PCWorld October 2020

We review the Google Pixel 4a, plus what to expect if you’re switching from an iPhone SE. Find out if your Chromebook is expiring. Reviews of Note 20 Ultra, Norton 360 Deluxe, Mullvad vs. NordVPN, and much more!

United States
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12 Numéros

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6 min
intel launches 11th-gen tiger lake cpus, with blazing-fast clock speeds

Intel promised “dramatic” clock-speed increases in its 11th-gen “Tiger Lake” Intel Core CPU. It delivered. In August, Intel surprised us by promising that its new SuperFIN transistor would push Tiger Lake to a greater-than-generational improvement in CPU performance. While that claim will have to wait for actual testing, the numbers help bolster its case: The base clock speed of the top four-core, eight-thread Core i7-1185G7 reaches 3GHz—far above that of Intel’s flagship 10th-gen Ice Lake chips—with single-core turbo speeds hitting 4.8GHz. All told, Intel is launching nine new Tiger Lake processors for notebooks, five of which include the new Xe integrated graphics core. More than 150 designs based on the new 11th-gen Intel Core processors are expected from partners including Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook, HP, Lenovo, LG, MSI, Razer, Samsung, and others,…

2 min
intel tiger lake laptops will begin shipping in october

Laptops and notebook PCs using Intel’s first Tiger Lake chips will begin shipping in October, an Intel representative confirmed in early September. Up to that announcement, Intel had been cagey, stating that the first laptops using its new Tiger Lake chips would be available this fall in time for the holiday season. Its latest presentation also clarified a fact that was left out of its press release: Two of the nine new Tiger Lake chips, the Core i3-1125G4 and Core i3-1120G4, won’t be available until 2021. Some observers grumbled that Intel should have waited to launch Tiger Lake until PC makers were ready to ship. At the presentation, though, Intel somewhat nailed down the initial shipping date to October. That means we have to wait a little longer before reviewers and consumers…

2 min
amd sets october 8 date for nextgen ryzen ‘zen 3’ launch

AMD chief executive Lisa Su said recently that her company will be launching its next-generation Zen 3 microprocessors on October 8. “It’s going to be an exciting fall for gamers…time to start a new journey with @AMDRyzen Zen3 and @Radeon RDNA2,” Su tweeted, with a small promotional video that advertised the October 8 launch date. (AMD also confirmed the October 28 launch of its “Big Navi” Radeon RX 6000 series cards to take on Nvidia.) The announcement comes after some speculation that AMD would delay the launch of its next-generation Zen 3 cores, the basis of its Ryzen chips for desktop and mobile. Those desktop and mobile chips are expected to include the Cezanne APU, with mainstream and high-end desktop parts codenamed Vermeer. An enthusiast and workstation version is reportedly codenamed Genesis…

3 min
rip, sli: nvidia geforce rtx 30-series slams the final nail in multigpu’s coffin

Pour one out, enthusiasts. Nvidia’s beastly new GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards just slammed the final nail into SLI’s coffin. Well, almost. A glaring fact jumped out at me while I was sifting through Nvidia’s product pages for our GeForce RTX 30-series vs. RTX 20-series spec comparison: Only the monstrous $1,500 GeForce RTX 3090 includes support for NVLink, the proprietary connector that enables SLI multi-GPU configurations. Even the $800 GeForce RTX 3080 lacks it, and Nvidia calls that graphics card the 30-series flagship. (The RTX 3090 is a “BFGPU” above and beyond the rest.) Given that Nvidia controls 80 percent of the graphics card market, it seems clear that the days of slapping multiple graphics cards into your PC to boost frame rates is effectively over. That said, it’s been effectively over…

5 min
samsung galaxy z fold 2: killer specs in search of killer purpose

The original Samsung Galaxy Fold never really got a chance to make a name for itself. While it launched to a ton of fanfare, by the time it landed on shelves following a months-long delay due to design and manufacturing deficiencies, the Galaxy Note 10+ and iPhone 11 Pro were stealing the limelight and the wow factor had long faded. But Samsung persisted and now the follow-up has arrived with a new name (Galaxy Z Fold 2), a new price, and a new lease on life. Unsurprisingly, Samsung is sticking with a very similar form factor as the one introduced with the original Fold, but every aspect of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 has gotten an upgrade, from the outside cover display to the inside screen ratio. But while the hardware…

2 min
android 11 is here, bringing minor changes to pixel phones

If you own a Pixel 2 or later, your phone can get some new features. After months of betas, Google has begun rolling out Android 11 to “select Pixel, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme phones,” but if you don’t own a Google phone, you won’t see the full version yet. OnePlus, Oppo, and Realme have announced that some customers will be getting access to public betas and previews while the full version is still being developed. That’s better than usual, but it’s still a far cry from iOS 14, which has already been made available on hundreds of millions of iPhones. Still, if your phone isn’t on that list, you’re not missing out on all that much. Android 11 is very much a maintenance release, and as such, it has few new…