Author: simonc

How to Enable Parental Controls on Your Windows 11 PC

Parental controls help parents keep track of and control what their child does on their Windows PC. This allows parents to prevent their child from spending too much time gaming or visiting unsafe websites. These controls can be adjusted in the Family app on Windows 11.

How to Set Up a Child Account

To set limits on a child’s device, you have to add their Microsoft account to your Microsoft Family group in the Settings app. If the child doesn’t have a Microsoft account yet, you can make one for them.

  1. Press Win + i to open Settings.
  2. Go to Accounts > Family.
  3. Click “Add Someone” in the Your Family section.
  4. Follow the instructions to create a new Microsoft account for your child. You’ll make an Outlook email and password for them during this process.

How to Link a Child’s Account to a Windows Device

To show the child’s device in the Family app, connect their Microsoft account to their Windows user profile. They shouldn’t use a local account.

If they were using a local account before, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the child’s Windows profile.
  2. Press Win + i to open Settings.
  3. Go to Account > Your Info.
  4. Click the “Sign in With a Microsoft Account Instead” link.
  5. Enter the child’s Microsoft account details to sign in and link it with their Windows device.

If the child uses another PC with a local account:

  1. Sign in with their Microsoft account on that PC.
  2. If they don’t have an account on that PC, create one first.
  3. Then, link the Microsoft account to it.
  4. Go to Settings > Account > Other Users.
  5. Click “Add Account” to add their Microsoft account.

Next, follow the steps to sign in to the child’s Microsoft account.

To finish linking, open the Family app when you’re using your child’s Windows account. Here’s how:

  1. Press Win + S to open Windows Search.
  2. Type “Family” in the search box.
  3. Click on the Family app in the search results to open it.

Now you can begin setting limits on the child’s account.

Using the Microsoft Family App on Windows

Open the Family app in your Windows account, and choose the child’s account. Then, you can manage their screen time, app usage, and the websites they can visit.

Limiting Screen Time

First, go to the “Devices” section and click the “Turn Limits On” button for the child’s Windows device, the one you linked the Microsoft account to.

After turning on the limits, you’ll see a schedule where you can set how much time the child can use the computer on any day of the week.

In the “Time Limit” column, you can set the number of hours the child can use the computer once they log in. For example, if you set it to five hours, the computer will lock once the child uses up that time.

The “Available Hours” column shows when the child can log in. For instance, if the “Time Limit” is set from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, your child won’t be able to log in from 10:01 PM to 06:59 AM.

To change the time limits, click on a day like “Sunday” or “Friday” in the Days column. This will open a window where you can adjust the times.

You can adjust days individually using the dropdown in this window. Or you can set it to “Every Day” to change the screen times for all days at once. Once you’re done, click “Done” to apply the limits to the child’s Windows device.

Limiting Apps and Games

To control your child’s apps and games, go to the “Apps and Games” tab and turn on the “Apps and Game Limits” toggle.

Next, click the three-dot icon next to the app or game. You can either “Set a Limit” or “Block App.”

If you block the app, your child won’t be able to use it. But if you set limits, you can choose when it’s available to use.

Once you’re done, click “Done” to save the changes and restrict the app.

Blocking Websites

When you block websites in the Family app, it only affects Microsoft Edge. But that’s okay because enabling the limits stops other browsers from working.

To block websites, go to the “Edge” tab and turn on “Activity Reporting” to see what your child is searching for and which sites they visit. This info helps you decide which sites to block.

Then, turn on “Filter Inappropriate Websites and Searches.”

To block a site, go to the “Block Sites” section, enter the URL, and click the plus sign.

Now, your child can’t access that site. You can repeat these steps to block more sites if needed.

Managing Account Settings

You can add more restrictions to your child’s device by managing their account settings. To do this, click “Settings” in the top right corner.

