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Home News The Xbox Series X is faster than your gaming PC. Now what?

The Xbox Series X is faster than your gaming PC. Now what?

PC gamers have a time-honored tradition of flexing hard on console peasants who, in their opinion, play on inferior hardware. Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is about to put that tradition to the test, and I’m not sure the PC’s hardware superiority will survive.

The Xbox Series X, now confirmed to have a GPU with 12 teraflops of compute performance, is much quicker than any previous console. It doubles the GPU performance of the Xbox One X, and nearly triples the PlayStation 4 Pro. At the same time, performance gains in PC hardware have stalled. New CPUs and GPUs are quicker than their predecessors, but the gains are slim.

This creates an unusual situation. The Xbox Series X is almost certainly faster than your gaming PC, and the new Xbox will maintain its dominance for years to come. What does that mean for PC gaming?

The Xbox Series X beats most gaming PCs

12 teraflops.

That number, confirmed by Xbox head Phil Spencer on February 24, 2020, is a big deal. The raw compute performance claimed by a component signals roughly (and I do mean roughly) how it stacks up to the competition. It’s a number that puts most of today’s PC gaming rigs to shame.

Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti, which claims 13.4 teraflops, is one of only two consumer graphics card that can beat the Xbox Series X today. You’d have to pay at least $1,100 to buy one today, and most RTX 2080 Ti cards go for $1,200 or more. Nvidia’s RTX Titan is the only card that beats it, but at about $2,500, it’s simply out of the realm of discussion for most PC gamers.

The humble Nvidia GTX 1060 is still the most popular video card. Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Predictably, most PC gamers go for less expensive options. The RTX 2080 Ti makes up just .7% of all rigs included in the Steam hardware survey. The entire Nvidia RTX 20-Series line, the only PC video cards that support ray tracing today, make up just 6.39% of all video cards used by gamers on Steam.

The most popular card? It’s still Nvidia’ GTX 1060, an old standby first released in July of 2016. The GTX 1060 boasts 4.4 teraflops of compute performance. It’s followed by Nvidia’s GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti, a pair of entry-level classics. The Xbox Series X puts these to shame.

Gaming PCs aren’t likely to leap back in front

It’s not strange for consoles to gain an edge over PCs at release. The Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation dove into 3D graphics before they were common in PC games. The Xbox 360 handled The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion better than all but the fastest PCs built in 2006. The original Xbox was no slouch, either. Early titles like Halo and Dead or Alive 3 were graphical powerhouses for their day.

These victories were short-lived, however, as PC hardware constantly improved. The Xbox Series X will be different. The Xbox Series X will be impressive for years.

PC hardware just isn’t improving at its former pace. “Moore’s Law,” the idea that chip transistor densities will double every two years (with performance following suite), is dead. Don’t take my word for it. Just ask Nvidia’s CEO.

The Nvidia RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti

Nvidia’s hardware reflects this new reality. The GTX 1080 came out in May 2016 and was quoted at 8.8 teraflops. Its follow-up, the RTX 2080, came in September 2018 and quoted 10.1 teraflops. That’s about a 15 percent increase on paper, and disappointed reviewers noted the same meager gains in real-world gaming.

AMD faces the same problem. The popular Radeon RX 580 launched in April of 2017 with 6.2 teraflops of performance. The new Radeon RX 5600 XT is quoted at just 7.19 teraflops, a gain partially negated by the fact it’s more expensive at launch (The RX 580 was $230, while the RX 5600 XT is $280). The inexpensive Radeon RX 580 is still a fine option compared to newer Radeon cards, so long as you don’t mind the RX 580’s high power draw.

The days of easy gains in PC performance are at their end. PCs sold in 2023 will be quicker, yes. Yet the slow pace of improvement ensures the Xbox Series X will remain formidable for years to come.

Where PC gamers go from here?

This might seem doom-and-gloom for PC gamers, but Microsoft’s strategy with the Xbox Series X gives reason for optimism.

We still don’t know exactly what the Xbox line-up will look like going forward, but Microsoft has promised backwards compatibility for Xbox One titles, as well as Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles already available on the Xbox One. The company has also announced “Smart Delivery,” a feature that lets developers release one version of a game that’s compatible with multiple iterations of Xbox hardware. It’s clear Microsoft is setting the foundation for a broad push that includes multiple consoles across a wide range of price and performance.

