Rich Edmonds

The best pre-built desktop gaming PCs for playing Valheim

Valheim is a Viking-themed survival game that’s taken the gaming world by storm and is arguably one of the best PC games. While the game itself doesn’t require substantial PC specifications, you will still need a gaming PC or laptop capable of handling this challenging title. We’ve rounded up some desktop recommendations here to get you started.

Mid-tier Gaming PC

Staff Pick

Dell Alienware Aurora R12

Dell includes plenty of performance inside its Aurora R12 desktop PCs. We’re talking 11th Gen Intel processors, starting with an Intel Core i5-11400F CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER GPU, 1TB HDD, and 8GB of RAM. You can configure the PC to have up to an Intel Core i9-11900KF, NVIDIA RTX 3090, and 128GB of RAM.

From $1,078 at Dell

Budget Gaming PC

CyberPowerPC Gamer Master

This is a more affordable choice from CyberPowerPC and comes with an AMD Ryzen 3 3100 CPU, which is more than enough to handle Valheim. There’s also an AMD Radeon RX 570 GPU, 8GB RAM, 240GB SSD, and a …

Install these hard drives inside your Synology DiskStation DS220+ NAS

Mechanical drives (HDDs) are best suited for network-attached storage (NAS) enclosures. But if you want to push the best NAS for Plex to their limits, solid-state drives (SSDs) offer increased transfer speeds. We’ve rounded up the best HDDs and SSDs for the Synology DiskStation DS220+, depending on which you’d prefer.

Agile drives

Seagate IronWolf

Staff Pick

The IronWolf is Seagate’s main family of HDDs designed specification for NAS installation, rivaling Western Digital’s Red series. Rocking similar technology, named AgileArray, these NAS drives offer enhanced performance and reliability over desktop-class drives you’d find inside your PC. Up to eight of these drives can be installed inside a NAS, with capacities ranging from 1TB to 16TB.

From $60 at Amazon From $61 at Newegg

Enhanced reliability

Western Digital Red

Like Seagate’s IronWolf, the Western Digital Red series of drives are manufactured for NAS use. Like the competition, up to eight of these hard drives can b…

Review: NZXT made its first AMD motherboard and it’s brilliant

AMD, meet NZXT.

NZXT has been busy trying to break into new product categories, and motherboards have only seen a steady influx of Intel offerings. Times are changing as the PC hardware manufacturer is releasing its first AMD-powered motherboard, utilizing the B550 chipset for AMD Ryzen 3000 and Ryzen 5000 series processors.

The NZXT N7 B550 marks the company’s first attempt to provide a platform for PC builders to create an AMD-powered system using other NZXT products, including cases, lighting, and CPU cooling. Priced at $230, the N7 B550 is expensive, especially compared to the competition, but there’s plenty to like here.

NZXT N7 B550

Bottom line: This is NZXT’s first AMD motherboard, and it’s an impressive initial release. While the company went with B550 and not X570, the price does cover some high-end features like Wi-F…

Buy one of these gaming PCs to play Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is a big hit for simulator games. The title uses real-world data streamed from the cloud to create one of the most realistic world environments available in gaming. While you don’t need a beefy RTX 2080 Ti GPU to play it, having quite the capable gaming rig will make this game more immersive, which is where these pre-built desktop PCs come into play. Here are our top choices for the best PC for Microsoft Flight Sim.

Mid-tier Gaming PC

Staff Pick

Dell Alienware Aurora R12

Dell packed its new Aurora desktop gaming PCs with 11th Gen Intel processors, starting with an Intel Core i5-11400F CPU, GTX 1650 SUPER GPU, 1TB HDD, and 8GB of RAM. You can configure the PC to have up to an Intel Core i9-11900KF, NVIDIA RTX 3090, and 128GB of RAM.

