Trending February 2024 # Yes, You Should Wait For Alder Lake—But Not Because Of The Leaks # Suggested March 2024 # Top 4 Popular

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But when it comes to Intel’s new hybrid processors, which marry “big” performance cores with smaller “efficiency” cores, you should be waiting for more information than just how much of a raw performance boost you get. More factors come into play with Alder Lake’s arrival. Making a decision later this year about what to equip your PC with may become a lot more complicated—and you risk making a less ideal choice for your next rig and your wallet by not sitting tight. Here’s why.

Hybrid architecture performance

Alder Lake chips will have two types of cores, performance and efficient, with hyperthreading only available on the performance cores.

Intel

Alder Lake’s hybrid architecture will be a new concept for most PC users. Even though the approach can be found in other chips (like those from Arm, Apple, and even Intel’s own Lakefield CPU), it never was widespread among Windows devices.

Pairing performance cores with more efficient cores should bring specific benefits that standard benchmarks don’t address. For one, these chips will likely use less power during basic tasks. On laptops, that should help battery life; on desktops, that can help with power bills. (Not everyone lives somewhere with cheap electricity.) We could also see laptops get an additional boost to battery life or become even more compact if less space is needed for cooling.

But the big question is how Alder Lake ends up behaving once it hits shelves. We need to see how seamlessly tasks are divvied up between the two types of cores, and how much your chosen operating system affects overall performance. It could make decisions about the best chip for you that much more dependent on your priorities. On desktop, perhaps it’ll remain a fight of raw performance, while on laptops, seeking long battery life versus needing high performance could split people’s best choices. That’s especially so if some people avoid Windows 11, which Microsoft has optimized to work with Alder Lake’s hybrid design, and try to stick with Windows 10 instead.

DDR5 and PCIe 5 support

But we won’t know how much of a performance boost you’ll get until such a system is possible. Nor will we know the trade-offs for it. For example, no one has an idea how much hotter DDR5 RAM will run, and that can matter in certain kinds of PC builds. To see how it all shakes out, you may have to wait another half year—the predictions have the second quarter of 2023 as when the first PCIe 5.0 SSDs will launch.

That gives time for the market to change. And in that period, we’ll learn just how fast Alder Lake processors are, what sort of gains AMD’s Zen 3+ chips will offer to counter Intel, and how available (and expensive) DDR5 memory will be. Cost matters, after all. Why pay a premium if you get only small performance gains in the areas that matter to you?

Potential price war

Sales might be good in the near future on Ryzen CPUs.

Adam Patrick Murray / IDG

Speaking of cost, you don’t even have to be interested in an Alder Lake or even Intel processor in order for waiting to pay off—literally. Even before the supposed pricing leak of the Core i9-12900K, AMD’s Ryzen 5000 chips were already going on sale for below MSRP. Alder Lake merely needs to exist and perform a little better than Ryzen for competition to heat up. We would already expect AMD to drop its prices even lower.

Should Alder Lake’s top-tier part launch at an MSRP of nearly $100 less than its Ryzen rival, a true pricing war could break out, making it entirely worthwhile to hold off on any processor purchases for now. And with the upcoming holiday season just around the corner, we could see a return to AMD’s old strategy of fire sales on its last-gen processors too. Not everyone needs the latest components to build a PC tangibly better than their current system. 

Delay your buying decisions and you could end up with more cash in your pocket, while also feeling secure that you made a well-informed choice for yourself.

So yes, just wait

Holding off on purchasing a new processor or device means you get more choices—and if the rumors are true, you won’t have long to wait. The whispers are that we’ll see Alder Lake as early as late October, though the official launch is just some time before the end of year. You can spend that time thinking on what’s most important to you in your next PC. It’ll help you digest the information from Alder Lake reviews faster.

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Alexa Should Laugh More, Not Less, Because People Prefer Social Robots

Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, was laughing when it shouldn’t. You might have seen tweets about it: The weird, disembodied chuckle bothered people for reasons you can imagine, as well as because it reportedly could happen unprompted—our assistants, after all, are only supposed to listen and speak to us after they hear the wake word. We want them to tell us the weather and set kitchen timers on command, not spook us with laughter. (Amazon has both acknowledged the problem and pushed out a fix.)

We all know that virtual personas like Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant are not real humans. They can’t laugh the way we laugh, because they are not alive. But it does, in fact, makes sense for them to try to be social and emulate our behavior. They just need to get it right. Telling jokes, for example, is not an essential skill for an assistant like Alexa to have, but it will still cough one up if you ask.

