Reza Pahlevi

News, tips and reviews from the experts on PCs, Windows, and more

See the Surface Laptop Studio in action: Full 8 minute walkthrough

How to overclock your PC's CPU

If you think that overclocking is solely for performance-obsessed geeks armed with bottles of liquid nitrogen, it’s time to reconsider! Even a small bump in PC performance can delay the need to upgrade your processor, keeping money in your pocket. Yes, overclocking can make the best gaming CPUs even better.

Today I’ll walk you through simple overclocking steps that can usually boost processor speeds 10 percent or more. If you’re a gamer, video artist, or media streamer, that’s a useful, no-cost upgrade. Read on if you want your PC to go faster!

What is overclocking, anyway?

Overclocking is a technique for tweaking various types of PC hardware, so that it runs faster than the manufacturer’s intended specification. Many processors, RAM modules, and graphics cards can be overclocked, usually by adjusting their settings via your motherboard’s UEFI BIOS. Operate in safe margins and overclocking shouldn’t damage your PC. But, as we’ll discuss, it’s important to manage the additional heat that accelerated hardware can generate.

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The best laptops: Premium laptops, budget laptops, 2-in-1s, and more

With Windows 11 on the horizon, PC makers have been busy announcing new laptops and tablets based on the next-gen operating system.

Add to that heavy competition between Intel, AMD, and Nvidia and we're in an era of some of the best laptops in history right now. Our top picks from currently available laptops are below: 

Latest laptop news and reviews

Here are the latest stories:

  • HP announced three new Windows 11 devices that may throw you for a curve: the HP 11 inch Tablet, the 14 inch Laptop, and the Spectre x360 16. The Tablet's cool trick is a swiveling 13MP camera that lets you show off homework. The 14 inch Laptop is also quite different and will be powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon processor. Finally, the Spectre x360 features a 5GHz 11th-gen Tiger Lake H CPU, a GeForce RTX 3050, and a pixel-packed 5 megapixel camera. 
  • Framework wants you to take its laptop apart and repair it. Seriously. While most laptops are difficult to impossible to repair or upgrade, this debut product from Framework not only can be dismantled and upgraded, but the company actually encourages you to do it. Find out what we learned when we took an early-production Framework laptop for a whirl.
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The Framework laptop is designed to be taken apart for repairs or upgrades.

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Meet Surface Laptop Studio, the RTX-powered PC that makes Windows 11 shine

Microsoft’s latest premium notebook, the Surface Laptop Studio, borrows the best from Microsoft’s other products: the flexibility of the Surface Studio, the convenience of the Surface Laptop, and the power of the Surface Book. It might not be the Surface Book 4 we were expecting, but with a new pull-forward display, Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics, Thunderbolt, Windows Hello 2.0, and a high-refresh-rate screen, it’s both an interesting fusion of other Surfaces as well as a physical avatar for many of the new capabilities within Windows 11.

The Surface Laptop Studio won’t come cheaply, though. Microsoft has priced the notebook at $1,599.99 and above, with prices climbing to $3,099.99 for the most premium model. The Surface Studio Laptop is available for preorder beginning today, and will ship on Oct. 5.

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HP Pavilion Aero 13: Light on price and weight, heavy on style and power

The trusty Pavilion has come a long way. With a magnesium aluminum chassis that looks elegant and feels durable and impossibly light, the HP Pavilion Aero 13 looks and feels more like a model from the company’s higher-end Envy or Spectre line than a mainstream Pavilion. And yet the Pavilion Aero 13 line starts at a reasonable $750.

Despite its light price and weight, the Pavilion Aero 13 is roomy and powerful. The laptop is based on a 13.3-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio that makes the display feel more spacious than a standard 16:9 display of the same size. The keyboard runs from edge to edge and feels spacious along with the generously proportioned touchpad. Powering this perfectly sized laptop is an 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 processor that’s no lightweight CPU. Our $999 test system is a great pick for students or anyone looking for tons of style and portability at a great price.

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The Best USB-C cables for charging and transferring data

It’s easy to see why people mistakenly believe that all USB-C cables are essentially the same, and that differences are mostly superficial and a way to mark up prices. After all, it’s just a cable, right?

Wrong. We can tell you from testing more than a dozen USB-C cables that they are not all the same. You will see huge performance differences in transferring data and charging devices depending on the particular cable you buy.

Unfortunately trying to find a quality USB-C cable among the multitude of options available can be daunting. So we bought 14 cables ranging from the biggest, most recognizable brand-names to the cheapest-looking cables around and put them through the wringer to test relative performance. In doing so we were able to identify some clear winners to make your purchasing decision easier.

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Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 phone tries to fix the original's problems

Microsoft’s original Surface Duo folding phone designed in some serious flaws. The Surface Duo 2, to its credit, appears to have at least addressed them.

When Microsoft launched the Surface Duo folding phone a year ago, Microsoft executives preceded it with a gauzy veil of hype that concealed the many flaws reviewers noted: a poor camera, a lack of NFC and 5G, a subsequently poor track record of patches and updates, and an interface whose bugs made the dual-screen interface painful to use.

Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 arrives today, available for preorder for $1,499.99 on up, with shipments starting Octobr 21. That’s about the same price as Microsoft’s earlier Surface Duo. Can the new phone fix the flaws of the first? On paper, it takes a good first step.

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Microsoft's redesigned Surface Pro 8 sets the new bar for Windows tablets

Microsoft announced three new Surface tablets on Wednesday, including a larger, more powerful Surface Pro 8, a new Surface Go 3 that boasts options for a faster Intel Core i3 processor, and an updated Surface Pro X. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 boasts Thunderbolt ports for the first time, integrated LTE, Slim Pen integrated storage and charging, as well as a new display that can run at up to 120Hz.

The new updates to Microsoft’s tablet lineup are on par with what we expected from this Surface launch, with Windows 11 looming on October 5, though Microsoft’s quick pace of recent tablet introductions means that there’s not as much of a performance gap as with prior generations.

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