Brad Chacos

Author Archives: Brad Chacos

Windows 10 Creators Update: The 5 biggest changes

Windows 10 just keeps getting bigger and better.Microsoft just announced that the Windows 10 Creators Update will start rolling out on April 11, building upon the foundation laid by vanilla Windows 10 and its subsequent “November” and “Anniversary” updates. While not every feature that Microsoft promised at the Creators Update’s reveal last fall actually made the final cut, it’s still overflowing with helpful new extras that polish rough edges and just plain make things more fun.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Ryzen CPUs explained: Everything you need to know about AMD’s disruptive multicore chips

After a decade of fielding ho-hum FX-series processors, AMD’s finally released its highly disruptive Ryzen chips, throwing down the gauntlet and challenging Intel’s supremacy in high-end computing.AMD’s new Ryzen chips include several CPUs (and CPU families) of various levels of potency. What’s more, Ryzen introduces a completely new motherboard platform, and the processors require different memory and coolers than their predecessors. There’s a lot to sift through—so let’s sift!Here’s everything you need to know about AMD’s Ryzen.Meet AMD’s Ryzen CPUs AMD Details about the AMD Ryzen chips announced thus far.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

7 ways to save money when you build a PC

For many enthusiasts, part of the fun of building a PC lies in not spending a penny more than necessary. Whether you’re building a basic everyday computer or trying to eke out a $500 gaming rig, shopping smart lets you do more with your money or, well, just plain save some cash on a purchase that’s already pricey enough.Good news: Costs savings abound, especially if you’re not in a rush. You just have to know where—and how—to look. These tips and tricks will help you save money on your next PC build. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

10 frustrating Google Chrome irritations and how to fix them

Chrome may be the most-used browser in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Far from it. Despite receiving over 50 updates over the years, Google’s browser still harbors several rough edges and idiosyncrasies that can make for a less than optimal online experience.A lot of articles show you how to fiddle with the browser in exotic ways. Not this one. Here, we’ll show you how to make Chrome less annoying—and that sweet, serene sanity is worth more than a thousand experimental features.Stop accidental closures Let’s start with something easy. It’s 2017 and Chrome still has no baked-in protection against closing all of your tabs without warning if you accidentally exit the browser.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Your new PC needs these 15 free, excellent programs

New hardware needs new softwareMore than a mere blank slate, a new PC is a fresh opportunity—a collection of components that, with the right software installed, could accomplish anything from balancing your household budget to helping to cure cancer.Yes, stocking your PC is an intensely personal task. Even still, some programs are so helpful, so handy, so useful across the board that we heartily recommend them to everybody. These are the programs you want to install on a new PC first.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Virtual reality, one year out: What went right, what didn’t

After years of teases, tantalizing promises, and Kickstarter campaigns, virtual reality finally became actual reality in 2016, with VR’s mere existence thrusting the entire PC industry into glorious, wonderful turmoil. Despite being around for just a handful of months, virtual reality has already inspired totally new genres of computers, wormed its way deep into Windows, and sent the price of graphics cards plummeting.Not too shabby for VR’s first real year on the streets, though the implementations could still use some fine-tuning. Let’s look back at how this wild new frontier blossomed in 2016.The birth of consumer virtual reality From the very start of 2016 it was clear that the dawn of proper PC-powered VR had arrived. You could see evidence of this fact all over CES 2016 in January, where EVGA introduced a specialized graphics card designed to fit VR headset ergonomics; Nvidia rolled out a VR certification program; and seemingly every booth boasted some sort of virtual-reality hook, from VR treadmills to VR porn and VR Everest climbs (the latter two being mind-blowing in their own ways).To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

22 wildly imaginative PCs that don’t look like PCs at all

More than meets the eyeImage by Anshel SagFor many people, PCs are just a tool; a bland beige or black box shoved underneath a desk and physically ignored except for when you press the power button. But not for everyone. In the right hands, PCs can be transformed into works of art inside and out.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microsoft’s $300 Windows VR headsets: 6 things we know (and 1 big question)

Everybody expected mixed-reality technology to play a part in Microsoft’s big Windows 10 event on Wednesday—but nobody expected what we got. Rather than showing yet another HoloLens demonstration, Microsoft instead announced a small army of virtual reality headsets unlike anything available today, and they’re all powered by the forthcoming Windows 10 Creators Update.The demo raised more questions than it supplied answers, but there was still plenty of info to glean if you were paying attention. Here’s everything we know about Microsoft’s Windows 10 VR headsets—and one massive question spurred by their mere existence.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

7 technologies killed in Apple’s new MacBook Pro

Apple’s never been shy about shaving off features in its quest for slimmer, faster computing. The new MacBook Pro lineup is no exception.Following in the footsteps of the radical 12-inch MacBook, the revamped MacBook Pro and its slick Touch Bar cull several old standbys from its design—and kill one of its siblings in the process. Here are seven technologies eradicated in the new MacBook Pro notebooks. For more details on whether we think the eliminations are worthwhile, check out Macworld’s MacBook Pro hands-on impressions.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Everything Microsoft revealed today: Surface Studio, Windows 10 Creators Update and more

