Intel vs AMD: The Complete Walkthrough

Much debate has surrounded the internet about which processor is the best choice for gaming. Intel or AMD… Like the Apple vs Android war, there are strong opinions on both sides of the coin as to which is best.

The problem is: there’s no right answer.

Some are biased and say that the intel core line is still better for fps, but on the other hand, AMD has been gaining the highest market share since very long ago. And for a good reason (we’re going to address that later).

AMD Gains PC CPU Market Share from Intel with Ryzen
AMD’s Marketshare increase every 3 months.

The truth is, the Intel vs AMD debate is still holding today.

The argument has heated up even more since AMD revealed recently their flagship CPU, the Ryzen 9 3950X with no less than 16 cores and 32 threads.

The new Ryzen line is set to be released in September of this year. It is still uncertain if this new line of processors is going to position AMD as the “King of processors” and kick out Intel from the throne it has been sitting on for the past decade. But it appears to be looking so.

Okay, we’ve set the stage.

The purpose of this article is to help you choose the right processor for your needs.

So we’re going to travel through every corner of the internet looking for expert opinions in order to save you the extensive research.

Performance

Two years ago, when AMD launched the Ryzen line, TechRadar held a deathmatch between the Intel Core i7-7700K and the AMD Ryzen 7 1700.

It turned out in a tight fight, both offered nearly the same performance and AMD was a bit cheaper (by around a $50 difference). Even so, they still crowned Intel as the winner…

But this was 2 years ago, and time has passed.

TechRadar ran a more updated comparison between the giants. This time, comparing the low-end, medium-end, and high-end products in both prices and performance.

The AMD lineup traditionally has lower prices than Intel.

Even with the lower price tag, Ryzen had better performance for multithreaded operations (video encoding would be the best example of this) as a result of their core and thread quantities. Intel provides better gaming performance because of their typically higher clock speeds and more so their, instructions per cycle.

The overclocking point was rather important. All new Ryzen processors allow users to go beyond their expected capacity (overclocking) without any restriction (unlocked). Meaning that AMD is very clear about letting people do whatever they want with their property (how things should be).

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Fun Fact

AMD was the first company to commercially offer a dual core desktop processor.
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On Intel’s side, their CPU’s are quite limited in that respect, since only the models with  “K” or “X” at the end can be overclocked. So it looks like Intel has the restrictive belief of an overprotecting mother that recently realized that her 25-year-old son is big enough to make his own lunch!

Caution: It’s important to note that some precaution is needed when trying to overclock your processor.
Overclocking does provide more power, but it also generates much more heat than normal and can potentially overheat your hardware if you’re not careful.

In that case, overclocking would cause more damage than the benefit you would receive.

Investing in a good fan cooler like this one is highly recommended, although Ryzen CPUs do have very decent stock coolers.

Also, none of the companies will accept your warranty claim if you damage your processor while overclocking, so it’s obvious that you need to know how to overclock properly.

Upgradability

WePC.com had a similar approach to TechRadar regarding points of comparison. While explaining the concepts he was talking about for the casual reader (very important).

A good point there was the compatibility.

AMD has stated that their current motherboard type (AM4) will be supported until 2020.

However, an article from extremetech suggests that AMD’s new 3rd generation CPU’s may not be supported fully.

This does cast some doubt as to if it’s worth buying an AMD motherboard now or wait until we know for sure for support of the new 3rd gen CPU.

If the support continues with the new series’ CPUs, the AMD lineup is easy to upgrade without having to change the motherboard.

This means that a 2nd (or maybe 3rd?) generation Ryzen model will be compatible with older generations and vice versa. This is critically important for people on a budget since you’re paying less when upgrading your CPU, in that you don’t have to upgrade your motherboard as well.

Unfortunately, an Intel processor is compatible only with a motherboard of the same generation. Meaning that upgrading is far more expensive than AMD’s equivalent.

So on this point, if you’re an upgrader and looking to get a new CPU every couple of years or so, AMD is the way to go.

Value

Another interesting part of the WePC post was the conclusion.

They argue that 4 cores with 8 threads are enough for gaming, and the rest of the money should be invested in GPU.

This suggests that the AMD side of the coin is a better solution if you want a budget-friendly, easier to upgrade and overclockable option; or if you’re requiring multithread for productivity work.

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Fun Fact

Before settling on Intel the original company name was called ‘N M Electronics’

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On the Intel side of the coin. Intel CPU’s does offer faster clock speeds for the same budget and can be overclocked a bit more (assuming you get an unlocked Intel CPU), providing more single-thread power.

Wepc declares both as great options and stands for the “no right answer” opinion.

We agree, as we suggested in the beginning of the article.

Future Performance

Digital Trends went ahead of our time and tried to compare Intel Core i9-9900K with the most powerful Ryzen processor of the not-released-yet 3rd generation, the Ryzen 9 3900X.

Of course, every point addressed there was on paper only, since we don’t know yet how the Zen 2 is going to perform.

What’s interesting though, was the analysis from the comparison charts that AMD showed in the E3.

Ryzen 3900X vs 9900k

They claimed that “Overall, the 3900X looks comparable, and in some cases, even more capable, than the 9900K in gaming.”

The other relevant chart was for game streaming, and although it is only important for these groups of user (like the post says), a huge difference can be seen between both processors when streaming at 1080p.

This suggests that the additional cores made the real difference at running top gaming quality while streaming at the same time.

amd ryzen 9 3900x vs intel core i9 9900k 3900x02

Of course, this is according to what AMD said. The post claimed that “we’ll have to wait until closer to launch to test these ourselves, but these early results look very promising for the AMD chip”. Supporting the “no right answer” opinion too.

It is interesting to consider the fact that AMD revealed a more powerful processor with 16 cores. So after reading this post, you can make your guess…

What the Youtube Experts say

Jayztwocents

This video was made 1 year ago when Zen 2 (the 3rd gen of Ryzen) wasn’t announced yet. Jay tells the story of AMD from the last decade to this time, explaining how AMD has been putting pressure on Intel by bringing back the benefits of competition.

He claims that the current state of both brands is so competitive that if you perform a blind test you’d be unable to tell whether you’re using Intel or AMD.

The thing is, the competition forced Intel to keep leveraging their IPC 4.0 technology and AMD to focus on their multicore processing. He explained…

And while this is true, you can keep asking yourself “What the heck should I choose then?”

According to Jay, both processors are surprisingly powerful. But if you’re requiring optimized single core processing for work like video or photo editing with Adobe software and such, Intel can be a good investment.

However, for gaming and everyday usage, he strongly recommends the Ryzen processors for the performance you obtain per dollar.

And that’s a powerful point.

Since AMD started launching competitive processors, they have done an exceptional job of keeping CPU prices low.

And that’s ultimately true according to this chart:

As you can see, in the entire image AMD dominate’s this chart.

The Intel Core i7 isn’t seen in the list, only one i3, and two i5s. The rest are from AMD hands.

At the end of the video, Jay addressed that game developers are now looking to expand a way to leverage the potential of multicore processors (after so many years…) in order to improve efficiency and game experience.

