Tag: Gaming

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

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

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 haveibeenpwned.com. 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, Battle.net, 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