From $1,078 at Dell

Budget Gaming PC

CyberPowerPC Gamer Master

This gaming rig from CyberPowerPC comes rocking the latest AMD Ryzen 3 3100 processor, AMD Radeon RX 570 GPU, 8GB RAM, 240GB SSD, and a 1TB hard-disk…

Connect the world to your PC with these USB Type-C hubs

USB Type-C allows manufacturers to make thinner laptops by swapping out larger USB ports with smaller ones. We’re not quite at a point where all devices support USB Type-C for easier connectivity, so if you have a cable with the traditional Type-A connector (the big bulky ones), then you will need an adapter or a hub to plug it into a PC with USB Type-C ports. We’ve done the research and rounded up the best USB-C hubs to fit your Macbook or Windows PC with a variety of budgets in mind.

Great Value Hub

Sinstar USB C Hub

Staff Pick

This fancy-looking USB hub is designed for MacBook, but also works just fine with Windows 10 PCs. Because of this, you’re getting a hub that looks like a premium accessory and will need to part with some cash for that privilege. It comes rocking some serious connectivity with three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Ethernet, SD, microSD, and USB Type-C. You could hook up an extensive collection of devices, including a monitor and even wired access to the internet…

QNAP’s TVS-672XT is the best NAS you can buy to run Plex

When shopping around for the best NAS for home, if you have Plex in mind as to what you’ll be using your NAS for, there are a few additional factors to consider. To enjoy all your favorite 4K content, you’ll need to have a capable NAS enclosure, which means a powerful CPU. That’s where this collection of enclosures comes into play, allowing you to take your media to the big screen without any buffering.

The best Plex NAS at a glance

QNAP TVS-672XT — Best Overall: Intel CPU, 6 bays, 8GB RAM, 10Gb LAN.
ASUSTOR NIMBUSTOR 4 (AS5304T) — Best Runner-up: Intel CPU, 4 bays, 4GB RAM, 2.5Gb LAN.
TerraMaster F2-221 — Best Affordable: Intel CPU, 2 bays, 2GB RAM, 1Gb LAN.
QNAP TVS-872XT-i5 — Best Performance: Intel CPU, 8 bays, 16GB RAM, 10Gb LAN.
Synology DiskStation DS220+ — Best Value: Intel CPU, 2 bays, 2GB RAM, 1Gb LAN.
QNAP TVS-1282T3 — Best Capacity: Intel CPU, 12 bays, 16GB RAM, 10Gb LAN.

How to choose the best NAS for Plex

Choosing the best NAS for home is one thing, but …

Ducky’s Channel One 2 Mini is our favorite 60% keyboard

Not everyone needs a numpad. Not everyone requires a cluster of navigation keys. If you’re collecting dust on a portion of your keyboard, it may be time for you to consider a 60% keyboard. Here are our favorite compact typing peripherals.

Best For Purists

Ducky Channel One 2 Mini

Staff Pick

If you’ve never heard of Ducky, it’s a company that has been pumping out some of the best mechanical keyboards for years. The Ducky Channel One 2 Mini may have a strange name, but it offers a sublime typing experience. You can choose from an array of Cherry MX switches and you don’t need any software.

$89 at Mechanical Keyboards

Best Value

HyperX Alloy Origins 60

If you need something that offers exceptional value, you will want to consider the HyperX Alloy Origins 60. It’s priced aggressively compared to other 60% keyboards, has a bustling compact design, all the RGB lighting you’ll need, and a premium feel for gamers seeking a smaller footprint.

$99 at HyperX (US)

$139 at Hyp…

Should you buy Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 or Surface Laptop 4?

Next-gen Laptop

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

From $999 at Microsoft

Pros

11th Gen Intel CPUs
AMD Ryzen 4000 CPUs
More recent
Stunning design

Cons

Pricey

Microsoft gave the Surface Laptop family of notebooks a refresh in 2021 with the Surface Laptop 4. This upgraded release contains better Intel and AMD processors. You can expect to see the same great design and notebook performance.

Tried & Tested

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

From $770 at Microsoft

Pros

More affordable
Still a great notebook
Same great design

Cons

Slower processors

If you simply want a great Microsoft notebook at a more reasonable price right now, the Surface Laptop 3 is still a very good PC. It houses 10th Gen Intel processors with plenty of configurations available, depending on how much RAM and storage you need.

