that one slot of it only supports half-sized ones, so you’ll have to bear that in mind.

While this motherboard doesn’t come with a plethora of USB ports on its back IO, you do have a clear CMOS button and a BIOS flashback feature that is similar to Gigabyte’s Q-Flash mentioned earlier.

Aside from its two built-in LAN ports, you do have the option of attaching the 10 Gbps PCIe drive into the motherboard if you have a truly fast internet connection. Of course, for people that use WiFi, this thing is WiFi 6 compatible but you have to attach the included receiver in the box.

Since AMD CPUs typically get better performance overall from system memory, the MSI x570 Godlike is a really good one if you intend to overclock your RAM sticks.

Aside from the fact that the BIOS interface is intuitive and easy to use, all of its components ensure that you are getting a more reliable RAM overclock than other mobos on the market.

The only downside here is that it is a pretty expensive product, but hey, it is there if you have the money.

4.Asus X570 TUF Gaming Plus WiFi

Price: $165

Asus X570 TUF Gaming Plus WiFi

With the advent of the B550 motherboards, people now have the option to get a much cheaper motherboard with an AM4 socket as opposed to getting the more expensive x570 variant. 

However, this next recommendation will certainly be quite appealing to you and this is one that I would recommend you getting rather than your run of the mill B550 board.

The Asus x570 Gaming Plus WiFi is an ATX motherboard with all of the right features sold at an affordable price. In fact, back when it was released, it is one of the best budget x570 motherboards that you can get on the market thanks to its impressive VRMs and cooling solutions.

Its aesthetics are not bad at all. It does have that TUF gaming aesthetic that is typically showcased in this line of Asus products.

While it has RGB lighting, it is only located on the right side of the motherboard and it is not as colorful as the other options out there. This is not a huge consideration but definitely worth mentioning if you intend to do some RGB lighting on your gaming PC.

This version comes with the WiFi antenna that you can screw on the back. It also serves as a Bluetooth receiver, so if you have a pair of wireless gaming headsets, you can use that to have it wirelessly connected to the system.

Even though it supports up to 8 SATA drives, do keep in mind that the placement of some of those ports might not prove to be ideal from a cable management standpoint.

On top of that, if you intend to use its m.2 slot, you will have to sacrifice one SATA port for that as well.

Seriously, the Asus x570 TUF Gaming Plus WiFi is an impressive motherboard for the price. Originally sold for $200, you can get one now for a low price of $165.

5.Asus ROG Strix X570-I

Price: $367

Asus ROG Strix X570-I

All of the aforementioned motherboards on this list have an ATX form factor and while they provide a lot of features, they are not meant for relatively smaller builds.

If you are looking for the best ITX motherboard in the x570 lineup, look no further than the Asus ROG Strix X570-I.

It has the best VRM configuration among the ITX mobos out there and it has support for up to 4,800 MHz memory, so overclocking your RAM is not going to be an issue with this one.

Despite it being a relatively smaller mobo, it does have a good number of USB ports on its back IO so plugging in your favorite gaming keyboard is not a problem at all.

This thing also comes with the WiFi antenna included in the box and I am happy to say that it supports the new WiFi 6 standard.

It does include some form of RGB lighting elements on the side of the board, as well as the ROG logo at the bottom-center. You can tinker with the lighting using the company’s Aura Sync feature.

This motherboard is usually out of stock, so a close second would be the Gigabyte Aorus Pro WiFi ITX edition. It has a good set of VRMs, though its BIOS is not as intuitive as Asus’.

Although it is a bit pricey compared to other x570 motherboards, it is definitely the best ITX x570 board you can find on the market.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Gaming

Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service

Avatar

Published

on

Amazon Luna

It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.

Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.

Channel-based Platform

Amazon Luna Platform

Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.

Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.

Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.

It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).

That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).

With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.

Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.

Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.

1080p and 4K Gaming

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.

Cross-Platform Support

Amazon Luna Cross-Platform

Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.

Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.

You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.

NVIDIA Hardware Use

According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.

That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).

Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.

Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites

Amazon Luna Controller

Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.

The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.

This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.

New Controller with Alexa Support

Amazon Luna Controller 2

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.

What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.

According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.

Conclusion

Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.

Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99

If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.

Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.

Continue Reading

Gaming

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500

Avatar

Published

on

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review

Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.

Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.

Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively. 

Design

Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.

The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.

Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.

It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.

I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.

The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.

For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.

The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.

Display

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review 2020

The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.

You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.

Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.

However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.

It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.

I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.

Performance

Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.

Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.

How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.

It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.

This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Verdict

With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.

The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.

Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.

Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.