This will have a bigger impact for Ryzen lineup that is well known for having more cores.

A recent Quora question asks how many cores do games use – the top answer declares that newer games need at least 4 threads and to avoid stuttering, 8 threads is the minimum.

Also, motherboard manufacturers are now releasing models with such high quality for both processors, that you no longer have to worry about it.

For a long time, motherboard manufacturers were well known for cheapening the prices of AMD compatible models because of Intel having a lot more advantage over AMD for a long time. Before Ryzen came around it was hard to get a decent motherboard that had compatibility with AMD. At least that isn’t the case now.

Jay was clearly leaning towards the AMD side of the debate, and he really put convincing arguments on the table.

Now to present time, when AMD’s Zen 2 was announced, he updated his thoughts (his full video is here).

It’s pretty technical, but he summarizes that:

  • it seems that Intel is actually putting more focus on integrated graphics cards (not needing a graphics card) where AMD was so dominant
  • AMD is putting a strong focus on their processors (where Intel has been dominant)
  • He wishes that AMD puts more pressure on Nvidia on the discrete graphics card side.

I’ve cut to his summary part of the video here:

Linus Tech Tips

Linus explains how much struggle Intel is having with AMD and many other factors regarding the optimization of transistor’s size.

It turns out that Intel has been relying on the 14 nanometer technology on their processors for so much time (since 2015). While Zen 2 is confirmed to use HALF of that.

Having a smaller number means that the CPU chips are going to be more power efficient, faster and having more space for more CPU goodness!

Intel is actually having problems with the 10nm transition on the few devices they’ve been using it with.

Since Intel is manufacturing their own transistors, figuring out how to improve your efficiency on your own is costing them a huge market share loss.

But AMD seems to be on a better path, as they outsource their processes with other companies like TSMC. This approach has really paid off and is a great advantage over Intel this time around.

Also, it seems like Qualcomm (best known for the Snapdragon processor for mobile phones) is going to start creating energy-saver chips for laptops, which is another threat against Intel from another company.

Linus argues, however, that Intel is still the market leader and has plenty of capital to invest for the upcoming years and counter back all the competitors.

It looks like Intel is going to invest in GPU technology quite aggressively to compete against Nvidia. And they’re already researching for new approaches to get into the 7nm technology.

But… when?

We’re already convinced that AMD is nailing the 7nm already, and Intel is still on the 14nm…

From this standpoint, it’s looking positive towards AMD chipset

What Does Reddit Say of AMD vs Intel?

In this post, you can find a video from PC World’s executive editor Gordon Ung explaining why he prefers AMD over Intel.

Despite the fact that Intel would give you higher gaming performance, superior instructions per cycle (IPC), and more clock speed.

Gordon also claims that there’s no right answer for everyone, just like us, it’s dependent on what’s good for you or the person using the computer!.

His next point is all centered around budget, and I think that is the important part to remember – this discussion is all about if you stay within a certain price point and don’t waiver.

From a strict gaming standpoint – all else being equal, he proposes that you will sacrifice around 20% of the FPS switching from an equivalent Intel CPU to an AMD CPU.

He argues that what you save from buying a Ryzen CPU can be used for a much more powerful GPU (like most people are saying, actually) and that will yield a far better overall frame rate.

See the whole video below:

The overall comments of the thread below the video are largely in agreement to Gordon’s point.

Most of the Reddit comments, and I think many people, in general, are aware of Intel outperforming Ryzen right now.

But with the upcoming 3rd generation of Ryzen (Zen 2), there’s uncertainty and many people who can wait are wanting to see what happens with the new release from AMD.

No one knows if Zen 2 is going to smash Intel brutally, match it, or fall below expectations. As an example of this, the original post of this thread can’t decide between Intel i7 9700K or the Ryzen 7 2700X and asks for help.

People suggested buying Intel if you wanted higher performance and don’t care about money. Otherwise, buy Ryzen.

But wait… that’s at the TOP end, right?

So what about the lowest budgets?

Linus tech tips has a video about it, he did the challenge and it turned out pretty even at $750 limit budget.

We’ve jumped to the results part of the video below:

So the truth is: everything depends on your needs.

From one side, Intel has better IPC and clock speed, performing much better on single-thread operations, which includes most games.

Intel is worth consideration in that game developers are usually optimizing for Intel since it dominated the market for a very long period of time (and still does).

From the other side, AMD Ryzen provides more cores, superior multi-thread performance compared to Intel, and higher performance per dollar.

It’s also possible to see more multicore-focused games soon, as well as more optimizations for AMD processors from different software developers. So it looks like a bright future is waiting for AMD.

But what should you choose for gaming then? It is hard to give a straight answer for everyone…

AMD is a clear winner for value and should be the choice for someone on a budget and looking for balance.

Intel is the winner for the high-end budget of PC gaming, it’s faster overall right now.

That’s why I’m going to describe 4 different personas here and determine the best option for them. So if you identify with any of these personas, you’ll probably find your answer. Here we go:

Persona #1: Hardcore Gamer – F*$K the Budget

  • Profession: E-Sports gaming, full-dedication.
  • Hobby: Play the last AAA games in ultra settings in 4k and 240 fps (the highest quality possible).
  • Budget: Whatever is needed for gaming.
  • Recommendation: Intel Core i7-9700K Desktop Processor 8... is enough for you, you’ll last several years without thinking about CPUs. An i9-9900K is the ultimate option, but unnecessary for gaming, not even for hardcore.

Persona #2: Professional Streamer

  • Profession: AAA Games Online Streaming and reviewing.
  • Hobby: General gaming and video editing.
  • Budget: High enough for the business (just want to stream good enough).
  • Recommendation: Ryzen 7 2700X is the ultimate choice made for multitasking. It will cost you ~$279.99 on Amazon right now. Compared to the ~$485 worth i9-9900K option that may work as well.

Persona #3: Game Lover

  • Profession: Any – Maybe something related to tech or software.
  • Hobby: Invest several hours on gaming.
  • Budget: Medium to high, but he’s an adult now.
  • Recommendation: The Intel Core i5-9400F is surprisingly affordable and provides excellent performance, it will do its job while saving you enough money to buy an amazing GPU.

Persona #4: Casual Gamer

  • Profession: This literally doesn’t matter.
  • Hobby: Play games and has a girlfriend/boyfriend.
  • Budget: Looking for the best performance/dollar rate option. But still not willing to invest much for the highest settings
  • Recommendation: The AMD Ryzen 3 2200G is the ultimate amount of power you get for what you pay, period. Run most games on high settings for the small amount of ~$80. You won’t regret it. You could squeeze a little more performance by getting a AMD Ryzen 5 2400G running ~$150

So…Did you make your choice?

If you haven’t, is understandable. Finding the sweet spot for your budget is a hard process.

That’s why we’ve posted the ULTIMATE PC builds for you to enjoy the better performance according to your budget.