Here, you can set things like the minimum age limits for apps and whether your child needs your approval to make purchases. This is important, especially if your child plays games with microtransactions and gacha mechanics. You can also choose whether to receive weekly activity reports or get them instantly.

Even with all these limits, there are more steps you can take to keep your child safe on their Windows device. For example, you can use the Family app to limit their other devices, such as their Xbox and mobile devices. Additionally, make sure your child’s PC has good antivirus software and that you’ve adjusted the necessary Windows privacy settings.

About the Author: simonc

Insights from Three Designers on Approaching a Website Redesign

Your website is your digital storefront, a crucial touchpoint for attracting and converting customers. But just like a physical store, websites need a refresh every now and then. A well-executed redesign can breathe new life into your online presence, improve user experience (UX), and ultimately boost your bottom line.

However, embarking on a website redesign can feel daunting. Where do you even begin? What are the key considerations? To shed light on this process, we interviewed three design professionals with diverse backgrounds:

  • Dani Balenson: An independent creative director who has worked with brands like Oscar Health and Vox Media.
  • Michael Rossi: A Senior UX/UI Designer at Hubilo, a virtual and hybrid event platform.
  • Kyle Benson: Webflow’s Principal Brand Designer, who has extensive experience in crafting user-centric web experiences.

Rethinking vs. Rebranding: Understanding the Scope

One common misconception is that a website redesign automatically translates to a complete rebrand. Dani Balenson clarifies, “It’s important to know that a redesign is not always a rebrand. It can be a refresh, like putting on a different lipstick or eyeliner. A rebrand is a more holistic shift in your brand identity, including your logo, messaging, and overall voice.”

Michael Rossi echoes this sentiment. “The web has changed drastically in the last decade,” he explains, “pushing everyone to realize that rethinking how their website looks and functions is a necessity.” This doesn’t always mean a complete overhaul. Sometimes, a well-executed refresh with improved functionality can make a world of difference.

Identifying the Need for a Redesign

So, how do you know when it’s time for a website redesign? Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Outdated Design: Does your website look like it belongs in a different era? Is it visually unappealing or difficult to navigate?
  • Poor User Experience: Do users struggle to find what they’re looking for? Is the website slow or unresponsive?
  • Mobile Unfriendliness: In today’s mobile-first world, a website that doesn’t function seamlessly on smartphones and tablets is a major disadvantage.
  • Conversions are Down: Is your website failing to generate leads or sales? A redesign can help optimize the user journey and improve conversion rates.
  • Incompatibility with New Technologies: Does your website struggle to integrate with new marketing tools or analytics platforms?

Planning and Prioritization: Setting the Stage for Success

Before diving headfirst into design, all three experts emphasize the importance of thorough planning. Here are some key steps to consider:

  • Define Your Goals: What are you hoping to achieve with the redesign? Increased brand awareness? Improved lead generation? Clarity on your goals will guide the entire process.
  • Know Your Audience: Who are you trying to reach? Understanding your target audience’s needs, preferences, and online behavior is crucial for creating a user-centric website.
  • Analyze Your Existing Website: Perform a website audit to identify pain points, strengths, and areas for improvement. Tools like Google Analytics can provide valuable insights.
  • Competitive Research: See what your competitors are doing well (and not so well) online. This can inspire design decisions and help you identify gaps in the market.
  • Content Inventory: What content do you have currently? What needs to be updated or rewritten? Plan your content strategy alongside the design process.

Collaboration is Key: Working with Designers and Developers

Once you have a clear plan, it’s time to assemble your team. Kyle Benson highlights the importance of collaboration between designers and developers: “A successful website redesign requires a close partnership between both parties. Designers bring their creative vision to the table, while developers ensure the website is functional and user-friendly.”

Communication is key throughout the process. Clearly articulate your goals and expectations to your design team. Be open to feedback and willing to iterate on designs to ensure the final product meets your needs.