Continue Reading

Gaming

HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

Avatar

Published

on

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review

As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.

In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.

Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.

Design

The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.

I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.

Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.

There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.

This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup. 

While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.

All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.

The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review 2020

There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.

Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.

That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.

I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.

Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.

As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.

Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.

Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.

Microphone Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.

Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.

The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.

Verdict

For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.

I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.

I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.

Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.

Continue Reading

Trending Story

Gaming

The Best AMD X570 Motherboards That Are Perfect for Your Ryzen CPU

Avatar

Published

on

Asus X570 TUF Gaming Plus WiFi

The motherboard is usually not the first thing in the minds of PC builders, but it is definitely one of the most important in any computer.

You see, the motherboard is the receptacle for which all of your PC components are plugged into and without it, all of those things will not function at all.

That being said, if you intend to get an AMD Ryzen CPU anytime soon, read further to find out the best AMD X570 motherboards that you can find on the market today.

Best X570 Motherboards

1.Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero

Price: $380

Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero

The best overall x570 motherboard that you can find on the market out there is the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero. There is a lot to love about this thing.

First of all, it has a wealth of ports, and using ‘wealth’ in this regard is an understatement. That is because you will find a lot of USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports at the back IO and it also has a Type-C port if you have a device that uses such a port as well.

Aside from that, you get two LAN ports at the back: one 2.5Gb port and another 1Gbps port as well. This is great for people that have high-speed internet at home and would want to eke every last bit of performance out of it.

People that want to add a lot of SATA storage drives would love the fact that this board is equipped with 8 SATA ports, though I do have to point out that if you intend to use M.2 storage drives as well, you will have to sacrifice two of them.

This is the best overclocking x570 motherboard out there. It has a pretty nice BIOS interface and its VRMs ensure that it delivers the right amount of power to the PC, as well as the other components in your build.

The only thing to take note of here is that the chipset fan might be a problem for some lengthy graphics cards, but for the most part, you should be okay.

While it is quite pricey at $380, if money is not an issue, the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero should be highly considered.

2.Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master

Price: $350

Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master

If the Asus ROG VIII Hero is a bit expensive for you, you can get a competitive motherboard sold at $30 cheaper in the form of the Gigabyte x570 Aorus Master.

This is another mobo that has impressive VRMs which means that if you intend to overclock your AMD CPU, it wouldn’t be a problem at all.

This ATX motherboard has a considerable number of USB ports at the back. You can get 2.0 USB ports for your gaming peripherals and you also have USB 3.1 ports if you want something faster.

Just like the Asus ROG VIII Hero above, the Aorus Master also has two LAN ports at the back. One is the Realtek 2.5Gbps LAN port and one 1Gbps Intel LAN port. The choice is entirely up to you, though people would use the latter more than the former.

Although this thing has some RGB lighting on it, it is pretty tame as you only get some lighting near the VRMs, as well as the ESS Sabre logo located on the left side.

This motherboard is intended to be used for a very long time and if you happen to buy a new Ryzen CPU with the same socket as this one, all you have to do is use the Q-Flash BIOS feature at the back to get things started.

If I were to state a negative, it would be that the BIOS interface is quite clunky. There are some redundant features that could have been omitted safely but I think that Gigabyte will fix it at a later time.

Still, the Gigabyte x570 Aorus Master provides excellent value, features, and performance at a slightly cheaper price from the top recommendation.

3.MSI MEG X570 Godlike

Price: $699

MSI MEG X570 Godlike

So, if money really isn’t an issue for you, the MSI MEG x570 Godlike might tickle your fancy. You get tons of performance and value with this board. In fact, even the best overclockers in the world can attest to the veracity of that statement. More on this later.

What makes the MEG x570 Godlike from MSI one of the best gaming motherboard out there? First is the design. You can always count on the company for developing some of the better-looking products on the market and this one truly delivers.

It has a predominantly black aesthetic with some RGB elements that are situated in different areas of the board.

Anyway, aside from its impressive VRM performance, you are also getting steel armor shielding for the PCIe slots, as well as the DIMM slots for your RAM sticks as well.

You see, some graphics cards out there are quite huge and they also weigh a lot as well. Without the steel shielding, you will experience GPU sag, but that is not the case here.

It has support for three m.2 drives, but keep in mind that one slot of it only supports half-sized ones, so you’ll have to bear that in mind.

While this motherboard doesn’t come with a plethora of USB ports on its back IO, you do have a clear CMOS button and a BIOS flashback feature that is similar to Gigabyte’s Q-Flash mentioned earlier.