For every budget (Ranging from $350 up to $2000. ) we explain to you EVERYTHING, including:

  • Why you should build your PC instead of buying a pre-built
  • What you need to build your PC.
  • How to build your PC.
  • A deep enough (but not too far) explanation for every component and why it was chosen.
  • Sometimes you’ll see more than one build, giving you different optimal options for the same budget.
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We have on our site all the writeups to build THE PERFECT PC FOR YOUR BUDGET HERE.
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We’ve saved you valuable time researching and evaluating multiple combos and builds, thinking about what you should buy in order to squeeze the most FPS from your spending.

Conclusion

For the mainstream gamers, both companies have very extreme CPU offerings. We just have to look at Intel i9-9900K and the upcoming AMD Ryzen 9 3950X with 16-cores.

You really need a lot less than that. You should have no problem with 6 cores/12 threads at most, and for a long time. And it should be noted that 4 cores are still awesome.

What is really happening, is that people want more, but it doesn’t mean you need to excessively spend your money on extra fancy gameplay in order to play like a pro.

Remember that your skills are the real business here.

I hope this walkthrough has been helpful to you. Don’t forget to leave a comment and give your opinion about this epic Intel vs AMD debate.

Is it better to Buy or Build a Gaming PC?—The Debate for PC Gaming Enthusiasts

If you have the budget all sorted out, you’re probably wondering if you should build or buy a gaming pc that is prebuilt for you.

Building a PC is not as stressful as you might think. In fact, it’s as easy as following along a youtube video, opening some screws and removing/replacing parts – more on that later.

The flexibility and scalability you get when you build your own PC can never match what you get when you purchase a pre-built one.

That is our opinion of course, so we thought we would explore if it is better to build your own PC or buy a prebuilt PC.

Like most things in life, your personal preferences for a gaming PC comes down to a few main factors;

Value, Warranty, Time/Customization, Performance & Parts.

Is it better to Buy or Build a Gaming PC? Our Short Answer/TLDR

Overall, building a PC can be better for value and customization but requires time, effort, and research. Building also allows you to focus your budget on what is important to you. Building a PC also needs confidence in oneself to put the components together.

Buying a PC can be better for you if speed (no time), customer service and someone else building your PC is a priority. Buying a PC will almost always cost more than building your own.

Value: Is Building A PC Cheaper?

This question is much more complicated in 2019 than it would have been just a few years ago. Pricing for PC components has changed drastically in the past several years so the question “should you buy a gaming PC?” again needs exploring at this angle.

Both building and buying have different kinds of value. Taking a look at the higher end of things ($1,500 price range) – Buying from a build from a boutique company is nearly $500 more than the same system built yourself.

Take a look at origin PC and their neuron prebuilt machine:

Their total is around $1,500:

The price is around $500 more than taking the same components and building your own:

What about a cheaper price point?

Looking at a lower price point to get an idea of what is out there, we chose a $500 price point.

This cyberpower pc on Amazon is in the $500 price range.

This computer doesn’t come even close to our $400 computer build whose parts we have written about here.

The differences are staggering comparing between the two.

In our suggested build, we used much better components where it counts;- a better CPU, Graphics card, power supply and likely motherboard (the cyber power doesn’t list what motherboard they use).

For some reason, given the parts that this particular PC uses; If we took the same parts in the cyberpower and built our own – you would actually be better off buying this particular prebuilt PC…the cost would actually be more.

Shopping around really does help.

Looking at other computer builds, like on our website should help you figure out what is worthwhile.

This knowledge will help you figure out what computer parts are worth it or not.

Just like most things, economies of scale play a large factor when dealing with lower priced items.

How Often Are PC Parts DOA?

Warranty and Parts Delivery

Lastly, on this topic, one big advantage pre-assembled PC’s have over building your own, is that they have a more robust warranty and guarantees attentive customer service should anything go wrong.

One concern that some people may have is having parts delivered that are dead on arrival (DOA).

The likelihood of pc parts being DOA is very rare (we have never had it happen), but very annoying when it happens.

Again Reddit and Tom’s Hardware forum I didn’t see any comments as to that parts are sent faulty at all.

I guess it’s kind of like will I win the lottery – some people do win, but the chances of winning are unlikely.

Amazon, for instance, notes that: “If your item is damaged or defective, you can return your product through our Online Return Center during the return period (most items can be returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment.)”

Given that the company you purchase from will test the PC before shipping to ensure it works and performs to their standards you do not have to worry about faulty components and then dealing with the manufacturer of the faulty part.

Spend your money on what’s important

Gamers know that the most important part of a PC is the graphics card. If you’re focused solely on gaming, you can build a PC for just that, getting just enough of a CPU to power your awesome graphics card.

Time and Custom Looks: Should you build a gaming PC?

The most noticeable difference between building or buying a PC is in the time you should expect to invest. Prebuilt systems ship to you ready to go and require minimal setup.

Custom built systems take more time to put together than a ready-made system.

This starts with waiting for parts. Depending on where you buy parts from or whether you wait for certain components to go on sale, each piece of the system may arrive at different times.

After all the components arrive the build process can begin. For a basic system without water cooling, even an inexperienced builder can comfortably finish within a weekend; however entirely customized systems can even take experts weeks to complete.

The amount of time spent on the project is up to you. Certain companies do offer a prebuilt system with custom designs, so if the overall look is important but time is hard to come by, buying could be the way to go.

However, if you want a PC that really stands out with custom water cooling and-or lighting, doing it yourself ensures the system looks how you want.

Is building a PC Easy?

Yes building a PC is easy, with the (few) proper tools, and patience, anyone can build a PC. For beginners, expect the process to take anywhere between 1-5 hours, for experts a PC can be built in less than 30 minutes. Being able to follow instructions and videos easily will be the difference between a fast build and a longer one.

But that’s just our opinion.

Let’s look at other forums where the question is asked and see what people have to say:

On the most recent Reddit post, two people responded to the question and said that a total beginner will take between 2-3 hours to put a pc together.

Another response confirmed our timeline of 1-5 hours.

An older Reddit post (with stronger language) seems to have 2-3 hours and 4-5 hours as an average for beginners.

Lastly, on Tom’s hardware forum, people who have built a computer before have put a PC together in less than 30 minutes.

I think that gives a pretty good sample.

If you want to know a good resource on how to build a PC, the below youtube video is a great resource to follow along with (Here’s the actual Youtube link if you want to save it for later):

Understanding your PC On A Deeper Level

Building your own PC is not just a project, it is an educational experience that lets you in on the intricate details and how each part affects your gaming experience.

This means, the next time you feel the PC isn’t performing as well, you’ll have a better idea of what to replace and how. You won’t have the same convenience with pre-built PCs as they are often sealed off and replacements aren’t easy.

This ability to upgrade comes in handy when playing newer games. Upgrading after every so often will allow you to play the latest installment of your favorite games without much hassle.

Cryptocurrency And Market Changes – The X Factor in Building A PC

Graphics Card Prices

Back in late 2017, when Bitcoin prices were reaching highs of $25,000 Everybody was snapping up graphics cards to gain on the digital gold rush.

Since a graphics card is an integral part of a gaming build, many mid to high-end cards were selling for 2-3 times their MSRP prices.