The Xbox One S could remain relevant for several years. Gabe Gurwin/Digital Trends

In the past, a killer new console could be trouble for PC gamers. Gamers who played in the mid-90s will remember many questionable ports of early 3D console games, like Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. More recently, early Xbox 360 games like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion created a situation where top-tier titles were easily playable on an affordable console, but difficult to enjoy on a budget or mid-range PC.

That won’t happen this time around. Developers have better tools and better tactics for building games that span a huge range of hardware (just look at recent Switch ports, for example). Microsoft, meanwhile, seems set to push a new console generation that offers an extreme high-end option that’s at least partially compatible with older consoles.

The answer to “where PC Gamers go from here,” then, is “anywhere they want.” Those who have money to spend on a 4K-capable rig that defeats the Xbox Series X can certainly spend it, and they’ll have a great experience. On the other hand, gamers with an entry-level video card will still be able to enjoy most games in the new generation – at 1080p and medium settings, of course.

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Tribit StormBox portable wireless speaker review

Bluetooth speakers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. To say that it’s easy to find something that works for you would likely be an understatement.Bluetooth speakers are also widely available; they’re found not just in electronics stores, but general retail stores and myriad online outlets, too.For every big-name branded speaker that you’ll encounter in your hunt, there also will be unknown companies competing for your attention and money. Take, for instance, Tribit.Although it doesn’t have the same market presence as Ultimate Ears, it does have a growing portfolio of competing products with lower prices. Its StormBox speaker is one of the brand’s latest products and we’ve had a chance to check one out.DesignThe Tribit StormBox is a cylindrical speaker that takes up about as much space as a large energy drink. Although its buttons lead you to believe there’s a specific front to it, the shape lends itself to a 360-degree sound.Speaking of buttons, the StormBox keeps things simple. There are volume controls and a multi-function power/pairing button. Oh, and there’s also an XBass button that’s used to take sound to the next level.The speaker has a hard mesh exterior and an IPX7 rating which means it’s built to withstand splashes and scrapes. At the top is a lanyard that makes it easy to carry or connect to a bag. Nice and portable, it weighs in around one pound total.Although it pairs via Bluetooth, the StormBox also has a 3.5mm auxiliary input for directly connecting to audio sources. It, and the microUSB charging port are located under a protective rubber flap that keeps things dry.Also worth noting, you can pair multiple StormBox speakers together to create a stereo sound. We did not have the chance to test the feature out.What’s Included?Tribit Bluetooth SpeakerMicro USB CableBlack LanyardUser ManualSetupThere’s very little to mess with here as it’s more or less a case of powering on and holding down the pairing button. You don’t have to worry about any apps or phone settings.PerformanceI was quite happy with how the speaker performed as it did everything it promised. The StormBox had no problem filling large rooms and open spaces. You could easily hear whatever was playing throughout any room.The water-resistance worked pretty well. It was a bit muffled, but nothing drastic. Overall, I thought the speaker did really well underwater.As for the special button, I didn’t feel that the XBass button had much effect. I wish it had been a bit stronger.The battery life is reported to be twenty hours. I used it right out of the box and used it for about ten hours, and haven’t had to charge it yet. The manual includes a guide to figuring out the different functions, including how to understand your battery level. It isn’t very obvious, but there is a column of lights on the back that will give you a general idea.ConclusionOne of the best selling points of the StormBox is that it comes with an 18-month warranty. Not only that, but you can extend it out to 30 months at no extra cost. This process is done online at Tribit’s website.Given the affordable ($60) price, this is a great speaker option for people who might want something for around the home, office, or pool. It’s portable, sounds great, and has an excellent battery life.AvailabilityThe Tribit StormBox comes in a variety of color options, including blue, black, and red. Look for it at Tribit’s website and Amazon for about $60.