Aside from its two built-in LAN ports, you do have the option of attaching the 10 Gbps PCIe drive into the motherboard if you have a truly fast internet connection. Of course, for people that use WiFi, this thing is WiFi 6 compatible but you have to attach the included receiver in the box.

Since AMD CPUs typically get better performance overall from system memory, the MSI x570 Godlike is a really good one if you intend to overclock your RAM sticks.

Aside from the fact that the BIOS interface is intuitive and easy to use, all of its components ensure that you are getting a more reliable RAM overclock than other mobos on the market.

The only downside here is that it is a pretty expensive product, but hey, it is there if you have the money.

4.Asus X570 TUF Gaming Plus WiFi

Price: $165

Asus X570 TUF Gaming Plus WiFi

With the advent of the B550 motherboards, people now have the option to get a much cheaper motherboard with an AM4 socket as opposed to getting the more expensive x570 variant. 

However, this next recommendation will certainly be quite appealing to you and this is one that I would recommend you getting rather than your run of the mill B550 board.

The Asus x570 Gaming Plus WiFi is an ATX motherboard with all of the right features sold at an affordable price. In fact, back when it was released, it is one of the best budget x570 motherboards that you can get on the market thanks to its impressive VRMs and cooling solutions.

Its aesthetics are not bad at all. It does have that TUF gaming aesthetic that is typically showcased in this line of Asus products.

While it has RGB lighting, it is only located on the right side of the motherboard and it is not as colorful as the other options out there. This is not a huge consideration but definitely worth mentioning if you intend to do some RGB lighting on your gaming PC.

This version comes with the WiFi antenna that you can screw on the back. It also serves as a Bluetooth receiver, so if you have a pair of wireless gaming headsets, you can use that to have it wirelessly connected to the system.

Even though it supports up to 8 SATA drives, do keep in mind that the placement of some of those ports might not prove to be ideal from a cable management standpoint.

On top of that, if you intend to use its m.2 slot, you will have to sacrifice one SATA port for that as well.

Seriously, the Asus x570 TUF Gaming Plus WiFi is an impressive motherboard for the price. Originally sold for $200, you can get one now for a low price of $165.

5.Asus ROG Strix X570-I

Price: $367

Asus ROG Strix X570-I

All of the aforementioned motherboards on this list have an ATX form factor and while they provide a lot of features, they are not meant for relatively smaller builds.

If you are looking for the best ITX motherboard in the x570 lineup, look no further than the Asus ROG Strix X570-I.

It has the best VRM configuration among the ITX mobos out there and it has support for up to 4,800 MHz memory, so overclocking your RAM is not going to be an issue with this one.

Despite it being a relatively smaller mobo, it does have a good number of USB ports on its back IO so plugging in your favorite gaming keyboard is not a problem at all.

This thing also comes with the WiFi antenna included in the box and I am happy to say that it supports the new WiFi 6 standard.

It does include some form of RGB lighting elements on the side of the board, as well as the ROG logo at the bottom-center. You can tinker with the lighting using the company’s Aura Sync feature.

This motherboard is usually out of stock, so a close second would be the Gigabyte Aorus Pro WiFi ITX edition. It has a good set of VRMs, though its BIOS is not as intuitive as Asus’.

Although it is a bit pricey compared to other x570 motherboards, it is definitely the best ITX x570 board you can find on the market.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Gaming

Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service

Avatar

Published

on

Amazon Luna

It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.

Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.

Channel-based Platform

Amazon Luna Platform

Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.

Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.

Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.

It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).

That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).

With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.

Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.

Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.

1080p and 4K Gaming

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.

Cross-Platform Support

Amazon Luna Cross-Platform

Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.

Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.

You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.

NVIDIA Hardware Use

According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.

That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).

Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.

Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites

Amazon Luna Controller

Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.

The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.

This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.

New Controller with Alexa Support

Amazon Luna Controller 2

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.

What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.

According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.

Conclusion

Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.

Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99

If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.

Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.

Continue Reading

Gaming

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500

Avatar

Published

on

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review

Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.

Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.

Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively. 

Design

Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.

The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.

Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.

It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.

I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.

The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.

For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.

The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.

Display

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review 2020

The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.

You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.

Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.

However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.

It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.

I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.

Performance

Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.

Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.

How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.

It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.

This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Verdict

With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.

The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.

Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.

Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.

Continue Reading

Gaming

HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

Avatar

Published

on

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review

As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.

In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.

Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.

Design

The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.

I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.

Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.

There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.

This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup. 

While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.

All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.

The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review 2020

There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.

Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.

That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.

I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.

Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.

As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.

Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.

Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.

Microphone Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.

Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.

The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.

Verdict

For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.

I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.

I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.

Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.

Continue Reading

Trending Story