At that time, it was actually less expensive to buy a prebuilt pc than making one.

Tomsguide.com actually wrote an article in early 2018 speaking to this fact.

To my knowledge, this is the first time that has ever occurred. Buying parts and building things yourself should always save you money.

Graphics card prices over time

The chart above shows that prices were at $5k at one point in late 2018.

OMG.

No wonder it was better to buy a prebuilt PC. Manufacturers were obligated to sell at a predetermined price which is why their prices didn’t go up.

RAM & SSD Prices

Computer ram prices have taken the same type of crazy market prices over time just as the graphics card trend has.

Look at this graph, seems like a thrilling ride if you were on a roller coaster:

RAM prices over time

SSD prices have fallen recently too:

SSD prices over time

Obviously, the point we’re trying to make is that there are some times where market conditions (supply-demand etc) make things unreasonable.

Right now it seems like a great time to capitalize on cheaper hardware costs and build your own.

Performance: Should you trust the experts?

One of the most complex practices in PC gaming is the art of overclocking. Experienced builders can milk extra performance out of each component, making lower cost parts perform closer to higher-end options.

If you have personal experience overclocking and are looking for a system to do just that – then building a custom gaming PC is by far the best option.

For certain companies, overclocking can void warranties on prebuilt systems

What’s more important is that many prebuilt systems are not usually made with overclocking in mind. Even if you have no experience and still want to overclock there are certain prebuilt systems that include optional overclocks from experts.

This can be a good way to squeeze extra performance out of a prebuilt system without forking over the cash needed to upgrade a graphics card or processor. Again, the question “is it better to build or buy a gaming PC?” comes down to your own level of expertise and how much time you want to commit.

Should you trust all PC building Companies?

As with most absolutes in life, the answer is no. While buying requires less research, both building and buying a gaming PC are significant investments that require a general knowledge of each component and the brands behind those parts.

Some more well-known brands (like Wal-Mart) have recently started offering value gaming systems at value prices. While these offerings may seem tempting, it’s important to look at customer reviews of prebuilt systems as well as reviews for the individual components the company has selected to put into their systems.

Often a prebuilt PC will have inferior products as part of their overall construction.  

More than likely the motherboard is quite inferior to what someone would consider putting in their own built PC.

Have a look at Linus Tech Tips review of the $1,500 walmart PC – we’ve selected a specific part of the video showing the first review of the inside:

More value-oriented companies will source the most affordable components possible while sometimes turning a blind eye to overall performance or customer reviews.  

Another good example is with power supplies.  It is almost always less expensive for a company to source unbranded power supplies in bulk, however, these are not always as stable or efficient as those which are backed by well-established brands.

Often if you more time than money – it makes the most sense to learn how to build a PC yourself. Not only can you save hundreds, but you will learn a valuable skill and have a more intimate knowledge of your gaming PC.

Tips: How to build a gaming PC

The first and most important part of building your own system is research. Learn everything you can about every part you plan to purchase, we have an article explaining this in detail, but there are tons of different resources for every part of the build process.

My personal favorite is pcpartpicker.com which is a gigantic database of almost every PC component imaginable, they even have a rudimentary compatibility checker to make sure your parts will work together. There are countless videos which demonstrate how to build a gaming PC, and the components themselves will often include very helpful instruction manuals that walk you through step-by-step.

Setting out to build your own system is an incredibly rewarding experience. I’ve been building my own systems for almost six years now and it never gets old. I like to think of the process like playing with “grown-up Legos”.

There’s An Entire Community

There’s an entire global community of people who prefer building their own PCs instead of buying pre-built.

When you start off your first project, the research involved connects you with like-minded individuals, who serve as a source to identify the best practices, the best parts and much more.

In addition, if you encounter a problem during the process, you can reach out to the community and share it. You will have immediate access to a wide variety of solutions. The feeling of being a part of something bigger and more important is priceless.

Reddit is a familiar community place for sure, some suggested reddit spots:

https://www.reddit.com/r/techsupport/
https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc

Tips: How to buy a gaming PC

Not everyone remembers Legos as fondly as I do, so for many buying a gaming PC makes more sense. Just as with building a pc, research is the single most important part of buying a gaming PC.

Tomsguide.com has an excellent article discussing what you should consider when buying a PC.

Most companies are very transparent about which parts they use, so be sure to check the technical specifications of the system you are looking at to make sure you aren’t overcharged.

The next step is to get in contact with the company directly. Even if you do not have a specific question, it’s always a good idea to get a feel for their customer service and attention to detail.

Companies often make customer service a priority, making it incredibly easy and have 24/7 online customer service available to answer questions through chat.

Calling works just as well if not better and will establish a personal connection, so you’re guaranteed the best service.

Buying Used: Proceed with Caution

Unfortunately, the market for used gaming PCs is rife with prices that are far too high and sellers which are not as open as they ought to be. This is where research really comes in. Knowing the current price of older components can give you a huge advantage when it comes to negotiating prices on second-hand sites.

The riskiest part of buying a gaming PC second hand is whether it functions in the first place. When possible you should always examine the system for damage.

Next, you should also make sure the seller is willing to power the system on for you and demonstrate that it runs properly, think of this as a test drive before buying a used car.

Buying used also carries with it the risk of unseen damage. I briefly mentioned overclocking earlier, if done incorrectly this can place the CPU and GPU of the gaming PC under immense stress and significantly decrease the longevity of the system. There is no way to test for this damage other than asking the seller how the used the system and then trusting that answer. The same goes for purchasing individual parts second-hand.

Conclusion: So, which is better, buying or building a gaming PC?

The bottom line is that there is no clear answer for everyone, but there are a few clear points.

Should you buy a gaming PC?

Pros:

  • Stronger  Warranties
  • Less Research and Time
  • Responsive customer service
  • Unique Looks from Experts
  • Possible overclocking

Cons:

  • Increased Costs
  • Less value for components
  • Less room for DIY (including overclocking)
  • DIY repairs and adjustments risk voiding warranties
  • Less overall customization options

Should you build a gaming PC?

Pros:

  • Unlimited customization
  • Overclocking and other DIY repairs and options become available
  • Ability to source parts individually for the best savings
  • Avoid paying extra cost for the labor needed to assemble the system
  • Learn a valuable and rewarding skill

Cons:

  • Much more time intensive for both the building and research phase
  • Requires the proper amount of time and effort to learn about each part
  • Risk of parts arriving dead or broken
  • Some kinds of customization are incredibly complex
  • Far less warranty and no customer service for overall problems (only for problems with individual components)

In some ways, it’s fantastic that now, this question is more difficult than ever to answer. Both building and buying a gaming PC are perfectly viable options that each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

So depending on who you are, how much time you have, what you want your system to look like, and what your budget is you’re almost guaranteed to find a prebuilt system or the parts needed to build your own system to closely matches your exact needs.

Integrated Graphics Vs Graphics Cards (Decoded) – The Lazy Man’s Guide

What is a graphics card?

Before we go into integrated graphics vs graphics cards I need to take you through the principles of what each really mean.

So what is a graphics card?