About the Author: simonc

Snapdragon X Elite: Qualcomm Assures Compatibility with PC Games

Windows on Arm PCs using Qualcomm Snapdragon chips have faced criticism for their performance with applications. While apps specifically designed for Arm processors work smoothly, those built for traditional X86 processors, which are most common, have struggled.

This difficulty arises because these apps need to run through emulation, a process that translates X86 code into instructions compatible with Arm processors. Qualcomm states that the performance issue won’t persist with their upcoming Snapdragon X Elite processors and the PCs they power. However, there’s an important limitation to this claim.

At a Game Developer Conference, Qualcomm executives expressed their belief that most of the popular games listed on Steam should run almost as fast as normal on Snapdragon X Elite.

Engineer Issam Khalil suggested that game developers have a few options: they can either adapt their games for Arm processors, create a hybrid app using Arm64EC where Qualcomm’s drivers run directly but the rest is emulated, or rely on Windows on Arm’s emulation. Khalil mentioned that he thinks most games depend more on the GPU, so the emulator’s performance shouldn’t be a major issue.

However, there are some issues to consider. Games with kernel-level anti-cheat drivers won’t function properly through emulation, according to Khalil. Additionally, games that use AVX instructions may also encounter problems. This has sparked discussions on Steam, with some mentioning issues with emulators and Ubisoft games, while others claim that AVX requirements have been quietly removed.

Games with kernel-level anti-cheat drivers could include popular titles like Fortnite, Valorant, and Apex Legends. There’s a list of over 300 games that use this technology available online. To resolve this, these games might need to be specifically coded for Arm processors. But the question remains: will developers put in the effort to do so?

When Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon X Elite platform last year, they made some big promises. Tests done by Qualcomm suggested that these processors could compete well against Intel’s 13th-gen Core H. However, emulation has always been a concern. We’ll have to wait and see if Snapdragon X Elite PCs can really keep up, or if you’ll have to be selective about which apps you use on them.

About the Author: simonc

SSD Prices Surge, Significant Double-Digit Increase Expected

Buyers of solid-state drives (SSDs) might face higher prices soon. Prices for consumer SSDs already went up a lot in the first quarter of this year. Now, experts predict they’ll go up even more in the next few months. This means people building PCs will have to spend more money.

A report from TrendForce, which analyzes the IT market, says consumer SSD prices rose by 23-28 percent in the first quarter. They expect prices to go up another 10-15 percent in the second quarter, even though not many people are buying SSDs right now.

The report also says prices for NAND Flash memory, which is used in SSDs and other devices, could go up by 13-18 percent in the second quarter of 2024. It looks at price trends for different types of NAND Flash products, like mobile memory, consumer and business SSDs, and the materials used to make them.

It’s important to mention that prices for business SSDs went up a lot last year. In the last three months of the year, prices increased by 15 percent. This trend of higher prices continued into the first quarter of 2024, with prices going up by another 23-28 percent, just like for consumer SSDs. Experts predict that prices for business SSDs will go up even more this quarter, by 20-25 percent. This is because there’s a lot of demand from companies that provide online services in North America and China.

In contrast to the business SSD market, it’s reported that people are being more careful when buying client SSDs. Some companies making PCs are cutting down on the number of SSDs they’re ordering for the second quarter of 2024. The big price increases will probably make these companies even less likely to order SSDs in the second half of the year. Even though people are being cautious, prices for NAND Flash wafers are expected to keep going up because manufacturers want to make more profit.

In the market for mobile NAND, there’s a lot of demand for eMMC from Chinese smartphone brands. Also, the UFS market is growing because there’s more demand in places like India and Southeast Asia. This is likely to make prices for both eMMC and UFS go up by 10-15 percent in the second quarter of 2024.

About the Author: simonc

Geekbench Tests Show Snapdragon X Elite Surpassing Intel and AMD Flagship CPUs in Speed

In simple terms: Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon X Elite processor for laptops last year, and these laptops will start being sold in mid-2024. As we get closer to their release, some details about their performance are appearing on benchmarking websites.