Microsoft’s latest and greatest Surface Laptop is the Surface Laptop 4. It’s what you’ll want to choose if you need the best performance possible from the latest proce…

Picking the correct NAS for a Plex media server: What you need to know

Should you happen to be working from home due to quarantine enforcement and are looking at setting up your own home media server, Plex is a great way to go. This service allows you to configure a single location to host and stream all your music, movies, shows, and more.

Plex requires a solid server to get the most out of the service, though a capable network-attached storage (NAS) enclosure will suffice. It’s possible to build your own, which is the desired method for those with the know-how. On the other hand, what if you simply wish to purchase one of the best NAS for Plex, plug everything in, and get going? There are some solutions available from various companies, but not all are suitable for Plex, which can be fairly resource-intensive.

Plex recommends several NAS devices, including the following brands:

ASUSTOR
Netgear
QNAP
Seagate
Synology
TerraMaster
Western Digital

One thing worth noting before you part with hard-earned cash is, the less you fork out for a NAS, the m…

Check out our picks for the best PC cases available right now

Building a great PC starts with the case. It’s what determines how you’ll build your new rig, what parts can be used, and how easy it’ll be. We’ve gone through some of the best PC cases and picked out a select few that we feel really shine above the rest in various categories. Whether you need a case for maximum airflow or water-cooling capabilities, we’ve got you covered.

Best PC cases in 2021

1. Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic (From $160)
2. NZXT H210i (From $153)
3. be quiet! Silent Base 802 (From $160)
4. Fractal Design Define R6 (From $160)
5. Phanteks Eclipse P350X (From $70)
6. Antec Cube (From $220)
7. Thermaltake Tower 900 (From $267)
8. Thermaltake Core P3 (From $140)
9. Corsair iCUE 5000X RGB (From $204)
10. Corsair Obsidian 1000D (From $620)

What are the best PC cases?

Choosing the best PC case for you largely comes down to personal preference. Mostly, it’s about the look of the case, which is entirely subjective. We may have a soft spot for the excellent Lian Li PC-O11 …

These are the best motherboards to use with the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Getting the motherboard right in your PC build is important since it determines what CPU you can use. The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is a mid-range processor with 6 cores and 12 threads but can be used with A520, B550, and X570 motherboards. We’ve rounded up the best motherboards to use with this processor.

Premium X570

Staff Pick

ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Motherboard

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X motherboards may be mid-tier, but they can stretch their legs with an X570 chipset-touting motherboard like the ASUS ROG Strix X570-E. Not only would you be able to overlock the CPU without issue, but you also enjoy PCIe 4.0 support, high-quality components, Wi-Fi 6, and Gen 4 M.2 slots capable of unidirectional transfer speeds up to 64 GB/s, rapid LAN ports, and plenty of RGB options to light up your office.

$449 at Amazon

Budget Pick

Gigabyte A520 AORUS Elite Motherboard

While not quite as advanced as our top pick, the A520 AORUS Elite from Gigabyte is still worth considering for your Ryzen 5 5600X.
I…

Going all-in on crypto mining? These are the best GPUs for you.

Cryptocurrency mining is an intensive process, and you’ll be running your rig at a high load for long periods of time. As such, things like power draw become crucial, not just the outright power of the best graphics card. The RTX 3080, for example, is one amazing GPU, but this card can draw considerable power and may not be the most efficient option. If you’re getting into this thorough process, you’ll do great with one of the best GPUs for crypto mining.

Best Overall: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

The NVIDIA GeForce 3060 Ti is a monster of a graphics card. Usually, we’d class a $399 GPU as something reserved for budget PC builds or those who want to enjoy games on a 1080p monitor. The 3060 Ti switches all that up, based on NVIDIA’s latest Ampere architecture. This card is wild for both gaming and mining.

