October 19, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Apple’s long-awaited M1 Max and M1 Pro chips have finally arrived. Unfortunately, most PC folks will never give a damn about them. Sure, you’re saying this is just partisan posturing, but decades of watching the bickering between the two sides has taught me that it never matters. But first, if you haven’t heard, Apple has made some very bold performance claims about its new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. The first one compares CPU performance of the M1 Pro and M1 Max against a pair of PC laptops—one with an Intel 11th-gen Core i7-1185G7, and the other with an…

October 19, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Even at its list price of $70 per year, a personal subscription to Microsoft 365—or Office 365, as it used to be called—is one of the better deals in tech. That subscription gets you full access to Microsoft’s Office suite along with 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage. I’ve been a mostly satisfied subscriber for years, partly for the Office software, though mainly to access my photos, documents, and personal music library from any device. But part of that satisfaction comes from never paying full price in the first place. Instead, I’ve made a point of buying Office 365 discount codes…

October 19, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Have you ever looked at your cat as it stared at a blank wall and thought, “What is he or she thinking?” I certainly have, and I’ve done the same thing with my SSD too, wondering if it was doing OK, if it was running too hot, if it was over-worked, and whether it was operating at peak performance. Since your SSD usually contains your operating system and a lot of your critical data, it’s important to keep tabs on it. Unfortunately, there isn’t a built-in Windows tool that lets you do that. This is where CrystalDiskInfo comes to the…

October 18, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Intel is planning to offer a version of its hybrid Alder Lake chip—without efficiency cores—and AVX512 is indeed dead on 12th gen. The company confirmed with PCWorld that AVX512 would not be present in its upcoming 12th-gen chips, which now moves the controversial instruction set back into the dead column—cue your Monty Python memes. A gaming software developer guide that Intel published last week indicated that AVX512 would be in Alder Lake. This differed from the company’s previous statements that the feature—while present in the actual cores—would be permanently turned off so as not to confuse operating systems. Company officials…

October 18, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

At a glanceExpert’s Rating ProsPower for days, literallyPlenty of connection optionsConsExpensiveOur VerdictThe Goal Zero Yeti 1000X is probably overkill for some, and it could cause sticker shock, but if you’re interested in a burly power source that can expand to keep your whole house running in an emergency, this power station is worth its high price. Price When Reviewed$1,399.95 Best Prices Today Retailer Price Delivery Goal Zero $1399.95 View $1,749.99 View Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide Goal Zero’s Yeti 1000x Portable Power Station is impressive. It better be, for the price. At $1,400, the 1000X has plenty of…

October 18, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Technically, Windows 11 isn’t free. If you don’t already have a Windows PC (or spare product key), you have to pay for a license.  But an upgrade to Microsoft’s newest operating system costs nothing. For the foreseeable future, compatible Windows 10 laptops and desktop computers can move up to Windows 11 without any charge. You may also be able to upgrade some compatible Windows 7 or 8 PCs to Windows 11 for free, too. You’ll first have to upgrade to Windows 10, and then further upgrade to Windows 11 from there. Even if you can’t do it for free, you…

October 18, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

At a glanceExpert’s Rating ProsGood performanceVery affordableIncluded heat spreaderConsComponents may change512GB and 2TB models not readily available at the time of this reviewOur VerdictSilicon Power promises 3400MBps reading/3000MBps writing with the XD80 and delivers it for a very reasonable price Price When Reviewed$109 for 1TB | $220 for 2TB Best Prices Today Retailer Price Delivery $109.99 View Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide The Silicon Power XD80 is four lane (x4) PCIe 3 NVMe SSD that is sold in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB flavors—at least theoretically. We tested the $220 2TB version, but it’s difficult to find in…

October 15, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

On Friday, Microsoft began testing a fix to eliminate the cache latency issues that have plagued PCs powered by AMD Ryzen processors running Windows 11. However, the patch, part of Windows 11 Build 22000.282, is available just to the Windows Insider Beta and Release channels—both opportunities for members of Microsoft’s beta program to test new code before it is released to the general public. Microsoft did not give a timetable for when the 22000.282 code would be released to the general public. In the patch notes, Microsoft says: “We fixed an L3 caching issue that might affect performance in some…

October 15, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Intel is planning to offer an 8-core version of its hybrid Alder Lake chip—without efficiency cores—and will apparently offer AVX512 support too, according to a developer guide released by the company. The two tidbits were in a gaming software developer guide Intel released on its website to help game developers prepare for its 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs. Among the surprising reveals in the developer guide are plans for an Alder Lake model that won’t even be hybrid at all. “Mobile SKUs will feature up to 6 P-cores and 8 E-cores. All mobile SKUs will include E-cores. Desktop SKUs will…

October 15, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Let me start with a disclaimer: I am primarily a Mac user writing about Windows 11. For more than a decade, I’ve used a MacBook Pro as my primary work computer. I’m no stranger, however, to Microsoft’s operating system. Prior to my embrace of macOS, I used a Windows PC at my job and at home, starting way back with Windows 95. (I recall my Windows XP years fondly.) Windows 10 was never my day-to-day operating system, but I covered its release and have banged on Windows 10 laptops and desktop for years for product reviews.  As a Mac convert…