A graphics card is a separate add on unit for a computer designed to handle complex visual processing. A graphics card then sends the information to your monitor(s) or display.  All graphics cards have outputs to connect your displays and have a Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) as part of their construction. The graphics card connects to a motherboard (typically via PCIe) and has its own dedicated memory (VRAM).

What is the difference between dedicated and integrated graphics cards?

An Integrated graphics card has a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) as part of (integrated) into the Central Processing Unit (CPU). It sends the video information through the motherboard output to your display.

A dedicated graphics card has the GPU mounted on a dedicated circuit board with separate display connections in addition to your motherboard. A dedicated graphics card is also able to handle more intense graphical needs and demands than an integrated graphics card.

Integrated graphics cards (IGPU’s) are part of most non-gaming computers. IGPU’s are very cost effective and are able to handle most everyday user tasks like browsing the web, Youtube, email etc.

Dedicated graphics cards are used typically for gaming and video editing – both of these require many more resources from users who expect better performance.

In the past the GPU was integrated into the motherboard, but now is part of the CPU.

AMD has their own version of integrated graphics cards (or processors), but they call it an APU. APU stands for Accelerated Processing Unit.

I will use IGPU or integrated graphics throughout this article. APU, IGPU and integrated graphics are all synonymous terms.

We have an article reviewing the the best AMD IGPU’s (APU) on the market here.

Is a graphics card needed?

A graphics card is absolutely needed if your CPU doesn’t have an integrated GPU (IGPU) as part of its architecture. Integrated graphics are meant to handle watching Youtube and other common user demands like web browsing, emails etc. A dedicated graphics card is needed if you want to play the latest and greatest games at a high detail setting without stuttering in the gameplay.

What exactly is a GPU and why do we need one?

Why the heck are GPUs so expensive!  Basically the GPU is the heart of the build, and without it most things that gamers enjoy become impossible.

A GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is the actual chip that is mounted to the graphics card. The GPU is what processes and renders the images you see, such as your favourite cat video or the icons on your desktop. It also handles calculations related to manipulating 3D objects – used mainly in gaming and video production or video editing.

The GPU is to a graphics card as the engine is to a car. We can have different models of the same car (colors, features, parts etc) but will have the same engine overall.

Therefore, different dedicated graphics cards can be based on the same GPU.

The two largest desktop GPU makers, AMD and NVIDIA, release a reference (stock) version of their new graphics cards (like the Radeon RX 590 or GeForce RTX 2080) and offer them out to vendors to customize. All of the different vendor versions of the RTX2080 for example actually have the same GPU chip at their core.

Vendors (Asus, Gigabyte, MSI etc) will take the reference design, and customize it with their own versions that may (and they usually do) enhance the cards performance.

These vendors will commonly change the cooling options (# of fans, size, heatsinks), Input/Output ports (I/O ports) and modify the card for higher performance (clock speed).

Nividia and AMD also release their own version of graphics cards to compete with the vendors mentioned above.

Nvidia calls their own design Founders Edition. AMD calls their version Frontier edition.

Should You Buy A GPU or An IGPU/APU? 

We should first look at what differences there are between a CPU (and it’s integrated GPU) and an independent GPU (part of a dedicated/discrete graphics card).

If you were to look at a CPU chip and a GPU chip, you could think they are the same.

comparison between cpu and gpu

First the similarities.

  • They’re fabricated with silicon
  • They’re mounted on a printed circuit board (PCB)
  • They have a heat sink attached to them to keep them cool.
  • They both perform math and solve problems

So it seems like they’re largely the same then?

Not quite!

Now the differences, and why they are used for separate uses.

I find an analogy is best to first grasp the differences.

Let’s say I’m running a website called PCGamingbuilds. I’m the only person running it. That means I’m the writer, accountant, security specialist, and artist (amongst many other things).

I’m doing it all.

I’m able to handle everything that comes my way and pretty good at everything too (humbly of course).  Out of nowhere, I get a big request to prepare a very detailed painting/picture on how to build a computer.

I could probably do it…It would take a long time, and it would probably not be as good of quality as if I hired a professional artist (specialized in their craft) to create my vision.

Much is the same between a CPU and a Graphics card.

I being the CPU in this example am very good at handling complex requirements and also able to do many different things at the same time. But sometimes, I just can’t handle everything and I slow down.

A GPU is an artist, or an entire art department designed solely to help produce images.

CPU

A CPU is very good at handling your virus scans, launching programs, web browsing etc. It is the maestro at the symphony, handling and coordinating everything.

A CPU is good at handling all of those commands and tasks amongst many other random requests – so you’re able to multitask without yelling at the computer in anger.

GPU

The GPU (as part of a dedicated graphics card) is the art department as mentioned. The graphics card is only there for one purpose – to create the picture you see on your display. GPU’s are able to handle a huge amount of repetitive similar calculations in a very fast time.

So a GPU is focused on pure speed on repetitive problems and a CPU is designed to handle everything you can throw at it in a balanced way.

Inside GPU’s are many identical blocks stacked on one another. These blocks are called either a streaming multiprocessor or compute unit.

In an overly simplified version, you could consider these blocks like little dedicated CPU’s.

So a GPU is able to handle mathematical equations (like geometry) with blinding speed.

Displaying images is like displaying geometry, dealing with shapes and trajectories and variables.

So to display a complex image (like in a video game) quickly with minimal time, the parallel blocks of a GPU are much better suited for this task.

Since the GPU architecture is so good at handling similar calculations the GPU has begun to be used for something called general-purpose computing on graphics cards (known as GPGPU if you’re interested).

A very popular use of GPGPU is used in cryptocurrency mining (bitcoin being the most popular).

Crypto mining is one big number crunching calculation fest, that GPU’s are good for.

So GPU’s are the future of computing right – get rid of the CPU?

Not so fast.

For a GPU to perform fast, the problems have to be parallel and pretty straight forward.

You can consider that the CPU is needed to take care of other more complex commands that you would want to be done quickly.

RAM usage with integrated graphics cards

The last thing you want to consider to see if a graphics card is needed is considering RAM usage.

Having an integrated GPU is kind of like sharing a living room with 14 roommates, the integrated GPU will use your dedicated RAM much like your roommates can use the living room.

If all of the 14 roommates decide to throw a party and use the living room, you’ll have to wait a long time before you can watch TV and chill!

If you’re going to be using your computer and integrated graphics to play games or do some video editing (the roommates); – your system runs the risk of really slowing down overall since it will be using most of the CPU’s resources.

If your computer is performing any other tasks like a virus scan or other background activities/programs are running – your system can really be slowed down and it will show in your gameplay or editing – likely to an unusable choppy level.

When do you absolutely need to buy a graphics card?

There are CPU’s that are manufactured without a GPU as part of their architecture. If you have a CPU without an integrated GPU component (IGPU) you will need to buy a dedicated graphics card to supply & process the image information to your display.

As PCGamer.com Reported  Intel has long included integrated GPU’s up until their 9th generation where they have now started to produce some CPU’s without IGPU’s built in.