“We’re social beings—we should build machines that are social as well,” says Timo Baumann, a systems scientist in the language technologies institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He researches the interactions that occur between people and virtual assistants, and between people and other people. “Our research shows that it’s super important to try to build a relationship with a user,” he adds. Ideally, there should be a rapport there.

At Carnegie Mellon, for example, Baumann tested a virtual agent—an animated one that participants could both speak with and see on a screen. Its job was to give movie recommendations, and there were two versions: one was programmed to be more social than the other. “They [the study participants] liked this more social system significantly more, and they liked the movie recommendations significantly more,” he says. That was true even though they hadn’t changed the part of the system that made the film suggestions—it’s just that the more social persona resulted in higher ratings.

Of course, anyone who has interacted with an assistant like Alexa or Siri knows that their social chops are works in progress. “The critical problem is that being social is super difficult,” Baumann says—the best they can try to do now is approximate it. He adds: “If you’re not correctly social, then it’s creepy.”

In fact, truly being social is different from telling a joke on command or laughing when asked, Baumann argues. Ideally, a virtual agent could do things like read the mood of the person with whom they are speaking, and adjust accordingly. That’s much harder to do than simply regurgitating a joke.

In the case of the weird laugh, Amazon has provided an explanation, and made an adjustment. A spokesperson said via email: “In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh.’ We are changing that phrase to be ‘Alexa, can you laugh?’ which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance ‘Alexa, laugh.’ We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘Sure, I can laugh’ followed by laughter.”

If you’re curious, the new laughter sound in this case is “teehee.” And while the fix doesn’t exactly mean Alexa is now suddenly perfectly social, at least it’s no longer being antisocial in this particular way. But if a virtual assistant could read your mood and maybe even laugh at the right time, the way a friend would, that might not be creepy. It might be friendly.

Should I Install Windows 11 22H2 On My Pc? Yes, But Proceed With Caution.

UPDATED 1/18/2023: Windows 11 22H2 is a free upgrade for computers already running Windows 11 21H2 or Windows 10 that meet the minimum system requirements since September 20, 2023. However, the rollout is gradual to ensure that devices have a good upgrade experience, which means it’ll take months before the new version reaches every device.

Microsoft usually starts offering the Windows 11 2023 Update (version 22H2) to devices with newer hardware, and it continues expanding to more eligible computers, and it’s expected to be fully available during the first half of 2023.

This guide will help determine whether you should install or skip the Windows 11 22H2 upgrade on your computer.

Should you upgrade to Windows 11 22H2?

The best and short answer is “Yes,” it’s OK to upgrade to Windows 11 22H2 since the new version is stable and safe to install on devices that meet the requirements. However, since the feature update may still not be fully compatible with every computer during the early days (and beyond), the company is expected to throttle the rollout to ensure that only fully compatible hardware received the update initially.

Also, you want to ensure that there aren’t any known issues that may negatively affect the experience before upgrading. Since the initial rollout started, Microsoft has noted many problems with the operating system, which the company has already addressed, confirmed, and currently investigating.

Problems during the early days are very well expected. Microsoft is not unaware of the matter, and we’ve seen issues many times before. For this and other reasons, the software giant uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to analyze and only offer the new version to devices with a good upgrade experience – even though it’s not perfect. As the latest release proves to be more stable, the rollout will expand to other computers based on hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of the computer, and other factors.

Also, on the health dashboard website, Microsoft will publish any known issues that can help you decide whether or not to proceed with the upgrade.

If you have a computer with unsupported hardware, you should not try to upgrade to Windows 11 22H2. However, there are ways to upgrade an unsupported computer. If you install version 22H2, the device will be in an unsupported state. According to Microsoft, computers will likely experience more crashes, support won’t be available, and updates won’t be guaranteed.

Should I wait to install Windows 11 22H2?

Yes, you should always wait at the beginning. It is never a good idea to quickly jump into an upgrade since unknown bugs, errors, and compatibility issues are expected during the beginning of a rollout.

After version 22H2 becomes available, your device will (eventually) receive a notification through the Windows Update settings to upgrade manually. If you don’t receive the message, forcing the Windows 11 22H2 upgrade is not recommended because you will likely run into issues. For example, errors like “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 11,” “This PC can’t be upgraded to this version of Windows 11 because of a service or driver that’s not ready yet,” or similar errors.

Usually, it’s recommended to wait until Windows 11 22H2 is fully available to make sure to install the most stable build. (This feature update for Windows 11 has been fully available since November 18, 2023.)

If your computer has an older Windows release and no issues, it’s not worth the upgrade. You should wait a little longer. However, you should not skip the update entirely. Eventually, that specific version will be discontinued, and it will no longer receive maintenance updates, leading to other issues and making it vulnerable.