One WindowsImage by Blair Hanley FrankMicrosoft’s big event in New York on Tuesday included plenty of new Surface hardware, but nevertheless, it’s easy to see why the company called this a Windows event rather than a Surface shindig.Windows and devices chief Terry Myerson kicked things off with a tantalizing glimpse of the features that will debut with the new Windows 10 Creators Update, scheduled to release in the spring. The rest of event was dedicated to new Surface gear designed specifically to marry powerful, thoughtful hardware with the best of those new software features. But don’t take my word for it! Here’s everything Microsoft announced at its October 26 Windows event.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

10 PC programs Windows 10 renders obsolete

Pedal to the metalImage by ThinkstockFor as long as Windows has existed, third-party programs have sprouted up to fix its most glaring headaches and omissions—only to be eventually squashed when Microsoft corrected course. Several of those programs, from PDF readers to ISO mounting tools to file management boosters, became unnecessary when Windows 8 rolled out. But Microsoft’s relentless axe didn’t stop there.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

6 reasons to try Linux today

There’s never been a better time to give Linux a try.Wait, don’t slam on that back button! I’m not one of those rabid “Year of the Linux desktop” types. Windows works just fine for hundreds of millions of people, and—sorry, Linux lovers—there’s little to suggest Linux usage will ever be more than a rounding error compared to Microsoft’s behemoth.INSIDER: SUSE Linux 12 challenges Red Hat That said, there are some pretty compelling reasons you might want to consider switching to Linux on your computer, or at least give it a hassle-free trial run.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

16 useful Windows 10 tools that help you get more done

Getting more doneImage by Adam Patrick MurrayNone of us like wasting time when we’re trying to get stuff done. Every second spent shuffling around open windows or navigating menus is precious time not spent achieving your goals. Fortunately, Microsoft stuffed Windows with all sorts of secretly powerful tools, as we’ve covered in-depth in both 17 obscure Windows tools and tricks too powerful to overlook and 15 simple, secret Windows tips and tricks designed to save you time.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

How to build a budget PC for less than $300

These days, practically every household needs a computer. Even if your job doesn’t require you to peddle presentations after hours, everything from shopping to budgeting to keeping in touch with friends is a vastly more convenient with a keyboard and mouse. And who can resist the occasional foray into the spectacular world of YouTube “fail” videos?PCs can be expensive, though. That’s why hundreds of millions of people rely on 5-year-old-plus computers. For many folks, PCs are appliances rather than toys—pricey tools that are replaced only when they break, and reluctantly even then.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Lenovo laptops refuse to run Linux due to storage woes, not Microsoft evildoing

It looks like Linux lovers have another roadbump to watch out for beyond Microsoft’s slow tightening of the UEFI Secure Boot screws.Lenovo’s forums and the Linux subreddit are ablaze amidst reports of failed Linux installs on the Lenovo Yoga 900 13ISK2 and Ideapad 710S, as Tech Republic first reported. The howls intensified when an unverified person identifying herself as a “Lenovo Product Expert” answered a question about the issue on the Best Buy website with, “The system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

The 15 highest-performing PC components you can buy today

The best gear money can buyImage by Rob SchultzOne of the PC’s greatest strengths is its extreme flexibility. There’s a vast selection of hardware out there, of all different shapes and sizes and makes and models—so much so that even if your budget’s not a concern, buyer’s paralysis very well could be.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microsoft delays Sunrise calendar’s death to bring more features to Outlook

At the 11th hour, the popular Sunrise calendar app’s execution has been stayed—though not permanently.Microsoft purchased Sunrise’s parent company in February 2015 to bolster Outlook’s capabilities. And in a post last October, Microsoft confirmed plans to kill Sunrise, though it promised that “We will leave Sunrise in market until its features are fully integrated into Outlook, the exact timing of which we will communicate in advance.” This past March, the Sunrise blog confirmed that the app would be shut down completely on August 31.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

10 killer PC upgrades that are shockingly cheap

No need to break the bankSure, swanky new Surface Pros and $1,200 graphics cards may capture all the headlines, but on a practical level, the real story is that PCs aren’t cheap. As a working father with two kids and a mortgage to pay, I understand that all too well. But if your computer’s starting to feel pokey, there’s fortunately no reason to rush out a spend hundreds on a new one.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update’s best new features

Happy birthday, Windows 10Image by Rob SchultzMicrosoft’s planning a big bash for Windows 10’s first birthday, and you’re the one receiving presents. On August 2, the company will push out the (boringly named) Windows 10 Anniversary Update to Windows 10 PCs, and the update’s chock-full of all sorts of new goodies for you to play with—some niche, some helpful, and all free.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

10 compelling reasons to upgrade to Windows 10

An offer you shouldn't refuseThe deadline cometh. July 29 looms, and after that, Windows 7 and 8 users will no longer be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. If you’ve been waiting for Microsoft to polish out the operating system’s initial bugs, it’s time to make the leap.This article’s more for the fence-sitters—the folks who haven’t decided whether to stick with what they know or embrace Microsoft’s new-school operating system. There are some very valid reasons not to upgrade to Windows 10, to be honest. But Windows 10 is the best Windows yet, and most people should claim the free upgrade while there’s still time.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here