A Lenovo laptop with the Snapdragon X Elite chip appeared on Geekbench recently. It got a high score of 14,254 in tests that measure how well it handles many tasks at once, and 2,427 in tests that measure performance with one task. These scores are as good as or better than similar Intel and AMD chips.

For comparison, a typical Intel Core i9-13900H chip gets around 2,400 points for one task and 11,000 for many tasks. An AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS chip gets about 2,632 points for one task and 13,155 for many tasks. This suggests that the Snapdragon X Elite chip could perform similarly for one task and even better for many tasks compared to these flagship Intel and AMD chips.

Qualcomm recently said their Snapdragon X Elite processor is faster than Intel’s latest Meteor Lake mobile processors, like the Core Ultra 9 185H and Core Ultra 7 155H. These Intel chips have 16 cores each, with different max speeds.

Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon X Elite is much faster than the Core Ultra 9 185H in tasks that use one core, and it uses less battery power for similar performance. In tasks that use many cores, the Snapdragon X Elite is also faster and uses less power than the Core Ultra 9 185H.

The Snapdragon X Elite is Qualcomm’s newest processor for laptops. It has 12 special CPU cores and can go up to 3.8 GHz. Devices with this chip will be available soon, and many big laptop brands will use it.

About the Author: simonc

Why We Should Get the PS5 Pro

The PS5 Pro is a rumored upgrade for the PlayStation 5, although it hasn’t been officially confirmed yet. Some gamers who already have a PS5 wonder if this upgrade is really needed. Despite the lack of official confirmation, leaks suggest that the PS5 Pro is likely. Whether these rumors are accurate or not, there are reasons why a PS5 Pro could be useful.

4K Remains Elusive on Consoles

When the PS4 Pro came out, it was made for the increasing number of people buying 4K TVs. The regular PlayStation 4 was designed for 1080p TVs. But actually making games run in 4K was often difficult. That’s why the PS4 Pro had a special feature called “checkerboard” rendering to help with this.

When the PlayStation 5 came out, it could easily handle older PS4 games in 4K. That’s because the PS5 is much more powerful than the PS4. But with new games made just for the PS5, developers are choosing more fancy graphics over high resolution. Sometimes, they even have to lower the frame rate to 30 frames per second (fps).

A PS5 Pro could make games made for the regular PS5 look better. It could make the picture clearer and the movement smoother. If we’re really lucky, it could do both. Having two versions of the console is helpful. If the PS5 Pro became the regular model, developers might focus too much on fancy graphics and make games run at lower resolutions and frame rates again.

Frame Rates Are Dropping

The PS5 was supposed to handle games at 120 frames per second (fps), which is great for people with TVs and monitors that support 120Hz. But not many games actually run at 120fps. One benefit of having a 120Hz TV is that games like Horizon Forbidden West can run at 40fps smoothly. This works well because 40fps divides evenly into 120, but it would stutter on a TV with a 60Hz display.

Even getting games to run at 60fps is becoming rare. And when they do, the picture quality is often not good. If a PS5 game can’t go above 60fps because of its processor, then a PS5 Pro probably won’t have better frame rates, since the processor isn’t expected to be much faster according to the leaked specs. But if a game runs at 60fps on the regular PS5 with bad picture quality, a PS5 Pro might make 60fps modes look better.

Ray Tracing Was DOA on the Base PS5

Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles were planned years before they were released, which makes sense. But just before the PS5 came out, NVIDIA introduced its RTX series of GPUs. These GPUs can do real-time ray tracing, which is a big jump in graphics technology. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 look much better on PC with ray tracing than on consoles. While current consoles can do some ray tracing, it’s not very good.

That’s why ray tracing in console games is limited. Usually, it’s just for things like shadows or reflections, and they don’t look as good as the rest of the game. The PS5 Pro could change that, especially since AMD, who makes the PS5 and Xbox GPUs, has caught up to NVIDIA in ray tracing.

