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AMD vs Intel- The Battle Between Two CPU Giants But Who Wins in 2020?

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AMD vs Intel

One of the longest-standing debates out there is whether Intel or AMD is better when it comes to producing CPUs.

In this article, we will explore what both companies have to offer and whether or not you should go for AMD’s Ryzen CPUs or Intel’s Core processors.

I already have a clear winner here but do read ahead so that you can form your own conclusion.

CPU Architecture

The first thing that we will talk about is the CPU architecture as this is going to be the basis for CPU performance.

Intel still uses the Skylake architecture that was released in 2015 in its new Comet Lake-S desktop processors.

For those of you who do not know, this is a refined 14nm process that is built in-house and although it provides good gaming performance, the same cannot be said for other tasks.

AMD, however, is using the Zen 2 architecture which makes use of the 7nm fab process from TSMC. That’s right, AMD actually does not manufacture its own chips, but rather, they have a third party company do it for them. The company basically provides the blueprint.

What’s interesting here is that because of the smaller node, AMD was able to cram more of it into its processors, and thus, it has created numerous processors that are not only powerful but also energy efficient as well.

Winner: AMD

Performance

Intel

So, what about performance? Well, that really depends on what you intend to do with your PC. If you are talking about a gaming processor, then there is no doubt that Intel wins this one.

The Intel Core i9-10900K is the fastest gaming CPU on the market in 2020 and that is thanks largely to the higher core clocks compared to its competitors.

True enough, when you look at gaming benchmarks, the CPU can handle any graphics card and any game that you can throw at it with aplomb.

Now, when we talk about productivity and content creation workloads, AMD takes the cake. Because AMD CPUs have more cores and threads, each one of them can be utilized to speed things up, among other things.

For instance, if you render a video, the higher core count in AMD Ryzen CPUs just makes it so that you can finish the render in a matter of minutes.

Just think of the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X for example. It is a 16-core, 32-thread chip that pretty much allows content creators to finish their work so much faster than using any of Intel’s mainstream desktop processors.

Keep in mind that the aforementioned CPU is still part of AMD’s mainstream consumer product stack which means that it is inexpensive for what it provides and you can use it with an x570 motherboard as opposed to the TR40 boards for the company’s Threadripper lineup.

Winner: Intel for Gaming; AMD for everything else

Overclocking

Intel 2020

There is actually no debate here because Intel CPUs provide better overclocking headroom as opposed to AMD’s Ryzen processors.

True enough, you can take the Intel Core i9-10900K and overclock its cores to go beyond 5 GHz which translates to an amazing performance uplift, especially in games.

The problem with this is that for you to get the most out of your Intel chip, you not only have to have a capable motherboard but you also have to make sure that you have a pretty good cooling solution as well (preferably an AIO liquid solution or even a custom water loop at that).

While you can technically overclock Ryzen CPUs, you cannot go beyond its boost clock simply because of the architecture and technologies that the company has used.

You can overclock the processor, yes, but only up to a point. In other words, it doesn’t go beyond AMD’s specs.

For instance, a Ryzen 7 3700x has a maximum boost speed of 4.4GHz, but that is only for the two best cores in the said chip. All of the others can comfortably operate within 4.2-4.3GHz ranges but nothing beyond that.

With AMD’s specifications, however, you can utilize Precision Boost Overdrive which is a feature that tells the chip to frequently boost itself to near maximum performance, but this one requires more than adequate cooling to take full advantage of.

What AMD is doing is actually good since people can get the maximum performance out of the box without much tweaking.

But, if you want to eke out every last drop of performance, Intel is the way to go.

Winner: Intel for more overclocking headroom; AMD for better out of the box performance

Power Consumption

AMD

There is no denying that AMD wins this round, mainly because the Ryzen 3000 processors’ 7nm process node provides more efficiency without a performance penalty.

Power consumption correlates with heat production and because AMD’s new CPUs do not take up so much power (even under loads), it remains cool despite the use of a stock cooler.

Speaking of CPU coolers, Ryzen CPUs often come with stock coolers right out of the box. That means that you save some money that you can use to spend on better memory, more storage, or even a better graphics card.

With Intel, boy, where do I even begin? For starters, all of Intel’s overclockable CPUs do not come with a stock cooler because the company encourages you to use a better cooling solution to tame their power-hungry beasts.

Power consumption is also quite bad. While Intel’s processors are better overclockers overall, the result is an even power-hungrier chip compared to any of AMD’s mainstream desktop CPUs.

When maxed out, for example, the Intel Core i9-10900K can get as much as 300 watts of power by itself which is pretty insane!

Winner: AMD

Laptop Processors

When it comes to mobile processors that are built into laptops, Intel takes the crown here. While AMD has already started rolling out its mobile processors, Intel still takes the cake simply because of raw performance without being too power-hungry.

When you look at gaming laptops on the market, you will find that the best ones are those that are equipped with Intel’s chips.