So for the most part, if you have an Intel CPU, you already have a GPU and you can watch cute animal videos to your heart’s content.

However.

Any 9th generation Intel CPU with an “F” at the end of it doesn’t have integrated graphics – and you will need to buy a graphics card.

Many AMD CPU’s do not have integrated graphics either.

Here’s List of the latest CPU’s that don’t have an integrated GPU and where you will need a graphics card:

Intel CPU’s without integrated graphics:
  • Core i9 9900KF
  • Core i7 9700KF
  • Core i5 9600KF
  • Core i5 9400K
  • Core i3 8350KF
  • Core i3 8100F
AMD CPU’s without integrated graphics:
  • Ryzen 3 1200
  • Ryzen 3 1300X
  • Ryzen 5 1400
  • Ryzen 5 1500X
  • Ryzen 5 1600
  • Ryzen 5 1600X
  • Ryzen 7 1700
  • Ryzen 7 1700X
  • Ryzen 7 1800X
  • Ryzen Threadripper 1900X
  • Ryzen Threadripper 1920X
  • Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

You need a graphics card if you have any one of these CPU’s.

Are integrated graphics good for gaming?

I know a lot of you are gamers and I’ve been getting asked this a good bit so i’m going to answer this once and for all.

Is integrated graphics good for gaming? Usually No. Overall, the best IGPU’s (or APU’s) have shown to deliver 30 frames per second (FPS) at medium game settings at 1080p on many of the latest games. Having an Integrated graphics (IGPU) that is good for gaming depends mainly on how powerful your CPU is, the game complexity and other along with other running programs your computer has to handle. 

We will be using integrated graphics in its short form (IGPU)

As a comparison, 60 FPS is usually the mininum target for most gamers to deliver smooth gameplay on a computer screen (you can watch without sound to see the comparison).

Forbes.com and Wccftech.com performed tests looking at the Ryzen 5 2400G on Amazonthe best AMD integrated graphics CPU (or as AMD calls it APU) – and they found that the 2400G gets on average 30 FPS (frames per second) on medium game settings.

Running the Ryzen 5 2400G through userbenchmark.com shows the following results:

MEDIUM SETTINGS AT 1080P

GAME FPS # OF TESTS/SAMPLES
CSGO 94 30
FORTNITE 55.8 61
PUBG 39.1 15
GTA V 46.2 31
MINECRAFT 93.5 4

Tech Deals ran a comparison between the RX 580 8GB graphics card being used compared to using the Ryzen5 2400G integrated graphics card. You can see the differences here:

A comparably priced Intel CPU to the Ryzen 5 2400G is the Intel i3 8100

Again, using userbenchmark.com the users have seen the following results:

MEDIUM SETTINGS AT 1080P

GAME FPS # OF TESTS/SAMPLES
CSGO 78.8 6
FORTNITE 33.7 10
PUBG 67.5 4
GTA V 30 2
MINECRAFT 54.3 3

Lastly, How many monitors do you want to use?

Another factor that you may consider in buying a graphics card, is the fact that you want to have multiple monitors installed on your computer for work or entertainment purposes.

Most motherboards should be able to accommodate 2 monitors, but the way the monitors will be connected may differ.

A new motherboard will likely have a DisplayPort and an HDMI output, while older motherboards will likely have a VGA (analog) output and a DVI.

There are other motherboards that will have 3 display outputs on them as well.

If your motherboard doesn’t have enough display outputs that fit your need for monitors;

or if you’re not satisfied with using varied outputs to meet your goal (eg using a combination of HDMI, display port, VGA etc);

Then you will likely need to have a dedicated graphics card.

It’s pretty easy to use Windows 10 built in system to extend your displays:

Conclusion

So at this point I’ve gone through all the reasons as to why it makes sense to pick up either a integrated graphics card also known as an IGPU and why you might want to opt for a real GPU instead! .

If you’re just browsing the web and doing some light gaming then an APU does make some sense, but if you want to really game at a high level, then I recommend checking out our gaming PC builds. Even if you’re not a gamer, if you’re doing other demanding tasks like video editing, 3d modeling, or things of that nature you still might want to look into getting one of our builds as you’re going to appreciate having that extra power!

Did you learn everything you need to know about dedicated GPUs vs Integrated GPU’s?

If you have any questions and want to know anything more let us know by leaving a comment, and we’ll answer it ASAP.

4 Things You Could Be Doing Right Now That Are Ruining Your Rig

Your custom computer rig will have a significantly extended life span if you know how to maintain and care for it properly. People spend a lot of time and money building their custom rigs, but many of them make mistakes that can lead to premature failure or degraded performance. Below are four of the most common mistakes made when building and maintaining a custom rig.

Not Cooling it Properly

One of the major issues people make with their rig is not giving it enough air. You can install the best parts on the market, but if your system is not adequately cooled, it will not perform as well, and its life span will be shortened. “Most printers, computers, routers and other electronic devices have vents located on the back or on the side.  This configuration allows cool air to be pulled in to the device from the front or from the sides and for the hot air to be forced out through the back or to the sides. If the equipment is stored in an enclosed area, hot air tends to cycle through it making it hotter and hotter the longer it is running.” Heat is the number one enemy to your rig. Installing fans is not enough if the enclosure isn’t sufficiently ventilated to allow for proper airflow. (source)

Not Cleaning It

Cleaning the inside and outside of your rig is very important for preserving the life of your machine. Dust buildup is a prevalent problem with computers. Most people don’t clean their rigs on a regular basis, and when they do, the inside is usually ignored. Dust buildup can prevent air from flowing in and out of your rig. “It is important to always consult with your manual for tips, and be sure to power electronics down before cleaning them. Usually, a damp microfiber cloth, a dry microfiber cloth, and some canned air can work wonders on almost any electronic device.” (source)

Not Using Thermal Paste Correctly

The proper amount of thermal paste to use on the computer processor has been an ongoing issue for rig builders of all experience levels for many years. “There are technically many ways to apply thermal paste, but most of these techniques usually involve applying too much. This causes an overly thick layer of paste, which will not only transfer heat inefficiently, but may also spill over to the circuit board. Even if the paste is non-conductive, you don’t want excess to spill over and potentially damage any parts.” Not using any thermal paste is a big mistake, as it can prevent proper cooling. You really don’t have much leeway when installing thermal paste. Too little will create air pockets, and too much will negatively affect thermal conductivity. Try using a pea-sized amount first and see if you need more or not. (source)

We have a full article about the best thermal pastes and the dangers of Liquid Metal Thermal Paste

Not Installing Motherboard Standoffs

Your rig’s chassis will come with all the necessary hardware to properly mount the motherboard. The standoffs are critical because they will prevent the board from contacting the metal of the chassis and potentially short-circuiting. Typically, new builders are not sure what this hardware is for or simply neglect it because they are in a rush to complete their new rig.

You invest plenty of time and money building your rig. To maintain peak performance, you need to maintain it properly. Keep it clean to prevent the dust buildup that prevents airflow and reduces the longevity of your rig.

When’s the Best Time to Buy New Parts for Your Rig?