Ray tracing can make games look a lot better if it’s done right, and it could be a big selling point for the PS5 Pro.

Better Upscaling Tech Is Needed

NVIDIA surprised AMD not only with ray tracing but also with DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) when they launched their RTX cards. DLSS uses machine learning and algorithms trained on NVIDIA’s supercomputers to make games look better. It can take a game at a lower resolution and make it look like it’s at a higher resolution without losing any detail. DLSS had some problems at first, but now it’s so good that sometimes it looks as good as or even better than native resolution.

Consoles use AMD’s FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution) technology, which is software-based and not as good as DLSS. It has a lot of image quality issues and makes current-generation console games look worse.

The leaked specifications for the PS5 Pro suggest it will have a custom AI-powered upscaling technology. This could be a big deal. If it’s as good as DLSS, it could make games look much better on 4K TVs, even if the game’s internal resolution is lower for better performance.

Even if you’re satisfied with your PS5 and its performance, it’s evident that a PS5 Pro could bring some noticeable improvements for players. Whether these improvements actually happen is uncertain, but there’s certainly potential for something better.

About the Author: simonc

Improved Copilot, Photos App, Widgets, and Other Highlights in the Windows 11 Update

Microsoft has announced a big update for Windows 11. It includes lots of improvements that have been tested for a few months. Some of the changes include updates to Copilot, a new feature called Generative Erase in the Photos app, better Snap layouts, and more.

This new update for Windows 11 doesn’t have its own special name like the one from last year, called Windows 11 23H2. Not all the features will be available at once. Microsoft mentioned in a blog post that “Most of these new Windows 11 features will be turned on by default in the March 2024 optional non-security preview release for all editions of Windows 11, versions 23H2 and 22H2.”

The main highlight here is the additional improvements to the Windows Copilot assistant, which you can find by clicking the Copilot button on the far-right side of the taskbar. The plugins that were previously available only in the Copilot web app and other modes are now also accessible in Windows Copilot. These include plugins like OpenTable, Instacart, and Kayak. Additionally, Copilot now has new commands to control Windows system functions, such as “turn off battery saver,” “display IP address,” “launch live captions,” and “empty recycle bin.”

In Windows 11, the Photos app is getting a new feature called Generative Erase. This lets you choose and remove unwanted things or flaws from your pictures. Microsoft had tested a similar feature called “Spot Fix” back in May, but this new version is more like the Content-Aware Fill feature in Adobe Photoshop.

Windows 11 is also introducing voice shortcuts. These let you automate certain tasks by speaking a phrase, similar to Shortcuts on macOS and iPhone. Microsoft explained in a blog post, “You can now make custom commands to quickly do what you want with just one phrase. This includes tasks like pasting text and media, pressing keys or clicks, opening folders, files, apps, or websites. Voice Shortcuts are there to make things easier for you.”

The update brings “intelligent Snap suggestions,” which have been tested since June last year. This feature suggests how to arrange your application windows based on your usual use. For instance, if you often switch between a web browser and a chat app, you might see these apps suggested to be split 50-50 in the Windows snap panel (which you can see by hovering over the maximize button on a window).

There are also some needed changes coming to the Widgets board. You can now completely hide the news feed, which is great because the news was usually not helpful. Microsoft explained, “With the new Widgets board experience, you can create a focused board and organize your Widgets into different categories – whether for work or play. If you want to catch up on current events, you’ll still find the usual news feed available through your feed on the discovery dashboard.”

Another change to mention is the improved Windows Ink. Now, you can write words in more apps like Photos, Paint, WhatsApp, and Messenger, not just in fields made for written input.

Some of these updates will come with Windows system updates, while others will be updates from the Microsoft Store. The new Copilot commands will start rolling out “in late March.”

About the Author: simonc

How to Keep Your Gaming Accounts Safe: Easy Steps to Follow

It’s really upsetting to find out that someone has accessed one of your gaming accounts. Sadly, this happens a lot. It’s happened to me a few times, and that’s why I decided to take steps to better protect my gaming accounts.