It would be interesting to see how AMD would respond seeing that Intel is taking a hiatus since it is focusing on manufacturing power-efficient nodes for their CPUs soon.

Winner: Intel

Price and Value

AMD 2020

Competition is always going to be great for consumers and it shows with AMD and Intel’s battle in the CPU department.

You see, Intel’s i9-9900K, when it was released, was priced at $500. Intel was able to do that because team red was still on the verge of releasing some of the best processors on the market as we know today.

While it is a pretty good gaming processor, it only has 8 cores and 16 threads which, from a productivity standpoint, is just a middling performer at best.

That has prompted the company to release a higher core-count mainstream CPU in the form of the Intel Core i9-10900K but a boost in just two cores rarely translates to better performance from a computing perspective.

AMD, on the other hand, is a clear winner in terms of price and value. If you have less than $300 to spend, you can look at the Ryzen 5 3600 or the Ryzen 7 3700x depending on your budget. The former is a 6-core, 12-thread CPU and the latter is an 8-core, 16 thread chip which means that they are not only good for gaming but also from a content creation standpoint as well.

If you want a chip that competes with the Intel i9-10900K in both gaming and productivity, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900x is sold at an appealing price of just $430 (down from $500 when it originally came out).

What if you want a CPU that has more cores and more threads without going beyond $1,000? You have the choice of getting the Ryzen 9 3950x which is an insane 16-core, 32-thread processor that can be used with a mainstream x570 motherboard.

Not to mention that x570 motherboards can support the upcoming Ryzen 4000 processors just by using their built-in BIOS flashback functionality.

With Intel CPUs, in each and every generation, you should be getting a new motherboard along with the new chip. That is because every new processor from team blue requires a new socket, so you’ll not only have to think about what CPU to buy, but you will also have to save some money to buy a compatible board as well (which increases the price even more).

Winner: AMD

Conclusion

So, who wins the competition? Well, in terms of overall value and performance, there is no denying that AMD wins here. The company has certainly provided us with amazing processors sold at affordable prices. Not only that but the motherboard support for the company’s chips is great as you can also use the same board for the upcoming CPUs as well.

Intel still wins in some aspects, though, particularly when it comes to overclocking and laptop processors.

Still, if you want to get the most bang for the buck performance, I would say that you should stick with AMD processors for now.

Until Intel comes up with a competitive chip and is sold at good prices, then and only then can it go head-to-head with team red again.

 

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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AMD vs Intel- The Battle Between Two CPU Giants But Who Wins in 2020?

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AMD vs Intel

One of the longest-standing debates out there is whether Intel or AMD is better when it comes to producing CPUs.

In this article, we will explore what both companies have to offer and whether or not you should go for AMD’s Ryzen CPUs or Intel’s Core processors.

I already have a clear winner here but do read ahead so that you can form your own conclusion.

CPU Architecture

The first thing that we will talk about is the CPU architecture as this is going to be the basis for CPU performance.

Intel still uses the Skylake architecture that was released in 2015 in its new Comet Lake-S desktop processors.

For those of you who do not know, this is a refined 14nm process that is built in-house and although it provides good gaming performance, the same cannot be said for other tasks.

AMD, however, is using the Zen 2 architecture which makes use of the 7nm fab process from TSMC. That’s right, AMD actually does not manufacture its own chips, but rather, they have a third party company do it for them. The company basically provides the blueprint.

What’s interesting here is that because of the smaller node, AMD was able to cram more of it into its processors, and thus, it has created numerous processors that are not only powerful but also energy efficient as well.

Winner: AMD

Performance

Intel

So, what about performance? Well, that really depends on what you intend to do with your PC. If you are talking about a gaming processor, then there is no doubt that Intel wins this one.

The Intel Core i9-10900K is the fastest gaming CPU on the market in 2020 and that is thanks largely to the higher core clocks compared to its competitors.

True enough, when you look at gaming benchmarks, the CPU can handle any graphics card and any game that you can throw at it with aplomb.

Now, when we talk about productivity and content creation workloads, AMD takes the cake. Because AMD CPUs have more cores and threads, each one of them can be utilized to speed things up, among other things.

For instance, if you render a video, the higher core count in AMD Ryzen CPUs just makes it so that you can finish the render in a matter of minutes.

Just think of the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X for example. It is a 16-core, 32-thread chip that pretty much allows content creators to finish their work so much faster than using any of Intel’s mainstream desktop processors.

Keep in mind that the aforementioned CPU is still part of AMD’s mainstream consumer product stack which means that it is inexpensive for what it provides and you can use it with an x570 motherboard as opposed to the TR40 boards for the company’s Threadripper lineup.

Winner: Intel for Gaming; AMD for everything else

Overclocking

Intel 2020

There is actually no debate here because Intel CPUs provide better overclocking headroom as opposed to AMD’s Ryzen processors.