Despite being priced at somewhat of a bargain, it bests the RTX 2080 Super in raw performance for 1080p and 1440p gaming. That’s mighty impressive, and it’s likely going to be ext…

Overclock your CPU with a custom water cooling solution

Looking to overclock or simply cool your CPU? You’re going to want to install a water cooling solution to handle the additional heat output. Going with a custom setup allows you to tailor the cooling to your requirements and adapt it to the best PC cases. Some of the best CPU water blocks, like the EKWB EK-Quantum Velocity, handle the transfer of heat between the CPU and water loop. We’ve done the research and put together a list with some of the finest choices on the market today.

Best Intel

EKWB EK-Quantum Velocity (Intel)

Staff favorite

EKWB are experts on water cooling, and the Velocity is an excellent CPU block for Intel processors. A CNC-machined POM acetal plastic topper is connected to a mirror finish copper base plate — ideal for overclocked CPUs. It’s compatible with G1/4-inch threads.

$84 at Amazon

Best AMD

EKWB EK-Quantum Velocity (AMD)

For AMD fans, EKWB has the Quantum Velocity available, which can be hooked up to numerous AMD sockets. The company added hi…

Building a Plex server? You need one of these hard drives.

As well as purchasing the best NAS for Plex or setting up a small PC yourself, you will need some hard drives to store everything on. Just like we do with general NAS usage, it’s strongly recommended you upgrade from desktop-class hard drives to specific NAS versions. We’ve rounded up a few options you should consider trying.

How to pick the best NAS for Plex

Plex requires a solid server to get the most out of the service, though a capable network-attached storage (NAS) solution will suffice. It’s possible to build your own, which is the desired method for those with the know-how. What if you simply wish to purchase a product, plug everything in, and get going? Here are the best NAS options for running Plex and how to pick the right NAS.

Western Digital Red

The series offers hard drives with capacities of 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, and 14TB. If you’re not going to be storing much at all, it’s possible to pick up the 1TB drive for just $60. That’s more money than yo…

Here are the best mice you can buy, including the Logitech MX Master 3

It’s easy to buy a $10 mouse for your PC and call it a day, but you’d be doing an injustice that could hamper your experience. Spending on your mouse is a great way to make sure you get the most out of Windows 10, which is why we’ve rounded up all the absolute best mouse options available on the market.

The best mice at a glance

Logitech MX Master 3 — Best Overall: Has everything you need in a PC mouse.
Logitech MX Vertical — Best Vertical: For those who struggle with carpal tunnel.
Razer Viper 8K — Best Gaming: Comes rocking one of the best gaming mouse sensors.
Razer Naga X — Best for MMO Gaming: This mouse is for you if you want to activate 50 skills at once.
VicTsing MM057 — Best Budget: Cheap, cheerful, and good enough for everyday use.
Microsoft Bluetooth Ergonomic Mouse — Best Value: Amazing value, performance, and Bluetooth.
SteelSeries Rival 310 — Best for Big Hands: If you need a mouse that’s designed for larger palms.
Logitech Pebble M350 — Best Portable: …

Working on a PC? You’ll want one of these toolkits.

We’ve been putting together PCs for more than a decade and have a vast wealth of knowledge regarding everything you need to be adequately equipped, including a handy set of tools. Here are some of the best toolkits you should consider buying, whether you’re replacing a hard drive or putting together a new build. If you’re wondering how to build your own PC, we’ve also got you covered.

From the Pros

Staff Pick

iFixit – Pro Tech Toolkit

The official toolkit from the professionals who document taking apart different products. You’ve got the basics right here, which includes a 64 Bit Driver Kit, anti-static wrist strap, angled ESD tweezers and more.

$70 at Amazon $70 at Best Buy

All You Need

Jakemy Precision Screwdriver Set 33 in 1

This basic kit has it all: Magnetic screws, tweezers, thick screwdriver, and hardened 60-65 HRC Chrome Vanadium bits. The chrome finish ensures these tools to last for years to come making it a reliable set for all your D.I.Y needs.