Graphics Card Prices Are Plummeting. Should You Buy Now, Or Wait?

Stock is suddenly in favor of consumers, now that miners are no longer buying up all the graphics chips Nvidia and AMD produced. And looking at the final totals after these discounts, you may find yourself asking if stretching your budget could be worth it—especially if you have extra cash on hand after waiting for a reasonable price on a GPU.

It’s a question worth asking, and one we’ve discussed on The Full Nerd, our weekly show on YouTube where we discuss PC hardware. If you find yourself considering this decision, here are the other hard questions you should next ask yourself. How you answer will determine if you should keep to your original budget, stretch to buy one of these insane deals, or wait for the next generation of cards.

How long will you keep the graphics card?

It’s a bit of a running joke among the PCWorld staff at this point, but the GTX 1080 Ti has held up incredibly well over the years. Typically, enthusiasts who buy a flagship card upgrade sooner than many actually have.

Nvidia

If you replace your graphics card more often, your strategy will be different than someone who tends to buy and hold for as long as possible.

For example, if you’re someone who likes to replaces your card every couple of years, and you’re now four or five years into ownership of your current GPU, you may be feeling long past due for an upgrade now that prices are normal. Since you’ll replace the card within a couple of years, waiting longer may not sit right, even given the age of the current generation of GPUs.

the best 1080p gaming value

Radeon RX 6600 Swft 210

Read our review

Best Prices Today:

On the flip side, if you tend to hold onto your graphics cards until death do you part, waiting another half year for the rumored launches of Nvidia’s RTX 40-series and AMD’s RDNA3 Radeon cards Radeon cards is the more fitting decision. Holding out for the latest tech will help extend the life of your purchase.

Find yourself on the fence? How you answer the other questions will help you better clarify where you fall.

How important are next-gen features?

A shot from Chernobylite comparing DLSS, FSR, and native resolution. If you’re someone who stans FSR but wants performance closer to that of Nvidia’s DLSS 2.0, you may be better off waiting to see what next-gen cards bring.

Keith May/IDG

In the current generation of cards, AMD is a step behind Nvidia in support for ray-tracing. FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), its upscaling tech for improving frame rates, also still trails Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) tech. Depending on the games you play and monitor you have, having these features may be key to your enjoyment of the card.

The answers to the other questions in this article can better shape the path to take. Maybe a current-gen higher-end card is ideal—the graphics card you have is on its last legs or is performing too weakly for your taste, and the feature set of the RTX 30-series or RX 6000-series is more than adequate for your timeline. 

the best 4k gpu

GeForce RTX 3080

Read our review

Best Prices Today:

Or perhaps waiting to see what comes out next is the right choice. You want to make the most of a fancy new monitor you just got, or you’re gambling despite the trend of ever-increasing MSRPs, you can buy a cheaper class of next-gen GPU and still get improved performance and features.

What games do you like to play?

If you’ve always been a “But can it run Crysis?” type, you’ll want a card that can easily handle the punishment of graphically demanding games. (Pictured: Cyberpunk 2077.)

Thiago Trevisan/IDG

Play nothing but AAA titles the second they drop? Or do you focus on less taxing indie games? 

The kind of games you play also should factor into your purchase decision, even if your titles of choice are the freebies you’ve collected through the Epic Games Store. Whether they punish the hardware, go easy, or somewhere in between, your usual taste will influence how much hardware you’ll reasonably need. No point in a cutting-edge version of ray-tracing or the ability to pump out high frame rates in today’s AAA titles if your games don’t require much firepower.

So figure out the napkin math on the kind of hardware best suited for your habits. After, you’ll be able to make calls like, “I wouldn’t normally go for a 6900 XT, but if a good model dips below $600, I’d rather scoop that up now and hang onto it for a few years instead of waiting for prices to come down on the next-gen cards. Otherwise, I’ll hold out.”

What’s your monitor capable of?

Will you play the latest AAA games on a high-resolution screen like the Samsung Odyssey G9? After all, you could also own an Odyssey G9 and only play games like Stray on it instead.

Samsung

As fun as it is to own hardware that puts the pedal to the metal, sometimes you can’t justify owning it. For example: You own a 1080p monitor with a fixed refresh rate of 60Hz, aren’t planning to upgrade it, and will only ever game on the PC. Sure, casually mentioning you picked up a 3090 Ti for just a bit over $1,000 is a great bomb to drop in a conversation, but it shouldn’t be the main win of such a deal.

So put another way: What are the resolution and refresh rate you normally play at? And if you’re pushing a lot of pixels or playing at high frame rates, how important is it you maintain that level of performance?