Everyone wants to make sure that they always have the best computer technology in their hands. It’s hard to do so, of course, when technology is constantly updating and improving. But why build or buy an entirely new computer when you can adjust for a few upgrades here and there. If you were careful during buying or building your computer, you should have the capability to upgrade. But whether you’re hoping to get an increase in speed or storage, it is still important to know where to buy the parts and find the best prices. By following these tips, you’ll ensure you get the most out of your dollar and get that sweet upgrade you were hoping for.

Black Friday

Black Friday is hard to ignore for the fantastic deals you can get, on everything from socks to widescreen TVs. According to Tech Radar, this year it will take place on November 23rd, 2018. Take the weeks before it to research the deals that are being anticipated across the web, as many stores will give you a sneak peek of what they’re going to be offering that day. You can take advantage of the season to upgrade your system to a more powerful one if you’re smart about it. Try to be cautious though, as while a lot of things do go on sale, they aren’t always the best absolute deals. Be sure to compare the stores that sell the parts you’re looking for and look for the best price possible. And of course, keep a checklist and a budget for this time, and don’t let yourself get distracted or tempted by the many other deals you’re bound to see.

Amazon Prime Day and other Holidays

Aside from Black Friday, other holidays are also an awesome time to look for amazing deals in computer parts. Amazon prime day comes once a year, and even though this year’s event was two months ago, you can still look into other holidays when sellers offer different deals, as by the time Christmas time rolls by, many shops are offering generous sales for people buying gifts. New Years time also has some discounts come up here and there, even though you will have to search a little harder for deals in computers. Just note that the holidays are the time to get parts for 20 to 30 percent less than you would during the rest of the year.

Preparing for the Purchase

There are other factors which will determine how much of a save you will make from your sale. For instance, if you are set on buying one of those high-end Intel processors, and you have no interest in looking at other alternatives such as an AMD processor that could serve the same purpose, it will be more challenging for you to get the parts that you desire during the sales period. What most people do not realize is that Intel does not offer massive deals during the holiday, while AMD almost always does. Additionally, make sure to do some digging when you find the exact part you want (and know where you want to buy it). Despite the amount of amazing sales retailers and manufacturers have throughout the year, there are even more savings to be found. 

Choosing the Components That Get the Highest Cuts

Another important thing to think about is the components which you need, versus the components which usually get the biggest cuts. Here are some of the parts that get the best sales deals with the holidays, especially when you have coupons:

  • Monitors, keyboards, and mice
  • Headsets, SSDs, and HDDs
  • AMD CPUs
  • Power Supply Units
  • Memory

When strategizing, aim to get the very best deals that there are on these parts. You can have a look at the past sales history that the company has had to determine how generous they are when it is sale time. When you have narrowed down to the parts and the percentage that you are likely to get off, you can plan your budget accordingly. It is crucial to note that the fact that the components listed above usually have the most significant price cuts does not mean that you shouldn’t buy the others, they will also have their own coupons and discounts, and your purchase will depend on how important the part is to you.

Takeaways

Another way that you can get great deals is to keep checking offers which occur on a regular basis. Many retailers also hold flash sales from time to time, and when you are on the lookout, you are likely to get a deal which you will find hard to resist. Finally, when making your buy, ensure that you know when the company is expected to release an upgraded version of their hardware or software. For instance, it would make little sense to buy an Intel processor because there is a sale only to have them release a new and upgraded version of the processor a month later because then you would be stuck with a cheap, but an old piece of hardware. The most important here is to research and prepare because it ends up paying off.

Is Linux Good to Game With?

So, you’re wanting to build a gaming build, and you’re wanting to change things up a little bit? Maybe you’re not too happy with Windows at the moment. Choosing the right operating system can make or break your entire gaming experience. Linux is a popular operating system choice for gamers worldwide; but is it the right choice? Let’s take a look at its features and properties to find out.

Properties of Linux

There are a few fundamental properties of the Linux operating system that makes it a good candidate for gamers. Below, we will go over some of the key features offered to users by Linux.

Customizable Platform

If you want something that’s extremely customizable and able to support complex gaming programs, Linux is going to be your best bet. You can make changes within the system that allow you to utilize features that would be otherwise unavailable to you.

Open Source Design

Linux has an open-sourced nature making it versatile and capable. It’s able to excel in many areas that other systems just can’t. Imagine it like looking under the hood of a car; Linux allows you to easily pop the hood and take a look at all of the inner workings behind its core programming.

Enhanced Security

Linux is less susceptible to malware and hacking than some of its competitors. There are a few factors behind this, but the general complexity of the system is one of the main reasons for this.

Ideal for Programmers

Linux supports most major programming languages. This makes it very handy for programmers, gamers, or anyone who happens to be pretty tech-savvy. It also features a superior terminal with an impressive command line making it an excellent choice for developers.

Easy to Update

Linux allows you to easily keep updated on patches to make sure your system runs smoothly. According to this site, a patch “can swiftly detect vulnerabilities in your environment, from endpoint to data center, and deploy expertly pre-tested patches automatically. You can also install updates periodically to fix certain kinds of programming errors. This means that as your gaming programs change, you’ll be able to keep up with the newest updates.

Pros of Using Linux to Game:

Summary

So is Linux a good operating system to game with? Generally, the answer is yes. If you’re a tech-savvy gamer who is ready to keep with the steep learning curve, Linux is an awesome choice. Customizable and easy-to-update, Linux is an ideal candidate for players and programmers alike. Just remember to keep updated on patches to make sure your system runs smoothly and make use of the impressive support community, and you can be gaming with Linux in no time.

 

When Do You Need to Wipe Your Technology?

Every piece of technology you own, whether it be a tablet, smartphone or computer, has what is essentially a self-destruct button. You can reset the device to exactly the way it was when it rolled out of the factory. There are several important situations where completely erasing all your information from your computer or smart device is the best thing you can do. These four scenarios will walk you through knowing when it’s time to erase your data off your technology.

You Sell It

If you decide to put some extra cash in your wallet by selling your unused technology, don’t complete the transaction until you have restored your computer or smartphone to factory settings. Some of your personal data can be very valuable in the wrong hands.

You Give It Away

Sometimes when you upgrade your device, you may choose to give your old one to a friend or family member. Even if you trust them completely, it is still a really smart idea to erase all the personal information on your device. Someone who is not tech savvy can accidentally pass your data on to a person who knows how to exploit that information.

You Have A Virus

Your computer can pick up a virus or malware from any website that has been infiltrated. A virus does not usually seem malicious and is often packaged in a desirable download or informative website. If your virus protection does not detect a malicious file, you may end up with a slow, lagging computer and not even realize why. If you find your computer has been compromised, wiping it and resetting it will erase all viruses as well as any other files.

Free Up Space

If you love to take pictures or download large files, your computer will likely fill up to capacity over the course of several months. Instead of taking the time to look through each individual file and delete what you don’t need, you can backup the files you want and wipe the computer. This will give you a fresh start and plenty of space to work with.

Frequently backing up your data to an external hard drive is also an important part of protecting the personal information on your device. If you have extra copies of your most valuable photos and documents backed up, resetting your device will not create a huge data loss.