$10 at A…

HP’s Spectre x360 is the best 13-inch notebook you can buy right now

There are plenty 13-inch notebooks out there to choose from, but which ones make the list of best Windows laptop options you can buy for the money? Luckily for you, it’s a great time to be shopping for a Windows laptop. We’ve rounded up some of the best 13-inch notebooks available to make your purchasing decision easier.

Best Overall: Razer Book 13

You were expecting the Dell XPS 13, weren’t you? Razer took the gaming laptop category by storm with the launch of the Blade family of notebooks, but the company isn’t content with halting there as it set its sights on productivity. If you’re not into heavy gaming, the Razer Book 13 may be what you’re after as it’s about the best you can get in a 13-inch form factor.

We were seriously blown away by this notebook. It’s not better than the XPS 13 from Dell. Both are the “best” laptops so it largely comes down to personal preference. With Razer, you get more ports, better audio, and faster resume speed. But not everyone will want to pay …

These are the best PC monitors available right now

A monitor is the most crucial accessory for any PC since you wouldn’t be able to see what you’re doing without one. Whether you’re looking for a capable gaming display or a monitor that works wonders with 4K content, there are plenty of options available, including the Razer Raptor. We rounded up some of the best computer monitors on the market, separating them into different categories for you to choose one easily.

Best Overall: Razer Raptor 27

The Razer Raptor 27 comes rocking a 2560×1440 resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate, and HDR 400 certification. You’ll get either AMD FreeSync or NVIDIA G-Sync compatibility and a max brightness of around 420 cd/m², making this quite the compelling gaming monitor.

It’s not just gaming where this panel truly shines, however. There are plenty of ports, including DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, USB Type-A 3.2 Passthrough, and a single USB Type-C PD (DP1.4 in Alt-mode). It’s friendly with DCI-P3, has a non-glare finish on the panel itself, AdobeRGB …

GameStop discounts Razer and HyperX PC gaming accessories

Save up to $40 on PC gaming accessories.

GameStop is making a comeback outside the stock market too as the retailer looks to celebrate Spring with a sale that covers some PC accessories. Over the course of next week, you’ll see up to $40 slashed off the price of various accessories, including keyboards, mice, and gaming chairs.

The promotion is set to start on March 28 and will last until April 3. We’ve rounded up our favorites from the PC section below for you to check over.

HyperX Alloy Origins Red Mechanical Keyboard

There’s plenty to love about the HyperX Alloy Origins mechanical keyboard. The switches are fast and precise, the RGB lighting is a joy to look at, and the aluminum body ensures this keyboard will stand the test of time. It’s also compact with USB-C and has a two-year warranty. Discounted from $110.

$90 at GameStop

HyperX Alloy Core RGB Membrane Keyboard

Membranes are still around and are a great choice for someone looking for a decent keyboard for …

NZXT just launched its first AMD motherboard

NZXT fuses excellent motherboard design with AMD’s B550 chipset.

What you need to know

NZXT launches its first AMD motherboard with the N7 B550.
This is a premium motherboard with a 12+2 power phase design, Wi-Fi 6, and support for up to 4733MHz RAM.
The new N7 B550 is available now for $229.99.

Today marks the day NZXT launched its first AMD motherboard. Like other PC hardware vendors, the company has been slowly growing its catalog of products, as well as the categories it covers. Motherboards are still a relatively new category for NZXT, but AMD fans have continued to be on the sideline while NZXT Intel motherboards kept rolling out.

Category
NZXT N7 B550

CPU Phases
12+2

PCB Layers
6

Fan headers
1x CPU (2A)1x AIO (2A)5x Case (2A)

M.2
1x PCIe 4.01x PCIe/SATA

RGB headers
2x NZXT RGB1x 5V 3-pin ARGB1x 12V 4-pin RGB

Internal ports
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 22x USB-A 3.2 Gen 16x USB-A 2.0

Rear I/O
3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 21x USB-C 3.2 Gen 24x US…