Those answers plus the kind of games you normally play will determine how powerful your graphics card should be and how long you’ll be able to hang onto it. If you play a game with relatively chill system requirements, but load it on a super ultrawide monitor (i.e., Samsung Odyssey G9) while cranking up its graphics settings to max, you may end up needing a brawnier graphics card than you might first think. Similarly, if you always need to hit at least 144 fps in the latest AAA games, you’ll be replacing your card more often.

What’s your budget?

This question is the harshest bit of reality.

Pixabay

This one’s the final reality check. If you only planned to spend $250 on a new graphics card, a reasonable stretch is more like $350 for everything except the Radeon RX 6600. (Good news is, we’ve been seeing discounts on the RTX 3060 Ti and RX 6600 XT, too—just not as steep as on the flagship cards.)

But if you were already targeting RX 3070 Ti or RX 6800, stepping up to an 6900 XT at $670 is far more logical. And it can actually be a tempting proposition, given those cards aren’t straying far from MSRP at the moment.

Even if you were more in 6700 XT territory, the answers you give to the other questions in this article could actually identify you as a good candidate for shelling out extra for an upgrade to the 6900 XT.

Bonus question: Used or new?

The tides have turned on pricing because Nvidia and AMD committed to big foundry orders for their graphics chips, but miners are no longer buying GPUs with as much fervor. In fact, they’re trying to get rid of their own cards.

Which sparks another interesting question: If you’re looking to really get the most bang for your buck, do you opt for a used graphics card, or do you wait in hope these fire-sale prices continue?

The AMD Radeon RX 580 also dropped to a comfortably low price before the pandemic, due to high stock. The card was a great budget pick for years.

Brad Chacos / IDG

Neither AMD or Nvidia want to hang onto their remaining stock of RX 6000-series or 30-series cards, respectively, before the rumored launches of their next-gen cards this fall. So the odds are good that current-gen GPUs will continue to get hefty discounts, and across the stack. (Incidentally, budget buyers: You might want to avoid the RX 6500 XT, even if it gets crazy cuts.)

But no matter the cost of a new card, you can be sure a used card will always undercut it. And with miners looking to offload much of their card inventory, that means plenty potentially cheap (if riskier) options for upgrading your PC.

So which way you should go? That one’s a long running debate among our staff, with each of us holding very spicy personal takes. To help you decide the question for yourself, have a look at our list of 6 things to consider before buying a used GPU right now. Dig into our overview of who should buy a used GPU, too.

But remember—a new card comes backed with a warranty. Depending on your circumstances, that can be worth the cost differential. (Can you guess what part of my take on this question is?)

Lg V40 Leaks, But Is It Legit?

LG V40 leaks, but is it legit?

Today we’re having a peek at the LG V40 in a leak that might be real – but might be a little sloppy. What we’ve got is a set of renderings that has a lot of the trappings of a real deal release from LG. What we’re suspicious of is the placement of a couple of the elements. Let’s look at what’s right and what might be wrong.

First, can you spot what might be wrong with this picture? The leaked images of the V40 come from MySmartPrice. That’s an online smartphone store that stands to profit from the proliferation of leaks, be they real or imagined – so we’re sufficiently suspicious right out the gate. First we’ve got the LG V40 from this one source.

Next we’ve got the LG G7 ThinQ in its silver edition. We’ve got our own LG G7 ThinQ hands-on and all, but it’s important here that we look at the press images. We’re comparing image-to-image here, and the press image view is what we’re after. Also note: This phone came out at basically the same time as the LG V35 this Spring.

Next Is the left side of the LG V40 ThinQ, leaked, next to the official LG G7 ThinQ from the same angle. Next to these are the backsides of both phones. Notice any inconsistencies – or rather, any strange consistencies?

What’s a bit off here is the size of the backside bump on the LG V40. If you believe there’s a set of three cameras here, you’ll also notice the height of the camera array. You’ll see that height is shorter than that of the LG G7’s two-camera array.

Yet the size of the bump on both devices in this leak, from this side angle, are the same. This could mean several things.

It could mean that the person delivering these images simply left the camera bump graphic from the LG G7 in place for the LG V40. It could also mean that the official source – if that is where these images come from – simply forgot to place the right graphic in the right place. That’s been known to happen before, in the least likely of places.

If this is indeed the LG V40 ThinQ, it’ll probably be delivered by the end of the year. If it is the LG V40, it’ll probably have specifications similar to that of the LG G7, with a new processor, Android 9 Pie right out the box, and a new set of cameras.