Never Share Your Account Details

One of the easiest ways for a hacker to steal your account is by tricking you into giving away your login details willingly. They might do this through something called a phishing attack. Phishing attacks come in different forms, like in-game or social media messages, or emails that look legitimate but aren’t.

If you’ve played World of Warcraft, you might have seen a tip on the loading screen that says, “A Blizzard employee will NEVER ask for your password.” This tip is important for all games and companies. People who work for game companies don’t need your password to help you, so they’ll never ask for it. If someone says they’re from the company and asks for your password, be careful—it could be a scam.

We suggest not sharing your account with anyone to avoid the risk of losing it. Many of us have shared our gaming accounts with friends and family before, but this could lead to a security problem if your login details aren’t kept safe. Even if the person you share your account with doesn’t mean any harm, there’s still a chance that someone else could hack into their account and gain access to yours.

Never Re-Use Passwords, Try To Use Unique Emails and Usernames

It really stinks when one account gets hacked, but it’s even worse if multiple accounts are stolen. This happens when you use the same username, password, and email for all your accounts. While it’s not realistic to have different emails for each gaming account, using unique usernames and passwords is pretty simple.

I have to confess, I used to use the same username and password for all my gaming accounts. Then, a website I used got hacked, and my login information got out there. Even big companies can have data breaches, and even though passwords are usually encrypted, it’s still smart to minimize the amount of your personal information that gets leaked (including usernames and email addresses).

You can find out if your email has been leaked by using If you use a Google account to store your passwords, you can use the Password Checkup tool to get alerts about any leaked passwords. Apple’s password manager for iPhone, iPad, and Mac also alerts you about passwords that need to be changed, as do many other third-party password managers. I didn’t bother changing the reused passwords for the gaming accounts I no longer use, so here’s what my Password Checkup looks like:

The good news is you don’t need to remember lots of usernames and passwords for your gaming accounts like Steam, Epic Games,, Ubisoft Connect, and EA. Instead, you can use a password manager. It’s safer to store your accounts with a trusted password manager than to use the same password for all of them. Plus, you won’t have to remember all those passwords yourself. You can access them easily with the password manager or use automatic login.

Watch Out When Downloading Suspicious Files

Gamers often download files from sketchy websites. These files could be fixes, save files, mods, or trainers for less-known games. While downloading them isn’t necessarily bad, you need to be careful because they might contain malware. For instance, there’s a malware called BloodyStealer that’s aimed at gamers. Hackers use it to steal gaming accounts, including all your games and in-game items, which they then sell for money on certain websites. Also, watch out for suspicious links and scams shared through Discord.

The easy fix might seem to avoid third-party websites altogether. But for those of us who enjoy modding games, that’s not always possible. If you’re into modding, it’s safer to use platforms like Steam Workshop, official websites, and trusted names in the industry like Nexus Mods. These places verify all game files for safety.

If you think your computer might already have a virus, check out our guide on how to check for viruses.

Set Up Two-Factor Authentication and Security Questions

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a great way to keep your online accounts safe. It adds an extra step before you can log in. Usually, this means getting a code from an app, text message, or email. You probably already use it for important accounts like Google, Apple, and your bank. Your gaming accounts should get the same level of protection.

2FA is common in games and digital stores now. Turning it on makes your accounts much safer. But not all 2FAs are equal. Typing in a code from an authenticator app is safer than using emails, texts, or just tapping “yes.” If a hacker gets into your email or phone, they could still get into your account.

Still, 2FA isn’t perfect. If a hacker can log in through your computer or phone, they can get past it. They might even trick your phone company into giving them access to your number. Whenever you can, use an authenticator app and change your password often.

