Close to the Metal Ep. 30: For Honor will kick your gaming PC's butt

This week, on our computing podcast Close to the Metal, we’ll take a look at For Honor, the multiplayer battle game, and see what’s slowing it down, and how you can keep from getting booted when your frame rate drops too low. We’ll also touch on the upcoming Windows 10 Game Mode to see if it can deliver on its promise of higher frame rates without any extra hardware.

badge_itunes-smallest   stitcher-smallest   rss-smallest

As modern video games quickly approach the point of photorealism, the demands they place on gaming computers are heavier than ever. Games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and more recently For Honor look stunning, but our mid-range review hardware has struggled to produce anything near playable frame rates.

But nowadays, it isn’t just oversized textures and complex models that cause GPUs to collapse under the weight of this enormous task. Advanced graphical elements like reflective surfaces, complex lighting and shadows, and strange edges are some of the worst offenders. Newer games will even let you crank up the resolution and then scale it back, in order to provide even higher-quality forms of anti-aliasing.

Indeed, PC gaming is typically one of the most stressful operations a personal computer will experience throughout its existence, and often for hours on end. To that end, there are a lot of little tricks that can help you game smoothly, without sacrificing the quality inherent to gaming PCs. Some games do it by offering a wide array of settings that let you tweak to exactly your specifications, or let you drop the rendered resolution without affecting the UI elements.

You can even take things to the operating system level, and prioritize gaming-related applications, while simultaneously cutting performance to non-vital software and add-ons. You can do the legwork yourself, or leverage the new Game Mode in the Windows 10 Creators update to do it automatically.

Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Computing

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as picking from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Deals

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: iPhone price cut rumor; smart home hack; delivery robot

Apple lawsuits and iPhone price drops; Smart Home Devices hacked remotely; Autonomous Delivery Robots may be closer to reality.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: CES preview; LG 8K television; Home assistant takeover

CES Preview and Digital Trends coverage; LG 88" 8K television; Home assistants will be taking over everything; the strange tech of CES.
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: A brutal ‘Sicario 2’ trailer, 10 more years of Star Wars

It's lightsabers, polka kings, and sequels galore this week on Between the Streams, as we look at a wide variety of new content hitting screens, including everything from a Bright sequel to Star Wars Episode IX news.
Podcasts

Trends With Benefits podcast: Our favorite tech from CES 2018

It's our annual episode from CES! We've seen a lot of great tech this year, and have been surprised by a few announcements as well, so we discuss our favorite products and announcements this year.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: Best TVs of CES; emerging tech; Amazon/Apple 2nd HQ; Falcon X

We'll cover the Best TVs of CES, some of more fringe emerging tech, Amazon and Apple's 2nd Headquarter statuses and the Falcon X Heavy rocket may finally be launching.
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: Apple and Kristen Wiig, ‘Solo’ synopsis, Black Widow movie?

This week on Between the Streams: A comedy series with Kristin Wiig and Reese Witherspoon from Apple, a Catch 22 miniseries from George Clooney, rumors of a Spider-Man and Venom meet-up, a Black Widow stand-alone film, and much more.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: iPhone X discontinued?, Galaxy S9 first look, 50 Cent’s bitcoins

Apple iPhone X discontinued: After a week of rumors, it seems that Apple may indeed be discontinuing the current version of the iPhone X. KGI Securities predicts that this will occur later this year, when potential replacements for the X…
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: Amazon Echo vs. Google Home vs. Apple HomePod, Galaxy X

With the three big names in Home Assistants all taking aim at each other, we break down the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod. Samsung may be debuting a foldable phone this year and we'll recap some highlights from Outdoor…
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: CBS’ desperate ‘Murphy Brown’ revival, Super Bowl trailers

This week on Between the Streams, we'll be discussing all the weird new sitcom reboots (and how desperate they are), Netflix's new series Altered Carbon, all the new trailers we expect to see during the Super Bowl, and so much more.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: SpaceX triumph, Spotify vs. Apple Music, Apple Watch health

After the success of the Falcon launch, what's next for SpaceX and Tesla? Spotify is the kind of streaming music, but Apple Music is hot on the trail. The Apple Watch may soon provide your doctor with valuable information.