True enough, you can take the Intel Core i9-10900K and overclock its cores to go beyond 5 GHz which translates to an amazing performance uplift, especially in games.

The problem with this is that for you to get the most out of your Intel chip, you not only have to have a capable motherboard but you also have to make sure that you have a pretty good cooling solution as well (preferably an AIO liquid solution or even a custom water loop at that).

While you can technically overclock Ryzen CPUs, you cannot go beyond its boost clock simply because of the architecture and technologies that the company has used.

You can overclock the processor, yes, but only up to a point. In other words, it doesn’t go beyond AMD’s specs.

For instance, a Ryzen 7 3700x has a maximum boost speed of 4.4GHz, but that is only for the two best cores in the said chip. All of the others can comfortably operate within 4.2-4.3GHz ranges but nothing beyond that.

With AMD’s specifications, however, you can utilize Precision Boost Overdrive which is a feature that tells the chip to frequently boost itself to near maximum performance, but this one requires more than adequate cooling to take full advantage of.

What AMD is doing is actually good since people can get the maximum performance out of the box without much tweaking.

But, if you want to eke out every last drop of performance, Intel is the way to go.

Winner: Intel for more overclocking headroom; AMD for better out of the box performance

Power Consumption

AMD

There is no denying that AMD wins this round, mainly because the Ryzen 3000 processors’ 7nm process node provides more efficiency without a performance penalty.

Power consumption correlates with heat production and because AMD’s new CPUs do not take up so much power (even under loads), it remains cool despite the use of a stock cooler.

Speaking of CPU coolers, Ryzen CPUs often come with stock coolers right out of the box. That means that you save some money that you can use to spend on better memory, more storage, or even a better graphics card.

With Intel, boy, where do I even begin? For starters, all of Intel’s overclockable CPUs do not come with a stock cooler because the company encourages you to use a better cooling solution to tame their power-hungry beasts.

Power consumption is also quite bad. While Intel’s processors are better overclockers overall, the result is an even power-hungrier chip compared to any of AMD’s mainstream desktop CPUs.

When maxed out, for example, the Intel Core i9-10900K can get as much as 300 watts of power by itself which is pretty insane!

Winner: AMD

Laptop Processors

When it comes to mobile processors that are built into laptops, Intel takes the crown here. While AMD has already started rolling out its mobile processors, Intel still takes the cake simply because of raw performance without being too power-hungry.

When you look at gaming laptops on the market, you will find that the best ones are those that are equipped with Intel’s chips.

It would be interesting to see how AMD would respond seeing that Intel is taking a hiatus since it is focusing on manufacturing power-efficient nodes for their CPUs soon.

Winner: Intel

Price and Value

AMD 2020

Competition is always going to be great for consumers and it shows with AMD and Intel’s battle in the CPU department.

You see, Intel’s i9-9900K, when it was released, was priced at $500. Intel was able to do that because team red was still on the verge of releasing some of the best processors on the market as we know today.

While it is a pretty good gaming processor, it only has 8 cores and 16 threads which, from a productivity standpoint, is just a middling performer at best.

That has prompted the company to release a higher core-count mainstream CPU in the form of the Intel Core i9-10900K but a boost in just two cores rarely translates to better performance from a computing perspective.

AMD, on the other hand, is a clear winner in terms of price and value. If you have less than $300 to spend, you can look at the Ryzen 5 3600 or the Ryzen 7 3700x depending on your budget. The former is a 6-core, 12-thread CPU and the latter is an 8-core, 16 thread chip which means that they are not only good for gaming but also from a content creation standpoint as well.

If you want a chip that competes with the Intel i9-10900K in both gaming and productivity, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900x is sold at an appealing price of just $430 (down from $500 when it originally came out).

What if you want a CPU that has more cores and more threads without going beyond $1,000? You have the choice of getting the Ryzen 9 3950x which is an insane 16-core, 32-thread processor that can be used with a mainstream x570 motherboard.

Not to mention that x570 motherboards can support the upcoming Ryzen 4000 processors just by using their built-in BIOS flashback functionality.

With Intel CPUs, in each and every generation, you should be getting a new motherboard along with the new chip. That is because every new processor from team blue requires a new socket, so you’ll not only have to think about what CPU to buy, but you will also have to save some money to buy a compatible board as well (which increases the price even more).

Winner: AMD

Conclusion

So, who wins the competition? Well, in terms of overall value and performance, there is no denying that AMD wins here. The company has certainly provided us with amazing processors sold at affordable prices. Not only that but the motherboard support for the company’s chips is great as you can also use the same board for the upcoming CPUs as well.

Intel still wins in some aspects, though, particularly when it comes to overclocking and laptop processors.

Still, if you want to get the most bang for the buck performance, I would say that you should stick with AMD processors for now.

Until Intel comes up with a competitive chip and is sold at good prices, then and only then can it go head-to-head with team red again.

 

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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