Use a VPN for an Extra Layer of Security

VPN companies might make you think their programs keep you totally safe online, but that’s not exactly true. However, VPNs are really good at encrypting your internet traffic. This means your data is hidden from the websites you visit and your internet service provider (ISP). VPNs are especially useful when you’re using public Wi-Fi. They can keep hackers from seeing the information you send and receive on a risky network, like in a “man in the middle” attack.

Using a VPN for gaming could make your ping, or connection speed, slower. But you can reduce this by picking a server close to you. Another option is to only use the VPN on certain devices or when you’re not playing games. If the VPN makes your multiplayer games too slow, still use it on public Wi-Fi or when you’re on websites you don’t trust.

If All Else Fails, Contact Customer Support

If your gaming accounts get hacked, don’t panic. Usually, customer support can help you get them back.

I recently had my Riot account stolen. Even though I had two-factor authentication, the hacker turned it off easily because they had access to my laptop. Luckily, customer support helped me get my account back.

But here’s the important part: I had to prove the account was mine. Riot Games asked me a lot of questions, like when and where I made the account, if I bought in-game money, and my PayPal transaction IDs. I found the PayPal ID in my email, and it was really helpful. So, it’s a good idea to save receipts for your gaming purchases, just like you would for bank transactions.

About the Author: simonc

Why Building a Gaming PC in 2023 Is a Great Idea

In the past couple of years, the PC gaming hardware landscape has witnessed its fair share of challenges, particularly in the underwhelming releases of new components, most notably the latest generation of GPUs. Despite these setbacks, building a new gaming PC from the ground up is not as bleak as it may seem. In fact, it might be one of the most opportune times in the last few years, even amid concerns about a global recession, inflation, and economic uncertainties.

Instead of dwelling on the drawbacks of pricey GPUs like the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, 4070 Ti, 4080, Radeon 7900 XTX, and others, let’s shift our focus to the positive aspects of building a gaming PC right now. This article highlights why it’s a promising idea, especially for those seeking a fresh gaming setup.

While the GPU remains a critical component of any gaming system, there are still reasonably priced options available, catering to various preferences. For individuals embarking on a journey to construct an entirely new PC, there is a range of components required beyond just the graphics card. Surprisingly, these supplementary parts are currently quite affordable.


Analyzing the price trends of DDR5-6000 CL30 memory over the past 10 months reveals a significant decline, nearly 60%, from $280 for a 32GB kit last October to its current price of just $116. This pattern is consistent with the general trend in DDR5 pricing. However, it’s crucial to manage expectations regarding further price reductions.

Prices have already started to stabilize, and while there may be some additional minor decreases between now and the year’s end, we don’t foresee significant further declines. DRAM manufacturers have already implemented production cuts to maintain price stability.

If you’re embarking on a new PC build, we highly recommend opting for a DDR5-compatible system. Even for those with budget constraints, DDR4 still presents a viable option, especially considering that 32GB DDR4-3600 CL18 kits are now available for just under $60. However, it’s worth noting that you can acquire 32GB DDR5-5600 kits for less than $80, making a DDR5-enabled platform a compelling choice.

Currently, DRAM prices are exceptionally affordable, with the option to purchase top-quality 32GB DDR5 kits for just a little over $100, representing an outstanding value proposition.

Fast Storage

SSDs, a critical component for PC builders, have experienced significant price drops over the past year due to oversupply and subdued demand for NAND flash. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, resulting in slightly lower prices, particularly for lower-end SSDs.

For those with budget constraints, there’s good news. If you require a 1TB SSD, you can find options for as low as $40. For example, the MSI Spatium M371 offers a 1TB capacity for just $35 or a 2TB model for $75. The Crucial P3 1TB, another budget-friendly choice, is currently priced at $40 or $87 for the 2TB variant, signifying a significant price reduction, similar to the DDR5 trend, with a more than 50% price drop over the past 10 months.