Looking for some great “how to” guides for your computer? Look no further!

 

References:

BackBlaze | Why You Should Backup Your Files

CNET Magazine | How to Wipe Your Phone or Tablet Before You Sell It

AT&T Experience | How to Wipe your iPhone before Trade-in: 5 Simple Steps

What Teens Interested In IT Need To Know

Technology is becoming more popular among a majority of teens as it plays a significant role in their daily activities. They have school as their full-time job. However, when they aren’t in school, they spend most of their time on technology. A career in Information Technology (IT) would enhance their knowledge in this field. This article will show you IT programs and other ways to prepare for a career in IT.

IT Career

Typical IT careers are support specialists, computer programmers, and system analysts. Programmers translate software developer’s designs into a language that computers understand. A system analysts’ role is to ensure machines and networks are working correctly while support specialists solve problems encountered by computer users. You need to have analytical skills and be detail-oriented to succeed in this career. Acquire strong communication skills and be organized. Your ability to learn fast will enhance your career growth.

IT Job Market

As firms increase their use of computers, the demand for IT specialists will increase. This demand is expected to rise. The annual average salary of a support specialist is $48,900 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. System analysts and programmers are paid a higher income of approximately $79,680 and $74,280 respectively.

IT Education

You need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar discipline to take up a career in IT. There are instances where an associate degree will get you a job. Experience, which you can acquire through summer jobs, is always an advantage in getting any job. Some organizations may give you work based on the computer skills you possess. Since you already know that you’ll need a degree, take steps now to prepare for college. If you optimize your time in high school, you have a better chance of qualifying for scholarships and other financial aid.

IT Programs and Courses

ID Tech Camps offer teens an opportunity to learn various topics which include coding, virtual reality, and 3D printing. Previous students of this program have gone on to get jobs at Google and Facebook while others have started their companies. ID Tech has the best teachers in the industry. They have a student to teacher ratio of 8:1, so you get as much attention from the teacher as you want.

There are plenty of IT training courses online, some free and some requiring a subscription. See if you can talk to a parent or research student programs to see if they can cover some costs or have different resources in mind. EdX is another site that offers online courses, most of which are free of charge. You pay a fee if you require a certificate to verify your participation. MIT OpenCourseWare offers lessons in Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. Code Academy offers its courses for free. The classes on this site relate to web development. Acquire skills in IT from these sites. As you focus on classes, also try to focus on what you are good at. Taking pre-employment assessments or aptitude and personality tests, can tell you if the information technology world is good for you. 

Conclusion

A career in IT is fulfilling. IT specialists derive satisfaction from the continuous learning that takes place in this career. Follow the tips above to make the most out of a job in IT.

If you want to start with some of your own IT projects, check out our How To guides here.

Why Migrating to Windows 10 is a Pain for Businesses (But Still the Right Thing to Do)

Migrating to a newer version of any software is always a pain. Upgrading your company’s operating system is doubly so and can sometimes be kind of expensive. The operating system is such an integral part of utilizing a computer that the changes of a new version of the OS are annoying to get used to. There seems to be a pointless trend of new OS versions changing things for seemly no other reason than for its own sake. Because of this, migrating to Windows 10 will require a period of time for one to adjust to the changes in the newer version. However, utilizing the latest version of Windows available provides sufficient benefits to justify the trouble.

Security

Windows 10 does seem to be the most secure system. The older an operating system is, the less secure it is. Hackers and other malicious actors have had substantially more time to analyze the now-outdated structure of older operating systems and determine their weaknesses. A lack of support by Microsoft for older versions of Windows leaves them vulnerable to hackers and ransomware. It is this vulnerability that justifies enduring the annoyance of migrating to Windows 10. While migrating may be a pain, it is substantially less of a pain than facing the consequences of poor cyber-security.

Support

Older versions of Windows are always given a lower priority for support and updates, not only from Microsoft but also from third-party software vendors. With the view of Windows 10 as a continually updated service rather than a static operating system, the environment is much better integrated with other Microsoft services and better supported by third parties. While newer versions of even familiar software may require a learning curve to adjust to, the support and integration that they provide frequently warrant the effort. Ensuring the tools your business utilizes are up to date and supported far outweighs the hassle of migrating and adjusting to the changes of the new version. If you are unable to migrate to Windows 10 on your own, you can utilize an assistant program to make the transition easier.

Despite the pain involved in migrating to Windows 10, the benefits of utilizing the most up to date operating system dramatically outweigh the costs. Ensuring that the software your company uses has full support from its manufacturers increases productivity and prevents unnecessary delays. The security provided by access to constant updates of security flaws as they become revealed also serves to protect your business. While migrating to Windows 10 may be a pain, it is without a doubt preferable to the alternative.

FIFA or NBA 2K Series: Which is More Popular?

In the world of sports video games, bragging rights count for a lot. This statement is not only true among players but game makers as well. Soccer is arguably the most popular sport on the planet, and the FIFA series is the most widely known soccer game. Basketball has been growing steadily in popularity worldwide, and the 2K series has dominated basketball video games for many years. Which of these two franchises rules?

The Numbers

As far as sales, NBA 2K18 is the clear winner. The 2K18 version was the best-selling sports video game of last year and second best-selling game overall. In early January, FIFA 2018 reached the $10 million mark regarding sales.

Game Features: NBA 2K18

2K18 improves in many ways upon previous entries, especially when it comes to team synergy. Players seem to know their roles better and engage in far fewer random moves. Teammate AI is not perfect, but it is pretty darn good. Microtransactions are the main drawback of this game. Even the most fun games can become unpleasant grinds when the goal is to raise points for in-game purchases.

Game Features: FIFA 2018

Players who love offense, offense, and more offense will eat up FIFA 2018. Offensive controls and options are so precise that defense is frustrating to play.  As a consequence, game scores tend to be rather high. These high scores aren’t the soccer equivalent of NBA Jam, but it is geared toward the fantastic and nearly unbelievable plays.

If You Could Only Choose One

Regardless of which sport you prefer, NBA 2K18 does a better job of translating the actual game into a video game. Unless the developer is going for a gimmick game, sports video games succeed or fail based on how well they recreate the game experience. NBA 2K18 does this better, and that could well be why it’s sales are so phenomenal. If mom is complaining about having so many games and wants you to pick only one, go with NBA 2K18.

Benefits of Playing Either Game

Okay, so you have to make a choice. Basketball or soccer? Which one is it going to be? The thing is, it doesn’t matter which one you choose because playing a video game is beneficial to your overall health. According to BroBible, playing FIFA gives you more of an understanding of the World’s Most Popular Sport and playing a game where cat-like reflexes are needed, it helps with hand-eye coordination. According to Leviathyn, “video games can help with your social, mental, and even physical health.”

So, when deciding which game to play, understand that you can learn a few things that will go a long way in your life.

Closing Thoughts

Soccer may still be the most popular sport in the real world, but in the gaming world, it has a lot of catching up to do. NBA 2K18 is the current reigning sports video game for good reason.