“What graphics card within my budget gives me the best bang for my buck?”
That simple question cuts to the core of what people hunting for a new graphics card look for: the most oomph they can afford. Sure, the technological leaps behind each new GPU can be interesting on their own, but most everyone just wants to crank up the detail settings on Battlefield and get right to playing.
Last updated 8/29/18 to include the GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards and update current pricing now that the cryptocurrency craze is over.
Huawei’s Matebook X Pro may remind you of how another Chinese vendor, OnePlus, captured a chunk of the smartphone market with flagship specs at an affordable price. Besides the oddball pop-up webcam and a short supply of the high-end Core i7 model, the 14-inch Matebook X Pro thin-and-light offers several compelling reasons to buy it: a great display, a good keyboard, terrific audio, and even an included USB-C dock. It’s hard to believe that Huawei even included a discrete GeForce MX150 GPU in the faster, Core i7-powered version.
But Huawei also cut a corner or two. Power limits restrict its performance, and both its Thunderbolt port and discrete GPU are cut-down versions. Battery life is middling. It’s also hard to find: A Core i5 version can be found on Amazon for the superb price of $1,199. You’ll need to track down the Core i7 version that we tested, which we found at B&H Photo for $1,499, but at Amazon for close to $1,900.
Nvidia might have tooted the horn of its premium-priced, overclocked Founders Edition graphics cards during the ray tracing-filled reveal for the GeForce RTX 2070, RTX 2080, and RTX 2080 Ti, but they won’t be the only dual-fan versions hitting the streets on September 20. You’ll even see hardware with three fans, because Nvidia board partners like EVGA, Asus, and Zotac are readying a slew of customized GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards of their own.
None come cheap, however, adding significant price premiums to new RTX hardware that already fetch far higher prices than their predecessors. And while all three of Nvidia’s new GPUs promise to achieve impressive new feats in real-time ray tracing, the extra RT cores and tensor cores buried deep inside the Turing GPU architecture muscled out the sort of sizeable CUDA core increases we’ve witnessed in previous Nvidia upgrade cycles. The $700 GeForce RTX 2080 features roughly 500 fewer CUDA cores than the previous-gen GTX 1080 Ti, for example, and the $500 GeForce RTX 2070 has around 250 fewer CUDA cores than the GTX 1080 despite having the same starting price at launch.
So you have a Mac but also want to run Windows? You’re in luck: shortly after the first Intel-based Macs arrived on the market in 2009, Apple released a tool called Boot Camp, which lets Mac owners install and start their machines natively in Microsoft Windows. With the press of a button, you can switch between Mac and Windows every time your computer turns on.
Probably the most common reason Mac owners use Boot Camp is to play Windows-only games. For instance, PC MMOs such as Star Trek Online, Tera, and Star Wars: The Old Republic only run on Windows. Boot Camp is also better at running Windows software than virtual machines like Parallels or VMWare Fusion, which are programs that simultaneously run Windows inside Mac’s operating system. Without further ado, here’s how to set up Boot Camp and install Windows.
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