March 4, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Everybody wants to know how well their laptop performs, but usually for different reasons. Was that high-end processor you optioned worth the extra money? Can your inexpensive clamshell run the latest, hottest PC games? Is it time to give up on that old laptop for something with a little more capability? A good way to find out is to run a few benchmarks.Benchmarks put your machine through a set of fixed, predetermined tasks, and then provide scores that can be compared to the results of other PCs. Comparison is the key here, as a benchmark lacking context tells you very…

March 3, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Stay on top of the latest tech with PCWorld’s Digital Magazine. Available as single copies or as a monthly subscription, it highlights the best content from PCWorld.com—the most important news, the key product reviews, and the most useful features and how-to stories—in a curated Digital Magazine for Android and iOS, as well for the desktop and other tablet readers.In the March issue This month it’s the Galaxy S21 vs. the iPhone 12. Which premium phone should you buy? We have the facts about the Apple M1’s speed, plus how it compares to the Ryzen 5000. Plus, 5 easy things you…

March 3, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

The $479 Radeon RX 6700 XT obviously stole the spotlight at AMD’s “Where Gaming Begins: Ep. 3” event on Wednesday, but before Radeon chief Scott Herkelman showed off his shiny new graphics card, he delivered another very welcome announcement. AMD’s Smart Access Memory feature is coming to Ryzen 3000 processors to make your games run faster.AMD debuted Smart Access Memory alongside its fantastic Ryzen 5000 processors. Smart Access Memory is built atop the PCIe specification’s optional Resizable BAR feature and allows your CPU to fully access your graphic card’s memory buffer, an upgrade from the usual 256MB chunks. The tweak…

March 3, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Google has pledged to crack down on third-party cookies in its Chrome browser for over a year now, taking progressive steps to weed out the code that collects data about you and shares it with the site you’re visiting. Cookies can be helpful in storing your user name and password, or saving your shopping cart; but they can also be used to serve up ads as you browse, making it feel creepily like someone knows what you’re looking for now—or what you looked for last week.On Wednesday the company made a further commitment to privacy by saying it won’t replace cookies…

March 3, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Browser privacy is a big deal, as Google and other companies use your search data to serve you ads while you surf the web. While most users accept that tradeoff, others who believe strongly in maintaining their own data privacy. If you’re one of these, Brave Software can help. On Wednesday the company said it’s launching a search engine to compete with Google and Bing, with privacy as its first priority.Brave is buying Tailcat, an open search engine, and will add it to what it’s calling Brave Search, a forthcoming search engine. The difference between Google, Bing, and Brave Search…

March 3, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

AMD’s new $479 Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card will target gamers who want to play at 1440p with max settings but its best feature may be that it’ll be available in “significantly” higher volumes than Radeon RX 6800 GPUs were at launch, the company said Wednesday morning. AMD also announced that its performance-boosting Smart Access Memory technology will be coming to Ryzen 3000 processors.But the star of the show was the Radeon RX 6700 XT, which features 40 compute units, a game clock of 2,424MHz, 96MB of AMD’s radical Infinity Cache, a 230 watt power rating, and an ample…

March 3, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

Samsung Galaxy SmartTags have entered a market already dominated by the third-party Tile tracker, and possibly about to be disrupted by the rumored circular AirTags from Apple. Can Samsung use the strength of its own Smart Things ecosystem to become a player? We tried them with a Samsung Galaxy S21 to find out.Similar to Tile Bluetooth trackers, Samsung Galaxy SmartTags work by attaching to a keychain and using Bluetooth and the larger Galaxy Find Network to locate lost items, whether they fell under the couch or were left in your last Lyft driver’s car.The $30 tag itself is very Tile-like, with…

March 3, 2021 CuttingEdgeTech

I am very skeptical about Microsoft Mesh, the company’s new virtual-reality platform, and you should be, too. Microsoft’s last attempt at virtual reality, the HoloLens headset,  was introduced with a flourish before largely melting away. The signs so far for Mesh suggest a similarly concerning pattern. Beyond that, we have to ask, do meeting participants event want to mingle in virtual spaces?Microsoft Mesh was announced Tuesday morning at the company’s Ignite conference—an event taking place via Microsoft Teams and YouTube because of the pandemic. Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman, the person most closely tied to Microsoft’s HoloLens efforts, announced that the entire Ignite…