If we’re lucky, we’ll see this smartphone released before the end of the year – and will continue to see two phones in this series each year from now on. Much like OnePlus releases a standard phone then a “T” model each year, LG could well be doing the same thing with their V series.

ALSO make sure you look closely at the display up front because it is, indeed, notched. It’s just got a bit of the ol’ notchy-hidey going on so you’re not going to notice it right off the bat.

The Program Stopped Because An Alternate Diskette Was Not Inserted

The program stopped because an alternate diskette was not inserted

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To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by

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readers this month.

If you’re getting the ‘ERROR_DISK_CHANGE 107 (0x6B)’ error code with ‘The program stopped because an alternate diskette was not inserted‘, follow the troubleshooting steps below to resolve the issue.

This error might refer to various problems, so it’s not exactly easy to address it. However, once you’ve learned about the exact way it occurs, and it mostly occurs once the troubled program is run, we can easily apply some of the available workarounds.

Most of the time, this error occurs due to:

Missing EXE, DLL or SYS files.

Malware.

Registry corruption.

Corrupted installation of the program.

Outdated or even faulty drivers.

Outdated BIOS version.

Fix ‘The program stopped because an alternate diskette was not inserted’ error also known as ERROR_DISK_CHANGE 107 (0x6B) Scan for malware presence

The first thing you should do is to perform a thorough cleanup regarding the viruses. Various users reported critical system errors inflicted by the virus. Once they are safe to roam trough your computer, they tend to navigate to system folders and corrupt or delete essential system files. Moreover, they can damage the installation of a certain program which will, eventually, cause crashes led by errors.

When it comes to Windows Defender, this is how to perform a deep scan:

Open Settings.

Save everything before you start, to prevent the data loss since the PC will restart.

Your PC will restart and the scanning procedure will last for approximately 15-20 minutes.

This should be enough to get the malware out of the equation. Now, if the problem is still there, we should turn to additional steps.

For the seamless and coherent system performance, you’ll need to create an optimal state in which the software and hardware can function without issues. That link, or bond if you wish, depends on drivers. There’s more than one case where the system freezes or works with flaws, just because a certain driver isn’t properly installed. The same goes for the critical system errors, like the one with the error code 107 which we’re addressing today.

In addition, you can navigate to the OEM’s site and download the drivers for various devices.

Moreover, if you’re unable to locate and install a proper driver trough the Windows Update feature, you can always turn to an official manufacturer’s site and find the appropriate driver. Some users have problems with the identification of the device, but there’s a simple way to find out the exact name and traits of the device at hand.

Open the Details tab

From the drop-down menu choose HardwareId.

Copy the values from the box and paste them into the preferred browser.

You should see the exact name of your device and act accordingly.

Reinstall troubled program

Expert tip:

One thing that’s of utmost importance is a registry. So make sure to, after the program is uninstalled, use a 3rd-party tool and clean the remaining registry values. Moreover, you should navigate to the installation folder and delete the remaining files from there. Follow these steps to reinstall the troubled program and resolve the issue at hand:

While in the Category view, choose to Uninstall a program in the bottom left corner.

Locate the program that inflicted the error dialog box in the list.

Delete remaining folders and clean the registry (make sure to back it up before you run the cleanup tool).

Restart your PC.

Install the program and look for changes.

However, if the error occurrence isn’t program-related, you should move to the additional steps.

Scan system with SFC and DISM

Follow the instructions below to use the SFC tool and restore the possibly corrupted files:

In the command line, copy-paste the following command and press Enter:

sfc/scannow

After the procedure is finished, restart your PC.

Follow the instructions below to resolve the problem with DISM:

In the command line, type the following command and press Enter:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Wait until the scan is performed It can take about five to ten minutes.

After DISM has finished scanning, restart your computer.

With DISM, you’ll safely resolve the problems and, possibly, relieve yourself of errors.

Use recovery options

If all of the previous steps fell short and you’re still experiencing the same error in various scenarios, we have to inform you that your options are kind of limited. For the pre-Windows 10 systems, you can turn to System Restore. This procedure will restore your system to a latest properly functioning point so you can move on with a smooth PC use. Follow the steps below to restore your system to earlier restore point:

In Windows Search, under the Start Menu, type system properties and open System Properties.

In the System Properties dialog box, open System Protection.

Your PC will restart and the restoring procedure will start.

However, you have some other Recovery options that were introduced with Windows 10. One of those is ”Reset this PC” wich restores your PC to default values while keeping your files. Follow the steps below to use a Reset this PC and, after the procedure is done, you should be in a clear when it comes to system errors:

Press Window key + I to open Settings.

Open Update & Security.

Choose to Keep your files.

Follow the instructions until everything is done.

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