Cool tech gifts under $100

In the era of digitalization and lots of tech advancements appearing every day, you have no choice but adapt to our quickly-changing world. Tech gadgets are cool: they simplify our life and make it much more convenient. Besides, they become an irreplaceable part of our daily routine, just like smartphones once did. More attention to tech gadgets are paid in college: students are in need of helpful devices as well as reliable services like papercoach, which you can pay for an essay or just delegate your homework. Tech gadgets can also become a great gift for everyone, from a teenager to a retired person. In this guide, we will cover the top popular of them that will not cost you a fortune.Top gadgets for under $100 budgetHow many times have your smartphone, quick Internet connection, and professional student service united to make wonders? You just choose a reliable resource based on speedy paper review and other agencies’ feedback, then send a request like «Can you do my homework for me?» or «Can you write my essay for me cheap?» and receive a completed task within a short timeframe. Just a decade ago, we couldn’t imagine it would have ever become possible. Now there is a variety of gadgets aimed to make our life easy and comfortable. We offer a list of top tech gifts everyone would be happy to get and which cost no more than $100 (however, today $100 can get you quite far):Streaming stickA device like the Chromecast will cost you around $70, if not less, and is good for people who love streaming like bloggers or just enjoy watching Netflix. All tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Google have invested in the development of the streaming revolution so you can find a variety of models appearing every year (for example, Roku). It is able to deliver 4K HD video and helps you find the best place to enjoy the content easily;Portable chargerThis is a must-have device for active smartphone users that never have enough battery power (that is, for everyone). We recommend getting the one with 20,000mAh or more, which will likely cost you around $50 and will keep your phone charged seven times (this is especially convenient during the trip in the mountains, concerts, and other places where you can`t get charged a standard way). It is small, lightweight, and easily fits in the pocket or backpack. Besides charging quickly, it also does it safely based on your cable and device;Amazon Echo DotThis device is a mini voice assistant speaker that has access to multiple apps and using which you can control smart home devices (lights, garage door, water, and thermostat), listen to music, and order pizza. It will cost around $50 and is totally worth this money: it has a far-field system of voice recognition so you can make commands across the room while the device will react to your speech, accent, vocabulary, and patterns;E-readerFor example, it can be Amazon Kindle for the cost of $80. If the person loves reading and cannot invest much money into regular books buying, this one will make a perfect gift. The most recent models have a nice design, enough memory to download hundreds of books, a great touch screen, and a powerful processor for convenient reading. Talking about Amazon, it also has a built-in vocabulary and the battery life of one month by active reading;Wireless headphonesIf you are looking for a gift under $100, you can consider the Shure SE112 model that has a solid construction, built-in microphone for making calls, great quality of the sound, and a smooth Bluetooth connection. These headphones provide outstanding performance within a limited budget so you can enjoy music on the go;DroneDepending on the model, it will cost you around $100, and it will be a perfect gift for travelers and just nature lovers. It is lightweight, has stabilization features, and is controlled via an app. Cheaper models can record videos in 720p, which still makes great quality.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Android’s file sharing Nearby Share is now live

One feature that has been missing in the Android space for some time is the option to easily share files and contacts wireless with other Android users. Apple has had this with AirDrop for years, but Google has never brought a comparable protocol to the table. Finally, the rumors have been confirmed with Nearby Share available to Android.Nearby Share gives consumers a great option to quickly share links, photos, contacts, and documents with Android users instantly. The service works over cell networks, Bluetooth, WebRTC, or WiFi. This gives folks multiple avenues to deliver the shared files both on and offline.Google’s blog post also states that privacy settings are available in the app to make sure you have some more granular controls over how you can be found and receive files. You can change this from “all contacts” to “some contacts” or “hidden”. These privacy settings should allow you to add a layer of security to make sure you are only receiving or sending files to your most trusted friends or colleagues.Chromebooks are also not forgotten in this update. Chrome OS is quickly becoming the jack of all trades operating system and Google has made Nearby Share available on this platform as well. File sharing seemed like a natural progression of the already good continuum experience of Instant Tethering from Chrome OS devices to Android phones and we are glad Moutain View’s finest took the time to make this compatible day one.Nearby Share is a long-awaited addition to the Android ecosystem. While we like to think that Apple steals from Google on a consistent basis for new iOS features, this has been a gap in the Android experience that just needed to be fixed.Pixels and “select Samsung devices” should already see Nearby Share on the devices. Google will continue the trend of rolling releases of new Android options like this with future handsets getting Nearby Share over the coming months.