Even higher-end models like the Samsung 980 Pro 2TB have seen substantial price cuts. Over the last year, the price has fallen from $250 to a mere $100, resulting in more than a 50% decrease in SSD prices across the board. These favorable pricing trends are making it an ideal time for PC builders to consider SSD upgrades.


Gamers are currently in a fortunate position with various CPU options available across different price ranges. For detailed purchasing guidance, we recommend consulting our comprehensive “Best CPUs” feature.

Over the past few years, CPU prices have remained competitive, and while there hasn’t been a consistent decline like with DRAM and SSDs, there have been notable price reductions. For instance, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, originally priced at $700, has recently dropped to $560. Similarly, the Intel Core i9-13900K, which cost $660 in October, can now be found as low as $550, providing a 17% savings.

The Ryzen 5800X3D has seen a reduction from $450 to as low as $320, making it an exceptional choice for those already on the AM4 platform. For new system builders, the Ryzen 7 7700, currently priced at $320, is recommended. It offers comparable gaming performance with enhanced productivity capabilities and is supported by the newer AM5 platform.

Budget-conscious shoppers seeking a powerful PC with longevity in mind will find the Ryzen 5 7600, priced at $220, as the top choice. It outperforms the Core i5-13500, priced at $250, in both gaming and platform support, although the latter is still a commendable CPU in its own right.


Affordable motherboards play a crucial role in completing your gaming setup. While the pricing landscape may not be as remarkable as in other categories, it’s essential to find the right fit. As of our latest analysis, we have a solid grasp of AMD B650 motherboard pricing following a comprehensive buying guide.

For gamers on a tight budget, the Asrock B650M-HDV/M.2 shines as an excellent choice at just $125. Although the pricing of motherboards below $200 has seen little change over the past year, there are still several dependable options available. This pricing consistency extends to Intel LGA 1700 motherboards, where you can find competitive choices at similar prices to their AM5 counterparts. This flexibility ensures that both AMD and Intel remain viable options for those embarking on new system builds.

Cases and PSUs

When it comes to cases and power supplies, the options are abundant and competitively priced. In our Best Cases 2023 feature, we’ve curated excellent choices for various needs and budgets. For instance, the Hyte Y40, priced at $150, offers great value with an attractive build.

The range of PC cases is diverse, and you can find decent mid-tower options like the Fractal Design Focus 2 RGB for as low as $40. Power supplies are equally versatile, with quality 600w units under $70 and top-notch 1000w models around $150. With numerous options, explore what suits your budget and needs.


When it comes to graphics cards, the GeForce RTX 4090 is a standout but may not fit everyone’s budget at $1,600. Given the current GPU generation’s pricing and naming complexities, considering previous-gen GPUs is a sensible option.

You can find the Radeon 6950 XT for $580, offering good high-end performance slightly surpassing the RTX 4070. Below that, the Radeon RX 6700 XT, priced at around $320 – $350, stands as a solid choice. Further down, the GeForce RTX 4060 for $300, Radeon RX 7600 for $270, or an old 6650 XT for $250 are options for building a new gaming PC.

While these options may not offer groundbreaking value, they get the job done and enable PC gaming, which is the key takeaway. Despite the current landscape, it’s relatively better for new system builds compared to not too long ago.

A New Build

Considering everything, it’s feasible to build a gaming PC with a Ryzen 5 7600 CPU, 32GB of DDR5-6000 CL30 memory, Asrock B650M-HDV motherboard, 1TB SSD, Sapphire Radeon RX 6700 XT, a quality 750w power supply, a decent $100 ATX case, and a $50 air-cooler for around $1,050. You’ll need peripherals and an operating system, but for a reasonable budget, you can get a capable gaming system.

While this GPU generation has been underwhelming, this system still provides excellent gaming performance for less than the cost of a high-end GPU. You can also upgrade the system in the future. Consider spending a bit more on the motherboard for additional features and keep Intel as an option. Share your thoughts in the comments. Do you believe building a new gaming PC is a viable choice, and what components would you select?

About the Author: simonc